TABLE OF CONTENTS
Manuscript Collection No. 662
Clarence E. (Mike) Israel was born in 1901 in Birmingham, Alabama. His childhood in the segregated South heavily influenced his later determination to become a highly respected social activist in Cincinnati, Ohio as an adult.
Israel graduated from Purdue University in 1922 with a degree in agriculture. Shortly thereafter he became involved in marketing instead. In the early 1930s, when he arrived in Cincinnati, he rose through the ranks of Fashion Frocks, a women's clothing manufacturer in Cincinnati's Northside neighborhood. He retired as vice-president of the company. But Israel's lasting influence continues in the volunteer work that he did for the Jewish people of Cincinnati, and for the minority population of the entire state of Ohio.
Israel wore two hats in the Jewish community. The first was his involvement in the Jewish Community Center (JCC), beginning in 1932. Under the auspices of the JCC, he founded The Forum in 1934. The Forum was a year-round lecture series that promoted civil rights and civil liberties. The Forum is notable because of the high caliber speakers it was able to bring to Cincinnati. Throughout its nearly 40 year history, The Forum hosted such speakers as Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court, author and lecturer Norman Cousins, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling.
In addition to his work with the JCC, Israel served as president of the Cincinnati chapter of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). Israel also served as vice president of the national governing board of the JCRC.
Israel's social activism was not limited to working on behalf of fellow Jews. He labored for 14 years as one of several leaders on a statewide committee that was tasked with writing fair employment legislation for the state of Ohio. The state passed the committee's draft in 1960.
Finally, Israel served as the founding chairman of the Cincinnati Committee for Civic Responsibility (CCCR). The CCCR was established in the early fall of 1964 to combat right-wing extremist groups that were attempting to influence the electorate prior to the 1964 presidential election. The CCCR remained in existence through 1966.
Israel passed away on 1 July 1991. He was survived by two sons and a daughter.
The Clarence E. "Mike" Israel Papers consists of Israel's collection of documents relating principally to the Cincinnati Committee for Civic Responsibility, the Cincinnati branch of the Jewish Community Relations Council, the drafting of the state of Ohio's Fair Employment Practices Act, and the papers of the Cincinnati Jewish Community Center's Forum program, dating between 1953 and 1985.
This collection is arranged in two (2) 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.
Jewish Community Relations Council (Cincinnati, Ohio) records. MSS Col. No. 202.
Israel, Clarence. American Jewish Archives autobiographical questionnaire/ oral history. Cincinnati, Ohio. December 1974; January 1975. SC-5472.
Israel, Clarence. Nearprint Biographies File.
Israel, Clarence. Oral history interview transcript regarding his civil rights activities. Cincinnati. Ohio. April 1975. SC-5475.
Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Clarence E. Israel Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:
[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-662. Clarence E. Israel Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The papers were donated by Clarence Israel, Cincinnati, Ohio, in July 1977 and by Michael Rapp, Cincinnati, Ohio, in August 1992.
Processed by Jeff Brown, July, 2001.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the AJA's online catalog.
Persons and Families
Israel, Clarence E. -- 1909-1991
Jewish Community Center (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Jewish Community Relations Council (Cincinnati, Ohio)
African Americans -- Relations with Jews
Jews -- Ohio -- Cincinnati
Jews -- Politics and government