Yeshiva University Museum

Yeshiva University Museum Boy oh boy! YUM is on Facebook! Come check us out in person! We're opening two new exhibitions this week, and have one of the best illuminated manuscript shows you'll ever see!
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Collection item of the week: Simchat Torah flag, Israel, c. 1950Check out this vintage Simchat Torah flag from the early...
10/08/2020

Collection item of the week:
Simchat Torah flag, Israel, c. 1950

Check out this vintage Simchat Torah flag from the early years of the State of Israel!
The palladian-style Torah Ark is decorated with images evoking the Tabernacle, such as the High Priest’s breast plate, incense censer, Menorah, and the Tablets of the Law. Children dance in the foreground, some wearing modern clothing and waving Zionist flags, others in traditional garb carrying Torah scrolls.

Post by Baruch-Lev Kelman, Leon Charney Research Associate, Center for Israel Studies

YU Center for Israel Studies

Collection item of the week: Etrog container, Okinawa, Japan, 1954This etrog container is decorated with the etrog (citr...
10/02/2020

Collection item of the week:
Etrog container, Okinawa, Japan, 1954
This etrog container is decorated with the etrog (citron) on one side and a lulav (palm frond) on the other side. The etrog and lulav are two of the four species (palm frond, myrtle, willow branch, and citron) used during the holiday of Sukkot.

Schneier Program for International Affairs of Yeshiva University

Collection item of the week:Sheet music for the Yom Kippur anthem “Kol Nidre” arranged by popular Yiddish musician A.R. ...
09/24/2020

Collection item of the week:
Sheet music for the Yom Kippur anthem “Kol Nidre” arranged by popular Yiddish musician A.R. Zagler, New York, 1913

Kol Nidre introduces the beginning of the Day of Atonement by allowing the readers to proclaim their previous and future vows to be considered annulled.

Post by Rebecca Zami, Leon Charney Research Associate, Center for Israel Studies

Collection item of the week: Rosh Hashanah greeting card, featuring a textile pattern designed by Lotte Frömel-Fochler f...
09/18/2020

Collection item of the week:
Rosh Hashanah greeting card, featuring a textile pattern designed by Lotte Frömel-Fochler for the Wiener Werkstätte, Austria, c. 1910. Greetings in Hebrew and German.

Collection items of the week:  two very different 20th century watercolor depictions of heder.  Samuel Rothbort’s (1882-...
08/25/2020

Collection items of the week: two very different 20th century watercolor depictions of heder. Samuel Rothbort’s (1882-1971) horrified teacher finds his class drawing portraits of him. Albert Dov Sigal’s (1912-1970) teacher smilingly interacts with his studious young charges.

Collection items of the week: 19th century wedding dresses from Gallipoli (left), Morocco (center), and New York City (r...
08/18/2020

Collection items of the week: 19th century wedding dresses from Gallipoli (left), Morocco (center), and New York City (right)

Collection item of the week: evocation of Jews in Hungary by Orit Hofshi, woodcut on handmade paper, gift of Martin Pere...
08/11/2020

Collection item of the week: evocation of Jews in Hungary by Orit Hofshi, woodcut on handmade paper, gift of Martin Peretz

Collection item of the week: Carpet Vendor, painting by Moshe Matus, Israel, n.d., Gift of Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff....
08/07/2020

Collection item of the week: Carpet Vendor, painting by Moshe Matus, Israel, n.d., Gift of Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff. Can you find the man’s face? Would this be considered inappropriate today?

Collection item of the week:  Herod's Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  York Model Making and Display Ltd. Created for Benjami...
07/27/2020

Collection item of the week: Herod's Temple Mount in Jerusalem. York Model Making and Display Ltd. Created for Benjamin Adelman; Leen Rittmeyer consultant, Gift of Saul Adelman

Collection item of the week: doll by Ali, Israel ca. 1950, gift of David Michaels
07/23/2020

Collection item of the week: doll by Ali, Israel ca. 1950, gift of David Michaels

Collection item of the week:  Samson and Delilah, watercolor by Albert Dov Sigal (1912-1970)
07/14/2020

Collection item of the week: Samson and Delilah, watercolor by Albert Dov Sigal (1912-1970)

Babushka, gouache by Leon Sherker (1897-1963), New York, 1956
07/07/2020

Babushka, gouache by Leon Sherker (1897-1963), New York, 1956

Collection item of the week:  The Battle of Bunker Hill from the series Washington and his Times by Arthur Szyk, Vienna,...
07/02/2020

Collection item of the week: The Battle of Bunker Hill from the series Washington and his Times by Arthur Szyk, Vienna, 1932.

This was sewn on the striped uniform of Rudolf (Rudi) Jacobson who was interned at Buchenwald from August 1944 to the li...
06/18/2020

This was sewn on the striped uniform of Rudolf (Rudi) Jacobson who was interned at Buchenwald from August 1944 to the liberation of the camp on 4/11/1945

Collection item of the week:  Black Wedding, a painting by Samuel Rothbort (1882-1971) probably based on memories of his...
06/16/2020

Collection item of the week: Black Wedding, a painting by Samuel Rothbort (1882-1971) probably based on memories of his early years in Wolkowisk (Belarus). This illustrates an Eastern European folk tradition of marrying two people in a cemetery to ward off an epidemic.

Collection item of the week: a charming Victorian printing sample showing a boy and girl playing with a cat and her kitt...
06/09/2020

Collection item of the week: a charming Victorian printing sample showing a boy and girl playing with a cat and her kittens. It was produced by the Steam Printing Office of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Industrial School New York, 1881. The Steam Printing Office of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum was located at 187 and 189 East 76th Street in New York City.

This is one of a group of fundraising poster stamps issued by the Council Against Intolerance in 1944. The Council’s goa...
06/03/2020

This is one of a group of fundraising poster stamps issued by the Council Against Intolerance in 1944. The Council’s goal as set forth in a fundraising letter dated September 1944 was to promote unity among Americans, to educate them to avoid prejudice and bigotry, and “… to defend our children from racial and religious hatred.” Other stamps featured Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

For Shavuot, I am sharing this sculpture from our collection: Homage to the State of Israel by Oliver O’Connor Barrett (...
05/27/2020

For Shavuot, I am sharing this sculpture from our collection: Homage to the State of Israel by Oliver O’Connor Barrett (1908-1989), New York, 1958, Walnut. You know that Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah, but did you know it is also the traditional yahrzeit of King David?

Collection item of the week:  photograph of Harry Newburg and friends at Coney Island, New York, 1930s.  Imagine what ef...
05/20/2020

Collection item of the week: photograph of Harry Newburg and friends at Coney Island, New York, 1930s. Imagine what effect social distancing would have on this image today.

Tapestry from YU Museum’s collection titled “Golda, mother of Israel.” It was made by fabric artist Ina Golub (1938-2015...
05/13/2020

Tapestry from YU Museum’s collection titled “Golda, mother of Israel.” It was made by fabric artist Ina Golub (1938-2015) in 1979, the year after Meir (1898-1978) died, it pays tribute to Meir in both her public and private lives.

On National Teacher Appreciation Day, I am sharing two different images of education from our collection.  The photograp...
05/05/2020

On National Teacher Appreciation Day, I am sharing two different images of education from our collection. The photograph shows a teacher in Israel in the 1930s teaching her young students about flowers. It was one of a set of glass lantern slides used at Camp Cejwin in Port Jervis to familiarize Jewish campers with the land of Israel. Next to it is a more traditional image of formal Jewish education. It depicts a male teacher and a male student with open books on their laps. This item is carved and painted wood, sold as a souvenir in Israel around 1950.

For Yom HaShoah: Deportation by David Dzienciarski (1912-1980), oil on canvas, Israel, ca. 1970s. Collection of Yeshiva ...
04/20/2020

For Yom HaShoah: Deportation by David Dzienciarski (1912-1980), oil on canvas, Israel, ca. 1970s. Collection of Yeshiva University Museum. Gift of the artist’s Estate. This is one of a series of paintings by Dzienciarski, a self-taught artist, depicting his hometown, Lodz.

