Guide to the Records of Aleph Zadik Aleph Records, undated, 1941-1998 [bulk dates 1941-1961]
 
*I-555

Processed by Leah Ellenbogen

American Jewish Historical Society, New England Archives

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, Massachusetts

Phone: (617) 226-1245

Email: reference@ajhsboston.org

URL: http://www.ajhsboston.org

© 2018, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Leah Ellenbogen as MS Word document, September 2013. Finding aid was encoded by Christine McEvilly on May 28, 2014. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Aleph Zadik Aleph (Lynn, MA), (Everett, MA), (Chelsea, MA) [North Shore, MA]
Title: Aleph Zadik Aleph Records
Dates:undated, 1941-1998 [bulk dates 1941-1961]
Abstract: Aleph Zadik Aleph, known almost exclusively as AZA, was founded in Omaha, Nebraska in 1924 as a local social and service group for young Jewish men. Eventually the AZA separated itself from its role as the official youth auxiliary of B'nai B'rith and continues to operate today as the BBYO (B'nai B'rith Youth Organization). This collection contains correspondence, pamphlets, governance documents and promotional material from AZA chapters on the North Shore (Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, and Swampscott-Marblehead), Mattapan, and Sharon.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: .5 linear feet [1 manuscript box]
Identification: I-555
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS Boston, MA
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Historical Note 1

Aleph Zadik Aleph, known almost exclusively as AZA, was founded in Omaha, Nebraska in 1924 as a local social and service group for young Jewish men. Their second advisor, Sam Beber, was active in B’nai B’rith, the largest Jewish fraternal organization in the world. The Omaha chapter became the Mother Chapter AZA #1 as Beber wanted the AZA to grow and organize Jewish fraternities across the globe. Former advisor Nathan Mnookin began the second chapter in Kansas City, and by the 1930s there were over a hundred member lodges designated by a number and frequently named after Jewish historical figures or Hebrew phrases. Eventually the AZA separated itself from its role as the official youth auxiliary of B’nai B’rith and continues to operate today as the BBYO (B’nai B’rith Youth Organization). With hundreds of chapters and almost 50,000 members worldwide, it advertises itself as “the leading pluralistic teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences.”

Among these were the AZA lodges of Massachusetts’s North Shore. Taking advantage of youthful energy, the AZA groups in cities and towns such as Lynn, Everett, and Chelsea held elections, organized events, and published newsletters. Occasionally these groups would operate alongside B’nai B’rith, the Boy Scouts of America or the BBG (B’nai B’rith Girls, founded in 1944) in planning activities. There was frequent contact between the groups and they participated in regional councils and events. AZA members paid dues which were used for charity purposes as well as to hold events.

The AZA had a very particular structure: the national board was made of members from chapters across the country. District councils covered groups of states, and regional boards oversaw even more focused state groups. Massachusetts was part of District One, which also included New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine as well as Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts made up the Tri-State Region (TSR), which met for retreats and conferences. Town groups could also officially join together in order to collaborate on AZA occasions and projects. In addition to the wider governing bodies, each chapter, like many fraternal orders, had an elected council with unique AZA position titles.

Chronology

1924First AZA group begins in Omaha.
May 1941Lynn AZA team wins debate against Revere.
1944First BBG group established in Massachusetts- Judah, Worcester #6.
1960North Shore Council established.
May 1961General Maurice Rose chapter in Mattapan receives letter of commendation from Edward Kennedy, in his role as Chairman of the 1961 Cancer Crusade for the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Foundation.
October 27-29, 1961Tri-State Region leadership retreat, Sharon, MA
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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains correspondence, pamphlets, governance documents, and promotional material from AZA chapters on the North Shore (Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, and Swampscott-Marblehead) and Mattapan, and Sharon. These contain details of meetings, elections, dues, and other chapter business; newsletters containing comics, jokes, and essays contributed by members. Numerous official publications from the national AZA/BBYO management are included; both guidebooks for starting and governing a new AZA chapter and informational booklets about Jewish holidays and Israel, many belonging to Martin “Marty” Brody of the Swampscott-Marblehead chapter. Particularly detailed is the correspondence from the early 1940s of Lynn AZA #471 advisor Louis Winer, a former Aleph and lawyer.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into a single series as follows:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

Papers of Louis Winer (unprocessed)

Records of Temple Shalom, Salem, Mass. I-553

Records of the Boston YMHA-Hecht House, I-74

Papers of Label A. Katz, P-92 (AJHS New York)

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Aleph Zadik Aleph Records; I-555; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY, and Boston, MA.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by the Jewish Heritage Center of the North Shore in 2013.

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Access Points

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Click the box in the request column to learn more about viewing materials at the New England Archives of AJHS.

 

Series I: Aleph Zadik Aleph, undated, 1941-1998

English
Box 1, Folders 1-11.
Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Scope and Content:

See Collection Scope and Content Note.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 1 Benjamin Rosenstein 1045 – Sharon AZA 1961 request_box
1 2 Chelsea Clovers - AZA #443 1960, 1998 request_box
1 3 Fred Ginsberg - Everett AZA undated request_box
1 4 General Maurice Rose and Louis Needel – Mattapan AZA 1961, 1963 request_box
1 5 Lynn #471 AZA 1942-1944, 1961 request_box
1 6 Miscellaneous undated request_box
1 7 National Documents undated, 1942, 1958 request_box
1 8 National Documents -“Shofar” newspaper 1960-1961 request_box
1 9 Regional Governance (Tristate Region and District One) undated, 1941, 1959-1962 request_box
1 10-11 Swampscott-Marblehead AZA #936 undated, 1954-1962 request_box
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