Access and Provenance

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder Listing

A Finding Aid to the

Samuel L. Haber Papers

Manuscript Collection No. 584

1920-1988 10.8 Linear ft.


The Samuel L. Haber Papers were donated to the American Jewish Archives by Mrs. Perry Haber of New York, N.Y. in October, 1989. Mrs. Haber presented three additional supplements of her husband's papers to the Archives in April and July, 1990 and July, 1991.

Property rights are assigned to the American Jewish Archives. Literary rights to the materials authored by Samuel L. Haber are held by the Haber heirs. Literary rights to material authored by others are held by the individuals or his/her heirs. Questions about literary or copyrights should be addressed to the Director of the Archives.

The Haber Papers are open to all users and available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.


Samuel Loeb Haber was born to Loeb and Etta Haber on October 12, 1903 in Hirlau, Rumania. In 1911, at the age of eight, Samuel emigrated to the United States with his widowed mother, two brothers, and two sisters. The family settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where Sam and his brothers, William and Frank, helped support the family by selling newspapers. All three boys earned University degrees and Samuel graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1924. Trained as an economist, Haber worked in the Statistical and Reporting Division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Washington, D.C. from 1935 to 1942, then as Chief Statistician for post-war planning with the Office of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation. From 1943 to 1946 he served in the United States Army, finishing as a military government officer in Germany and holding the rank of Major.

In March of 1947, Samuel Haber joined the staff of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) as director for the American Occupation Zone of Germany, later adding responsibility for the remainder of Germany, as well as Austria. For the next seven years he directed the JDC in Germany and Austria giving social, economic and cultural aid to nearly 200,000 Jewish displaced persons (DPs). Haber developed and directed programs to assist in the DPs' rehabilitation and emigration to Israel, the United States and other friendly countries.

In 1954 Haber was sent to Morocco to organize a social welfare program for more than 50,000 of the country's 240,000 Jews. In 1957 he was given the additional responsibility of helping the impoverished Jews of Poland, a country that had been closed to the JDC since 1950.

Haber moved from Morocco to the JDC Geneva office in 1958 to become Assistant Director-General of the organization. In 1964 he was transferred to the New York office and in 1967 was elected Executive Vice-Chairman of the JDC. Although Haber retired from the JDC at the end of 1975, his co-workers honored him by electing him Honorary Executive Vice-President of the organization.

In addition to the JDC, other social welfare organizations received benefit from Haber's experience and abilities from the 1960s to the early 1980s. He was a frequent speaker in American Jewish communities during the 1960s and 1970s at fundraising campaign meetings, usually on the topic of the JDC. Haber was Vice-Chairman of the American Council of Agencies, Vice-President of the Israel Education Fund of the United Jewish Agency (UJA), National Chairman of the Associates Division of the American Friends of Hebrew University, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry of Hebrew University, consultant for the Jewish Studies program of Columbia University and Trustee of the interfaith Hunger Appeal (which he helped establish in 1978.

Haber married Angela Press in 1941. They were divorced eleven years later. Samuel's son, Michael Haber, was born January 25, 1942. On October 11, 1952, Samuel married Zipporah (Perry) Glazer Herz in Munich, Germany. At the age of 81, Samuel L. Haber died of a heart attack on November 3, 1984 while visiting his son, Dr. Michael Haber, in Akron, Ohio.


The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) Archives houses one of the most significant collections in the world for the study of modern Jewish history. Comprising the organizational records of JDC, the overseas rescue, relief, and rehabilitation arm of the American Jewish community, the archives includes over 3 miles of text documents, 100,000 photographs, a research library of more than 6,000 books, 1,100 audio recordings including oral histories, and a video collection. To search the JDC Archives' text-collections, click here.


The SAMUEL L. HABER COLLECTION describes the career of Samuel L. Haber. The collection includes correspondence, speeches, writings, news articles, reports, awards, personal items and photographs. The collection is divided into five series:

  • SERIES A. CORRESPONDENCE consists of 4 Hollinger boxes (1.6 ft.) of correspondence and some miscellaneous materials divided into 3 Sub-Series. Sub-Series 1. General Correspondence consists of one-half Hollinger box of letters arranged in chronological order spanning the years 1975-1984. Sub-Series 2. correspondence and Articles re: Speaking Engagements (UJA and JDC) consists of one-half Hollinger box containing letters, news articles and miscellaneous materials relating to Haber's speeches, mainly for UJA fundraising campaign meetings and usually on the topic of the JDC. The materials in Sub-Series 2 span the years 1973-1984. Sub-Series 3. Alphabetical Correspondence Files consists of 3 Hollinger boxes of letters, minutes, by-laws, annual reports, publicity brochures and miscellaneous materials, arranged in alphabetical order by name of the organization or person to whom the material pertains. The bulk of the material in Sub-Series 3 pertains to the American Friends of Hebrew University and the Interfaith Hunger Appeal. Sub-Series 3 materials span the years 1961-1988.

    SERIES B. AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE (JDC) consists of 3 Hollinger boxes (1.2 ft.) containing correspondence, memos, reports (published and unpublished) and miscellaneous other materials concerning the history and work of the JDC and Samuel Haber's career in the organization. The material in Series B spans the years 1927-1990. Series B is divided into 4 Sub-Series. Sub-Series 1. Correspondence, Memos and Reports from JDC offices in New York and Jerusalem consist s of 1 Hollinger box of correspondence, memos, and reports pertaining to Haber's work with Jewish DPs in Germany and Austria from 1945-1953, and with the Jewish communities in Morocco, Poland and Italy from 1954-1957. Included are document lists generated by Mrs. Perry Haber after she obtained the copies from the JDC in 1990. The original documents span the years 1945-1957. Sub-Series 2. General JDC Activity Reports consists of three-fourths of 1 Hollinger box (0.3 ft.) of reports, speeches and books pertaining to the general history and activities of the JDC from 1914 to about 1965 and to the situation of Jews, especially DPs, in Europe and Israel in the late 1940s, including the JDC role in aiding them. The materials in Sub-Series 1 span the years 1927-1965. Sub-Series 3. Reports Arranged by Geographic Topic consists of one-half Hollinger box (0.2 ft.) of reports, articles, and correspondence pertaining to JDC activities in Argentina, Morocco, Iran, Eastern Europe, India and South Africa. The material spans the years 1949-1978. Sub-Series 4. Holocaust and Miscellaneous consists of three-fourths of 1 Hollinger box (0.3 ft.) of paper currency (from a concentration camp) and books dated from 1940 to 1949 pertaining to the Holocaust. The materials relate to Haber's work with DP's in the late 1940s. Two books contain pictures of the Holocaust and a third book records cartoons drawn by an Israeli artist during the 1940s (including a representation of Samuel Haber).

    NOTE: See also one picture book of the Holocaust located in the oversize box of awards in Series D. SERIES C. SPEECHES, WRITINGS AND ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS consists of 1 Hollinger box (0.4 ft) containing speeches, articles and reports by Samuel L.Haber spanning the years 1924-1981. Series C includes Haber's B.A. thesis submitted to the University of Wisconsin in 1924 and a report he wrote for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1942. Also in this series is the typewritten transcript for a series of interviews of Haber conducted as part of the Oral History Project of the JDC in 1980-1981.

    NOTE: The recorded version of the oral history interviews are located in the AJA Tape Recording Collection. See Tape Recording Nos. C-1359 to C-1364 (6 cassettes).

    SERIES D. PERSONAL PAPERS AND AWARDS consists of one Hollinger and two oversize boxes (2.8 ft.) containing biographical sketches, news articles, obituaries, programs for speaking engagements, U.S. Army service records, passport, marriage certificate, favorite poetry, condolence letters, awards and citations, and scrapbooks of correspondence commemorating Haber's retirement from the JDC. Subjects include Haber's birthplace in Rumania, his sister (Sarah Ginsberg) and his brother (William Haber). The materials in Series D span the years 1943-1988.

    SERIES E. PHOTOGRAPHS consists of 22 photograph boxes (4.8 ft.) containing mounted and labeled photographic prints, mostly in black and white. The photographs date from the 1920s-1984 and include the following subjects: Samuel L. Haber, Perry Haber, other members of the Haber family and friends; vacation trips; business trips and meetings; JDC offices and activities in Europe, Morocco, India, Israel, Iran and the United States; DPs and DP camps.


    Box  Folder    Contents
    Sub-Series 1. General Correspondence (chronological order)
    1    1         1975
         2         1977-1978
         3         1979
         4         1982
         5         1983
         6         1984
    Sub-Series 2. Correspondence and Articles re: Speaking Engagements
              (UJA and JDC)
         7         1973-1977
         8         1978
         9         1979
         10        1980-1983
         11        Speaking engagement scheduled on N 19, 1984 at 
              		Philadelphia, Pa. (canceled due to Haber's death on N 3, 1984)
    Sub-Series 3. Alphabetical Correspondence files
    2    1         American Council of Voluntary Agencies for Foreign
              		Service, Inc., 1979-1984
                   American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU)
         2              Correspondence (A-L), 1977-1983
         3              Correspondence (M-Z), 1977-1984
         4              Board of Trustee/Board of Governors, 1977-1983
         5              Re: Einstein's Papers, 1982
         6              Jerusalem Botanical Gardens Project, 1980
         7              Rothberg School for Overseas Students, 1983
         8              Professions and Trades (pharmacy fraternity mailing
                             campaign), 1982
         9              Annual Giving Program, 1978-1981
                        Correspondence (Alphabetical by name)
         10                  Cohodas, Willard L., 1981
         11                  Edelstein, Sidney M., 1979-1984
         12                  Goldstein, Albert, 1978-1979
         13                  Klatskaya, Pearl, 1978-1979
         14                  Kleinman, Seymour, 1978-1981
         15                  Krueger, Harvey, 1982-1984
         16                  Mautner, Y., 1972-1983
         17                  Rackett, Peggy, 1983-1984
         18                  Schlar, Lois, 1980-1981
         19                  Silverstein, Martin, 1981
         20                  Urbont, Carl, 1982-1984
         21                  Waldman, Leonard, 1980-1981
                        Correspondence with Regional Offices
    3    1                   All Regional Offices, 1977-1984
         2                   Chicago, Illinois (see also Midwest Region), 
         3                   Mid-Atlantic Regional Office, 1977-1981
         4                   Midwest Regional Office (see also Chicago,Illinois),
         5                   New England Regional Office, 1977-1983
         6                   New Orleans (Herb Garon), 1982-1983
         7                   New York Regional Office, 1978-1984
         8                   Southeast Regional Office, 1977-1984
         9                   Southwest Region (New Orleans), 1968-1982
         10                  West Coast Regional Office, 1977-1982
                        AFHU/Institute of Contemporary Jewry (ICJ)
         11                  International Committee of the ICJ, 1982-1984
         12                  Reports and articles, 1981-1983
         13                  Haim Avni, 1981-1983
         14                  Yehuda Bauer/Eliahu Matz (re: Bauer's book,
                                  American Jewry and the Holocaust, 
         15                  Dalck Feith/Alexander Silberman, 1978-1983
    4    1         Canada, United Israel Appeal of, 1979-1980
         2         Columbia University, 1978-1979
         3         Halpern, Marcel (JDC-Israel), 1981
                   Interfaith Hunger Appeal
         4              Bylaws and legal papers, 1981-1984
         5              Board of Trustees (correspondence, minutes and misc.),
         6              Betty Little, 1981-1983
         7              Don Robinson, 1981-1983
         8              Direct Mail Campaign, 1981-1982
         9              Annual reports and publicity brochures, 1981-1984
         10             Film project, 1983
         11             Financial statements, 1979-1982
                   Lohamei Haghetaot (Ghetto Fighter's Museum)
         12             Zvi Nezer, 1977-1984
         13             American Friends of the Ghetto Fighter's House,
         14        Mowshowitz, Rabbi Israel, 1975-1984, 1988
         15        Warburg, Edward M.M. (JDC), 1961-1978
    Sub-Series 1. Correspondence, Memos and Reports from JDC offices in New York
    and Jerusalem (copies)
               Materials copied from 1945-1964 files at New York Office
                   (chronological order)
    5    1         List of documents, 1990
                   Germany and Austria, aid to Jewish Dps
         2              1945-1947
         3              1948
         4              1949
         5              1950-1951
         6              1952-1953
         7              1954-1955
         8              1956-1957
              Materials copied from Jerusalem JDC archives
         9         List of documents, 1990
                   and materials re: Morocco, Poland and Italy, 1954-1963
    Sub-Series 2. General JDC Activity Reports (chronological order)
    6    1    Book, Addresses of Paul Baerwald in behalf of the American Jewish
                   Joint Distribution Committee, O 22, 1927-Ja 28, 1936
         2    Book, Jewish Workers and Farmers in the Crimea and Ukraine, by
                   Evelyn Morrissey, 1937
         3    Book, Twenty-five Years of American Aid to Jews Overseas, by
                   Joseph C. Hyman, 1939
         4    Booklet, 30 Years: The Story of the JDC, 1945
         5    Book, The Destiny of Roumanian Jews, by the Federation of 
                   Roumanian Jews in the U.S. Zone of Germany (see p. 32
                   for entry re: Samuel Haber of JDC), 1948
         6    Report, American Joint Distribution Committee Operations in U.S.
                   Zone Germany 1948, Je, 1948
         7    Report, "The Displaced Jews," by Boris Sapir, Mr 7, 1952
         8    Booklet, "The JDC Story,1914-1952,: by Moses A. Leavitt, Ap, 1953
         9    Report on trip to "Israel and Germany: Notes and Observations...,
                   in Late 1953,..." by Harry Greenstein, Ap, 1954
         10   Booklet, "1914-1954: The Joint Distribution Committee Album," 
                   D, 1954
         11   Two speeches re: JDC, 1958, 1965
    Sub-Series 3. Reports Arranged by Geographic Topic, 1949-1978
         12   Report on Argentina by Max W. Jacobs, 1977
         13   Reports and articles re: Arab Area and Iran, 1949-1970
    7    1    Reports and articles re: Eastern Europe, 1957-1972
         2    Reports and articles re: India, 1959-1969
         3    Items on 1976 visit to South Africa, 1976, 1978
    Sub-Series 4. Holocaust and Miscellaneous
         4	   Book of cartoons, From Here to There, by Arie Navon (see p. 176 for 
     		drawing of Samuel Haber at JDC), 1949.
         5	   Book, The Extermination of Polish Jewry: Album of Pictures, n.d.
         6	   Paper currency for Jews from German concentration camp, 1940.
         7	   Book, Home - Through the Vale of Tears, 1945-1948, published by the "BRYCHA", n.d.
         NOTE: See also Unzer Churban in Bild (Our Destruction in Pictures),
         Central Committee of the Liberated Jews in the British Zone, Bergen-Belsen, 1946, in X-Box No. 367.
    8    1    Transcript of interview of Samuel Haber for the Oral History Project of the JDC from 			interviews of D 15, 1980-F 25, 1981
         NOTE: See also AJA Tape Recording Nos. C-1359 to C-1364 (6 cassettes)
         for recorded version of interviews.
              Speeches by Samuel Haber
         2         1956-1968
         3         1970-1983
         4    Jokes for speeches (notes and article), n.d.
         5    Correspondence and notes from William Haber re: speech concerning
                   Hebrew University, 1977
              Reports by Samuel Haber to JDC
         6         1967-1971
         7         1972-1975
         8    Article in Yiddish, "Two Years in the She'erit Ha'pleita," by
                   Samuel Haber, Munich, Jl, 1949
         9    Thesis, A History of the International Association of Machinists
                   (1888-1924), by Samuel L. Haber, submitted for Bachelor of Arts degree at 			University of Wisconsin, 1924
    9    1    Report on Progress of the WPA Program, by Samuel L. Haber, 
                   Je 30, 1942
         2    Biographical sketches and articles, 1954-1988
         3    News articles and obituaries, 1954-1985
         4    Programs and announcements for speaking engagements, 1959-1964
