Art, Entertainment, & Popular Culture

Jewish Roots of the Pulitzer Prize

Collage including black and white photograph of Joseph Pulitzer, two medals, and his autograph

Born in Makó, Hungary on April 10, 1847 to two Jewish parents, Joseph Pulitzer emigrated to the U.S. in 1864 to fight in the Civil War. After moving to St. Louis, Joseph became a naturalized citizen in 1867, passed the bar, served in the state legislature, and began reporting for the Westliche Post. He bought…

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Nathan Hilu: a soldier, an artist

Collage of artwork by Nathan Hilu including a profile photograph of the artist.

Born in 1925 on New York’s Lower East Side, Manhattan, Nathan Hilu (d. April 19, 2019) was a soldier, artist and storyteller who referred to himself as an “illustrator of life.” He served in the U.S. Army during WWII, the Korean War and the Cold War, first as a prison guard at Nuremberg, then throughout…

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The First LGBTQ+ Synagogue in the U.S.

Collage of BCC including an image of Rabbi Erwin Herman, Herman's biography, and an advertisement for a "Synagogue formed for homosexuals in L.A."

Beth Chayim Chadashim’s (BCC) first service was held on June 9, 1972 in Los Angeles, California. BCC is the first primarily LGBT synagogue in the United States. BCC, which at the time was known as the Metropolitan Community Temple, began with fifteen members and held services in the local community center. BCC grew and prospered…

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YEHUDI MENUHIN, the Violinist

Black and white photograph of Yehudi Menuhin, young, playing violin,

Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999) was a Jewish American violinist and conductor born in New York to Lithuanian immigrants. He spent most of his career performing in Europe and is considered one of the greatest violinists of the 20th Century. Menuhin began learning the violin at age four, and by the time he was seven was doing…

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Promotional material for Frank's Hot Sauce.

Enjoying a plate of end-of-Summer Buffalo Wings? Well you can thank Jewish American entrepreneur Jacob Frank for that. In 1896, Jacob Frank and his brothers Emil and Charles founded Frank Tea and Spice Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company produced spices, teas, olives, and even peanut butter. In 1918 Frank partnered with Adam Estilette to…

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Levi Strauss: Jewish Jeans

A denim Levi Strauss kippah, or Jewish head covering..

Let us take a moment to highlight the legacy of American Jewish entrepreneur, Levi Strauss. Strauss was born in Buttenheim, Bavaria on February 26, 1829. He emigrated to New York in 1846 and began to work with his brothers at their company “J. Strauss brother & CO.” Strauss and his family relocated to San Francisco…

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REBECCA GRATZ (1781-1869)

Black and white photograph of Rebecca Gratz.

Let’s discuss the sensational life and legacy of American Jewish educator and philanthropist Rebecca Gratz. Gratz was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where she lived with her eleven siblings and her parents Miriam and Michael. In 1801 she established the Female Association for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances which helped families affected…

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Two images of young men at "Play Day," Eden Park, Aug. 26, 1926.

We take a moment to highlight the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Association of Cincinnati. This association, founded in 1910, was a charter member for what would later become Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America. The organization dates back to 1903 when Irvin F. Westheimer, an American Jewish Businessman from Cincinnati, befriended a fatherless child and decided to…

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Black and white image of Rabbi Franklin sitting with young students.

The Interdenominational Community Thanksgiving Service was founded in 1902 by Dr. Leo M. Franklin, Rabbi of Temple Beth El in Detroit, Michigan from 1899-1941. The first service, called “A Citizens’ Interdenominational Thanksgiving Service”, was held on November 27, 1902, in the Detroit Opera House. An account in the Detroit News stated that a capacity crowd…

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Drawing by Ostendorf, 1975, of President Abraham Lincoln with Samuel G. Alschuler in Alschuler's photography gallery. The sign reads, "S. Alschuler's Gallery, Photographic & Printing Studio." The image is captioned, "Abraham Lincoln sits for ambrotype by Samuel BG. Alschuler in the photographer's coat as Judge J.O. Cunningham watches, Urbana, Illinois, April 25, 1858."

President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address during the American Civil War at the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Five years prior to the address, Lincoln – who was campaigning for senator at the time – encountered the Bavarian-Jewish Photographer, Samuel G. Alschuler while representing clients in court in Urbana,…

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