Guide to the Lawrence Kobrin Papers
1886-1914, 1940-2019

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Collection Overview

Creator: Kobrin, Lawrence A.
Title: Lawrence Kobrin Papers
Dates: 1886-1914, 1940-2019
Size: 6.5 Linear feet
Number of Boxes:12 manuscript boxes and 1 shoebox
Abstract:Lawrence A. Kobrin, a New York attorney born in 1933, is a leading Jewish communal figure who has dedicated much of his life to Jewish causes and to the work of a variety of Jewish organizations. The collection documents a broad spectrum of Kobrin's activities on behalf of the Jewish community.
Languages:Materials are in English with a small amount of Hebrew.
Call No: 2012.018

About This Guide

Finding aid encoded August, 2016

Revised to reflect receipt of additional materials, December 2016, June 2017, February, 2022.

Finding aid encoded in English.

Biographical Note

Lawrence Aryeh Kobrin was born in New York City in 1933. He attended the Ramaz Jewish day school for his primary and secondary education, and he earned both his BA (1954) and JD (1957) at Columbia University. He married Ruth E. Freedman in 1967 and they have three children. Kobrin is an attorney and Senior Counsel at the firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel, where he spent most of his professional career.

Kobrin's involvement in service to the community, specifically in support of Jewish causes, began early and continues throughout his lifetime. The value of his contribution is evidenced by his rise to leadership positions in so many of the organizations to which he dedicated his efforts. Kobrin's communal interests include, among others, education, summer camps, Israel, Jewish courts, Jewish religion especially Modern Orthodoxy, philanthropy and social service.

An oral history conducted with Kobrin in 1985 at the American Jewish Historical Society offers significant insight into his background, his personality and his perspective. It is accessible online both as an MP3 file and as a textual transcript through the Society's catalog.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists primarily of papers reflecting Kobrin's communal work with a variety of Jewish organizations, educational institutions, synagogues, the Orthodox Union, the Rabbinical Council of America and more. The correspondence focuses on matters of policy as well as on institutional plans and activities. Kobrin's legal expertise repeatedly played a role in advising these organizations, especially in regard to by-laws.

Evidence of Kobrin's keen interest in educating and serving Orthodox Jewish youth is found in files for several of the organizations: Camp Morasha, Yavneh, the synagogue papers, and Ramaz School to name a few. Kobrin's philosophy of lay versus professional leadership is articulated in a letter in the Ramaz files (9/29/82): "The essence of a successful educational institution is that it is professionally run. When lay participation is permitted to dominate the educational process or becomes so involved with it as to undermine or divert professional leadership, the decline of the institution is in sight."

Records of Kobrin's early years at the Ramaz School may be found among the personal papers in the collection. While the collection overall contains primarily correspondence, other formats included are photographs, printed ephemera, publications, scorebooks of Israeli music, and audio recordings.

Researchers will find the collection useful for information about the organizations in the collection, about the communal issues these organizations sought to address, and about Kobrin himself. Researchers should also turn to the American Jewish Historical Society, which houses the records of Kobrin's communal work for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York.


The collection is arranged in three series:

Series A: Jewish Communal Work
Series B: Personal
Series C: Audio Recordings

Index Terms

This collection has been indexed under the following terms:

Berman, Saul J.
Jung, Irma, 1897-1993
Jung, Leo, 1892-1987
Lamm, Norman
Soloveitchik, Joseph Dov
Wurzburger, Walter S.
American Jewish Committee
Ariʼel mifʻale Torah, Yahadut ṿe-ḥevrah be-Yiśraʼel
Beth Din of America
Camp Morasha, Inc.
Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun (New York, N.Y.)
Edah, Inc.
Ethics and Public Policy Center (Washington, D.C.)
Histadruth Ivrith of America
Intercollegiate Zionist Association of America
Jewish Center (New York, N.Y.)
National Center for the Hebrew Language (U.S.)
National Conference of Synagogue Youth
Rabbinical Council of America
Ramaz School (New York, N.Y.)
Robert K. Kraft Family Center for Jewish Student Life
Synagogue Council of America
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
Universiṭat Bar-Ilan
West Side Institutional Synagogue (New York, N.Y.)
Wurzweiler School of Social Work
Yavneh (Association)
Yeshiva University
Yeshiva University. Board of Trustees. Academic Affairs Committee
Yeshiva University. Community Service Division. Youth Bureau
Jewish camps -- United States
Jewish college students --United States --Societies, etc.
Jewish day schools -- New York (State) -- New York
Jewish lawyers -- New York (State) -- New York
Jewish youth -- Religious life -- United States
Jewish youth -- Societies and clubs
Jews -- United States
Orthodox Judaism -- United States
Rabbinical courts -- United States
Schools of Social Work -- New York (State) -- New York
Synagogues -- New York (State) -- New York
Women in Judaism--United States
Document Types:
Invitation Cards
Printed ephemera
Sheet music
Sound recordings

Related Material

Additional materials documenting Kobrin's communal work can be found in the collections of the UJA-Federation and Massad Camps collections at the American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY.

A collection documenting Kobrin's years at Columbia University and items relating to the University are housed at Columbia's Rare Book and Manuscripts Library.

Conditions Governing Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is available to researchers deemed to be qualified by the Archivist. A small amount of the material is restricted for privacy.

Conditions Governing Use

Restrictions may apply concerning the use, photoduplication, or publication of materials in this collection. Please contact the Curator of Special Collections for information regarding Yeshiva University's reproduction policies and fees.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series A: Jewish Communal Work, 1945-2009. 4 Linear feet

Scope and Contents: The series consists of Kobrin's correspondence and other materials arising from his communal work for a broad range of Jewish institutions.
Arrangement: The files are arranged alphabetically by institution.
11American Jewish Committee, 1993-2001
The American Jewish Committee is an advocacy group formed in 1906 to combat anti-Semitism and defend the rights of Jews worldwide.
The file consists of a letter inviting Kobrin to add his signature to an attached American Jewish Committee (AJC) "Statement on the Jewish Future" (1997) addressing concerns emerging from "the high rates of intermarriage," and materials relating to an AJC conference, "Consultation on Intermarriage," that was held on November 6, 2001. Several additional pieces of correspondence also relate to interfaith marriage and to outreach to unaffiliated Jews.
2Ariel Institute, 1994-1998
Ariel Institute, officially Ariʼel mifʻale Torah, Yahadut ṿe-ḥevrah be-Yiśraʼel, also known as the Ariel United Israel Institute, located in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem, was founded in 1979 by Rabbi Shear-Yashuv Cohen. It offers training for rabbis and rabbinical judges and hosts a rabbinical court.
The file consists of documents and correspondence related to fund raising and to the establishment of a joint program between the Ariel United Israel Institute and Or Torah, for the training of rabbis.
3Bar Ilan University, 1967-1997, Bulk: 1997
Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel was established in 1955 with the goal of combining academic excellence with Jewish values and study of the Jewish heritage.
The folder consists of materials relating to Kobrin's service as American counsel for the University during the 1960s-70s, as well as correspondence with faculty and other related materials.
4-5Beth Din of America, 1965, 1994-2014
The Beth Din of America, a Jewish orthodox rabbinical court, was founded in 1960 by the Rabbinical Council of America. In 1994, the Beth Din became an autonomous organization, headed by an independent board of directors. The organization is overseen by its rabbinic leadership, and a board of directors composed by lay and rabbinic leaders. (Source:
The file consists of correspondence and other materials relating to administrative matters and activities of the Beth Din of America, including among others the issue of agunot (women whose husbands refuse to grant them Jewish divorces, preventing them from remarrying according to Jewish law.)
121Beth Din of America, Additional materials 1994-1998
16-9Camp Morasha, 1955-2004, Bulk: 1963-1966
Camp Morasha has its roots in a camp project undertaken by Yeshiva University's Rabbinic Alumni Association, and is apparently an outgrowth of the Torah Leadership Seminars run by the University's Community Service Division Youth Bureau. These were programs of several days' duration, generally held in a camp setting, designed to introduce young Jews to Orthodox Judaism and Shabbat.
The Camp, located in the Pocono Mountains region of Pennsylvania, was established in 1963 under the authority of the New York Metropolitan Commission on Talmud Torah Education, with Yeshiva University's Community Service Division to be responsible for its operation. (Talmud Torah education generally took place in Jewish/Hebrew schools that Jewish public school students would attend in the afternoons.)
The Camp was initially intended to service youngsters affiliated with Orthodox synagogues who attended afternoon schools rather than Jewish full-day schools. As day schools proliferated and Orthodox afternoon schools all but disappeared, the Camp's focus shifted to primarily servicing Modern Orthodox youth. Morasha's mission, restated to reflect this change, "is to promote the principles of the Orthodox Jewish religion...[that are] known as centrist orthodoxy in the model of Yeshiva University." (By-Laws, March 1996, Section 1.02) In addition to a variety of recreational activities, formal and informal Jewish educational activities have always formed an integral part of the camp experience.
The files consist primarily of correspondence and reports that focus upon Camp Morasha's origins involving the Yeshiva University Rabbinic Alumni Association, the Yeshiva University Communal Service Division and the Metropolitan New York Commission on Talmud Torah Education. A September 1963 consultant's report offers advice on how to proceed with the camp project. Official, legal documents in the collection reflect the early years as well as changes that took place over time. Evaluation and selection of a campsite and its purchase are described. Financial reports and fund raising letters are included, as are several meeting agendas and meeting minutes. A 1997 document discusses the introduction of a program for children with special needs.
Drafts by Kobrin for "Teen Guides" to be published by the Yeshiva University Community Service Division and correspondence about these drafts are found in the collection, as are the printed program for a 1964 Yeshiva University National Synagogue Leadership Conference and a 1964 Camp Morasha brochure and application.
Researchers will find some overlap in the various folders, both in terms of contents and of chronology, as they have been maintained as originally arranged by Kobrin.
10-11Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, 1948-1998, 2010
Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun was founded in 1872 in the Yorkville section of Manhattan's Upper East Side. In 1905, Rabbi Moses Zevulun Margolies (also known as the RaMaZ), a renowned rabbinic scholar and communal leader in the United States who had been ordained by some of the foremost rabbis of Europe, became the senior rabbi and served until his death in 1936. He was succeeded by his grandson-in-law, Rabbi Joseph Lookstein, who had served as the Assistant Rabbi since 1923. Rabbi Lookstein's son, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, had assisted his father beginning in 1958 until the latter's passing in 1979, and served as the Congregation's senior rabbi through 2015.
Kehilath Jeshurun presently defines itself as a modern Orthodox synagogue which emphasizes both the "modern" and the "Orthodox" - deeply committed to religious tradition, and an integral participant in a modern, 21st century secular society.
The files consist primarily of correspondence and printed materials. The correspondence deals with Kobrin's membership and service to the synagogue, his involvement with the youth activities, and a proposal for a building project. Among the printed materials are adult education programs; membership meeting agendas, and invitations and programs from various events. Included with the materials is a three page typescript entitled "Service of Prayer and Mobilization for the Establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine," April 8th, 1948. A note at the end reads, "This order of service is arranged in accordance with the form suggested by the American Orthodox rabbinate."
12Edah, 1997-2006
"In the late 1990s, a group of Orthodox intellectuals and lay leaders established Edah under the banner of 'the courage to be modern and Orthodox.'… Edah hoped to redress women's inequality, notably in Jewish divorce law, to train a cadre of Modern Orthodox educators, to help define religious Zionism for the 21st century, and, ... to nurture an atmosphere of open dialogue and freedom of exchange that was so sorely lacking in an Orthodox world dominated by roshei yeshivah." (Excerpted from"Edah", Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed.Vol. 6., p141-142).
Edah held national and regional conferences and published the Edah Journal. It announced the termination of its activities as an independent entity in 2006.
The file consists of papers describing the rationale for establishing the Edah organization and for winding it down after nine years. Included are reports on Edah activities and accomplishments, some reactions from critics and additional related materials.
1073Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1997
The file consists of correspondence and materials relating to this think tank, founded by Elliott Abrams, which Kobrin was involved with for a brief time.
113Histadruth Ivrith and The National Center for the Hebrew Language, 1992-1998
"The Histadrut Ivrit of America is a "U.S. organization devoted to encouraging the knowledge and use of the Hebrew language, the publication of Hebrew books and periodicals, and an interest in Hebrew culture. The organization held its opening convention in December 1917 (Encyclopedia Judaica, 2nd ed., vol. 9, 151.)
The National Center for the Hebrew Language (NCHL), headquartered in New York City, was formed in November 1995 by the Joint Authority for Jewish/Zionist Education of the World Zionist Organization. The purpose of NCHL is to promote "culture and education in the United States through the promotion and study of the Hebrew language (Guide to the Records of National Center for the Hebrew Language, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, N.Y., 2016).
The file consists of a proposal by Kobrin to reorganize and consolidate several organizations devoted to the promotion of Hebrew language and culture in the United States, primarily the Histadrut Ivrit (Hebrew Language and Culture Association) and the National Center for the Hebrew Language (NCHL). The file includes the NCHL Executive Director's report for 1998.
214-15Jewish Center, 1920, 1931, 1945, 1960-1979, 1982-2019, Bulk: 1961-1976
The Jewish Center, a modern orthodox synagogue located in Manhattan's Upper West Side on West 86th Street, held its first services in January 1918. Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan served as the Jewish Center's inaugural spiritual leader. He was soon followed by Rabbi Dr. Leo Jung whose association with the Center as Rabbi and then Rabbi Emeritus extended over a period of sixty-five years. Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm and Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter each occupied the Center's pulpit for almost two decades.
The early documents in the file are copies of the Certificate of Occupancy and Certificate of Incorporation of the Jewish Center. Correspondence and minutes of cabinet meetings focus upon the business of the synagogue, ways to improve service to the membership and especially its youth. Kobrin's legal advice regarding synagogue issues appears in a variety of contexts, including in correspondence with Rabbi Norman Lamm. Among the materials are transcripts of speeches delivered on November 9, 1976, at an evening of tribute to Rabbi Lamm, who was leaving his position as the synagogue's rabbi to become President of Yeshiva University.
Two small sets of correspondence have been left intact as maintained by Kobrin and thus overlap both chronologically and topically with other papers in the file. Readers are advised, therefore, to examine all of the papers.
Printed materials are arranged in a separate folder which includes invitations, a few issues of The Jewish Center Bulletin (1945, 1960s-1970s), reprints of several sermons by Rabbi Norman Lamm (1959-1963), and an undated Order of Service for the Consecration of a New Cemetery, the Jewish Center Grounds at Kensico Cemetery, Sharon Gardens, Valhalla, New York.
16Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life (Columbia/Barnard), 1994-2003
The Robert K. Kraft Family Center for Jewish Student Life is the home of the Columbia/Barnard Hillel. The Center, dedicated in 2000, is located just west of the Columbia University Campus. Social, cultural, religious and educational activities take place at the Center.
The file contains correspondence and documents relating to the establishment and construction of the Kraft Center. Also included is material regarding a possible Shabbos (Sabbath) Program during Reunion Weekend at Columbia.
17-18Orthodox Caucus, 1989-2002
The Orthodox Caucus, incorporated in 1993, was established to advance the combined agendas of Modern Orthodoxy and Religious Zionism by taking a proactive approach to the challenges facing contemporary Orthodoxy in keeping with Halakhic (Jewish legal) norms and utilizing existing communal structures to implement its programs. The Caucus was composed of a coalition of laypersons, rabbis, academics and Jewish communal professionals. Issues of concern and projects of the Caucus include among others: agunot (women whose husbands refuse to grant them Jewish divorces, preventing them from remarrying according to Jewish law.); prenuptial agreement; Health care proxy; Beth Din of America (Rabbinical court), women and Orthodoxy; and standards and ethics for Jewish nonprofits and charities. The Caucus flourished for approximately fifteen years.
Among the materials included in the files are correspondence, reports, agreements, legal documents, agendas for meetings, articles of incorporation, and by-laws relating to the broad range of activities of the Orthodox Caucus.
19Rabbinical Council of America, 1994-1996
The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) is the main professional rabbinical association identified with Modern Orthodoxy in the United States.
The file contains a tax exemption notice and a letter from Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, editor of the journal Tradition, regarding the contents of the journal and its relevance for the members of the RCA.
3,420-27Ramaz School, 1942, 1963, 1966,1971-2004, Bulk: 1982-1992
The Ramaz School is a Modern Orthodox day school which was founded in 1937 by Rabbi Joseph Lookstein, and it is named after Rabbi Lookstein's grandfather-in-law, Rabbi Moses Zevulun Margolies, who was known as the RaMaZ and was the rabbi of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun with which the school was affiliated. In 1943 the school held its first elementary school graduation, and in 1949 it held its first high school commencement exercises. In 1971, Joseph Lookstein retired as principal and his son, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, took over the role. Ramaz continues to flourish and grow, and it now has three separate locations for the Lower School, the Middle School and the High School.
Materials in the files are primarily a reflection of Kobrin's activities on behalf of the Ramaz School as a member of its Board of Trustees, as a chair of Board committees, and as Chairman of the Board for a five year term that ended in 1983. During the years of Kobrin's involvement with the school the Ramaz student body grew significantly, its premises were expanded and renovated, and the administrative structure was reorganized into lower and upper schools. Issues of concern to the Board were budget, building plans, fund raising including dinners, tuition, salaries, enrollment, educational programs and the religious climate in the school. Correspondence in the file reveals tension regarding the appropriate level of involvement for Board members in the operation of the school, with Kobrin advocating restraint.
A comprehensive record of a by-laws revision in the early 1990s, led by Kobrin, is included in the file, with accompanying documents dating back to 1942. "Historical Goals" and a "Statement of Philosophy" appear in the first article of the by-laws. Materials relating to the 1987-1988 Jubilee Celebration, chaired by Kobrin, are also found in the file.
The file contains correspondence, minutes, official documents, and a few printed items.
528Tradition journal, 1963-1968
Tradition is a quarterly "Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought" published by the Rabbinical Council of America. It began publication in 1958. Rabbi Walter S. Wurzburger was the editor from 1962 to 1988, following Rabbi Norman Lamm who was its founding editor.
The file consists of correspondence relating to the business of publishing and distributing the journal Tradition during the years when Kobrin was its Managing Editor, as well as beyond. Kobrin appears to have stepped down as Managing Editor in mid-1964, but he remained on the editorial board.
125UMB Bank and Trust Company 1977-1996
The file consists of records relating to Kobrin's service as co-counsel to the bank and its New York subsidiary, the United Mizrachi Bank.
5,629-35Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, 1943, 1945, 1953, 1960-1998, 2009, Bulk: 1960-1971
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (UOJCA) was founded in 1898 and is commonly referred to as the Orthodox Union (OU). Its mission is to engage, strengthen and lead the Orthodox Jewish Community, and to inspire the greater Jewish community. The OU works toward these goals through a variety of programs including: OU Kosher, National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), OU Press, Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC), OU Advocacy Center, OU Synagogue Network, and Yachad which champions the inclusion of people with disabilities.
The files document activities, projects and programs of the OU and aspects of its involvements with various other Jewish organizations, primarily Yavneh, Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the largest professional association of Orthodox rabbis, and Synagogue Council of America (SCA), an umbrella organization comprised of Orthodox, Reform and Conservative synagogue and rabbinic associations.
There are significant materials from the OU's Biennial Conventions held during the 1960s, including programs, resolutions, Kobrin's handwritten notes from sessions and meetings, press coverage, and several photographs. Noteworthy issues debated at those conferences that are documented in the files include the OU's positions on school prayer and government funding for religious schools, and whether it should remain in the SCA. The files also contain materials relating to the OU's then-nascent organization for teenagers, the National Conference for Synagogue Youth (NCSY), which provides youth-led programming to promote engagement of young Jews in Orthodox Jewish practice and affiliation. Included is correspondence regarding the partnership of NCSY with Yeshiva University's Youth Bureau to jointly provide youth programming during the 1960s, and its eventual breakdown. Kobrin served as Chairman of the Joint Commission subcommittee tasked with monitoring the partnership. A chapter of the 2009 work Living from Convention to Convention: A History of the NCSY, 1954-1980, by Zev Eleff is filed with these materials.
The bulk of Kobrin's outgoing correspondence arising from his OU work is preserved as he maintained them, in two files that are separate from and overlap somewhat with the general set of files. These relate to a broad range of administrative matters of the organization, his legal guidance to it and to many of its affiliated organizations, and his general advice that was often sought by OU leadership. Another separately maintained and preserved file referencing 'memos' actually contains correspondence, minutes, reports, and other types of documents in addition to memoranda, and relates to many of the matters covered in the general set of files. Researchers are advised to review all the files to ensure items on a particular topic are not overlooked.
966-69Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America - First World Conference of Ashkenazi and Sephardi Synagogues, 1967-1968
Contains materials from Kobrin's attendance at the First World Conference of Ashkenazi and Sephardi Synagogues, held in Jerusalem in 1968, which was spearheaded by the OU. They consist of his notes on various sessions, resolutions, programs and other printed materials, photographs, and press coverage of the conference.
636West Side Institutional Synagogue, 1949-1959
The West Side Institutional Synagogue originated as the Upper West Side branch of the Institutional Synagogue in Harlem which was founded in 1917, with Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein as its founder and first spiritual leader. The Harlem synagogue remained in operation through 1943, but by 1928 most of its main supporters had relocated to the West Side of Manhattan and a hall was rented for services in that vicinity. In 1937, Rabbi Goldstein transferred from the Harlem synagogue to the West Side branch, where he was active until his death in 1970. Rabbi Oscar Asher Reichel, became affiliated with the Synagogue in 1947. Kobrin corresponded with both Rabbi Goldstein and Rabbi Reichel.
The file consists of correspondence, postcards, clippings, a typescript of what appears to be a 1954 sermon by Kobrin and a booklet, Dinner tendered by The West Side Institutional Synagogue in honor of Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein's 45th Anniversary of Dedicated Service in the Rabbinate. (April 19.1959) In a 1950 letter Kobrin expresses his views about the potential for religious problems as a result of a person attending college out-of-town. His views regarding appropriate "dignity" at religious services appear in a letter to Rabbi Goldstein in 1959.
9-1070-72The West Side Institutional Review, 1952-1957, 1967
