JHSGW Blog Subscribe via RSS

Viewing posts with the tag Jewish Community Center. Show all posts.

Presidents and the Jews: Fun Facts for the Inauguration 0 Comment(s)

Here are the answers to the quiz we published last week. There were 146 quiz takers and 20 got all the answers correct! Based on the responses, questions 3, 4, and 7 were easiest, while questions 1 and 5 were trickiest. We hope you learn something about the presidents' relationship and experiences with D.C.'s Jewish community.

1.  Who was the first president to attend synagogue services in the United States?

President Ulysses S. Grant attended the dedication of the Adas Israel synagogue (now the Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum) on June 9, 1876. Grant remained for the entire three-hour service and gave a $10 donation to the synagogue building fund.
(Other answer options: George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt.)

2.  Which president spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Jewish Community Center on 16th Street, NW?

President Calvin Coolidge addressed the crowd in 1925 and closed his remarks by saying, "As those who come and go shall gaze upon this civic landmark, may it be a constant reminder of the inspiring service that has been rendered to civilization by men and women of the Jewish faith."
(Other answer options: Woodrow Wilson and Warren G. Harding)

3.  Who was the first Jewish candidate on a major-party presidential ticket?

Senator Joseph Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew who did not campaign on the Sabbath, was Senator Al Gore’s running mate in 2000.
(Other answer options: Jacob K. Javits and Abraham Ribicoff)

4.  What enterprising Washington businessman provided lumber to build the inaugural stands for Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower?

Sidney Hechinger first donated lumber to build the inaugural platform in front of the Capitol in 1933. After the ceremonies, he dismantled the stand and sold pieces cut from the wood as inaugural souvenirs.
(Other answer options: Alexander Hecht and Max Lansburgh)

5.  Which congregation is named in an Act signed into law by President Franklin Pierce that entitles Jewish congregations in Washington, D.C. to the same rights and privileges as churches?

President Franklin Pierce signed “An Act for the Benefit of the Hebrew Congregation in the city of Washington” on June 2, 1856. Washington Hebrew had petitioned Congress for legislation to ensure its right to own property in the city.
(Other answer options: Adas Israel Congregation and Kesher Israel)

6.  Which President sent his Jewish chiropodist (foot doctor) on a secret wartime peace mission?

Isachar Zacharie tended the feet of President Abraham Lincoln and several other Cabinet officials during the Civil War. In 1863 Lincoln sent him to Richmond to meet with Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin to propose peace negotiations.  The errand was unsuccessful.
(Other answer options: Theodore Roosevelt and James Monroe)

7.  Which native Washingtonian received hate mail when President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him head of the Internal Revenue Service?

President Johnson appointed Sheldon S. Cohen General Counsel of the IRS in 1963 and later Commissioner of the IRS, a post he held through the end of Johnson’s term in early 1969.
(Other answer options: Simon Wolf and Gilbert Hahn)

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.

Program Recap: Jewish Women in Sport 0 Comment(s)

Dr. Nadell, Dr. Borish, and discussion moderator Archivist/Curator Wendy Turman

Last Tuesday, we, the Goethe-Institut, and the Washington Jewish Film Festival hosted a panel discussion and film screening revealing the little-known history of Jewish women in sport. The discussion, graciously hosted by our friends at the Goethe-Institut, included Dr. Linda Borish of Western Michigan University, a historian and the film's executive producer, and historian Dr. Pamela Nadell of American University.

We first learned of Dr. Borish's film when she came to our archives to do research many years ago. In fact, she used some images from Jewish Community Center scrapbooks in the film. The archivists and I cheered when we saw the pictures from our collections!

Drs. Borish and Nadell had a wonderful dynamic during the discussion, enlightening the audience about the achievements and obstacles faced by Jewish women athletes. I learned a lot of new information, and had a lot of food for thought. For example, I found out how quite a few female Jewish athletes boycotted the 1936 Olympics in Berlin--even though it could be their only chance to compete at that level. I learned about the gender, ethnic, and religious issues with which Jewish women athletes grappled.

Afterwards a group of us joined Drs. Borish and Nadell for a lively lunchtime discussion. Miss the program? Never to fear, the Goethe-Institut kindly recorded the audio for us. Listen!

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

Archives Record
Object #: 2002.11.2
Donor: Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington
Description: Newsclipping featuring Jewish Community Center women basketball players practicing, February 22, 1935, Washington Times, included in JCC scrapbook.
From left to right, Betty Kronman, Alto Schnitzer, Dorothy Shatzman (with ball), Sally Parker, and Helen Bushlow.

Background: This 1935 newsclipping of JCC basketball players is from a collection of scrapbooks that document the JCC at 16th & Q Streets, NW. The scrapbooks date from 1919 to 1941 and include many newsclippings, program invitations, photographs, and calendars of events documenting lectures, music recitals, and sporting events.

The photo in this clipping is featured in a documentary, Jewish Women in American Sport: Settlement Houses to the Olympics. Executive Producer Dr. Linda Borish of Western Michigan University visited our archives while conducting research for the film. We are proud that she selected this photograph for inclusion in the documentary. Join Dr. Borish and the Jewish Historical Society for a noontime screening of the film on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at the Goethe-Institut.

Do you have material documenting a local Jewish athlete that you’d like to donate to the Jewish Historical Society? Contact us at info@jhsgw.org or (202) 789-0900.

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.