Did you know?

Jews and Baseball
We hit one out of the park during the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival! JHSUM and the St. Paul JCC partnered to present Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story at the Theatres at Mall of America. The overflow, sold-out screening was so popular that a second showing was quickly scheduled. The documentary features a rare interview with Hall of Famer L A Dodger’s pitcher Sandy Koufax. He talks about the day he contributed to Minnesota Jewish history by sitting out game one of the 1965 World Series against the Twins at the old Met Stadium because it was Yom Kippur.

World War II weekend at Fort Snelling
JHSUM and Minneapolis Federation’s VOICE Community Building Initiative sponsored a unique panel and accompanying exhibit as part of the Minnesota Historical Society’s World War II weekend at Fort Snelling. This is the second year we have been invited to participate. The Soviet Union was America’s ally in World War II and it had its own Greatest Generation. A trio of Jewish Soviet veterans, now residing in the Twin Cities—Vladimir Posse, Yakov Rabinovich, and Maria Borisovna Reznik—told their remarkable, and until recently, largely overlooked stories, adding a new perspective to the American World War II story we are familiar with.
More than 20 million Soviet citizens died in what they called The Great Patriot War—about 50 times the number of American deaths—including well over one million Jews. Soviet soldiers contributed to the defeat of fascism, but did not enjoy the freedoms of democracy; victory was soon followed by horrific Stalinist purges and authoritarian rule. Jews, in particular, experienced significant discrimination after the war, and most were unable to leave for decades.  Read more about our newest community members in our Russian Veterans Oral History Project.

Saint Paul’s Jewish Neighborhood – We Built Community
Our new exhibit at Sholom East spotlights some of the early St. Paul Jewish neighborhoods. Do you remember stories of the West Side?  A neighborhood described as Orthodox, Yiddish speaking and working class, with many breadwinners holding down blue collar jobs in the garment, needlework and manufacturing industries in downtown St Paul. Located at a bend in the Mississippi River the area flooded with predictable regularity.  It was a source of cheap housing, and quickly became a rich, if worn center of St. Paul Jewish life and culture. Most of the early arrivals were single men and families who found work and saved to bring over other family members remaining in the old country. In short order the community set to work establishing various organizations that more than 100 years later continue to build Jewish St. Paul.

Many Former North Siders returned for summer walking tours
Nearly 75 people joined our volunteer tour guides Bob Roscoe and Iric Nathanson along with our partner, Preserve Minneapolis, on walks through the neighborhood.  “My parents owned the Homewood Theater.” “I was an usher at the Homewood.” “Ha who wasn’t?” “Your parents owned the theater? I was just telling my friend about how we would sneak in there without paying; I think I might owe you 10-15 cents?” The child of the owners laughed and said, “I am thinking that might be 15 cents with 50 years of interest.”  Just a few of the comments from visitors!   Read the entire blog post here.

JHSUM debuts on Independence Mall
Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History tells the story of more than 350 years of American Jewish history including our Upper Midwest Jewish experience homesteading in the Dakotas.  JHSUM materials are part of their permanent video depicting the diverse backgrounds, expectations, and experiences of Jews who came and made their homes in the United States.   Photographs of Rachel Calof’s family’s homestead are featured prominently in the Dreams of Freedom, 1880-1945 exhibition chronicling the migration of millions of immigrants who came to the United States beginning in the late 19th century. JHSUM fulfills many requests nationally and internationally to use our materials in exhibits, publications, and documentary films.

Leave a Reply