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Jay Geller Family Papers

Identifier: MS 839
Finding aid note: Forms part of the Houston Jewish History Archive. Stored onsite at the Woodson Research Center.

Scope and Contents

The Jay Geller family papers are made up of eight black-and white photographs--some group photos, some individual portraits— depicting members of the Geller family related to Jay Geller. The materials are in good condition, and are dated between 1918 and 1932. Researchers interested in the members of the Geller family, pillars in the Jewish community, or early photographs would find this collection useful.


  • 1918 - 1932

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research. Stored onsite at the Woodson Research Center.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Jay Geller family photos 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.

Biographical / Historical

The Jay Geller family papers contain black-and-white photographs of family members related to Jay Geller, including his father Isaac Meyer, aunts Leah Ramati and Shifra Ben-Zvi, great-uncles Rabbi Max Geller and Sam Geller (the latter married to Rose Geller) , and his great-great-grandfather Rabbi Jacob Geller. A family tree depicting the relationships between family members in the collection can be found in the control folder.

Born in Galicia where he received his rabbinical training, Rabbi Jacob Geller, came to the United States in 1892 to lead the Orthodox community of Galveston. While there he organized the Hebrew Orthodox Benevolent Association and dedicated a synagogue built by the Young Men's Hebrew Association. In 1910 he moved to Houston and became the rabbi of the Adath Israel Congregation. With his wife, Sarah Wittes Geller, he fathered four sons and four daughters, including Samuel Geller (featured in the collection), Harry Judah Geller (great-grandfather to Jay Geller, who donated the materials), and Rabbi Max Geller, who went on to make his own mark on the Jewish religious community.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The Jay Geller family papers are a collection of group and portrait photographs of members of the Geller family. With such influential members of the Jewish community as Rabbi Jacob Geller and Rabbi Max Geller, the collection offers a glimpse into the Jewish community of the early 1900s, and the people who helped it grow into what it is today.


The materials are arranged by date in a single series, as follows:

Series I: Photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Jay Geller donated the materials in January of 2019.
Guide to the Jay Geller Family Papers, 1918-1932
Gabby Parker
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA