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Leo Baeck Institute

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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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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#1Lib1Ref

This week, CJH Archivists participated in #1Lib1Ref, a collaborative Wikipedia project encouraging all information professionals around the country to edit one page, add at least one new link or citation, or start a brand new page to further the reach of their archival holdings. Here’s a breakdown of the amazing CJH partner collections that are now immeasurably more accessible thanks to their efforts!: Georg…

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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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Kindertransport

As part of the Kindertransport movement, thousands of Jewish children from Central Europe were allowed to immigrate to Britain. There, most lived with host families throughout the war. Above is a list from 1934, matching refugee children with families in Britain. Image: Courtesy of Leo Baeck Institute The Center for Jewish History insists upon the most genuine of American and Jewish values: religious freedom, human…

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Isidor

Isidor  A. Popper, an early 20th century immigrant to New York City and an entrepreneur, signed the above affidavit in 1938, sponsoring the immigration of Vienese refugees Alice and Gisele Popper (even though they were not actually her relatives). Popper signed 32 such documents, which were most successful when promoted by a family member. Here, you can see the desperate letters that Alice wrote to Isidor,…

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Edmund Immergut

Austrian refugee Edmund Immergut found safe harbor in Shanghai, China, where he arrived in the 1930s. Over 10,000 Jews escaping Nazi rule lived in Shanghai during the war. See more of his documents from his time in Shanghai here. Image: Courtesy of Leo Baeck Institute The Center for Jewish History insists upon the most genuine of American and Jewish values: religious freedom, human equality,…

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Into the Woods: Blau-Weiss, the German Zionist Hiking Group

Image: Courtesy of Leo Baeck Institute By James Benjamin Nadel, Communications Outreach Associate As the summer ends, and opportunities to explore the great outdoors grow fewer, I wanted to draw attention to the little discussed history of Jewish hiking organizations. Several of these youth groups existed in pre-World War II Europe, but one stands out in particular for its unique engagement with various cultural…

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In Plain Sight: The Marvelous, Unlikely History of Bard Professor Justus Rosenberg

By James Benjamin Nadel, Research Intern You might not expect a 95 year old literature professor to emphasize youth when discussing his life. But that is exactly how Justus Rosenberg described his upcoming talk at the Center for Jewish History to me. “I will do it from the perspective of a teenager…it is for someone like you.” Next Wednesday, Justus will be discussing his…

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Nourishing Tradition: Jewish Cookbooks and the Stories They Tell

Exhibition Opening Wednesday, June 29 at 6 pm To celebrate the exhibition Nourishing Tradition: Jewish Cookbooks and the Stories They Tell, the Center for Jewish History is excited to welcome Bonnie Slotnick, owner of Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks. Bonnie will share some of her experiences with Jewish cookbooks over many years of selling rare and out-of-print cookbooks, and bring a fresh perspective to the real…

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