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Jewish Liberal Arts Club Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0200-0036

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 2 large white scrapbooks, and loose leaves from a smaller brown scrapbook. The scrapbooks contain original and copied cuttings from every era of the group’s history taken from the Buffalo Jewish Review, Buffalo Evening News, the Courier Express and elsewhere. Original rosters, minutes, contracts, invitations, poetry, notes, flyers, speeches, and summaries of history are also included. Some photographs are attached, with identifications of the individuals pictured. Poems composed for and by members and officers volumes sometimes relate to national events (for example: the State of Israel) or local institutions such as Kleinhans. Awards for JLAC’s charitable activity also appear regularly along with photographs. Faye Leader and Bonnie Pomerantz compiled the Club’s original scrapbooks. As these were disintegrating, Rusty Zackheim removed materials from these scrapbooks and each newspaper clipping was photocopied and the copy placed in the new scrapbook. Original items we also added, sometimes cut to size.


  • 1931-2000


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms and Access of Use

The Jewish Liberal Arts Club Collection, 1931-2000 is 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 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.

Historical Note

The Jewish Liberal Arts Club was founded as an all female cultural and philanthropic club in Buffalo eighty-two years ago in 1925, with the aim of providing a social and cultural outlet for women who stayed at home while raising their children. Meeting mainly at night, when women were free of their childcare and household obligations, it prevented isolation and promoted friendship. The club was started by a small core of ten women led by Sarah Steinhorn “with a vision of self-culture.” A number of sub-groups or “units” developed over the years with the aim of offering “variety and diversity” to all its members. These “clubs within a club” were active at various stages of the club’s history and included (two) Bridge groups, (four separate) reading groups or book review clubs named in memory of past Presidents and historical figures, a Choral group (under the direction of Mae Heusler), a Discussion group led by Shirley Wolin and a Drama Club. At one stage there was a Garden group and a Needlework group. Apart from these sub-groups activities, the Jewish Liberal Arts Club arranged for a numbers of speakers to present at club meetings. In addition, the Club put on plays and skits written by one of their members, Norma Berzon for the wider community. Beyond services for members and the internal life of the Club, the JLAC maintained a wider philanthropic mission began under the first President of the club, Sarah Steinhorn. The Jewish Liberal Arts Club (JLAC) began with a fund to provide interest free loans and scholarships to the community including studentships at University at Buffalo and a scholarship to Jewish Theological Seminary. Other past recipients of philanthropic donations from the Club have included Bureau of Jewish Education Hebrew Speaking Camp, The United Way, UJF, The Rosa Coplon Home, WNED-TV, Channel 17, Buffalo Philharmonic, the now defunct Studio Arena Theatre, the Community Music School, Jewish Federation’s Project Renewal (1979-1980) and the Council for Christians and Jews. Funding the grants and donations to the club’s various causes was achieved in a number of ways, partially through subscription dues, as well as through an annual fundraiser event. During the 1940s and 1950s an annual musical event held a Kleinhans was the JLAC cultural event of the year. The JLAC sponsored artists including violinists Eudice Shapiro, Mischa Mishokoff and Oscar Shumsky, as well as Metropolitan Opera Company stars such as Eugene Lowenthal, Rose Bampton, Alexander Kipnis and Buffalo’s own Jewish star, Thelma Altman. Other opera stars also came including Regina Resnik, Leonard Warren and Blanche Thebon. After 1957, the JLAC held it’s annual fundraiser at “Melody Fair”, an outdoor summer venture held in a vast tent, near Wurlitzer Drive, Buffalo, NY. At these annuals, the JLAC was able to bring to town artists like Ginger Rogers and Joan Rivers to perform to the wider Buffalo community. Jewish Liberal Arts Club also contributed to the cultural skein of Greater Buffalo through musical arts at Kleinhans Music Hall concerts. As a result, the materials of the JLAC are slices of Buffalo Americana, as well as the records of a Jewish women’s club.


2.25 Linear Feet (2 flat boxes)


Scrapbooks documenting aspects of the work of the Jewish Liberal Arts Club, a Jewish social and philanthropic women's club.


This collection is arranged in one series as follows:

  1. Scrapbooks

Acquisition Information

Rusty Zackheim donated Jewish Liberal Arts Club materials in February 2014. The papers were 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 in late 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 Jewish Liberal Arts Club Collection was made possible by funding obtained through the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies and the Bureau of Jewish Education.

Accruals and Additions

Accruals are not expected to the collection.

Related Materials

Processing Information

Collection was processed by Channa Revell Kotzin in November 2015. Finding aid encoded by Archives staff in January 2016.


Finding Aid for the Jewish Liberal Arts Club Collection
Finding aid was created by Chana Revell Kotzin.
November 2015
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)