This 19th century silver three-tiered Seder plate was a gift from Jewish Cultural Reconstruction (JCR).  JCR was the org...
04/14/2020

This 19th century silver three-tiered Seder plate was a gift from Jewish Cultural Reconstruction (JCR). JCR was the organization charged with the distribution of “orphaned” Jewish objects after the Holocaust. If you were the Museum Curator or Director, would you want to retain the piece in its present condition to commemorate the Nazi destruction of Jews and dispersal of their property? Would you repair the piece since the damages could predate the Holocaust and thus have the piece represent the heyday of its use?

Missing Your Pre-Passover Shopping? – Yeshiva University News
04/14/2020
Missing Your Pre-Passover Shopping? – Yeshiva University News

Missing Your Pre-Passover Shopping? – Yeshiva University News

Missing Your Pre-Passover Shopping? Most Recent News March 25, 2020 Michael Bettencourt From the YU Museum Blog (March 24, 2020) While we prepare for Passover six or more feet away from one another, we can longingly appreciate this David Dzienciarski painting of a Market Before Passover from Yeshiva...

The Women’s Branch of the Orthodox Union, Pioneers of Passover Provisions | Library
04/14/2020
The Women’s Branch of the Orthodox Union, Pioneers of Passover Provisions | Library

The Women’s Branch of the Orthodox Union, Pioneers of Passover Provisions | Library

The Children of Israel were redeemed from Egypt in the merit of the righteous women of that generation (Sotah 11:2); women are obligated to partake of the four cups of wine on Passover, since they participated in the miracle (Pesahim 98:1-2); and in the twentieth century in the United States, the .....

Happy Passover! In the spirit of the holiday, I’d like to share with you a wonderful feature, “Out of the Box: Four Uniq...
04/12/2020

Happy Passover! In the spirit of the holiday, I’d like to share with you a wonderful feature, “Out of the Box: Four Unique Passover Items,” produced in partnership with the Center for Jewish History.
Housed at the Center are tens of thousands of boxes in Yeshiva University Museum’s and our partners’ archival and collections. The Out of the Box series showcases some of the remarkable treasures and stories tucked away inside these boxes. In March, we had intended to highlight – firsthand and in person – some of the over 230 Passover items, spanning over 200 years, that are conserved in YUM’s collections. Due to our temporary closure because of the coronavirus, we brought, with the Center’s help, this conversation into the digital world.
Bonni-Dara Michaels, YUM’s Collections Curator, discusses a few of her favorite Passover items from the collections. Check out the video through the link below, and then read the short interview with Bonni-Dara about what it’s like working with these unique artifacts.
Thank you, Bonni-Dara for sharing your insights on these works with us; to the Center for producing this feature; and to Michael Bettencourt for posting it on YU News here (or you copy and paste the following link: https://blogs.yu.edu/news/out-of-the-box-four-unique-passover-items/). Enjoy!
Moadim l’simcha!
Jacob Wisse, PhD
Director, Yeshiva University Museum

Looking for a good doctor?  This portrait from our collection is a fanciful depiction of Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Mai...
03/31/2020

Looking for a good doctor? This portrait from our collection is a fanciful depiction of Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, the Rambam, 1135/1138-1204) by Arthur Szyk (1894-1951), painted in 1950. Maimonides was a physician as well as a Torah scholar, and translated two works by Galen (physician, surgeon, philosopher, 129-200/216 C.E.). Among Galen’s writings is information about symptoms and treatment of the Antonine Plague, later identified as smallpox.

Missing Your Pre-Passover Shopping?YU MuseumMarch 24, 2020While we prepare for Passover 6 or more feet away from one ano...
03/25/2020

Missing Your Pre-Passover Shopping?
YU Museum
March 24, 2020

While we prepare for Passover 6 or more feet away from one another, we can longingly appreciate this David Dzienciarski painting of a Market before Passover from Yeshiva University Museum’s collection (gift of the artist’s estate). Created around 1970, the work depicts a crowded street in the Jewish section of Lodz, reimagined from the artist’s childhood. Pre-Passover activities are proceeding apace. Two men shoulder a cask of boiling water on a pole (the water would have been used to kasher dishes and utensils for the holiday); a rag seller offers up new plates in exchange for old clothes; shoppers go this way and that carrying their sacks and baskets; while children, oblivious to the surrounding chaos, roll hoops and play in between the harried adult bodies.

