Help Save the Beyond The Pale Archive

Broadcast Date: 
May 27 2015


Dear Beyond the Pale Supporter,

Sitting in a storage space on John Street in Brooklyn are boxes of deteriorating cassettes, mini-disks, DATs, and reel-to-reel tapes that constitute the surviving recordings of Beyond the Pale, JFREJ's weekly radio show that aired on WBAI for19 years.

We are writing to ask you to help us save them.

The archive holds treasures. It contains interviews with Yiddish singer Adrienne Cooper, labor leftist Moe Foner, author Grace Paley, blacklisted screenwriter Abe Polonsky, poet Adrienne Rich, radio personality Studs Terkel, and many other cherished figures who are no longer with us. It contains coverage of such major events as the September 11 attacks, the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, and Operation Cast Lead. The archive also includes Beyond the Pale's coverage of important events in the history of progressive Jewish activism, ranging from the Sacco and Vanzetti case to the trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, from the Ocean Hill-Brownsville battle over community control of public schools in the late 1960s to the Crown Heights conflict of 1991. 

It's an archive that we are desperate to preserve for future generations of scholars, activists and journalists.

We have a plan for doing so, and that is where your support would mean so much

Step one. Catalogue our existing recordings, including what exactly we have and why audio format each one is on. Cost: $3,100.
Step two. Label and box the tapes and find a permanent home for them at a university library, a public library or other research insitution. Cost: $800.
Step three. Our audio from 2006 to 2014 has already been digitized, but the rest has not. We'd select 50 to 100 segments of particular historical interest from the years 1995 to 2005 for digitization and preservation. Cost: $1,500 - $2,700.
Step four. Create a landing page at, a creative commons site, where all of our digitized audio will be housed and become publicly available. Cost: $1,500.
Finally, we will search for a home at a library for the physical media collection.

Here's how you can help:

  • Make a tax-deductible donation to Jews For Racial & Economic Justice with Beyond the Pale in the "in honor" field.
  • Share this message with anyone you know who might want to support this project.

Of course we are sad that Beyond the Pale is no longer on-air -- a casualty of the major changes at WBAI combined with exhaustion bred of producting a weekly show as volunteers for so long. But allowing Beyond the Pale's archive to decay in storage would be an even greater loss.

We hope we can count on you.
With thanks and solidarity,
Esther Kaplan & Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark
for the Beyond the Pale team