Welcome the Center for Jewish History to The Commons!

Pfc. Morton Gutstadt tried out the gefilte fish of Mrs. Dave Starr..., 1952

Purim Party at Ludwig Satz's House in Sea Gate, Brooklyn, ca. 1925

We are thrilled to announce that the Center for Jewish History in New York City is a part of The Commons on Flickr! They are home to five major institutions of scholarship, history, and art: The American Sephardi Federation, the American Jewish Historical Society, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Yeshiva University Museum and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

Their collections constitute one of the most important resources for the documentation and exploration of the Jewish experience. Their Flickr photostream contains rich gems in sets on Jewish Rites and Customs, Everyday Life, Ceremonial Objects and Synagogues.

Andrea Buchner, Director of the Gruss Lipper Digital Laboratory at the CJH, provides insight into their Flickr photostream:

While the main goal was always to increase the accessibility of our collections, we were particularly intrigued by the fact that Flickr allowed us to solicit user feedback. We selected images featuring people and circumstances of which we knew little in the hope that users would leave comments and notes that would shed more light on these images. We had some wonderful results with the great-granddaughter of a person in an image contacting us and another person telling us what happened to orphans depicted in some images.

Purim in the orphanage Ahawah

Water sellerSign advertising Singer sewing machinesCigarette silk depicting Zionist flag

Passover Tableware         Ahawah Children's Home, Berlin; Passover Seder Table

There is a special set dedicated to synagogues in Germany that were destroyed during the so-called Night of Broken Glass in 1938. One user noted that these were “terribly compelling.” Finally, we feature works of art from Jewish artists. A highlight is a set of lithographs by Hugo Steiner-Prag that illustrates a Golem narrative from 1916. These works of art round out our diverse Flickr collection. – Andrea Buchner

Frankfurt am Main Synagogue; Kristallnacht

"Student Charousek," page 9 from the book "Der Golem"

The Commons program has two main objectives: To increase access to publicly-held photography collections and to provide a way for the general public to contribute information and knowledge to them by adding descriptive tags and notes as well as leaving comments.

Photos from the Center for Jewish History.