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YIVO Announces Publication of the Milstein Conference Proceedings: “New York and the American Jewish Communal Experience.”

February 28, 2014

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is pleased to announce the publication of the Milstein Conference Proceedings, “New York and the American Jewish Communal Experience,” published with the generous support of the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation and the Paul and Irma Milstein Foundation. The new volume, edited by Fruma Mohrer and Ettie Goldwasser, contains 8 scholarly papers based on the Milstein Conference which took place at the YIVO Institute in November 2009. The contributors are Ellen Kellman (Brandeis University), Kirsten Fermaglich (Michigan State University), Marsha Dubrow (The Graduate Center, CUNY), Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz (Bar Ilan University), Myuki Kita (Kitakyushu University), Rebecca Kobrin (Columbia University), Beth Cohen (California State University, Northridge) and Roberta Newman (YIVO Institute for Jewish Research).

Fruma Mohrer, Project Director of the Milstein Jewish Communal Archive Project at YIVO commented:

“The publication of the Milstein Proceedings is an exciting and successful culmination of the Milstein Project at YIVO. To carry out this project, YIVO drew upon its decades of experience as a repository of American Jewish communal and organizational records and collaborated with the 92nd Street Y, F.E.G.S. Health and Human Services, the Educational Alliance, Surprise Lake Camp and N.Y.A.N.A. The project succeeded in bringing together many sectors of the New York Jewish community and in achieving a consensus on the importance of preserving its archival heritage. Mohrer concluded: “We hope that this volume published by YIVO and which was inspired by Howard Milstein’s passion for the preservation of local Jewish history will make a permanent contribution to academic research about the historic role of New York social and communal agencies in the 20th century.”

“As the third generation of a family that helped build New York City, this exploration of our city’s contribution to the American Jewish experience is one that reverberates strongly for us,” added Howard Milstein. “It’s an ennobling story of the communal organizations that enabled waves of immigrants to rise above their circumstances and enter America’s mainstream.”

The YIVO Institute, which holds more than 10,000 linear feet of American Jewish communal records, is particularly rich in records of American Jewish relief and migration organizations active in a variety of significant causes, such as the reconstruction of Jewish life in Europe after World War I and the rescue of Jewish refugees world-wide from anti-Semitism and Nazi persecution. YIVO holds records of agencies involved in assisting children and their families, organizations active in promoting Jewish education, and agencies active in the defense of Jewish and human rights in the United States and abroad. Among YIVO’s many communal collections are the records of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the Educational Alliance, the German Jewish Children’s Aid, the National Refugee Service, the JDC Archives, the American Jewish Committee Archives, the YIVO Landsmanshaftn Archive (records of more than a thousand immigrant mutual aid societies), the Workmen’s Circle Archive, the American ORT Federation, the American OSE Committee and many others.

To see the website YIVO launched as part of the Milstein Family Jewish Communal Archive Project, go to www.milsteinjewisharchives.yivo.org.

For information about obtaining a copy of the Milstein Proceedings, write to archives@yivo.cjh.org or call 212-246-6080, extension 6124.