Skip to main content

Jay Ginsburg Papers

Identifier: MS 0884
Finding aid note: Forms part of the Houston Jewish History Archive. Stored offsite at the Library Service Center and require 24-hour notice for retrieval. Please contact the Woodson Research Center at 713-348-2586 or for more information.

Scope and Contents

The Jay Ginsburg collection contains materials from 1958 to 1966 including correspondence, directories, conference/convention materials, newclippings, speeches and programs. Many papers are related to different aspects of the B'nai B'irth Youth Organization including mostly its male wing, Aleph Zadik Aleph, and some of its female wing, B'nai B'irth Girls. The collection contains several noteworthy texts such as an AZA Rituals Manual, several Banquet programs and personal notes to Jay Ginsburg, state of the order address by Grand Aleph Godol Steven H. Morrison, and a proclamation by Houston Mayor Louie Welch declaring April 9th B'nai B'irth Organization Day. The materials are in good condition and would be ideal for researchers interested in the organizational, social, and educational aspects of the Jewish boys' AZA chapter in Houston, TX.


  • Creation: 1958 - 2021


Conditions Governing Access

The material is open for research. Stored offsite at the Library Service Center and require 24-hour notice for retrieval. Please contact the Woodson Research Center at 713-348-2586 or for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Jay Ginsburg Papers 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

In 1923, a group of Jewish boys in Omaha, Nebraska, organized a fraternity and named it the "Aleph Zadik Aleph," using Hebrew letters in the style of Greek fraternities, which often excluded Jews. The group elected Abe Baboir as their first president and chose a local chemist, Nathan Mnookin, to be their first advisor. The startup fraternity was mostly a local social group until Mnookin moved to Kansas City bringing AZA with him, and leaving Omaha without an advisor. Without an advisor in place, the Omaha chapter asked Sam Beber to join them. He accepted the post under one condition: he told the young men that he envisioned the creation of an organization of Jewish fraternities that would stretch beyond the United States to encompass the entire world. On May 3, 1924, Mother Chapter AZA #1 was chartered, a Supreme Advisory Council was established naming Sam Beber as the Grand President and Nathan Mnookin as the Grand Vice President, and the Grand Order of the Aleph Zadik Aleph came into existence. This milestone is their fraternity’s Founders Day and is celebrated around the world. In 1925, under Sam Beber and Henry Monsky’s leadership, B’nai B’rith adopted AZA as it’s primary youth program, and then quickly set out to launch a sister program for young women. By 1927, AZA became a truly international Order with the establishment of First International AZA #31 in Calgary, Alberta and in December, Rose Mauser organized the first permanent chapter of what would become the B’nai B’rith Girls in San Francisco, CA. Mattie Olcovich and Essie Solomon served as the first advisors. As BBG programming grew in popularity, they gained support from the B’nai B’rith Women (then also known as B’nai B’rith Auxiliaries). The BBG of today came to be because of the dedication and hard work of Anita Perlman, the Chairwoman of the B’nai B’rith Girls. In Perlman’s first year she developed invaluable program resources, introduced a formal structure, and chartered the first official B’nai B’rith Girls chapters. The B’nai B’rith Girls - with chapters San Francisco BBG #1, Oakland, CA #2, Linda Strauss, Los Angeles #3, Harrisburg, PA #4, Highland Park, LA #5, Worcester, MA #6, Lancaster, PA #7, Ramah, Chicago #8, Potsville #9, and Homestead, PA #10 - was officially established as an international Order on April 22, 1944. This milestone is their sorority’s Founders Day. Today, BBYO is the leading pluralistic teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. They have provided exceptional identity enrichment and leadership development experiences for hundreds of thousands of Jewish teens.

Excerpted from: and

Jay Ginsburg was born on Beaumont, Texas in 1946. His family moved to Houston when he was 5 years old and became members of Congregation Emanu El, where he celebrated his bar mitzvah. The Houston public schools that he attended had few other Jewish students, which lead him to join BBYO. He became a member of Houston AZA #136, a BBYO chapter of which his cousin, Harry Croft, was then the Aleph Gadol (President). Jay’s social life as a teenager revolved around BBYO; and he became more and more involved in his own chapter’s activities until he too became Aleph Gadol of AZA #136. He later became a chairman on the BBYO regional level, which encompassed Texas and Oklahoma. Jay’s father suddenly died in 1963; and Jay took an after school job to pay the cost for him to attend a BBYO International Convention at Camp B’nai B’rith in Starlight, Pennsylvania. Jay graduated from Lamar High School, attended the University of Houston, where he became chapter president of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity and a company commander in Army ROTC. He then went on the law school at the University of Houston, from which he graduated and became a licensed Texas attorney in 1972. He successfully engaged in the title insurance business and practiced real estate law in the Houston area in his own firm for decades. Jay became board certified as a specialist in both commercial real estate law and residential real estate law. He served as President of the University of Houston Alumni Organization and became a staunch supporter of his alma mater’s football and basketball programs. In 1969 Jay Ginsburg married Beverly Ashe, who had also been a Houston BBYO member and a student at the University of Houston. Their loving, enduring marriage produced a daughter, Sarah Ginsburg Jaehne, who now has three children of her own, Stella Jaehne, Ava Jaehne, and Benjamin Jaehne, and a son, Jason I. Ginsburg, who also has a son of his own, Joshua Ginsburg, and practices real estate law with his father, Jay, in Bellaire, Texas.

Excepted from Jay Ginsburg 2019


.50 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of one box containing correspondence, directories, conference/convention materials, newclippings, speeches and programs from Jay Ginsburg during his involvement in Aleph Zadik Aleph, spanning from 1958-1966.


The materials in this collection have been arranged in seven series as follows: Series I: Conference/confenvention materials; Series II: Correspondences; Series III: Directories; Series IV: Programs; Series V: Newspapers; Series VI: Speeches; Series VII: Addenda

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Jay Ginsburg donated the papers on July 31, 2019 and the addenda in February 2022.

Related Materials

Alan Lipman (BBYO) Programs, MS 864; B'nai B'rith Youth Organization records, MS 749; B'nai B'rith Youth Organization (BBYO) Institutional Materials, MS 868; Carolyn Litowich (BBG) Papers, MS 836, Aubrey and Sylvia Farb Papers MS 741,

Guide to the Jay Ginsburg Papers, 1958-2021
Leon Soifer
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