United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Photographs

What's online?

The United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Photographs online collection contains images from 1921 through 1988. The images depict activities of the UJF (now the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh) during those years; the settlement of immigrants during the 1920s through the 1980s; senior services and facilities; employment, adoption and family counseling; Pittsburgh Jewish schools; and dialogue between the Jewish and African American communities of Pittsburgh. Also within the collection are many images of local and national demonstrations in support of Soviet Jewry as well as images of settlement efforts for immigrant Soviet Jews in Pittsburgh during the 1970s and 1980s.

What's in the entire collection?

The United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Photographs (1908-1991) collection, held by the Rauh Jewish Archives at the Senator John Heinz History Center, contains 2.5 linear feet of photographs depicting the activities of the UJF and its affiliate organizations. Three series divide images of Pittsburgh beneficiaries of UJF funding, including schools and educational programs, exhibits, and senior, social, and immigrant services; the activities of the UJF itself, including missions, campaigns, meetings, and members; and stock images of life in Israel, including immigration, acculturation, and social services.

About the United Jewish Federation

The expansion of Pittsburgh’s Jewish population by immigrants arriving from Eastern Europe and the Russian Empire during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries inspired the creation of Jewish charitable organizations and institutions offering settlement assistance, education, and social and health services to the growing community. In 1912, the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies was conceived as a central coordinating agency under whose aegis these organizations might merge the tasks of fundraising and aid distribution.

Founded on the perception that small organizations competing for funds within a single resource network were too strained to efficiently execute their missions, the Federation was intended to shift the workforce of its affiliates more firmly behind their individual causes. Early partners such as the Council of Jewish Women, the Hebrew Benevolent and Ladies Hospital Aid societies, the J. M. Gusky Orphanage, and the Irene Kaufmann Settlement continued allied but separate missions while the Federation assumed responsibility for fundraising campaigns and distribution of funding. Over the following decades the health and vitality of the Pittsburgh Jewish community was enhanced by Federation assistance through the addition of a hospital and healthcare facilities, schools, social service agencies, and community centers. The Federation accrued more partner agencies over the following years and joined the Community Chest in 1932.

The 1936 formation of the United Jewish Fund financed efforts to relocate and provide aid to Jews in Europe and to support the foundation of the state of Israel. Its merger in 1955 with the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies created the United Jewish Federation.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh continues to support Jewish humanitarian aid, Jewish continuity, and social, educational, and cultural programs in Pittsburgh and abroad. Among Federation’s ten partner agencies are the Agency for Jewish Learning, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Jewish Association on Aging, and the Jewish Community Center. Federation funding is accrued from a variety of sources, including community campaigns, corporate sponsorships, foundation and government grants, endowments, and planned giving.

Digitization of the United Jewish Federation photographs was underwritten by generous support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

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