Join us for an evening of celebration and appreciation


We are delighted to share that the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center (JHC) of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) marks a decade of collaboration and achievement (2010-2020). We hope you can join us for a festive event on Thursday June 10, where we will also honor Margot Stern Strom with the Tzedakah Lifetime Achievement Award. As the visionary founder of Facing History and Ourselves, Margot has inspired millions of young people to reflect on anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice and to become honest citizens.

In 2020, the JHC celebrated its 10th anniversary at the NEHGS. Over the past decade, we have grown from an independent Jewish archive of Boston and New England Jewish history to a comprehensive center of genealogical research, education and resources serving thousands of people each. year. Thanks to the vision of NEHGS management and Life Director Justin “Jerry” Wyner, what began as a strategic collaboration today is even greater than the sum of its parts.

  • At the virtual anniversary event, we’ll start the evening with a special cocktail party led by Dammara Kovnats Hall, professor of Jewish studies in Manhattan and founder of Jewish Cocktails, an event company specializing in kosher and Jewish themes. cocktails and classes. She will feature celebratory cocktails created especially for this event and attendees can join them at home. Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, Dammara worked as a mixologist while attending New York University. While living in Israel pursuing a Masters in Jewish Education, she came up with the idea of ​​synthesizing her love of Judaism and her passion for mixology.

    During the program, we will honor Margot and introduce her in conversation with her son Adam Strom, co-founder of Re-Imagining Migration. Additionally, Herbert Selesnick will receive the Volunteer Leadership Award for his invaluable work as an active member of the JHC Advisory Board, including, most recently, leading a strategic planning process for the JHC.

    History and collections of JHC

    In 2010, American Ancestors / NEHGS and the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS), of which Justin Wyner had served as a member and chairman of the board, created a collaboration to provide a permanent home for the precious New England archives ( NEA) of the AJHS. With growing interest in historical research on the Jewish family and increased use of archives, lifelong custody of the AJHS-NEA collection was granted to NEHGS, and the Jewish Heritage Center was officially established in November 2017. In 2018, the center was renamed the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center to honor Justin and the late Genevieve Wyner for their leadership in establishing the initial collaboration, and for their long-standing advocacy and generosity towards this important historical Jewish resource.

    Today, the JHC engages historians, genealogists, partner organizations, students and the general public in the study of Jewish history, culture and heritage through its extensive archival collections, its educational programs and public events. In total, the JHC houses more than 2 million documents in its archives and has digitized nearly 700,000 documents as part of an ongoing project to make its collections accessible to the public online. It contains the unique historical records of Jewish families, institutions and communities in Boston, New England and beyond.

    10 years of achievements

    Over the past decade at NEHGS, the JHC has achieved several milestones, including:

    • Maintain and professionally transfer AJHS-NEA funds, comprising over 2 million documents, to a permanent home at 99-101 Newbury St., Boston
    • Acquisition of nearly 200 additional archival collections on the Jewish history of Boston and New England
    • Digitize nearly 700,000 archival documents and make them available online to researchers and others (e.g. correspondence from author Mary Antin [1881–1949] to educator, publisher and politician Alfred Seelye Roe [1844–1917])
    • Publication of two books with the imprint of the Jewish Heritage Center: The Family History of David Kruger, “Families of the Diaspora: Alkalay, Behmoiras, Merezón, Barcan” (by Newbury Street Press), and the memoirs of Justin Wyner , ” Did you speak ?
    • Establishment of a community advisory board
    • Launched a series of acclaimed educational events including webinars on Jewish history and culture “Shabbat Archives” community programs; co-sponsored talks with partner organizations; and professional presentations for researchers, genealogists, educators and students
    • Serve as a vital resource for researchers and institutions around the world, including Yad Vashem in Israel and the Smithsonian Institute

    We are proud of JHC’s work over the past decade and are grateful to CJP and the Jewish community as a whole for supporting and allowing JHC to flourish. As we look to the next 10 years and beyond, we look forward to building on the foundation we have created as the only center of its kind specializing in the Jewish history of Boston and New England and as as one of the country’s main resources for Jewish heritage. .

    The Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center (JHC) of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (American Ancestors / NEHGS) is a premier destination for exploring and preserving the history of Jewish families and institutions in New England and beyond. Rachel King is the Executive Director of JHC.

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