After the San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906, the Fillmore district became home to a thriving Jewish community. Yiddish-speaking immigrants from Eastern Europe took root alongside other ethnic and religious groups living in the neighborhood. Fillmore and McAllister Streets were lined with Jewish-owned restaurants, bakeries, shops, and kosher markets.
Three synagogues, a Yiddish cultural center, and a Jewish school helped transform the Fillmore into a hub for religious and secular Jewish life, Zionist activism, and traditional Jewish learning. Little remains of this era today, but the area is still home to a number of Jewish institutions, including the BJE Jewish Community Library and the Jewish Community High School of the Bay.
Using primary materials, including historical photographs and oral histories, the exhibition Jews of the Fillmore provides a glimpse into this once vibrant Jewish community.
Jews of the Fillmore was created in 2009 by the Judah L. Magnes Museum and curated by Fred Rosenbaum, founding director of Lehrhaus Judaica, together with Seymour Fromer z’’l, director emeritus of the Judah L. Magnes Museum. A dedicated website describes it in detail.
The exhibition will be on display at the BJE Jewish Community Library from October 3, 2010 through February 27, 2011, and is co-sponsored by the Jewish Community High School of the Bay and Lehrhaus Judaica.
The exhibition, originally displayed at the Jazz Heritage Center in the fall of 2009, was made possible by the Koret Foundation; the Laszlo N.Tauber Family Foundation; the Bernard Osher Jewish Philanthropic Foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund; Fred Levin and Nancy Livingston and The Shenson Foundation.