National Committee for Labor Israel

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NCLI was founded in 1923 as the National Labor Committee for the Organized Jewish Workers in Palestine. Following some minor name changes, the title of National Committee for Labor Israel was settled upon by 1949 (see Box 1, Folder 1 “Articles of Incorporation”). The primary function of the non-sectarian organization was to collect donations to aid the growing immigrant population and urban development in Palestine/Israel. As the only dedicated fundraising vehicle in the United States for the Histadrut (Israel’s labor federation), NCLI helped establish social institutions that provided an infrastructure for the newly founded nation. Aside from fundraising, the mission of the Committee included strengthening the bonds between U.S. and Israeli labor sectors and "building support for and educating the public about the achievements of Labor Israel." 1

NCLI was headquartered in New York City and oversaw regional fundraising offices in other cities such as Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, and Philadelphia. The Committee’s administrative structure encompassed a National Council, a Board of Directors, an Executive Committee, a Trade Union Council, and the Histadrut Campaign department (among others), but it is unclear what hierarchy existed between these or how this reflected decision-making processes. This lack of clarity seems to have been a problem within NCLI itself, as evidenced by contentious correspondence found throughout Series I and II and repeated proposals for restructuring and reorganization. An additional source of confusion may have been the name of the organization itself; while the “Histadrut Campaign” was a major component of the Committee, donations and correspondence sometimes came to NCLI erroneously addressed to, simply, “the Histadrut.” Other related but distinct entities included the Histadrut Assistance Fund, the American Trade Union Council for Histadrut, and the Histadrut Development Foundation.

In spite of their close association, the relationship between NCLI and the Histadrut was complicated as well, at least as documented in the years covered here. The large bulk of NCLI records related to Histadrut projects in Israel indicates a large amount of coordination between the agencies was required. The labor involved in cataloging and assigning thousands of sponsorship opportunities, transmitting monies between countries, producing evidence of ongoing projects, and attaching the correct names and acknowledgments to finished projects was considerable-especially in light of the fact that the organizations operated in different languages in a mostly pre-computer workplace. The two periodically accused each other of mishandling funds and disagreed about which of them had the authority to resolve their disputes.

Between 1984 and 1990, NCLI was led by an Israeli-born Executive Vice President who combined the office of Histadrut Representative to North America with his position at NCLI. This did not improve relations between the organizations, and the years under his management turned out to be catastrophic for NCLI. Revenue decreased, expenses increased, financial reporting became irregular, and donor communities were alienated. 2

By the end of 1991, the regional campaign offices were closed and NCLI had to sell its property at 33 East 67th Street to remain solvent. In 1993, the Committee moved into new offices and began paying down its debts and liabilities, but these financial difficulties ultimately proved insurmountable. In spite of efforts to keep the organization afloat, operations were ceased in 2006.

Yehuda Ebstein - Deputy/Executive Vice President, circa 1985-1992 Jerry Goodman - Executive Vice President/Executive Director, 1992-2006 Bernard Jacobson - Executive Vice President, mid-1970s Jay Mazur - NCLI president, 1990-2006 Eliezer Rafaeli - Executive Vice President, 1984-1990 Ann Stamler - Associate Executive Director, through 2006 Israel Stolarsky - Associate Director and/or Projects Director, 1950s-1960s Bruce Vladeck - NCLI president, circa 1988-1990 Footnotes 1Quote from NCLI's website, (no longer functioning); see Box 36, Folder 13. 2See “Financial Overview: 1984-1990” and “Notes on Management 1984-1990” prepared for Jay Mazur, Box 31, Folder 12 - Box 32, Folder 2.

From the guide to the National Committee for Labor Israel Records, 1931-2006, bulk 1964-2006, (American Jewish Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Israel Histadrut Campaign (Cleveland, Ohio). Records 1923-1984. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
creatorOf National Committee for Labor Israel. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1963. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf National Committee for Labor Israel Records, 1931-2006, bulk 1964-2006 American Jewish Historical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (N.Y.)
City planning
Fund raising
Labor unions
Labor Zionism

Corporate Body

Active 1923

Active 1984



Ark ID: w62s0xh8

SNAC ID: 22519722