19. Friday, September 10 - October 30, 2004
Treasures of American Judaica
From the collections of: The Temple Judea Museum, The Archives of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, The Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center
The year 2004 marks 350 years of Jewish life in America. In September of 1654 twenty-three men, women, and children arrived in New Amsterdam harbor seeking refuge after being forced to leave Recife, Brazil. Thus the foundation was laid for what has turned out to be the most vibrant Jewish community the world has seen. As a beacon for Jewish immigrants escaping from tyranny and oppression America has indeed become a homeland in the best sense of that word. Jewish life has flourished here and Jews have flourished in all walks of life – science – the arts – public service – sports and more. Filling our showcases were ceremonial objects; documents; books; ephemera; photographs, and works of art. Together they provided a snapshot of what it means to be an American Jew. The Treasures displayed here served a dual purpose. Each one told its own story. Collectively they gave tangible form to the history of the American Jewish community.