Wednesday, June 29, 2016

4 Things to Do on the 4th of July

This blog post is written by Esther Moerdler, the Museum’s Communications Intern.

Did you know that New York City was the original capital of America? Here are four exciting ways to celebrate Independence Day in historic Lower Manhattan:

1. The Golden Bride

Due to popular demand, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene brings The Golden Bride back to the Museum of Jewish Heritage this summer. Kick off your day by visiting the Museum, open 10 A.M. to 5:45 P.M., watch the return of this Drama Desk nominated show, then grab a hot dog and enjoy stunning views of Liberty Island at a post-show BBQ reception. 
$55 includes show & reception – use code BBQ55.
Click To Buy Tickets or call 212-213-2120 x206.

2. Seaport District NYC Festival of Independence

On the east side of the island, check out South Street Seaport’s annual two-day art, music, fashion, and culinary festival from July 3 – July 4, 1 P.M. – 9 P.M. Get prepared for a Smogasburg of food, music curated by Noisey, and some IMPACT!(ful) art at Parson’s School of Design’s exhibit.

3. July 4th Celebration at Federal Hall
Visit the place where the 1st Continental Congress met, George Washington was sworn into office, and Bill of Rights was written. This July 3rd and 4th Federal Hall will be hosting programming from 10 AM – 3:40 PM, ranging from meet and greets with George Washington to readings of the Declaration of Independence. It’s a great opportunity to watch history come to life.

4. July 4th at Fraunces Tavern Museum
For a more historical look at July 4th look no further than the Fraunces Tavern Museum. 54 Pearl Street was once home to the Departments of Foreign Affairs, War and Treasury, not to mention the site of Washington’s farewell to his officers. Take a leap into America’s colonial past this July 4th by visiting the museum or experiencing one of its renowned walking tours.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Chiune Sugihara, Righteous Among the Nations

Pictured (left to right): Madoka Sughirar -grand-daughter of Chiune Sugihara, Advisory Committee Sugihara UNESCO Memory of the World Project, Yaotsu Town, Prefecture Erica Blumenfeld Yukio Rimbara-Chairman Advisory Committee, Sugihara UNESCO Memory of the World Project, Yaotsu Town, Prefecture Masanori Kaneko-Mayor of Yaotsu Town Masaru Nakayama-Chief of Town Promotion Officer Yaotsu Town, Prefecture
This blog post is written by Erica Blumenfeld, the Museum’s Interim Director of Collections and Exhibitions.

During World War II, Chiune Sugihara was Japan’s consul to Lithuania. He issued transit visas to several thousand Jews so that they could leave Lithuania. In 1984, Yad Vashem recognized Chiune Sugihara as Righteous Among the Nations.

In the town of Yaotsu, the birthplace of Sugihara, there is a Chiune Sugihara Memorial Museum. Now the community is applying to have the Chiune Sugihara Memorial Museum designated part of the UNESCO Memory of the World program and to recognize Sugihara for the brave work he did saving people from the Holocaust. 

A few weeks ago, I had the honor and pleasure to meet with representatives from Yaotsu, including Sugihara’s granddaughter, Madoka Sugihara, and the mayor, Masonori Kaneko.

They were visiting museums in the United States that hold visas signed by Sugihara in their collections. Copies of these documents will be used to complete the application process for the UNESCO Memory of the World. We were able to show this delegation the nine visas in the collection of the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

While at the Museum, the group from Yaotsu met with a docent and school group that were visiting our Rescuer’s Gallery and learning first-hand about the gift of life that Chiune Sugihara gave to the people he saved by the stamp of his office.  This was an unforgettable experience for both the students and the delegation from Yaotsu.