         5    Records of service in U.S. Army, 1943-1946
         6    Passport, identification papers, and marriage certificate, 
         7    Article re: Harlau, Rumania (birthplace of Samuel Haber), 1947
         8    Obituaries for Sarah Ginsberg (oldest sister of Samuel Haber), 1980
         9    Article re: William Haber (Samuel Haber's brother), 1977-1979
         10   Poetry, n.d.
         11   List of condolences received (for Haber's death), 1984-1985
              Letters of condolence received for Haber's death (N 3, 1984)
         12        Selections sent to JDC Board, 1984
         13        Part 1
         14        Part 2
         15        Part 3
              Awards and Honorary Degrees
         16        Mordecai Ben David Award, Yeshiva University, New York, N.Y.
                        Je 8, 1972
         17        Re: Honorary degree (Doctor of Humane Letters) from Hebrew
                        Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 1976
    X-Box No. 367  1 award (autographed photograph of Golda Meir) from the
                   United Jewish Appeal Study Mission, 1971
                   5 awards (paper) from
                        JDC-Germany, 1954
                        National Study Conference, 1973
                        Federation of Jewish Women's Organizations, 1981
                        United Jewish Appeal (UJA)/Federation of Jewish
                             Philanthropies, n.d.
                        Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Hebrew Union
                             College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Ag, 1976
                   5 awards (wood or mosaic) from
                        State of Israel to 1968 UJA Study Mission member
                             (insignia of Israel's Defenders), O 27, 1968
                        B'nai B'rith Women District One, Je 10, 1974
                        Ozar Hatorah,n.d.
                        Golden Book of the Jewish National Fund, S 21, 1955
                        UJA/Federation of Jewish Philanthropies Joint Campaign
                             (mosaic), Ap 8, 1976
              ALSO IN X-BOX NO. 367
              1 book, Unzer Churban in Bild (Our Destruction in Pictures), see
                   note in Series B, Sub-Series 4 above (after Box 7)
    X-Box          3 scrapbooks of letters and telegram presented to Samuel L. Haber
    No. 368        from his friends on the occasion of his retirement from JDC,
                   D 10, 1975
         NOTE: Description of box contents includes subjects pictured in addition
         to Samuel L. Haber
    Box  Contents
    10   1920-1946 In United State and Europe: Etta Haber, William Haber, Michael Haber, Milwaukee 			(Wisconsin) newstand, Samuel in  U.S.Army
    11   1947-1948 In Europe: Perry Herz (later Mrs. Samuel Haber), DP camps, 
                        JDC activities
    12   1948      Same subjects as Box 11
    13   1949      Same as Box 11 with additional locations of Aden and Israel
    14   1950      In Europe: Perry Herz, DP camps, 1st Hard Core Transport to                     			Israel (from Bad Worishofen in Mr, 1950)
    15   1951      In Europe: Perry Herz, Marseilles Aliyah Camp (France)
    16   1952      In Europe: includes the wedding of Samuel Haber and 
                        Perry Herz
    17   1953      In Germany and Israel: Perry Haber
    18   1954-1958 In Morocco: includes trips to Canary Islands, New York and Switzerland
    19   1956-1958 In Poland
    20   1959      In Geneva, France, United States, Canada and Iran
    21   1960      In Israel, United States and Europe
    22   1961-1964 In Europe, India, Israel, Iran and United States
    23   1965-1967 In United States, Israel, Germany and Canada
    24   1968      Meeting of JDC leaders and Roshei Yeshivot of Israel at
                        Jerusalem Convalescent Home of Vaad Hayeshivot, Israel
    25   1968-1971 In United States, Israel, Iran and Geneva
    26   1969      Trips to Rumania
    NOTE: Photos in Boxes 27 and 28 were sent to Haber from Bureau Europeen du
              Rabbi M.M. Schneersoln de Lubavitz pour l'Aide aux Refugies, Paris,France
    27   1972      Visit to Nachlat-Chabad, Israel
    28   1973      Visit to Kfar Chabad, Israel
    29   1972-1973 In United States and Israel
    30   1974      In United States, Europe and Israel
    31   1975-1984 In United States and Israel: includes Haber family members