Skip Navigation
Browse: Collections Digital Content Subjects Creators
Log In | Contact Us| View Cart (0)

Rabbi Morton J. Cohn Collection, 1925-1990 | Special Collections & University Archives

By Bonnie M. Harris, Laurel Schwartz, and Helene Idels

Printer-friendly Printer-friendly | Email Us Contact Us About This Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Rabbi Morton J. Cohn Collection, 1925-1990Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Cohn, Morton J. (1910-1991)

Extent: 26.76 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 08/28/2017. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Congregation Beth Israel (San Diego, Calif.), Jews--California--San Diego

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection consists of materials collected from Cohn's school days until his death. Included are correspondence; over 2000 sermons; plays; personal documents; photographs and materials relating the various congregations he served.  There are scrapbooks and newspaper clippings regarding both Cohn and his wife Sally and current events, index cards, pamphlets, research notes and plaques.

Biographical Note

Rabbi Morton Jacob Cohn was born January 12, 1910 in Detroit, Michigan and was ordained as a reform rabbi in 1934. After serving pulpits in various cities, he enlisted as a Navy Chaplain during World War II with the Southern Pacific Fleet and continued in the Naval Reserve for many years. In 1946 he settled in San Diego where he became rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel and remained there until 1964 when he left to found Temple Emanu-El, whose religious school bears his name.

Rabbi Cohn was meticulous in preserving anything relating to his career, the San Diego Jewish community, Judaism and currents events involving Jews, making his collection a comprehensive picture of San Diego Jewish life during his almost 50 years here. As rabbi of the largest Jewish congregation in San Diego, he was a formidable leader in the Jewish and secular communities. He was one of three rabbis, (Cohn, Levens, Stern) who lead the San Diego Jewish community from the years after WWII until the 1970’s.  He was very involved in interfaith activities, gave a weekly radio sermon, created and participated in musical parodies for holidays, rabbinical conventions and special occasions. He maintained a card catalog of life cycle events at which he officiated and a bibliographical file of research materials. Part of this collection is material regarding his wife, Sally Cohn, who was very involved in women’s groups and the sisterhoods of the congregations Cohn served. She started the San Diego Women's Association for the Salk Institute. They had two children Jane and Morton Cohn Jr. Rabbi Cohn died in 1991; Sally Cohn died in 1994.

Subject/Index Terms

Congregation Beth Israel (San Diego, Calif.)
Jews--California--San Diego

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Accruals: 2017-043

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: Jewish Historical Society of San Diego

Related Materials:

Adat Ami Synagogue Collection

Lou Dunst Collection

Mark Freeman Papers

Deborah Horwitz and Paul Nierman Collection

Rose Neumann Collection

Elena Saad Collection

Irving Salomon Collection

Tifereth Israel Synagogue Collection

Abbe Wolfsheimer-Stutz Collection

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Rabbi Morton J. Cohn Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[Box 5],
[Box 6],
[Box 7],
[Box 8],
[Box 9],
[Box 10],
[Box 11],
[Box 12],
[Box 13],
[Box 14],
[Box 15],
[Box 16],
[Box 17],
[Box 18],
[Box 19],
[Box 20],
[Box 21],
[All]

