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The alphabetical master cards series serves as an abbreviated, annotated index for the more substantial individual service files of Jewish service personnel who won awards or suffered casualties during the war.The Bureau maintained correspondence files for permanent staff members including Salo Baron, Edward Burnstein, Louis Dublin, Elisha Friedman, Dr.On October 9, 1941, twenty-one national organizations affiliated with the National Jewish Welfare Board (NJWB) met and resolved that the Army and Navy Service Division of the NJWB would assume responsibility for overseeing a Bureau of War Records (BWR). Kohs selected Trenton, New Jersey for his sample population due to its proximity to New York City and the large number of Jews living in the Metropolitan Trenton area.Representatives of the NJWB and its affiliates constituted an Advisory Committee of the BWR. Kohs' experience during the Trenton study was formative in the planning of other local population studies, the setting up of local war record committees, and the organization of statewide war records collection programs.One such service involved the collection, authentication, and distribution of unofficial military service records for Jewish soldiers and sailors then being drafted into the United States Armed Forces. The principal duties of the national office of the BWR were to assist local Jewish communities in establishing war records committees; to authenticate all war records submitted to the NJWB on behalf of Jewish servicemen and women; to calculate the proportion and number of Jews in the armed forces; to publish information of use to families of Jewish service personnel, the NJWB and its affiliated members; and to publicize stories of Jewish soldiers' contributions to the war effort.Under the leadership of Rabbi Edward Israel, the JWB's Committee on Statistics convened several conferences with its national affiliates to consider the problem of collecting data on Jewish military service. The initial budget for the BWR was ,800, which covered the cost of hiring a director, two stenographers, and two file clerks. Kohs, a noted sociologist and professor, was hired by the JWB to conduct a sample population survey of a large city containing a significant proportion of Jewish residents, and to test the results of statistical evidence, procedures, and techniques for documenting the approximate number and percentage of Jews living in the United States.Maurice Hexter, Rabbi Edward Israel, Samuel Kohs, Louis Kraft, Samuel Leff, Harry Lurie, Herbert Marks, Benjamin Rabinowitz, Philip Schiff, Selma Schnaper, Jerome Seidman, David Turtletaub, Frank Weil, Milton Weill, Arthur Weyne, and Joseph Zubin.The Bureau also preserved correspondence with representatives of local war records committees, religious and community service organizations including the United Service Organization, Jewish Community Centers, Hebrew Associations, and the National Refugee Service, as well as publishers, alumni associations, and military personnel from the offices of United States Army, Navy, and Quartermaster General's office.
Among the vital records are charts depicting the BWR administrative hierarchy; personnel and staff records; lists of volunteers and field representatives employed throughout the United States; minutes of meetings; annual, quarterly, and special reports; budget materials; and policies and procedures implemented during the war records program.By the end of the war, the number of affiliates would total thirty-eight. As the last national census of Jewish Americans was conducted in the mid-1930s, Kohs' work served as a vital starting point for a comprehensive statistical analysis of the proportion of Jews who served in the United States armed forces during World War II.During the same meeting, a Technical Committee on War Records was added to advise the BWR staff about the use of statistical methods for compiling and analyzing Jewish war records. On January 1, 1943, the Advisory Committee appointed Samuel Kohs director of the BWR.Among those who served on the Technical Committee were Chairman and Vice-President of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Louis I. Kohs managed the central office of the BWR and acted as liaison to the Department of Public Information and other departments of the NJWB.
Under Kohs, the BWR established several subdivisions. David Turtletaub and Edward Burnstein served as liaisons to local war committees and state historical societies.
By July 1946, the BWR had received nearly 150,000 items related to military service.