Museum of Family History Update for October 2009

X-No-archive: yes
The Museum starts off the New Year with much for you to see and hear:

--Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays: In this forty-page exhibition of photographs and stories, two aspects predominate. First, for Shabbat and for ten other Jewish holidays, a simple explanation of each day is presented. Secondly, personal stories from the United States and pre-war Europe have been interspersed among these explanations, making the exhibition even interesting and moving.

--Castle Garden and Ellis Island: Ports of Immigration: For those of you who wish to learn more about the history of Castle Garden, as well as Ellis Island, this is your chance. If you read through each of the exhibition's pages, you will learn more about Castle Garden including its interesting history (P. T. Barnum brought Jenny Lind to America to perform at Castle Garden in 1850, before Castle Garden became an immigration station). You can read about the early history of Ellis Island here: the opening of Ellis Island in 1891, the fire that gutted most of the buildings on the Island in 1897, as well as its reopening in 1900. You can also learn a bit about the hospital at Ellis Island as well as the rooftop playground that was created at the immigration station for children to play in beginning in 1904. Read an interesting 1909 interview with William Williams, Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island and hear his personal views on immigration. Also there is an interesting but sad group of stories of immigrants who were rejected and sent back to the port from where they began their trans-Atlantic voyage.

--Within the Museum’s "Emperors and Czars of Europe" exhibition, you can read a letter written by an unnamed author in May 1891 from St. Petersburg, Russia to the Berliner Tageblatt newspaper. It is worth reading because, rather than giving you a dry historical account of these events during this time that deeply affected the life of the Russian Jew, you can hear someone actually give voice to their plight.

--Philanthropy: Jewish Hospitals and Societies Which Cared for the Needy in NYC (1902): In order to understand the Jewish experience in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, it is important to understand the nature of Jewish philanthropy. Philanthropists helped finance many projects and institutions that helped those in need during those trying times, whether they be infants or children, Jewish or not. In this informative article you will learn about these institutions, some of which only came into existence in the mid to late 1800s. Some of the institutions discussed in this article are:

Hospitals: Mount Sinai, Lebanon and Beth Israel.
Homes: Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids, Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews of New York, and the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith.

--Screening Room: Film clip no. 21: "A Great Day on Eldridge Street"--Klezmer celebration on the Lower East Side. .
No. 22 is "The Peretzniks (Perecowicze)": The film tells the story of a Jewish school in Lodz, Poland. The school was closed down following the Communist anti-Semitic campaign, which took place in Poland in 1968. As a result of this, the Peretz School graduates are dispersed today between the US, Israel, Sweden, Poland, and other countries. The bittersweet memories of their youth in post-war Poland are what bind the Peretzniks together till this day. Turn on your speakers and go to

--Photographic Studios of Europe: There's an important website (in Polish and German) where you can find lots of information on hundreds of photographers and photographic studios that once existed in pre-World War I Europe. This might help you identify the names of studios on any pre-WWI studio family photos that you possess. To learn more, visit

Please visit my blog, or better yet sign up to receive my blog updates by email or RSS feed, so you will learn first about new exhibitions at the Museum, sometimes a month before my monthly announcements to this group.


Steve Lasky
Support JewishGen with a contribution to the JewishGen General Fund!
Sign up for the JGFFAlert!
Join our mailing list at if you
would like the convenience of receiving all soc.genealogy.jewish posts in
your mailbox, instead of having to search for them in the newsgroup, whose
content may not be consistently carried in its entirety by all providers.


Relevant Pages

  • JGSGW, Alexandria, VA, April 18 Ellis Island program
    ... What It Was Like to Arrive in America Through Ellis Island ... Barry Nove has been a member of the Jewish Genealogy ... Society of New York and the Jewish Genealogy Society of Dayton. ...
  • Re: Constructed Family Names
    ... the myth of name changes "at ellis island" has been discussed at length on jewishgen. ... you can also try to obtain the naturalization certificate which may also have some useful clues. ... names that seem to have been constructed by immigration officials. ... on Jewish Genealogy ...
  • Re: Ellis Island Manifests unreadable or missing
    ... There were plenty of other entry points -- from Canada on the North, all along the Atlantic Seaboard and into the Gulf of Mexico. ... I've never been able to find my great-grandmother, Leah Lachowitzsky and grandmother, Malkah Lachowitzsky in the Ellis Island manifests. ... on Jewish Genealogy ...
  • More "name changes at Ellis Island"
    ... their names changed at Ellis Island, I always refer them to the The Myth of Name-Changes at Ellis Island & Why Can't I Find My Uncle Shlomo at Ellis Island? ... I presume that Roger meant by "clerk", not a functionary at Ellis Island, but a person who transliterated the name for the manifest, in the old country. ... The JewishGen Discussion Group Archives is a wonderful resource ... on Jewish Genealogy ...
  • Re: Stephen J. Gould and anthropological fraud
    ... >> definitely DO NOT want heaps of them flocking into their own countries. ... > the amount of immigration that's occured over the last 10 years, ... Jewish Strategies in society ... consequences that benefited Jews but caused great harm to gentile societies. ...