Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement Note

Conditions of Access and Use

Related Material

Administrative Information

Search Terms

Box and Folder Listing

Series A. Correspondence, 1912-1963

Series B. Organizations, 1917-1949

Series C. General, 1917-1963

Series D. Manuscripts, 1960-1962

Series E. Miscellaneous

A Finding Aid to the Morris D. Waldman Papers. 1912-1963.

Manuscript Collection No. 23


Repository: The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
Creator: Waldman, Morris David, 1879-1963.
Title: Morris D. Waldman Papers.
Dates: 1912-1963
Quantity: 2.9 linear feet (7 Hollinger boxes)
Abstract: The Morris D. Waldman Papers describe the career and activities of Waldman as a rabbi, social worker, and organization executive.
Collection Number: MS-23
Language: Collection material in English.

Biographical Sketch

Morris D. Waldman

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.

Scope and Content Note

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.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged in five (5) series:

  • Series A. Correspondence. 1912-1963.
  • Series B. Organizations. 1917-1949.
  • Series C. General. 1917-1963.
  • Series D. Manuscripts. 1960-1962.
  • Series E. Miscellaneous.

Conditions of Access and Use

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.

Related Material

Separated Material

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.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

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.

Processing Information

Processed by James W. Clasper, October 1977.

Box and Folder Listing

Series A. Correspondence, 1912-1963
The Correspondence series consists of one and one-half Hollinger boxes of letters. Among the important correspondents in the series are Cyrus Adler, Jacob Billikopf, Jacob Blaustein, David A. Brown, Herbert Lehman, Louis Marshall, Joseph M. Proskauer, John Slawson, Cyrus L. Sulzberger, Maurice Wertheim, and Stephen S. Wise.
Files in this series are arranged alphabetically by the name of the correspondent. Letters are arranged chronologically within each folder.
Box Folder
1 1 Adler, Cyrus1927-1939
1 2 B, General
1 3 Billikopf, Jacob1918-1950
1 4 Blaustein, Jacob1943-1957
1 5 Bressler, David M.1917-1937
1 6 Brown, David A.1927; 1952-1954
1 7 Butzel, Henry M.1924
1 8 C, General
1 9 Cardozo, Benjamin N.1932; 1935
1 10 D, General
1 11 Davidson, Israel1924-1930
1 12 E-F, General
1 13 Fine, Morris1948-1955
1 14 G, General
1 15 Gottschalk, Max1938-1963
1 16 Grodinsky, Julius1930
1 17 H-J, General
1 18 K, General
1 19 Karpf, Maurice1931-1952
1 20 Klein, Henry1929-1933
1 21 L, General
1 22 Landau, Jacob1930-1942
1 23 Laski, Neville1933-1957
1 24 Lehman, Herbert1926-1958
1 25 Leidesdorf, Samuel D.1937-1953
1 26 M, General
1 27 Marcus, Jacob R.1951
1 28 Marshall, Louis1928-1929
1 29 N-O, General
1 30 P, General
1 31 Proskauer, Joseph M.1933; 1941-1957
1 32 R, General
1 33 Rosenberg, James N.1936-1942
1 34 Rosenman, Samuel I.1938-1952
Box Folder
2 1 S, General
2 2 Saltzstein, Harry C.1952-1963
2 3 Schiff, Mortimer L.1925
2 4 Silverberg, Mendel1940
2 5 Slawson, John1940-1962
2 6 Sloss, M.C.1946; 1953
2 7 Stroock, Sol M.1934-1954
2 8 Stern, Horace1943-1946
2 9 Sulzberger, Cyrus L.1925-1932
2 10 T, General
2 11 Teller, Chester and Eva Magnes1949-1954
2 12 W, General
2 13 Wallach, Sidney1936-1942
2 14 Wertheim, Maurice1940-1950
2 15 Wineman, Henry1924; 1945; 1948
2 16 Wise, Stephen S.1942-1947
2 17 Z, General
2 18 Unidentified
Series B. Organizations, 1917-1949
The Organizations series consists of three and one-half Hollinger boxes of correspondence, minutes, and reports. The Phoenix Community Relations Council and the Joint Defense Appeal material belonged to Jay S. Pearlstien, Waldman's son-in-law. As it was already part of the Morris Waldman papers it was retained. The material on the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (1921-1922) comprises the bulk of the material in this series.
The series is arranged alphabetically by the name of the organization.
Box Folder
2 19 American Council for Judaism1942-1944
2 20-21 American Jewish Committee [Correspondence, reports, minutes] 1935-1962(2 folders)
2 22 American Jewish Conference [Correspondence, reports, minutes] 1943
Box Folder
3 1-2 American Jewish Conference [Correspondence and minutes] 1944(2 folders)
3 3 American Red Cross1917-1918; 1938
3 4-7 American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee [Correspondence and minutes] 1921-1922(4 folders)
Box Folder
4 1-2 American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee [Reports and minutes] 1921-1922(2 folders)
4 3-5 American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee [Progress reports - Poland] 1922(3 folders)
4 6 American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee [Poland] 1922-1948
4 7-8 Joint Defense Appeal1945-1947(2 folders)
Box Folder
5 1 Joint Defense Appeal1947-1948
5 2-4 Joint Defense Appeal [Minutes] January 1947(3 folders)
5 5 National Council of Women of the United States1940-1947
5 6-7 Phoenix Community Relations Council1940-1948(2 folders)
Series C. General, 1917-1963
The General series consists of one box of correspondence, newsclippings, pamphlets, articles, notes, speeches, and reports. The series is biographical in nature and contains a variety of items either written by or about Morris David Waldman. There is also one folder of material relating to Latin Americirca
Box Folder
6 1 Waldman, Morris D. [Biographical - includes letters from various individuals and organizations sent to the Waldman family at the time of his death in 1963] 1921; 1954; 1963
6 2 Waldman, Morris D. [Nearprint] 1917-1942
6 3-4 Waldman, Morris D. [Speeches and reports] 1930-1949(2 folders)
6 5 Latin America1944-1952
Series D. Manuscripts, 1960-1962
The Manuscripts series consists of correspondence and copies of manuscripts of items authored by Waldman, primarily his book, Sieg Heil .
Box Folder
6 6-7 Sieg Heil [Correspondence and manuscript] 1960-1962(2 folders)
Box Folder
7 1-2 Sieg Heil(2 folders)
7 3-6 Miscellaneous (4 folders)
Series E. Miscellaneous
The Miscellaneous series consists of one folder of items of secondary importance or of unidentifiable manuscript material.
Box Folder
7 7 Miscellaneous

Search Terms

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