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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!

Object of the Month: July 2010 0 Comment(s)

JHSGW 50th anniversary logoTo honor our 50th anniversary, we invite you to peek into our archives each month.

From the Archives...
Bicentennial Photograph

Archives Record
Object #: 2008.18.6
Donor: Sandra and Dr. Clement Alpert
Description: 6.5”x10” black and white photograph. Rabbi Louis Gerstein, Amy Gerstein (left) and Cecile and Dr. Seymour Alpert (right) with President Gerald Ford (center) on July 12, 1976 in the Oval Office of the White House.

Background: On July 12, 1976, as part of the nationwide bicentennial celebrations, rabbis from six colonial congregations presented President Ford with a Bicentennial letter. Representatives were present from Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (Charleston, SC), Congregation Shearith Israel (New York, NY), Congregation Jeshuat Israel (Newport, RI), Congregation Mikveh Israel (Philadelphia, PA), Congregation Mickve Israel (Savannah, GA), and Congregation Beth Ahabah (Richmond, VA).

Rabbi Louis Gerstein, who served Shearith Israel for 32 years, posed in the Oval Office with his wife Amy, President Ford, and Dr. Seymour and Cecile Alpert. Dr. Alpert was on the Jewish Bicentennial Commission of Greater Washington. The Alperts were active members of Washington, D.C.’s Jewish community. They were philanthropists and leaders in organizations such as the Jewish Community Council, Israel Bonds, and United Jewish Appeal (a predecessor to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington).

Do you have materials documenting the D.C.-area Jewish community’s bicentennial celebrations? To donate, contact us at info@jhsgw.org or (202) 789-0900.

Hands on history 0 Comment(s)

Spent yesterday with five great volunteers working on the Society’s archival collections. Merrill cataloged and photographed a beautiful samovar brought by Russian immigrant Rachel Polakoff in 1911. Les scanned a huge variety of photographs ranging from a 7th Street tailor shop to an image of Eleanor Roosevelt at an Israel Bonds Ambassador’s Ball.

Brenda, Steve, and Lois sorted through seven boxes of papers documenting the life and career of Rabbi Tzvi Porath at Ohr Kodesh Congregation (originally Montgomery County Jewish Community).

It’s always great to see the personal connections our volunteers make with the materials when they work in our archives – and we get so much more done with their help.

If you’d like to come help out in our archives, please fill out our volunteer application!