// William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum
Jewish Research and Education - Cuba Family Archives, Finding Aids

Date Span:  1896 - 2006

Creator:  Barbara Balser

Summary/Abstract: This collection focuses on Barbara Balser’s national chairmanship with the Anti-Defamation League.

Quantity/Physical Description: 3 linear feet

Language(s):  English

Repository:  The Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History, The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Restrictions on Access:  There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Restrictions on Use:  Copyright restrictions may apply.  Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.  Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation:  Box #, Folder #, Mss 262, Barbara Balser Papers, Title of Collection, The Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History, The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Separated Material:  Photos removed to the Photo Vault, a silver coin given Barbara Balser (the first woman to read from the torah in Richmond, Virginia) on her Bat Mitzvah by Mr. Perlstein, a tortoise shell hair comb and memorabilia from Gerald M. Rafshoon's involvement with Jimmy Carter's 1976 presidential campaign, and two diplomas from  The American College.

Processed by:  Demece Harvey (November, 2013)

Arrangement:  The papers are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within each folder.

Biographical/Historical Note:  Barbara served as Co-chair & CEO of Balser Companies, a nationally-known think tank that designs special benefits programs for companies like Home Depot and UPS, Barbara first entered the finance and insurance arena decades ago as an "exception to the rule," a woman who was also the family bread-winner. A newly single mother with three young children in the mid-1970s, Barbara built her business helping ordinary working people identify their retirement dreams, family protection concerns and other personal financial goals. Barbara gained understanding of the importance of finding custom solutions for her clients' lifestyle goals. She acquired critical insights into benefit planning in a time before "human resources" was even coined. As corporations became the chief providers of benefit programs, and women broke through corporate glass ceilings, Barbara was soon consulting in a business she thoroughly enjoyed and became acquainted with other women in powerful corporate positions. A founding member of The Committee of 200, an organization of the top businesswomen in America and internationally, Barbara quickly became part of this sisterhood of achievers.  She still cannot find enough hours in the day to accomplish all she would like, and this drive isn't limited to business. Her commitment to education, social issues and the arts has resulted in five decades of personal involvement through numerous organizations and projects. A Magna Cum Laude alumna of Boston University, this Richmond, Virginia native played a major role through the Anti-Defamation League and B'nai B'rith Women as president of Support Atlanta Schools, part of an Atlanta coalition of 50,000 women, who together worked to keep public schools open and to foster a smooth transition to the newly desegregated classrooms and faculties. As a volunteer, Barbara has aligned her time with organizations that reach beyond the norm. It may seem like a tall order to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens, yet that has been the purpose of the Anti-Defamation League since 1913. Barbara served this international organization as National Chair from November 2003 to November 2006, becoming the first southerner and first woman to hold the post. At the conclusion of her term, Barbara was presented with the newly created Barbara B. Balser Lifetime Achievement Awarded, to be presented thereafter to a person within the ADL Family who has devoted decades of service and leadership advancing the mission of the Anti-Defamation League. She continues to serve the League today as a Trustee of the ADL Foundation and a member of the National Advisory Committee. In addition, their philanthropy covers a diverse group of charities, civic and educational endeavors, including the Naples Winter Wine Festival, Aid Atlanta, Aid and Comfort of Santa Fe, the Board of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Friends of the Israel Museum, the President’s Council of the School for Advanced Research, the Santa Fe Opera, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Camp Sunshine, and the Jewish Federation of Southwest Florida … just to name a few. Barbara and Ron have six children and nine grandchildren. Their children and mates are Barton Friedland and Felix Drobek, Lisa and Dan Balser, Deborah and Jon David Friedland, Jennifer and Jonathan Balser, Ginger and Wayne D. Reid, II, and Laura G. Balser and Matthew D. Smith.

Scope and Content:  Researchers studying the Barbara Balser Papers will gain insight into the hard work and dedication of one of Atlanta’s successful business women.  The papers are arranged in folder order then by date.

