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ORGANIZATION OVERVIEW

Name of organization: Arizona Jewish Historical Society

Address: 122 E. Culver Street

Phoenix, AZ 85004

Phone: 602-241-7870

Fax: 602-264-9773

Website: www.azjhs.org

General email address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Year of incorporation: 1981

Organization's former names: Owner of Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center

Mission statement

The mission of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society is to preserve the rich heritage of Arizona's Jewish communities, to educate the public about Jewish contributions to Arizona and American life, and to promote awareness of the diverse multi-cultural history of our state.

Impact statement

The Arizona Jewish Historical Society is the ONLY organization dedicated to preserving the history of our local Jewish communities. In addition, we educate the public about Jewish contributions to Arizona and American life through our museum and cultural center, known as the Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center. Our organization helps build a stronger local Jewish identity, provides a point of contact to thousands of unaffiliated Jews in the Valley who have come to the center to learn about Jewish heritage and history, and provides our community with a singular opportunity to reach out to non-Jews and educate them about who we are, what we believe, and the ways we have contributed to our society. Having served as Phoenix's first Jewish synagogue, and later a Chinese-speaking and Spanish-speaking Baptist church, the Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center provides a central location for our community to connect with people of other religions, races, and ethnicities in a way that promotes more than mere tolerance, but rather peace, friendship, and common understanding.

Background and history statement

Founded in 1981, the society maintains an extensive archival collection of over 50,000 primary source documents, photographs, artifacts, and other memorabilia pertaining to the Jewish experience in Arizona and the American Southwest. All items are accessioned, conserved, and catalogued under the supervision of professional historians and archivists. In addition, the society has conducted over 200 oral history interviews and 100 video interviews with Arizona's Jewish residents, many of whom are no longer living. Through our oral histories and archival collections, the society enables the subjects of our history to speak directly from the past, in their own words. All of this is done free of charge to our local Jewish community.

In 2001, the AZJHS substantially expanded its activities by acquiring the home of Phoenix's first synagogue and restoring it as the Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center. This facility, originally built in 1921, served as the original home of Temple Beth Israel, and later became a Chinese-speaking and Spanish-speaking Baptist church. After an 8 year effort, the society finally raised over $3,000,000 to rehabilitate the facility as a cultural and educational center. The center is named for James and Bettie Cutler, and for Rabbi Albert Plotkin, individuals who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of both our local Jewish community and the larger secular society in which we live.

General needs statement

Current funding needs include the development of new museum quality exhibitions and educational programs, creation of an endowment for long-term sustainability, ongoing collection and maintenance of archival resources, and general operating expenses. Due to our successful restoration of the Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center, our annual operating budget has more than tripled during the last three years from under $100,000 to over $300,000.

PROGRAMS: Provide a brief description of each major program including individual program budget, population served, program success

Preservation:

Preservation of our local history, especially pertaining to people of Jewish ancestry in Arizona. This includes the restoration of Phoenix's original synagogue building as the Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center. This building also served as a Chinese-speaking and Spanish-speaking Baptist church, and now serves as a musueum and educational center.

Preservation also includes the accessioning, conservation, indexing, and storage of historical artifacts, documents, photographs, and other memorabilia; our oral history project to document the lives of Arizona Jewish residents and members of the congregations who shared the Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center.

Our goal with these activities is to create a record of our local Jewish history in Phoenix and in Arizona, and to provide stronger local identity to our community which often lacks a sense of its own history.

Education:

This includes lectures, seminars, classes, discussions, films, performances, and tours of our museum. These activities focus on topics of local history, Jewish history, and the experiences of Jews in Arizona. Through our educational activities, we give life to the artifacts and items in our historical collection.

We also educate the public about the diverse history of our city and state. In doing so, we foster dialogue and understanding between people of different races, religions, and ages.

Service:

We serve our local Jewish community by keeping a record of its history and by educating the public about that history. We also offer our facility at a highly discounted rate to local Jewish non-profit organizations for educational activities, events, and seminars. Our archives and educational resources are available to researchers and members of the public at no cost. Although we are not widely known yet, our organization maintains one of the best small archives in Arizona.