As richly evocative as the scene is, the painting is as far removed from documentary reality as we all currently are from our places of business and communal gathering. Dzienciarski (1912-1980), who miraculously survived World War II – first, as a member of the Polish army and then as a German prisoner – managed to escape eastward through the Russian frontier before making his way in 1948 to Israel, where he settled. This work was painted by the artist among tens of others while living in the new Jewish homeland decades after the leveling of the Lodz Ghetto and the decimation of European Jewry.

The son of a lumber and furniture merchant who traveled between Polish towns and villages by motorbike, Dzienciarski considered his paintings a mixture of observation and imagination:
“They are partially a documentary record and partially a personal vision depicting a way of life, which was suddenly erased and which tragically can never again exist. There is something in my paintings to which all can relate, but I believe they will have the greatest impact on the generations of young people who want to know what the Holocaust destroyed.” He viewed them as his life’s most important achievement, serving to make manifest for future generations a culture that no longer existed.

Market before Passover was exhibited among 35 works by the artist in a monographic show called “In My Mind’s Eye: Jewish Life in Lodz, 1920-1939,” presented by Yeshiva University Museum in 1980, around the time of the artist’s death. You get a sense of Dzienciarski’s creative relationship to observed reality from a photograph in YIVO’s collection showing Koshering Dishes for Passover in Lodz, likely dating from the period when the artist lived there as a child (Courtesy of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York).

Perhaps we can take inspiration and derive strength from such a monumental and vital act of artistic preservation, re-creation and forward-looking-ness. Market Before Passover provides an imaginative window on another time and place, which is most welcome in the here and now, and could also helpfully remind us to avoid the crowds.

Collection item of the week:  photograph of a technician with guinea pigs in the garden of the Breslau Jewish Hospital, ...
03/18/2020

Collection item of the week: photograph of a technician with guinea pigs in the garden of the Breslau Jewish Hospital, 1934. Guinea pig inoculation was used at the time for the diagnosis of tuberculosis.

Collection item of the week: Zvi Raphaely's Purim, oil on canvas, 1979, currently on view in From A(gam) to Z(aritsky): ...
03/09/2020

Collection item of the week: Zvi Raphaely's Purim, oil on canvas, 1979, currently on view in From A(gam) to Z(aritsky): Highlights of Israeli Art from YU Museum’s Collection

Collection item of the week: ca. 1960s dress design by Adele Simpson (1903-1995) for  Claudia Alta (Lady Bird) Johnson  ...
03/02/2020

Collection item of the week: ca. 1960s dress design by Adele Simpson (1903-1995) for Claudia Alta (Lady Bird) Johnson (1912-2007), wife of Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973), 36th President of the United States, Gift of Joan Raines.

Collection item of the week:  poster by Leonard Pinkhof (1898-1943), Amsterdam, ca. 1919.  Pinkhof met his death at Sobi...
02/26/2020

Collection item of the week: poster by Leonard Pinkhof (1898-1943), Amsterdam, ca. 1919. Pinkhof met his death at Sobibor

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Yeshiva University Museum is located inside the Center for Jewish History between 5th Avenue and Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave). Tours are available (with a reservation) 9:30 - 4 pm, Sundays, and Tuesdays - Thursdays. To make a reservation, please call 212-294-8330, extension 8805, or email [email protected], Mon - Thur 10 - 5, and Fri 9 - 12. Subway: Q, N, R, 4, 5, 6 to Union Square; F, M to 14th Street and 6th Ave; 1, 2, 3 to 14th Street and 7th Avenue; A, C, E to 14th Street and 8th Avenue. Bus: M2, M3, M5, M6, and M7 lines. Parking: University Parking 55 West 14 Street (entrance on 14th & 15th Sts.); Creative Parking (Sundays only!) 16 West 16th Street. Visitors to the museum must bring their parking ticket to the Security desk to be validated. The Museum is wheelchair accessible.

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