Access and Provenance

Institutional Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder Listing







A Finding Aid to the

B'nai B'rith Youth Organization - Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio Region Records

Manuscript Collection No. 97

1958-1981. 13.2 Linear ft.


The records of the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization--Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio Region were donated to the American Jewish archives by Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky. Rabbi Olitzky donated the papers to the Archives in supplements between the years 1978-1981.

Property rights to the records have been assigned to the American Jewish Archives. Literary rights have not been dedicated to the public and any questions concerning them or copyright should be addressed to the Director of the American Jewish Archives.

The records of the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization, KIO Region are restricted for public use. Permission to use the papers must be obtained from the Director of the American Jewish Archives or the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization, KIO Region Assistant Director.

The collection is available, to qualified users, in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.


The B'nai B'rith Youth Organization was created in May, 1944, having as its goal the creation of an informed, self-assured and socially responsible Jewish youth. In 1923, an attorney from Omaha, Nebraska named Sam Beber began a boys club for Jewish youth in Omaha, hoping to help strengthen their loyalty and respect for both their Jewish heritage and their American citizenship. The club was named Aleph Zadek Aleph, or AZA.

The club in Omaha was a success so Beber and some of his friends began organizing similar clubs in cities throughout the midwest. Beber envisioned a large network of chapters that would be a part of the international organization of B'nai B'rith. B'nai B'rith sponsorship would provide necessary funding and organization for the movement to grow. With this in mind, Beber sought and gained endorsement from B'nai B'rith District Number Six for his for his efforts and he also obtained the District's promise to present his idea of B'nai B'rith Incorporation of AZA in to the organization's Supreme Lodge.

The Supreme Lodge accepted the idea at its 1925 convention and AZA became a part of B'nai B'rith. The authority to create and run the chapters programs was given to the young members but a Supreme Advisory Council was created to oversee the operation.

With the growth of AZA a number of girls groups began to form. The first group was formed in California in 1927. Local women's chapters of B'nai B'rith began providing funding for the clubs and by 1940 the Women's Supreme Council made these groups part of B'nai B'rith, naming Mrs. Louis Perlman of Chicago national chairman of B'nai B'rith Young Women's and Young Men's groups.

It was not long until many of the older members of AZA and BBG desired their own groups, separate from the younger members. This led to the formation of B'nai B'rith Young Women's and Young Men's groups.

With four independent youth groups it became difficult for B'nai B'rith to maintain effective control, so in May, 1944 the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization, having jurisdiction over all four groups, was created.

Since 1944 BBYO has had over 600,000 members. BBYO local chapters have raised money for charities, have given volunteer service to community projects and have provided a social environment of participation and interaction to many young people that they might not have had otherwise.

A statement of principles, issued shortly after the BBYO's founding, stated the goals and purpose of the new organization:

The B'nai B'rith Youth Organization should strive to create in young people a synthesis of the best in the Jewish and the American heritage....Such objectives may be best achieved through a program of cultural, religious, interfaith and social welfare activities, planned and executed by the young people themselves, under the guidance of trained counselors who are equally at home in Jewish and American experience.


The RECORDS OF THE B'NAI B'RITH YOUTH ORGANIZATION, KENTUCKY, INDIANA, OHIO REGION (1958-1981) contain correspondence, reports, membership records, newsletters and printed materials. The collection consists of four series:

  • SERIES A. CONVENTIONS AND MEETINGS (1958-1980) consists of fourteen and one-half Hollinger boxes of materials pertaining to International, District and Regional conventions as well as to a number of other meetings and conferences.

    The International, District and Regional convention materials are arranged first in this series followed by Spring and Fall Executive Meetings and Fall Institute materials. A number of smaller conferences and meetings are then arranged alphabetically by title at the end of the series.

    SERIES B. CORRESPONDENCE (1958-1981) is divided into two sub-series. Sub-series 1. Executive Correspondence consists of four and one-half Hollinger boxes of correspondence of national, district and regional officers. The files in this series are arranged by office. The materials within each file are arranged chronologically.

    Sub-Series 2. Regional Executive Board consists of three and one-half Hollinger boxes of correspondence of the Regional Executive Board, a council composed of members of the KIO local chapters. This sub-series is arranged chronologically and the materials within each folder are also arranged chronologically.

