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YIVO Collections

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 unnervingly accurate impressions came to be prized in their own right, and the practice of creating death masks as…

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“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 the Rosenbergs to be innocent victims of antisemitism and Cold War hysteria, or at the very least that they had received an overly harsh…

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Did you hear about the new Dr. Seuss book “What Pet Should I Get?” released today? In March of 2012 Melanie J. Meyers, M.S. Senior Reference Services Librarian, Special Collections, wrote a piece for the blog on Dr. Seuss books in the collections. 16thstreet: Happy Birthday, Dokter Seuss!by Melanie J. Meyers, M.S., Senior Reference Librarian, Center for Jewish History March 2, 2012 would have…

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16thstreet: Happy Birthday, Dokter Seuss!by Melanie J. Meyers, M.S., Senior Reference Librarian, Center for Jewish History March 2, 2012 would have been the 108th birthday of the venerable cartoonist and children’s book author, Doctor Seuss. While Dr. Seuss was not Jewish, his books have a universal appeal that resonates with children (and adults) of all religions and cultures.  His political cartoons were among the…

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Using the Archives to Reflect on Your Hanukkah Experience

by David P. Rosenberg, Senior Reference Librarian – Collections, Center for Jewish History  Hanukkah Lamp. Galicia or Ukraine, ca. 1800. Silver: cast, filigree, engraved. The Max Stern Collection, Yeshiva University Museum. This lamp is of the Ba’al Shem Tov type, named after the founder of Hasidism, who, tradition tells us, owned a Hanukkah lamp of this type. This made it very popular in the…

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In Honor of Veterans Day 2012by David P. Rosenberg, M.P.A., Senior Reference Librarian – Collections, Center for Jewish History The need to document those in our communities is a longstanding tradition in Judaism. Beginning in Biblical times there was the half-shekel annual accounting of all Jews where “the rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less” (Exodus 30:15). In the…

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In honor of Labor Day: select material pertaining to Samuel Gompers in the partner collectionsCompiled by David P. Rosenberg, M.P.A., Senior Reference Librarian – Collections, Center for Jewish History “The fact that organized labor as it exists in the late twentieth century is largely the product of the A[merican]F[ederation] of L[abor] and its leaders obscures the federation’s recent and inauspicious beginnings. What became the…

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Rose Schneiderman (center) with Eleanor Roosevelt and David Dubinsky, 1938. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Link. Rose Schneiderman: The Red Rose of Anarchyby Anna Khomina, Research and Special Projects Intern, Center for Jewish HistoryA public speaker, union leader, and political adviser, Rose Schneiderman devoted her life to fighting for working class rights. Active from 1904 through the 1950s, Schneiderman was forced to drop out of…

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Happy Birthday, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!Detective fiction from the Partner Collectionsby Melanie J. Meyers, M.S., Senior Reference Librarian, Center for Jewish History “My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don’t know.” –from “The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes” (1892)  May 22, 1859 was the birthday of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes: the most celebrated sleuth…

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Yom Yerushalayim: Selections

In Honor of Yom Yerushalayim: five selections concerning Jerusalem from each of the five partners. Compiled by David P. Rosenberg, M.P.A., Senior Reference Librarian – Collections, Center for Jewish History  Yom Yerushalayim commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem and Israeli control over the Old City. The victory in the Six-Day War resulted in the first time Jews took control of the city since the destruction of the…

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Die Haggadah des Kindes. (Click on title to view digitized version.) Leo Baeck Institute. Dayenu: A few Passover Haggadot would have been enough…really?by David P. Rosenberg, M.P.A., Senior Reference Librarian – Collections, Center for Jewish History  As we prepare for the ritual Seder this evening, I started to reflect on the variations of Passover Haggadot and the vast number of them that we have…

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