College of Charleston Library
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Title: Charleston Jewish Community Relations Committee papers
Collection #: Mss 1020
Size: 1.25 linear ft.
Fostered by the Charleston Jewish Welfare Fund and the Charleston Jewish Community Center, the Community Relations Committee began holding regular meetings in 1960 with Nat Shulman (1914-2000) as Secretary. He, along with other members and subsequent officers including Thomas J. Tobias (1906-1970), Bernard J. Olasov and others met to work on issues affecting the relationship of Charleston Jews and the larger community.
With advice from the National Community Relations Advisory Council, local rabbis, and community officials, the committee worked on such issues as Sunday closing ("Blue") laws, segregation and integration issues, housing and schooling discrimination, antisemitism, religion in the schools, and other issues.
Scope and Content Note:
Includes correspondence, minutes, typescripts, carbons, newspapers, photocopies of clippings, printed matter.
Correspondence (1959-1966) is primarily that of Nat Shulman (1914-2000), as secretary and member of the Community Relations Committee, but also regarding his role as executive director of the Jewish Community Center.
Correspondents include other members of the committee, representatives of the National Community Relations Advisory Council and other national groups, local Rabbis, such as Hersh Galinsky, Nachum Rabinovitch, Jordan Taxon, and Burton Padoll, Charleston ministers and citizens, and Joe Mosesman of the Savannah (GA) Jewish Council sharing information re racial conditions in Savannah, censorship of books in Savannah high schools (1961), merchant boycotts, and other topics.
Main issues discussed include fighting to change Sunday opening (or "Blue") Laws, triggered by arrest of merchant Aaron Solomon (1917- 1991), and also triggering a threat of a law suit (1962) between a congregant and a Rabbi; attempts to aid integration, such as a call (1961) to form a bi-racial committee with reports on similar committees in other cities; attempts to avoid sit ins and merchant boycotts.
Many letters refer to antisemitism in the South (with some antisemitic literature); mentions of such groups as the Ku Klux Klan and the Grass Roots League, with a copy of one of latter's publications; refusal of Charleston private school Ashley Hall to accommodate Jewish boarding students; judicial rulings regarding prayer and religion in the schools.
Includes immigration laws; alleged unethical advertising practices of the Southern Jewish Weekly; the "Israel Cohen" hoax (1963), falsely attributing a Communist plot to stir up racial animosities to a fictitious Jewish author; the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963) and related topics.
Incomplete (?) typed and carbon minutes (1960-63, 65-67) of monthly and special meetings deal with many of the same topics as the correspondence. Clippings cover such matters as controversies over enforcement and attempts to change Sunday closing laws (ca. 1962, 1966); racial matters of integration and segregation, sit-ins, etc; religion and prayer in the schools and judicial rulings (ca. 1963); communism, antisemitism; and the trial of Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962).
Also included are printed matter of the National Community Relations Advisory Council, three copies (1960-65) of the anti-Communist paper, Common Sense, and one copy (c. 1966) of the Ku Klux Klan publication, "The Fiery Cross."
|2.||Correspondence, January – June 1961|
|3.||Correspondence, July – December 1961|
|4.||Correspondence, January – June 1962|
|5.||Correspondence, July – December 1962|
|6.||Correspondence, January - June 1963|
|7.||Correspondence, July – August 1963|
|8.||Correspondence, September-December 1963; June 1964|
|1.||History of founding of Community Relations Committee|
|III||Printed and miscellaneous matter|
|1.||Clippings on miscellaneous Jewish topics, persons|
|2.||Clippings re Blue Law enforcement, Charleston, ca. 1962|
|3.||Clippings re Blue Law enforcement, Charleston, ca. 1966|
|4.||Clippings re race, segregation, civil rights, sit-ins, etc.|
|5.||Clippings re schools, religion, judicial hearings, etc.|
|6.||Clippiings re politics, communism, etc.|
|7.||Clippings re anti-Semitism, Eichman, Jewish-related topics|
|8.||Newsletters, mail outs, etc. from Anti-Defamation League|
|9.||Radical newspapers: Common Sense (3); Fiery Cross (1)|
|10.||Position papers, etc. of National Community Relations Advisory Council|
|11.||Printed materials of National Community Relations Advisory Council|
|12.||Printed matter, related Jewish organizations|