To honor our 50th anniversary, we invite you to peek into our archives each month.
From the Archives...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 789-0900.
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!