Descriptive inventory for the Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein papers, 1918-1975, bulk 1940-1968

Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein papers

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Descriptive inventory for the Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein papers, 1918-1975, bulk 1940-1968

Prepared by Gary Stockton, 1983; rev. by Laura Pasztor; rev. by Alex Raynor, 2014.
Please address questions to:
Chicago History Museum, Research Center
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
Instructions for accessing this collection

Collection Overview +/-

Title: Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein papers, 1918-1975 (inclusive), 1940-1968 (bulk)
Creators: Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein
Paul H. Douglas
Arthur J. Goldberg
Adlai Stevenson
Kehilath Anshe Maarav Temple (Chicago, Illinois)
Dates: 1918-1975 (inclusive), 1940-1968 (bulk)
Accession numbers: M1968.0781
Bib number: 00065955
Call numbers: MSS Lot W
MSS Oversize W
Size:17.5 linear feet (34 boxes and 8 packages)
1 oversize folder
sound recordings
Language of material:Collection is written in English.

Provenance statement:

Gift of Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein and family (accession #: M1968.0781, M1971.0019, M1971.0061 and M1979.0037).

Terms governing use:

Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.


For listening purposes, it is necessary to use a copy, not the original (and to have a listening copy made if one is not available).

Please cite this collection as:

Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein papers (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Additional Materials +/-

Related material:

Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include the Jacob Joseph Weinstein collection of visual materials (1985.0465) and publications by Rabbi Weinstein.

Collection Summary +/-

Correspondence, sermons, speeches, articles, biographical scrapbooks of newspaper clippings and photographs, and other papers of Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein. Materials relate to his activities as a Reform rabbi in San Francisco, California, and at K.A.M. Temple in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, and his involvement in a wide variety of religious, social, and political activities on a national and local Chicago level. Topics include social, civic, and political affairs on national and local levels; Jewish life, customs, and history; Israel; race relations, civil rights and civil liberties, equal opportunity employment; the Vietnam War; family, friends, and his congregation. Correspondents include Paul H. Douglas, Arthur J. Goldberg, and Adlai E. Stevenson.

Biographical/Historical Note +/-

Jacob Joseph Weinstein, rabbi of Chicago's Kehilath Anshe Maarav (K.A.M.) Temple, was born in Stephin, Poland on June 6, 1902. In 1908, Jacob's mother, Shaindel Weinstein, brought her children to Portland, Oregon, to join their father, Bentse Weinstein, who had previously immigrated to the United States. Jacob Weinstein received a B.A. degree in political science from Reed College in 1923 and became an American citizen the same year. He graduated from Hebrew Union College in 1929.

Weinstein served as a rabbi in Reform synagogues in Austin, Texas from 1929-1930 and in San Francisco, California from 1930-1932. In 1931, he married Janet Harris of San Francisco. They became the parents of four children: Ruth, Daniel, Judith, and Deborah.

In 1932, Weinstein became the advisor to Jewish students at Columbia University in New York City. Three years later, Weinstein returned to San Francisco, where he organized and served as director of the School for Jewish Studies until 1939.

In 1939, Weinstein came to Chicago to serve as the rabbi of K.A.M. Temple in Hyde Park, where he remained until his retirement in June 1967. During his tenure at K.A.M., in addition to his role as clergyman, Weinstein was active in numerous social service, civic, and religious organizations, including the Hyde Park Council of Churches and Synagogues of which he was president from 1947-1949. He was also a member of the Illinois Commission on Human Relations from 1950-1956 and Chairman of the National Committee for Labor Israel (Histadrut) from 1957-1963. In 1965, Weinstein was elected President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, serving two year-long terms.

Weinstein attained a national reputation in the fields of labor management and civil rights. During World War II, he worked with the National War Labor Board as a member of the Midwest Tripartite Panel for the Arbitration of Labor Disputes. In the spring of 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Weinstein to the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, giving him a national platform from which to discuss his concern for equality of economic opportunity for minority groups, particularly African-Americans and Jews. Later that same year, Weinstein was named to the Business Ethics Advisory Council by Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges. In addition, Rabbi Weinstein was a member of the Public Review Board of the United Auto Workers, the union's appeals court.

Rabbi Weinstein was the recipient of the Mayor's Commission on Human Relations' award in 1947, the Daniel Burnham award from Roosevelt University in 1962, and the Immigrant Service League's award in 1963. He was a frequent contributor to Jewish publications such as the Reconstructionist, the National Jewish Monthly, and the National Jewish Post.

Upon his retirement as K.A.M. Temple's spiritual head, Weinstein once again moved to San Francisco but kept an office in Chicago, where he remained active in the temple's affairs as Rabbi-Emeritus. In addition, he continued to devote much of his time to various social and political issues. Rabbi Weinstein died of cancer in Chicago on November 2, 1974.

For a more detailed account of Weinstein's life, see Janice J. Feldstein's published biography, Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein: Advocate of the People (New York: KTAV Publishing House Inc., 1980).

Catalog Subject Headings +/-

Families--Illinois--Chicago--20th Century
Jews--Illinois--Chicago--20th Century
Jews--Social Life and Customs--20th Century
Judaism--Customs and Practices
Rabbis--Illinois--Chicago--20th Century
Rabbis--United States--20th Century
Reform Judaism--California--San Francisco--20th Century
Reform Judaism--Illinois--Chicago--20th Century
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Weinstein Family
Weinstein, Jacob Joseph, 1902-1974--Archives
Kehilath Anshe Maarav Temple (Chicago, Illinois)
Photographic Prints
Chicago (Ill.)--Politics and Government--20th Century
Chicago (Ill.)--Race Relations--20th Century
Chicago (Ill.)--Religious Life and Customs--20th Century
Hyde Park (Chicago, Ill.)
San Francisco (Calif.)--Religious Life and Customs--20th Century

Organization and Arrangement of Collection +/-

The collection is arranged in three series.

Click on heading to view series description.

Series 1. General Papers, 1918-1975, bulk 1945-1969 (boxes 1-10, 12 scrapbooks)
Series 2. Topical files, 1919-1974, bulk 1951-1968 (boxes 11-17)
Series 3. Sermons, addresses, and book reviews, 1927-1974, bulk 1940-1968 (boxes 18-34)

About This Finding Aid +/-

Creation: Finding aid encoded by Aaron Felix using Oxygen editor, 2016.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Other Finding Aids: Finding aid also submitted to the Explore Chicago Collections portal.
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