About 10,000 pages of documents from the Kheel Center's collection of the International Workers' Order records and the Jewish People’s Fraternal Order have been digitized, thanks to a Cornell Library Arts and Sciences grant in collaboration with Jonathan Boyarin, Mann Professor of Jewish Studies, and Elissa Sampson, visiting scholar and lecturer in the Jewish Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives, and Cornell library's Digital Consulting and Production Services.
The IWO was founded in 1930 as a fraternal organization providing benefits such as health insurance to its members, and its Jewish division, the Jewish People’s Fraternal Order (JPFO), was the second-largest Jewish fraternal organization in the United States. More than 1,700 digitized documents, in English and Yiddish, are organized online into categories including education, Black-Jewish relations, Albert Einstein, women’s work and “World War II Jewish tanks and poems.” Newly digitized documents, which also include anti-Nazi posters and leaflets and a rare 1941 poetry anthology published in Moscow by the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee can now be accessed on Cornell's Digital Collections website.
With support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Kheel Center will digitize and make available online more than 1,600 Collective Bargaining Agreements. For more information, visit our blog.