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Center for Jewish History

Not Just a Bundle of Letters

Dear Mr. Editor, I have been in the country only two months, and I find myself in such terrible circumstances that I need your advice. So begin many of the letters submitted to the Bintel Brief. In 1897, Abraham Cahan founded the Jewish Daily Forward, a Yiddish newspaper based on the Lower East Side of New York City. Included in the newspaper was a…

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A Brief History of Jewish Philanthropy

The other day while procrastinating and scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across two friends raising money for charities for their birthdays and three fellow students promoting the non-profits they’re interning at. In the day and age of social media campaigns, hashtags, and endless GoFundMe’s, giving has become a lot more personal. Jewish giving in America finds its roots in the landsmannschaften and…

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Mind the Gap: Transition from Traditional to Contemporary

October 24 -25, the Center for Jewish History will host the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) annual conference. This year is titled, Now! And Then? Preserving Modern and Contemporary Collections in Libraries and Archives. From CCAHA, “this two-day conference will explore ways to anticipate, plan for, and address preservation concerns in modern and contemporary collections.” As part of the conference, two…

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The Nutmeggers: The Jewish Community of Connecticut, Part 2 – The Towns and Cities

Hartford Hartford is home to the first and largest Jewish community in the state of Connecticut. The earliest mention of a Jew in the state was David the Jew, of Hartford, who was fined 20 shillings for illegal trading in 1659. Afterwards, there were scattered references to the small Jewish community in Connecticut. For example, in 1670 Hartford was visited by Assur Levy, one…

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Highlight from the John Herzog Collection of Jewish Bonds: An 1822 Russian Bond with Nathan Rothschild’s Signature

In July 2018, the Center for Jewish History received a rare collection of Jewish bonds and financial paper in support of settlement in the land of Israel and later the State of Israel.  The donor collector was donated by financier John Herzog, Chairman Emeritus of Herzog, Heine, Geduld, Inc., a firm founded by his father in 1926 and about which John wrote A Billion…

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The Nutmeggers: The Jewish Community of Connecticut, Part 1 – History of Connecticut Jewry

The first reference to a Jew in Connecticut was to “David the Jew.” In 1659, he was fined 20 shillings by the city of Hartford. His crime: going into houses when the household heads were absent and trading with the children. In the decades that followed, there were several scattered references to Jews in Connecticut. These first Jews were mostly Portuguese and Spanish, and…

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Highlight from the Sidney Lapidus Collections of Judaica: Discourse on the Restoration of the Jews

AJHS Board Chairman and CJH Board Treasurer Sidney Lapidus is not only a dedicated and generous philanthropist, but also a great collector of Anglo-American political treatises and essays and lawbooks on slavery, many of which he has donated to his alma mater, Princeton University, and to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where he has established the Lapidus Center for the Analysis…

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