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    It's President Teddy Roosevelt's birthday! Here's his page from a volume of personal messages compiled by Simon Wolf's daughter for his 70th birthday in 1906. She gathered more than 400 messages from leaders of the time into three books, all of which we hold in our archives.

    Do you remember wearing a Prisoner of Conscience bracelet? In the 1970s and 1980s, these brought awareness to the plight of Soviet Jews imprisoned solely for their beliefs. The bracelets featured the name of a prisoner and his/her arrest date. Our new exhibition about DC's Soviet Jewry movement opens on December 8, 2013 at Washington Hebrew Congregation.

    This photo features TWO Jewish-owned businesses! There's a Shannon & Luchs sign on the deli/grocery and, at far right, is the Dime Messenger Service. Shannon & Luchs is still around today and you can read about the Dime Messenger Service here:

    Starting in 1933, the local Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA), a Jewish boys' fraternity affiliated with B'nai B'rith, sponsored an annual post-Yom Kippur Dance. More about AZA and DC's Jewish teen life:

    1927 flyer from newly acquired Ohev Sholom archival collection. dcjewishhistory.b...

    Isaac and Cyril Levy, here with their 12 children in their backyard, opened Levy’s Busy Corner department store on 4½ Street, SW, in 1888. JHSGW Collections. Gift of Marilyn C. Cohen. 1987.07

    Morton’s discount department store at 7th and D Streets, NW, began employing black women as sales clerks in the 1930s. By the 1940s, owner Mortimer Lebowitz had desegregated the store’s dressing and restrooms, years ahead of other downtown businesses. Photo: Lebowitz with long-time employees Patricia Carr and Sam Braun, 1980s.

    Founded in 1969, Camp Achva was one of the first organized steps toward the formation of the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, which was incorporated in 1980.

    This beautiful 1926 photo from the the Library of Congress depicts the Washington DCJCC in its first year open. Click through to read about building.

    1950: Washingtonian Abraham S. Kay (right) was one of 44 American Jews invited to Israel by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion (left) to form the Development Corporation for Israel (now known as Israel Bonds).

    Sidney Hais and his mother Ida in front of the family store at 7th & C Streets, NE, 1942. With the exception of two years in the Army, Sid worked in Hais Market from the age of 5 or 6 until his father sold the business about 35 years later.

    The Hebrew Home for the Aged was organized in 1914 when several Jewish businessmen learned that some homeless Jews were living in St. Elizabeths Hospital. This three-story brick building at 415 M Street, NW, formerly home to the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, became the first Hebrew Home. By 1925, the Home needed more space and built a new building at 1125 Spring Road, NW. Courtesy of Hebrew Home of Greater Washington.

    By the early 1900s, members of Washington’s Jewish community were working toward the dream of a Jewish homeland. Coins collected in these Jewish National Fund “blue boxes” helped purchase land for Jewish settlement in Palestine.

    The Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA), formed in 1912, moved into this building at 11th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, in 1918. The organization was the predecessor to the The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington and Washington DCJCC.

    When Tina and Fred Gichner moved their family from 4 ½ Street, SW, to Cleveland Park in 1909, they were among the first Jewish families in that neighborhood. They are pictured here with their children outside their home at 3220 Highland Place, NW.

    In the early 1930s, Sam Levy opened a men’s clothing store at 3059 M Street, NW. A leading merchant and real estate investor in the neighborhood, Sam Levy became known as "the mayor of Georgetown." If you look closely, you can see the vertical "SAM'S" sign over the leftmost awning in the photo. Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HABS, D.C., GEO, 3-4

    Cantor William and Jennie Tash arrived from Russia around 1911 and settled on 5th Street, NW. Until Cantor Tash found work, the family took in boarders, and the children sold papers on street corners.

    Adolphus Solomons (1826-1910) counseled local and national Jewish leaders on important issues of the day. An observant Sephardic Jew, he prayed in his Washington home at 1205 K Street, NW, seen here in the late 1800s. Photo courtesy Lax Archives (Archives of B'nai B'rith), Washington, DC. Solomons Collection, gift of Col. and Mrs. F.B. Nihart, 1972

    Hungarian freedom fighter Emanuel Lulley immigrated to New York and, by 1853, had moved to Washington with his wife Cecilia and their children. Their great-grandson was Sidney Hechinger, founder of the Washington chain of hardware stores.

    Amnon and Sarah Behrend dressed their infant son, Rudolph, in this handmade gown for his brit (ritual circumcision) in 1877. They lived on Seventh Street downtown.

    Just found! Here's JHSGW President Hyman Cohen displaying the March page from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society's 1981 calendar - there's our Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum!

    When the Jewish Social Service Agency moved into a new office building adjacent to the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington on Spring Road, NW, the Hebrew Home leased the site to the agency for an annual rent of one dollar. Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, wife of the Secretary of the Treasury, presided at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 29, 1940.

    In December 1926, the D.C. chapter of Jewish fraternity Pi Tau Pi hosted the organization's national conclave, including an opening ball at the Mayflower Hotel.

    In December 1863, The Jewish Messenger newspaper reported, “The Rev. S. Weil recite[d] the prayer for the Government in both Hebrew and English…The [Washington Hebrew] Congregation is prospering greatly, numbering about ninety members.” Washington Hebrew Congregation was the first Jewish congregation's in the nation's capital. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

    The marriage between Henry Baum and Bettie Dreifus, as agreed to in this ketubah (marriage contract), took place in November 1862 in Washington, D.C. Civil War travel restrictions prevented the groom from traveling to his bride’s home in Alexandria, Virginia.