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Jewish Community Council Records

Identifier: UR001726
Part I: This file contains documents of relevance to the operation of the organization including pamphlets, publications, correspondence, calendars, memos and newsletters. It contains a significant amount of literature generated by other organizations as well. The collection contains, among other things, anti-Semitic literature disseminated during the nineteen thirties and forties by men like Gerald K. Smith and Fr. Charles Coughlin. Issues, which concerned the Council and its committees, are well documented.

Series Description: The collection consists of 8 Series, the first being the largest. Throughout its existence the Jewish Community Council used a numeric filing system to organizations its files. That numeric system serves as the basis for Series I with 10 sub-series. Each sub-series emphasizes a different area of Council concern. Series I consists of materials filed numerically. It has been identified as the Executive Director materials.

Series II consists of documents relevant to the operation of the Jewish Community Council which were not filed numerically. In some instances there may be duplication, but that does not normally appear to be so.

Series III contains materials related to Culture and Programming, not filed numerically, an area of major concern throughout the Council’s history.

Series IV contains materials related to Discrimination, including, but not limited to employment, housing and public accommodation. This series also contains material related to anti-Semitism as well as racial bigotry.

Series V contains materials related to the committee on Church and State as well as those pertaining to concerns on schools and education.

Series VI holds the materials generated and received by the Mass Media committee and its branches.

Series VII contains materials related to the organizations with which the Council has been involved either as a supportive mechanism or as a vocal opponent.

Series VIII contains material identified as addenda. Materials in this series relate to those in another series. Be sure to pay attention to the see references appended to the description of each boxes content. Items in this series can be linked to all other series.
Part II: This collection consists largely of meeting minutes and audio tapes. There is a small number of video tapes and subject files.


  • 1937 - 1984


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


356 Linear Feet (680 MB, 15 SB, 1 OS)


The Jewish Community Council (JCC) was established in 1937 as an umbrella organization to serve as a unifying force for Jewish organizations of metropolitan Detroit.

The papers of the JCC document the organization's operational activities, programming, and publications, and the interests of the organization as related to issues such as discrimination and the civil rights movement, it's member organizations, Israeli and Middle Eastern affairs, Zionism, and the affairs of organizations supported by, and in opposition to, the JCC.


On January 27, 1935 the Jewish Welfare Federation convened a meeting, the Conference of Jewish Organizations including representatives of the landsmanshaften, other Yiddish speaking groups and of many secular, social, fraternal, charitable, labor, religious and Zionist groups. The purpose of that meeting was to enlist the support of these elements in a community wide campaign for funds to build a new Jewish Old Folk’s Home, as it was then called. A by-product of that meeting was an expressed insistence on the part of those convened for a greater voice and degree of participation in the affairs of the Jewish community.

The 1935 meeting authorized creation of the Committee of Twenty-One headed by Myron Keys. The committee maintained a liaison with the Federation with regard to the campaign for the home. Its agenda included the creation in Detroit of a Jewish Community Council (JCC).

The Jewish Community Council was established September 29, 1937 after two years of organizational effort as two hundred representatives from 155 Detroit Jewish organizations convened at the first delegate assembly.


Part I: Arranged in 8 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-297), Series 2 (Boxes 298-493), Series 3 (Boxes 494-525), Series 4 (Boxes 526-599), Series 5 (Boxes 600-611), Series 6 (Boxes 612-619), Series 7 (Boxes 620-641) and Series 8 (Boxes 642-677).

Series I is further divided into 10 subseries.
Part II: Materials grouped by format.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Jewish Community Council Records
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA