The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans records consists of administrative, organizational, financial, and subject files, as well as photographs, scrapbooks, and other ephemera that reflect the activities of the organization between 1914 and 1994. Included in the collection are the merger documents that consolidated the Jewish Charitable and Education Federation and the Jewish Welfare Fund into the Jewish Federation of New Orleans in 1962. Financial materials, consisting of contribution and pledge records, as well as budget records, allocations, loans, taxes, disbursements, and audit reports are also included. Subject files containing correspondence between committees, meeting minutes, reports, newspaper clippings, and pamphlets are also present. The collection includes scrapbooks that contain photographs, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, as well as other ephemera documenting local activities of the Federation.
The collection consists of two groups of records, one containing materials dating between 1914 to approximately 1980 and the second group dating between 1977 and 1992. The new accrual of materials materials transferred to the archives contain a census taken of the Jewish population of New Orleans in 1984 as well as materials used during a campaign against the political advancement of David Duke.
The Jewish community of New Orleans has maintained a Federation that has raised money for Jewish causes since 1913, coordinating activities and representing the Jewish community to the public. The Federation began when Jewish leaders in the New Orleans Jewish community met and approved the charter of the Jewish Charitable and Educational Federation, which was meant to centralize Jewish local fundraising, eliminate unauthorized solicitations, and to coordinate charitable activities in the Jewish Community. The Jewish Welfare Fund was created in 1931 by the Federation's Board of Trustees to consolidate out-of-town fundraising drives looking for local support. It was found that the Federation and Fund's purposes overlapped in many ways, so these two groups merged and became the Jewish Federation of New Orleans in 1962. Its current name, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, was adopted in 1977.
The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans is made up of constituent agencies, also known as affiliates, which perform charitable, cultural, or educational services primarily in the New Orleans area. The Federation provides financial assistance to beneficiary agencies, which include local, national, or international Jewish organizations or institutions.