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B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (Savannah, Ga.) Records

 Collection
Identifier: Mss 362

Scope and Contents

The B'nai B'rith Youth Organization records consist of materials from the Savannah chapters of Aleph Zadik Aleph and B'nai B'rith Girls. Aleph Zadik Aleph (David Finn Chapter, No. 206) records include a charter, a proclamation, award letters and certificates, anniversary and convention programs, newsletters, scrapbooks, and clippings spanning the years 1936 to 1975.

The B'nai B'rith Girls (Wexler/Clark Chapter, No. 39) records include clippings and scrapbooks (containing multiple formats), circa. 1951-1964.

Dates

  • Majority of material found within 1936 - 1975

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

The Independent Order of B'nai B'rith (IOBB), now known as B'nai B'rith International, is an international Jewish service organization which began in the United States in 1847 "to provide service to their own people and to humanity at large." B'nai B'rith is Hebrew for "Sons of the Covenant." B'nai B'rith International includes the Hillel Foundation, the Anti-Defamation League, B'nai B'rith Women, and the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization (BBYO). The latter is made up of B'nai B'rith Teens for middle-school age children of both sexes, Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA) for high-school age males, and B'nai B'rith Girls (BBG) for high-school age females.

The Savannah chapter of B'nai B'rith was first chartered as "B'nai Briss" and the "United Brothers Association of Savannah" in 1860. Six years later, a charter was granted to them from the national organization as the Joseph Lodge IOBB No. 76. Sometime around 1870 a second chapter, the Simon Wolf Lodge, was formed by a group from the Young Men's Hebrew Association (Y.M.H.A.) but later combined with the Joseph Lodge. The organization was reactivated in 1935 as the Savannah Lodge No. 76.

A.Z.A. started as a Jewish high-school fraternity in the early 1920s in Omaha, Nebraska. By 1925, it was adopted by the I.O.B.B. as their junior order. Membership is now offered to boys in the ninth through twelfth grades.

The Savannah chapter of A.Z.A. was organized on December 11, 1934, and was formally adopted by the Savannah Lodge on February 27, 1936. The group received its charter, No. 206, from the national organization on May 24, 1936. In 1941, a second group called the Savannah David Finn Chapter was formed, but quickly merged with No. 206. The group split into two again in February 1948, resulting in David Finn No. 206 and Forest City No. 651. These two groups merged back into one in 1950.

B'nai B'rith Girls was originally established as a junior auxiliary of B'nai B'rith Women. The women’s group served as both a guide and support for the developing girls’ groups. BBG was officially established as an international Order at a meeting held on April 22 – 23, 1944. A structure was defined at that time to include women from high school to the age of 25, but that system has shifted over time. Savannah's chapter was established sometime between 1944 and October 1959 when the chapter was formally dedicated to Janet M. Clark (1940-1959), the late teenage daughter of Judge H. Sol Clark (1906-2003), the first Jew and first Savannah resident to serve on Georgia’s appellate court. In 1969, another chapter was founded, dedicated to the recently deceased Dorothy Levy Wexler (ca. 1911-1969), Savannah native and wife of Dr. William A. Wexler (1913-2000), president of B’nai B’rith International. These two chapters merged sometime prior to 1993, and the combined chapter is named the Wexler/Clark Chapter, as of 2016.

Extent

7.83 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Documents and scrapbooks relating to the Savannah boys’ and girls’ chapters of B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO), a fraternity and sorority for Jewish high school students.

Arrangement

The folders in this collection are arranged in the original order in which they arrived.

Custodial History

The B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, Savannah Records are part of the Savannah Jewish Archives which were transferred from the Georgia Historical Society to the Breman Museum in 2015.

Separated Materials

Photographs

Processing Information

Processed by M. Belanger, 2002; L. Stoudt, 2015; and L. Resnick, 2016. Entered into ArchivesSpace by L. Resnick, 2020.
Title
B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (Savannah, Ga.) Records, Mss 362
Status
Completed
Author
M. Belanger (2002), Lynette Stoudt (2015), and Lindsay Resnick (2016)
Date
2002
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Repository

Contact:
1440 Spring St. NW
Atlanta Georgia 30309 United States
678-222-3700