New Upload! Rosh Hashanah cards

The Lowcountry Digital Library has just uploaded approximately 400 Rosh Hashanah postcards from the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection. In addition to New Year’s cards with beautiful motifs such as flowers, birds, and landscapes, a good portion of these postcards depict scenes from Jewish life, including holiday celebrations, life cycle events, ritual objects, and themes such as Zionism and emigration.

Below, a sampling of the postcards from the collection that depict these themes. To see more Rosh Hashanah postcards, search for “Rosh Hashanah” in the Lowcountry Digital Library: William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection – Postcards.


Rosh Hashanah postcard depicting a festival meal.


Kiddush. The text reads : “And you gave us festivals for happiness.”


Havdalah. The text is excerpted from the blessing over the Havdalah candle : “Who creates the lights of the fire.”


Entering the Sukkah with the etrog during the celebration of Sukkot.


A father and his children on their way to synagogue for Hakafot on Simchat Torah.


Hakafot on Simchat Torah. The text reads : “Rejoice and exult in the joy of Torah.”


Kiddush Levana on Motzei Yom Kippur.


Yom Kippur ritual of malkot (lashes).


A family on the way to synagogue.


Greetings after the synagogue service.


A group of boys reciting the Shema Yisrael at the bedside of a kimpeturin, a mother recovering after childbirth.


The Mitzvah Tantz.


A father blessing his children.


Zionist Rosh Hashanah postcard.


Zionist Rosh Hashanah postcard.


Candles, kiddush cup, and spice box used in the ceremony of Havdalah. Text at the bottom of the postcard reads : “I will raise the cup of deliverance and call upon the name of the Lord.”


Torah scroll.


Rosh Hashanah postcard featuring a shofar. Text at the top of the postcard reads : “It is a day of blowing the horn unto you.”


Kapparot. The following is recited during the ceremony : “This is my exchange, this is my substitute, this is my atonement.”


Same Rosh Hashanah postcard as above. In this postcard, the head of the rooster used for kapparot is substituted with the face of Nicholas II of Russia.


Rosh Hashanah postcard depicting American Jews holding out their arms to their relatives arriving from Russia. Above are the Imperial Russian coat of arms and American eagle holding a banner with the text excerpted from Psalms 17:8 : “Hide me in the shadow of Thy wings.”


Jewish immigrants to the United States on Ellis Island.

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Highlight Reel #7

One of the few truly interactive items held in the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection is this Sukkah kit, produced by Kunstgewerbestube Jenny Westheim, at Schwanenstraße 6, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The kit originally came as five large pieces, shown below, including the three exterior walls as one piece, fourth exterior wall (decorated as an interior wall), and roof as the three largest pieces. The smaller piece, above left, is comprised of pieces to be separated and then assembled into a table, benches, and a basket of challah and vase of flowers to go on the table. The second smaller piece, below left, contains three flower boxes for the windows and support structures for the table and stools. The exterior wall is also embedded with smaller items, including candlesticks, to be removed and placed on the assembled table.

Sukkah kit waiting to be assembled.

Sukkah kit waiting to be assembled.

Sukkah_kit_walls

Sukkah kit walls and roof.

In addition to this Sukkah above, which was never used, the Rosenthall Collection holds a second, identical Sukkah that had been previously assembled. We used pieces from this second, previously used Sukkah, to assemble the kit. This envelope, in which the pieces came, shows what the Sukkah will look like upon assembly.

Sukkah_kit_envelope

Sukkah kit envelope.

And here is the final product!

Front of the Sukkah.

Front of the Sukkah.

Sukkah exterior.

Sukkah exterior.

Sukkah roof.

Sukkah roof.

Sukkah table and stools.

Sukkah table and stools.

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Highlight Reel #6

Among the Yiddish-language materials held in the William A. Rosenthall Judaica collection are three posters dating from World War I, one produced by the United States Food Administration and two produced by the Jewish Welfare Board.

The Food Administration was the responsible agency for the rationing of food in the United States during World War I. The Yiddish text on the following poster published by the Food Administration reads: “Food will win the war! / You came here seeking freedom. Now you must help to preserve it. Wheat is needed for the allies. Waste nothing.” The “Food will win the war” campaign, initiated by the Food Administration’s head Herbert Hoover, calls on immigrants to do their part for the war effort by conserving food. The posters of the Jewish Welfare Board, below, call for contributions to the war effort through the donation of funds to welfare organizations supporting both troops at the front and their families on the homefront.

