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Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo, papers of Prominent Local Jews

 Collection — Box: 1-8
Identifier: MS-0150-0004

Scope and Contents

This collection consists primarily of the personal papers of local personages. Included are newsletters, memorandum, publications, correspondence, and immigration and citizenship records. The collection also contains various records of organizations such as the Council of Jewish Federations, Hillel of Buffalo, B'nai B'rith International, and the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo. It documents the individuals roles in local, national, and international Jewish affairs. The collection includes the papers of and oral histories with prominent Jewish individuals of Buffalo, New York. It should be noted that Series I, II, and VII (subseries A) of this collection contain additional biographical information on numerous other Jewish leaders of the community not mentioned in these series headings, including social workers, college presidents, judges, store owners, teachers, doctors, and rabbis.


  • 1888-1988
  • Majority of material found in undated


Language of Materials

Collection material in English and Hebrew.

Terms of Access

The papers of Prominent Local Jews collected in the Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo are open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Notes

Selig Alder (1909-1984) was an accomplished historian and faculty member of the State University of New York at Buffalo Department of History. He was the Samuel Capen Professor of American History from 1958-1980 and in 1975 was named a State University of New York Distinguished Service professor. His published works include The Isolationist Impulse: It's Twentieth-Century Reaction (1957), The Uncertain Giant, 1921-1941; American Foreign Policy Between the Wars (1965) and with co-author Thomas E. Connolly, From Ararat to Suburbia: A History of the Jewish Community of Buffalo (1960). In 1980 Adler became archivist of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo and in 1984 the archives were dedicated as the Selig Adler Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo.
Donald S. Day is an attorney with Hiscock and Barclay, LLP. Mr. Day served in the United States Army from 1942 to 1945, P.O.W., and received his LL.B. degree cum laude from Cornell University in 1948. Day's activities in the Buffalo Jewish community include serving as president of Temple Beth Zion, and of the United Jewish Federation of Buffalo. He is presently a Trustee of the Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion.
Dorothy Goldberg was a president of B'nai B'rith Women's Auxiliary. She was actively involved in Hillel at (State University) Buffalo and State University College at Buffalo, and Temple Beth Zion. Her husband, Arthur I. Goldberg, was president of Montefiore Lodge No. 70.
Bernard Mandelkern, a 1927 graduate of Hutchinson High School in Buffalo was a violin teacher and a violinist in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1969 to 1970. Bernard was the son of local businessman Noah H. Mandelkern, owner of N.H. Mandelkern and Sons.
Joseph Markel (1888-1966) was born in Lithuania and came to the United States in 1891. He established Markel Electrical Products in 1920. He was president of the Jewish Center of Buffalo and of the United Jewish Federation of Buffalo.
Morton Merowitz (1936-), is a librarian and historian. He earned his Master's degree in History, from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master's in Library Science from State University College at Geneseo in 1974 and 1975, respectively. Merowitz worked as a part-time librarian for the Bureau of Jewish Education and later as an assistant librarian at Collins Correctional Facility in Helmuth, New York. Merowitz has published reviews in American Jewish Archives, Religious Education, Buffalo Jewish Review, and The Polish Review.
Haskell M. Penn was born in Rochester, New York in 1913. He attended the University of Buffalo and later served in World War II as a staff sergeant (1944-1946). A member of B'nai B'rith and Jewish War Veterans, Penn was president of Penn Aluminum, Inc. He was involved, locally and nationally, in Boy Scouts of America and in 1964, he received the Shofar Award for his contributions to Jewish Boy Scouting. He also served as president of Temple Beth David Ner Israel and Temple Shaarey Zedek.
Milton Plesur (1927-1987) was a professor of history at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Joining the faculty in 1955, Plesur had a distinguished career as an historian, cultural critic and professor. His writings include Jewish Life in Twentieth-Century America (1982) and An American Historian (1980) among others. In 1975 he received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Plesur was a member of Temple Shaarey Zedek and served as president of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo.


6.92 Linear Feet (6 cartons, 1 manuscript box, 1 flat box)


The papers of Prominent Local Jews in the Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo include the papers of Donald S. Day, Dorothy Goldberg, Bernard Mandelkern, Morton Merowitz, Haskell Penn, and Milton Plesur as well as oral history interviews with other notable persons. Included in the collection are committee reports, correspondence, photographs, and citizenship records.


This collection is arranged in nine series as follows: I. Files, II. Bureau of Jewish Education, III. Institute of Jewish Studies, and IV. Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo/Bureau of Jewish Education.

Acquisition Information

The collection was transferred from the State University of New York College at Buffalo (Buffalo State) Archives in 2006 by the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

Processing Information

Collection processed by the staff of the State University of New York College at Buffalo (Buffalo State) Archives.
Collection rehoused by Mark McGuire, December 2006.
Finding aid updated by Karen Morse, October-November 2006.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle White, February 2015.


Finding Aid for the Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo, papers of Prominent Local Jews
Finding aid prepared by staff of the State University of New York College at Buffalo (Buffalo State) Archives.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)