Guide to the Breira Records, 1970-1979


Processed by Nicole Greenhouse

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160



© 2019  American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid was converted from a MARC record with marc2ead_ajhs.xsl in 2009. Finding aid written in English.
2016-07-22 PDF box list converted to dsc. Finding aid encoding revised. Kevin Schlottmann 2017-02 Materials rehoused, arranged, and described.

Descriptive Summary

Creator:Breira (Organization)
Title: Breira Records
Abstract:The collection consists of material relating to the organization, positions, activities and contracts of Breira, from 1972-1979. Breira worked to promote discussion among the public about issues primarily concerning contemporary Israeli politics such as the Palestinians, peace, Israeli-Diaspora relations, and alternatives facing the State of Israel.
Languages: This collection is in English with some Hebrew.
Quantity: 7 linear feet (14 manuscript boxes) plus 1 oversized folder in shared box
Identification: I-250
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS New York, NY
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Historical Note
Cover of Interchange, March 1976 (Box 9, Folder 17)

Cover of Interchange, March 1976 (Box 9, Folder 17)

Breira began as an informal discussion group concerned with Diaspora-Israel relations in the summer of 1973. The group was composed of graduate students, rabbinical students, rabbis, religious school teachers, and individuals involved with the Havurah movement. After the Yom Kippur War in 1973, a working committee to set up an official organization was formed out of the discussion group with the support of an initial Advisory Committee. The organization was officially established in April 1974 and called for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. Breira’s founding directors were Ross Brann, Peter Geffen, David Glanz, Lynn Gottlieb, Gershon Hundert, and Bob Loeb. The organization worked to promote discussion among the public about issues primarily concerning contemporary Israeli politics such as the Palestinians, peace, Israeli-Diaspora relations and alternatives facing the State of Israel. In 1976, Breira members Max Ticktin and Arthur Waskow met with Sabri Jiryis, who was closely tied to the Palestine Liberation Organization, and Isam Sartawi, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council. This meeting led to an outcry from the Jewish press, most strongly from the newspaper Jewish Week. Other Jewish organizations denounced Breira, particularly the Jewish Defense League, which led protests outside of Breira's first national convention in Chevy Chase, Maryland on February 20, 1977. Breira continued to receive bad press, which led to their dissolution in 1979.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of material relating to the organization, positions, activities and contracts of Breira. Materials in the collection include certificate of incorporation; by-laws; board and committee minutes and mailings; position statements; publications; membership lists; material relating to the organization's funding; information on regional chapters; correspondence with membership, Jewish and non-Jewish leaders and organizations in the U.S. and abroad; and program material, including material relating to the planning, proceedings, resolutions and evaluation of Breira's first national membership conference in 1977. Also included is material on Breira sponsored tours of Israeli leaders in the U.S.; articles and newspaper clippings from other sources related to Breira's activities and areas of interest; as well as material critical of the organization.

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The collection is arranged into six series and arranged alphabetically on the series level:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

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

This collection contains audiovisual or electronic media that requires special equipment to access. Please notify reference staff at 24 hours in advance of needing access.

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

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Related Material

The Breira Records is one individual collection within the Counter Culture collections located at the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS). Arthur Ocean Waskow Papers (P-152), Leonard Fein Papers (P-582), Shira Eve Epstein Papers (P-776), Riv-Ellen Prell Papers (P-795), Ruth Abusch-Magder Papers (P-841), Virginia Levitt Snitow Papers (P-876), Goldie Milgram Papers (P-876), Jack Jacobs Papers (P-1020), Gerald Serotta Papers (P-1023), Jack Nusan Porter Papers (P-1024), Arthur J. Lelyveld Papers (P-1030), Jews for Urban Justice (Washington, D.C.) Records (I-159), Jewish Peace Fellowship Records (I-189), Jewish Student Press Service Records (I-248), American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism (New York, New York) Records (I-326), North American Jewish Students Appeal Records (I-338), Jewish Labor Committee Records (I-377), New Jewish Agenda Records (I-393), Vermont Chapter of the New Jewish Agenda Records (I-449), Jewish Counter Culture Collection (I-504), Trees and Life for Vietnam Records (I-542), Lights in Action Records (I-560), Brit Tzedek v'Shalom/Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace Records (I-587), and portions of the Jewish Student Organizations Collection (I-61).

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Breira Records; I-250; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY.

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Processing Information

In 2009, a machine-readable finding aid was converted from a MARC record. In 2016, a box and folder list was generated and converted into EAD by Kevin Schlottmann. In 2017, the collection was rehoused, rearranged, and additional description was added to the finding aid. Original folder titles were retained.

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Access Points

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

Container List

Click the box in the request column to open the form that allows you to request a box for onsite viewing in the reading room at the Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.


