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Object of the Month - February 2016

January 27, 2016

In 1893, Jeptha Workum (1860-1896) presented each of the three nurses of the first graduating class of Jewish Hospital’s School of Nursing in Cincinnati with a gold medal designed by his uncle, Moses Jacob Ezekiel. Jeptha was one of nine children of Levi and Hannah Ezekiel Workum. Hannah was the eldest sister of Moses Jacob Ezekiel.

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Object of the Month - January

January 04, 2016

n 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated January 27th--the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau--as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year marks the 71st anniversary of the liberation by Soviet troops of the largest Nazi death camp, on January 27, 1945.

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Object of the Month - December

December 04, 2015

Hanukkah, which begins the evening of Sunday, December 6th, commemorates the miraculous military victory in 165 BCE of a small number of Jews, led by Judah Maccabee, over the oppressive ruling Syrian-Greek government, which had commanded the Jews to worship only Greek idols under penalty of death. When the Maccabees re-conquered Jerusalem, they found that the Syrians had desecrated the Temple. The Maccabees cleansed and rededicated the Temple by lighting its seven-branched menorah, or candelabrum, with a small amount of oil that remained. Miraculously, the oil, enough for only one day, burned for the eight days of the Festival of Dedication—Hanukkah—in Hebrew.

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October 30, 2015

The chief holiday in the Jewish calendar is the Sabbath, or Shabbat, each week commemorating the day of rest following creation. Objects of great beauty have been fashioned to celebrate the Sabbath, which begins at sundown on Friday evening with the blessing and kindling of lights and blessings over wine and bread.

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Holocaust Photography and Exhibition Research

October 29, 2015

This week I continued working on the Holocaust photography exhibition that I detailed in last week’s post. I was able to see the collection of James Friedman photographs that will make up the core of the exhibition.

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First Week at the Skirball Museum

October 08, 2015

This summer I am interning at the Skirball Museum, which is part of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) campus in Cincinnati, Ohio. The museum, which was “the first formally established Jewish museum in the United States,” houses a collection of archeological, religious, and ritual Jewish artifacts, and also focuses on the history of Cincinnati’s Jewish community and the Holocaust.

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September 30, 2015

As the fall chill sets in this month, you can warm up next to this historic samovar, which was one of the many samovars used by Russian-Jewish families to make tea. Nicholay Ivanovich Batashev manufactured this particular samovar in Tula, Russia, circa 1870. The artifact is emblematic of the American Jewish immigrant experience and what was brought from the Old World to the New; this samovar was a valued possession chosen for the voyage from Russia to America.

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September 18, 2015

Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days of the Jewish year, begins the evening of September 22 in 2015. Also known as the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is a solemn day of repentance marked by prayer at synagogue and participation in a daylong fast. As one of the most important days on the Jewish calendar, individuals traditionally abstain from all work and other commitments, devoting the day to prayer and reflection. Even during the Franco-Prussian War, some German-Jewish soldiers observed the holiday.

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September 18, 2015

Among the windows gifted to the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion is a two-panel window titled Redemption. The window depicts the parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of the Egyptians as they were engulfed by the sea. Included on the window are the words from Moses’s song of deliverance, Adoni Yimloch l’olam va’ed- “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”

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