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jewish history

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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Tales from the Catalog : Is This Radioactive?

I’m Jaime Taylor, the Center for Jewish History’s systems librarian. My job has two components: I administer the catalog software, and I also do strange things with the catalog records themselves. As such, by chance I see records for all sorts of interesting items that I might not otherwise realize the Center holds. Some months ago I read a title, “Trinitite from Trinity Nuclear…

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#JewsInSpace Launches at the Center for Jewish History!

16thstreet: Join the Center for Jewish History and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research on a quest to examine the #Jewish exploration of the heavens as we present our new exhibition: From as early as Genesis, Jews have pondered the expanse that surrounds our planet, as well as their place in them. Astronomy, mathematics, and other sciences appear frequently in books published by rabbis and…

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Civil Disobedience of the American Clergy on Behalf of Soviet Jews

By Andrey Filimonov, Archival Services Manager at the Center for Jewish History Screenshots from “Civil Disobedience—Demonstration and Clergy Arrest at Soviet Consulate, November 18, 1985.” Original archival material found in the Records of the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews and Bay Area Council for Jewish Rescue and Renewal, I-505; box 100; VHS tape 69; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY; http://digital.cjh.org/4633168 One…

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From the Archives:  A Message of Hope from Siberian Exile

By Andrey Filimonov, Archival Services Manager at the Center for Jewish History “Zions Captives”: documentary on Ida Nudel (watch online: http://digital.cjh.org/4585693) Original archival material found Houston Action for Soviet Jewry Records I-500; box 35; VHS tape 022; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY;  PID http://digital.cjh.org/798129 Screenshot from “Zions Captives, documentary on Ida Nudel” Original archival material found Houston Action for Soviet Jewry Records…

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‘To tear down the barbarous colour barrier’: a letter on anti-Semitism and racism

By Sarah Glover, Archivist and Digitization Projects Liaison Letter from Kurt H. Hohenemser to James F. Hornback, leader of the Ethical Society of St. Louis, February 2, 1952 “We immigrated 4 ½ years ago from Germany into this country for the main reason to leave behind us the sorry scene of racial persecution which, during the Nazi regime, caused the death of the greater part…

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Hawai’i Jewish Community

A Guide to Research Today (August 21, 2017) marks the anniversary of Hawai’i as the 50th state. We thought it would be a good opportunity to share some resources for researching the history of the Jewish community in Hawai’i.   Chaplain conducts High Holy Day services in Hawaii, 1953. National Jewish Welfare Board, Records. Call # I-337.B14.F007.0332, American Jewish Historical Society According to Jewish Virtual…

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President’s Welcome

By David Myers, President/CEO of the Center for Jewish History The final song of the smash Broadway hit Hamilton asks with great poignancy: “Who will tell your story?” The line is a telling reminder that those who lack power or fail to live long enough, such as Alexander Hamilton, often don’t get to leave behind their own version of the past. The task of…

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American Jewish Voices on Civil Rights and Discriminatory Legislation: William Maslow

By Poorvi Bellur Part 3: William Maslow Read Introduction; Part 1 on Shad Polier; Part 2 on Justine Wise Polier The American Jewish Congress underwent multiple changes in its focus over the course of the early 20th century, however it was under the leadership of individuals like Will Maslow that it transformed into an organ for social justice advocacy. Phil Baum, Sylvia Deutsch, and…

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