ASSOCIATE JUSTICE LOUIS D. BRANDEIS - COLLECTION WITH ELIZABETH D. PEABODY - HFSID 91011
Sale Price $3,612.50
LOUIS D. BRANDEIS
Two typed 1916 letters, one signed by Brandeis, the other by his secretary, to the Provisional Zionist Executive Committee, which he had led since its founding. Within the month, he would decide that his appointment to the US Supreme Court obliged him to resign from formal leadership of American Zionism. Framed in the Gallery of History style to 43x21.
Comprises: (1) ELIZABETH PEABODY. Typed Letter signed: "Elizabeth Peabody", 1p, 8x10¾. Boston, Massachusetts, 1916 June 6. On letterhead to Isaac. E. Feinstein, Esq., Begins: Dear Sir". In full: "Replying to your letter of the 4th: I regret that owing to Mr. Brandeis's absence in Washington he will be unable to attend the First Anniversary Celebration of the Louis D. Brandeis Zionist Club to be held on June 10th. Very truly yours,". Fold creases at "a" of Peabody. 2 ¼ inch tears at right blank margin. Otherwise, fine condition. (2) LOUIS D. BRANDEIS. Typed Letter signed: "Louis D. Brandeis", 1p, 8x10¾. Boston, Massachusetts, 1916 June 13. On letterhead to Isaac. E. Feinstein, Esq. Advisor. Begins: Dear Mr. Feinstein". In full: "Upon my return to the city I find your very courteous invitation of June 4th. I trust that your organization will be worthily represented at the coming convention not only by the character of its membership, but by its numbers. Please send me on July 2nd, to Hotel Walton, a statement showing: First: The number of paid up members of your organization on that date, and Second: the amount which your organization has raised during the past year for the Emergency Fund. Very truly yours," Fold creases at "r" of Brandeis. Otherwise, fine condition. Louis Dembitz BRANDEIS, the renowned jurist known as "the people's attorney", signed this June 13, 1916 letter only one month before he resigned his position as Chairman of the Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs (PZEC). His decision to step down was a direct result of his being sworn in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court - which took place the day before Elizabeth PEABODY, a secretary at his Boston law office, signed this June 6 letter on her employer's behalf. The PZEC was created with Brandeis as Chairman at an emergency conference on August 30, 1914. As World War I (1914-1918) ripped across Europe, the World Zionist Organization (WZO) faced destruction. It was time for the American Jewry of all factions to unite in one organization which would take over the WZO's activities until the situation in Europe stabilized. Brandeis' first act as Chairman was to establish a $100,000.00 Emergency Fund to support international Zionist activities; he personally made the first $1,000.00 donation. Although Brandeis had only taken an active role in the Jewish community since 1912, he was the most widely recognized Jew in America, not for his religious activities but due to his reputation as judicial reformer who protected the common man. Many expected him to lend his prestige to the Committee but assume only a minimal role in its daily operations; however, Brandies had no such intentions. Taking complete control of the PZEC, he emphasized the need for increased membership with the slogan, "Men! Money! Discipline!" and demanded constant reports from each of his groups, documenting its membership and financial disbursements. At his urging, the PZEC kept lists of all Jews donating to the Emergency Fund and other relief campaigns as a base from which to recruit new members, and all Jews were encouraged to join Zionist organizations such as the numerous Loius D. Brandeis Zionist Clubs; the Hadassa for women - run by its founder and president Henrietta Szold; and Young Judaea for children. Brandeis' efforts, which were continued by Judge Julian W. Mack and Dr. Stephen S. Wise after July 1916, made the PZEC so successful that by 1919, membership had risen from 12,000 to 176,000 supporters and the budget grew from $15,000.00 to $300,000.00. There was intense opposition against Brandeis' appointment to the Supreme Court. His main adversaries resented his stance against big business, but many others acted in response to the anti-Semitic feelings prevalent throughout the country. Consequently, the Senate forced to spend four months (February 1-June 1), an unusually long time, investigating Brandeis' moral character before confirming him. Following the Court's age-old tradition, Brandeis had severed all connections with his reform activities in order to prevent conflicts of interest, but he did not end his religious ties. Most non-Jews accepted his right to participate in religious activities; however, numerous Jews felt that he should resign. At a meeting of various Jewish organizations held at the Hotel Astor on July 16, Brandeis was verbally attacked for remaining active in the Jewish community. The incident, which was reported in the New York Times, forced Brandeis to make a choice between the law and his religious activities. Within one week, he resigned from his positions within the Zionist Movement, though he used his influential friends, such as Mack, to maintain unofficial control of Zionist affairs for the next five years. Two items. Framed in the Gallery of History style: 43x21½.
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