Timeline

  • 1654

    Twenty-three Jewish refugees flee Brazil and the long arm of the Inquisition, and land in New Amsterdam.

    From the AJHS Collection
    The Jews settle in New Amsterdam : 1654

    Samuel Grand; New York : Union of American Hebrew Congregations c1954

    Available through American Jewish Historical Society. F128.9.J5 G67

     

    Collection Type 
    Book
  • Jefferson Letter

    1666

    Jefferson Letter

    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Jefferson Letter

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Peter Stuyvesant Letter with translation

    1668

    Peter Stuyvesant Letter with translation

    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Peter Stuyvesant Letter with translation

    Peter Stuyvesant Letter with translation

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • 1655

    Dutch West India Company allows Jewish settlers to reside permanently in New Amsterdam.

  • 1664

    The English conquer New Amsterdam and rename it New York.

  • 1679

    In September 1654, twenty-three Jews, fleeing the Portuguese conquest of Dutch Brazil, arrived in New Amsterdam (now New York City) and established the first Jewish community in North America. Over the next century, other Jews migrated to New York, Newport, Savannah, Charleston and Philadelphia. By 1775, perhaps 2,500 Jewish men, women, and children called the American colonies their home.

    1
  • 1680
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Etrog Holder of the Gomez Family

    This eighteenth century silver mustard pot was transformed into an etrog holder and used by the Gomez Family during the celebration of Sukkot.

    Gomez Family Silver Collection, circa 1700s

    The AJHS Museum Collection holds three silver domestic objects from the Gomez Family: an etrog holder, a silver basket, and a silver tray.

    Collection Type 
    Museum Holdings
  • 1710
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Seixas family circumcision set and trunk, Eighteenth century

    Abraham Mendes Seixas (d. 1738) family's circumcision set was constructed during its travels from Portugal to London to New York.

    Seixas Family Papers, undated, 1746-1939

    Collection #P-60; Item is located in Museum Collection. 

    Seixas family circumcision set and trunk, Eighteenth century

    Collection Type 
    Museum Holdings
  • Subscription for building the first Mill Street Synagogue, 1728.

    1730

    New York's Shearith Israel dedicates its first synagogue building on Mill Street.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Subscription for building the first Mill Street Synagogue, 1728.

    This 1728 list of original subscribers names those who donated toward the construction of the first Congregation Shearith Israel building located on Mill Street in New York City.

    Jacques Judah Lyons (1813-1877) Papers, undated, 1705-1950

    Collection #P-15; Box 2, Folder 78

    Subscription for building the first Mill Street Synagogue, 1728.

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Richa Franks, ca. 1735

    1742

    Phila Franks (1722-1811), elopes with Oliver DeLancey, a Christian. Hers is one of the earliest recorded intermarriages in American Jewish history.

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
    Portrait of Richa Franks, Oil on canvas, ca. 1735

    AJHS collections of family correspondence highlights the activities of early Jewish merchant families, including the Franks family.

    Franks family papers, 1711-1821, [1965-1968]

    Collection #P-142

    Richa Franks, ca. 1735

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • 1745
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Congregation Shearith Israel Misheberach Book

    A misheberag ascaboth or Misheberach Book lists honors, special occasions, memorials, the sick, and births among congregation members for the year 1759.

    Congregation Shearith Israel (New York, N.Y.) records, undated, 1755-1996.

    Collection #I-4, Box 1, Folder 11

    Congregation Shearith Israel Misheberach Book

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Evening service of Roshashanah, and Kippur.

    1761

    First holiday prayer book printed in America is published in New York.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Prayer book for evening service of Roshashanah, and Kippur.

    This first Jewish prayer book, published in English in the American colonies, is attributed to Issac Pinto.

    Rosenbach Collection Rare Books

    Rosenbach 41

    Evening service of Roshashanah, and Kippur.

    Collection Type 
    Book
  • 1715

    American Jews sought to fulfill the age-old requirements of Judaism: To keep the Sabbath, eat only kosher food, have their infant sons circumcised and provide Jewish burial. They founded a synagogue congregation in each of the five cities. Unlike Europe, where state-sanctioned rabbis prescribed and enforced religious observance, identifying with Judaism in America was voluntary. Individuals defined the meanings of being Jewish for themselves to a degree unknown elsewhere.

    1
    1
  • 1700

    Jewish population in America numbers approximately 250.

  • Touro Synagogue (Congregation Jeshuat Israel), Newport, Rhode Island, circa 1800s.

