Coffee & Bagels as Organizing Tools: the Tzedek, Tzedek Collective and Wholly Bagel Coffeehouse

The late 1960s and early 1970s were, in part, characterized by the counterculture that swept through the United States during those years. Catapulted by the growth of social movement activism was an increased awareness of and desire to fix the problems plaguing American society, such as racism, sexism, poverty and the exploitation of labor. This period of American history was full of new and…

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Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin

A short walk from some of the most well-known Berlin attractions is the Neue Synagoge (“New Synagogue”), a 19th century Moorish-style building on Oranienburger Straße. In 1859, the Neue Synagoge was built in order to serve the growing Berlin Jewish community, and became, at its completion in 1866, the largest synagogue in Germany at the time, seating 3,000 people. Now, the Neue Synagoge continues…

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Highlight from the Sidney Lapidus Collection of Judaica: Difesa Contro gli Attacchi Fatti alla Nazione Ebrea…

Over the past few years, AJHS Board Chairman and CJH Board Treasurer Sid Lapidus has donated a total of 125 rare books and pamphlets to the Center for Jewish History. This wealth of historical material, which is housed in the David Berg Rare Book Room, largely focuses on the 18th and 19th century intersection of Jewish life and Enlightenment ideals, documenting the gradual expansion…

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Center for Jewish History Awarded Multi-Million Dollar Grant from Arcadia Fund

The Center for Jewish History has been awarded a $2.5 million dollar endowment challenge grant from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. This funding will ensure the sustainability of the digitization and preservation efforts of the Center, the foremost repository of Jewish history outside of Israel. “In the collections, the lives of community leaders, artists, soldiers, survivors, housekeepers and…

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The NYPL Librarian Who Spied on the Nazis

Florence Mendheim was a Jewish librarian for the New York Public Library, and in 1933 she went undercover to spy on Nazi-associated groups in the United States. Her collection, featuring a large amount of antisemitic propaganda, is held by the Leo Baeck Institute, and is an invaluable window into the spread of fascist propaganda in America leading up to World War II. Florence, the…

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The Records of HIAS (I-363) are officially live!

AJHS and CJH Archivists are happy to announce that the finding aid for the records of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) I-363 is online and ready to use! After three years of surveying, organizing, rehousing, and encoding, the American Jewish Historical Society and the Center for Jewish History are proud to present a processed collection of documents, photographs, and audio/visual materials representing nearly 100…

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Chaim Potok, Out of the Depths

“Out of the Depths” by Chaim Potok is a play about memory. It’s a play about reconciling cultures, how they might co-exist within ourselves and outside of ourselves at the same time. It’s a play about another play, which in itself is a play about love and longing and death. It’s a play about a writer, S. Ansky. It’s also a play about another writer, Chaim Potok.    “Out of the Depths” came to be…

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New York Neighbors: The Shared Jewish and Chinese Immigrant and Refugee Experience Grant funded by CLIR

The Center for Jewish History has been awarded a $364,824 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources for a three-year project titled “New York Neighbors: The Shared Jewish and Chinese Immigrant and Refugee Experience.” In collaboration with the Center’s in-house partner, the American Jewish Historical Society, and project partner, the Museum of Chinese in America, the grant will showcase understudied intersections of…

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Building on Jewish History – Cyrus Lazelle, Warner Eidlitz, and Adolph Ochs

The near freezing weather and packed crowds aren’t enough to deter the thousands who cram into Times Square every December 31st to watch the ball drop from the top of One Times Square. The New Years Eve event often has nearly a billion people watching, but there’s more to the building than the flashy billboards and crystal ball. Adolph Ochs was born to two…

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May Your Days Be Merry and Bright

In 1941, ‘A Reader from the Bronx’ wrote into the Jewish Daily Forward asking their opinion on Christmas trees. She and her husband had stopped into their son’s house on 24 December after having dinner with friends nearby. They were greeted by their son and family decorating a Christmas tree and their grandchildren welcoming them with shouts of “Merry Christmas”. Her husband immediately ‘turned…

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