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The AJHS Manuscript Catalog

National Jewish Welfare Board, Bureau Of War Records

Type / Call #INSTITUTIONAL / I-052
(Finding Aid Available)
Size672 boxes
ScopeNational Jewish Welfare Board, Bureau of War Records, Papers 1940-1969. As collection #I-52, the Bureau of War Records Papers alone is still a large institutional collection, totalling 672 boxes. The Bureau of War Records Papers relate to the work that the Bureau performed in describing and analyzing the role and contribution of Jews to the United armed forces during World War II. (This is just one part of the National Jewish Welfare Board records. The National Jewish Welfare Board, now better known as the Jewish Community Centers Association, has been the central organization of Jewish community centers throughout the United States. The AJHS has other records, some as yet unprocessed, including those from the USO--United Service Organization and YMHA's--Young Men's Hebrew Associations.)

The Bureau of War Records collection includes studies and listings of Jewish casualties, awards and officers, as well as studies of Jewish doctors, dentists, farmers, and refugees in service. It also includes community studies relating to Jews in and Jewish soldiers from: Fort Wayne and Hammond, Indiana; Boston and Lynn, Massachusetts; Trenton, New Jersey; Youngstown, Ohio; Allentown, Pennsylvania; and New York City. In addition, there are folders dealing with the role of Jews in the Canadian armed forces and the Korean War. There is a typed outline of the collection and a listing of the subject files. There are also population studies and studies of distinctive Jewish names. The final report of the Bureau was not published, but is contained in the collection. Isidor Kaufman's 1947 book, American Jews in World War II is based on BWR papers. Approximately 550,000 Jews served in the US armed forces during World War II.

The collection includes data cards and computer printouts of individuals in the service. There is an alphabetical index to individuals by name. Additionally, about half of the individuals have been indexed geographically.

All AJHS manuscript collections must be accessed in person on-site at the American Jewish Historical Society. For information on how to research the AJHS archival collections, essential information about their Reading Room and Regulations can be found at

The AJHS collections themselves are not available in any electronic form, on this website or elsewhere. The AJHS has been collecting this material for over 100 years, and preserves it in its archives in the original format, be it handwritten, typewritten, or printed. For more information on the AJHS' genealogical holdings see the article "Genealogical Resources at the American Jewish Historical Society".

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