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Ron Fox Papers

 Collection
Identifier: JHCP-014

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains correspondence, writings, articles, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, photographs, and cassette tapes documenting Ron Fox’s longtime activism and criticism of Israel, as well as his involvement in the Jewish community. Included are correspondence and other materials related to the founding of the Alternative Religious Community of Marblehead, meeting minutes related to his work with the Jewish Federation of the North Shore, writings on Jewish topics and themes, and other collected articles on Jewish life and values. Also included are his correspondence with various politicians, organizations, and individuals regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; meeting minutes, correspondence, and photographs documenting his involvement in the New England Tikkun Community, Wadi Na’am Project, and Tikkun Leadership Committee; subject files—which include newspaper clippings, articles, and other secondary sources—on topics such as the 1982 Israel-Lebanon war and settlements; as well as numerous writings and articles Fox authored about issues surrounding the conflict.

Dates

  • undated, 1971-2019

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for researcher use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Conditions Governing Use

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Biographical Note

Ronald W. Fox was born on April 21, 1939 in Lynn, Massachusetts. He attended Lynn English High School, and then went on to graduate from Harvard College in 1960 and Harvard Law School in 1963. From 1964-1967, he served in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps), stationed in New Mexico. He returned to Massachusetts in 1967 and later practiced landlord-tenant law and family law, becoming one of the first attorneys in the country to offer divorce mediation services. He was involved in numerous legal associations, including the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and the National Lawyers Guild. From 1983-1989, he worked as a Public Career Interest Advisor at Harvard Law School, helping to guide students interested in practicing public interest law. In 1990 he founded Career Planning for Lawyers (previously called the Center for Professional Development), a service to provide law students and lawyers with advice and guidance on how to find positions that fit their personal and professional goals and values. In 1995, his book Lawful Pursuits: Careers in Public Interest Law was published by the American Bar Association.

Fox has also been involved in his local Jewish community. In 1971, he and wife, along with six other couples, formed a havurah, the Alternative Religious Community of Marblehead, to celebrate Jewish holidays, life cycle events, and more, independent from a formal congregation. From 1971-1986, the havurah held joint bar/t mitzvahs, Passover seders, and Chanukah and Purim celebrations, among other events. Fox also served on the Board of Directors and as chair of the Public Affairs Committee of the North Shore Jewish Community Center, as well as co-chair of the Community Relations Advisory Council of the Jewish Federation of the North Shore. He and his wife also founded the Center for Jewish Alternatives to provide support for individuals dissatisfied with traditional Jewish congregational life.

Since 1972, Fox has been a regular organizer, writer, and speaker on the conflict between Israel and Palestine, primarily as a critic of Israel’s actions. He wrote numerous articles on the subject, including on Israeli treatment of Palestinians, the legality of settlements, American politics and Israel, and much more. He maintains a blog, Judaism and Israel, where he posts many of his writings, including responses to current events. In 1990, Fox helped form a Tikkun Study Group to foster discussion about the Israel/Palestine conflict, as well as other issues affecting the Jewish community. In 2002, after attending the Founding Conference of the Tikkun Community, he helped to form a local chapter of the Tikkun Community, the New England Tikkun Community. The group met monthly to study issues, present speakers, and meet with politicians. In 2003, the New England Tikkun Community adopted Wadi Na’am, a Bedouin village in southern Israel, as a sister community. The group worked to support the efforts of Bustan, a non-profit organization headed by Devorah Brous, to build a medical clinic in the village. Fox was also involved in the Tikkun Leadership Committee, a group of leaders of Tikkun communities, until 2006.

In 1961, Fox married Joan Lipton, and the couple had two children, Lesley and Steven. They reside in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

References

  1. Materials from the collection.

Chronology

April 21, 1939
Ron Fox is born in Lynn, Massachusetts.
1960
Fox graduates from Harvard College.
1961
Fox marries Joan Lipton.
1963
Fox receives his LLB from Harvard Law School.
1964-1967
Fox serves in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
1971
Ron and Joan Fox, along with six other couples, form the Alternative Religious Community of Marblehead.
1980
Fox is one of the signers of a full page ad titled "End Middle East Bloodshed" in the New York Times.
1983-1989
Fox works as a Public Career Interest Advisor at Harvard Law School.
1990
Fox founds Career Planning for Lawyers.
Fox forms a Tikkun Study Group.
1995
Lawful Pursuits: Careers in Public Interest Law is published.
2002
Fox helps form the New England Tikkun Community.

Extent

1.5 linear feet (1 document box and 1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This collection contains correspondence, writings, articles, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, photographs, and cassette tapes documenting Ron Fox’s longtime activism and criticism of Israel, as well as his involvement in the Jewish community.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Ron Fox, 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Lindsay Murphy, 2021.

Title
Ron Fox Papers
Author
Lindsay Murphy
Date
2021
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society Repository

Contact:
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States
617-226-1245