Series I: Administration, 1973-1979

Scope and Content:

This series contains materials related to the general administration of the organization, including board and committee minutes, the certificate of incorporation, by-laws, mailings to leaders and organizations, responses from mailings, Breira contacts, resumes of speakers and potential staff members, fundraising and financial statements, press releases, open letters, drafts of position papers, letters and notices to membership, and public relations materials.

11Acknowledgement of Contributions1976-1977request_box
12Actions Committee1976request_box
13Advisory Committee1973-1975request_box
14Annual Report1974-1975request_box
15Board Mailings and Minutes1975request_box
16Board Mailings and Minutes (1 of 2)1976request_box
17Board Mailings and Minutes (2 of 2)1976request_box
18Board Mailings and Minutes1977 January-Mayrequest_box
21Board Mailings and Minutes1977 May-Decemberrequest_box
22Board Mailings and Minutes1978request_box
23Board Mailings and Minutes1979request_box
24Board Retreat1977request_box
25Budget Committee1977request_box
26By-Laws and Board Meetings1976request_box
27Certificate of Incorporation1974 Aprilrequest_box
29Contributions and Support1974-1975request_box
210Correspondence (1 of 2)1974-1977request_box
211Correspondence (2 of 2)1974-1977request_box
212CVs—Dan Z. Gillon,Yerach Gover, Arthur H. Samuelson, David M. Szonyi & Simha Flapan1976request_box
213Executive Committee1975-1977request_box
214Financial Statements 1974-1977request_box
215Funding Proposals1976-1977request_box
31Funding—Boehm Enterprises, Sam Rubin Grant, Other Fundraising (1 of 2)1977request_box
32Funding—Boehm Enterprises, Sam Rubin Grant, Other Fundraising (2 of 2)1977request_box
33Funding—Lilly Endowment Inc.1974-1977request_box
34Funding—Stern Fund, Martin Tananbaum Foundation1974-1976request_box
36Job Applicants1974-1976request_box
37Letters and Notices to Membership1974-1979request_box
38Louis Harris and Associates1976request_box
39Mailings to Leaders & Organizations1975-1977request_box
1411Membership Correspondence1975-1977request_box
Box TitleDate
OS1F Membership Lists1977
311Memos and Proposals by Arthur Waskow1975-1977request_box
312National Strategy Proposal1975-1977request_box
313New Contacts and Members1976-1977request_box
314Personnel Committee1977request_box
315Press Releases, Statements, Open Letters1974request_box
316Press Releases, Statements, Open Letters (1 of 2)1975request_box
41Press Releases, Statements, Open Letters (2 of 2)1975request_box
42Press Releases, Statements, Open Letters1976request_box
43Press Releases, Statements, Open Letters1977request_box
44Public Relations1977request_box
45Registration as Charitable Corporation1976-1977request_box
46Resolutions and Policy Committeecirca 1973-1979request_box
47Response from Initial Mailing1973-1974request_box
48Search Committee1977request_box
49Statements of Purpose and Drafts of Position Papers1973-1975request_box
410Working Committee1974-1977request_box
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Series II: Events, 1972-1979

Scope and Content:

This series holds records related to events Breira sponsored and participated in, including speaking tours and engagements, invitations to speaking events, symposiums, and conferences. The majority of the series focuses on Breira's first national membership conference and includes planning materials, proceedings, schedules, commissions, keynote speeches, news coverage, and evaluations. The event, "Discussion on a Palestinian State," included the speakers Matti Peled, Ran Cohen, Yossi Amitay, Meir Pa'il, and Uri Avneri.

411Arie Lova Eliav Tour 1976request_box
412Arie Lova Eliav Tour—Book—Shalom1977request_box
413Arie Lova Eliav Tour—Business1974-1976request_box
414Arie Lova Eliav Tour—Correspondence1975-1977request_box
415Arie Lova Eliav Tour—Schedule1976request_box
1412Breira Conference in Israel1977request_box
AVC 103 aa-i250-03Debate Between Arabs and Israelis1972request_box

Cassette Tape.