    1763

    The Jews of Newport, Rhode Island dedicate a Sephardic ritual synagogue designed by leading architect Peter Harrison.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Touro Synagogue (Congregation Jeshuat Israel)

    Touro Synagogue of Congregation Jeshuat Israel, Newport, Rhode island : founded 1658, dedicated 1763, designated as a national historic site, 1946. Newport, RI : Society of Friends of Touro Synagogue c1948

    Folio BM225.N57 A7a

    Touro Synagogue (Congregation Jeshuat Israel), Newport, Rhode Island, circa 1800s.

    Collection Type 
    Book
  • 1776

    The Declaration of Independence proclaims “all men are created equal.”

  • 1783

    Like other Americans, Jews took sides--and took up arms--during the Revolutionary War. About 100 Jews served in the Continental Army and state militias. By fostering religious freedom, the Revolution confirmed Jews in their belief that they were truly at home in America. In 1790, when the nation’s Jewish congregations sent letters of greeting to president George Washington, he assured them that the United States government “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

    1
  • Prayer for the Government, 1784.

    1784

    This prayer for the Government for General George Washington and New York State Governor George Clinton was composed and delivered by Gershon Mendez Seixas (1745-1816) in 1784.

    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Prayer for the Government, 1784.

    This prayer, composed and delivered by Gershom Mendez Seixas (1745-1816) in 1784, calls on God to protect General George Washington and New York Governor George Clinton.

    Jacques Judah Lyons (1813-1877) Papers, undated, 1705-1950

    Collection #P-15; Box 1, Folder 64

    Prayer for the Government, 1784.

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • 1787
    1
    George Washington Papers, National Archives
    Letter from George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, 1790

    In 1789 and 1790, the newly inaugurated first president received letters of good tidings from the Jewish congregations of Savannah, Newport, and in a joint letter, the combined congregations of Philadelphia, New York, Charleston, and Richmond.

    Collection Type 
    Website
  • Haym Salomon Bill of Exchange, December 14, 1780.

    1794
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Haym Salomon Bill of Exchange, December 14, 1780.

    Polish born Haym Salomon (1740-1785) was drawn to the patriot cause shortly after his arrival in New York in 1775 and is often referred to as the "Financier of the Revolution."

    Haym Salomon collection undated, 1777-1982

    Collection #P-41; Box 1

    Haym Salomon Bill of Exchange, December 14, 1780.

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Michael Gratz (1740-1811).

    1802
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Portrait of Michael Gratz (1740-1811).

    Attributed to Thomas Scully (1783-1872). Philadelphia, circa 1805-08. Pastel on paper.

    Philadelphia merchant, supplier to American Continental Army troops, and parnass of Congregation Mikveh Israel, Michael Gratz (1740-1811) of the Gratz Family.

    Gratz family (Philadelphia) papers undated, 1753-1916

    Collection #P-8

    Michael Gratz (1740-1811).

    Collection Type 
    Museum Collection
  • Polonies Talmud Torah

    1808

    Polonies Talmud Torah, the first Jewish school on record in the United States, established in New York City.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Announcement for the Polonies Talmud Torah School

    Congregation Shearith Israel, New York, NY

    Sunday School lessons for young Israelites.

    Creator: Jacques Judah Lyons 1814-1877.

    Soble 351

    Polonies Talmud Torah

    Collection Type 
    Book
  • Mordecai Manuel Noah, appointed United States Consul at Tunis

    1813

    Mordecai Manuel Noah, politician, editor and playwright, appointed United States Consul at Tunis, the first major diplomatic post awarded an American Jew.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Mordecai Manuel Noah, ink sketch given to Isaac Phillips, undated.

    At the age of 26, Noah was appointed the U.S. Consul to the Kingdom of Tunis in 1813.

    Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785-1851) Papers, undated, 1816-1851

    Collection #P-75; Box 1, Folder 11

    Mordecai Manuel Noah, appointed United States Consul at Tunis

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869)

    1819

    In Philadelphia, Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869) establishes the first independent Jewish women’s charitable society.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Gratz Family (Philadelphia) Papers, undated, 1753-1916

    A pioneer Jewish charitable worker and religious educator, Rebecca Gratz becomes a founding member of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society.

    Gratz family (Philadelphia) papers undated, 1753-1916

    Collection #P-8

    Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869)

    Collection Type 
    Museum Collection
  • 1824

    In 1820, American Jews numbered about 3,000, but by 1870, over 200,000 Jews could be found spread throughout the nation. Attracted by the booming commercial economy and religious freedom, a prolonged wave of immigration from the German states, Austria, Bohemia, Hungary, Poland, and Lithuania, had brought tens of thousands of mostly young Jewish men and women to America.

