Boris Bogen was a social and Jewish communal worker as well as an editor and author. He was born in Moscow and immigrated to the U.S. in 1888. For a time, he worked as an instructor at the Baron de Hirsch Trade School and at the Hebrew Technical Institute. Eventually, he became a superintendent of the Baron de Hirsch Agricultural School, in Woodbine, N.J. He was also an international secretary of B'nai B'rith and a director of the United Jewish Charities in Cincinnati. As a director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJJDC) and a member of the American Relief Administration (ARA), he organized Jewish relief operations in Europe during and after World War I. During the 1920s, Bogen moved to Southern California, where he worked as the Superintendent of Jewish Charities in Los Angeles and established a home in Arcadia.
The collection consists of genealogies, correspondence (from the early 1920s); materials from Boris Bogen's relief work in Europe with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the American Relief Administration after World War I; a substantial number of family photographs; and some drawings and other works on paper. The correspondence includes both correspondence with family and with colleagues involved in post-war European relief work. Correspondents include: M.A. Shoan, Elizabeth Bogen, I. Rubinstein, Colonel Herbert Lehman, M.B. Hexter, A. Lucas, Jessie Bogen, S. J. Rosenblatt, Max Senior, H.S. Gans, Morris Lewis, I. Irving, Alex A. Landesco, M.E. Boynton, M. D. Waldman, I. Prince, J.N. Rosenberg, I. M. Kowalsky, H.H. Rosenfelt, S.H. golter, Joseph Rosen, Colonel William R. Grove, J. Hyman, Colonel William Haskell, M.J. Rosenau, L. Rabinovich, C.G. Grey, S.A. Goldsmith, and J.J. Golub. The photographs, which date from circa 1895 until 1940, include images of the Bogen, Scholtz, Bromberg, Kochman, Shohan, and Mayers families, mainly in Russia and in Arcadia, California. Among these family photographs are portraits and photographs of cinematographer Abe Scholtz, including one of Abe Scholtz with actor Douglas Fairbanks on the set of the 1927 film The Gaucho. There are particularly fine images of the Bogen family home (called Amawaga) in Arcadia, California during the 1920s and 1930s.