Collection Inventory 

Series I
Box File Description Date
1 1 ADL Abe Goldstein Human Relations Award 1994
2 ADL Abe Goldstein Human Relations Award 1991 – 2003
3 ADL Ad Campaign 2005 – 2006
4 ADL American Heritage Dinner, Los Vegas, NV 2004
5 ADL Annual Meeting, Cleveland, OH 2005
6 ADL Annual Reports 2003 – 2005
7 ADL B’Nai B’rith, Inc. Agreement of Lease 2006
8 ADL Becoming National Chair 2003
9 ADL Benefit Our Children, Santa Barbara, CA 2004
10 ADL Black Jewish Relations 1991 – 1998
11 ADL Braun Holocaust Institute 2006
12 ADL Committee on the Future 2001 – 2005
  13 ADL Community Service Committee 1991
14 ADL Conference on Global Anti-Semitism 2002
15 ADL Congratulatory Correspondence 2003 – 2004
16 ADL Deborah Award Dinner 2004 – 2006
17 ADL Desert Communities, Palm Springs, CA 2004
18 ADL Development Committee 1994 – 2000
19 ADL FROMNTLINE (magazine) 2004 – 2006
20 ADL Florida Lay Leadership 2006
21 ADL General Correspondence 1989 – 2006
22 ADL Georgia Governor’s Mission to Israel 1993
23 ADL Global Anti-Semitism, Sand Diego, CA 2004
24 ADL Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission 2004
25 ADL Haym Salomon Award, Palm Spring 2006
26 ADL In Concert Against Hate, Washington, D.C. 2003
27 ADL Interfaith: The Passion 2003 – 2004
28 ADL International Affairs 2003 – 2005
29 ADL International Leadership Award 2006
30 ADL International Leadership Award Dinner 2005
31 ADL International Affairs Berlin, OSCE Conference 2004
32 ADL Mission to Germany 1992
2 1 ADL Mission to Israel 2002
2 ADL Mission to Israel 2003
3 ADL Mission to Israel 2004
4 ADL Mission to Israel 2005
5 ADL Mission to Italy 2002
6 ADL Mission to Italy, France, Germany 2006
7 ADL Mission to Italy & Israel
8 ADL Mission to Japan 2004
9 ADL Mission to Paris, London 2000
10 ADL Mission to Rome & Israel 2004
11 ADL Mission to Spain & Israel 2003
12 ADL Mission to Turkey & Rome 2004
13 ADL Mission to Warsaw & Poland 2005
14 ADL National Advisory Committee, Washington, D.C. 2005
15 ADL National Commission Meeting, Atlanta, GA 2006
16 ADL National Commission Meeting, New York, NY 2005
17 ADL National Executive Committee Meeting, Washington, DC 1991 - 1995
18 ADL National Executive Committee Meeting, Palm Beach, FL 2004
19 ADL National Executive Committee Meeting, Oak Brook, IL 2004
20 ADL National Executive Committee Meeting, Orange County & Long Beach, CA 2004
21 ADL National Executive Committee Meeting, Denver, CO 2005
22 ADL National Leadership Conference, Washington, DC 2006
23 ADL Nevada Thousand Event 2003
24 ADL New York Office Space 2006
25 ADL New York Building Management Committee 2005
26 ADL Nominating Process 2002 – 2003
27 ADL Opening of UN General Assembly, New York, NY 2005
28 ADL Oversight Committee Denver Litigation 2000 – 2005
3 1 ADL Southeast Region Breakfast with Ambassador of Israel, Daniel Ayalon 2004
2 ADL Southwest Region Board Meeting, Houston, TX 2004
3 ADL Speeches 1992 – 2006
4 ADL Steinberg Leadership Institute 2004
5 ADL Torch of Liberty Award Dinner 1991
6 Twelfth Annual Women of Achievement Award, Chicago, IL 2005
7 ADL Winning the Nomination 2002 – 2003
8 ADL Woman Seeks Chairmanship 2003 – 2003
9 Articles 1984 – 1997
10 Autographed Book Title Pages No date
11 Barbara Balser Bios 1985 - 1993
12 Barbara Balser Miscellaneous No date
13 B’nai B’rith Women of Atlanta 1968 – 1975
14 Certificates 1970 – 2004
15 Civil Rights 2004 – 2005
16 Correspondence 1985 – 1993
17 Gerald M. Rafshoon 1976 – 1977
18 Hilbert Jacob Bernstein 1995 – 1998
19 Maizie Hale 1986
20 Management Compensation Group No date
21 Newspaper Articles
22 Nieman Marcus Fashion Directions 1991
23 Notebook 2000
24 Notebook No date
25 Osias Family Papers 1896 – 1936
26 Press Releases 1983
27 PTA Citizens Advisory Groups No dates
28 Publicity 2002 – 2005
29 Speeches 1981 – 1995
30 Support Atlanta Schools 1970
31 Temple Sinai 1970 – 1974
32 Tempo 1909
33 Vivian Oasis Autograph book 1931
34 Woman Business Owners 1989
35 Writings 1978 – 1987
4 1 Daily Planners 1988 - 1999


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