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Judy R. Kantor Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0200-0039

Scope and Contents

The papers of Judy R. Kantor offer an understanding of the workings of two interrelated entities within the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo: the Women’s Activities Group and the Education Committee. These groups organized several conferences geared towards Jewish women’s political and civic education over the course of 15 years from 1985-2000. The collection also includes a special joint program with the National Conference for Community and Justice in 2000.

Series I highlights the work of the Women’s Activities Group and two conferences: “Directions 86, Issues of Choice” and “Patterns 89: Designing a New Decade of Choices,” that featured keynote speaker Shoshana Cardin, of the National Council on Soviet Jewry, and who had previously served as the first woman appointed as President of the Council of Jewish Federations in 1984.

Series II includes two educational series: “Networking 92” which featured Patty Mason, then an adjunct lecturer at University at Buffalo and educational consultant for Hillel, Nadine Strossen, National President, American Civil Liberties Union and Professor Ellen Cannon, a political-analyst and professor of Political Science at Northeastern Illinois and Roosevelt Universities who also led the Scholar-in-Residence Program in 1992-1993. Series II also includes a major conference in 2000: Jewish Women on the Threshold of the 21st Century, that featured keynote speakers, Dr. Shulamit Rheinharz and Congresswomen Louise Slaughter.

Series III is composed of a special joint program with the National Conference for Community and Justice in 2000, with Gerda and Kurt Klein. In 1957, Gerda Klein published, All But My Life that retold her experiences of surviving the Holocaust. After ghetto, deportation, slave labor camps, and a death march, Gerda Klein was finally liberated by American soldiers, and one particular soldier, Kurt Klein of Buffalo, became her husband. In addition to educating about the Holocaust through numerous mediums, Gerda Klein with her husband, Kurt Klein (who died in 2002) have created organizations to promote inclusion, tolerance and citizenship, as well as to combat bigotry and violence. This program was a tribute to their many civic activities.

Series IV includes biographical materials relating to Judy Kantor.


  • 1985-2012
  • Majority of material found within 1985-2000


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The personal papers of Judy R. Kantor, 1985-2012 (bulk 1985-2000) 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

Born in Buffalo in 1943, Judith Rovall Kantor spent almost 30 years in Jewish leadership roles within the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo, and retiring in 2012, after raising millions of dollars for the benefit of Greater Buffalo, Israel and other countries with Jewish communities around the world. She coordinated key campaign events of the United Jewish Fund Campaign, including Kick-Off dinners and “Super Sunday”. She has also conducted emergency fund raising campaigns for Israel.

She began her career in 1984, as Women’s Division Director coordinating and implementing four major women’s conferences, staffed Leadership Development, the Federation’s endowment fund, and the Women’s Activities Committee. She helped to create the Men’s Campaign affinity groups and Men’s Breakfast Study Sessions. She staffed group missions or women’s missions from Buffalo to Israel, and also planned and led a Mission to Budapest and Prague, Jewish heritage trips to New York City, and political missions to Washington, D.C. Staffed special projects included Operation Moses that helped bring Ethiopian Jews from Ethiopia to Israel, and Operation Exodus, that helped bring Soviet Jews out of the Former Soviet Union to Israel and the West.

Prior to her professional career, she served as a volunteer on the boards of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo, the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo, chair of the UJF Women’s Division, co-founder and Chair of the UJF Young Women’s Team, and both the Federation’s Planning and Allocations Committee and Leadership Development committees. She also chaired the Camp Lakeland Board for two years, and served on the Brandeis Women’s Committee-Buffalo Chapter as Vice President. She was a co-founder and chair of the Temple Beth Zion Young Women’s group.

Judy Kantor has received several awards including the Leadership Award of the Young Women’s Group of Temple Beth Zion, the Ruth and Milton Kahn Young Leadership Award from Jewish Federation, and the American Jewish Committee’s Community Relations Award.


1 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes)


Personal papers documenting aspects of the Women's Activity Group of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo and the Education Department. Material includes minutes, programs, photographs and newspaper clippings relating to several conferences and special events aimed towards women.


This collection is arranged in four series as follows:

  1. Women’s Activities Group
  2. Education Committee
  3. National Conference for Community and Justice
  4. Personal Materials

Acquisition Information

Judy Rovall Kantor donated organizational papers in 2012. The papers were arranged in November 2014 and February 2016 and it was deposited at the University Archives, Special Collections by the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project in March 2016.

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 Judy R. Kantor Papers was made possible by funding obtained through the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies.

Accruals and Additions

Accruals are not expected to this collection.

Related Resources

Processing Information

Collection was processed by Chana Revell Kotzin in November 2014 and February 2016. Finding aid encoded by University Staff, April 2016.


Finding Aid for the Judy R. Kantor Papers
Finding aid was finalized by Chana Revell Kotzin
March 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

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