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Object of the Month: November 2012 0 Comment(s)

Object No. 2011.2.32
Donor: Diane Liebert
Description: Photograph of D.C. Mayor Walter Washington presenting Janice Eichhorn with a framed letter that thanks her for Home Rule efforts, October 11, 1973

Background: Jan Eichhorn first arrived in Washington from Illinois in 1964 to work for her local Congressman, Ken Grey, but by the early 1970s, her focus had shifted. She became entrenched in Washington, D.C.'s struggle for Home Rule and representation in Congress. Eichhorn became the executive director of the Self-Determination for DC Coalition, which lobbied for Home Rule on behalf of more than 80 organizations. After Home Rule legislation passed in 1974, Eichhorn continued her political activism, serving as the first Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner of Ward 6B (South side of Capitol Hill to the Anacostia River), delegate to the DC Statehood Constitutional Convention, and remaining an active member of local Democratic organizations.

Eichhorn's devotion to her community was not only political.  She became involved in the Washington DC Jewish Community Center when it first returned to the city and served on its board from 1985 to 1990. Additionally, she formed Friends of Tyler School, an after-school mentoring and tutoring program near Barney Circle in 1990. The program, now called Jan's Tutoring House in her memory, has served more than 300 students.

Object of the Month: August 2012 0 Comment(s)

Object No.: 2004.13.1
Donor: Constance Tobriner Povich
Description: Photograph of the 76th Board of Commissioners of Washington D.C.: (left to right) John Duncan, Walter Tobriner, Charles M. Duke, July 22, 1965.

Background: Walter N. Tobriner was a native Washingtonian and lawyer whose career was distinguished by his service to his hometown. He was appointed by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to the city's Board of Commissioners. At that time, the Board was D.C.'s governing body whose three members were Presidential appointees. Tobriner served as its president for six years.

Although he had always been a strong advocate for some form of home rule for the city, Tobriner knew that 1961 was not the year to push for it. He felt, as The Washington Post reported, Congress would not pass a home rule bill unless the President actively worked for its enactment; the newly elected John F. Kennedy would be occupied with more pressing matters. Nevertheless, Tobriner was a visionary for positive change.
 
To learn more about Walter Tobriner and the civil service of Jewish community members, read the newest edition of our journal, The Record, a complimentary benefit of JHSGW membership. To purchase a copy, contact us at info@jhsgw.org or (202) 789-0900.

Visitors from Polish Jewish Museums 0 Comment(s)

Executive Director Laura Apelbaum (center) and President Sid Silver speak with visitor

Yesterday, we had the honor of hosting representatives of three Polish Jewish cultural institutions who are on a tour of Jewish cultural centers and museums in the U.S. The trip is part of a State Department program and its purpose is to show best practices of management, fundraising, outreach, educational programs, and community involvement.

Education Specialist Lisa Hershey (standing, left) tells visitors about the synagogue's history

After viewing our short film about our 1876 historic synagogue (which we had outfitted with Polish subtitles for this visit!), our staff explained the many facets of our work. We gave them a peek into the archives and samples of our PR materials.  They seemed to especially enjoy the coffee we offered, which was needed to help with jetlag!

After Washington, they’ll travel to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. We’re envious of all the places they’ll see on their trip and know they’ll return home with plenty of new ideas for their institutions.

White House Liaison Visits! 0 Comment(s)

This morning we welcomed Jarrod Bernstein, Director of Jewish Outreach in the White House's Office of Public Engagement, to the Museum.

Archivist Wendy Turman (wearing the white gloves) gave Jarrod a taste of the archives focusing on some of our items related to the presidency (including a panoramic photo of President Coolidge dedicating the Washington DCJCC in 1925).

We are proud that our building has presidential connections. When President Ulysses S. Grant attended the synagogue's dedication service in 1876, he became the first sitting U.S. president to attend a synagogue service.
 
We are now "connected" and exploring ways to work together.

Object of the Month: January 2011 0 Comment(s)

We invite you to peek into our archives each month!

Archives Record
Object #: 1998.54
Donor: Estate of Milton S. Kronheim, Sr.
Description: Photograph of Chief Justice Earl Warren’s birthday party in the dining room at Milton S. Kronheim’s warehouse, early 1970s. From left (sitting): Associate Justice William O. Douglas, Judge Simon Sobeloff, Milton S. Kronheim, Sr., Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Associate Justice Thurgood S. Marshall. Standing from left are Milton King, Judge David L. Bazelon, former Maryland Governor Theodore R. McKeldin, Stanley Rosenzweig, Judge J. Skelly Wright, and Associate Justice William E. Brennan, Jr.
 
Background: Milton S. Kronheim, Sr., owner of Milton S. Kronheim & Son, the area’s largest liquor distributor, presided over a modestly appointed lunchroom at his liquor warehouse in Northeast Washington. There, he attracted gathering of presidents, lawmakers, Supreme Court Justices, sports figures, religious leaders and representatives of numerous charities. Kronheim gave his first lunch in 1928. He continued informally hosting the city’s most influential persons until his death in 1986, at age 97.
 
Kronheim devoted himself to an array of political and charitable causes as well as national Jewish organizations. He was a major supporter of the Democratic Party and his fundraising for Israel Bonds was so successful that a town, Nachalat Kronheim, was named after him. Kronheim also found time to pitch for his baseball team, the Kronheim A.C. Bearcats, until his arm gave out when he was in his mid-eighties. D.C. delegate, Walter Fauntroy, often played for the team.
 
Kronheim’s treasured photographs lined the walls of his company’s lunchroom. In 1998, his family donated more than 400 photographs and other items to the Jewish Historical Society, and the Society produced an exhibition of a selection of them the following year. The photographs are both a pictorial biography and a who’s who of Washington throughout most of the 20th century.
 
Do you have material documenting a notable local Jewish community member that you’d like to donate to the Jewish Historical Society? Contact us at info@jhsgw.org or (202) 789-0900.
 
Check out our previous Objects of the Month!