Inventory of the Benjamin M. Roe papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Roe, Benjamin M., 1898-
Title: Benjamin M. Roe papers
Dates: 1905-1974 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 8.5 linear feet
Collection Number: Ms0139
Summary: The Benjamin M. Roe papers (1905-1974) consist of the personal and professional papers of Roe, an immigrant from Russia and Salt Lake City businessman and philanthropist. Included are a travel diary, news clippings, correspondence, B'nai Israel Temple records, histories of Utah Jews, subject files, publications, and other materials.
Repository: University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections.
Contact Information: Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
Telephone: 801-581-8863
Languages: Materials are in English.  

Historical Note

Benjamin Roe was born in 1898 and grew up in a Jewish ghetto in a small village in Russia. His formal education was truncated. In his own words, "I am holding a distinction that many of my friends and associates cannot boast of; insofar as my formal education stopped at the age of fourteen, I have never had the pleasure of finishing any grade or receiving any degree in my entire life. I have never had the pleasure of walking up an aisle with my outstretched hand to receive a certificate indicating a completion of any grade. In spite of that, my hunger for education and books has never subsided."

Roe immigrated to the United States in 1913 at age fifteen without either parent. At age forty he was newly married with no means of support, except his creative mind, and in debt. Since that time his accomplishments have been extraordinary.

His life may be thought to exemplify a Horatio Alger story, except that Ben did it all by himself. He was bankrupt and starting a new business in 1939 and by 1955 he had retired from business. Also, unlike Alger's heroes, his criterion of success was not to own an important business or earn a huge profit, but rather to give of himself to his community. During one of our talks I was lucky to capture on tape Ben's philosophy of life in his own words:

"I believe that every man in his humble way, in accordance with his abilities must help make this a better world to live in for everybody. Developing your own goodness and extracting whatever values your abilities permit is very worthwhile, but you must also bear in mind that if you continue extracting those values and developing that goodness and do not replace it, you will sooner or later go dry. I, as an immigrant who knows the value of freedom, liberty, equality, and opportunity, know better than many people what it means to be deprived of those things. Therefore, I've always tried to pay society back in whatever my abilities and education permitted for all the kindness and goodness and opportunities I was privileged to enjoy. America is the greatest haven in the world for the oppressed. I cannot express it as well as the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, written--did you know--by Emma Lazarus, a Jew."

Ben is too modest to list all of the activities and organizations that he began or became involved with. When he was given the coveted Chai Award in 1966, however, a partial list was made. It stated that he was a past President of Temple B'nai Israel, former board member of the Jewish Community Center, one of the original organizers of the University of Utah's Model United Nations, past Commander of American Legion Post Number 18, former board member of the United Jewish Council, Chairman of the American Jewish Tercentenary for Utah 1654-1954. He served as Past Chairman of the Israel Bond Committee and the United Jewish Appeal. He was awarded the Purple Heart during his service in the Army in World War I.

He was also President of the 91st Division Association and board member of the Utah Citizens Organization for Civil Rights, the Utah Association for the United Nations, Intermountain Chapter Hemophelia Foundation, University of Utah Judaica Library Board, History Committee of Jews in Utah and Idaho, and the National Committee on American and Israel Public Affairs. In addition, he was treasurer of the American Civil Liberties Union, Regional Vice President of the Z.O.A. [Zionist Organization of America], Shriner-Mason 32nd Degree, and Trustee of Youth Tobacco Advisory Council. He was also a board member of the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Metropolitan Salt Lake Services for the Aging, and, in addition to being a board member, an organizer of the Jewish Community Center, Friends of the University of Utah Libraries, and the Alberta Henry Education Foundation.

The above biography was written by James M. Rock, associate professor of economics, University of Utah.

Content Description

The Benjamin M. Roe papers (1905-1974) consist of the personal and professional papers of Roe, an immigrant from Russia and Salt Lake City businessman and philanthropist. A limited amount of personal material is in the Benjamin M. Roe collection. Included in this portion are travel itineraries and a brief travel diary from a European trip. Travel memorabilia, including post cards and travel guides, have been filed with the travel diary. Other personal materials such as certificates and gift cards are also included. A file of newspaper clippings concerning Benjamin Roe contains little biographical information but gives a representative view of his community involvement. Newsclippings and other items dealing with Benjamin M. Roe's son Michael and the senior Roe's clothing store, Lord's, are filed with the personal material.

Evidence of Roe's philanthropic activities in the community and the nation is contained in five boxes of correspondence with related materials concerning his monetary and personal contributions. These materials have been alphabetically arranged by organization. There is some correspondence with individual author headings interfiled with the organizations because they were in some way related to Roe's contributions or community activities.

The B'nai Israel Temple records comprise an important part of the collection and a significant addition to Utah Jewish records. There are minutes of monthly meetings from 1926 to 1957, although the file is incomplete; correspondence concerned with temple business; membership lists; and financial reports. The B'nai Israel Cemetery Association account books date from 1905 to 1943 and correspondence and business records to 1957. The Sisterhood monthly minutes are from 1911 to 1944. Other financial records to 1966 are included.

Research material by Leon L. Watters for his book Pioneer Jews of Utah was turned over to Roe to assist in the writing of a history of the Jews in Utah and Idaho. These research materials include biographical sketches of early Utah Jews, notes on the history of the Jews in various occupations, and situations in pioneer Utah and Idaho. The five drafts and revisions of Watters's book are part of this section. In 1966, Juanita Brooks was commissioned by members of the Jewish community, primarily Myrtle Friedman, to write a history of the Utah and Idaho Jews which resulted in the publication in 1973 of the History of the Jews in Utah and Idaho. Correspondence concerning the controversy which developed concerning this volume and research materials for the book are filed together.

The subject file contains materials, arranged alphabetically, about Jewish activities in the state and nation including publications and newsclippings. Also in the box are pamphlets about ZCMI and Utah fraternal orders.

Books in the collection range from a booklet with maps about the movements of the Ninety-first Division in World War I, published in 1944, to The Book of Life in Hebrew and English, published in 1847. Thirteen of the books deal with the Jewish religion and are written in Hebrew, German, English, or a combination of two of these languages.

Research notes and rough draft of the autobiography of Ben Roe, edited by James M. Rock, constitute the last of this collection.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Twenty-four hours advance notice encouraged. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Organized in the following series: I. Personal material. I. Organizations. III. B'nai Israel Temple. IV. Pioneer Jews of Utah. V. History of Jews in Utah and Idaho. VI. Miscellanea; thereunder arranged alphabetically by topic or correspondent.

Acquisition Information :  

Gift of Mr. Roe in 1974.

Separated Materials :  

Photographs were transferred to the Multimedia Division of Special Collections (P0139).

Processing Note :  

Processed by Della L. Dye in 1977.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Personal Material
1 Personal Material
1A Letters Written in Hebrew & Yiddish
1B Travel--Itinerary and Diary
Itinerary for visit to Mediterranean countries and Israel. Gives flight and hotel information as well as tour. Diary of European trip. Gives brief impressions of daily happenings--includes England, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and France.
2 Travel--Guide Books
Guide to the Museum of Ancient Corinth, Athens, Greece. Guide and information on the Jewish Synagogue of Florence, Italy.
3 Travel--Postcards
Toledo, Spain, synagogues and churches (set). Old Acre, Israel (set). Ayelet Hashahar, a kibutz in Israel (set). Single card of picture by L. Schwerin called "In the Mountains of Galilee."
4 Travel--Memorabilia
Pin "Remember" in a folder. Written in Hebrew the explanation states the pin is for mourning those Jews who died in the holocaust in Nazi Germany. Booklet of poetry in German, Gedanken, by Nella Bohar Juda. Commemorates the deaths of Jews in World War II. Given to the Roes by a refugee from Nazi Germany in an old people's home in Venice, Italy.
5 Personal Memorabilia, Certificates
Two handpaintings of rugs made at St. Christopher's Mission to the Navajo, 1964, 1965. B'nai B'rith Twenty-five Year Silver Honor Certificate from B. F. Peixotto Lodge number 421, Salt Lake City, Utah. Copy of a certificate entering Roe's godson, Joshua Louis Stillman into the covenant of Abraham. Honorary Fishing Degree given to Roe by the Bassetts of Granite Ranch.
6 Certificates of Gifts to the B'nai B'rith Women's Children's Home in B'ait V'agn, Israel
Gift given by "Gail, Michael, David and Julie" in honor of the Roes' anniversaries and Benjamin M. Roe's seventieth birthday.
7-8 Roe, Benjamin M.
Newspaper clippings. Notes from Bancroft Library about people with the family name of Watters. Funeral service program for Henry Yoshihiko Kasai.
9 Roe, Michael
Bank book with note explaining how Benjamin M. Roe went broke. He paid all his creditors but had to borrow $50.00 from his son to pay the rent. WMAL Radio-New York. News release about hiring Michael Roe as an account executive in 1967. Father's Day Telegram. Anniversary notes written to mother and father as a child. Essay on combatting communism. Essay on Israel and its development. Michael Roe's speech given at his Bar Mitsvah.
10 Roe Family Members
Newspaper clippings.
11-12 Lord's women's clothing store owned by Benjamin M. Roe
Articles of Incorporation. Newspaper clippings.

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II. Organizations and People
2 Organizations and People--Alberta Henry Education Foundation-Israel
1 Alberta Henry Education Foundation, Correspondence
Letters that explain the foundation and its basis, thank you letters from students who have received assistance, letters of contribution, and business meeting announcements.
2 Alberta Henry Education Foundation, Correspondence
Letters from students expressing thanks for financial assistance, letters from schools with lists of students needing aid, and letters seeking and giving contributions.
3 Alberta Henry Education Foundation, Articles of Incorporation
Some meeting minutes and memoranda; lists of members on the governing board; list of questions and answers about the Foundation; financial report; and draft of a letter asking for contributions.
4 Alberta Henry Education Foundation
5 American Cancer Society Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his contributions.
6 American Christian Palestine Committee Correspondence, news releases
Press release about Christian leaders leaving New York to study Middle East problems; and letter seeking financial assistance for Jewish study in Israel.
1951; 1960
7 American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, Correspondence
Letters requesting contributions.
1951; 1954
8 American Friends of the Hewbrew University Correspondence
Letters about contributions.
9 American Humanist Association and Humanist Institute of San Francisco Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for contributions and seeking continued support.
10 American Jewish Archives Correspondence
Letters concerning copying the papers of Leon L. Watters.
11 American Palestine Trading Corporation (AmPal) Correspondence
Letters about company business and profits; Roe was a stockholder.
12 American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his contributions.
13 Ballet West Correspondence
Thank you letters for Roe's contributions.
14 B'nai B'rith Correspondence
Letters asking for contributions and thanking Roe for his support.
15 B'nai B'rith--B. F. Peixotto Lodge No. 421, Salt Lake City
Program of Sixteenth Annual Convention and Seventy-fifth Anniversary, Diamond Jubilee.
1923; 1967
16 B'nai B'rith--Chai Award Correspondence, Notes
Letters informing Roe that he was the recipient of the Chai Award for service in behalf of Israel and community leadership. Congratulatory letters and telegrams, Roe's thank you for the congratulatory letters, and list of people attending the dinner.
17 B'nai B'rith--Chai Award
Programs and speeches.
18 Brandeis University Correspondence
Letters to Louis C. Zucker and Roe about the school and thanking them for contributions.
19 Brigham Young University Correspondence
Letters about the establishment of a Judaica Library at the university, and thank you letters for contributions.
20 Brigham Young University Friends of the Library
Publications--A Letter from Brigham Young and Daniel H. Wells . . ., 1857, 1963; The San Bernardino Broadside, [1968]; A Pardon From Abraham Lincoln, 1970.
21 Children's Center, Salt Lake City Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his contributions, and one making him a member of the advisory board.
22 Christian Churches Correspondence
Letters to and from Salt Lake area Christian churches about contributions and letters about Israel's tenth anniversary celebration in 1958.
23 Civil Liberties Union, American and Utah Correspondence
Letters about union matters to Roe as treasurer; program about the Justice Douglas Dinner, 1971; and letters concerned with the Citizens for Decent Literature League.
24 Community Drug Crisis Center Correspondence
Letters expressing thanks for Roe's contributions.
1972; 1973
25 Conn, Harold M. Correspondence
Letters about Conn's gift to Roe of an 1852 map of the western United States published in Germany which was then given to the University of Utah Library, Special Collections Department.
26-30 Congregation B'nai Israel Correspondence
Includes Roe's letter of resignation from the congregation.
31 Congregation Montefiore Correspondence 1959-1971
32 Development Fund for American Judaism Correspondence
Letters expressing thanks for contributions.
33 Easter Seal Society and Utah Society for Crippled Children and Adults Correspondence
Thank you letters for Roe's contributions.
34 Eastern Star Home Fund Correspondence
Contribution thank you letters.
35 Friedman, Maury Correspondence
Personal letters to Roe about Friedman's current life in the United States Army.
36 First Unitarian Society (Church) Correspondence
Thank you letters for contributions.
37 Glasser, Joseph B. (Rabbi) Correspondence
Letters about promoting the development fund drive for the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
38 Israel Embassy and Consulate Correspondence
Thank you letters for hospitality to Roe and personal, friendly letters.
3 Organizations and People--James L. White Jewish Community Center
1 Correspondence
Letters about governing the Center and appreciation for Roe's role in the Center and community.
2 Donation Collection Committee Correspondence
Letters seeking contributions or payments of pledges, letters and notes within the committee discussing how best to collect money.
3 Donations and Financial Statements
Lists of donations made and amounts paid or owing on pledges to the Center.
4 Warranty Deed
Carbon Copy of the deed for the Center.
5 Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws
6 Policies
Note about official holidays when the Center would be closed, regulations related to personnel committee hiring policies (Roe was a member of the personnel committee).
7 Architect and Sculptor Reports
Reports on the progress of building the Center and its decoration, report from the sculptor, Alfred Van Loen, of New York, about his plans for the Center. (Included in the Photograph Collection are pictures of Mr. Van Loen and some of his work.)
8 Institutes and Training Programs
Training Program Manual for the United Jewish Council of Salt Lake City, 1956. Program for Community Center Board Training Institute, 1958.
1956; 1958
9 Cornerstone Ceremonies
Speeches and remarks, list of contents of the cornerstone.
10 Dedication Program 1959
11 Board Meeting Minutes 1959-1961
12 Membership Lists, Committee Rosters
Lists of members and dues, pledges owing, and lists of committee members.
13 Awards
Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award presented to Sari White for her service on behalf of Israel, 1968. Program and list of guests at a dinner in her honor. (The medallion presented to Mrs. White is in Box 18, Folder 2.) Scroll of Honor from the Jewish Community Center to Benjamin M. Roe for his support.
4 Organizations and People--Jaffe, Maurice A.-United Nations, Utah Association for
1 Jaffe, Maurice A. Correspondence
Letters about the development of Hechal Shlomo in Israel and contributions to the cause.
2 Jewish (American) Committees and Societies Correspondence
Letters from a variety of Jewish committees and societies seeking participation or support from Roe and the Salt Lake Jewish community.
3 Jewish Publication Society of America Correspondence
Book orders by Roe.
4 Law Day Liberty Bell Award Correspondence
Letters about the award and nomination procedures, nomination of Roe, and a letter from Roe expressing his thanks for the nomination even though he did not receive the award.
5 League of Women Voters of Salt Lake City Correspondence
Letters soliciting financial support and thanking Roe for his contributions.
6-7 Metropolitan Salt Lake Council on Aging Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his financial support. Report, June 1971, mentioning Roe's contribution. Newsletter, December 1971. Trust Agreement (rough draft), 1972.
8 Moss, Frank Correspondence
Letters between Roe and Moss, including notification from Moss that he had nominated Roe to the Utah State Advisory Committee for Civil Rights; general political correspondence; and appreciation for campaign contributions.
9 Moulton, Arthur (Bishop) Correspondence
Personal greetings for New Year.
10 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Correspondence
Membership card, letters expressing thanks for contributions.
1957; 1959; 1964
11-12 National Conference of Christians and Jews, Inc. Correspondence
Letters soliciting contributions and thanking Roe for his contributions and assistance with the Annual Brotherhood Dinners. Programs for the Second, Third, and Fourth Annual Brotherhood Dinners.
13 National Hemophilia Foundation Correspondence
Letters soliciting and thanking Roe for his contributions.
14 National Jewish Hospital at Denver Correspondence
Letters soliciting and thanking Roe for his contributions.
15 Near East Report Correspondence
Letters about increasing the number of subscribers to the Report, a Washington, D.C., newsletter on United States foreign policy.
1967; 1970
16 Neighborhood House--Building Project
Pamphlet, report, and note, 1966-1967. Information about the House; annual report, 1966; and a note to the Roes thanking them for their support.
17 Odyssey House Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his contributions and service on the Advisory Board; "Get Well" card to Roe from Odyssey House.
18 Rampton, Calvin L. Correspondence
Letters seeking contributions, invitations to formal fundraising dinners, thank you letters for contributions.
19 Rosenblatt, Joseph Correspondence
Letters between Roe and Rosenblatt about the Jewish Tercentenary project and other Jewish community happenings, personal correspondence.
20-21 Rosenfield, Samuel--Scholarship Fund Correspondence
Letters between Roe and recipients of the scholarship loans concerning repayment. Letters between Roe and the National Committee for Labor Israel, Inc., about turning over the remaining money from the Rosenfield Scholarship to be used for scholarships in Israel.
22 Silverman, Saul Correspondence
Letters about beginning a Judaica library collection at Arizona State University; Silverman wanted advice on how Roe handled the project at the University of Utah.
23 State of Israel Bonds Correspondence
Letters about bond drives in the United States and Salt Lake City, letters from the manager of bond drives in Israel offering to assist the Roes on their trip to Israel, and a Certificate of Honor for Roe's participation and contribution in the bond drives.
24 Stillman, Phillip M. Correspondence
Letters between the Jewish Welfare Board, the Salt Lake Jewish Community Center, Stillman, and Roe about bringing Stillman's "profile" up-to-date so that he could transfer to a center outside of Salt Lake, and personal letters between Stillman and Roe.
25 Saint Christopher's Mission to the Navajo and Hat Rock Valley Retreat Center Correspondence
Letters from Helen Sturges and Reverend H. Baxter Liebler thanking Roe for his contributions, also includes reports on progress at the Mission. (Two photographs sent in 1953 of Indian children at the mission are in the Photograph Collection.)
26 Salt Lake Art Center Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his membership and support.
1967; 1969
27 Shapiro, Joshua, and Clara (Nell)
Fiftieth anniversary announcement with picture (1934), and Roe's speech for Nell Shapiro's eightieth birthday.
28 Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children Correspondence
Letters and certificates of appreciation for Roe's contributions.
29 Synagogue Council of America Correspondence
Letters seeking contributions and thanking Roe for his financial support.
30 United Fund Correspondence
Letters about contributions including a list of contributions per employee for some Salt Lake City businesses.
31 United Jewish Appeal Correspondence
Letters soliciting contributions from Roe and the Utah Jewish community, letters thanking Roe for his contributions and support.
32 United Jewish Council and Salt Lake Jewish Welfare Fund Correspondence
Letters about contributions and fund raising affairs for the Welfare Fund--includes two long letters from Maurice Warshaw asking the Jewish community to understand his position about contributions.
33 United Jewish Council and Salt Lake Jewish Welfare Fund
Annual report.
34 United Jewish Council
35-36 United Nations, Utah Association for Correspondence
Letters about contributions, Roe's service on the board and the auditing committee, the Model United Nations program for high school students, and other general business.
5 Organizations and People--United Nations, Utah Association for,-University of Utah
1-2 United Nations, Utah Association for Reports and publicity
President's reports, board member lists, publicity about benefit showing of Is Paris Burning? Programs for the Fifth Annual (1959) and Twentieth Annual (1974) Model United Nations Assembly at the University of Utah; program of Friendship Dinner sponsored by the Maurice Warshaw family, the Utah United Nations, and UNICEF.
3 United Nations, American Association for Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his support and contributions.
4 United Negro College Fund Correspondence
Thank you letters for contributions.
5 United Services for New Americans Correspondence
Letters seeking to have refugee Jewish families settled in Salt Lake City.
6 United States Department of State Correspondence
Letter and program about the Regional Foreign Policy Conference.
7 United World Federalists Correspondence
Letters requesting Roe join and support the organization.
8-17 University of Utah Judaica Library
Letters to and from Roe about contributions to the Judaica Library fund, these include letters to Roe thanking him for his financial support and informing him of recent purchases and the amount of money in the fund. There are also thank you letters from Roe to people who have also contributed money to the fund. Letters about Myrtle Friedman's gift of $15,000 to the Judaica Library fund earmarked to have a history of the Jews in Utah and Idaho written--includes a letter from Mrs. Leon L. Watters and a reply regarding the fact her husband's work Pioneer Jews of Utah seemed to have been overlooked. Letters from University of Utah presidents, including LeRoy E. Cowles, Albert Ray Olpin, and James Chipman Fletcher, to Roe thanking him for his continued support of the University and the Judaica Library. Lists of contributions and contributors. Contributions name lists with pledge amounts. Publicity and newsclippings. Information brochure.
18 University of Utah Middle East Center Correspondence
Letters about the Middle East Center, the Hebraic program, and contributions to the program.
19 University of Utah Friends of the Library Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his contributions and service on the Board of Directors as well as general business correspondence.
20 University of Utah--Joseph Ginat Correspondence
Letters concerning a study grant for work in Israel to Joseph Ginat of the Department of Anthropology.
21 University of Utah Medical School Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his contributions.
22 University of Utah Extension Division Correspondence
Letters about Roe's support of the University of Utah sponsored Model United Nations.
23 University of Utah Western Americana Library Correspondence
Letters from Everett L. Cooley about Roe's papers and thanking him for his donation of the Mr. and Mrs. Sigmund Helwing papers.
24 University of Utah--Memorial Student Loan Funds Correspondence
Letters about contributions to the Rabbi Alvin S. Luchs and the Joseph H. Dupler student loan funds.
1949; 1968
25 University of Utah Miscellaneous correspondence
Letters about various financial contributions and other assistance as well as a variety of other subjects.
6 Organizations and People--Utah, State of; Zucker, Louis C.; and Miscellaneous
1 Utah, State of Correspondence
Letters about completion of the International Peace Gardens.
2 Utah Association for Mental Health Correspondence
Thank you letters for contributions made by Roe.
1965; 1974
3 Utah Boys' State Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his sponsorship of one boy at Boys' State.
1952; 1953
4 Utah Society for the Prevention of Blindness Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his contributions.
5 Utah State University Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his contributions to establish a Judaica Library collection.
6 Utah Symphony Orchestra Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for contributions, Friends of the Utah Symphony membership cards.
7-8 Watters, Leon L. Correspondence
Letters about sending Watters's research materials on the Pioneer Jews of Utah to Roe to help in the research of the history of the Jews in Utah and Idaho. Also includes personal correspondence, a University of Utah news release on Watters's death in 1967, and letters from Mrs. Watters.
9 Werkmeister, William H. Correspondence 1944-1950
10-11 Westminster College Correspondence
Letters about contributions for establishment of a Judaica Library collection, including lists of books purchased with the fund.
12 White House Conference on Youth Correspondence
Letters outlining the proposed topics of discussion at the meetings and requesting Roe's support and attendance.
13 Women's American Organization for Rehabilitation through Training Correspondence
Thank you letters for contributions.
14 Yivo Institute for Jewish Research Correspondence
Thank you letters for continued membership-subscriptions.
15 Young Men's Christian Association Correspondence
Letters thanking Roe for his contributions to the camp building fund.
16 Youth Tobacco Advisory Council Publicity, newsletters
Information about the Council and pamphlets about smoking. Roe served on the Council.
17 Zionist Organization of America Correspondence
Letters about contributions, growth of the movement, and general business of the group.
18 Zogry, Arnold Correspondence
Letters about establishment of a public adminstration service--Roe's connection is unclear.
19-20 Zucker, Louis C. Correspondence
Letters from Zucker about progress on the University of Utah Judaica Library, Jewish community matters, and personal letters. Israel's 1969 State of Israel Bond Award Program at which Zucker was given the award for service to the community and the Jewish state.
21-28 Miscellaneous Correspondence
Contributions to political campaigns. Contributions to universities. Congratulations and appreciation to Roe. Letters thanking Roe for contributions or assistance from a variety of organizations. Congratulations and appreciation from Roe. Letters to friends thanking them for services or congratulating them on awards. Contribution requests and acceptances. Letters about contributions but not clear about what group or organization the donation is for. Invitations and visitor schedules. Personal and family letters.

