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Harold and Sylvia Polakov Collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0200-0014

Scope and Contents

Two clothing items from the local Jewish youth culture dating from the 1940s and the 1980s are included. The Omega Kappa Zeta sweater is embroidered with "Polly" which refers to Harold Polakov's nick name. The sweater is featured in a photograph (copy) with other members of the group in the 1940s. Harold and Sylvia's daughter was a member of the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization in Buffalo and her youth organization shirt is included. B'nai B'rith Youth Organization began as Aleph Zadik Aleph in 1924 in Omaha, Nebraska, and was adopted by B'nai B'rith International as its official youth program in 1925.


  • 1940s-1980s


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The personal collection of Harold and Sylvia Polakov Collection, 1940s-1980s are open for research. There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of this collection.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain 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 Note

Harold "Polly" Polakov was active in a young men's independent social youth organization named Omega Kappa Zeta that occupied the members' lives through the 1940s while teenagers, and as young men during WWII. B'nai B'rith Youth Organization is a national group for Jewish youth that is composed of affiliated local groups and which included a chapter in Buffalo, NY (now closed). It was comprised of separate sections for girls and boys.


1 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box)


Personal photographs and clothing documenting Jewish youth groups (Omega Kappa Zeta and B'nai B'rith Youth Organization) in Buffalo, NY.


This collection is arranged in two series as follows:

  1. Material Culture
  2. Photographs

Acquisition Information

Sylvia Polakov donated the collection in November 2015. The collection was arranged in November 2015 and it was deposited at the University Archives, Special Collections by the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project in November 2015. The Jewish Buffalo Archives Project was founded late in 2007 under the auspices of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo with a seed grant from the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies. The Archives Project collects mainly 20th century documentation relating to the diverse histories, religious traditions and cultures of Jewish communities within the Greater Buffalo area of Western New York, encompassing the geographic areas of Erie and Niagara Counties and partners with the University Archives at the University at Buffalo to make these records accessible. The arrangement and description of the Harold and Sylvia Polakov Collection was made possible by the funding obtained through the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies and the Bureau of Jewish Education.

Accruals and Additions

Accruals are not expected to this collection.

Related Resources

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Chana Revell Kotzin in November 2015. EAD finding aid created by Archives staff, January 2016.


Finding Aid for the Harold and Sylvia Polakov Collection
Finding aid was created by Chana Revell Kotzin.
November 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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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)