    1
  • 1824

    Jews in Charleston, South Carolina organize the first Reform Jewish religious group in the United States.

  • 1823

    The first Jewish American periodical, The Jew, published in New York.

  • Handwritten Prayer Book by Emanuel De La Motta

    1833
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Handwritten Prayer Book by Emanuel De La Motta

    This Evening Service for the Sabbath, Festivals, and New Year was written by Emanuel De La Motta in Charleston, SC for his daughters, Clara and Rachel.

    Emanuel de la Motta (1760-1821) Prayerbook

    Collection, undated, 1820. Collection #P-68

    Handwritten Prayer Book by Emanuel De La Motta

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • 1833

    The first book by an American Jewish woman, Penina Moise’s Fancy’s Sketch Book, published in South Carolina.

  • 1837

    First Passover Haggadah printed in America.

  • 1841

    David Lee Levy of Florida elected to the United States Senate, the first Jew in Congress.

  • 1843

    Twelve Jewish immigrants found B’Nai B’rith (Sons of the Covenant), the first secular Jewish organization in the United States.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tobias and Dog Silhouette

    1844
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tobias and Dog Silhouette

    A pre-Daguerreotype and photography silhouette created in 1844 by August Edouart, a French sihouetteist.

    August Edouart (1789–1861) Silhouette Collection, undated, 1839-1844

    Accession 1995.066.001-022

    Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tobias and Dog Silhouette

    Collection Type 
    Museum Holdings
  • isaac Lopez Brandon

    1849
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Portrait of Isaac Lopez Brandon (1792-1855)

    Oil on ivory miniature by unknown artist and date.

    A miniature portrait of Isaac Lopez Brandon (1792-1855), born in St. Michaels, Barbados and a member of a merchant family involved in slave-based sugar production and trade. 

    Accession Number 1936.007.001

    isaac Lopez Brandon

    Collection Type 
    Museum Holdings
  • Sabato Morais  (1823-1897) Photograph, undated

    1856

    Sabato Morais (1823-1897), rabbi of Congregation Mikvah Israel in Philadelphia, denounces the eveils of American slavery from his pulpit.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Sabato Morais (1823-1897) Photograph, undated

    Sabato Morais (1823-1897) was a Conservative Italian Jew and leader of Congregation Mikvah Israel in Philadelphia who denounced slavery from the pulpit

    Sabato Morais (1823-1897) Papers, undated, 1851-1893

    Collection #P-55

    Sabato Morais  (1823-1897) Photograph, undated

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Telegram from A.S. Solomons to Henry Hart, January 6, 1863

    1862

    Board of Delegates of American Israelites successfully protests Ulysses S. Grant’s “vile order” expelling Jews from Union-held areas of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Telegram from A.S. Solomons to Henry Hart, January 6, 1863

    General Ulysses S. Grant's order raised a storm of protest from the Board of Delegates of American Israelites, the nation's first Jewish lobby.

    Board of Delegates of American Israelites, undated, 1859-1881, 1887, 1932

    Collection #I-2; Box 3, Folder 2

    Telegram from A.S. Solomons to Henry Hart, January 6, 1863

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • United States Senator Judah P. Benjamin

    1862

    Former United States Senator Judah P. Benjamin (1811-1884) is appointed Secretary of War and then Secretary for the State for the Confederate States of America.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Confederate Bank Note, circa 1863

    Confederate Bank Note with the likeness of Confederate Secretary of War, Judah P. Benjamin, circa 1863.

    Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Benjamin Attorney General of the Confederacy, then later, the Secretary of War.

    Judah P. Benjamin (1811-1884) Papers, undated, 1838- 1948 (bulk 1854-1884).

    Collection #P-45; Shared OS1F

    United States Senator Judah P. Benjamin on Confederate Banknote

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • 1871

    More Jews emigrated to the United States between 1870 and 1924 than in any period before or since. The vast majority-some 2.5 million-fled poverty and anti-Semitism in the Russian Empire, Romania and Austria-Hungary and transformed American Jewish life. By fostering the rise of a Jewish working class in the garment trades and other industries, these immigrants reshaped the labor movement and left-wing politics in America. By 1930, the Jewish comunities’ numbers rose to over 4 million, or about 3.5% of the US population.

    1
  • Matronshka Stacking Doll Olga

    1869
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Matryoshka Stacking Doll "Olga"

    These nesting dolls, which Edis Cerebrenick Grossman played with as a child, put a bright face on the Russian Jewish experience.

