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JCA: Isidore Sobeloff Papers

 Collection
Identifier: UP002759
The bulk of this collection comprises professional and personal correspondence, as well as speeches written by Sobeloff for various organizations. The memory letters from Sobeloff’s 97th birthday, including the parody “That Was the Week That Was,” give a more personal look at his legacy.

Dates

  • 1918 - 1992

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.

Extent

2 Linear Feet (2 MB, 1 SB)

Abstract

Isidore “Soby” Sobeloff (1894-1995) was the Director of the Jewish Welfare Federation of Detroit from 1937 to 1964. During his tenure, he made the Jewish philanthropic campaign in Detroit among the most effective in the United States. Sobeloff also served in other leadership roles in the Jewish community, including Secretary of the Allotment Committee of the United Jewish Appeal (1942), President of the National Conference of Jewish Social Welfare (1944), and member of the Jewish Center Division Executive Committee, National Jewish Welfare Board. From 1964 through 1969, Sobeloff served as the Director of the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles. The bulk of this collection comprises professional and personal correspondence, as well as speeches written by Sobeloff for various organizations.

History

Isidore “Soby” Sobeloff was born on August 30, 1894, in Baltimore, Maryland. In his early career, Sobeloff worked as a reporter and later city editor. In 1922, Sobeloff enrolled in the Jewish Welfare Board Training School. Upon completion of the course, he became Executive Director of the Jewish Community Center in New Jersey.

In 1932, Sobeloff married Edith Mozorosky, and the Sobeloffs had one son, Jonathan.

From 1937 to 1964, Sobeloff was the Director of the Jewish Welfare Federation of Detroit. During his tenure, he made the Jewish philanthropic campaign in Detroit among the most effective in the United States. Prior to Sobeloff coming to Detroit, the Allied Jewish Campaign had raised $350,690 from 9,908 contributors. In 1942, under Sobeloff’s leadership, the Allied Jewish Campaign raised $900,000 and had over 22,000 contributions. During Sobeloff’s tenure in Detroit, he raised more than $125 million. Sobeloff also served in many other positions, including Secretary of the Allotment Committee of the United Jewish Appeal (1942), President of the National Conference of Jewish Social Welfare (1944), and member of the Jewish Center Division Executive Committee, National Jewish Welfare Board.

From 1964 through 1969, Sobeloff served as Director of the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles.

Isidore Sobeloff died in November 1995, at the age of 99.

Arrangement

Folders are mainly arranged alphabetically. Box 3 contains oversized books and posters.

Acquisition

Papers donated to the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives by the Sobeloffs’ granddaughters, Susan, Debbie and Judy Sobeloff, in November 2015. Deposited at the Reuther Library in 2016.

Related Materials

Jewish Community Archives collections at the Reuther Library, especially the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit Records.

Transfers

Photographs are housed at the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives, Max M. Fisher Federation Building, Bloomfield Hills, MI.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by volunteers of the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives.
Title
Guide to the JCA: Isidore Sobeloff Papers
Status
completed
Author
Processed by volunteers of the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives.
Date
2016-02-26
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2020-07-09.: Proofread and updated by Aimee Ergas.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA