Death Masks at the Center for Jewish History

By Lauren Gilbert Director of Public Services, Center for Jewish History Death Masks at the Center for Jewish History Death masks, molded from plaster in the first hours after death before the features have stiffened or atrophied, were used for centuries to preserve the appearance of nobility and other eminent persons as models for posthumous sculptures or painted portraits. In the 19th century, these…

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L’Shana Tova! Turn-of-the-Century New Year’s Cards from the Collection of Yeshiva University Museum

By Lauren Gilbert Director of Public Services, Center for Jewish History L’Shana Tova! Turn-of-the-Century New Year’s Cards from the Collection of Yeshiva University Museum The commercial greeting card industry grew rapidly around the turn of the last century in Europe after the introduction of the picture postcard along with technical innovations that permitted cheaper mass production of color prints. Pre-printed cards became commonplace for…

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Campfire Magic: Pluralism of Jewish Summer Camping

Campfire Magic: Pluralism of Jewish Summer Camping Today, many think of summer camp as a uniquely Jewish phenomenon. In reality, Jewish educational camps developed as a branch of American organized camping. At the turn of the 20th century, camping was a major tenet of American Progressivism and the Fresh Air Movement, which sought to provide relief for poor immigrants in overcrowded cities during the…

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“A Very Ticklish Problem”: The AJC Response to the Rosenberg Trial & Execution

By Lauren Gilbert Director of Public Services, Center for Jewish History “A Very Ticklish Problem”: The AJC Response to the Rosenberg Trial & Execution Convicted of passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed 70 years ago on June 19, 1953, the first and only American civilians to face the death penalty for espionage. At the time, many believed…

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