Guide to the Papers of Ilan Fisher,
undated, circa 1964-2009

Processed by Shannon Struble

Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, MA 02116



© 2019  Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS, Boston, MA. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Shannon Struble as MS Word document, February 20, 2016. Finding aid was encoded by Shannon Struble on March 19, 2016. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Fisher, Ilan
Title: Ilan Fisher Papers
Dates:undated, circa 1964-2009
Abstract: Author and photographer Ilan Fisher was born and lives in Sharon, Massachusetts, where he owned Great Impression, a company that provided event videography services. He also contributed columns to the Sharon Advocate and other local publications, and in 2002, his stories were collected in the book The Carnie Kid Tells All. Fisher’s papers primarily contain invitations from events Great Impression recorded, along with a small group of personal papers, much of which is from the 1960s and documents Fisher’s involvement with the Jewish Socialist-Zionist youth group Habonim.
Languages: The collection is in English and Hebrew.
Quantity: 1 linear foot (2 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized folder)
Identification: P-1013
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS Boston, MA
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Biographical Note

A young member of Habonim plants a tree in Sharon, Massachusetts.

Ilan Fisher, sometimes known as Alan Fisher, was born in 1946 in Sharon, Massachusetts. His father emigrated from Horodok, a village on the Russian-Polish border, and his mother hailed from Assisi, Italy. Ilan graduated from the New York Military Academy in 1964. He married his childhood sweetheart, Jody, and the couple had two children, Tamara and Zev.

Ilan operated Great Impression, a company that provided videography services for events, such as weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs, in Sharon, Massachusetts. In addition to videography, Ilan was a columnist for the Sharon Advocate, and won numerous awards for his writing. In 2002, his stories were collected in The Carnie Kid Tells All, a book published by Tamarac Press.


Material from the collection.

“The Carnie Kid Tells All,” Ilan Fisher, accessed February 20, 2016, <>


1946Ilan Fisher is born.
1964Ilan graduates from the New York Military Academy.
1981Great Impression is registered as a corporation.
2002The Carnie Kid Tells All is published.
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Scope and Content Note

The Papers of Ilan Fisher consist almost entirely of invitations to events, including bar and bat mitzvahs and weddings. A group of DVD recordings of bar and bat mitzvahs held between 2006 and 2009 and two VHS recordings have been removed from the collection for proper storage. Access to the DVDs is restricted.

The collection also includes a small group of personal documents, including photographs and news articles from 1965 related to Ilan’s involvement with Habonim, an international Jewish Socialist-Zionist youth group, posters from Israel, and an article about Ilan’s book. The posters are housed in an oversized folder.

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The collection is arranged into two 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 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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Separated Material

A copy of The Carnie Kid Tells All is part of the AJHS Book Collection. The audiovisual materials are housed in the AJHS Audiovisual Collection.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Ilan Fisher Papers; P-1013; box number; folder number; Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by Ilan Fisher, 2003 and 2009.

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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 Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.


Series I: Personal Papers, undated, circa 1964-2002

English, Hebrew.
Box 1, folders 1-2; 1 oversized folder.

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content:

The first series consists of two folders and an oversized folder. One folder relates to Ilan (Alan) Fisher’s work as a member of Habonim. In 1965, the group planted 1300 trees in Sharon and another 200 in the Kennedy Peace Forest in Israel in honor of the late president. The folder contains photographs and news articles documenting the planting event, as well as a Habonim pin, patch, and membership card issued to Ilan, at that time known as Alan.

The remaining folders contain miscellaneous items, including a poster for the Jewish Music Festival in 1964, an announcement for They Were Ten, the first full-length feature film produced in Israel, and a review of Ilan’s book, The Carnie Kid Tells All. Posters protesting Soviet treatment of Jews and Israel are housed in the oversized folder.

11Habonimundated, 1965request_box
12Miscellaneousundated, 1964, 2002request_box
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Series II: Great Impression, undated, circa 1990-2009

English, Hebrew.
Box 1, folders 3-6; Box 2.

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content:

The second series contains the bulk of the collection and is made up of invitations to events between 1990 and 2009 at which Ilan Fisher’s company, Great Impression, provided videography services. It also contains 53 DVDs of bar and bat mitzvahs recorded between 2006 and 2009, as well as two VHS tapes, one showing coverage of the Pokotilos family, who had been sponsored by members of Temple Israel in Sharon, as they arrived from the USSR and the other a recording of the 2004 program for Yom HaShoah, in which many congregations located south of Boston participated. The DVDs and VHS tapes have been removed from the collection for proper storage, and viewing of the DVDs is restricted.

13Recordingsundated, 2004-2009request_box
14-6Bar & Bat Mitzvah Invitations1990-1999request_box
21-5Bar & Bat Mitzvah Invitations2000-2009request_box
26Other Invitations & Cardsundated, 1991-2008request_box
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