Baron de Hirsch Fund: Genealogical Finding Aid
by Seth Korelitz, 1995
(part of the AJHS-JGSGB Project)
Baron de Hirsch Fund. This collection is of major interest for Jewish genealogists. Baron Maurice de Hirsch (1831-1896) lived in Munich, Brussels, and Paris. He was a banker and philanthropist, especially to Jewish causes. His total benefactions exceeded $100,000,000.
The Baron de Hirsch Fund was incorporated in New York State in 1891 to serve Jews fleeing Eastern Europe and migrating to the US. The Fund offered protection for immigrants through port work, relief, temporary aid, promotion of suburban industrial enterprises, removal from urban centers through the Industrial Removal Office, land settlement, agricultural training, and trade and general education.
In 1894, the Baron de Hirsch Agricultural College was opened in Woodbine, New Jersey--the first school in the US to impart secondary education in agriculture. During the Nazi era, the Fund spent large sums of money for German Jewish relief. Later, its chief activity was support of the Jewish Agricultural Society, created in 1900 by the Fund and its European counterpart, the Jewish Colonization Association, to promote the Jewish farm movement.
[This major collection was inventoried and re-catalogued in 1995 through the work of Seth Korelitz, the 1994-5 Leo Wasserman Fellow at Brandeis; the resulting finding aid being available in time for the 1996 Summer Seminar. The call numbers were changed in this process, so that each of four sub-parts were broken out and now have their own call letters. The overall collection includes the fund itself (I-80), and these four sub-parts: Jewish Agricultural Society (I-206), Woodbine Colony (I-53), the Woodbine Agriculture School (I-54), and the Baron de Hirsch Trade School in New York (I-55). The Industrial Removal Office is a separate, but related organization.]
The papers of the Baron de Hirsch Fund itself take up 79 boxes, in call number I-80. These are predominantly administrative papers and include a large number of deeds and property transfer records.
Boxes 12 and 13 contain files of 30 student aid recipients:
Ben Zion David Oliensis
David Oscar Pollock
Box 80 includes information about Albert Cohen, Joseph Master, and Emanuel Botnick. A list of 11 applicants to study at Delhi Agricultural College and information about other students: Charles Barnett, Robert Friedman, Morris Kaplan, David Levitz, Harry Magarik, George Plitt, Daniel Resnick, Rubin Ruderman, Hyman Sapperstein, Abe Steinhorn, Nathan Tanzman.
One box (#32), includes requests by German-Jewish refugees in the 1930's, for financial assistance.
Box 19 has a list of 71 Jewish farmers with significant information about each:
Harris & Carl Sakofsky
Samuel & Jennie Eagle
Abraham & Morris Sussman
Morris & Hannah Dorons
Sam & Hattie Berkamn
Meyer & Sarah Gottleib
Jacob & Ann Lipman
Max & Sara Kamincovitz
Hyman & Harris Levine
Joseph & Dora Kottler
John & Chana Gerson
Harris & Carl Sokofsky
Henry And Israel Becker
Samuel And Jette Grossman
Charles And Joseph Slutsky
William Segal & Frank Goldberg