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Keywords: Jewish Americans

Historical Items

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Item 56910

Maine Jewish Film Festival Poster, 2011

Contributed by: An individual through Colby College Special Collections Date: 2011 Location: South Portland; Portland Media: Ink on paper

Item 56926

Globe Yiddish Theater, Auburn, 1914

Contributed by: An individual through Colby College Special Collections Date: 1914 Location: Auburn Media: Photograph and ink

Item 53715

Purim play, Beth Israel, Waterville, ca. 1955

Contributed by: An individual through Colby College Special Collections Date: circa 1955 Location: Waterville Media: Photographic print

Exhibits

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Exhibit

"Twenty Nationalities, But All Americans"

Concern about immigrants and their loyalty in the post World War I era led to programs to "Americanize" them -- an effort to help them learn English and otherwise adjust to life in the United States. Clara Soule ran one such program for the Portland Public Schools, hoping it would help the immigrants be accepted.

Exhibit

Fallen Heroes: Maine's Jewish Sailors and Soldiers

Thirty-four young Jewish men from Maine died in the service of their country in the two World Wars. This project, including a Maine Memory Network exhibit, is meant to say a little something about some of them. More than just names on a public memorial marker or grave stone, these men were getting started in adult life. They had newly acquired high school and college diplomas, they had friends, families and communities who loved and valued them, and felt the losses of their deaths.

Exhibit

Fallen Heroes: Jewish Soldiers and Sailors, The Great War

Thirty-four young Jewish men from Maine died in the service of their country in the two World Wars. This project, including a Maine Memory Network exhibit, is meant to say a little something about some of them. More than just names on a public memorial marker or grave stone, these men were getting started in adult life. They had newly acquired high school and college diplomas, they had friends, families and communities who loved and valued them, and felt the losses of their deaths.

Site Pages

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Site Page

Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh

View collections, facts, and contact information for this Contributing Partner.

Site Page

The Cedars

View collections, facts, and contact information for this Contributing Partner.

Site Page

Life on a Tidal River - Bangor and Social Reform Movements of the 1800s-1900s

… a Maine Newspaper, Abolitionist Named Humanistic Jewish Role Model for the Year.” Seth and the City, BDN Maine Blog Network, 7 Jan.

Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: "The Jewish Cemetery at Newport"

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
Longfellow's poem "The Jewish Cemetery at Newport" opens up the issue of the earliest history of the Jews in America, and the significant roles they played as businessmen and later benefactors to the greater community. The history of the building itself is notable in terms of early American architecture, its having been designed, apparently gratis, by the most noted architect of the day. Furthermore, the poem traces the history of Newport as kind of a microcosm of New England commercial cities before the industrialization boom. For almost any age student the poem could be used to open up interest in local cemeteries, which are almost always a wealth of curiousities and history. Longfellow and his friends enjoyed exploring cemeteries, and today our little local cemeteries can be used to teach little local histories and parts of the big picture as well. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow visited the Jewish cemetery in Newport, RI on July 9, 1852. His popular poem about the site, published two years later, was certainly a sympathetic portrayal of the place and its people. In addition to Victorian romantic musings about the "Hebrews in their graves," Longfellow includes in this poem references to the historic persecution of the Jews, as well as very specific references to their religious practices. Since the cemetery and the nearby synagogue were restored and protected with an infusion of funding just a couple years after Longfellow's visit, and later a congregation again assembled, his gloomy predictions about the place proved false (never mind the conclusion of the poem, "And the dead nations never rise again!"). Nevertheless, it is a fascinating poem, and an interesting window into the history of the nation's oldest extant synagogue.

Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: Integration of Longfellow's Poetry into American Studies

Grade Level: 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
We explored Longfellow's ability to express universality of human emotions/experiences while also looking at the patterns he articulated in history that are applicable well beyond his era. We attempted to link a number of Longfellow's poems with different eras in U.S. History and accompanying literature, so that the poems complemented the various units. With each poem, we want to explore the question: What is American identity?