Thursday, May 5, 2011

Challah Month

This morning, our director Laura's husband, Perry, delivered 40 loaves of challah! Since May 2009, we've sold challah in the neighborhood as part of the celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month. This picture shows the challah before we sent it out.

Interested in buying some? Click here to order--you can still get challah for the next 3 weeks for $15. If you order 5 per week in an office or building, we can deliver in the Penn Quarter area.

And don't forget about the other ways you can join us in celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Object of the Month: May 2011

Object #: 1999.13.1
Donor: Pearl Franck
Description: Celebration for the 25th Anniversary of the State of Israel, May 1973. L to R: Bernie Rosenberg (celebration chair for Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington), D.C. Mayor Walter Washington, and Isaac Franck (executive director of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington)

Background: Isaac Franck became executive director of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington in 1949. Franck, working with such influential Council presidents as Rabbi Isadore Breslau, Aaron Goldman, Albert E. Arent, Louis Grossberg, and Seymour D. Wolf, led the Community Council as it addressed a wide range of social and political problems.

While the Council was formed to serve the local Jewish community, it did not shy away from issues that affected the greater good. Among these were issues of civil rights and desegregation, education, assistance to the poor, separation of church and state, equal opportunity, and Home Rule for the District of Columbia. For example, in 1953, the Council lent its name to the Thompson’s Restaurant court case, decided by the Supreme Court. The case ended segregation in public accommodations in Washington, D.C. Following desegregation of public schools the subsequent year, the Council worked with city and religious leaders to encourage a peaceful transition. In 1963, Franck arranged for Martin Luther King, Jr., to address a citywide meeting at Adas Israel. That August, King returned to Washington to give his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The Council coordinated local Jewish involvement in the historic event. In this photo of the march, Franck is seen in the lower right.

When Isaac Franck retired in 1973, Jewish Community Council membership had more than tripled. The Washington Post wrote that he “gave [the Jewish community] not only a degree of cohesion, he also sought for it a special place because of its location in the national’s capital.” During Franck's tenure, the Council grew dramatically and worked with other organizations and faiths. He enabled 173 local organizations to speak as one while taking action on a wide range of community matters.

Today, the Council continues its important work with a new organizational name, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.

Do you have material documenting local social justice movements that you’d like to donate to the Jewish Historical Society’s collection? Please contact us at or (202) 789-0900.