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JCA: Philip Slomovitz Papers

Identifier: UP001494

Scope and Content

The papers represent the contents of Slomovitz's nine filing cabinets of clippings, articles, personal and business correspondence, and other materials.


  • 1919 - 1991


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. 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.


Philip Slomovitz, called the dean of Jewish-American journalists, was born in Russia in 1896 and emigrated to the United States in 1910, settling in Bayonne, New Jersey. He earned a degree in journalism at the University of Michigan, where he wrote for The Michigan Daily. During his early career, he worked on the copy desk and as a reporter for The Detroit News and as an editor of The Jewish Pictorial. He also worked for The Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service and was editor and columnist for The Jewish Chronicle. In 1942, he founded The Jewish News in Detroit, which then absorbed the Jewish Chronicle. For almost fifty years, until the sale of The Jewish News in 1984, Slomovitz used the paper as a vehicle to champion Jewish causes as well as promote amity among diverse peoples. He lived through and reported upon many history-making events, including Henry Ford's anti-Semitism; broadcast propaganda and Vatican silencing of the Royal Oak (Michigan) radio priest, Father Charles Coughlin; the founding of the United Nations; the birth of the state of Israel; and the trial of Adolph Eichmann, Hitler's director of the "final solution." Slomovitz relied on his memory and his nine filing cabinets of clippings, articles, personal correspondence, and background information to tie current events to previous episodes in Jewish history. Slomovitz was a founder of the Detroit Roundtable of Christians and Jews. He was a strong supporter of the Jewish Red Cross (Magen David) and served as president of the local branch of the Jewish National Fund, the American Jewish Press Association, the Zionist Organization of Detroit, and the Detroit chapter of the American Jewish Congress. He also served on the board of the United Hebrew Schools. He was the author of two books, "Without Malice" and "Purely Commentary: Philip Slomovitz's 60 Years as a Newspaperman." His editorials and columns sometimes received national distribution. Although legally blind for most of his life, Slomovitz typed his own material until 1991. He was the recipient of many honors, including induction into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in 1993. He died that same year.


76.5 Linear Feet (153 MB)


Philip Slomovitz (1896-1993), often referred to as the dean of Jewish-American journalists, had a prolific career. He founded The Jewish News in Detroit in 1942 and for almost fifty years used the paper as a vehicle to champion Jewish causes as well as promote amity among diverse peoples. He reported on many history-making events, both locally and internationally, keeping background files to aid him in his writings. It is these files and correspondence that make up the bulk of his papers.


Folders are listed by their location within each box. They are arranged in original order, alphabetically by subject or correspondent's name.


Papers were acquired from Philip Slomovitz in 1992, as the basis of the newly created Jewish Community Archives.

Related Materials

Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives at the Reuther Library, particularly the Detroit Jewish Newspapers Microfilm Collection, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit Records, Sinai Hospital Records and Zionist Organization of America Records.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Judith Levin Cantor and a committee from the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan in 1991. Revised and updated by Aimee Ergas, November 2018 and July 2020.
Guide to the JCA: Philip Slomovitz Papers
Processed by the Judith Levin Cantor with a committee of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan. Revised and updated by Aimee Ergas, November 2018 and July 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA