University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

UT Texas Hillel Jewish Campus Life Records, 1929-2004

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Texas Hillel
Title: UT Texas Hillel Jewish Campus Life records
Dates: 1929-2004
Abstract: The records of UT Texas Hillel, 1929-2004, contain six linear feet of foundation documents, correspondence, meeting minutes, self-published newsletters and brochures, photographs, printed newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks, which document the organized activities of the University of Texas' Jewish student body.
Identification: urn:taro:utexas.cah.01034
Extent: 4 linear feet
Language: English .
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical/Historical Note

UT Texas Hillel is a campus chapter of the national body, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, which began at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1923. The national foundation promotes Jewish values on university campuses within the U.S. and internationally.

The UT chapter formed in 1929 as the B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation, and membership remains open to Jewish students enrolled at UT, UT alumni, and the Austin Jewish community. The chapter is comprised of a Board of Directors, Hillel Staff, and a Student Council. Known as the Building Fund Committee (1945-1967) and the Advisory Board (1967-1984), the Board of Directors (1984-present) has consisted of community members who invest their time in Hillel's development. The Staff were paid members of UT Texas Hillel and consisted primarily of the Director, a Rabbi who is not a member of the Board of Directors. The records show that a Secretary and Program Coordinator were later added to the staff.

The foundation has sought "to provide facilities for religious, cultural, educational, social events, social welfare, and interfaith work amongst the university community." Hillel fulfilled these goals by funding a new building, offering Shabbat services and Beit Midrash classes, granting refugee scholarships, and actively calling attention to events happening in Israel and the Soviet Union through campus protests, lectures, dinners, and ads in the Daily Texan. It also offered a variety of activities for Jewish fraternities and sororities and the UT community, including art festivals, Israeli dancing, an Outstanding Guest Speakers series, and hosting the annual Israeli Block Party.

The Student Council and the Directors on the Hillel Staff conducted the essential work of the foundation. Since the Student Council changed yearly it is hard to note any one influential member; this is not so for the Directorship. Principal Directors included Elconan Saulson (1947-1963), who spearheaded the Refugee Scholarship efforts, and Cary Krozberg (1971- 1972, 1982 1987), who worked with the Student Council throughout the 1980's to promote issues related to Israel and Soviet Jewry. Other Hillel Directors include:

  • Newton Freidman, 1942-1944
  • Clyde T. Sills, 1965-1971
  • James Kessler, 1972-1976
  • Neal Borovitz, 1975-1981
  • Kerry Baker, 1987-1996

Scope and Contents

The records of UT Texas Hillel, 1929-2004, contain six linear feet of foundation documents, correspondence, meeting minutes, self-published newsletters and brochures, photographs, printed newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks, which document the organized activities of the University of Texas' Jewish student body. The material is divided into three series: UT Hillel, comprised of records and publications created by or directly related to the UT chapter, including the Board of Directors, Hillel Staff, and the Student Council; Hillel Beyond UT with material from the national foundation and other chapters; and Jewish Interests, which contains material not specifically related to Hillel about local and international Jewish activities and experiences.

A substantial portion of the records cover the early years (1935-1955) of UT Texas Hillel, specifically outlining the Building Fund Committee's (later called the Advisory Board, then Board of Directors) struggle to construct their own building in West Campus. The first two Directors, Newton Friedman (1942-1944) and Elconan Saulson (1947-1963), complement the Building Fund Committee's efforts, while establishing Hillel's importance within the UT community.

Correspondence written by each of the foundation's hired Directors (2 inches) illustrates the individual Rabbi's views, social concerns, and plans and ambitions for Hillel. Also, the Student Council records (6 inches) illuminate the guidance of the Director and document, primarily through printed newspaper clippings and meeting minutes, cultural and social activities such as religious programs, campaigns for oppressed Jews, and local social gatherings.

The records not directly related to UT Texas Hillel represent activities conducted by Hillel foundations at national, state, and university levels. The Jewish Interests records contain collected materials about activities UT Texas Hillel members participated in, as well as world events impacting the Jewish community at large and resonating with the Director's social concerns.


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.