Box 7Add to your cart.
Folder 1: WARR (Western Association of Reform Rabbis) - Minutes, 1953-1968Add to your cart.
WARR Minutes of Annual Sessions; Director's Reports; Resolutions; Dues; Committee Members Roster. Executive Committee Meeting Minutes - June 19, 1967 and October 31, 1967; Convention Program - January 7-11, 1968; Report to WARR - January 1968; Committees -1968; Resolution on dissent of the draft; Resolution on name change from WARR (Western Association of Reform Rabbis) to PARR (Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis).
Folder 2: WARR (Western Association of Reform Rabbis) Convention Year Book, 1957Add to your cart.
WARR (Western Association of Reform Rabbis) Twelfth Annual Convention Year Book, 1957. Coronado, CA. Volume I
Folder 3: WARR (Western Association of Reform Rabbis) - Conventions, 1959-1968Add to your cart.
WARR Program outlines for annual conventions.
Folder 4: WARR (Western Association of Reform Rabbis) - Correspondence from Rabbi Cohn, 1956-1968Add to your cart.
Correspondence from Rabbi Morton Cohn, WARR Program Chairman.
Folder 5: WARR (Western Association of Reform Rabbis) - Correspondence to Rabbi Cohn, 1957-1968Add to your cart.
Correspondence to Rabbi Morton Cohn, WARR Program Chairman.
Folder 6: PARR (Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis) Convention Year Book, 1968Add to your cart.
PARR (Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis) Twenty Third Annual Convention Year Book ,1968. Palm Springs, CA. Volume XII
Folder 7: PARR (Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis) Correspondence & Minutes, 1968-1972Add to your cart.
Items: membership rosters; committee rosters; PARR Executive Committee Meeting minutes; newsletters; correspondence; constitution of PARR; convention agendas; treasurer reports; Rabbi Cohn's handwritten notes; questionnaire; January 2-5,1972 Kona Kai Club Convention program; Kona Kai Club Membership By-Laws.
Folder 8: PARR (Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis) Convention Yearbook, 1971Add to your cart.
PARR (Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis) Twenty-sixth Annual Convention Yearbook, 1971. Palm Springs, CA. Volume XXV
Folder 9: PARR (Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis) Correspondence & Minutes, 1981-1990Add to your cart.
PARR Executive Board Meeting minutes; correspondence; 1985 Annual convention program.
Folder 10: NCCJ (National Conference of Christians and Jews), 1961-1967Add to your cart.
Items: pamphlets, brochures, statement of purpose, correspondence, minutes, newsletters, memorandums on issues of the NCCJ regarding: human relations, brotherhood, equal opportunity employment, youth, police-community relations. San Diego Chapter.
Folder 11: NCCJ (National Conference of Christians and Jews), 1968-1986Add to your cart.
Items: pamphlets, brochures, statement of purpose, by-laws, minutes, newsletters, memorandums, agendas on issues of the NCCJ regarding: human relations, brotherhood, equal opportunity employment, youth, police-community relations, NCCJ, Nazism, Middle East.. San Diego Chapter.
Folder 12: San Diego County Council of Churches, 1966-1969Add to your cart.
Items: correspondence, newsletters, programs, contracts, minutes, committee reports. (See Interreligious Council of San Diego & NCCJ) San Diego Ecumenical Conference "Conference Call" bulletins
Folder 12.1: San Diego County Ecumenical Conference, 1970-1972Add to your cart.
San Diego Ecumenical Conference: bulletins ("Conference Call"), correspondence, program, covenant essay, meeting minutes, annual assembly notice and communications.
Folder 13: Inter-Religious Council of San Diego County Minutes and Reports, 1965-1969Add to your cart.
Items: Purpose Statement, Policies and Procedures, meeting minutes, committee reports. (See San Diego County Council of Churches)
Folder 14: Inter-Religious Council of San Diego County Correspondence and Literature, 1968-1969Add to your cart.
Items: notes, cards, envelopes, correspondence regarding: youth, Baha'i Faith, inter-faith paper on "Great Faiths Bear Witness to a Moral Powers for Peace: Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism", bibliography of inter-faith pamphlets; news article about third anniversary of the IRC of SD. (See San Diego County Council of Churches)
Folder 15: Interfaith Emergency Council, 1968Add to your cart.
Items: agendas, meeting minutes, guidelines, lists, rosters, correspondence from the San Diego County Council of Churches.
Folder 16: Inter-Faith Task Force (IFTF), 1972Add to your cart.