51Delegation to Israel1976request_box
52Discussion on "A Palestinian State" (1 of 2)circa 1973-1979request_box
53Discussion on "A Palestinian State" (2 of 2)circa 1973-1979request_box
54Invitation to Arab Intellectuals1976request_box
55Invitations to Speaking Events1976request_box
56National Membership Conference1977request_box
57National Membership Conference1977request_box
58National Membership Conference—Commissions1977request_box
59National Membership Conference—Correspondence1977request_box
510National Membership Conference—Evaluation Forms1977request_box
511National Membership Conference—Greetings1977request_box
512National Membership Conference—Invitations & Registration1976request_box
513National Membership Conference—Isa Aron Evaluation1977request_box
514National Membership Conference—Mailings to Board Regarding Conference Commissions1977request_box
515National Membership Conference—News Coverage, Negative1977request_box
516National Membership Conference—News Coverage, Positive1977request_box
517National Membership Conference—"New Perspectives: Israel and the Diaspora" and Keynote Speeches by Prof. Howe and Matti Peled1977request_box
518National Membership Conference—Packet and Proceedings 1977request_box
1413National Membership Conference—Planning1976-1977request_box
61National Membership Conference—Press Information (Cover Letter, Quotes, etc.)1977request_box
62National Membership Conference—Proceedings1977request_box
63National Membership Conference—Resolutions Committee1977request_box
64National Membership Conference—Schedule1977request_box
65National Membership Conference—Security1977request_box
66New Outlook-International Peace Symposium1977request_box
67New Outlook-International Peace Symposium, Sponsoring Committee1977request_box
68Organizer's Institute1977request_box
69Speakers' Bureau1975-1977request_box
610Speaking Engagements1975-1977request_box
611Symposium of Editors of Major Jewish Journals: "Diaspora-Israel Relations"1974request_box
AVC 103 aa-i250-01Symposium of Editors of Major Jewish Journals: "Diaspora-Israel Relations"—Recording (1 of 2)1974request_box

Cassette Tape.

AVC 103 aa-i250-02Symposium of Editors of Major Jewish Journals: "Diaspora-Israel Relations"—Recording (2 of 2)1974request_box

Cassette Tape.

612Woman's Interreligious Study Tour of the Middle East1976request_box
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Series III: Chapters, 1974-1979

Scope and Content:

This series contains information about the establishment of local Breira chapters and guidelines for Breira organizers to establish local chapters.

613Baltimore Chapter1977request_box
71Bay Area Chapters1976-1978request_box
72Boston Chapter1976-1977request_box
73Chapter Affiliation Committee1977request_box
74Chicago Chapter1975-1977request_box
75Colorado Chapters1975-1977request_box
76Connecticut Chapter1976request_box
77Los Angeles Chapter1977request_box
78Michigan Chapter1977request_box
79Midwest Chapters1976-1977request_box
710Minnesota Chapter1977request_box
711Missouri Chapter1974-1976request_box
712New Jersey Chapter1976request_box
713New York Chapter1975-1976request_box
714North Carolina Chapter1977request_box
715Northern California Chapter1977request_box
716Ohio Chapter1976-1977request_box
717Organizing for Breira1977request_box
718Philadelphia Chapter1975-1977request_box
719Phoenix Chapter1977request_box
720Proposal for West Coast Organizer1977request_box
721San Jose Chapter1977request_box
722Texas Chapter1976request_box
723Washington Chapter1977request_box
724Washington D.C. Chapter1977-1978request_box
81Washington D.C. Chapter—Internal Communications1978-1979request_box
82Washington D.C. Chapter—Publications1978-1979request_box
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Series IV: Press and Media, 1973-1978

Scope and Content:

This series contains Breira publications, such as the Breira Report, the Breira Newsletter, and InterChange, including the correspondence of InterChange's editor Arthur Samuelson. The series also holds clippings, articles related to Breira's activities and areas of interest, reprints by Breira, feedback and criticism of Breira, and publicity materials. A significant part of the series focuses on the Jewish media's response to Breira members meeting with Sabri Jiryis and Isam Sartawi on a trip to Israel and Breira members' defense of the organization.

83Articles (1 of 4)1976-1977request_box
84Articles (2 of 4)1976-1977request_box
85Articles (3 of 4)1976-1977request_box
86Articles (4 of 4)1976-1977request_box
87Breira Controversy 1977request_box
88Breira Controversy—Anti-Defamation League/B'nai B'rith1974-1977request_box
89Breira Controversy—"Breira, Council for Judaism" by Rael Jean Isaac and Responses including Szonyi's Reply1977request_box
91Breira Controversy—"Breira: Fact and Innuendo" by David Szonyi1977request_box
92Breira Controversy—Jewish Defense League v. Breira1977request_box
93Breira Controversy—Jewish Week Articles1977request_box
94Breira Controversy—Jewish Week—Responses to Editorial1977request_box
95Breira Controversy—National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council Position Regarding Meeting with Palestine Liberation Organization1977request_box
96Breira Controversy—Outside of New York1977request_box
97Breira Controversy—Palestine Liberation Organization—Jewish/Israeli Talks (1 of 2)1976-1977request_box
98Breira Controversy—Palestine Liberation Organization—Jewish/Israeli Talks (2 of 2)1976-1977request_box
99Breira Controversy—Responses to Articles1977request_box
910Breira Controversy—Talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization1975-1977request_box
911Breira Newsletter1973-1974request_box
912Breira Reader's Service1976request_box
913Breira Report1976-1978request_box
915Criticism of Breira1975-1976request_box
916Film Projects1976request_box
102InterChange—Arthur Samuelson, Editor—Correspondence (1 of 2)1975-1977request_box
103InterChange—Arthur Samuelson, Editor—Correspondence (2 of 2)1975-1977request_box
104InterChange—Arthur Samuelson, Editor—International Correspondence1975-1977request_box
105"Israel and the Palestinians Different Israeli View" and related correspondence1975-1976request_box
106Letters to Jewish Newspapers1977request_box
107National Publications and Mailings to Members1975-1978request_box
108New Outlook Subscription1975-1976request_box
109ORT Reporter Apology1977request_box
1010Press Friends1975request_box
1011Pro/Con Mail1976request_box
1012Questions & Answers About BreiraUndatedrequest_box
1013Reciprocal Subscriptions1975-1977request_box
112Requests for Information from Breira1974-1977request_box
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Series V: Individuals, 1974-1979

