Monday, July 26, 2010

Joel's Retirement-- Happy and Sad

The staff all gathered on June 30 for a final luncheon in honor of our colleague of eight years, Joel Wind (that's Joel in the back row in the center). Joel served as the Society's Administrator a.k.a my right hand. He handled everything-- from bank deposits, to restoration projects and our Homeland Security grant. He saw and could do it all. Joel excelled at giving tours of the historic synagogue and I often received lovely thank you notes from visitors extolling Joel's tours. So it's with sadness that we say good bye to Joel as he retires from the Society. But we are happy to have Joel continue as an active member and part of the JHSGW family.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

White House Reception a First

Nearly forgot to write about the amazing experience I had at the first ever Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM- pronounced "JAM") reception hosted at the White House by President and Mrs. Obama. That's me (below on the far rt) with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (4th from the left) the original cosponsor of the JAHM resolution.

Above, I'm on the far right with the JAHM national steering committee in the Blue Room. A total thrill to be included among the smallish crowd-- I serve on the national steering committee for JAHM-- the only representative from a local Jewish museum or historical society. Since JAHM's inception 4 years ago, JHSGW has been at the forefront-- annually cosponsoring an event on Capitol Hill.

Along with colleagues from across the country, we continue to plan activities to get the word out about JAHM and the contribution of our community to our country. Thrilling at this event to be in the same room as baseball great Sandy Koufax, baseketball great Dolph Schayes, the TeaEO of Honest Tea and even the CEO of Spanx not to mention the owners of Manischewitz.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Object of the Month: July 2010

JHSGW 50th anniversary logoTo honor our 50th anniversary, we invite you to peek into our archives each month.

From the Archives...
Bicentennial Photograph

Archives Record
Object #: 2008.18.6
Donor: Sandra and Dr. Clement Alpert
Description: 6.5”x10” black and white photograph. Rabbi Louis Gerstein, Amy Gerstein (left) and Cecile and Dr. Seymour Alpert (right) with President Gerald Ford (center) on July 12, 1976 in the Oval Office of the White House.

On July 12, 1976, as part of the nationwide bicentennial celebrations, rabbis from six colonial congregations presented President Ford with a Bicentennial letter. Representatives were present from Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (Charleston, SC), Congregation Shearith Israel (New York, NY), Congregation Jeshuat Israel (Newport, RI), Congregation Mikveh Israel (Philadelphia, PA), Congregation Mickve Israel (Savannah, GA), and Congregation Beth Ahabah (Richmond, VA).

Rabbi Louis Gerstein, who served Shearith Israel for 32 years, posed in the Oval Office with his wife Amy, President Ford, and Dr. Seymour and Cecile Alpert. Dr. Alpert was on the Jewish Bicentennial Commission of Greater Washington. The Alperts were active members of Washington, D.C.’s Jewish community. They were philanthropists and leaders in organizations such as the Jewish Community Council, Israel Bonds, and United Jewish Appeal (a predecessor to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington).

Do you have materials documenting the D.C.-area Jewish community’s bicentennial celebrations? To donate, contact us at or (202) 789-0900.