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III. B'nai Israel Temple Records
7 B'nai Israel Temple Records
1 American Jewish Archives Correspondence
Letters from the Congregation B'nai Israel requesting photostats of early minutes of the congregation for use in the Diamond Jubilee Celebration.
2 Brandeis University Correspondence and publicity
Letters and publicity flyers about the establishment of the Jewish university and the visit of Dr. Sachar to Salt Lake City to raise support for the school.
1948, 1951
3 Central Conference of American Rabbis Correspondence
Form letters to the congregations asking them to contribute money to send their rabbi to the annual convention. Form letters to the congregations asking them to contribute money to send their rabbi to the annual convention.
4-6 Combined Campaign for American Reform Judaism Correspondence
Letters about the campaign fund raising drives in Salt Lake City and urging the congregation leaders to participate. The funds were to be used for the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Reports to leaders. Newsletters reporting the activities and progress of the campaign.
7 Congregation Montefiore Correspondence
Letter thanking B'nai Israel for allowing Rabbi Podet to perform ceremonies while their own Rabbi Cardon was unable to do so, congratulatory telegram to B'nai Israel.
8 National Fund Raising Services Correspondence
Letters testifying to the ability of this service to assist groups in raising money.
9 National Jewish Welfare Board Correspondence
Letters from Sam Kohs about possible new rabbis for the temple.
10 Rabbinical Placement Committee Correspondence
Letters from the committee and Rabbi Nathan A. Perilman about finding a new rabbi for the temple.
11 Rabbi Alvin S. Luchs Correspondence
Resignation as acting rabbi under strained circumstances not clearly defined.
12 Rabbi Adolph A. Fink Correspondence
Letters about payment of the rabbi's expenses and about his illness and death which includes a letter written to him a year after his death.
13 Rabbi Mordecai Podet Correspondence
Accepted as the new rabbi following the death of Rabbi Fink, these are letters about his application, acceptance, and installation, and a letter to his congregation leaders asking his salary be made commensurate with fellow rabbis.
14 Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch Correspondence
Letters about having Rabbi Hirsch preside over Passover services while the congregation is still looking for a new rabbi.
15 Rabbi Morton E. Kaufman Correspondence
Letters arranging for Rabbi Kaufman to preside for High Holidays.
16-22 Rabbi Applications Corrrespondence
Letters inquiring about the position as rabbi with the B'nai Israel Temple from Rabbis Harry Caplan, Sidney I. Goldstein, M. M. Landau, Arthur B. Lebowitz, Moshe M. Maggal, Israel Renov, and Sholom Stern.
23 Rabbis Biographical sketches
Biographical notes and references for Rabbis Angel, Henry E. Barneis, Benjamin L. Marcus, Avery J. Grossfield, J. Marshall Taxay, and Sidney Strome, who were seeking the position as rabbi of B'nai Israel Temple.1954. Biographical notes and references for Rabbis Angel, Henry E. Barneis, Benjamin L. Marcus, Avery J. Grossfield, J. Marshall Taxay, and Sidney Strome, who were seeking the position as rabbi of B'nai Israel Temple.
24 Rabbi List
List of American rabbis who died between September 10, 1953, and September 27, 1954.
25 Temple Brotherhood and Temple Men's Club Correspondence
Form letters about formation of the Brotherhood and meetings, and a letter requesting payment of national dues.
26 Temple Brotherhood and Temple Men's Club Membership Lists and Meeting Minutes 1947-1949
27 National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods (Jewish Chautaugua Society) Correspondence
Letters about national dues and contributions.
28-31 Union of American Hebrew Congregations Correspondence
Form letters about annual conventions or other general business, includes some letters about temporary replacements for Rabbi Fink during his illness. Minutes, newsletters, reports. Reports and amendments to the constitution and bylaws adopted by the Forty-Fourth General Assembly, newsletters, and article titled "Why Ministers are Breaking Down."
32-33 Miscellaneous Correspondence
Letters from individuals and some Jewish societies and groups about community business. There are thank you letters for a variety of actions taken by the temple.
34 Invitations to Join the Congregation 1953-1956
35 Resignations from the Congregation 1953; 1956
36 Congregation Membership Correspondence, reports
Letters about membership and a report on regulations governing the complimentary one year membership for newly married couples.
37 Membership Lists
Lists of B'nai Israel Temple members and non-members with some dues records.
38 Board Membership
Lists of Board of Trustees members and temple memberships.
39 Committees
Lists of committees and memberships.
40 Congregation Business Correspondence
Letters about the new temple building and regulations regarding the use of the building. General notices of meetings and religious services.
41 Contributions Correspondence
Letters from the temple board soliciting contributions, and letters sending in contributions from people such as Beatrice Auerbach, Leon L. Watters, and Sol J. Selvin.
42 Dues Correspondence
Letters to temple members requesting payment of dues, and letters remitting dues.
43 Dues and Pledge Accountings
Lists of dues and pledges paid and outstanding.
8 B'nai Israel Temple Records
1 Minute Book and Business Records
Bound volume which includes minutes, some correspondence, and financial records.
2-9 Meeting Minutes
Minutes of the monthly meeting of the temple Board of Trustees and yearly meetings of the congregation to discuss business and religious matters including the controversy over the resignation of Rabbi Luchs--run incomplete.
10 Temple Building and Remodeling Correspondence, and reports
Letters that include bids for building repair and maintenance work on the temple--includes committee reports on the feasibility of certain work.
11 Bylaws, Reports
Congreation bylaws with additions, report from the United American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis outlining procedures in rabbinical-congregational relationships in 1956, and a report from the B'nai Israel Ritual and Pulpit Committee with suggestions on enhancing services.
12 Budgets
Tentative budgets based on estimated income and expenses.
13 Receipts and Disbursements
Final yearly expenses and accounts.
14 Balance Sheets
Yearly listings of assets and liabilities including cash, stocks and bonds, real estate, and accounts payable--included on some are statements of membership loss and gain. Cemetery Association records are included on some of these sheets.
15 Bank Statements 1948-1952
16 Legal Agreements
Mortgage extension, 1957; endowment trust to further religious aims, 1964; and probate records for Nellie G. Lewis, 1954.
17 Programs and Invitations
For religious activities such as ordination and confirmation as well as congregation programs.
18 Speeches and Speech Notes
Speeches and notes made by Roe, Milton Rosen, and unidentified speakers.
19 Miscellaneous Records
Included are suggestions for increasing temple revenue, songs for Purim, text of interview of Roe, unidentified name list, and minutes of the Northern California Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations for 1957.
20 Newsclippings 1953-1954
9 B'nai Israel Cemetery Association
1 Correspondence
Letters about cemetery maintenance including a letter of complaint about the caretaker.
2 Leon L. Watters
Trust agreement setting up a fund in perpetuity for care of the Watters family graves. Correspondence about the care being given.
1928; 1951
3 Quit Claim Deed
Land for the cemetery.
4 Budgets
Tentative budgets based on anticipated income and expenses.
5 Receipts and Disbursements
Final yearly budgets and accounts.
6 Balance Sheets, Pledges, Miscellaneous
Includes yearly listings of assets and liabilities, list of pledges paid and owing, remarks made at a cemetery meeting, and business card from Peterson Monument Company.
7 Account Book
Lists of names and payments for cemetery care.
8 Business Records
Loose-leaf folder which includes meeting minutes, agreements for cemetery care, and financial records.
10 B'nai Israel Sisterhood
1-3 Meeting Minutes 1911-1929
1-12 Meeting Minutes
Minutes are monthly, but are incomplete for some years.
13 National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods Correspondence
Form letters about dues, contributions, items of general interest, and greetings.
14 Miscellaneous Correspondence
Letters about membership conditions and to Mrs. Alvin S. Luchs.
1937; 1944-1945
15 Annual Reports 1933-1944
16 Membership and Committee Lists
17 Membership Records and Dues Lists
Account sheets for each member.
18 Miscellaneous and Unidentified Name Lists
19 Financial Reports 1932-1966
20 Financial Records
Check stubs.
21 Yearbooks 1932-1934
22 Reports and Speeches
23 Programs, Cards, and Publicity
Includes a booklet on adult education in Judaism.

