Table of Contents

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Descriptive Summary

Biographical note

Scope and Contents note

Arrangement

Restrictions

Controlled Access Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Series Descriptions and Container List

Newspaper Clippings and Facsimiles 1965-1968, undated

Newspapers 1968

Queens College Publications 2006

Supplemental Materials 2008, undated

Video Footage, 1965

View Other Collections

Moshe Shur Papers


Print finding aid created by Whitney Bates in the spring of 2013. Machine readable finding aid created by Christine Parker in 2013.

Browse other related collections available through the Civil Rights Movement Archives

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Department of Special Collections and Archives
Creator: Shur, Moshe
Title: Moshe Shur Papers
Dates: 1965-2008 (bulk 1968)
Extent: 1 flat box
Abstract: Rabbi Moshe Shur is an adjunct Professor of Jewish History at Queens College of the City University of New York. During the summers of 1965 and 1966, as a student at Columbia University, Rabbi Shur traveled to Orangeburg, South Carolina to register black voters as a part of the Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) program. The Moshe Shur Papers contain newspaper clippings about events surrounding the two summers Shur spent in the South, video footage of Orangeburg County, newspapers from the days following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., book excerpts and related Queens College publications.
Identification: CR.2013.001
Languages: English

Biographical note

Rabbi Moshe Shur was born in New England towards the end of the Second World War. His childhood was spent in Detroit, Michigan. In 1966, Rabbi Shur completed a joint degree in history and Hebrew Letters from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, respectively. It was during his time as a student at Columbia University that Rabbi Shur spent two summers as a member of the Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) program in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The (SCOPE) Project was an initiative of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), directed by Hosea Williams under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There was a call for northern students to participate in the civil rights activities in the south. Often at risk of arrest and/or violence, SCOPE volunteers collaborated with local individuals and groups to lead voter registration drives, hold information sessions, and assist with other community organization efforts.

Under the advisement of history Professor James Shenton, Shur traveled to South Carolina in the summer of 1965 as the chairman of the group from Columbia. Prior to beginning work with SCOPE, Shur went to Atlanta for an orientation where he had the once-in-a lifetime opportunity to meet significant Civil Rights Movement Leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Bayard Rustin, Hosea Williams and Andrew Young.

During his two consecutive summers in the South in 1965 and 1966, Rabbi Shur had many significant and unnerving experiences including witnessing the aftermath of the burning down of a church, sneaking into a Ku Klux Klan meeting, participating in a courthouse demonstration and being threatened by policemen in South Carolina. The majority of the time Shur spent registering voters, however, and in developing a deep spiritual connection to the work being done. Newspaper clippings collected by Shur’s parents during his time in Orangeburg comprise a significant part of the collection.

Following his summers with SCOPE, Rabbi Shur went on to receive a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Wayne State University and a Master’s Degree (M.A.) in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He would then travel west to the Bay area where he taught Hebrew Language; and Jewish Mysticism. It was during this time in California he heard bands such bands as the Grateful Dead, Santana Jefferson Airplane and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, that further developed his love of music that continues to this day.

In 1974, Rabbi Shur traveled to Israel, where he attended the Diaspora Yeshiva Rabbinical School. During his time completing his degree, Shur married and also helped form the Original Diaspora Yeshiva Band. Rabbi Shur returned to the U.S. where he spent two years at the University Virginia and the following 32 at Queens College serving as the Executive Director of Hillel: The foundation for Jewish Campus Life.

Rabbi Shur has recorded several albums, and the latest CD he produced with his sons is called “A Shur Thing.” He continues to perform throughout the US and Israel. Rabbi Shur currently serves as adjunct professor of History at Queens College and is a Senior Associate for the Center for Jewish Studies.

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Scope and Contents note

The Moshe Shur Papers are comprised mainly of articles published during the years that Rabbi Shur spent in Orangeburg, South Carolina as a member of the Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) program. The collection contains newspaper clippings from the summers that Shur spent in the South as well as six complete newspapers from the days following the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The collection also contains a facsimile of a rack card from the U.S. Department of the Interior, a copy of Q, the magazine of Queens College, a facsimile of FYI, Queens College Faculty and Staff News and copies of pages from The SCOPE of Freedom: The Leadership of Hosea Williams with Dr. King's Summer '65 Student Volunteers by Willy Siegel Leventhal. There is also video footage taken by Shur and his friends of Branchville, SC, where they lived, scenes of volunteers and locals getting together, and a shot of a man holding up his new voter registration card.

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Arrangement

Series 1: Newspaper Clippings and Facsimiles
Series 2: Newspapers
Series 3: Queens College Publications
Series 4: Supplemental Materials
Series 5: Video Footage

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Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research. Staff may restrict access at its discretion on the basis of physical condition.

Copyright

The Moshe Shur Collection is physically owned by the Queens College Libraries. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assignees. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Queens College assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.

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Related Material

Dean Savage Papers, 1965-2011 (bulk 1965), Queens College, City University of New York, Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library, Special Collections & Archives

The book The SCOPE of Freedom: The Leadership of Hosea Williams with Dr. King's Summer '65 Student Volunteers by Willy Siegel Leventhal is available through the Queens College Library, call number E185.615 .L48 2005.

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Controlled Access Terms

Atlanta (Ga.)
Civil rights movement--United States--History--20th century
Civil rights--United States
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
New York (N.Y.)
Orangeburg County (S.C.)
Rustin, Bayard, 1912-1987
Savage, Dean
Shur, Moshe
Summer Community Organization and Political Education.
Young, Andrew, 1932-

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation note

Item, date (if known), box, folder, Moshe Shur Collection, Department of Special Collections and Archives, Queens College, City University of New York.

Source

Donated by Moshe Shur, 2013

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Series Descriptions and Container List

Series 1 Newspaper Clippings and Facsimiles 1965-1968, undated
This series consists of several newspaper clippings related to the civil rights movement from August and May of 1965. The majority of the clippings are from The State. The series also contains facsimiles of clippings from April of 1968.
Box-folder
1-1 August 4-6, 1965
1-2 May 3, 1965
1-3 Undated
1-4 August 13, 1965 (Facsimiles)
1-5 August 15, 1968 (Facsimiles)
Series 2 Newspapers 1968
This series contains issues of the Chicago Tribune and The New York Times from April 5, 1968 through April 15, 1968 – the days immediately following the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Box-folder
1-6 Chicago Tribune, April 5, 1968
1-7 The New York Times, April 5, 1968
1-8 The New York Times, April 6, 1968
1-9 Chicago Tribune, April 7, 1968
1-10 The New York Times, April 10, 1968
1-11 The National Observer, April 15, 1968
Series 3 Queens College Publications 2006
This series contains a facsimile of the February 2006 issue of FYI, the Queens College Faculty and Staff News featuring a photograph of SCOPE volunteers Moshe “Mickey” Shur and Peter Geffen with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1965. The series also features an April 2006 issue of Q, The Magazine of Queens College which features this same photograph.
Box-folder
1-12 FYI, Queens College Faculty and Staff News, February 2006
1-12 Q, The Magazine of Queens College, Spring 2006
Series 4 Supplemental Materials 2008, undated
This series contains copies of pages from The SCOPE of Freedom: The Leadership of Hosea Williams with Dr. King's Summer '65 Student Volunteers by Willy Siegel Leventhal as well as facsimiles of a rack card and letter from the United States Department of the Interior’s National Park Service regarding the Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail.
Box-folder
1-13 The SCOPE of Freedom: The Leadership of Hosea Williams with Dr. King's Summer '65 Student Volunteers (selected pages)
1-13 Rack Card and Letter, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2008
Series 5 Video Footage, 1965
This series contains two video clips of Moshe Shur's time spent in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. It depicts the area he and fellow volunteers were housed, the local prison, a man with a voter registration card, a church that had been burnt down by the Ku Klux Klan and general daily life activities. It has been digitized from 8mm film.
Box-folder
1-14 Orangeburg, South Carolina