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Rabbi Shay Mintz Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0200-0018

Scope and Contents

The papers of Rabbi Shay Mintz offer a snapshot into aspects of his career. Series I highlights the work of students within the Shaarey Zedek religious school and their understanding of aspects of faith and history, including representation of Chanukah, Biblical stories and God and Prayer through saved assignments. Series II. touches on two projects that Rabbi Mintz led. “The World that Was,” from 1982-1983 involved many volunteers and several institutions sought to recreate Pre-war life in Europe prior to the Holocaust. This segment included photographs, clippings and program materials. “Israel at 50” which was observed in 1998 was a year in the planning and involved many activities around the community in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel’s founding. Series III. relates to the work of Rabbi Mintz and Lila Mintz for the Annual Jewish Book Fair under the auspices of the Jewish Community Center with People of the Book, an Endowment Fund managed through the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies. This annual event was a significant undertaking and drew well-known Jewish authors, some of whom had Buffalo community ties. For the 18th Annual Book Fair in 1984, Rabbi Mintz obtained autographs of the authors who presented at the Jewish Center. Series IV. includes a small amount of materials relating to the work and service of Rabbi Mintz for Hillel of Buffalo with photographs celebrating his thirteenth year ("bar mitzvah"). It also includes other programs and activities initiated or participated in by Rabbi Mintz. This collection should be combined with Hillel Collection MS 228. Other earlier Hillel materials can be found in MS 150.1, file folders 5.8-5.14.


  • 1980-2004
  • Majority of material found within 1989-1999


Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Terms of Access and Use

The personal papers of Rabbi Shay Mintz Papers, 1980-2004 (bulk 1989-1999) 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 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 Note

Rabbi Shay Mintz was born in 1936 in Tel Aviv. His parents, Benjamin (Binyamin) and Hedva Mintz emigrated from Poland during the 1920s as chalutzim (pioneers) and settled on a religious kibbutz in the Jezreel Valley. When this declined, they moved to Tel Aviv in 1926 and Binyamin worked a variety of jobs in construction, printing and as a journalist. Through membership in Poalei Agudat Yisrael in 1933, Binyamin Mintz entered politics and in 1949 was elected to the first Knesset and re-elected in 1951, 1955 and 1959. In 1960, briefly before his death, Rabbi Mintz’s father, was appointed as Minister of Postal Services by David Ben-Gurion. Shay Mintz was educated in a religious high school/seminary: Yeshivah Hadash and entered the army as a chaplain in the 1950s. In 1965 he moved to America and initially worked at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where he also met his future wife Lila. They moved to Buffalo, New York and Rabbi Mintz began a career at Shaarey Zedek as the head of the Religious School, and then as Director of the United Jewish High School of Jewish Studies which combined the school students of several synagogues. In addition to this work, Rabbi Mintz became heavily involved with the Annual Jewish Book Fair with his wife Lila. After leaving Shaarey Zedek, Rabbi Mintz worked in several independent capacities, taking tours to Europe and Israel, and various Jewish Community Center projects. In the mid 1980s, he began another long career at Hillel and served in a variety of capacities, including Director and Rabbi, for over 25 years.


1 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes)


Personal papers documenting aspects of local community leader Rabbi Shay Mintz's work in the Jewish community. Materials include photographs, newspaper clippings, and other material relating to his professional career in several institutions including Shaarey Zedek, Hillel, and the Jewish Book Fair.


This collection is arranged in four series as follows:

  1. Shaarey Zedek
  2. Consultative Projects
  3. Jewish Book Fair
  4. Hillel

Acquisition Information

Rabbi Shay Mintz donated his materials in September 2009. The papers were arranged in June 2015 and were deposited at the University Archives, Special Collections by the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project in October 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 Rabbi Shay Mintz Papers 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 this collection.

Related Materials

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Chana Revell Kotzin in June 2015. Finding aid encoded by Archives staff, January 2016.


Finding Aid for the Rabbi Shay Mintz Papers, 1980-2004 (bulk 1989-1999)
Finding aid was finalized by Chana Revell Kotzin.
October 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)