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Harry Levine Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-592

Scope and Content Note

This collection primarily deals with HL's contributions to the Weizmann Institute of Science as a donor and board member, and his role in establishing the State of Israel. Two transcripted interviews with HL detail his meeting with Haim Slavin, the agent for David Ben-Gurion, and subsequent establishment of a munitions factory in then British-Mandated Palestine and the use of the weapons in the Israeli military force. The collection also deals with the establishment of the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Harry and Leona Levine Institute of Applied Science at the Institute. Correspondence includes letters from Golda Meir, David Ben-Gurion, Chaim Weizmann, Clarence Berger and Meyer Weisgal. The photographs include pictures of Dewey D. Stone, David Ben-Gurion, Hubert Humphrey, Golda Meir, Chaim Weizmann, Abba Eban, and Albert Sabin.

Dates

  • undated, 1944-1977

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English and Hebrew.

Access Restrictions

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.

Use Restrictions

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

Biographical Note

Harry Levine was born in New York, New York on August 1, 1895. He was educated in New York public schools and at the College of the City of New York. After serving in the U.S. Navy mine force from 1917 to 1919, he worked at the Commonwealth Plastic Company and the New England Plastic Company in Leominster, MA, and later served as President and Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Plastic and Chemical Company.

In 1919, Levine married Hannah (maiden name unknown, died 1941). They had three children: Irwin, Morton, and Barbara. In 1942, Levine married Leona Edelstein.

Levine was introduced to Zionism by Elihu D. Stone and influenced by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. He was largely responsible for overseeing the construction and import of Uzi submachine guns into British-Mandated Palestine for the purpose of establishing the State of Israel. Levine was a friend of Israeli President Dr. Chaim Weizmann and a charter member of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, as well as the major contributor (with Leona Levine) of the Harry and Leona Levine Institute of Applied Science of the Weizmann Institute. Harry Levine died on May 1, 1977.

Chronology

1895
HL born in New York City
1917
Serves in U.S. Naval Mine Force in the North Sea
1919
Marries Hannah (last name unknown)
1923
Moves to Leominster, MA to work in the plastics industry
1935
Becomes a Zionist
1937
Co-founder of Camp Young Judea, Zionist Youth Camp
1941
Wife Hannah dies
1942
Marries Leona Edelstein
1944
Charter Member and Treasurer for the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
1945
Meets Haim Slavin, agent of David Ben-Gurion
1946
Serves as President of New England Plastics and Commonwealth Plastic
1946
Begins mobilizing arms for Jews of Mandated Palestine before establishment of the State of Israel
1949
Founds the Serafon Plastics Factory in Rehovot, Israel
1952
Serves as President and Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Plastic and Chemical Company
1961
Donor for the Harry and Leona Levine Institute of Applied Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science
1977
HL dies

Extent

.5 linear feet (1 half-manuscript box)

Abstract

Harry Levine was the Massachusetts President and Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Plastic and Chemical Company. He was highly involved in the establishment of the State of Israel, primarily related to his facilitating the construction and import of Uzi submachine guns into then British-Mandated Palestine. The majority of this collection includes transcribed interviews with Levine, photographs and correspondence. Biographical information, certificates, speeches and news articles are also included.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition information is unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by Margaret Whiteside, 2008
Title
Guide to the Harry Levine Papers, P-592
Author
Processed by Margaret Whiteside
Date
2008
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Sponsor
Processed by Margaret Whiteside, Schilder Assistant Archivist, made possible by a grant from the Schilder Family Fund. This collection has been digitized, made possible by a grant from the Trustees u/w of Herman Dana.

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