    SERIES C. KIO LOCAL CHAPTERS (1963-1980) consists of three sub-series, one for each state in the region. The materials within each sub-series are arranged alphabetically by city, then by chapter name. The materials within each folder are arranged chronologically. In some instances materials pertaining to a city's overall BBYO program are filed before the local chapters of that city.

    Sub-Series 1. Indiana consists of one Hollinger box of materials for BBYO chapters in Bloomington, East Chicago, Elkhart, Ft. Wayne and Gary.

    Sub-Series 2. Kentucky consists of one Hollinger box of materials for BBYO chapters in Louisville.

    Sub-Series 3. Ohio consists of three Hollinger boxes of materials pertaining to the BBYO Greater Ohio Council and local chapters in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Zanesville.

    SERIES D. PRINTED MATERIALS AND MISCELLANEOUS (1962-1980) consists of five and one-half Hollinger boxes of miscellaneous material arranged alphabetically.


    Box  Folder    Content
    1    1-9       International Convention 1969-1980
    2    1-7       District Convention 1968-1972
    3    1-6       District Convention 1972-1974
    4    1-6       District Convention 1975-1977
    5    1-3       District Convention 1978-1979
         4-6       Regional Convention 1965
    6    1-6       Regional Convention 1966-1974
    7    1-7       Regional Convention 1975-1978
    8    1-6       Regional Convention 1978-1979
    9    1-3       Regional Convention 1980
         4-7       Spring and Fall Executive Meetings 1965-1967
    10   1-9       Spring and Fall Executive Meetings 1968-1972
    11   1-8       Spring and Fall Executive Meetings 1973-1976
    12   1-7       Spring and Fall Executive Meetings 1977-1980, n.d.
         8-10      Fall Institute 1975-1977
    13   1-3       Fall Institute 1978-1979
         4-6       Advisors Training Institute 1971; 1977-1979
         7-9       Dahlia 1976-1977; 1979
         10-11          District Executive Meeting 1969; 1973
         12        District Youth Council Meeting 1973-1978
         13        District Youth Institute Convention 1980
    14   1         Indiana Softball Tournament 1974-1976
         2         Israel Summer Institute 1977
         3         Kallah 1974
         4-5       Leadership Training Institute 1959; 1971-1976
         6         Northern Indiana Softball Tournament 1979
         7         Regional Leadership Judaism Conference 1973
         8-11      SOK Softball Tournament 1972-1978
    15   1         SOK Softball Tournament 1979
         2         Spring Fling 1979
    Sub-Series 1. Executive Correspondence
         3-7       National Office 1965-1971
    16   1-5       National Office 1972-1980, n.d.
         6-7       District Director [Stanley W. Harris] 1958-1973
    17   1-6       District Director [Stanley W. Harris] 1974-1977
    18   1-2       District Director [Stanley W. Harris] 1978-1981, n.d.
         3         Regional Director [Arnold Oskin] 1972-1973
         4-7       Regional Director [Laurence Fagin] 1973-1976, n.d.
         8-9       Regional Director [Jeffrey R. Hoffman] 1976-1978
    19   1         Regional Director [Jeffrey R. Hoffman] 1979
         2         Regional Director [Gary Weinstein] 1979-1980
         3         Asst. Regional Director [David Sofian] 1975-1976
         4         Asst. Regional Director [Mark S. Kram] 1976-1978
         5-6       Asst. Regional Director [Kerry M. Olitzky] 1978-1980, n.d.
         7         SOK Field Supervisor [Michael Meyer] 1963-1965, n.d.
         8         SOK Field Supervisor [Murray Weisman] 1967-1968, n.d.
         9         SOK Field Supervisor [Arnold Levin] 1970-1971
         10        SOK Field Supervisor [Mark Cartun] 1973-1974
    Sub-Series 2. Regional Executive Board
         11        Regional Executive Board 1966-1970
    20   1-7       Regional Executive Board 1971-1973
    21   1-8       Regional Executive Board 1974-1977
    22   1-7       Regional Executive Board 1978-1980
    23   1         Regional Executive Board, n.d.
         2-4       Miscellaneous Correspondence 1965-1980, n.d.
    Sub-Series 1. Indiana
         5         Bloomington BBYO 1967-1972
         6         East Chicago-Arthur Berkowitz AZA 1964-1967
         7         Elkart BBYO 1963-1971
         8         Ft. Wayne BBYO 1963-1974
         9         Ft. Wayne-Aishes Chayel BBG 1969-1972
         10        Ft. Wayne-Maumee Valley AZA 1965-1973
         11        Gary BBYO 1971-1976
         12        Gary-Paul Bassin AZA 1971-1974
         13        Gary-Mim Friedman BBG 1970-1974
         14        Gary-Sam Rayburn AZA 1971-1974
    24   1         Indianapolis-Shoshana BBG 1964-1970
         2         Munster-Hammond AZA 1978-1979
         3         Miscellaneous 1970-1980, n.d.
    Sub-Series 2. Kentucky
         4-7       Louisville BBYO 1969-1980, n.d.
         8         Louisville-Amitie BBG 1968-1971, n.d.
         9-10      Louisville-Louis Brandeis BBG 1968-1972
         11        Louisville-Gamma Kappa BBG 1971-1973
         12        Louisville-Modern Femmes BBG 1968-1976
    25   1         Louisville-Joseph Rauch AZA 1968-1977, n.d.
         2         Louisville-Harry Resnick AZA 1968-1974
         3         Louisville-Fred Vinson AZA 1968-1970
    Sub-Series 3. Ohio
         4         BBYO Greater Ohio Council 1974; 1978-1979
         5-9       Cincinnati BBYO 1963-1980, n.d.
         10        Cincinnati BBYO [Beau Sweetheart Club] 1978-1979
         11        Cincinnati-Chaverim AZA 1976-1979
         12        Cincinnati-Mishpacha AZA 1971-1979,n.d.
    26   1-2       Cincinnati-Queen City AZA 1964-1979, n.d.
         3         Cincinnati-Rebecca BBG 1966
         4-5       Cincinnati-Shalom BBG 1968-1979, n.d.
         6         Cincinnati-Simcha BBG 1969-1980
         7-8       Columbus BBYO 1965-1976, n.d.
         9         Columbus-B'at Shalom BBG 1964-1974
    27   1         Columbus-Capital AZA 1964-1971; 1976
         2         Columbus-Chaverim BBG 1968-1974
         3         Columbus-Disraeli AZA 1970-1973
         4         Columbus-Pops Dworkin AZA 1965-1970
         5         Columbus-Heart of Ohio AZA 1963-1974, n.d.
         6         Columbus-Emma Lazarus BBG 1964-1971
         7         Columbus-Taurus AZA 1969
         8         Columbus-Ziv BBG 1964-1971
         9-11      Dayton BBYO 1964-1978, n.d.
    28   1         Dayton-Chai BBG 1968-1974
         2         Dayton-Hatikvah BBG 1969-1973
         3         Dayton-Kadima AZA 1968-1970
         4         Dayton-Weprin AZA 1968-1974
         5         Dayton-Zachor BBG 1973-1974
         6         Zanesville BBYO 1964-1974
         7         Zanesville-Yigdal BBYO 1965-1974
         8-11      Advisor Material 1963-1980
    29   1         Advisor Material n.d.
         2         Application Forms
         3         Expenses 1974-1978
         4         International Service Fund 1973-1975
         5         Israel [1967 War] 1967
         6-7       Judaism Programs 1963-1978, n.d.
         8         Membership 1973-1976
         9-10      Monday Morning 1975-1976
    30   1-3       Monday Morning 1977-1980
         4-6       National Staff Association 1969-1975
         7         Newsletters 1971-1980
         8         Policies and Regulations 1962-1973
    31   1         Policies and Regulations n.d.
         2-5       Programming
         6         Publications
         7         Rosters
         8         Shofar 1974-1975
         9-10      Summer Leadership Program 1967-1969
    32   1-5       Summer Leadership Program 1969-1973
    33   1-2       Summer Leadership Program 1974-1976, n.d.
         3-6       Miscellaneous

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