    Матрешка "Ольга"
    Эти матрешки, с которыми Эдис Серебреник Гроссман играла в детстве, скрашивали суровые будни русских евреев.

    Accession 1992.009.001

     

    Matronshka Stacking Doll Olga

    Collection Type 
    Museum Holdings
  • Isaac Mayer Wise

    1875

    In Cincinnati, Isaac Mayer Wise founds Hebrew Union College, Reform Judaism’s rabbinical seminary.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise Photograph, undated

    Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, founder of Reform Judaism in the United States, served as Hebrew Union College's first president and built the college into a center of Jewish education and scholarship.

    Library materials on and about Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise. 

    Isaac Mayer Wise

    Collection Type 
    Book
  • Emma Lazarus

    1881
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)

    In 1883 the American Jewish poet Emma Lazarus composed "The New Colossus" that hangs on the pedestal of the statue of liberty. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free."

    Emma Lazarus collection, undated, 1876-1987

    Collection #P-2

    Emma Lazarus

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • The New Colossus

    1886

    The Statue of Liberty unveiled in New York Harbor. Emma Lazarus’s sonnet “The New Colossus” (1883) is added to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

    From the AJHS Collection
    The New Colossus

    This copy was handwritten by Lazarus in a leather-bound book of her compiled works. The manuscript has been digitized and may be read in its entirety online.

    Manuscript notebook from the Emma Lazarus collection, 1877-1887

    Collection #P-2

    See also: Nahum Sokolow article about Emma Lazarus

    The New Colossus

    Collection Type 
    Museum Holdings
  • Lee (Max) Friedman Graduation Certificate, Roxbury Latin School, Ink on parchment, 1890

    1890
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Lee (Max) Friedman Graduation Certificate, Roxbury Latin School, Ink on parchment, 1890

    Lee Max Friedman (1871-1957), future historian in colonial Jewish History, graduates from the Roxbury Latin School in Boston. He would become AJHS President from 1948-1952 and the Society biennially gives an award in his honor.

    Lee Max Friedman Papers 

    Collection P-724; Shared OS1F

    Lee (Max) Friedman Graduation Certificate, Roxbury Latin School, Ink on parchment, 1890

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • AJHS Seal

    1892

    The American Jewish Historical Society is established.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Original American Jewish Historical Society seal, "Remember the Days of the World," 1892.

    Founded in 1892, The American Jewish Historical Society is the oldest ethnic-based historical society in the United States.

    American Jewish Historical Society Records, 1892-1999, currently being processed for the first time in 124 years.

    Collection #I-1

    AJHS Seal

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Abraham Cahan

    1897

    The Jewish Daily Forward (Forverts), a Yiddish daily newspaper, is founded in New York by Abraham Cahan (1860-1951).

    From the AJHS Collection
    Abraham Cahan (1860-1951)

    In New York City alone, more than 150 Yiddish newspapers and journals came into existence between 1870 and 1915. Most enduring was Der Forverts, "The Jewish Daily Forward," founded in 1897 by the Abraham Cahan, and continuing to this day as a weekly.

    Various books and articles written by or on Abraham Cahan and the Jewish Daily Forward. 

    Abraham Cahan

    Collection Type 
    Book
  • Solomon Schechter

    1902

    Solomon Schechter comes from England to America to head the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Solomon Schechter (1847-1915)

    The Jewish Theological Seminary of America became the center of American Jewish scholarship and home of a modified, modernized orthodoxy called "Conservative Judaism" when Romanian-born Cambridge scholar Solomon Schechter took the helm. 

    Solomon Schechter

    Collection Type 
    Book
  • 1903

    Oscar Straus appointed US Secretary of Labor and Commerce, the first Jew to hold a cabinet post.

  • Irving Berlin, Yiddle on My Fiddle

    1909

    Irving Berlin writes "Yiddle on Your Fiddle Play Some Ragtime," symbolizing the blending of Yiddish music into the American songbook.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Composer Irving Berlin (1888-1989)

    Russian Jewish immigrant Irving Berlin composes and writes lyrics to "Yiddle on Your Fiddle Play Some Ragtime," symbolizing the Americanization of Yiddish music and its blending into the American songbook.

