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Guide to the Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles Oral History Project Collection, 1979-1981
URB/JFSOH  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Historical Note:
  • Access Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Scope and Contents

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles Oral History Project Collection
    Dates: 1979-1981
    Identification: URB/JFSOH
    Creator: Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (Calif.)
    Physical Description: 3.85 linear feet
    Language of Materials: English
    Repository: Urban Archives
    Abstract: The Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles Oral History Project consists of 50 interviews of Jewish immigrants in the Los Angeles area. The goal of the project was to study and evaluate the life experiences of persons who came to the United States during one of the three waves of Jewish immigration - the period from 1900-1945, the years after the Holocaust, and the period of Russian immigration in the late 1970s. The life stories taken during the project reveal a rich folklore of the Jewish people, their countries of origin, war, social change, customs, traditions, and the individual's feelings about Jewish life.

    Historical Note:

    The Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Los Angeles was originally established in 1854 as the Hebrew Benevolent Society. Founded by a group of Jewish businessmen, the organization provided funeral services and charity to destitute Jews and Gentiles. This was the first relief agency in Los Angeles, and the predecessor of all benevolent societies and charitable institutions in Southern California.
    In 1916, the Hebrew Benevolent Society merged with the Ladies' Hebrew Benevolent Society to form the Jewish Aid Society. The new society began referring the growing number of relief cases to public welfare agencies and encouraging indigent families to become self-supporting. A name change in 1929 to Jewish Social Service Bureau reflected a widening range of assistance programs available to families and individuals, including psychiatric counseling and job placement.
    Throughout the early 1940s, the organization worked with problems related to family disorganization created by World War II. After the War, the agency concerned itself with the influx of European immigrants especially Holocaust victims, by working with the United Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. This relief program involved the largest expenditure made by any private family agency in Los Angeles, with the exception of the Red Cross. In 1946, the agency changed it’s name to Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles.
    The 1950’s gave rise to a deeper interest in personal counseling, with fees being instituted for the increasing numbers of middle-class clients. A branch office of JFS was established in the San Fernando Valley, and services were extended to West Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Venice. The 1960’s brought further expansion, including telephone counseling, crisis intervention, Jewish family-life education programs, outreach service, and the opening of the Freda Mohr Center, a walk-in store-front for the elderly. A new unit was established in 1973 to help newly arrived Russian immigrants.
    JFS was the first agency in California to receive certification from the Family Service Association of America. It has been a participating agency in the Community Chest (Los Angeles Area Welfare Federation and United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Inc.), a constituent agency of the Jewish Federation-Council, and a member of the Association of Jewish Family and Children's Agencies and Jewish National Fund Council. JFS also handles casework for the Hamburger Home, the Julia Ann Singer Nursery School and Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

    Access Terms

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

    Genre/Form of Material:

    Audio recordings
    Paper records

    Administrative Information

    Processing Information:

    Jessica Geiser, 2014

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open for research use.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item], [date], Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles Oral History Project , Special Collections and Archives, Oviatt Library, California State University, Northridge.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series I: Audio Recordings, 1979-1981
    Series II: Interview Notes, 1979-1981

    Scope and Contents

    The Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles Oral History Project consists of 50 interviews of Jewish immigrants in the Los Angeles area. The goal of the project was to study and evaluate the life experiences of persons who came to the United States during one of the three waves of Jewish immigration - the period from 1900-1945, the years after the Holocaust, and the period of Russian immigration in the late 1970s. The life stories taken during the project reveal a rich folklore of the Jewish people, their countries of origin, war, social change, customs, traditions, and the individual's feelings about Jewish life.
    Interviews were conducted by volunteers trained by the Jewish Family Service. These interviews were then donated to the Oviatt Library in 1981 along with other records from the organization. Interviewees were given the option to maintain their anonymity, in which case they were assigned a number or name by volunteers for identification purposes.
    The collection is divided into two series: Audio Recordings (1979-1981) and Interview Notes (1979-1981).
    Series I, Audio Recordings, consists of oral history interviews recorded onto audiocassettes. Series II, Interview Notes, consists of field notes taken by interviewers, summaries of the tape contents, and indexes of topics discussed in the interviews.