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American Jewish History

“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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Babka & Beignets: Jewish Foodways of the South

By Cassia Kisshauer Reference Services Librarian, Center for Jewish History Babka & Beignets: Jewish Foodways of the South Food is a way to maintain cherished traditions and connect to ancestors, particularly for marginalized groups. It can also be a method to adapt to a new environment. The American South has a rich Jewish history dating back to the 17th century. Port cities like Charleston,…

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Sermons of Thanksgiving

By Lauren Gilbert  Senior Manager for Public Services, Center for Jewish History  Sermons of Thanksgiving It is widely believed that the Pilgrims modeled their Thanksgiving feast after the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. In its modern incarnation as a secular festival focusing on gratitude, an appropriately Jewish concept, Thanksgiving has been observed by American Jews from its earliest days. When George Washington declared a non-denominational National…

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The Jews of Harlem

By Ella Jordan-Smith Reference Services Librarian, Center for Jewish History The Jews of Harlem When thinking about the historically Jewish neighborhoods in New York, the Lower East Side or Williamsburg are likely the first to come to mind. What many do not know is that Harlem was at one point the home of the second largest Jewish population in the country. From the 1870s into…

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

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…

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