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IV. The Pioneer Jews Of Utah, by Leon L. Watters
11 Pioneer Jews of Utah--Biographical Notes and Sketches
1-34 Notes and Sketches of Prominent Utah Jews
Researched for Pioneer Jews of Utah, the sketches include Sam Aaron; Frederick and Samuel Auerbach; Simon Bamberger; Julius Brooks and family; Solomon Nunes Carvalho (including a manuscript about him written by Leon L. Watters and Levi Edgar Young); Cohn family; Ellis family; Joseph D. Farmer; Moritz Friedman; Gumpert N. Goldberg; Hirschman family; Samuel, Emmanuel, and Louis Kahn; Louis Kolitz; N. S. Krouse: Adam and Abraham Kuhn; Isidore Marks; Meyer family; Jacob Moritz; Isadore Morris; Moses Caspar Phillips; F. Charles Popper; Nicholas Sigfried and Eli Ransohoff; Louis Reggel; Joseph Rosenberg; Siegel family; Nat and Aaron Stein: Morris Stiefel; and Samuel Symons. There is also some biographical information contained in the correspondence filed by name.
12 Pioneer Jews of Utah--Manuscript Drafts
1-3 Drafts of the Book
Includes two 1950 versions originally titled, "Early Jews in Utah," and a 1951 revision that contains material not found in the published volume.
1950; 1951
13 Pioneer Jews of Utah--Manuscript Drafts
1 Draft with Revisions 1951
2 Manuscript as Revised for Publication 1952
14 Pioneer Jews of Utah--Research Materials, Notes
1-2 Notebooks Concerning Jews of Utah
The material in the notebooks was collected over a period of years from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Library in Salt Lake City; Huntington Library; Bancroft Library; American Jewish Archives; New York Public Library; and other sources. Much of the material collected was not included in the published volume.
1-2 Notebooks on Utah Jews
Includes handwritten copies of articles from early Salt Lake City newspapers.
15 Pioneer Jews of Utah--Research Materials, Notes
1 American Jewish Archives
Articles in Hebrew, French, German, and English copied for research.
2-3 Congregation B'nai Israel
Religious activities 1860s to 1899, typescript draft. History and records. Includes lists of officers and chronology of people connected with services, chronology of the congregation history, copy of articles of incorporation, and general notes on history.
4 Congregations Montefiore, Shaarey Tzedek, and B'rith Sholem (Ogden)
History notes and list of rabbis, includes some general notes on Jews in Utah.
5 "The Early Jews of Utah," by Leon L. Watters
Typescript of article or preliminary chapter of his book.
6 "The Jews of Salt Lake City--Our Background," by Louis C. Zucker
Copy of an article.
7 Jews--Rabbis in Utah
List with dates of service.
8-16 Jews in Utah
Notes on history of Jews in Utah divided by subjects. Includes Jews in Prominent Utah Positions; Business and Businessmen; Grocers on "Market Row"; Jewish Soldiers and Fort Douglas; Name Lists from the Salt Lake City Directories; "Schnorrers" or Jewish Beggars in Utah; Notes About the First Marriage, First Child, and Other Jewish "Firsts"; and Notes about Jews Who Became Mormons. These are, for the most part, typewritten slips glued to full sheets in subject areas for use in the book "Pioneer Jews of Utah, also some more formally written pages that may have served as chapter preliminaries.
17 National Archives File No. 784
List of contents of that file concerning Jews.
18 Utah--Clarion, Jewish Colony
Research notes and articles on the colony and a letter (1950) from the Jewish Agriculture Society about the material on Clarion in their files.
19 Utah--Corinne
Notes on the history of Corinne and the Jewish people there.
20-29 Utah
Notes about early Utah events and organizations as they relate to the Jewish population. These notes are typewritten slips pasted to full sheets and organized by subject matter. They include Crime and Criminals; Hebrew Benevolent Association; Liberal Institute and Independence Hall; Mining; Newspapers (including a Salt Lake Tribune catalogue); Transportation and Communication; Western Travel Routes; Young Men's Literary Association; Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution; and Zion (as related to Jewish and Mormon concepts).
30 Fraternal Orders
Masons and International Order of Odd Fellows. Notes on history and Jewish involvement.
31 Virginia City, Nevada
Notes on history.

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V. History Of The Jews In Utah And Idaho, by Juanita Brooks
16 History of the Jews in Utah and Idaho, by Juanita Brooks
1 Kohs, Sam C. Correspondence
Letters about the project of writing a history of the Jews in Utah. The letters offer preliminary plans for budgeting and controlling the project and suggestions about its writing and content, also a recommendation as to the author.
2 Correspondence
Letters between Juanita Brooks, Roe, Louis C. Zucker, Myrtle Friedman, Sterling McMurrin, and Frank Diston (of Tracy Collins Bank and Trust) about the book. Much of the correspondence concerns a controversy about time and money expended on the book and Zucker's desire to rework parts of the Brooks manuscript.
3-4 Research Materials
Name lists. Lists of Jews in Utah from the American Jewish Yearbook, list of early Jewish Utah doctors, 1948 membership of B'nai Israel Temple Men's Club, list of deaths in the Congregation B'nai Israel between 1922-1954, deaths in Congregation Shaarey Tzedek between 1926-1954, deaths in Congregation Montefiore between 1922-1954, and lists of rabbis for these three congregations.Articles about Jewish religious concepts, Jewish colonization in Utah, and music.
5 Drafts
Drafts of the final chapter, acknowledgements, prologue, and lists of pictures and captions.
6 Page Proofs
Proofs of the appendix with corrections.

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VII. Miscellaneous
17 Subject File
1 American Jewish Archives
Publicity pamphlet about the development of the archives.
2 American Jewish Tercentenary
Proclamation by Govenor J. Bracken Lee. Roe's acceptance speech, 1955 for the Utah Symphony Orchestra tribute (written in Hebrew). Four letters thanking the Jewish community and the Utah Symphony for its musical tribute to Israel. Program of the Symphony's salute. Pamphlet by Bertram W. Korn describing how to plan a community history project for commemoration of the Tercentenary.
3 Auerbach Company
Anniversary books.
1939; 1944
4 Auerbach and Friedman
Newsclippings, articles, and obituaries on the Auerbach and Friedman families.
5 Bamberger and Cohn
Obituaries on the Bamberger family and Alexander Cohn.
6-7 Clarion, Utah
Manuscript on the history of Jewish colonization in Utah. "Clarion: Jewish Community in 'Zion,'" Dr. Everett L. Cooley, Utah Historical Quarterly.
8 International Order of Odd Fellows
Twenty-fifth Anniversary program with a history of the Utah Lodge No. 1 of Salt Lake City.
9 Jews in Utah--Newspaper Clippings
Including clippings on B'nai Israel and the American Jewish Tercentenary.
10 Jewish Publication--By Jacob R. Marcus or Herbert C. Zafren
Jews in American Life, Jacob R. Marcus (New York: The American Jewish Committee, N.D.). How to Write the History of an American Jewish Community, Jacob R. Marcus (Cincinnati: American Jewish Archives, 1953). Jewish Newspapers and Periodicals on Microfilm Available at the American Jewish Periodical Center, Herbert C. Zafren, First Supplement (Cincinnati: American Jewish Periodical Center, 1960). The Jew and the American Revolution, Jacob R. Marcus (Cincinnati: American Jewish Archives, 1974).
11 Jewish Publications--Miscellaneous Articles
"The Russian and His Jew," Poultney Bigelow, Harper's Monthly Magazine (March, 1894). What is Reform Judaism? Solomon B. Freehof, Popular Studies in Judaism No. 27 (Cincinnati: The Tract Commission). Jews in America, by the editors of Fortune ([New York:] Time-Fortune Corporation).
12 Jewish Publications--Newsletters, Bulletins
Includes the Hebrew Union College Bulletin, B.I.G. News, and Report, published by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
13 Masons--St. John Lodge No. 18, Pioche, Nevada Correspondence
To Roe about dues.
14 Masons--Educational Bulletins
History of Utah's first and second lodges.
15 Ninety-first Division Association, Mountain Sector (World War I)
Army picture from newsclipping of Roe. Reunion program, 1966, with Roe's remarks. Playlet about the Ninety-first Division. Newsclipping about Ninety-first Division, 362nd Regiment Reunion in 1968.
1966; 1968
16 Nottingham Hill, England, Race Riot
Correspondence and clippings about the riot. Included is the judge's address to the prisoners about human rights and relations.
17 Salt Lake City Directory
Newsclippings about the directory of 1867.
18 Trans-Pacific Air Mail (China Clipper)
Letters to Salt Lake Mayor Louis Marcus from Hawaii and the Philippines. (Envelopes with the stamp cancellations from the first trans-Pacific airmail flight in 1935 are in the safe.)
19 Zion's Co-operative Mercantile Institution
Fifty-fifth Anniversary book.
18 Books
Because of the age and condition of these books, they have not been marked with numbers, only identified by title. The books are written in German, Hebrew, English, or a combination of two of these languages.Hagada-Erzahlung von Israel Auszug aus Aegupten, Wein, 1896 (Hebrew and German).Festgebete der Israeliten fur das Ganze Jahr, 1859 (Hebrew and German). Engraved "G. Meyer." Two copies with the same title, but they have different texts.Poesie, 1884 (German). Appears to be an autograph book.Gebetbuch (Hebrew and German). Engraved "Rosa Meyer, geb. Auerback, geb. d. 15 Januar 1831." Appears to be a prayer book.The Book of Life, translated by B. H. Ascher. London: Meldola, Cahn and Company, 1847 (Hebrew and English).Kochbuch fur Israelitische Frauen, von Rebesse Wolf. Berlin, 1884 (German).Ueber Aetzungen mit Chromsaure, Wurzburg, 1888 (German).The Book of Daily Prayers for Every Day in the Year, Isaac Leeser. Philadelphia: C. Shirman, 1848 (Hebrew and English).Form of Prayers for the Feast of Passover, 3d ed. New York: L. H. Frank, 1866 (Hebrew and English).Gebete der Israeliten, von Dr. M. Letteris. Prag, 1865 (Hebrew and German).Hymns and Prayers, Isaac M. Wise et al. Cincinnati and Chicago: Bloch Publishing and Printing Company, 1890 (English and German).Hours of Devotion, M. Mayer, 5th ed. Cincinnati: Bloch Publishing and Printing Company, 1866 (English).
19 Microfilm, Artifacts
1-3 Microfilm of B'nai Israel Temple Records and Leon L. Watters's Pioneer Jews of Utah Notes and Research
1 Listing of Contents of Microfilm Rolls
1 James L. White--Plaque for Restoration of Touro Synagogue
2 Sari White--Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award for State of Israel Bonds (medallion)
3 B'nai Israel Temple--Rubber Stamp "Temple Brotherhood"
20 Benjamin M. Roe Autobiography, Edited by James M. Rock
1-2 Research Notes and Rough Draft of the Autobiography of Benjamin M. Roe

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  • Personal Names :
  • Watters, Leon Laizer, b. 1877. Pioneer Jews of Utah--Manuscripts
  • Corporate Names :
  • B'nai Israel Congregation (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • B'nai Israel Temple (Salt Lake City, Utah)--Records
  • Congregation Montefiore (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • James L. White Jewish Community Center
  • Subject Terms :
  • Jews--Synagogues--Utah
  • Jews--Utah--Sources

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