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Dolls for Democracy Collection

Identifier: MS-0595

Scope and Contents

The Dolls for Democracy Collection consists of 15 dolls from the Dolls for Democracy Program of the San Diego County Chapters of B’nai B’rith Women. The collection also includes textual documentation with information on who made the dolls and how they were made, materials used in the Dolls for Democracy presentation, correspondence, and publicity materials. The dolls measure roughly 11 inches tall and 3.5 inches wide. The dolls are arranged in alphabetical order by last name.


  • Creation: 1950s - 1990s


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Historical Note

The National B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League and B’nai B’rith Women started the Dolls for Democracy Program in the 1950s. The dolls, created by artist and B’nai B’rith Women member Ruth Cecil Weeks of Independence Missouri, represent men and women of different races, nationalities, and economic backgrounds who excelled in their fields. B’nai B’rith Women all over the country would go to schools or club meetings for boys and girls. Through biographical sketches, the program endeavored to teach children about tolerance for different people and that the achievements of the people the dolls represented could be accomplished by anyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender or economic status. Though the program was widely in use into the 1980s, one woman, Selma Bukstein in Orange County, California, was still teaching the program in 2019.


3.21 Linear Feet (Three records cartons and one half-size Hollinger box )

Language of Materials


Custodial History

This collection belonged to Flora Kuritsky and was given to Jane Radatz who donated it to the Jewish Historical Society of San Diego in 2016 (JHSSD #2016.02). Kuritsky was a member of the Palomar Chapter of B'nai B'rith Women. In 2019 JHSSD received several dolls which were included in the Kalb Nadler Family Collection donated by Eleanor (Ellie) Nadler.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Jewish Historical Society of San Diego transferred this collection to Special Collections & University Archives in January 2022.


January 2022

Related Materials

Kalb and Nadler Family Collection, MS-0603

Dolls for Democracy Collection
Laurel Schwartz
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US