The Straus Historical Society, Inc. (Society) has as its principal purpose, the fostering of educational activities with respect to the settlement of Jews in the United States and, in particular, the family of Lazarus and Sara Straus, their ancestors and their descendants.
In carrying out its educational activities, the Society will conduct research and exchange information with individuals and organizations having an interest in the settlement of Jews in the United States. In addition, the Society will disseminate the results of its research in the form of newsletters and reports.
The focus of the Society’s activities on the Straus Family is based on the family’s involvement in government, commerce, and philanthropy. Beginning in the 19th Century and continuing into the 20th, members of the family have served in governmental positions at the federal and local levels. More particularly, family members have served in the House of Representatives, as Ambassadors, and as Presidential Cabinet Members. By virtue of their positions, as well as a consequence of their acting as advisors and confidants to a number of American Presidents, family members have been actively involved in the formulation of American public policy for well over 100 years. Furthermore, in the context of American finance and commerce, family members were the owners of Macy’s for nearly 100 years. In addition to their participation in the commercial development of the City of New York and America in general, family members have been in a position to assist others less fortunate throughout this period of time. Members of the family have served on the boards of innumerable philanthropic organizations. As a consequence of the family’s involvement in this broad spectrum of American life, the family exemplifies and brings to life the true American story and its spirit. Thus, it is not so much the story of one family that is sought to be told, but rather the American experience as seen through and lived by a family during this period of growth of America.
Information will be disseminated by the Society through mailings of newsletters that it will produce, participation in educational seminars as well as through presentations at schools and public fora. In addition, the Society will make available to researchers, authors, and students, materials that will assist them in their research not only of the family, but of American history during the time the family has been active in American life.