Food will win the war Yiddish

The Jewish Welfare Board (JWB) was formed at the beginning of World War I to “minister to the spiritual and recreational needs of all the men in the army and navy, but serving especially those of the Jewish faith.” In a pamphlet published by the JWB shortly after its founding, the organization described its purpose thusly: “To be with the Jewish soldier and sailor everywhere, aiding him, cheering him, inspiring him, serving him loyally and helpfully, and, through him, his country, and the ideals for which it stands.” From the perspective of the JWB, its “most distinctive vital function” was the “safeguarding and developing of the religious life and convictions of [the] men.” The JWB supported Jewish religious life through leading Sabbath and holiday services; supplying prayer books, prayer shawls, and tefillin; and providing kosher food.

However, the JWB went far beyond these religious activities in providing for the welfare of Jewish troops. According to the organization, “Everything from leading a minyan to staging a boxing bout for the entertainment of the boys falls within the province of the Jewish Welfare Board workers.” Welfare workers provided classes in English, French, American history, and civics; organized literary clubs, concerts, dances, and athletic events; set up libraries in English and Yiddish; and visited sick and wounded soldiers in the hospital. Personal services of the JWB extended beyond the servicemen themselves to include home visits to the soldiers’ relatives.

United War Work campaign Yiddish1

The many services of the National Jewish Welfare Board are on display in the above poster, printed for the United War Work Campaign. The United War Work Campaign brought together seven organizations–the YMCA, the YWCA, the American Library Association, the War Camp Community Service, the Knights of Columbus, the Jewish Welfare Board, and the Salvation Army–into one large funding drive charged with raising over $170 million for the war during the week of November 11-18, 1918.

The Yiddish text on the poster reads: “He provides them with everything,” an apt description for the the Welfare worker holding a Torah scroll, Yiddish books by authors such as Sholem Aleichem and I. L. Peretz, food, and a violin with sheet music. Funds raised through the United War Work Campaign would pay for these services as well as home visits to soldiers’ families, shown in the poster below. The Yiddish text on this poster reads: “Don’t worry, he is all right.”

Unite War Work campaign Yiddish2

For more information on the Jewish Welfare Board, see Jewish Welfare Board, United States Army and Navy, co-operating with and under the supervision of the War Department Commission on training camp activities; purpose, scope, achievements.

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Rosenthall Serials : Allgemeine Illustrirte Judenzeitung

The William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection includes multiple issues of several long-running, widely-circulated German language serials, such as the Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums, Ost und West, and Simplicissimus. In addition to these titles, the collection contains a full run of the illustrated weekly Allgemeine Illustrirte Judenzeitung.

The Allgemeine Illustrirte Judenzeitung was published in Pest from August 3, 1860, to June 28, 1861. Josef Bärmann edited and published the paper from its inception until April 5, 1861. On this date, the paper merged with the publication Der Carmel: religiöse Wochenschrift für Synagoge, Schule und Haus published by Wolf Alois Meisel, Chief Rabbi of Pest, to form a new publication entitled Carmel, Allgemeine Illustrirte Judenzeitung.

First issue of the Allgemeine Illustrirte Judenzeitung, published August 3 1860, featuring Rabbi Löw Schwab.

First issue of the Allgemeine Illustrirte Judenzeitung, published August 3, 1860, featuring Rabbi Löw Schwab.

In June 1860, before the first issue was published, the editorial staff issued a statement describing their vision for the newly created Allgemeine Illustrirte Judenzeitung. They described a publication that would include interesting news from near and afar, literary sketches, and instructive articles from the realms of art and science. The editors aimed to fill the columns of the pages with scientific articles and historical sketches connected to Jewish life and history. To this end, they requested interesting reports from and about Jewish communities and biographies about meritorious Jews. They want to make known the achievements of Jewish artists, authors, and other specialists. The editors were also very clear about who the audience for this new publication would be. They stressed that the publication was dedicated not to subject specialists, but to all who might find it amusing and instructive. First and foremost, they would publish a paper dedicated to Jewish readers.

