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Another Successful Jewish American Heritage Month 0 Comment(s)

We've wrapped up another successful Jewish American Heritage Month, again showing our role as the source for community history!

You may have seen Arthur Welsh, the first American Jewish aviator, featured in the "Flashbacks" comic in the Sunday Washington Post. Our efforts led to this feature and the Society was mentioned in the final strip! You can now view the entire six-part series.

Executive Director Laura Apelbaum and board member Diane Wattenberg were featured in The Federation's Jewish Food Experience blog -- read the post about the winning National Spelling Bee word: knaidel.

We partnered again this year with the National Archives on a very special program featuring Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissman Klein.

We were also featured in Moment Magazine (download article) and we were out in the community a great deal:

  • Exhibition, Jewish Life in Mr. Lincoln's City, was on display at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
  • Led 8 walking tours:
    • Washington Hebrew Congregation’s 6th grade, EntryPointDC’s young professionals group, and a public tour of Downtown DC
    • Arlington National Cemetery for the public, Women of Temple Rodef Shalom, and a Jewish school from North Carolina
    • Old Town Alexandria for the Adas Israel Congregation Sisterhood and Jewish Federations of North America staff
  •  Presented 5 talks on topics about local Jewish heritage for:
    • OASIS at Montgomery Mall
    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    • EntryPointDC’s Shavuot Study Night
    • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
    • Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington's annual meeting (related blog post)

Youth Summit for “Parade” 0 Comment(s)

Cynthia Peterman, guest instructor, leads a discussion about American Jewish history in the 1900s

This past Sunday, eighth and ninth graders from Beth El Hebrew Congregation (Alexandria) and Shaare Torah (Gaithersburg) participated in a workshop with Lisa Hershey, our Education Consultant, to prepare them to see the musical Parade at Ford’s Theatre.  The workshop took place at Ford’s Theatre’s brand new education space: The Center for Education and Leadership. Students spent time reviewing the Leo Frank case, learning about stereotypes, and discussing the role of media today and back in the 1900s.  Students even had a chance to use their cell phones to create a pretend text message, as part of a larger conversation about using social media to stand up to injustice.  Students’ theater tickets and lunch were underwritten by supporters of JHSGW.

The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is partnering with Ford's Theatre on its upcoming production of Parade, a drama with music based on the true story of the trial and lynching of Leo Frank. Parade runs September 23 - October 30, 2011 and is the first production of Ford's Lincoln Legacy Project, a five-year effort to create a dialogue around the issues of tolerance, equality, and acceptance.

Want to intern? 0 Comment(s)

Want to gain some valuable experience while learning about D.C.-area Jewish history and contributing to a small organization?

JHSGW is looking for some interns for this fall. Read about the experiences of our former interns.

Interns work in a variety of activities, including (but not limited to):

1. Archives/collections management
2. Research
3. Education/Programs
4. Outreach/Marketing/Membership
5. Publications
6. Website/Exhibitions

The internship is unpaid. Number of hours per week is flexible; schedule will be during normal business hours (9-5 Monday-Thursday).

Learn more and apply here.

Australians Visit the Synagogue 0 Comment(s)

Today I had the privilege of showing the Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum to a group from Australia! Thirty students from Notre Dame University in Freemantle, Australia, are here in Washington for three weeks, studying American politics and D.C. history at the Catholic University of America. Their professor, Leslie Woodcock Tentler from Catholic University, brought them to Washington's oldest synagogue after they toured other parts of the neighborhood.

I explained the building's unique history--and how it fits into the history of this neighborhood, the Jewish community, and the city writ large. The picture shows students examining what the synagogue looked like just after its move in 1969.

We love to have classes -- from kindergarten to college, from our city or from another hemisphere -- come by our building and learn about Washington's Jewish history. At the university level, it's perfect for a D.C. history, urban history, or American Jewish history class.

Want to bring your group by? Click here for more information!

A Successful Jewish American Heritage Month! 0 Comment(s)

Our Jewish American Heritage Month programs culminated at City Hall last month, where we celebrated with D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown, the D.C. Council, and even the mayor.  This special event, co-organized with the Jewish Community Relations Council, included a kosher deli lunch and our exhibition, Jewish Life in Mr. Lincoln’s City, which was on view in the Wilson Building atrium.

Debbie Linick of JCRC, D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan,
JHSGW Executive Director Laura Apelbaum, and D.C. Mayor Vincent Grey
Photograph by Betty Adler
Chairman Brown addresses the crowd
Photograph by Betty Adler


During May, our programs served 625 people.  Countless others viewed our exhibitions.

Joan Nathan and Spike Mendelsohn
speaking at the National Archives
Photograph by Pat Fisher