(February 14, 2020 / JNS) A new exhibition in the Chelsea area of New York City details the history of German-Jewish migration to Washington Heights and how Jewish immigrants created a community for themselves in the Manhattan neighborhood, amNY reported.
“Refuge in the Heights: The German Jews of Washington Heights” opened on Feb. 3 at the Leo Baeck Institute at the Center for Jewish History. It runs through the end of July.
About 20,000 German Jews fleeing Nazi Germany during the late 1930s and early 1940s came to Washington Heights.
Magdalena Wrobel, curator and project director of the exhibition, said “we try to show in our exhibit what happened to this immigration wave.”
“The poorest of the immigrants,” most notably those from small German towns and villages, moved to Washington Heights, according to Wrobel. Immigrants from Berlin generally settled in other areas of New York, such as the Upper West Side or Kew Gardens in the borough of Queens, she continued.
Jews made up about 37 percent of Washington Heights in the 1930s and ’40s, and represent about 12 percent now of the neighborhood’s population now.
The exhibition includes photos and historic artifacts, including passports, photo albums, a handbook for refugees on how to adapt to life in America, footage from the 1950s and ’60s of Washington Heights and personal testimonies from immigrants who moved to New York. The show also explains the establishment of religious institutions in New York, as well as social life and education for immigrants, amNY reported.
The exhibition explores the issue of “what role a neighborhood could play in becoming American, but also preserving tradition from the homeland,” explained Wrobel. “What makes the neighborhood so interesting is there were many immigrant groups who saw Washington Heights as their home.”
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
JNS is more than just another news website and syndication service. It is an organization devoted to nonstop reporting, and telling the truth about Israel and Jewish issues unburdened by the biases and institutional blinders that distort so much of what we read, hear and see about these topics elsewhere in the secular and even Jewish press.
At JNS, you get the facts about Israel and Jewish issues without the bias that so often tilts the argument against the Jewish state. JNS articles and columns are republished every week by digital outlets and print newspapers across the globe. But in the age of round-the-clock news coverage, advertising and syndication revenues are not enough to support our continued growth. We need your financial help to keep JNS on target as we continue our fair and accurate reporting.
Please help us take JNS to the next level with a tax-deductible sponsorship, either on a recurring monthly basis. Jewish News Syndicate is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.