Last issue of the Allgemeine Illustrirte Judenzeitung, published June 28, 1861, featuring Rabbi Adolf Jellinek.

Last issue of the Allgemeine Illustrirte Judenzeitung, published June 28, 1861, featuring Rabbi Adolf Jellinek.

True to their stated mission, the editors of the Allgemeine Illustrirte Judenzeitung published a weekly containing dispatches from Jewish communities around the Austrian Empire, as well as more in-depth articles about Jewish communities further afield, in places such as Poland, Spain, Damascus, and Baghdad. The paper also published poems, novelettes, and literary reviews. In addition, the cover of each issue featured an illustration of either a prominent Jewish individual or important Jewish institution in the Austrian Empire, along with corresponding biographies of the individuals and histories of the institutions featured. Such individuals included Rabbi Löw Schwab, Rabbi Moses Schreiber (Moses Sofer), Isaak Noah Mannheimer, Israel Popper, Rabbi Götz Schwerin, Michael Lazar Biedermann, Samuel Oppenheimer, Rabbi Mordecai Banet (Markus Benedikt), Joel Deutsch, Rabbi Leopold Löw, József Eötvös, Adolf Fischhof, Béla Széchenyi, and Rabbi Adolf Jellinek.

Israel Popper (1800–1860), leading textile manufacturer and head of the Jewish Religious Community in Brünn (Brno)

Israel Popper (1800–1860), leading textile manufacturer and head of the Jewish Religious Community in Brünn (Brno)

Rabbi Götz Schwerin (1760-1852)

Rabbi Götz Schwerin (1760-1852)

Michael Lazar Biedermann (1769-1843),  Austrian jeweler and merchant

Michael Lazar Biedermann (1769-1843), Austrian jeweler and merchant

Samuel Oppenheimer (1630-1703), banker, imperial court factor, and diplomat

Samuel Oppenheimer (1630-1703), banker, imperial court factor, and diplomat

Rabbi Mordecai Banet (Markus Benedikt) (1753–1829)

Rabbi Mordecai Banet (Markus Benedikt) (1753–1829)

Joel Deutsch

Joel Deutsch (1813-1899), Director of Das Allgemeine Österreichische Israelitische Taubstummen-Institut in Wien

Rabbi Leopold Löw (1811-1875)

Rabbi Leopold Löw (1811-1875)

József Eötvös (1813-1871), Hungarian writer and statesman

József Eötvös (1813-1871), Hungarian writer and statesman

Adolf Fischhof (1816-1893), Austrian writer and politician

Adolf Fischhof (1816-1893), Austrian writer and politician

Béla Széchenyi (1837-1908), Hungarian explorer

Béla Széchenyi (1837-1908), Hungarian explorer

Featured buildings include Das Allgemeine Österreichische Israelitische Taubstummen-Institut in Wien, the Albrechtinum and synagogue funded by Philipp Schey von Koromla in Güns (Kőszeg), Die Israelitische Kinderbewahranstalt in Wien, the Main Synagogue of Odessa, Old New Synagogue in Prague, and the Israelitisches Krankenhaus in Pest.

Das Allgemeine Österreichische Israelitische Taubstummen-Institut in Wien

Das Allgemeine Österreichische Israelitische Taubstummen-Institut in Wien

Albrechtinum

Albrechtinum, Güns (Kőszeg)

Synagogue, Güns (Kőszeg)

Synagogue, Güns (Kőszeg)

Main Synagogue, Odessa

Main Synagogue, Odessa

Jewish hospital, Pest

Jewish hospital, Pest

Though the Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums ceased publication of full issues on June 28, 1861, publication of plates (portrait etchings) continued into 1862.

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Highlight Reel #5

The Loose Postcards series of the Rosenthall Collection is comprised largely of scenes from Mandatory Palestine and the State of Israel. The major focus of these postcards is geography and landmarks–street scenes from cities such as Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel Aviv, landmarks such as gates of the Old City of Jerusalem, or natural landmarks such as the Dead Sea.

The exception is this bound booklet of 20 postcards entitled Jewish Battalions in Palestine (הגדודים העברים בארץ ישראל). The postcards feature black-and-white photographs by photographer and cinematographer Yaacov Ben-Dov (1882-1968) and a cover designed by artist Ze’ev Raban (1890-1970).

bendow1

The subject of the photographs is the Jewish Legion, a military formation of Jewish volunteers that fought with the British Army during World War I, particularly the 38th, 39th, and 40th Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers.

bendow2

Colonel Paterson, D.S.O., Commanding the 38th Battn. R.F.

bendow3

Changing the Guard at El Arish

bendow4

Chaplain’s address during the Saturday Service at the Camp of the 38th R.F.

bendow5

The Camp at Rafa

bendow6

The Post Office of the 40th R.F.

bendow7

Group of Soldiers on the Sea Shore at Jaffa

bendow8

A Jewish Soldier working in the Agricultural School “Mikweh Israel”

bendow9

The 39th Battalion R.F. camped outside Jerusalem

bendow10

The Jewish Soldier’s Home at Jerusalem

bendow11

Guards in the Surroundings of Haifa

bendow12

Guard on the Bridge of the River Kishon

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Processing Update: Artifacts

In addition to the many paper-based materials in the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection, we have also processed a series of three-dimensional objects. This series of artifacts is comprised of medals and coins, textiles, and commemorative plates. The subjects covered in this series mirror those found throughout the collection, including Antisemitism and persecution, Jewish holidays, Jewish institutions, prominent Jewish figures, the State of Israel, and synagogues.

Benjamin Disraeli commemorative plate

The collection contains three decorative plates, one featuring Benjamin Disraeli and two featuring Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim in Charleston, South Carolina. The plate featuring Benjamin Disraeli includes his seated portrait framed by a floral border of primroses, Disraeli’s favorite flower, and his earl’s coronet over the portrait, with an excerpt from Alfred Tennyson’s poem “In Memoriam A.H.H.” at the bottom. This English creamware plate was produced circa 1886 by the Wallis Gimson & Company’s Lane Delph Pottery in Staffordshire. The plate probably commemorates Disraeli’s elevation to the House of Lords in 1876, when Queen Victoria made him the Earl of Beaconsfield.

KKBE bicentennial plateThe second plate, pictured at right, commemorates Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim’s bicentennial in 1950 and features an illustration of the synagogue, with a short printed passage on the history of the Jewish community in Charleston and the synagogue on the back. An additional decorative plate held in the collection features a photographic image of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, with a typed note providing a short history of the synagogue taped to the back.

matzah coverThe Rosenthall Collection also includes a small number of textiles, especially those used during the celebration of Passover, such as afikomen bags and matzo covers. This matzo cover includes the Hebrew blessing over matzo, which translates as : “Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to eat matzo.” Both the blessing and the vibrant flowers on the matzo cover are embroidered; lace encircles the cover. The Hebrew date 5669 at the bottom corresponds to the year 1909.

 

MizrahAdditional textiles in the collection include a textile featuring an image of Bnei Brak, Israel, a wall tapestry including a border of the Hebrew text of Exodus 23:25-26, and this Mizrah, which would be hung on the eastern wall in Jewish homes or synagogues to indicate the direction to face in prayer.

The most substantial portion of this series is Rabbi Rosenthall’s collection of medals and coins, which has particular strengths in the subjects of prominent Jewish figures, Jewish institutions, and synagogues. The medals of prominent Jewish figures feature artists and authors, bankers and businessmen, military leaders, philanthropists, philosophers, politicians, rabbis, and Zionists, among others. Many of these medals honor the births of these important figures, such as the medals pictured below celebrating the 75th birthday of author Mendele Mocher Sforim and 70th birthday of composer Karl Goldmark.

Mendele Mocher Sforim medal Carl Goldmark medal frontCarl Goldmark medal reverse

Other medals in this group display not only prominent Jewish individuals, but the organization or institution with which they were most associated. The first medal displayed below commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Alliance israélite universelle in 1910. Narcisse Leven, whose bust is shown on the front of the medal, served as general secretary of the organization from 1863 to 1883, its vice-president from 1883 to 1898, and its president beginning in 1898.

Narcisse Leven medal front Narcisse Leven medal reverse

The next medal commemorates the life of Adolph Jellinek (1820-1893), Chief Rabbi of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien (Jewish community of Vienna). The Hebrew text on the back is excerpted from Zechariah 4:6 : “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Adolph Jellinek medal front Adolph Jellinek medal reverse

The final medal in this group dates from 1913 and honors philosopher Henri Bergson, member of the Institut de France and professor at the Collège de France. The Latin inscription on the back reads : “movet vita intellectum.”

Henri Bergson medal front

Henri Bergson medal backSome medals, such as the medal below featuring actor Adolf von Sonnenthal, commemorate important milestones within the individuals’ lives. This 1881 medal was struck in celebration of Sonnenthal’s 25th anniversary with the K.K. Hofburgtheater (today called the Burgtheater) in Vienna. Sonnenthal made his acting debut at the theater in 1856. In 1870 Sonnenthal was appointed assistant manager, and in 1884 chief manager, of the Hofburgtheater; and from 1887 to 1888 he acted as its director. His 25th anniversary at this theater was celebrated by all Vienna, and the emperor conferred an order of nobility upon him. The back of the medal shows the exterior of the theater.

Adolf von Sonnenthal medal frontAdolf von Sonnenthal medal back

The medals in the Rosenthall Collection also depict a wide range of Jewish institutions, such as charitable societies, homes for the aged, hospitals, orphanages, and schools located in Israel, South America, Western Europe, and the United States. The first medal from this category pictured below commemorates the 1928 dedication of new facilities for the Newark Beth Israel Hospital. The front features the exterior of the new buildings, with a Star of David above and Rod of Asclepius below; the reverse depicts a male figure sipping from a bowl of water held by a female figure, with Hebrew text excerpted form Exodus 15:25 : “For I am the Lord that heals you.”

Newark Beth Israel Hospital medal reverse Newark Beth Israel Hospital medal front

The second medal commemorates the 1865 dedication of a new building for the Jewish Boys’ Orphanage Megadle Yetomim in Amsterdam. Megadle Yetomim, meaning those who care for orphans, was originally founded in 1738 by Amsterdam’s Ashkenazi community. The first home opened in 1836; in 1865, the new orphanage opened on the Amstel and the corner of Zwanenburgerstraat. The front of the medal depicts a relief of the building’s exterior; the reverse depicts a relief of a woman holding two children, with a shield bearing a Star of David and the Hebrew inscription “Megadle Yetomim.”

Jewish Orphanage Amsterdam medal front Jewish Orphanage Amsterdam medal reverse

The final medal pictured in this group commemorates the 70th anniversary of the founding of Hebrew Union College (1875-1945). The front depict’s the buildings façade, while the back pictures a bust of the institution’s founder, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise.

Hebrew Union College medal frontHebrew Union College medal reverse

As is the case throughout the collection, the medals subseries is also very strong in items displaying synagogues from Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. The first medal pictured below commemorates the 100th anniversary of the founding of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in 1825, the second synagogue in New York City, and the oldest in continuous operation. The front of the medal depicts the exterior of the congregation’s current building, which was dedicated in 1917; the reverse depicts the congregation’s first synagogue building on Elm Street in Manhattan.

Bnai Jeshurun medal frontBnai Jeshurun medal reverse

The three following medals commemorate the inaugurations of synagogues in Germany and Italy. The first medal displayed commemorates the 1887 dedication of the Hauptsynagoge (Main Synagogue) in Munich. The Rosenthall Collection also contains a 1972 rendition of this medal that displays the same front as the original 1887 medal, but with a reverse displaying a stylized depiction of the Main Synagogue’s remains after its destruction during Kristallnacht (1938).

Munchen 1887 frontMunchen 1887 reverse

The next medal commemorates the 1861 inauguration of the Glockengasse Synagogue in Cologne. The medal’s front displays a relief of the synagogue’s exterior. The back displays a relief of the interior, as well as Hebrew text reading : “And Abraham Oppenheim built the synagogue for the congregation of Cologne, and they inaugurated it on 23 Elul 5621.”

Glockengasse Synagogue medal frontGlockengasse Synagogue medal reverse

The last medal in this set commemorates the 1878 inauguration of the Tempio Israelitico (synagogue) in Vercelli. The front of the medal depicts the synagogue’s façade, with the back containing the dedication.

Vercelli Synagogue medal frontVercelli Synagogue medal reverse

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Highlight Reel #4

Perhaps one of the most beautiful items in the Rosenthall Judaica Collection is an elaborately decorated bound manuscript created on the occasion of the dedication of the Versailles Synagogue on September 22, 1886. In between intricately carved wood covers are a hand painted dedication page, photographs of the interior and exterior of the synagogue in Versailles, and text of speeches given at the synagogue’s inauguration.

The carved wood cover of the manuscript bears Hebrew text excerpted from Proverbs 31: Many daughters have done valiantly, but thou excellest them all. This text is most likely in reference to Cécile Furtado-Heine, a French philanthropist whose contributions allowed for the building of the synagogue in Versailles.

A hand painted illustration at the beginning of the manuscript also pays tribute to Cécile Furtado-Heine’s role in the building of the synagogue: “Ce temple dédié à l’Eternel à été édifié par Madame Cécile Furtado Heine, que son nom passant de génération en génération soit béni septembre 1886.” This same inscription can be found on plaques at the entrance of the Versailles Synagogue.

Versailles Synagogue dedication

A second hand painted page shows the plan for the synagogue’s interior, the work of architect Paul Blondel. The architect Alfred-Philibert Aldrophe is responsible for the synagogue’s exterior.

Versailles Synagogue plans

The manuscript also contains large black-and-white photographs of the exterior and interior of the Versailles Synagogue at the time of the inauguration.

Versailles Synagogue exterior

Versailles Synagogue interior 1

Versailles Synagogue interior 2

Versailles Synagogue interior 3

The photographs are followed by the text of speeches given by Rabbi Zadoc Kahn, Rabbi Emmanuel Weill, and Rabbi Mahir Charleville on the occasion of the synagogue’s inauguration.

Versailles Synagogue speech Zadoc Kahn

The manuscript concludes with handwritten scores for two pieces composed by Jules Cohen, including the Shema Yisrael.

Versailles Synagogue Schema Israel title

Versailles Synagogue Schema Israel 1

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New Upload! Jewish Institutions

The Lowcountry Digital Library has recently uploaded almost 150 postcards featuring a variety of Jewish institutions, including colleges, yeshivas, Talmud Torahs, orphanages, old age homes, and hospitals. The majority of these institutions are located in major American cities such as Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Baltimore, St. Louis, Denver, and Philadelphia. A smaller number of these institutions are located abroad in Israel, Poland, and Germany. Several postcards feature charitable funds and institutions of the Deutsch-Israelitischer Gemeindebund.

Below is a sampling of some of the recently uploaded items. For more postcards of Jewish institutions, search the Lowcountry Digital Library: William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection – Postcards.

Mount Sinai Hospital, New York

Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New York

Hebrew Orphans Home, Atlanta

Orthodox Jewish Home for the Aged, Chicago

Jewish Orphan Asylum, Cleveland

Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati

Jewish Home for the Aged and Infirm, Cincinnati

Jewish Widows and Orphans Home, New Orleans

Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society, Denver

Yeshivat Lomza, Petah Tikva, Israel

Talmud Torah, Łódź, Poland

Fürsorgeerziehungsanstalt für schulentlassene israelitische Mädchen, Cöpenick, Germany

Jüdische Arbeiter-Kolonie, E.V., Weissensee

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Highlight Reel #3

In a portfolio of miscellaneous prints, sandwiched between engravings of the Jewish priest Mattathias and posters of artwork commemorating the Holocaust, we found this handmade tribute to Hungarian merchant and philanthropist Philipp Schey von Koromla (in Hungarian, Schey Fülöp). Philipp Schey von Koromla was born on September 20, 1798, in Güns (Kőszeg); he died on June 26, 1881, in Baden bei Wien. He holds the distinction of being the first Jew in Hungary to be made an Austrian noble. His patent of nobility references his benevolence “toward suffering humanity, regardless of creed.”

Philipp Schey von Koromla

In addition to the photograph of Philipp Schey von Koromla in the center, this page includes photographs of the great contributions that he made to the town of Kőszeg. The photograph on the middle left shows the synagogue in Kőszeg, which can be seen in the center background. The Gothic Revival synagogue was built between 1858 and 1859 with donations from Philipp Schey von Koromla. A painting inside the cupola bears the words “in Ehre Gottes gebaut von Philipp Schey von Koromla” (built in praise of God by Philipp Schey von Koromla). The building still stands, but it has been deserted since the Jews of Kőszeg were deported in 1944.

