Supporting Causes

Coming Together in Giving

In 1820, John Hart and Joseph Davies met an aged veteran of the American Revolution and heard him recount stirring war stories from his hospital bed. Hart and Davies were inspired to donate money that would support the former soldier when he left the hospital. When the veteran died two years later, $300 remained of the money that had been collected to help him. This $300 supported the creation of the Hebrew Benevolent Aid Society.

The Hebrew Benevolent Society of the City of New York contributed to many public relief projects and philanthropic ventures. It gave relief to the poor and helped Jewish families to uphold traditions. The Society appears on donor lists such as the one kept by the Association for Free Distribution of Matsot to the Poor. Individuals, families and institutions received matzah; Jews’ Hospital is among those on the list of recipients.

The Hebrew Orphan Asylum grew out of the Hebrew Benevolent Society. It took responsibility for caring for orphans and helping them to establish Jewish lives. For example, a dowry registry book shows that the Asylum raised money so that orphaned young women could marry and take their places in Jewish communities.

The turn of the 20th century saw the development of more systematic philanthropic organizations and support structures that were created to meet the needs of growing populations. These in turn led to the establishment of federations and the Jewish Community of New York (Kehillah).

  • Shipping receipt from philanthropist Henry Hendricks’s business dealings.

    1834

  • List of donors to the Association for Free Distribution of Matsot to the Poor.

    1850s

  • List of people and institutions who received matsot from the Association for Free Distribution of Matsot to the Poor.

    1850s

  • Major philanthropist Henry Hendricks earned money in a variety of business endeavors. He controlled the oldest firm in the American copper industry.

    19th century

  • Sketch of Mordecai Manuel Noah, President of the Hebrew Benevolent Society of New York.

    19th century

  • Portrait of philanthropist Mordecai Manuel Noah.

    19th century

  • Receipt and accounting for the Association of Free Distribution of Matsot to the Poor purchase of matzah from the baker, marked as paid in two installments.

    1858

  • List of donors to the Association for Free Distribution of Matsot to the Poor.

    1858

  • Financial ledger of the Hebrew Benevolent Society of the City of New York.

    1862

  • Articles of the agreement between Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society about an orphans’ ward at the hospital.

    1871

  • Purim Association Fancy Dress Ball invitation.

    1881

  • Ledger from the Dowry Committee of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. The Asylum paid dowries so that orphaned young women could marry. It also recorded the name of the bride’s husband and the couple’s address.

    Turn of the 20th century

  • Purim Association financial record of money raised in charity balls.

    1901

  • “Some facts about the Kehillah” printed with a list of public lectures arranged by the Committee on Education of the Jewish Community of New York City.

    1910

  • List of public lectures arranged by the Committee on Education of the Jewish Community of New York City.

    1910

  • The Problem of Jewish Charity in New York, created under the auspices of Jewish Community of New York City.

    1911

  • Map of the Holy Land distributed by the Bureau of Education of the Jewish Community of New York City.

    1911

  • The Jewish Community of New York City was incorporated in 1912.

    1912

  • Jewish Community of New York (Kehillah) organizational chart.

    Early 20th century

  • This letter reflects on the organization of the Jewish Community of New York City.

    1916

  • Letter from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum asking that when donors send money to the Federation, they specify that it should be used to help the Asylum.

    1916

  • Donations to the Ladies’ Sewing Society of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, and an accounting of the money due to the Society from the Federation. The Ladies’ Sewing Society of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum was founded in 1861. It helped girls adjust to life in the Asulym and trained them to do household work. It also provided counseling and after-care services for recent female graduates.

    1916

  • Information sheet about people serving as representatives of smaller organizations to the Jewish Community of New York (Kehillah).

    1918

  • Image of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    Early 20th century

  • Children on a sports team. Hebrew Orphan Asylum, New York City.

    Early 20th century

  • Children playing outside. Hebrew Orphan Asylum, New York City.

    Early 20th century

  • Children playing outside. Hebrew Orphan Asylum, New York City.

    Early 20th century

  • Letter thanking Judge Goldstein for increasing his contribution to the Federation at a Lawyers’ Division fundraising event.

    1936

  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower at a Federation event.

    Mid-20th century

  • Elizabeth Radinsky, former Associate Executive Director of Jewish Child Care Association of New York, speaks on the merger of the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum and Jewish Child Care Association and the increased efficiency and effectiveness after the merger.

    1982


logo

Contributors to the Cause includes only a small portion of the material that is housed at the Center for Jewish History. The five partners’ archival collections span more than 700 years of history. To search the catalog, click here. To plan your visit to the Center’s New York home, click here.