Consists of bound volumes of issues of the synagogue's bulletin for the years that Kobrin served as Assistant Editor, as well as unbound issues from a later year.
122World Mizrachi, 1970s
The file consists of materials from the 22nd World Mizrachi Convention (1973) as well as some background and financial materials.
637-40Wurzweiler School of Social Work, 1967, 1984-1992, Bulk: 1984-1992
The Wurzweiler School of Social Work was established at Yeshiva University in 1957 "as America's only graduate social work school under Jewish auspices in a university setting." ( The School is fully accredited and offers program leading to both masters and doctoral degrees.
The files document activities of the Wurzweiler Board of Governors and Kobrin's involvement in these activities. Kobrin was invited to be a member of the Board at its inception in 1984 and he served on various Board committees, among them the Executive, Accreditation, Academic Affairs and Governance committees.
Minutes of Board meetings and of Board Committee meetings, by-laws - with Kobrin's drafts and revisions-, financial reports and fund raising correspondence are included in the records. Papers relating to a scholarship fund established by Kobrin and his wife Ruth, and materials dealing with the August 1991 dinner at which they were honored appear in the collection. Among the issues of interest or concern expressed in letters by Kobrin are a proposed National Advisory Board for Wurzweiler, faculty publication activity, financial reporting, proposed School involvement in community service activities, and the effective use of technology funds. Found in the files as well are the program, script and three photos from the 1992 Block Program Commencement at which Kobrin presented an award to government official Richard Ravitch, former president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. (The Wurzweiler Summer Block Program provides students with the opportunity to earn a Master's degree in Social Work by attending classes during three summers.)
Researchers will find some overlap in the various folders, both in terms of contents and of chronology, as they have been maintained as originally arranged by Kobrin.
41-42Yavneh, 1960, 1966-1967, 1975-1976, 1997
Founded in 1960 by students from thirteen college campuses, Yavneh hoped to promote religious observance on university campuses, explore the intellectual challenges between Judaism and Western thought and culture, and provide a social community that would address the alienation felt by many observant college students. (Excerpted from review of The Greening of American Orthodox Judaism, by Moshe D. Sherman in American Jewish History, 96:3, September 2010.) Yavneh flourished from 1960 until 1981.
The file contains a 1960 brochure describing the aims and proposed programs of the new Yavneh organization; an undated acknowledgement letter to Kobrin for teaching a class on "comparative law"; an assessment of the organization by Rabbi E. J. Steinhorn, suggestions and recommendations from Kobrin who continued to assist Yavneh in an advisory capacity, tax documents and related materials. Also included is a file of materials documenting efforts during the 1960s to establish a "gap year" of study in Israel for Yavneh members, and an agreement with Bar Ilan University that details the contours of that program. Kobrin was sent to Israel by Yavneh for this purpose, and met and corresponded with the Jewish Agency, Israeli institutions, and others regarding it.
743-44Yeshiva University, 1963-2008
Yeshiva University is the oldest and most comprehensive educational institution under Jewish auspices in America. It is a private university that ranks among the nation's leading academic research institutions. Since its inception the University has been dedicated to melding the ancient traditions of Jewish law and life with the heritage of Western civilization.
The materials consist of a file of correspondence relating to academic issues at Yeshiva University during Kobrin's years of service on the Board of Trustees' Committee on Academic Affairs, 1990 through 2005, including photographs from the 1992 and 1994 commencements, in which Kobrin participated in his role as a Board member. The University's by-laws as amended in 1989 are included, as well as a proposal from Ukeles Associates to develop a strategic plan for Jewish Education at Yeshiva University. A letter from Professor David Shatz deals with "finding sources for a philosophy of democracy," for Israel, apparently in the wake of the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin. The assassination is the subject of a letter from Dr. Yedidya Stern, Dean of the Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan University, and of a clipping from the Jerusalem Post. Three 2008 clippings from the New York Times deal with the Bernard Madoff fraud case.
There is also a general file containing disparate items of correspondence stretching over a period of almost forty years, which reflect Mr. Kobrin's involvement in a variety of issues and activities at the University. Some examples are a 1963 letter to Prof. Irving Agus making a point about historiography; correspondence with Rabbi Robert S Hirt, Dean of the YU Communal Service Division regarding educating rabbis and teachers for service to the community; a 1994 letter to Dr. Norman Lamm that "ranks the goals to be given to the search process" for a Dean for Yeshiva College; a 2001 email transcript calling for better communication with the Jewish Week "in order to avoid mistakes in emphasis and in fact."

