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Keywords: Jewish history

Historical Items

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Item 56915

'Carrying Water' book cover, Waterville, 1997

Contributed by: Colby College Special Collections Date: 1997 Location: Appleton Media: Ink on paper

Item 76

Shaarey Tphiloh synagogue, Portland, ca. 1911

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society/MaineToday Media Date: circa 1911 Location: Portland Media: Glass Negative

Item 59260

Ahawas Achim record book cover, Bangor, 1853

Contributed by: Bangor Public Library Date: 1853 Location: Bangor Media: Ink on paper

Exhibits

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Exhibit

The Jews of Maine

Like other immigrant groups, Jews came to Maine to make a living and enjoy the natural and cultural environment. Their experiences have been shaped by their occupational choices, Jewish values and, until recently, experiences of anti-Semitism.

Exhibit

Anshe Sfard, Portland's Early Chassidic Congregation

Chassidic Jews who came to Portland from Eastern Europe formed a congregation in the late 19th century and, in 1917, built a synagogue -- Anshe Sfard -- on Cumberland Avenue in Portland. By the early 1960s, the congregation was largely gone. The building was demolished in 1983.

Exhibit

Shaarey Tphiloh, Portland's Orthodox Synagogue

Shaarey Tphiloh was founded in 1904 by immigrants from Eastern Europe. While accommodating to American society, the Orthodox synagogue also has retained many of its traditions.

Site Pages

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Site Page

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

Accessed 8 Mar. 2017. Lange, Allison. “Early Organizing Efforts.” History of U.S. Woman's Suffrage, National Women's History Museum, 2015…

Site Page

Mount Desert Island: Shaped by Nature - Building Of The Arts Era

… was the daughter of an Italian painter and German-Jewish mother, and lived in Italy until the end of World War I.

Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan

Longfellow and the Jewish Cemetery at Newport

Grade Level: 6-12 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

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?