International Workers’ Order (IWO) and Jewish People’s Fraternal Order (JPFO)

Investigator: Jonathan Boyarin, Anthropology, Near Eastern Studies, Jewish Studies; Elissa Sampson, Jewish Studies

Arts & Sciences, 2016

The goal of this project is to curate, conserve, and digitize an important section of the International Workers’ Order (IWO) archives and especially its Jewish division, known as the Jewish People’s Fraternal Order (JPFO), that are held at the Kheel Center in the Industrial and Labor Relations School. The IWO was founded in 1930 and disbanded in 1953. The JPFO was the largest of the many “national” sections of the IWO, and the archive here directly records the activities of the JPFO, in English as well as Yiddish. The digitized documents will support research and teaching in a wide range of disciplines as well as preserving this unique scholarly resource. Also, there are plans for creating an online exhibition, tentatively titled Fellow Travelers: From Popular Front to Black Book, which will serve as a teaching tool in secondary and university classrooms.

IWO-JPFO Collection