Public History Consultant sought by The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services

The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, a prominent provider of mental health and
social services to New York City residents, seeks a graduate student in history with an interest in
philanthropy to serve as a consultant for a multi-year project leading up to The Jewish Board’s
150th anniversary celebration in 2024.

The history of The Jewish Board begins in late-nineteenth century New York City, and tracks the
origination of private welfare institutions, the beginning of family law, and the profession of
social work itself. In 1874, the city was the center of a flourishing immigrant community.
Alongside this arose a range of social problems: poverty, crime, the exploitation of labor, and
the unchecked spread of tuberculosis. Two early precursors to The Jewish Board were formed
in response to these social issues: United Hebrew Charities and The Jewish Prisoner’s Aid
Society.

Over the next century, these two organizations changed their names and broadened their
missions: in the 1920s they incorporated the discipline of social work, created programs to
address homelessness, and provided basic social services; in the 1930s, these programs
expanded to help support New York’s immigrants through The Great Depression. Over the
subsequent decades of the twentieth century, these agencies were acquired and merged into
other entities, altering their foci and missions to keep pace with societal and demographic
changes. The present-day Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services came into existence in
1978.

Using primary source materials including clinical case notes, Board meeting minutes, and other
archival materials that have been minimally catalogued, the Public History Consultant will
unearth unique stories, insights, and trends that will be translated into many different types of
content to tell the history of The Jewish Board. The Public History Consultant will conceive,
develop and implement curatorial, interpretive, and original research projects; other
deliverables will include creating content for social media and for a microsite that will educate
and inform the public about The Jewish Board’s history. Ultimately the material collected by the
Public History Consultant may be used to create a book and/or a symposium in conjunction
with the agency’s 150th anniversary in 2024, thus informing the present-day social service
sector’s approach to policy and advocacy.

This project will address the roots of many of the intractable issues and fragmented social
service systems that are part of the fabric of contemporary New York life from the nineteenth
through the twenty-first centuries.

Qualified candidates must:

• Be currently enrolled in a graduate program in History;
• Have a demonstrated interest in social history;

• Have experience with archival and material culture collections;
• Possess experience working with multiple collaborators and stakeholders;
• Demonstrate superb writing and communication skills and a proficiency in social media;
• Live within the New York/ New Jersey/ Connecticut/ Philadelphia area; and
• Be prepared to commit to a two-to-three year project

Compensation will be commensurate with experience.
To apply, please send a brief letter of interest and your CV to marketing@jbfcs.org

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