Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records

Collection ID: 
SCRC 7
Date: 
1969–2006, bulk 1984–2006
Footage: 
8.75 linear feet (21 boxes)

Collection Summary

Title
Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records

Dates
1969–2006, bulk 1984–2006

Collection ID
SCRC 7

Creator(s)
Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Quantity
8.75 linear feet (21 boxes)

Repository
Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries

Language
Materials in English and Hebrew.



Detailed Collection Information

Historical Note
The Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (FHBS) is a non-profit organization founded in 1819 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Mrs. Aaron Levy and Hannah Levy of Congregation Mikveh Israel. FHBS is the first independent, communal organization established by Jews to serve Jews in the city of Philadelphia and is the oldest continuously operating Jewish charitable organization in the United States. The creation of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society grew out of a concern for women in need in the Jewish community who were turning to Christian missionaries for assistance. The Levy women reacted by organizing FHBS with the help of Rebecca Gratz who committed to operating the organization in a manner that would aid Jewish women in need, without requiring its clients to participate in organized religious activities in exchange for the assistance provided . The first elected board consisted of Rebecca J. Phillips, Belle Cohen, S. Bravo, and Rebecca Gratz. Gratz served on the Board of Managers as secretary for nearly forty years, until 1858. Under the auspices of the Board of Managers, the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society served as a launch pad for a Jewish educational program modeled after Christian Sunday Schools. This educational program became known as the Hebrew Sunday School Society of Philadelphia and opened on March 4, 1838 under the direction of Rebecca Gratz.

Since its inception, FHBS has been operated by a staff of volunteers. In addition to an unpaid staff, the Board of Managers also saw fit to organize committees that were charged with overseeing a particular section or district in the city in order to render aid to the destitute and disabled, quickly and directly.  Each committee would investigate applicants to determine what if any relief was warranted. Initially, the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society saw fit to provide needy women with basic necessities rather than monetary assistance. Over time, the scope of assistance offered expanded to include coverage of medications, utility expenses, monthly rent, summer camp fees, day care expenses, educational costs and assistive devices such as wheel chairs and artificial limbs. FHBS became an agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, a coordinating organization for volunteer and financial social service organizations and an affiliate of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Description of Collection
The Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records, 1969–2006, bulk 1984–2006, consist of materials related to a philanthropic organization’s fundraising efforts and the subsequent distribution of those monies to the community of people it serves. This includes but is not limited to case files documenting the process of financial assistance to Jewish women and their families; flyers and brochures announcing FHBS projects and associated programming on poverty in the Philadelphia community; and correspondence from members, allied organizations and clients. Nearly half of the records are (Restricted) for 75 years due to the contents containing detailed personal information about the clients the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society serves. There is a small amount of material in Hebrew, typically words or phrases scattered throughout the materials.

Organization and Arrangement
The collection is arranged into eleven series as follows:

Series 1: Board of Managers, 1984–2005
Series 2: Annual Campaign, 1991–2005
Series 3: Donations, 1989–2006
Series 4: Disbursements, 1991–2006 (Restricted)
Subseries 4.1: Client Files, 1993–2006 (Restricted)
Subseries 4.2: Monthly Stipends, 1991–2006 (Restricted)
Subseries 4.3: Case Files, 1992–1999 (Restricted)
Series 5: Camp Scholarships, 1995–2006 (Restricted)
Series 6: Correspondence, 1986–2002 (Restricted)
Series 7: Financial Records, 1969–2006
Subseries 7.1: Tax returns and financial statements, 1996–2005
Subseries 7.2: Accounts and investments, 1984–2003
Subseries 7.3: Endowments and memorial funds, 1991–2004
Subseries 7.4: Miscellaneous financial reports and documents, 1969–2006
Series 8: Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, 1988–2006
Series 9: Programs and Initiatives, 1993–2006
Series 10: Poverty Conference, 2000–2004
Series 11: Regional Organizations, 1988–2006

Series 1: Board of Managers, 1984–2005, is arranged alphabetically and includes annual and semi-annual meeting agendas and minutes, organization constitution and bylaws including reproductions of the 1825 and 1838 constitution, and organization histories written by members of the Board.

Series 2: Annual Campaign, 1991–2005, is arranged chronologically and consists of materials related to the annual campaign, primarily correspondence, but also includes lists of donors and corresponding financial contribution.  