Items: correspondence, statement of purpose, list of printed material, membership roster, "August Project" proposal and program, outlines and communications.
Folder 17: San Diego Interfaith Housing Fondation, 1969Add to your cart.
Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws of the San Diego Interfaith Housing Foundation.
Folder 18: Inter-Faith Services Programs and Commission on Interfaith Activities report, 1950-1964Add to your cart.
Programs of various interfaith religious services Commission on Interfaith Activities correspondence
Folder 18.1: Program: Golden Jubilee honoring Reverend Charles Francis Buddy, 1964Add to your cart.
Program of the Pontifical Mass for the Golden Jubilee honoring His Excellency The Most Reverend Charles Francis Buddy, D.D.
Folder 19: Pamphlets and Conference/Seminar Programs - Interreligious and Civic, 1934-1962Add to your cart.
Pamphlets/Articles: Religious and Civic: - Baha'i - Buddhism - Self-Realization Fellowship - Judaism and Christianity: B'nai B'rith Youth Organization - Judaism and Christianity: Christian Friends Bulletin - Preface to a Christian-Jewish Dialogue: Synagogue Council of American - Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith: Lutheran-Jewish Relations/Dialogues - Jewish-Christian Dialogues
Folder 19.1: Pamphlets and Conference/Seminar Programs - Interreligious and Civic, 1934-1962Add to your cart.
Pamphlets/Programs: Religious and Civic:: - San Diego County Ecumenical Conference - SDSU Aztec Center Directory - SDSU Aztec Center Interreligious Conference - Paul Tillich & Carl Rogers: A Dialogue - Labor Management Relations Conference - Seventh-day Adventists - San Diego County Ecumenical Conference - Inter-Religious Conference: College Park Presbyterian Church - Catalogue of Church-State Problems: National Conference of Christians and Jews
Folder 19.2: Community Services Organizations, 1967; 1970; 1980Add to your cart.
Reports and Programs: - Community Foundation: Amendment to Article VI of By-laws - New Adult Community : Impressions and Projections Report - Economic Opportunity Commission: "Community in Action" Report on the War on Poverty in San Diego County 1967 - California Commission on Aging: "The Hidden People" (Protective Services for Older People) - United Way: 60/Sixty Years of Service Anniversary Program 1980
Folder 19.3: Fiesta del Pacifico, 1956 and 1957Add to your cart.
- Fiesta del Pacifico Dedication speech Wednesday, July 24, 1957 - Official Program for the Fiesta del Pacifico expo featuring "The California Story" pageant, San Diego 1956 (two copies of each)
Folder 19.4: Pulpit Speeches Compilation by Friends Of The Free Spirit, First Unitarian Church of San Diego, 1953Add to your cart.
Pulpit Speeches Compilation by Friends Of The Free Spirit, First Unitarian Church of San Diego, 1953
Folder 19.5: Certificates to Rabbi Cohn: Kiwanis Club and Water Authority, 1967Add to your cart.
Certificates to Rabbi Cohn: - Certificate of Appreciation from the Kiwanis Club of the College Area, 1967 -Certificate of Appointment from San the Diego County Water Authority Board, 1967
Folder 20: Brotherhood Week - programs and sermons, 1952-1976Add to your cart.
Programs and sermons for Interfaith Brotherhood Week (national event third week in February annually). Invitation and roster of parents invited to attend Beth Israel's Interfaith Sabbath in observance of Brotherhood Week.
Folder 21: Community Welfare Council (aka Coordinating Council for Social Development), 1970-1972Add to your cart.
Minutes, correspondence, policies, and goals for Community Welfare Council, renamed "Coordinating Council for Social Development" which merged with the Comprehensive Health Planning Association. Also affiliated with the San Diego Parolee Advisory Committee and the United Community Service and the Volunteer Bureau-Voluntary Action Center of San Diego and the National Center for Voluntary Action.
Folder 22: Community Welfare Council (aka Coordinating Council for Social Development and Comprehensive Health Planning Association), 1969-1972Add to your cart.
Minutes, correspondence, policies, goals, rosters, and memos for Community Welfare Council, renamed "Coordinating Council for Social Development" which merged with the Comprehensive Health Planning Association. Also affiliated with the San Diego Parolee Advisory Committee and the United Community Service and the Volunteer Bureau-Voluntary Action Center of San Diego and the National Center for Voluntary Action.
Folder 23: Community Welfare Council - studies and reports, 1969-1972Add to your cart.