Series B: Personal, 1940-2019. 2 Linear feet

Scope and Contents: The series consists of assorted items documenting Jewish activities and interests of Kobrin over the course of his life. The correspondence and printed materials from events are more personal in nature than what is found in the Jewish Communal Work Series, although because of the overlap between Kobrin's personal and professional activities, many of the same institutions are represented, and the correspondence frequently contains references to communal activities. The series does not contain the full corpus of Kobrin's personal records; rather it seems that the materials donated either complemented his communal activities or appeared to be of historic interest.

Materials from Kobrin's time as a student of the Ramaz primary and secondary schools are also included, which document aspects of the curriculum, administration and philosophy of the early period of this Jewish day school.

Arrangement: The files are arranged topically.
745Correspondence, 1953-1996, 2007
Assorted correspondence relating to Kobrin's interests in and activities regarding Jewish matters is contained here, some of it in Hebrew. In general these are exchanges with representatives of organizations and institutions in the US and in Israel. Of particular interest are several letters written by Kobrin to family members while attending a 1968 conference in Jerusalem after its reunification, in which he describes being at the Western Wall and other places of great Jewish historical and spiritual significance that could now be visited.
46Printed Materials - Invitations and Events, 1950-2003
The folder consists of an assortment of printed ephemera, primarily invitations and event programs from a variety of institutions and occasions that document Kobrin's broad personal interests and his involvement and leadership in Jewish communal affairs. Of particular note is an invitation to the White House Hanukkah Reception hosted by President and Mrs. Bush (2003). Printed materials from Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and The Jewish Center are housed with those institutions' files in the Jewish Communal Work series, as they were maintained by Kobrin.
47Publications, 1943-2003
The folder consists of a small number of periodicals and other published items collected by Kobrin. Included are a small set of booklets documenting aspects of Jewish religious practice, newsletters of several American and Israeli organizations, a written symposium on attempts to bridge the Jewish religious-secular divide sponsored by the American Jewish Committee (2003), and copies of some legal documents from a lawsuit against the American Zionist Federation by several of its members over a procedural matter (1987). There are also several issues of Mizracha, a publication of Mizrachi Hatzair, one of which contains an article by Kobrin (April-May 1955), as well as several issues of IZFacts, a publication of the Intercollegiate Zionist Federation of America (1952-1953), accompanied by a manual for establishing campus chapters of the organization. Finally, there are several issues of The New Palestine from 1948-1949.
Publications relating to specific aspects of Kobrin's communal work have been preserved with these materials in the Jewish Communal Work series. Publications of the Ramaz School are housed as they were maintained by Kobrin in the School Records and Ephemera folders.
A list of other publications that were removed from the collection is also in the folders.
48Photographs, undated, 1968, 1972, 1976
The folder contains photographs, primarily from various events attended by Kobrin as part of his Jewish communal activities. Included are images from a dinner for Ariel Institute (undated), an event at Ramot Shapiro in Jerusalem, Israel (1972), and from the Jewish Center's farewell event for Rabbi Norman Lamm (1976). There are also photographs and some accompanying material of Jewish sites in Amsterdam that seem to be from a stopover on a 1968 visit to Israel.
Photographs from Kobrin's school years are housed as he maintained them within the School Records and Ephemera folders. A small number of additional photographs relating to specific aspects of Kobrin's communal activities are housed with those institutions' folders in the Jewish Communal Work series.
49Jewish/Hebrew Musical Scorebooks, undated, 1944
Consists of scorebooks Ten Palestinian Folk Songs arranged by Julius Chajes (1944) and Famous Traditional Hebrew Melodies compiled and arranged by Martin Greenwald.
50Israel News Clippings, 1948-1962
Consists of a small collection of articles and news clippings relating to noteworthy events in the history of the State of Israel from American and Israeli publications.
