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jewish history

Yiddish Wall Newspapers

“Wall newspapers”—large, hand-lettered or typed newsletters posted in a shared communal space—have their roots in Soviet propaganda. Among the rich historical resources available through the Center for Jewish History’s digital collections are wall newspapers that form a portion of YIVO’s Displaced Persons Camps and Centers Poster Collection, RG 294.6. Created in the aftermath of World War II, these fragile documents provide a vivid glimpse…

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Out of the Box: Four Unique Passover Items

At the Center for Jewish History, there are tens of thousands of boxes in our partners’ archival and museum collections. Our series, Out of the Box, showcases some of the remarkable treasures and stories tucked away inside. In collaboration with Yeshiva University Museum, we had intended this March to highlight just a few of the over 230 Passover items, which span over 200 years, that are carefully conserved in the Yeshiva University…

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German-Jewish Americans at Home at the Turn of the Last Century: A Late 19th-Century Photo Album

“. . . the [Jewish) religion which was to be prized and saved is fast becoming a watery Unitarianism, and its adherents are allowing themselves, where permitted, to become completely assimilated. Reform Judaism which began as a compromise is ending as surrender.” —Marvin Lowenthal, “Zionism: A Menorah Prize Essay [part 1],” Menorah Journal vol. 1:2 (1915): 118-19 Marvin Marx Lowenthal (1890-1969), a leading Jewish…

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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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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 Member 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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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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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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Building on Jewish History – Jarmulowsky’s Bank

A couple of doors down from the Forward Building (and notably two stories taller) stands Jarmulowsky’s Bank. Sender Jarmulowsky immigrated to America from Russia, and by 1873 he had set up his bank on the Lower East Side. In addition to the Jarmulowsky Bank Building, he was also instrumental in the construction of the Eldridge Street Synagogue and subsequently served as its first president….

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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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