    Irving Berlin Sheet Music Collection, 1908-1952

    Collection #P-878

    Irving Berlin, Yiddle on My Fiddle

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Henrietta Szold

    1912

    Henrietta Szold founds Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Hadassah founder Henrietta Szold (1860-1945)

    Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization of America Records (currently held in trust for Hadassah)

    Record Group 18, Henrietta Szold Series, Box 1, Folder 9

    Henrietta Szold

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Louis D. Brandeis

    1916

    Louis D. Brandeis becomes the first Jewish justice of the Supreme Court.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Judge Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941)

    Brandeis was confirmed to the Supreme Court despite anti-Semitic protest, serving on the court for twenty-three years, staunchly defending individual liberties.

    Louis Brandeis Collection, undated, 1886-1940, 1966

    Collection #P-248

    Louis D. Brandeis

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Alice Davis Menken

    1918
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Alice Davis Menken Photograph, 1915

    Alice Davis Menken (1870-1936), devoted much of her life to working with women in the penal system.

    Alice Davis Menken Papers, undated, 1882-1936

    Collection #P-23

    Alice Davis Menken

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • 1869
    1
  • 1881

    За период между 1870 и 1924, в Соединенные Штаты эмигрировало больше евреев чем за любой другой период, до и после. Подавляющее большинство из них—около 2,5 миллиона— бежало от антисемитизма и нищеты в Российской империи, Румынии и Австро-Венгрии. Они преобразили жизнь американского еврейства. Способствуя росту еврейского рабочего класса в швейной отрасли и других отраслях промышленности, эти иммигранты переформировали движение за права рабочих и левое крыло в американской политике. К 1930 году численность Американской еврейской общины возросло до более 4 миллионов, и составило около 3,5% населения США.

    1
    1
  • Barney Dreyfuss World Series creation contract

    1903

    Barney Dreyfuss World Series creation contract

    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Barney Dreyfuss World Series creation contract

    World Series agreement, 1903

    Courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, NY (reproduction)

    In 1903 Pittsburgh Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss, and Boston owner Henry Killilea of the American League cooked up a deal to pit their teams in a postseason series, the first World Series between the two leagues that still compete in the Series today. Note clause 4 ½, stipulating that no player would be eligible to play who was not on a team's roster by September 1. Written to prevent the opposition from stocking up on "rented" players, it has been part of the Series covenant ever since.

    Barney Dreyfuss World Series creation contract

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • 1924
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Molly Picon (1898-1992)

    Actress Molly Picon (1898-1992) in a hand-colored photograph from Zipke, performed at the Second Ave. Theatre, 1924.

    Molly Picon Papers, 1877-1971.

    Collection #P-38; Box 59; Folder 1192 (aa-p38-157)

    Molly Picon

    Collection Type 
    Visual
  • 1924

    After Congress ended mass emigration from Eastern and Southern Europe in 1924, for the first time in its history the American Jewish population became predominantly native-born. The children and grandchildren of immigrants entered the mainstream of American life. The rise of Nazi Germany and the disaster of the Holocaust confirmed the Zionism of many American Jews. Most Jewish Americans greeted with enthusiasm the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. By 1950, American Jewry, with five million individuals, was now the largest and most influential Jewish community in the world.

    1
    1
  • Basketball Jersey from the Hebrew National Orphan Home Alumni Association

    1928
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Basketball Jersey from the Hebrew National Orphan Home Alumni Association

    This jersey was worn by a child resident of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum (HOA) in New York, who enjoyed not only shelter from hard times through periods of destitution or death, but physical education as well.

    Hebrew Orphan Asylum of the City of New York Records, 1855-1985, 2004

    Collection #I-42

    Basketball Jersey from the Hebrew National Orphan Home Alumni Association

    Collection Type 
    Museum Collection
  • Of Thee I Sing, George Gershwin

    1931

    The first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize, Of Thee I Sing, composed by George Gershwin.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Composer George Gershwin (1898-1937)

    The first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize, Of Thee I Sing, composed by George Gershwin.

    Gershwin Family Collection, 1933-1973

    Collection #P-182

    Of Thee I Sing, George Gershwin

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • 1934

    Women's Division of the American Jewish Congress declares a boycott on German goods to protest the Nazi persecution of Jews.

    From the AJHS Collection
    AJC boycotts German goods

    AJC was first among the American Jewish organizations to call for the boycott of Nazi goods.

    Records of the American Jewish Congress, undated, 1916-2006

    Collection #I-77

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • 1938

    Private investigator and author, Abraham Shoenfeld (1891-1977), who rooted out Jewish crime and criminals for the New York Kehillah, joins the American Jewish Committee to root out anti-Semitism.

  • Raphael Lemkin

    1943
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Raphael Lemkin (1901-1959) US War Department ID

    In 1943 Raphael Lemkin, an international lawyer, coined the term “genocide” to describe the intentional attempt to exterminate a cultural, ethnic, or racial group.

