Guide to the Records of the Seligman Solomon Society (1887-1956),

Processed by AJHS Staff

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160



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Machine-readable finding aid created by Adina Anflick as an MS-Word document. December 5, 2001. PDF document created by Adina Anflick. December 18, 2001. Electronic finding aid converted to EAD 2002 by Tanya Elder. October 2003. Description is in English.
May 2005. Finding aid was updated and reconverted in order to match other online finding aids by Dianne Ritchey Oummia. January 2006. Entities removed from EAD finding aid.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Solomon Seligman Society (1887-1956)
Title: Seligman Solomon Society Records
Abstract: The Society was named after "Papa" Seligman Solomon (1822-1884), an immigrant from Germany who accumulated wealth in New York real estate. Retiring at age 38, Solomon devoted his time to works of charity, particularly in the care of orphans at the Hebrew Orphans Asylum (HOA) in New York. When Solomon died, a group of alumni from the HOA formed the Society to carry on Solomon's work. The group perpetuated Solomon's memory, helped orphans, and performed charitable works. Members included Louis Freund, Max Kaufman, Charles Herman, Edward Lauterbach, and bandleader Edwin Franko Goldman. The Society eventually merged with another group of alumni, The Academy Alumni, to form the HOA Association in 1956. The collection includes correspondence from Jewish World War I soldiers as well as other correspondence, Society member lists, photographs, a Souvenir Journal, and minutes.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 2 linear feet and 2 oversized folders.
Accession number: I-6
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
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Historical Note

Seligman Solomon Society (1887-1956)

Seligman Solomon (1822-1884) was a beloved benefactor of the Hebrew Orphans Asylum (HOA). A German immigrant who made a huge fortune in real estate in New York, he retired at age thirty-eight to devote his life to charity. He spent much of his time at the Orphanage, paying daily visits to give food and moral support to the orphans. Known as “Papa Solomon” he did anything in his power to help the residents, including following up with discharged orphans, helping to find them work and adjust to their new life. When he died in 1884, Hebrew Orphans Asylum residents, alumni, and friends erected a monument over his grave. In March 1887, a group of Hebrew Orphans Asylum alumni formed the Seligman Solomon Society in the desire to carry on in Solomon’s footsteps.

The Society dedicated itself to perpetuating Solomon’s memory, providing moral and financial assistance to discharged orphans, aiding Society members in distress, and performing works of charity. Membership requirements included paying initiation fees, membership dues, and were dependent upon an election process. In return, Society members were given financial security through illness and death benefits. Society members could also look forward to several social engagements each year, such as annual balls, reunion days, and social meetings. A major event in the Society’s history was a relocation of the annual ball from Opera Halls to the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The Society held its ball there from 1922-1926.

In 1939 a second alumni association was created, the Academy Alumni that offered open membership. Both alumni groups continued after the Hebrew Orphan Asylum incorporated into the Jewish Child Care Association of New York in 1940. In October 1956, the Seligman Solomon Society and the Academy Alumni voted to merge their organizations to form the HOA Association.


Compiled from the Records of the Seligman Solomon Society, Ref. #I-6; and the Records of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of the City of New York, Ref. #I-42, Boxes 78-81.

Bogen, Hyman. The Luckiest Orphans: A History of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New York. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992.

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Scope and Content Note

The records of the Seligman Solomon Society contain executive and membership meeting minutes, a 25th anniversary souvenir journal, bulletins, financial and presidential reports, correspondence, and photographs.

The records are of interest to genealogists and researchers studying the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Jewish World War I soldiers, and Jewish philanthropy. Major correspondents within the records include Louis Freund (President, 1917-1920), Max Lefkowitz (President, 1920), Max Kaufman (President, 1920-1921), Charles Herman (President, 1921-1923), Herman Stark (Treasurer, 1921-1952), Ray Rabinowitz (Secretary, 1919- 1926), and Serena Rabinowitz (Corresponding Secretary 1919-1926). Information also exists concerning Edward Lauterbach, longtime trustee of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and Edwin Franko Goldman, bandleader and composer.

Of interest within the correspondence are letters from Jewish World War I soldiers, lists and addresses of Society members, and proposition cards for membership spanning the years 1918-1921. Also of interest are group photographs of graduation classes and photographs of World War I soldiers.

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Collection is currently awaiting full arrangement; container list represents inventory of collection contents.

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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.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Executive Director 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

Additional information is located in the Records of the Hebrew Orphans Asylum of the City of New York, I-42.

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Hyman Bogen donated the Seligman Solomon Society Records to the American Jewish Historical Society in 1998.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Seligman Solomon Society Records; I-6; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY.

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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

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

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.


Collection Box List, 1912-1922

The series is in English.
2 linear feet

See Collection Arrangement Note.

Scope and Content:

See Collection Scope and Content Note.

Box TitleDate
1 25th Anniversary Souvenir Journal1912
1 Meeting Minutes1918-1922
1 Seligman Solomon Society Correspondence1917-1920
Box TitleDate
2 Reports1918-1921
2 Correspondence1918-1920
Box TitleDate
3 Correspondence1919-1921
3 Personal - Miss Rae Rabinowitzundated
Box TitleDate
4 Photographs of Soldiers - World War Iundated
4 Letters from Soldiers to Seligman Solomon Society1918-1919
4 Correspondence1921-1922
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Oversized Materials, 1912, 1922

The series is in English.
2 oversized folders

Arranged in chronological order.

Scope and Content:

Oversized Materials contain two group photographs.

  Group Photo1919
Box TitleDate
OS2 Group Photo1919
  Group Photo1922
Box TitleDate
OS1 Group Photo1922
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