Series 3: Donations, 1989–2006, is arranged chronologically and consists primarily of correspondence regarding donations made by members of the organization and philanthropic minded individuals in the community.

Series 4: Disbursements, 1991–2006, is arranged chronologically and in three subseries, documents the identities of clients served by FHBS, when they received aid, and the manner and type of assistance given. Subseries 4.1 consists of records documenting disbursement of funds to clients usually receiving a one-time payout. These client files are typically grouped in folders covering a three or four month period. Materials in subseries 4.2 pertain to clients that receive a monthly stipend. Subseries 4.3 consists of a small number of individual client files. This series is (Restricted) for 75 years from latest date of materials. There is some overlap in informational content with Series VI.

Series 5: Camp scholarships, 1995–2006, consists of materials related to assistance provided by the FHBS to families and their children for the purposes of sending them to summer camp. This series is arranged alphabetically according to the name of the camp with some miscellaneous folders containing documentation regarding less frequented camps. This series is (Restricted) for 75 years from latest date of materials.

Series 6: Correspondence, 1986–2002 (RESTRICTED), is arranged chronologically and is primarily communications between members of the Board of Managers such as Ruth Sarner Libros, Bertha Braude and Eileen Sklaroff and other social service agencies and social workers regarding potential or existing clients receiving benefits from the FHBS, but also includes direct correspondence from clients. This series is (Restricted) for 75 years from latest date of materials. There is some overlap in informational content with Series IV.

Series 7: Financial records, 1969–2006, arranged chronologically, in four subseries, documents the financial assets and cash expenditures of FHBS. Subseries 7.1 contains tax returns and financial statements for fiscal years 1995–2004. Subseries 7.2 consists of materials related to investments and accounts held by FHBS such as treasury notes and bonds. Subseries 7.3 includes information on named endowments and funds, some of which are funded in part by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Subseries 7.4 contains summary financial reports and statistics on aid disbursements and expenditures. This subseries contains the earliest dated material in the records. There is some overlap in informational content with Series VIII.

Series 8: Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, 1988–2006, is arranged alphabetically and consists of materials related to FHBS and its relationship with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, particularly the allocation of monies to supplement donations for the purposes of disbursement to community members. There is some overlap in informational content with Series 7.

Series 9: Programs and initiatives, 1993–2006, is arranged alphabetically and documents the internal and external projects FHBS has participated in to promote and educate the community about the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society, Jewish history, and the Jewish poor in Philadelphia.

Series 10: Poverty Conference, 2000–2004, is arranged alphabetically and consists of materials related to a three part conference held in Philadelphia between 2001 and 2003 to address the needs of the Jewish poor in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Series 11: Regional organizations, 1988–2006, is arranged alphabetically and includes materials on social service organizations in the Greater Philadelphia region that FHBS is either affiliated or shares similar service missions.  The bulk of the series consists of materials related to the fundraising campaign done in partnership with the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

 

Patron Information

Catalog Record
A record for this collection is available in Diamond, Temple University’s online library catalog: http://diamond.temple.edu/record=b5500940~S30

Research Access
Access to files containing information on specific clients of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society is (Restricted) for 75 years from date of creation. Restrictions, where applicable, are noted at the series, subseries or file levels.

Collections Stored Off-Site
This collection may be housed off-site at the Library Depository, and require up to two business days to retrieve. Please review the finding aid and be prepared to identify specific materials to be retrieved. Contact the Special Collections Research Center in advance of your visit, so that materials may be relocated to the reading room for research.

Publication and Copyright Information
The Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records are the physical property of the Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries. Literary rights including copyright belong to the organization, authors, or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for determining the identity of rights holders and obtaining their permission for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Preferred Citation
[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records, SCRC 7, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Donated by the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (Philadelphia Pa.) in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Further accruals are expected.

Processing Information
Collection processed and finding aid prepared in 2012 by Jessica M. Lydon, Project Archivist.


Index Terms
The following headings have been used to index the description of this collection in Temple University’s electronic catalog:

Personal/Family Names:
Braude, Bertha, 1901-1989
Libros, Ruth Sarner
Sklaroff, Eileen S.

