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Finding Aid to the B'nai B'rith, District Grand Lodge No. 4 Records, 1864-1999, bulk 1980-1999
BANC MSS 2010/777  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: B'nai B'rith, District Grand Lodge No. 4 records
    Date (inclusive): 1864-1999,
    Date (bulk): bulk 1980-1999
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 2010/777
    Creator : B'nai B'rith. District Grand Lodge No. 4
    Extent: Number of containers: 31 cartons, 22 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder, 1 box Linear feet: 48 linear feet
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The B'nai B'rith, District Grand Lodge No. 4 records document an extensive history of Jewish programming and community service from one of the most important Jewish organizations in North America.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], B'nai B'rith, District Grand Lodge No. 4 Records, BANC MSS 2010/777, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    B'nai B'rith. District Grand Lodge No. 4--Archives
    B'nai B'rith International. Golden Pacific Region
    B'nai B'rith International
    B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundations
    B'nai B'rith. Anti-defamation League
    Charities--California--San Francisco Bay Area
    Jews--California--San Francisco Bay Area

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The B'nai B'rith, District Grand Lodge No. 4 records were transferred to The Bancroft Library from the Judah L. Magnes Museum in 2010.


    No additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Jeffrey Sahaida in 2013.

    Organizational History

    In 1843, Henry Jones and 11 other German-Jewish immigrants gathered in New York's Lower East Side to confront the plight and condition of Jews in the United States - giving birth to the organization, B'nai B'rith. The original members' first concrete action was to create an insurance policy that awarded members' widows $30 toward funeral expenses and a stipend of one dollar a week for the rest of their lives. It is from this basis of humanitarian aid and service that a system of fraternal lodges and chapters grew in the United States and, eventually, around the world.
    In 1863, B'nai B'rith District Grand Lodge No. 4 was chartered in San Francisco, California. In 1870, this lodge established orphan asylums and homes for the aged in both northern and southern California. In 1891, it supported Jewish education by establishing a religious school in San Francisco; which, in turn, laid the groundwork for future support by the Jewish Education Society.
    Over the years, B'nai B'rith has been recognized as being a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity; as a leader in disaster relief; as a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens; and as a staunch defender of the State of Israel.
    In 2004, B'nai B'rith, District Grand Lodge No. 4 became part of the Golden Pacific Region of B'nai B'rith International, including Northern California and San Francisco.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The B'nai B'rith, District Grand Lodge No. 4 records consist primarily of executive board records from the District, as well as various administrative materials from the District's areas, lodges, and units. The records are divided into three series:
    • Series I: Administrative Files
    • Series II: District - Areas, Councils, and Lodges
    • Series III: Public Relations, Events, and Awards
    The administrative files consist of materials documenting the administrative and organizational functions of B'nai B'rith, District Grand Lodge No. 4. Administrative files include: constitutions, by-laws, membership rolls and directories, and annual meeting proceedings. The series also contains records from the executive board of District No. 4, including board minutes and materials from executive cabinets and committees, such as the Fundraising Cabinet, the Finance Committee, and the Nominating Committee. The bulk of District No. 4's executive board files date from 1980-1999.
    The records from the District's areas, councils, and lodges consist of reports, correspondence, and petitions from individually named lodges and/or units, as well as materials segregated by broad geographic region (Southern, Northern, Central, and Interior). The bulk of these records date from 1980-1999.
    Public relations, events, and awards files consist of District or individual lodge/unit event materials, such as invitations, programs, and photographs. The series also contains official B'nai B'rith magazine publications, as well as various newspaper and journal clippings, member biographies, awards, and convention photographs.