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Finding Aid to the San Francisco Jewish Community Center records, 1877-1979
BANC MSS 2010/699  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: San Francisco Jewish Community Center records
    Date (inclusive): 1877-1979
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 2010/699
    Creator: San Francisco Jewish Community Center
    Extent: 32 cartons, 2 boxes, 5 oversize boxes, and 2 oversize folders (34.6 linear feet)
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The collection provides an overview of the San Francisco Jewish Community Center's activities between 1930, its incorporation, and circa 1979. Files on the building campaign in the early 1930s, recreation, social, and educational programs, institutional finances, board matters, and general administration comprise the bulk of the collection. In addition, there are materials from the Young Men's Hebrew Association (YMHA), from which the SFJCC evolved, and from United Jewish Community Centers, the coordinating body of the Marin, San Francisco, and Peninsula Jewish Community Centers that was formed in 1960.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], San Francisco Jewish Community Center records, BANC MSS 2010/699, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    United Jewish Community Centers of San Francisco.
    Young Men's Hebrew Association (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Jewish community centers -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area
    Jews -- California -- San Francisco -- History
    Jews -- California -- San Francisco -- Social life and customs
    Administrative records
    Photographs
    Scrapbooks

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Jewish Community Center (San Francisco, Calif.) records were given to The Bancroft Library by the Judah L. Magnes Museum in July 2010.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Judah L. Magnes Museum staff in 1997; additional processing by Lara Michels, archivist for The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, in 2011.

    Biographical Information

    San Francisco’s Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA) was formed in 1877, and the city’s Young Women’s Hebrew Association (YWHA) was formed in 1914. They combined in 1924. In 1933, the YM-YWHA became the city’s Jewish Community Center (JCC). In 1960, San Francisco’s JCC joined the United Jewish Community Centers (UJCC) of San Francisco, Marin County, and the Peninsula. The city’s JCC has helped immigrants adjust, assimilate, and Americanize. In addition, it has provided resources for individuals and families to express themselves culturally and physically, and it has changed its activities, directions, and locations to help meet the needs of the community. The JCC has also sponsored many activities for those people who are serving in the military during wartime and many holiday observances.

    Biography/Organization History

    1877 YMHA reorganizes after a "bleak" period of dwindling membership.
    1901 YMHA purchases a building on Page Street and offers social and athletic activities but no "cultural programs."
    1906 Page Street YMHA is converted to a relief station for people left homeless by the earthquake.
    1911 Page Street building is sold after "years of financial difficulties and no professional leadership."
    1913 YMHA reorganizes and holds programs in two rented rooms.
    1917 YMHA purchases three-story building at 121 Haight Street. A small, but full-time, staff is hired and the organization is able to provide educational, cultural, social, and recreational programs.
    1921 YMHA absorbs the Young Women's Hebrew Association and is renamed YM-YWHA.
    1923 The Federation of Jewish Charities conducts a survey of the Jewish community concluding that a larger, more comprehensive facility is needed.
    1924 Louis Blumenthal is hired as Executive Director to implement the study. Five months later Emma Loewy is hired as Assistant Director.(Later, Blumenthal and Loewy marry.)
    1930 A Building Fund Campaign, with a goal of raising $650,000, is launched under the leadership of Harold L. Zellerbach. Six hundred volunteer solicitors raise the funds from over 4,500 individual "subscriptions."
    1932 Ground is broken for a building at 3200 California Street. A year later the building is dedicated and "a comprehensive program for all segments of the community [is] launched: clubs, physical education, lectures and classes, art and music, activities of Jewish interest and celebration of Jewish holidays. Social welfare services [are] provided, with special programs for the unemployed and for new immigrants."
    1934 Close to half a million people use the SFJCC; over 25 clubs and 35 communal organizations meet at the building.
    1948 Marin Jewish Community Center is formed.
    1949 Peninsula Jewish Community Center is formed.
    1958 The three Bay Area JCCs, aided by the Jewish Welfare Federation, begin a two-year needs assessment survey.
    1960 United Jewish Community Centers (UJCC) is formed to "provide a central coordinating operation, while preserving self-planning in program development for each of the separate Centers." Irwin Gold is hired to replace Louis Blumenthal after the latter's death the previous year.
    1962 UJCC and the San Francisco Section, National Council of Jewish Women, launch the Montefiore Senior Citizens Centers, held at the California Street site and at the Richmond YMCA. South Peninsula extension in Palo Alto is established.
    1963 The Peninsula Centers moves into its new building in Belmont.
    1964 UJCC, taking over from the National Jewish Welfare Board, contracts with the Bay Area USO to provide activities for Jewish servicemen. Center Associates, an organization of women, is formed to provide scholarships for Camp Tawonga and other UJCC children's programs.
    1965 UJCC opens the Brotherhood Way Center.
    1966 Planning begins for a new JCC in Marin. UJCC serves 1800 children at five day camps.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection provides an overview of the San Francisco Jewish Community Center's activities between 1930, its incorporation, and circa 1979. Files on the building campaign in the early 1930s, recreation, social, and educational programs, institutional finances, board matters, and general administration comprise the bulk of the collection. In addition, there are materials from the Young Men's Hebrew Association (YMHA), from which the SFJCC evolved, and from United Jewish Community Centers, the coordinating body of the Marin, San Francisco, and Peninsula Jewish Community Centers that was formed in 1960.
    The YMHA materials consist of financial materials, scrapbooks, some administrative/program files, and photographs dating from 1906 up through the founding of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco in the early 1930s. There are a number of files in the collection that document the transition between the YMHA and the JCC in the late 1920s and the early 1930s.
    Among the post-1933 JCC records are administrative files, financial documents, program files, membership lists and files, photographs, and scrapbooks. The program files offer a particularly intersesting look at the organization's activities in the local Jewish community.
    The photographs in the collection include photos of YMHA activities in the years between 1906 and the late 1920s and photos of the YMHA building on Haight Street. JCC photographs in the collection include photos of the construction of the JCC building in 1932-33 and photos of JCC activities (particularly in the area of physical eduction). There are photographs of early YMHA Passover Seders (1919-1923) and JCC activities with the armed services as well.
    The scrapbooks in the collection consist primarily of newspaper clippings and date from 1923 to 1949.