It was a busy and exciting year for the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center (JHC). In a belated celebration of the eight nights of Hanukkah, which began November 28 and ended on December 6, here are our top eight achievements for the year!
1. After the pandemic postponed what was meant to be the first annual conference in March 2020, the JHC hosted an online event to launch the New England Jewish History Collaborative in January 2021. A partnership between Jewish history organizations in all six New England states, including the JHC, the collaborative created a website and resource guide for researchers interested in New England Jewish history. Visit the website and stay tuned for more programming in 2022.
2. In March, Dr. Melissa R. Klapper was selected as the JHC’s inaugural Genevieve Geller Wyner Research Fellow. Dr. Klapper visited the archive in June to conduct research in the JHC’s collections for her book, At Home in the World: American Jewish Women Abroad, 1865-1940. She then gave a fascinating talk about her research in the Genevieve Geller Wyner Annual Lecture in October, which you can watch here if you missed it. Applications are now open for the 2022 Fellowship; visit our website to learn more.
3. In June, we held an online gala celebration of the JHC’s tenth anniversary of partnership with the New England Historic Genealogical Society/American Ancestors. In addition to a video retrospective and congratulations from community leaders, the event honored Margot Strom, the visionary founder of Facing History and Ourselves, with the Tzedakah Lifetime Achievement Award, and featured her in conversation with her son, Adam, about their family history and commitment to social justice. Margot was also presented with the JHC Tzedakah award.
Many thanks to our generous supporters for continuing to champion the work of the JHC and helping position us for success in the next ten years!
4. In August 2021 the JHC successfully completed its tenth anniversary fundraising campaign. Many thanks to our generous supporters for continuing to champion the work of the JHC and helping position us for success in the next ten years!
5. In September, the JHC received funding from Mass. Humanities’ “Expand Massachusetts Stories” initiative for Jewish Neighborhood Voices, an oral history project and online exhibit about the former Jewish immigrant neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury, Chelsea, and Lynn. In December, we were awarded an additional grant from Combined Jewish Philanthropies for the same project.
6. Also in September 2021, the JHC was honored to receive a leadership gift from supporter Richard Schilder to fund a Historian in Residence position. The Historian in Residence position will develop programs, exhibits, and articles based on JHC collections, and will launch in fall 2022.
7. In October, Action for Post-Soviet Jewry donated more than 100 boxes of records to the JHC. This important collection documents the vital efforts of this humanitarian aid organization, which provides food, medicine, clothing, and other aid to Jews still in former Soviet countries, particularly in the Ukraine. JHC staff is currently working on processing the collection so it is available to researchers, and hopes eventually to digitize it to make this history widely accessible.
8. In November, we launched a new website with enhanced search features and subject guides, and a new video library feature.
Interested in learning more about the JHC? You can sign up for our mailing list to be among the first to know about news and events; visit our Collections page to learn more about our archives; or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Here’s to 2022!