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Joseph Cuba Family Papers

Identifier: Mss 003

Scope and Contents

The social historian interested in Jewish community life, particularly in the South, will be especially interested in this collection. It contains many documents relating to the intricacies and hardship of leadership in large communal organizations.


  • Creation: 1922 - 1993

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 Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.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

Joseph Cuba (1909-1993) was a native Atlantan who spent a major portion of his life in service to the Jewish community of this city.

Cuba was born to Polish-born parents Joseph and Etta Kaufman Cuba on September 21, 1909, just three weeks after his father died at the age of 37. The youngest of seven children, he was named in his father's memory.

In 1932, he assumed the presidency of the Southern Young Judaea Society, and after that time he actively participated in the leadership of Ahavath Achim Congregation, the Jewish Progressive Club, the Gate City Lodge of B’nai B’rith, the Southeastern Region United Synagogue of America, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Atlanta Bureau of Jewish Education, the Jewish Home, the Standard Club, the Atlanta Jewish Federation, Jewish War Veterans, and the Georgia State University Alumni Association.

Mr. Cuba was a Certified Public Accountant at the accounting firm Max M Cuba and Company, and earned a degree at Georgia Tech in 1930, and a law degree from Atlanta Law School in 1934. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Force as a Second Lieutenant, and he entered into active duty on October 2 of that year. By the end of WWII, he had been promoted three times, and served with distinction as the administrator of the Army Emergency Relief Program and the Soldier’s Voting Program. He eventually left the service because of the economic hardship at home that was caused by his absence. In the summer of 1938, he married Ida Pearle Miller, whose varied activities and interests are also reflected in these papers. Joe and Ida Pearle had three children: Phillip, Sara Lana (Krebs) and Larry. Mr. Cuba was positively influenced by his older brother, Max Cuba, who was born in 1903 in New York and died in Atlanta in 1972. Although Max had no official wife, he was truly married to both the City of Atlanta and the Jewish community. Max served as a city alderman several times, and was a leader on the Atlanta-Fulton County Joint Planning Board for over 30 years. He was also twice the president of the Atlanta Jewish Community Council, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. He was dubbed as the “Man of the Year” for B’nai B’rith, Jewish War Veterans, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also preceded his brother as the President of Ahavath Achim Congregation and B’nai B’rith.


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Language of Materials



Joseph Cuba (1909-1993) was a native Atlantan who spent a major portion of his life in service to the Jewish community of this city. The papers are composed primarily of personal correspondence, certificates, speeches, memorabilia, newspaper articles, and the records of the many Jewish organizations in which the family actively participated.


All material is arranged in alphabetical order by subject, and then chronologically within each folder. Almost all organizations which are not preceded by a name contain documents from both Joe and Max Cuba. Some notable exceptions are the Jewish Home, the Air Force Reserves, and the Atlanta Jewish Welfare Fund which are almost exclusively of Joe. Correspondence is filed according to the persons to whom it pertains, with the unlabeled correspondence belonging to Joe. There are files for Joe, Max, Ida Pearle, Phillip, Sara Lana, Larry, Etta, Ray Lee and Minnie Cuba.

Related Materials

Mss 4, The Standard Club Records Mss 6, Jewish Progressive Club Records Mss 21, Ahavath Achim Congregation Records Mss 82, Atlanta Jewish Federation Records Mss 101, The William Breman Jewish Home

Separated Materials

Photographs removed to visual arts and oversize material removed to oversize collection.

Mss 003, Joseph Cuba Family Papers
Michael J. Safra, Sandra Berman
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Repository Details

Part of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Repository

1440 Spring St. NW
Atlanta Georgia 30309 United States