Permission to publish material from the Marilyn Hassid SAR Collection must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.
The Woodson Research Center use policy is that researchers assume sole responsibility for any infringement of privacy, literary rights, copyrights, or other rights arising from their use of the archival materials. In addition to any restrictions placed by donors, certain kinds of archival materials are restricted for the life of the creator plus 50 years. These materials include, but are not limited to, student grades, transcripts, and any job applications or recommendations.
Founded in 1917, Sigma Alpha Rho (SAR) is the oldest, continuously run, independent Jewish high school fraternity in the United States. Organized at the local, regional, and international levels, SAR emphasizes the development of leadership and planning skills through independence.
Sigma Alpha Rho has its roots in “The Soathical Club,” a social group organized by eleven sudents at West Philadelphia High School. Wanting to advance the interests of Jewish students, the friends formed their group into the first chapter of Sigma Alpha Rho, choosing the “Gleaming Eye” symbol and the colors royal purple and white to represent their brotherhood.
Jules Feinstein led the first chapter of the fraternity as President, accompanied by Louis Marios as Vice President, Nathan Goldman as Secretary, Benjamin Landau as Treasurer, and Harry Katz as Financial Secretary. The group soon formed the “National Organizers Department” (a precursor to the present day Supreme Board of Chancellors) with the goal of expanding SAR to other high school in the area.
In 1921, SAR inducted a second chapter into their fraternity, beginning the sweeping expansion which would soon overtake every high school in Philadelphia and start moving into nearby states. Recognizing the necessity of a central governing body which would serve as a connecting link for all chapters no matter how widely they were distributed, SAR formed an Executive Council in 1921.
The Executive Council at first had eight members, four from the Phi Chapter (West Philadelphia) and four from the Sigma Chapter (Central High School of Philadelphia): Brothers Rosenthal, Abramson, Segal and Herman representing Phi and Horowitz, Good, Buten and Hoffman, members of Sigma.The Council set up the first plans for the conduct of the National Organization, laying the base for the complex system of constitution and by-laws the fraternity follows today.
As the organization continued to expand, the need for chapter representation became clear, and in 1924, SAR replaced the Executive Council with a new “National Executive Council,” with delegates from every chapter and a revised constitution. From this point, SAR began to hold yearly conventions. In 1926, the organization formalized a “Supreme Board of Chancellors” with greater power and resources, tasked with executing all rulings and decisions approved by the National Executive Council, serving as the final body for interpretation of both the ritual and the Constitution, enforcing decisions of the Supreme Exalted Ruler, and hearing all appeals.
Sigma Alpha Rho grew and changed over the next century, struggling through the Great Depression, making its mark during the second World War, and using its reach and influence to help causes like the National Society for Crippled Children and the Polio Foundation. Though today’s organization little resembles the small social group of its forefathers, SAR has stayed committed to the same ideals.
1 Linear Feet (2 boxes, 1 map drawer)
The materials are arranged by date in three series, as follows:
Series I: Scrapbook
Series II: Documents
Series III: Photographs
Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository