Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Looking for summer interns

Want to gain valuable museum/public history experience while learning about D.C.-area Jewish history and contributing to a small organization?

JHSGW is looking for some interns for this summer. Read about the experiences of our former interns StaceySam, and Shelly(Note: Your name does not need to begin with "S" to intern here!)

Interns work in a variety of activities, including (but not limited to):
1. Archives/collections management
2. Research
3. Education/Programs
4. Outreach/Marketing/Membership
5. Publications
6. Website/Exhibitions

Since we have a small staff, there's a good chance you will be dabbling in all of the above fields during the course of your internship!

Interested? To apply, please send the internship application, along with your resume, a cover letter (no more than one page) detailing your interest in this internship and how it fits your goals, and a writing sample to: David McKenzie, Interpretive Programs Manager ( by April 1.

The writing sample can be whatever you would like. Some have sent academic papers. Others have sent exhibition texts, archival finding aids, or other materials they've composed for their classes, internships, or jobs. Just as long as it gives us the chance to see how you write, it's fine with us.

The internship is unpaid. Number of hours per week is flexible; schedule will be during normal business hours (9-5 Monday-Thursday). Schedule must be consistent from week to week.

Any questions? Contact David McKenzie at or (202) 789-0900.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

JHS Testifies @ City Council Hearing

Honored to be asked to testify at an oversight hearing at the DC City Council before Councilmember Tommy Wells in support of DC Community Heritage Project grants. That's me on the left with my back to the camera.

We have twice received these small grants to fund projects that combine the humanities and historic preservation-- once to convene a public meeting with esteemed academics to discuss what stories we should tell in our historic sanctuary and then to help fund the educational panels that now grace the sanctuary with those stories.

Unfortunately our city has too few resources available for humanities or historic preservation related projects. Perhaps by our presence today we have begun advocating for more support.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Object of the Month: February 2012

Archives Record
Object #: 2002.11.2
Donor: Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington
Description: Newsclipping featuring Jewish Community Center women basketball players practicing, February 22, 1935, Washington Times, included in JCC scrapbook.
From left to right, Betty Kronman, Alto Schnitzer, Dorothy Shatzman (with ball), Sally Parker, and Helen Bushlow.

Background: This 1935 newsclipping of JCC basketball players is from a collection of scrapbooks that document the JCC at 16th & Q Streets, NW. The scrapbooks date from 1919 to 1941 and include many newsclippings, program invitations, photographs, and calendars of events documenting lectures, music recitals, and sporting events.

The photo in this clipping is featured in a documentary, Jewish Women in American Sport: Settlement Houses to the Olympics. Executive Producer Dr. Linda Borish of Western Michigan University visited our archives while conducting research for the film. We are proud that she selected this photograph for inclusion in the documentary. Join Dr. Borish and the Jewish Historical Society for a noontime screening of the film on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at the Goethe-Institut.

Do you have material documenting a local Jewish athlete that you’d like to donate to the Jewish Historical Society? Contact us at or (202) 789-0900.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shabbat Service Honors Chaplain Alexander Goode

This past Friday, February 3, 2012, when the congregation gathered to welcome Shabbat at Washington Hebrew Congregation, the service marked the anniversary of the sinking of the WWII transport boat the Dorchester and the remarkable bravery of the Four Chaplains-- all of whom gave their lives that frigid night in the waters off Greenland so others could live.

Among the four chaplains was Rabbi Alexander Goode, who grew up in Washington and who was a member of Washington Hebrew. His name was among those on the yartzeit (memorial) list read aloud during the service. Rabbi Goode's name is the first listed on the new Jewish chaplains memorial pictured above at Arlington National Cemetery.

The story has been memorialized in many ways and guest speaker, Rabbi Arnie Resnicoff, himself a former Navy chaplain, recounted it adding details from his service in Vietnam, the Far East and Middle East.

As the service concluded, Rabbi Bruce Lustig reminded us that the Dorchester sunk in just 27 minutes--- a startling reminder of the fragility of life and the sacrifice of the Four Chaplains that cold night 69 years ago.