Studies and reports: Day Care Needs in San Diego Future Role of the San Diego Volunteer Bureau Income Maintenance Resident Camping in San Diego
Folder 24: Community Welfare Council - reports and newsletter, 1961-1962Add to your cart.
Studies and reports: Annual Report 1961 Bi-monthly Newsletter Budget Report 1961
Folder 25: United Community Services of San Diego County - Proposed Reorganization Report, November 20,1970Add to your cart.
Proposed Reorganization of UCS: A Report to the Board of Directors of United Community Services of San Diego County by the Citizens' Study Committee
Folder 26: National Community Relations Advisory Council - Report on the Jewish Community Relations Agency, 1951Add to your cart.
National Community Relations Advisory Council's "Report on the Jewish Community Relations Agencies" by R. M. MacIver (Forward, Acknowledgements, Abbreviations, and 135 page Report) Follow-ups and responses from the American Jewish Congress, Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, Jewish Labor Committee, Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
Folder 27: San Diego Social Hygiene Association, Inc. and San Diego County Tuberculosis & Health Association, 1947Add to your cart.
Minutes, financial statememnts, reports, and correspondence relating to the San Diego Social Hygiene Association and the San Diego County Tuberculosis and Health Association.
Folder 28: Race Relations: Racism, Racial Equality, and Integration, 1957-1983Add to your cart.
Pamphlets, brochures, and articles relating to racism, racial equality and integration: brochures on racism; Georgia clergymen speak on integration; Citizens Interracial Committee of San Diego County selected bibliography; report of the National Advisory Commision on Civil Disorder; CURE (Citizens United for Racial Equaltiy) newsletters; San Diego Race Relations Society report; TIME article on Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights March, "Negro-Jewish Tensions in America" pamphlet.
Folder 29: Big Brothers of San Diego County, 1968-1969Add to your cart.
Big Brothers of San Diego County: Board of Directors Meeting minutes and letter to Rabbi Cohn.
Folder 30: Scholia Club (of San Diego), 1957Add to your cart.
Scholia Club (of San Diego) meetings schedule for Spring 1957 and meeting minutes January 19, 1957. Notification of the resignations of Dr. Walter Hepner and Dr. Malcolm Love.
Folder 31: COPE - Community Opportunity Programs in Education, 1968-1969Add to your cart.
Items relating to COPE (Community Opportunity Programs in Education) business: notices; programs; teaching the disadvantaged; minutes of board meetings; memorandums; correspondence; articles.
Folder 32: San Diego City Schools: Guide to Moral & Spiritual Education in Secondary Schools, 1953-1955Add to your cart.
Items relating to School-Community Advisory Committee on Moral and Spiritual Education in San Diego City Schools: report and instructional guidelines.
Folder 33: San Diego City Schools: Guide to Moral & Spiritual Education in Secondary Schools, 1955-1956Add to your cart.
Items relating to School-Community Advisory Committee on Moral and Spiritual Education in San Diego City Schools: correspondence, minutes, report and recommendation.
Folder 34: San Diego City Schools: Guide to Moral & Spiritual Education in Elementary & Secondary Schools 1953, 1953Add to your cart.
A Guide to Moral and Spiritual Education in Elementary Schools Part I A Guide to Moral and Spiritual Education in Secondary Schools Part I
Folder 35: Programs, Certificates, and Reports, 1956-1967Add to your cart.
Programs, Certificates, and Reports 1956-1967: 1. Certificate of appointment from SD Co. Water Authority Board 2. Correspondence: Commission of Interfaith Activities 3. Amendment to Community Foundation By-laws 4. Booklet of ecumenical addresses by First Unitarian Church 5. Programs of Fiesta del Pacifico 6. Community in Action report of Poverty in San Diego Co. 1967. 7. The New Adult Community Report 8. Commission of Interfaith Activities Report 9. United Way Anniversary Program April, 29, 1980

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[Box 5],
[Box 6],
[Box 7],
[Box 8],
[Box 9],
[Box 10],
[Box 11],
[Box 12],
[Box 13],
[Box 14],
[Box 15],
[Box 16],
[Box 17],
[Box 18],
[Box 19],
[Box 20],
[Box 21],
[All]


Page Generated in: 0.153 seconds (using 202 queries).
Using 8.6MB of memory. (Peak of 8.89MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-3
Copyright ©2017 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign