Friday, January 8, 2010

Museum of Family History Update for January 2010

A Happy New Year to all. This year promises many new and interesting exhibitions at the virtual Museum of Family History, so keep reading the Museum blog to learn of all that's new and exciting.

Here is a summary of what new material and exhibitions were added to the Museum of Family History over the past month or so. This summary does not include all that was added; for that you will need to read the previous Museum's blog entries. Here, though, is a summary, of what's new:

1. "The Jews of Asia." The Museum's first offering to you is an exhibition entitled "Synagogues and Memorials." Currently you can see photographs of synagoggues taken in the 1990s and 2000s in the following locations: Hong Kong and Shanghai, China; Bombay (Mumbai) and Cochin (Kochi) in India; Rangoon (Yangon) in Burma (Myanmar), Singapore, Tajikistan, Lebanon and
Istanbul, Turkey (i.e. the Asian side of the Bosphorus).

The Museum is looking for material for an uncoming exhibition about the Jews of Asia, so if any of you possess or can obtain material that can be used in this exhibition, please contact me at . Such material can include one's biography that includes an account of one's time spent in Asia at any time up until 1960. Photos, audio-video are always welcome.

2. All sections of the 1905/1907 book "The Immigrant Jew in America" is now available to you at the Museum. You can now read about the Russian Jew of Chicago, as well as the Russian Jews of New York and Philadelphia. The exhibition's table of contents can be found at

3. Anti-Semitism in Europe - Letters from Leipzig: Within the six years preceding the start of World War II, a non-Jewish German woman named Ilse Gerngrofs wrote four letters to a Jewish friend in New Zealand (not knowing she was Jewish). The Museum presents these to you now so that they may serve as an example of the anti-Semitic sentiments that existed in Germany before and after Hitler came into power. These letters are very offensive, but
worth reading. The link is

4. Synagogues of Europe: Greece: Athens, Corfu, Rhodes and Thesssalonika; Spain: Madrin and Toledo; Ukraine: Husiatyn and Zastavna.

5. Newspaper Archives: There are now over one-hundred articles available for
your perusal. Please visit the archives at to see what might be of interest to you. There are now over two dozen articles published between the 1880s and 1906 about the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Reading these
articles is a great way to get a feel for Jewish life there more than one hundred years ago. There are even two short film clips for you to see, made in 1903, showing scenes of the Lower East Side.

6. For those of you who don't already know, The Museum has placed online an important report and a table of pogroms that occurred between 1903 and 1906. First, you will be able to read over the introduction and commentary to all of this as published by the American Jewish Committee in their American Jewish Year Book, Volume 8 (1906-1907). Secondly, you will be able to peruse a table of more than two hundred and fifty towns and cities in Europe where
pogroms occurred. Within this table is a listing of the damage caused in these locations (when available), as well as some general remarks made about each pogrom. You will also find for each pogrom event listed, the date of occurrence, the name of the town or city, the gubernia, the overall population of the location and the Jewish population, though numbers are not given for every town or city. There is also a supplemental table of pogroms in other locations in November 1905 not included in this larger table. There are also articles about the pogroms in Gomel, Belarus and Bialystok, Poland.

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