Corporate Names:
Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Subjects:
Philanthropy
Faith-based human services
Fund raising

Material Types:
Bylaws
Case files
Constitutions
Correspondence
Mailing lists
Minutes

 

Inventory, Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records

Series 1: Board of Managers, 1984-2005

Box   Folder   Description

1          1          Annual meeting, May 25, 1994

1          2          Annual meeting, May 17, 1998

1          3          Annual meeting, May 19, 1999

1          4          Annual meeting, May 24, 2000

1          5          Annual meeting, June 5, 2001

1          6          Annual meeting, May 20, 2002

1          7          Annual meeting, May 28, 2003

1          8          Annual meeting, June 5, 2004

1          9          Annual meeting, May 31, 2005

1          10        Constitution, circa 1995

1          11        Dues, 1994

1          12        Meetings, 1988–1998

1          13        Membership, 1984–1996

1          14        Organization history, 1988–1995

1          15        Semi-annual meeting, November 18, 1999

1          16        Semi-annual meeting, November 20, 2000

1          17        Semi-annual meeting, November 15, 2001

1          18        Semi-annual meeting, November 14, 2002

1          19        Semi-annual meeting, November 20, 2003

1          20        Semi-annual meeting, November 29, 2004

1          21        Semi-annual meeting, November 17, 2005

                       

Series 2: Annual Campaign, 1991-2005

Box   Folder   Description

2          1          Annual Campaign, 1991

2          2          Annual Campaign, 1991–1993

2          3          Annual Campaign, 1992

2          4          Annual Campaign, 1993

2          5          Annual Campaign, 1994

2          6          Annual Campaign, 1995

2          7          Annual Campaign, 1996

3          1          Annual Campaign, 1997

3          2          Annual Campaign, 1998

3          3          Annual Campaign, 1999

3          4          Annual Campaign, 2000

3          5          Annual Campaign, 2001

4          1          Annual Campaign, 2002

4          2          Annual Campaign, 2003

4          3          Annual Campaign, 2004

4          4          Annual Campaign, 2005

           

Series 3: Donations, 1989-2006

Box   Folder   Description

4          5          Donations, 1989–1991

4          6          Illness, refua shlemah, 1992

4          7          Donations, 1992–1993

4          8          Congratulations, simcha, 1992–1995

4          9          Condolences and in memoriam, 1992–1997

4          10        Howard and Debbie Perkiss, 1993–1995      

5          1          Mitzvah cards, 1994–1996

5          2          Donations, 1994–1997

5          3          Donations, 1997–1998

5          4          Donor list, 1997–1998

5          5          Donations, 1998         

6          1          Donations, 1998–1999

6          2          Donations, 1999–2000

6          3          Donations, May–October 2000

6          4          Donations, November 2000–April 2001

6          5          Donations, 2001

6          6          Donations, 2002

6          7          Mitzvah cards, 2002

7          1          Donations, 2004

7          2          Donations, 2004–2005

7          3          Donor list, 2004–2005

7          4          Donor list, 2004–2005

7          5          Donations, 2005–2006

7          6          Donations (name redacted), 2005–2006 (Restricted)

7          7          Donations, 2006

 

Series 4: Disbursements, 1991-2006 (Restricted)

Subseries 4.1: Client Files, 1993–2006 (Restricted)

Box   Folder   Description

7          8          Intake, 1993

7          9          Annual client assistance, 1993–2003

7          10        Clients, 1994  

8          1          Clients, 1998–2000

8          2          Clients, May–July 2000

8          3          Clients, August–October 2000

8          4          Clients, November 2000–January 2001

8          5          Clients, February–April 2001

8          6          Clients, May–July 2002

8          7          Clients, August–October 2002

8          8          Clients, November 2002 –January 2003

9          1          Clients, February–April 2003

9          2          Clients, May–July 2003

9          3          Clients, August–October 2003

9          4          Clients, November 2003–January 2004

9          5          Clients, February–April 2004

9          6          Clients, May–July 2004

9          7          Clients, August–October 2004

9          8          Clients, November 2004–January 2005

9          9          Lifeline emergency response systems, 2004–2005    

10        1          Star glides, 2004–2005

10        2          Clients, February–April 2005

10        3          Clients, May–July 2005

10        4          Clients, August–October 2005

10        5          Clients, November 2005–January 2006

10        6          Lifeline emergency response systems, 2005–2006

10        7          Star glides, 2005–2006

10        8          Clients, February–April 2006

 

Subseries 4.2: Monthly Stipends, 1991-2006 (Restricted)