We also collaborate with numerous institutions to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities and internships to students and young people. Current partners include Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Maricopa County Community College District.

Because Phoenix is a newer city, where the majority of the population is from somewhere else, we work to build our local civic culture by providing a sense of our history and the connections between people of different races and religions in Phoenix and in Arizona as a whole.

Name of Executive Director: Lawrence Bell, Ph.D

Date of hire: 8/1/2005

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Born in Phoenix, AZ, Dr. Bell received his Bachelors Degree in History from Arizona State University and his Masters and Ph.D Degrees in Jewish History from The Ohio State University. In addition, Dr. Bell also has extensive occupational experience in archival management. He has served as the Executive Director of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society since 2005.

KEY STAFF BIOS

Serene Rock, M.A.: Events and Programming Coordinator. Rock holds Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona. She previously served as a Library Specialist for Arizona State University.

Jack Fradin: Administrator and Archivist. A Phoenix resident since 1943, Fradin is a retired small businessman who started a new career with the AZJHS as an archivist in 1999. He has since become the office administrator for the organization. He serves as an invaluable resource about Jewish life in Phoenix dating back to the 1940's. He is also living proof that one's career need not end with retirement.

GOVERNANCE

Executive Committee (2011-12):

President: Stu Siefer (architect)

Vice President: Vic Linoff (businessman and historic preservationist)

Vice President: Nestor Guzman (stock broker)

Vice President: Mark Sendrow (retired attorney)

Vice President: Ken Diamond (attorney)

Treasurer: Jerry Lewkowitz (attorney)

Secretary: Ann Polunsky (grant writer, community volunteer)

Past President: Louise Leverant (retired)

 

Directors (2011-12):

Andy Abraham (attorney)

Lawrence Cutler (attorney)

Harvey Dietrich (cattle rancher)

Charlesa Feinstein (community volunteer)

Mel Kessler (information technology)

Dr. Robert Kravetz (physician)

Barbara Lewkowitz (community development)

Joe Segal (businessman)

Janette Silverman (educator)

Ken Smith (real estate)

Judy Stern (community volunteer)

Elaine Waxman Segelbaum (community volunteer)

Bonnie Wright (non-profit Consulant)

 

FINANCIAL INFORMATION - Arizona Jewish Historical Society

End Date for Fiscal Year

 

9/30/2011

 

 

 

Projected Revenue

 

$361,000

 

 

 

Projected Expense

 

$374,919

 

 

 

EIN Number

 

86-0410245

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non Capital

Non Capital

 

Prior 3 Years Revenue Source

 

5/31/2011

9/30/2010

9/30/2009

 

Memberships

 

33,497

35,172

44,009

 

Individual Contributions

 

33,089

25,319

15,926

 

Special Events

 

113,922

110,126

23,126

 

Fee for Service Revenue

 

2,485

1,884

1,024

 

Grants for Special Projects

 

25,000

 

 

 

Interest and Dividend Income

 

7,425

2,040

11,361

 

Rental Income (gross)

 

10,935

6,082

N/A

 

Total

 

226,353

180,623

95,446

 

Prior 3 Years Expense Allocation

 

 

 

 

 

Program Expense

 

89,869

51,432

25,678

 

Administration

 

47,888

48,497

40,681

 

Fundraising

 

164,618

60,688

20,357

 

Fundraising : Contributed Income Ratio

 

54%

38%

23%

 

Total

 

302,375

160,617

86,716

 

Prior 3 Years Assets and Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

Current Assets (excluding endowment)

 

255,826

776,938

143,378

 

Total Assets

 

2,663,393

3,162,181

1,823,839

 

Current Liabilities

 

11,052

8,850

(8,850)

 

Total Liabilities

 

11,052

8,850

(8,850)

 

Total Net Assets (including endowment

2,663,393

3,162,181

1,823,839

Information accurate as of 5/31/2011