This postcard from the Rosenthall portfolios gives a clearer view of the synagogue in Kőszeg.

This postcard from the Rosenthall portfolios gives a clearer view of the synagogue in Kőszeg.

The photograph in the lower center shows the Albrechtinum, which served as a house for the poor. The building was made up of living units for up to 15 people; the rooms were given out to the poor regardless of their religious confession. The building that housed the Albrechtinum is still standing and is today a residential building.

The photograph on the middle right is the Elisabethinum, a kindergarten built in 1868 with the support of Philipp Schey von Koromla. Children were admitted here regardless of religious confession. This building is no longer standing.

At the bottom is an excerpt of a poem by Hungarian poet Dániel Berzsenyi:

“A derék nem fél az idők mohától:
A koporsóból kitör és eget kér,
Érdemét a jók, nemesek s jövendő
Századok áldják.”

And the text of Psalm 37:37:

“Figyeld meg a feddhetetlent
nézd a becsületes,
Mert az ilyen ember jövője:
boldogság!”

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The Case of the Mistaken Tuesday

Processing Archivist Amy Lazarus and I recently had the opportunity to look into several reels of tape found with the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection. These reels were especially intriguing as we had no immediate way to listen to them and only the slightest hint at their content–a note slipped into one of the boxes indicating that they dated from Rabbi Rosenthall’s time at the Woodsdale Temple, home of Congregation L’Shem Shomayim in Wheeling, West Virginia. Rosenthall served as rabbi of this congregation from his appointment in August 1958 until he left in February 1962 to take the position of executive director of the World Union for Progressive Judaism.

Audio reel

One of the reels from the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection

For assistance, we reached out to Rick Zender, curator of the John Rivers Communication Museum located on the College of Charleston campus. The museum holds a wide range of devices used throughout communication history, including radios, telephones, phonographs, and televisions. They also hold a reel-to-reel recorder, which Rick helped us use to listen to the reels of tape from the Rosenthall Collection.

Reel-to-reel tape recorder

Reel-to-reel recorder at the John Rivers Communication Museum

One of the reels contains a recording of a service held on the morning of Rosh Hashanah at the Woodsdale Temple. In the following clip, you can hear Rabbi Rosenthall reading from the prayer book during the service. Documents from Rosenthall’s personal papers tell us that the congregation adopted the Union Prayer Book in 1897; it was replaced by Gates of Prayer in 1975.

 

A second reel contains a recording of a skit performed at the 1959 convention of the West Virginia Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, which was held in Wheeling. A write-up in the June 1959 Woodsdale Temple Bulletin describes the convention:

“In the estimation of the ladies of the Congregation the outstanding event of the spring was undoubtedly the 31st Biennial Convention of the West Virginia Federation of Temple Sisterhoods of April 14 and 15. For the first time in many years our own organization was the hostess sisterhood. Wheeling buzzed with consecrated activity, and the afterglow is one of resounding success… Not only was Wheeling brought into bright focus in Sisterhood affairs by the convention itself but also–indeed, especially–by the happy assumption of the State presidency by our tireless Janis Stein. She succeeded Helene Rotgin of Charleston. A talented crew presented a delightfully amusing skit, ‘The Case of the Mistaken Tuesday’ after the buffet supper.”

June 1959 Woodsdale Temple Bulletin

June 1959 Woodsdale Temple Bulletin

“The Case of the Mistaken Tuesday” was written and directed by Irene Rosenthall, wife of Rabbi William A. Rosenthall. In the skit, a woman happens upon the Sisterhood convention while intending to attend a lecture by the rabbi entitled “Sex and Judaism,” which is actually scheduled to take place the following Tuesday. The members of the Sisterhood take the opportunity to explain to her the group’s purpose and activities in both word and song. Lyrics of hits from several contemporary musicals, including The King and I, My Fair Lady, Damn Yankees, Oklahoma!, and South Pacific are tweaked and utilized to elucidate these activities. In the following clip, Sisterhood members discuss several initiatives, including religious school teacher training and stationary sales, then describe the work of the Sisterhood “Caravan” to the tune of “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific.

 

The finale of the skit is a celebration of the convention set to the tune of the title song from Oklahoma!.

 

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