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COLLECTION Identifier: HUD 3568.xxx

Records of the Harvard Menorah Society

Overview

The Harvard Menorah Society for the Study and Advancement of Jewish Culture and Ideals was founded in 1906 by approximately twenty Jewish students, led by undergraduate Henry Hurwitz (Class of 1908). The organization’s mission was “the study and promotion of Hebraic ideals” and Judaism’s humanistic values. The records, dating from 1906 to 1928, contain administrative documents, membership lists and certificates, president's reports, secretary's reports, and financial records. The collection also contains materials from the group’s committees, as well as general information, programs, publications, addresses given to the Society, and correspondence, including of Aaron Horvitz (Harvard College Class of 1910), who served as the Society’s president from 1911 to 1913.

Dates

  • 1906-1928 and [undated]

Creator

Researcher Access

The Records of the Harvard Menorah Society are open for research.

Extent

2.3 cubic feet (16 folders, 4 document boxes, 3 half-document boxes, 1 volume, 1 accordion folder, 1 flat box)

The Records of the Harvard Menorah Society, dating from 1906 to 1928, contain administrative documents, including the organization’s constitution, meeting minutes and records, and membership lists and certificates. There are also reports of the president and secretary, as well as financial records, including the treasurer’s files, an account book, and a check book. The collection contains materials from the group’s committees, including banquet committee reports and programs and a secretary’s report. The records also include general information, programs, invitations, publications, addresses given to the Society, and correspondence, including letters of Aaron Horvitz (Harvard College Class of 1910), who served as the Society’s president from 1911 to 1913.

Historical note on the Harvard Menorah Society

The Harvard Menorah Society for the Study and Advancement of Jewish Culture and Ideals was founded in 1906 by approximately twenty Jewish students, led by undergraduate Henry Hurwitz (Class of 1908). The organization’s mission was “the study and promotion of Hebraic ideals” and Judaism’s humanistic values. The group advocated for Harvard to recognize Hebrew studies within the curriculum, encouraged Jewish students to learn more about their heritage, and sought to combat discrimination.

Soon after the Society’s founding and using Harvard as a model, similar groups began forming on campuses across the United States, including at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1913, the Intercollegiate Menorah Association (IMA) was formed with help from Hurwitz, who became the group’s chancellor. The national association eventually reached eighty chapters, but was mostly defunct by the 1930s.

Arrangement

The records are arranged in twenty-three series:

  1. General folder (HUD 3568)
  2. Programs, 1907-1932 (HUD 3568.2)
  3. The menorah movement, 1914 (HUD 3568.214)
  4. Constitution (HUD 3568.500)
  5. Minutes, 1906-1915 (HUD 3568.505)
  6. Correspondence, 1906-1928 (HUD 3568.510)
  7. Correspondence of Aaron Horvitz, President, 1910-1913 (HUD 3568.515)
  8. Correspondence and records of production of "Job", 1916 (HUD 3568.520)
  9. Banquet committee reports and papers, 1913-1920 (HUD 3568.606)
  10. Membership committee report, 1923-1924 (HUD 3568.654)
  11. Program committee report, 1923-1924 (HUD 3568.671.6)
  12. Membership lists, 1911-1927 (HUD 3568.754)
  13. Membership certificates, 1921-1922 (HUD 3568.754.1 PF)
  14. President's notes on program for year's work, 1915-1916 (HUD 3568.771)
  15. President's reports, 1908-1922 (HUD 3568.771.5)
  16. Record of the meetings, 1906-1916 (HUD 3568.775)
  17. Reports to the Intercollegiate Association, 1915-1921 (HUD 3568.776)
  18. Secretary's report, 1911-1917 (HUD 3568.780)
  19. Treasurer's files, 1906-1927 (HUD 3568.787)
  20. Account book, 1916-1919 (HUD 3568.787.2)
  21. Check book, 1919-1921 (HUD 3568.787.4)
  22. Plate [of Harvard Charter] used to print membership cards (HUD 3568.895.2)
  23. Addresses delivered to the Harvard Menorah Society (HUD 3568.900)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Records of the Harvard Menorah Society were acquired in several accessions. Specific acquisition information, when available, is noted at the series level:

  1. Gift of Milton Paisner, March 25, 1988; Accession 11359
  2. Transferred from the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, May 26, 1988; Accession 11409
  3. Gift of Lewis H. Weinstein, October 16, 1987; Accession 11249
  4. Transferred from Widener Library's Judaica Division, August 1, 1986; Accession 10808

Related Materials

The Harvard University Archives also holds:

  1. General information by and about the Menorah Society prize (HUC 2567)
  2. Letters, 1917-1922, by Starr, Harry, 1899 or 1900-1992 (HUD 922.4)
  3. Reminiscences, 1986, by Starr, Harry, 1899 or 1900-1992 (HUD 922.5)
  4. Large-format broadsides and graphics relating to Harvard student groups (HUD 3000 PF) https://id.lib.harvard.edu/ead/hua53020/catalog
  5. The crisis of Jewish freedom : the Menorah Association and American pluralism, 1906-1934 (HUD 3568.999.2004)
In Widener Library, Judaica Division:

Bibliography for Historical note on the Harvard Menorah Society

Jenna Weissman Joselit, "Without Ghettoism: A History of the Intercollegiate Menorah Association, 1906-1930," American Jewish Archives 30(1978): 133-54.

Inventory Update

This document last updated 2022 April 14.

Processing Information

This finding aid was created by Olivia Mandica-Hart in May 2021. Information in this finding aid was assembled from legacy paper inventories and container management data. The collection was not re-examined by the archivist.

Title
Harvard Menorah Society (Cambridge, Mass.). Records of the Harvard Menorah Society, 1906-1928 and [undated] : an inventory
Status
completed
Author
Harvard University Archives
Date
May 11, 2021
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
und
EAD ID
hua45021

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

Contact:
Pusey Library
Harvard Yard
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2461