51Israel Stamp Workshop, circa 1950s
Consists of information published by the Jewish Agency for Palestine's Youth Department on collecting Israel stamps as an educational activity for Zionist youth groups, as well as several other booklets regarding stamp collecting.
52Notes from Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik Lecture, 1958
Two pages of typed notes from a lecture of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik for the Sabbath preceding Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).
1075Looking Back from Here: A Personal Memoir, 2019
Kobrin's memoir.
76Creation in a Chaotic Decade: Rabbi Lamm in the 60s, December 19, 2017
Consists of an article by Kobrin published in the online publication Lehrhaus as part of its series in honor of Rabbi Norman Lamm's 90th birthday.
7-953-65School Records and Ephemera, 1940-1963
The files contain assorted materials from Kobrin's years as a primary and high school student at the Ramaz School, a co-educational Jewish day school located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Included are various class notes, examinations and exercises, school papers and essays, some photographs, and printed school ephemera. There are also minutes from club meetings and other student activities, which Kobrin was heavily involved with and often chaired, documenting his organizational involvement and leadership from an early age. A set of documents, referred to as the Archives and Records of the nascent Ramaz Alumni Society from 1950-1953 is also included, which contains meeting minutes of the group's Executive Committee, various reports, drafts of by-laws, and various other materials.
The files also contain several issues of the elementary school's yearbook, The Ramaz Scroll (1940-1946), and of the high school's yearbook Pioneer (1948-1950), of which Kobrin served as editor. Various issues of the Ramaz Mirror (1950-1956), a publication of the school for its broader community, are also included.
123Additional Personal Materials, 1950-1990, 2009
The file consists of various correspondence and other items donated at a later time.
4Kobrin Family Historic Documents, 1886-1991 (with gaps)
The file consists of announcements, invitations, photographs, receipts and other items from various members of the extended Kobrin family.
1074Steinhardt Forum Correspondence, 1993
The file consists of correspondence and other materials from a Steinhardt Forum on outreach and intermarriage for which Kobrin was a panelist. Also includes an exchange concerning a quote that some felt affiliated Bar Ilan University with Yigal Amir, who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.
A recording of the session can be found in the Audio Recordings series.
126Legal Career, 1958-1983
The file consists of documents tracing Kobrin's legal career, beginning with acceptance letters to Harvard and Yale law schools, as well as items from the various law firms at which he worked.
131Military Records, 1954-1962, 1976
The file consists of Kobrin's selective service records as well as materials relating to his military and National Guard service in the late 1950s-early 1960s.
2Additional Correspondence - United States, 1949, 1963-2010
The file consists of assorted correspondence with parties in the United States.
3Additional Correspondence - Israel, 1958-2005
The file consists of assorted correspondence with parties in Israel.

Series C: Audio Recordings, 1993, 1998, 2001. .50 Linear foot

Scope and Contents: The series consists of several audio recordings from conferences and events Kobrin attended or in which he participated as a panelist. All recordings are in cassette format. Removed from the collection were recordings of Yeshiva University's memorial for Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik upon his passing in April, 1993. A video recording of this event exists in Yeshiva University Archives' Public Relations Audio/Video Recordings collection.
111Funeral of Rebbetzin Irma Jung at the Jewish Center, New York, N.Y., May 23, 1993
(Two copies)
2Spiritual and Ethical Components of Legal Practice Today, February, 2001
Panel session with Judge Miriam J. Altman, Lawrence A. Kobrin, and David Stone at Second International Conference of Edah, Inc.
3Kol Isha: The Sounds of Silence, February, 1998
Presentation by Rabbi Saul Berman and Dr. Sylvia Barack Fishman at the Second International Conference on Feminism & Orthodoxy.
4-5Steinhardt Forum session, April 20, 1993
Presentations by David W. Belin and Lawrence A. Kobrin on Jewish outreach and intermarried couples. Held at Central Synagogue, New York, N.Y. 2 cassettes (1 broken).
See also Box 10, Folder 74 for correspondence and documents related to this session.