American Jewish Historical Society

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American Jewish Historical Society
American Jewish Historical Society logo
American Jewish Historical Society is located in Manhattan
American Jewish Historical Society
Location within New York City
Established 1892
Location 15 West 16th Street
Manhattan, New York U.S. 10011
Coordinates Coordinates: Unknown argument format
Director Rachel Lithgow
Public transit access Subway: 14th Street – Union Square

The American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) was founded in 1892 with the mission to foster awareness and appreciation of the American Jewish heritage and to serve as a national scholarly resource for research through the collection, preservation and dissemination of materials relating to American Jewish history.[1][2][3][4]


The Center for Jewish History on 16th Street

The American Jewish Historical Society is the oldest national ethnic historical organization in the United States. The Society's library, archives, photograph, and art and artifacts collections document the American Jewish experience. They are housed in the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan.[5]

The society has administrative offices in both New York, New York, and in Boston, Massachusetts. It has served as a public educational and interpretive function by publishing a journal, a newsletter, monographs and reference works on the American Jewish experience.

In 2007, it was among over 530 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.[6]

Past Presidents

  • 1892–1898: Oscar S. Straus
  • 1899–1921: Cyrus Adler
  • 1921–1948: A.S.W. Rosenbach
  • 1948–1952: Lee M. Friedman
  • 1952–1954: Salo W. Baron
  • 1954–1955: David de Sola Pool
  • 1955–1958: Jacob Rader Marcus
  • 1958–1961: Bertram W. Korn
  • 1961–1964: Abram Kanof, MD
  • 1964–1967: Leon J. Obermayer[7]
  • 1967–1969: Philip D. Sang
  • 1969–1972: Abram Vossen Goodman
  • 1972–1975: Abraham J. Karp
  • 1975–1976: Maurice Jacobs
  • 1976–1979: David R. Pokross
  • 1979–1982: Saul Viener
  • 1982–1985: Ruth B. Fein
  • 1985–1988: Morris Soble
  • 1988–1990: Phil David Fine
  • 1990–1993: Ronald C. Curhan
  • 1993–1998: Justin Wyner
  • 1998–2003: Kenneth J. Bialkin
  • 2003–2007: Sidney Lapidus
  • 2007–2010: Daniel R. Kaplan
  • 2011–present: Paul B. Warhit


The Society publishes books, a genealogy program, museums tours, academic assistance and other related educational activities. Additionally, the American Jewish Historical Society publishes the following publications:

  • Heritage, a bi-yearly newsletter[8]
  • American Jewish History[9]
  • Jews in Sports Online[10]


  • The Jewish-American Hall of Fame is a division of the Society[11]


  • 2014: "October 7, 1944," multimedia exhibition created by choreographer Jonah Bokaer[12]

Online exhibitions & collections

See also


  1. American Jewish Historical Society: Organized at New York, June 7th, 1892. Washington City, U.S.A.: American Jewish Historical Society. 1892. OCLC 691194237. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  2. American Jewish Historical Society: Report of Organization. Abstract from the Minutes, 1892. Baltimore, MD: American Jewish Historical Society. 1892. OCLC 262540372. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  3. "Education Report, 1893–94. IX. History, Biography, and Genealogy: American Jewish Historical Society. Washington, D.C.". The Executive Documents of the House of Representatives: For the Third Session of the Fifty-Third Congress, 1894–95: in Thirty-Five Volumes. Washington: G.P.O. 1895. p. 1571. OCLC 50617458. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  4. Queen, Edward L.; Prothero, Stephen R.; Shattuck, Gardiner H. (2009). Encyclopedia of American Religious History (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Facts On File. p. Volume 1. ISBN 978-1-4381-0995-4. OCLC 370721276. 
  5. Sarna, Jonathan D. (2004). American Judaism: A History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10197-3. Retrieved 22 November 2015. OCLC=52509494 
  6. Roberts, Sam (6 July 2005). "City Groups Get Bloomberg Gift of $20 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  7. "Philadelphia Lawyer Heads Jewish Historical Society". The New York Times. The Associated Press. 17 March 1964. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  8. "Heritage: Magazine of the American Jewish Historical Society". American Jewish Historical Society. 
  9. "America Jewish History". American Jewish Historical Society. 
  10. "Jews In Sports Online". Jews in Sports. 
  11. "Mel Wacks papers regarding Gerta Ries Wiener and the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, 1970–1996". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  12. Milzoff, Rebecca (14 November 2014). "Dance; The Quiet Bravery of a Doomed Revolt: Jonah Bokaer's 'October 7, 1944' at Center for Jewish History". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 

Further reading

External links