    Raphael Lemkin Collection, undated, 1763-1989; (bulk 1941-1951)

    Collection #P-154; Box 1, Folder 12

    Raphael Lemkin

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • World War II

    1945

    By the end of World War II, more than half a million American Jews serve in the United States military.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Jewish Naval Chaplains, 1943

    The National Jewish Welfare Board Bureau of War kept track of data on American Jewish service members who fought in World War II.

    Records of the National Jewish Welfare Board - Bureau of War, 1940-1969

    Collection #I-52; See also Collection #I-337

    World War II

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Lucy S. Dawidowicz's United Nation's card

    1947
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration Card

    Lucy S. Dawidowicz's United Nation's card for her relief work with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC), the largest Jewish relief organization in America.

    United Nations ID Box 55 F2

    Collection # P-675

    Lucy S. Dawidowicz's United Nation's card

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Truman with David Ben Gurion and Abba Eban

    1948

    President Truman acknowledges the State of Israel.

    From the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States
    President Harry S. Truman with Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and Abba Eban at the White House.

    Moments after midnight on May 14, 1948, as the British withdrew, David Ben Gurion declared Israel established. Truman extended recognition eleven minutes later.

    "Teaching With Documents Lesson Plan: The U.S. Recognition of the State of Israel," NARA, Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, Independence, MO

    Truman with David Ben Gurion and Abba Eban

    Collection Type 
    Website
  • 1953
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Justine Wise Polier and Eleanor Roosevelt

    The first woman to hold a judgeship in New York State, Judge Justine Wise Polier, champion of human and civil rights, held a long-standing friendship and correspondence with Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Justine Wise Polier and Eleanor Roosevelt correspondence collection, 1938-1972, (bulk 1938-1962]

    Collection P-527

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Hank Greenberg Color photograph from Look magazine

    1956

    Hank Greenberg admitted into the Baseball Hall of Fame

    From the AJHS Collection
    Color photograph from Look magazine

    The Hank Greenberg scrapbooks are comprised of clippings and photographs detailing his personal life and baseball career

    Hank Greenberg Scrapbook: Baseball 1945-1946

    Accession 1999.006.006

    Hank Greenberg Color photograph from Look magazine

    Collection Type 
    Museum Holdings
  • 1953

    During the Cold War, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed, convicted of having deliverd atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.

  • 1955

    Epidemiologist Jonas Salk develops polio vaccine, the first effective weapon to combat the polio scourge.

  • 1939

    Irving Berlin introduces his song “God Bless America”

  • 1961

    The late 20th century found Jews more ensconced in the American mainstream than ever before. The turbulence of the 1960s and 1970s, however, saw Jews bring the student, civil rights, and anti-war militancy to bear on their own movements in support of Israel, and for the liberation of Soviet, Syrian, and Ethiopian Jews. The sixties counterculture also fostered an increased diversity in religious observance--the Havurah and Jewish Revival movements for some and a return to traditional Orthodoxy and Hasidism for others. The freedom to choose or create one’s own way of being Jewish and American remains vital after 360 years.

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  • Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodger jersey

    1963

    Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodger pitcher, named the National League’s Most Valuable Player

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    From the AJHS Collection
    Signed Sandy Koufax Rookie Jersey, 1955

    Sandy Koufax is arguably the most respected and legendary American Jew in sports, designated by Sports Illustrated magazine "The Most Intriguing Athlete of the Twentieth Century." In 1972, Koufax became the youngest inductee in the Baseball Hall of Fame's history.

    Accession 1998.031.001

    Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodger jersey

    Collection Type 
    Museum Holdings
  • “Speak out for silent Soviet Jews” political poster

    1964

    Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry founded, following a march to protest Soviet anti-Jewish policies.

    From the AJHS Collection
    “Speak out for silent Soviet Jews” political poster

    The Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) was a militant, although non-violent, student movement forming a vital part of the larger American Soviet Jewry movement and played a vital role in organizing protests, attending marches, and creating political pressure on the international community. Various archival materials and books.

    Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry или SSSJ  (Студенческая Борьба за Советских Евреев) представляло собой воинствующее, хотя и ненасильственное, студенческое движение которое сыграло решающую роль в формировании более широкого американского движения за права советских евреев путем организации публичных протестов, массовых шествий и создания политического давления на международное сообщество

    “Speak out for silent Soviet Jews” political poster

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Jewish Defense League

    1968

    The Jewish Defense League (JDL) was formed.

    From the AJHS Collection
    A rally for Soviet Jewry sponsored by the Jewish Defense League, circa 1968

    The Jewish Defense League (JDL) was created as a militant Zionist organization with a stated goal to protect Jews from all forms of anti-semitism.

    Jewish Defense League Records, undated, 1969-1974, 1985-1986

    Collection #I-374

    Jewish Defense League

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Ida Kaminski

    1969

    The Friends of Ida Kaminska Foundation, Inc. was formed.

    From the AJHS Collection
    The Friends of Ida Kaminska Foundation, Inc. was formed

    The Friends of Ida Kaminska Foundation, Inc. was formed in 1969, shortly after the world-renowned Yiddish actress, Ida Kaminska, immigrated to the United States. 

    Friends of Ida Kaminska Theatre Foundation Records, 1968-1975

    Collection #I-122

    Ida Kaminski

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Sally Priesand

    1972

    Sally Priesand (b. 1946) ordained, the first female rabbi in America.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Sally Priesand and others, undated

    Sally Priesand (b. 1946) ordained, the first female rabbi in America.

    Jewish Counter Culture Collection undated, 1954, 1964-2002, 2009-2010 (Bulk dates 1967-1972), Series II (Feminist Haggadot); General Photographs Collection, People-P

    Collection #I-504; General Photograph Collection, People-P

    Sally Priesand

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Ed Koch, Bess Myerson, and Henry Kissinger at Stephen S. Wise Award Dinner

    1977
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    From the AJHS Collection
    Ed Koch, Bess Myerson, and Henry Kissinger at Stephen S. Wise Award Dinner

    Bess Myerson, was the first Jewish Miss America, later becoming a television personality and involved in New York City politics.

    "American Jewish Congress Records, undated, 1916-2006 (bulk 1949-2003) "

    Collection #I-77; Box 758, Folder 28 of the American Jewish Congress records. 

    Ed Koch, Bess Myerson, and Henry Kissinger at Stephen S. Wise Award Dinner

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • 1977

    Rosalyn Sussman Yalow wins Nobel Prize in Medicine for her role in developing radioimmunoassay.

  • 1978

    Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish-born author of Yiddish fiction who immigrated to the US in 1935, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

  • Jewish Defense Organization

    1981

    The Jewish Defense Organization (JDO) breaks away from the Jewish Defense League (JDL) by Mordechai Levy, a former member of the Jewish Defense League.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Poster for Jewish Defense Organization

    The Jewish Defense Organization (JDO) breaks away from the Jewish Defense League (JDL) by Mordechai Levy, a former member of the Jewish Defense League.

    Jewish Defense Organization, 1971-2003

    Collection #I-490

    Jewish Defense Organization

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • FJP and UJA merge to form the UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York.

    1986

    FJP and UJA merge to form the UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York.

    From the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York Collection
    FJP and UJA merge to form the UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York

    From L to R: Morton A. Kornreich: UJA NY President, 1985-1986; Moshe Yegar: Consul-General of Israel in NY, 1986; Peggy Tishman: UJA-NY Fed., 1st President, 1986-1989; Daniel s. Shapiro, Fed. of Jewish Philanthropies-NY President, 1983-1986

    United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York collection, 1909-2004.

    Collection #I-433

    FJP and UJA merge to form the UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York.

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Ira Berkow

    1987

    Ira Berkow starts as a sports feature writer and columnist for the New York Times.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Ira Berkow with Tom Seaver, 1970

    Ira Berkow starts as a sports feature writer and columnist for the New York Times.

    Ira Berkow Papers, undated, 1960-2011

    Collection #P-900

    Ira Berkow and Tom Seaver, 1970

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Save Ethiopian Jews Poster

    1989
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    From the AJHS Collection
    "Save Ethiopian Jews in Their Final Moment," poster of the Ethiopian Jewry Movement.

    Ethiopian Jewry Movement, led by Graenum Berger (1908-1999), orchestrates airplane flights bringing the remaining Jews of Ethiopia to Israel.

    American Association for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ), undated, 1960-2002

    Collection #I-533

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • 1993

    Stephen Spielberg releases his Oscar-winning film Schindler's List.

  • 1993

    The United States Holocaust Museum opens in Washington DC.

  • The Klezmatics

    1997
    1
    The Klezmatics Italian Tour, 1997. Poster.

    The Klezmatics merge old-world Eastern European Yiddish music with a modern-day aesthetic.

     

     

    The Klezmatics

    Collection Type 
    Website
  • 1999

    The Jewish Community Centers (JCC) Association of the National Jewish Welfare Board begins the Birthright Israel program, which sponsored first-time visits to Israel for American Jews.

  • Gore Lieberman 2000

    2000

    Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman named first Jewish vice presidential candidate of a major political party.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Forged in Freedom: Shaping the Jewish-American Experience

    "Forged in Freedom" is a young adult textbook that includes a chapter celebrating and analizing the impact of this event on Lieberman's nomination as a major sign of the growing acceptance of Jews in American public life.

    Norman H. Finkelstein, Forged in Freedom: Shaping the Jewish-American Experience, Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 2002.

    Avalable through the AJHS Library E184.35 .F56 2002

    Gore Lieberman 2000

    Collection Type 
    Book
  • Post 9-11 Seder

    2002
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Post-9/11 Seder and Eco-Seder Haggadah by Zalmo BloomBecker

    Special haggadahs have long been created to commemorate events such as 9/11 and the environmental movement.

    Jewish Counter Culture Collection undated, 1954-2010 (Bulk dates 1967-1972)

    Collection #I-504; Box 5, Folder 9

    Post 9-11 Seder

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • The Hebrew Hammer

    2003
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    Hebrew Hammer movie opens.

    “The Hebrew Hammer” was a 2003 comedy written and directed by Jonathan Kesselman starring Adam Goldberg as the Hebrew Hammer.

    Hebrew Hammer (Film) Records undated, 2001-2003

    Collection #I-539

    The Hebrew Hammer

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • AASJM

    2006

    AJHS begins soliciting materials and processing the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM) collection.AJHS учреждает Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM)—Архив Американского Движения за Права Советский Евреев.

    From the AJHS Collection
    Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement

    The American Jewish Historical Society has established its Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement to help assure that the story of the role played by Americans of all faiths in that Movement will be collected and preserved so that future generations will be familiar with, and inspired by, their achievements.

    Американское Еврейское Историческое Общество учредило свой Архив Американского Движения за Права Советский Евреев,  чтобы сохранить для будущих поколений  историю достижений американцев всех вероисповеданий, учавствовавших в этом движении 

    AASJM

    Collection Type 
    Website
  • 2005

    Family History fairs led by Steven Siegel (1946-2012) attempt to connect the public with genealogy and archives.

  • 2009

    Emma Lazarus Award Ceremony honors recipients Kenneth J. Bialkin and Mikhail Gorbachev.Премия имени Эммы Лазарус вручается Кеннету Биалкину и Михаилу Горбачёву.

  • UJA boxes

    2011

    Processing begins on the four year project to process, arrange, and describe the UJA-Federation of New York Collection

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    United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York
    The First Boxes of Archives Arrive December 2011

    When completed, the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York collection will include the files of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York (FJP) and its predecessor organizations, the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies and the Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities, United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York (UJA), Joint Campaign, and United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York (UJF).

    United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York collection, 1909-2004.

    Collection #I-433

    UJA boxes

    Collection Type 
    Website
  • Mordecai Sheftall

    2012
    1
    From the AJHS Collection
    American Revolution-era papers of Mordecai Sheftall digitized

    The papers of American Revolution merchant Mordecai Sheftall reprocessed and digitized including over 2,000 provision returns for Continental Army soldiers.

    Mordecai Sheftall Papers, undated, 1761-1941 [bulk 1777-1778]

    Collection #P-12

    Mordecai Sheftall

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • Harry Ettinger

    2014

    Monuments Men movie premieres

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    From the AJHS Collection
    Former Monuments Man Harry Ettlinger attends special screening of movie at the Center for Jewish History.

    The movie is based on Robert M. Edsal's book, "The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History." The papers of Colonel Seymour J. Pomrenze, former Monuments Man, are donated to the American Jewish Historical Society between 2012-2014.

    Colonel Seymour J. Pomrenze Papers. undated, 1809-2008 [bulk 1979-1999]

    Collection #P-933

    Harry Ettinger

    Collection Type 
    Archival
  • 1972

    К концу 20-го века евреи прочно обосновались в американской массовой культуре. Неспокойные декады 1960х и 1970х с их движениями за студенческие и гражданские права и массовыми антивоенными протестами отразились на еврейских движениях в поддержку Израиля, за освобождение советских, сирийских и эфиопский евреев. Контркультуры шестидесятых способствовали возникновению разнообразия в религиозных обрядах—движения Хавура и еврейское возрождение для одних, возвращение к традиционной ортодоксии и Хасидизм для других. Свобода выбирать или творить свой собственный способ быть одновременно евреем и американцем остается жизненно важной по прошествии 360 лет.

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