The Archives Department


From its founding in 1918 until 1969, the Women’s League’s office was located at the Jewish Theological Seminary (3080 Broadway, New York, NY).  In 1969 the organization purchased the Jewish Braille Institute Building at 48 E. 74th Street.  The basement of this 5-story townhouse housed archival materials collected over the decades.  Unfortunately, on January 11, 1986, a broken water pipe flooded the basement and entire first floor of the 74th Street office.  Much of what had been collected was destroyed.  The surviving material was stored in a closet on the 4th floor.  


Selma Weintraub, international president at the time of the flood (1982-1986), was always interested in preserving the past for use in the future.  During the 1990’s Selma turned her interest into action and began to collect and organize the materials.  The major focus of her work began in 2001 after Women’s League sold the townhouse on East 74th Street  and moved to Suite 820 of the Interchurch Building at 475 Riverside Drive.  The suite was large enough to have a room wholly dedicated to housing our archival material.


From 2001 to 2007, Selma and her committee spent hundreds of hours organizing and collecting Women’s League publications, minutes, letters, materials, and records and storing them in boxes and folders specifically created to protect the material.  They catalogued thousands of pictures noting the date, occasion and persons pictured.  Selma made sure our history was preserved.  She also developed and presented a workshop to assist sisterhoods and branches as they collect and organize their archives.  


Having a room to store the archives resulted in the continued growth of the collection.  As the years passed, it became more and more difficult to keep it all catalogued and organized and to make it sure it was accessible to our members as well as researchers and the interested public.


Cory Schneider, international president from 2006-2010, was appointed archives chair in 2020.  Not able to work on the archives in the office due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Cory focused efforts on creating a series of Zoom presentations, “How to Live Forever”,  on personal and organizational archiving.  She also researched how to make Women’s League’s archives more available.  Aa a result, a motion was approved by the Women’s League Board of Directors to permanently loan the archives to the Jewish Theological Seminary.  The transfer of physical archives occurred by June, 2022, prior to Women’s League moving its offices to the Fourth Floor at 520 Eighth Ave. The next challenge will be to collect and pass on the electronic archives to JTS as well as collect physical and electronic archives from the Regions.  


Cory Schneider, Archives Chair (2020-2026)

Collecting Archives is an ongoing process.

If you have additions or corrections to any material in the Archives section,

please contact the Women’s League Archives Chair.

Thank you!