Scope and Content:

This series is mostly made up of biographies, correspondence, clippings, and writings related to members of Breira, editors of Jewish publications, writers, politicians, and rabbis.

114Aharoni, Dr. Ada—Israel Post1976-1977request_box
115Aloni, Shulamit1974request_box
116Borowitz, Rabbi Eugene P.1976-1977request_box
117Flapan, Simcha—Editor, New Outlook1977request_box
118Loeb, Bob—Executive Director—Correspondence 1974-1976request_box
119Loeb, Bob—Executive Director—Correspondence 1977request_box
1110Loeb, Bob—Testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Middle East Policy Hearing1975request_box
1111Nathan, Abie1974-1975request_box
1112Neusner, Jacob1977request_box
1113Novak, William1976-1977request_box
1114Novak, William—"The Breira Story," Genesis21977request_box
1115Pa'il, Meir1974-1977request_box
AVC 103 aa-i250-04Pa'il, Meir—Recordingcirca 1974-1977request_box

Cassette Tape.

1414Peled, Dr. Matityahu1975-1977request_box
121Percy, Senator Charles1975request_box
122Peretz, Don1975-1976request_box
123Phillips, Larry—Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.1976request_box
124Polish, Rabbi David1975-1977request_box
125Prinz, Dr. Joachim1975-1976request_box
126Romberg, Alan1977request_box
127de Rothschild, Eric1977request_box
128Seidelman, Arthur Allen—L.S.V. Productions, "Children of Rage"1975request_box
129Shahak, Dr. Israel1974-1975request_box
1210Shaham, David—Editor, New Outlook1975-1976request_box
1211Shaw, Steve1977request_box
1212Simon, Bob—Correspondence1975-1977request_box
1213Strauss, Robert K.1977request_box
1214Waskow, Arthur—Institute for Policy Studies1974-1979request_box
1215Waskow, Arthur—Public Resource Center1975-1977request_box
1216Wolf, Arnold Jacob—Chairman—Correspondence1977request_box
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Series VI: Other Organizations, 1970-1977

Scope and Content:

The series is made up of subject files of Jewish and activist organizations. The files contain newsletters, clippings, correspondence, conference proceedings, and other ephemera.

1217Alternate-Organe du Mouvement Juif pour la Paix Israelo-Arabeundatedrequest_box
1218American Civil Liberties Union1975request_box
1219American Friends Service Committee1977request_box
1220American Jewish Committee—"Breira: A Background" memorandum1977request_box
1221Boston Conference of US Foreign Policy1975request_box
1222Clergy and Laity Concerned1976request_box
1223Conference of Secular Jewish Organizations—Newsletter1976-1977request_box
1224Ethiopian Jews1973-1974request_box
1225Interns for Peace1977request_box
1226Jewish Federation of Community Services1976-1977request_box
1227Jewish Publication Society of America—"Land of the Hart"1974-1976request_box
131The Jewish Socialist CommunityUndatedrequest_box
132London Seminar: Peace & the Palestinians1977request_box
133Mennonite Reports1976request_box
135National Caucus of Labor Committee1974request_box
136National Committee to Reopen the Rosenberg Case1975-1976request_box
137National Council of Jewish Women1976request_box
138National Council of the Churches of Christ1975-1976request_box
139National Lawyers Guild1975-1977request_box
1310North American Jewish Student Network1975request_box
1311Oz V'Shalom1976request_box
1312Palestinian Liberation Organization1970-1976request_box
1313The Rabbinical Assembly1976-1977request_box
1314Rabbinical Conference of America1976request_box
1318Socialist Zionist Union1977request_box
1319Symphony for United Nations1977request_box
1320Tzedek Tzedek Collective1974-1977request_box
141Union of American Hebrew Congregations-Central Conference of American Rabbis1974-1977request_box
142United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Inc1975-1976request_box
143United Nations1974-1975request_box
145Woman's League for Conservative Judaism1974request_box
146World Union of Jewish Students1975-1976request_box
147World Zionist Organization1974-1976request_box
1410Zionist Organization of America1976-1977request_box
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