Index Terms

Corporate Names
B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundations
Hillel, the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
Texas Hillel
Jewish community centers
Jews in public life
Jews--Societies, etc.
Student activities
Students--Political activity
Students--Social life and customs
Twentieth century
Twenty-first century

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

UT Texas Hillel Jewish Campus Life Records, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Accession Number(s)


OCLC Number


Detailed Description of the Collection

UT Hillel

Board of Directors
3K386 [SRH1230017752] Foundation documents, 1945-1997
Incorporation records
Installation service
Meeting minutes, 1973-1998
Morris Polsky, Campaign Chairman, Advisory Board, 1975-1976
Thomas Friedman, Chairman, Hillel Board, 1977-1979
Assorted, 1987, undated
Financial records, 1962 – [1977-1979]
Building records, [1944-1950] – [1991-2002]
2W90 [SRH1230020078] Real estate note, 1953-1961
3K386 [SRH1230017752] Reports, 1945-1998
3S277 [SRH1230021938] Photograph of Dr. Hyman Ettlinger, chairman, 1949
Hillel Staff
Hillel Directors
3K390 [SRH1230017756] Newton Friedman correspondence, 1942-1944
Elconan Saulson
Correspondence, 1946-1963
Irwin Schrier file, 1946-1947
Clyde T. Sills correspondence, 1965-1971
Cary Krozberg correspondence, [1971-1972] – [1982-1987]
James Kessler correspondence, 1972-1976
Neal Borovitz correspondence, 1975-1981
Kerry Baker correspondence, 1987-1996
David Kessel speech remarks, 2003-2004
3S277 [SRH1230021938] Photographs
3K387 [SRH1230017753] General correspondence, 1945-1995
Public relations
Daily Texan ads, 1924-1993
News releases, 1946, undated
Refugee scholarships
Leslie Low, 1948-1953
Heinz Berger, 1949-1957
Directories, 1947-1951
3S277 [SRH1230021938] Photographs
Student Council
3K388 [SRH1230017754] Constitutions, 1936-1948
Meeting minutes
Unbound, 1944-1945
Bound, 1944-1947
Conference, 1992
Religious programs
Athletics, [1947]-1951
Concern for Fellow Jews, 1981-1988
Campus Friends of Israel, 1982-1983
Printed newspaper clippings
3S277 [SRH1230021938] Photographs
3K388 [SRH1230017754] Press release
Detractors, 1983-1984
November 29 Coalition
Printed newspaper clippings
Soviet Jewry, 1981-1988
Printed newspaper clippings
Rally flyers
Proclamations and resolutions
3S277 [SRH1230021938] Photographs
3K388 [SRH1230017754] Education
Publications, [1946-1948] – 1956
Unpublished papers, 1946, undated
Cultural activities, 1930-1994
Social events, 1946-1953
2W92a [SRH1230020083] Photographs, [circa 1930s-1990s]
Council members
Student body
3S105b [SRH1230029470] Student body negatives
2W90 [SRH1230020078] Scrapbooks
3K390 [SRH1230017756] Hillel Scribe , 1935-1995
2W90 [SRH1230020078] Hillel Scribe , 1946
3K390 [SRH1230017756] Texas Hillel , 1952-1955
Hillel Highlights , 1954
Hillel Happenings , [1947-1948] – 1982
Hakol, The Voice , 1988-1990
Hillel Flame , 1997
OD1404 Flyers and brochures (mounted)
3K390 [SRH1230017756] Flyers and brochures
Calendars (general)
Press about Hillel
2W92 [SRH1230020080] Bound volumes, 1931-1945
Loose clippings, 1949-1998
2W93 [SRH1230020089] Program and event highlights, 2001-2002
Scrapbooks, 1939-1940
Assorted artwork
4th Floor West Wall Portrait, oil on canvas of Rabbi Henry Cohen, signed by Embry, 1951
OD1404 Commemorative poster, 1941-1945
Tinted photograph of unknown subjects, 1966
4ZG3.4 Artifact Collection
Plaques, 1955, 1964, undated
Ceramic trivets/tiles, undated

3K389 [SRH1230017755] Hillel Beyond UT
National Hillel
Meeting minutes, 1938-1942
Budgets, 1946-1947
Annual reports, 1946, 1949
Conference report, 1949
Correspondence, 1947-1971
Publications, 1947-1992
Directories, 1948-1949
Texas State Hillel
State conference proceedings, 1946
Conference program, 1947
Other universities
University of Georgia Hillel, 1946
Louisiana State University Hillel, undated

Jewish Interests

University of Texas activities
Fraternities and sororities, 1946-1982
3S277 [SRH1230021938] Photographs of fraternity presidents, 1970
3K391 Campus Interfaith, 1948-1955
UT publications
Daily Texan clippings, 1946-1996
The University Jewish Voice , 1970-1978
Statement by UT President Robert Berdahl, 1993
The World at Large
3K391 Israel, 1947-1998
Rabbi Jack Segal correspondence and sermons, 1966-1983
Jewish Welfare Board
Report, undated
Scripture books, 1942
United Jewish Appeal, 1947
Jewish Community Council of Austin, 1956-1974
Miscellaneous, 1946-1991
2W91 [SRH1230020079] World War II scrapbook