A Guide to the National Council of Jewish Women, Houston Section, Records, 1963-1965
The Houston Section of the National Council of Jewish Women was active between 1963 and 1965. During this time, the section helped organize a literacy program in Houston, volunteered with a juvenile delinquency rehabilitation program, collected school supplies for children in Israel, supported Civil Rights issues and helped a Jewish Community Center conduct a survey on housing for the aged. They also organized a rummage sale as a fundraiser for the Section.
Known today as the Greater Houston Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, the group is still active in the community, supporting domestic abuse and educational programs. Branches of the section include Career Branch, West Houston Evening Branch, and the Concerned Young Woman Branch. Special Interest groups, including those for reading, art, gourmet dining, and mah jongg, provide members with opportunities for networking and social activity.
The National Council of Jewish Women, parent organization to the Greater Houston Section, "is a volunteer organization that has been at the forefront of social change for over a century. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW courageously takes a progressive stance on issues such as child welfare, women's rights and reproductive freedom."
The records of the National Council of Jewish Women, Houston Section, 1963-1965, reflect a brief period of time during which the group had problems maintaining an active membership and received guidance and support from regional officers (called field representatives and section advisors). The Records are arranged by format, which include correspondence, minutes, newsletters and a report.
The correspondence (1963-1964) provides the majority of the information about the Houston Section during this time, and appears to have been collected by Esther Vexler, one-time President of the San Antonio Section, and Section Advisor to the Houston Section. Vexler wrote, received, or was sent copies of the majority of the correspondence. Correspondents include Felice Rubenstein (President, Houston Section, 1963-1964), Lorraine Sulkin (Field Representative), Norma Levy (President, Houston Section, 1964-1965), Sue Friedman (Houston Section), Sophia Pollack (Field Representative) and Lenore de Keyser (Field Representative). Topics include the assassination of President Kennedy, fundraising efforts, membership retention, and difficulty in organizing and maintaining projects. The correspondence also includes a small amount of information about the Beaumont and Corpus Christi Sections.
The meeting minutes (September 1964- March 1965) provide information about the Section's membership, finances, social events and outreach and fundraising efforts. A report by Lorraine Sulkin (1964), visiting Field Representative, details some of the problems the Section experienced during this time (weak volunteer participation, poor fundraising results) but points to the Section's efforts to recruit membership, election of an almost complete slate of officers, and assistance from regional and national officers as indicators of the Section's potential for success.
This small collection is rounded out with newsletters from Beaumont and Houston (one each), outreach materials, a National Council of Jewish Women fact sheet, and the committee list for the rummage sale.
This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be obtained from University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
National Council of Jewish Women, Houston Section, Records, 1963-1965, MS 85, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
The collection was donated to University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections in 1999.
Processed by Traci JoLeigh Drummond, Archivist, August 2006.
Detailed Description of the Records