Box   Folder   Description

10        9          Monthly stipends, 1991–1994

10        10        Monthly stipends, 1991–1995

10        11        Monthly stipends, September 1995–August 1996

10        12        Monthly stipends, September 1996–August 1997

10        13        Monthly stipends, August 1997–August 1998

11        1          Monthly stipends, 1998–1999

11        2          Monthly stipends, July 1999 –September 2000

11        3          Monthly stipends, November 1999–April 2000

11        4          Monthly stipends, July 2000–September 2001

11        5          Monthly stipends, October–December 2000

11        6          Monthly stipends, July 2001–February 2002

11        7          Monthly stipends, July 2002–September 2003

11        8          Monthly stipends, July 2003–September 2004

11        9          Monthly stipends, July 2004–September 2005

11        10        Monthly stipends, July 2005–September 2006

11        11        Inactive monthly clients, undated

 

Subseries 4.3: Case Files, 1992-1999 (Restricted)

Box   Folder   Description

12        1          (name redacted), 1992

12        2          (name redacted), 1992

12        3          (name redacted), 1992–1993

12        4          (name redacted), 1993

12        5          (name redacted), 1998–1999

 

Series 5: Camp Scholarships, 1995-2006 (Restricted)

Box   Folder   Description

12        6          Do not qualify, 2005

12        7          Galil 2004–2005

12        8          Galil, 2005–2006

12        9          General, 2001

12        10        General, 2002

12        11        General, 2003

12        12        General, 2004

12        13        General, 2005

12        14        General, 2006

13        1          Golden Slipper, 2004–2005

13        2          Harlam, 2005–2006

13        3          (name redacted), 1995

13        4          (name redacted), 1996

13        5          Kaiserman JCC, 2004–2005

13        6          Kaiserman JCC, 2005–2006

13        7          Klein JCC, 2004–2005

13        8          Miscellaneous camps, 2005

13        9          Miscellaneous camps, 2006

13        10        Mogen Avraham, 2005–2006

13        11        Pinemere, 2004–2005

13        12        Pinemere, 2005–2006

13        13        Ramah Day, 2004–2005

13        14        Ramah Day, 2005–2006

13        15        Ramah New England, 2004–2005

13        16        Ramah Poconos, 2004–2005

13        17        Ramah Poconos, 2005–2006

13        18        Shomria, 2004

14        1          Special needs, 2004

14        2          Special needs, 2005

14        3          Special needs, 2006

14        4          Teen travel, 2006

 

Series 6: Correspondence, 1986-2002 (Restricted)

Box   Folder   Description

14        5          Correspondence, 1986–1988

14        6          Correspondence, 1989

14        7          Correspondence, 1990

14        8          Correspondence, 1991

14        9          Correspondence, 1992

14        10        Correspondence, 1993

14        11        Correspondence, 1994

15        1          Correspondence, 1994–1997

15        2          Correspondence, 1995

15        3          Correspondence, 1996

15        4          Correspondence, 1996

15        5          Correspondence, 1997

15        6          Correspondence, 1997

15        7          Correspondence, 1997–1998

16        1          Correspondence, 1997–1998

16        2          Correspondence, 1998

16        3          Correspondence, 1998–1999

16        4          Correspondence regarding (name redacted), 2000–2001      

16        5          Correspondence, May 2000– April 2001

16        6          Correspondence, May–October, 2001

16        7          Correspondence, November 2001–October 2002

 

Series 7: Financial Records, 1969-2006

Subseries 7.1: Tax Returns and Financial Statements, 1996-2005

Box   Folder   Description

17        1          Fiscal year 1995, 1996

17        2          Fiscal year 1996, 1997

17        3          Fiscal year 1997, 1998

17        4          Fiscal year 1998, 1999

17        5          Fiscal year 1999, 2000

17        6          Fiscal year 2000, 2001

17        7          Fiscal year 2001, 2002

17        8          Fiscal year 2002, 2003

17        9          Fiscal year 2003, 2004

17        10        Fiscal year 2004, 2005

 

Subseries 7.2: Accounts and Investments, 1984-2003

Box   Folder   Description

17        11        Treasury notes, 1984–1994

17        12        Investment proposals, 1992–1994

18        1          Investments, 1993–1997

18        2          Jefferson Bank, 1994

18        3          Treasury notes and bonds, 1994–1995

18        4          Investments, 2003

 

Subseries 7.3: Endowments and Memorial Funds, 1991-2004

Box   Folder   Description

18        5          Dannenhirsch-Beshunsky Fund, 1991–1997

18        6          Rose Waldman Memorial Fund, 1993–1994

18        7          Tuttleman Family Grant, 2001–2003

18        8          Women of Vision Fund, 2003

18        9          Endowment grant proposals, 2004 (Restricted)

