TABLE OF CONTENTS
Manuscript Collection No. 23
Morris David Waldman, the son of Benjamin and Esther (Schoenfeld) Waldman, was born in Bartfa, Hungary in 1879. He was brought to the United States at the age of four and completed his education at New York University (Ph.B., 1898), the Jewish Theological Seminary (1895-1898), and the Columbia University Graduate School of Semitics and Philosophy (1898-1901).
Waldman began his career as a rabbi at Temple Anshe Emeth in New Brunswick, New Jersey (1900-1903), but soon entered the field of social and welfare work. Waldman was responsible for a number of innovations in social work. Among his creations were: the District Service Plan (introduced in Boston), by which the needs and problems of all members of a family were considered on a unitary basis; the "Double Barrelled Federation" (initiated in Detroit), a forerunner of all the welfare funds established by Jewish federations in community chest cities; a planned parenthood clinic in Detroit, conducted under the auspices of a Jewish federation for a non-sectarian clientele; and bureaus of Jewish education in Boston and Detroit which, for the first time, established the principle of community responsibility for Jewish education and community control and direction
From 1906 to 1908 Waldman served in immigration work with the Industrial Removal Office and was director of the Galveston movement. The latter was created to deflect east European immigrants from the east coast of the United States to less populated areas.
From 1908 to 1917 Waldman was managing director of the United Hebrew Charities of New York City. There he introduced many pioneering procedures which became the basis for later developments in the field of social work.
Waldman served as vice-president of the New York State Conference of Charities and Correction (1912), and president of the New York City Conference of Charities (1915). He was influential in the establishment of the Federation for the support of the Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York City in 1917 and in 1919 he was made a trustee of the Federation's board. Waldman was also instrumental in the organizing of the Federations of Jewish Charities in Boston, Brooklyn, and Detroit.
In 1917 Waldman served as an assistant director of the civilian department of the American Red Cross in Washington. Between 1921 and 1922, he organized relief for central European Jewish communities, and was director of the medico-sanitary department of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Under his direction and initiative, nurses' training programs and x-ray services were introduced into Jewish hospitals in Poland and neighboring countries. He was also responsible for the introduction of a comprehensive and widespread program of public health in eastern and southeastern Europe.
In 1928 Waldman became executive secretary to the American Jewish Committee, a position he held until 1945. His achievements were concerned with protecting the civil and religious rights of Jews throughout the world. His campaign to solve the problem of anti-Semitism and the issue of minority rights finally resulted in an International Bill of Rights being adopted as part of the United Nations charter.
Waldman was active in the non-Zionist section of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. He opposed Jewish nationalism, but after World War II he attempted to resolve the split between Zionist and non-Zionist factions in the American Jewish Committee. He later favored the establishment of the state of Israel.
In 1945, for reasons of health, Waldman retired from his professional position. He wrote two books, Not By Power (1953), an autobiography; and Sieg Heil (1962). Morris David Waldman died at the age of 84 in 1963. He was married to Rose Cyres in 1901 and they had three children: Mrs. Lynn W. Pearlstien, Mrs. Pearl Glaser, and Mrs. Helen Eliezer.
The Morris D. Waldman Papers describe the career activities of Morris David Waldman, a rabbi, social worker, and organization executive. The collection consists of correspondence, minutes, reports, notes, printed matter, and miscellaneous items dealing with organizations with which he was involved between 1912 and 1963.
This collection is arranged in five (5) series:
Terms of Access
The collection is open for use; no restrictions apply.
Terms of Reproduction and Use
Copyright restrictions may apply. Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce, with exceptions for fair use, may be obtained through the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio. Please address queries to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives. For more information, see the American Jewish Archives copyright information webpage.
When processing began, the Waldman collection consisted of ten Hollinger boxes. The collection was reduced to seven Hollinger boxes through the use of more efficient boxing, by weeding duplicate material, and by separating photographs. The photographs have been placed into the picture collection of the American Jewish Archives.
Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Morris D. Waldman Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:
[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-23. Morris D. Waldman Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Morris D. Waldman Papers were donated to the American Jewish Archives by Lester J. Waldman, Morris D. Waldman's nephew, March 1969.
Processed by James W. Clasper, October 1977.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the AJA's online catalog.
Persons and Families
Waldman, Morris David -- 1879-1963
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee