Jewish Digital Narratives

Shmuel Lerner, The Flower-World of Israel (1949-1950)

In 1984, The Magnes acquired a unique portfolio of botanical drawings made in Israel by Shmuel (Samuel) Lerner, a Ukraine-born amateur artist from California. While Lerner’s biography and many details surrounding this work remain obscure, his drawings open today a unique window into the landscape, the history and the languages of Israel immediately after the establishment of the State.

Christmas Parties at 2007 Franklin Street (1954-1971): American-Jewish Family Life in the Haas-Lilienthal House of San Francisco

Elizabeth Lilienthal Gerstley's Christmas Parties album contains 201 photographs taken inside the Haas Lilienthal House at 2007 Franklin Street, San Francisco, between 1954 and 1971. These images, all taken by Elizabeth's daughter, Anne Gerstley Pieper, portray members of the Haas, Lilienthal, Bransten and Gerstley families and their guests during their annual Christmas celebrations, and depict their gatherings and the interiors of the Haas Lilienthal House in vivid detail.

On Hitler's Balcony: Koppel Pinson and the Rescue of Jewish Books in Post-War Germany

Koppel S. Pinson (1904-1961), a professor at Queens College of the City University of New York, was a historian who specialized on the origins of German nationalism. At the end of the Second World War, Professor Pinson joined the U.S. Army, and actively participated in the efforts to help Jewish survivors of the Holocaust living in Displaced Person's camps across Germany, organized by the American Joint Distribution Committee and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). 

A Festival of Faith: The Musical Legacy of Cantor Reuben Rinder

Cantor Reuben H. Rinder (1887-1966) was one of the most influential figures in 20th-century Jewish musical culture. 

During his 50-year tenure as cantor of Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, California, Reuben Rinder commissioned works from world-renown composers, including Ernest Bloch, Darius Milhaud, Paul Ben-Haim and Marc Lavry, and helped launching the career of violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern. 


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