Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Archives

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About the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Archives Collection

The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Archives Collection was established in January 2009 in anticipation of the Federation’s 2010 centennial. In February 2011, the collection became part of Wright State University’s Special Collections and Archives.

The Jewish Federation’s collection comprises records and historic material of the Federation since its inception in 1910. The collection is a key resource for information about the history of the Jews of Dayton, and the role the Federation has played: providing for Jews in need and enhancing the quality of Jewish life in Dayton, Israel, and around the world. Its artifacts paint a vivid picture of the Federation’s rescue, relief, and absorption efforts on behalf of the Jewish people in the 20th century.

Information Requests
Contact Wright State University Special Collections and Archives at

Why a Jewish Federation?

In North America, Jewish Federations came into being about a century ago to provide for the needs of the great wave of Eastern European immigration and to help make the fund-raising process as efficient as possible. more

The Federation’s founder

An orphan who became a rabbi, David Lefkowitz worked for the betterment of all Dayton citizens.


Aid for transients

Barely remembered today, service delivery for itinerant Jews was a hot topic during the Federation’s first decades.


Our sincere gratitude

By Samuel Heider

To the Federation, for our resettlement in Dayton after the Shoah.


‘Turn your best thinking toward a solution’

The late Milton A. Marks, the Federation’s oldest living president at the time of the Federation’s centennial, took a look back on the East End, leadership, and his mentor.


‘The great strength of Dayton is our people’

An interview with the Jewish Federation’s new president, Dr. Gary Youra.


The Jewish Federation centennial quiz

So, you think you know a lot about our Federation? Take this quiz and find out. Answers at end. more

Wright State University now home to Federation archives collection

Professional archivist Pamela Schwartz has volunteered to inventory, organize and process the collection. She’ll continue to work on the collection at Wright State.


This image of a 1928-29 dance class at the Jewish Federation’s JCC at 59 Green Street is among the thousands of photos, documents and artifacts that comprise the collection of the Jewish Federation’s newly established archives

Endowment Fund

Federation’s history preserved through new endowment fund

Thanks to the generosity of the Clarence and Judith Lapedes Family Foundation, we’re assured that the Jewish Federation Archives will be well-maintained and available to future generations of the Dayton Jewish community.

The JFGD Archives and Special Collections Fund in Memory of Debra L. Schwartz is a new restricted endowment fund of the Federation Foundation, established under the guidance of Andrew and Pamela Schwartz in memory of Andrew’s mother, Debra Lapedes Schwartz.

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