18        10        Endowments, 2004

 

Subseries 7.4: Misceallaneous Financial Documents and Reports, 1969-2006

Box   Folder   Description

18        11        General ledger, 1969–1985

18        12        Capital accounts reports, 1982–1996

18        13        Treasurer’s report, 1983–1994

18        14        Payment vouchers, 1988 (Restricted)

18        15        Emergency aid statistics, 1995–1997

18        16        Expenditures, 2005–2006 (Restricted)

 

Series 8: Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, 1988-2006

Box   Folder   Description

18        17        Budget requests, 1988–1995

18        18        Budget requests, 1995–1996

18        19        Budget requests, 1996–1997

19        1          Budget requests, 1997–1998

19        2          Budget requests, 1998–1999

19        3          Budget requests, 1999–2000

19        4          Budget requests, 2001–2002

19        5          Budget requests, 2002

19        6          Budget requests, 2004

19        7          Committee on Human Services, 2000

19        8          Committee for the Jewish Poor, 2004–2005

19        9          Community Planning and Allocations Committee, 2003–2004

19        10        Correspondence, 1995–1996

19        11        Correspondence, 2002–2003

19        12        D’var Torah, 1994

19        13        Endowments, 2005

19        14        Federation Allied Jewish Appeal campaign, 1996

19        15        Federation Allied Jewish Appeal campaign, 1997

19        16        Federation Allied Jewish Appeal campaign donor lists, 1989–1996

19        17        Insurance, 2005

19        18        Miscellaneous administrative records, 2002

19        19        Miscellaneous administrative records, 2003

19        20        Miscellaneous administrative records, 2004–2005

20        1          Miscellaneous administrative records, 2005–2006

20        2          Publicity, 1991–1997

20        3          Services to single women survey, 2004 (Restricted)

 

Series 9: Programs and Initiatives, 1993-2006

Box   Folder   Description

20        4          Barnes and Noble gift wrapping, 2004

20        5          Citizen’s Bank/NBC 10 Community Champions Program, 2004

20        6          Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program, 1999

20        7          Invisible Philadelphia, 1993

20        8          Jewish Community Centers of Greater Philadelphia mentoring program, 1996

20        9          Jewish Population Study, 1996

20        10        Philadelphia Jewish Heritage Day quilt, 1996

20        11        Philadelphia Jewish Heritage Festival, 1995–1997

20        12        Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future, 1997

20        13        Mitzvah cards, 2001

20        14        Misloach Manot, 2000

20        15        Misloach Manot, 2003–2004

20        16        Misloach Manot, 2005

20        17        Misloach Manot, 2006

20        18        Newsletter, 1994 Summer

20        19        Task Force on Emergency Aid, 1995–1996

20        20        Tzedkah box, 2001–2002

20        21        Website, 2005–2006

 

Series 10: Poverty Conference, 2000-2004

Box   Folder   Description

20        22        Poverty Conference general, 2000–2001

20        23        Mailing lists, 2001

20        24        Poverty Conference I Danny Siegel, 2001

20        25        Poverty Conference I publicity, 2001

20        26        Task Force on Jewish Poverty, 2001

20        27        Caring & Giving in Communal Service Program, 2002

20        28        Poverty Conference II correspondence, 2002

20        29        Poverty Conference II keynote David Schnall, 2002

21        1          Poverty Conference II packets, 2002

21        2          Poverty Conference II publicity, 2002

21        3          Poverty Conference III keynote, 2003

21        4          Task Force on Jewish Poverty, 2003–2004

           

Series 11: Regional Organizations, 1988-2006

Box   Folder   Description

21        5          Caring Foundation, 1997

21        6          International Association of Hebrew Free Loans, 1998

21        7          Pathways PA, 2002–2004

21        8          Rosenbach Museum & Library, 1998

21        9          United Way Combined Federal Campaign donor lists, 1989–2001

21        10        United Way Combined Federal Campaign general, 1988–1997

21        11        United Way Combined Federal Campaign general, 1993–1997

21        12        United Way Combined Federal Campaign general, 1998

21        13        United Way Combined Federal Campaign general, 2002–2004

21        14        United Way Combined Federal Campaign general, 2004–2005

21        15        United Way Combined Federal Campaign general, 2004–2006