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Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives

      Attendees browse the Symbolic Significance exhibit opening event on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. (Photo/Adria Carpenter)

      ‘How normalized it is’: Minnesota’s history of starting the academic year on Jewish holidays

      On Sept. 7, 2021, Jewish students at the University of Minnesota had to make a choice: do they attend the first day of classes, or do they respect Rosh Hashanah? While other K-12 school districts across the state changed their start date to avoid coinciding with Rosh Hashanah, the University of Minnesota did not. In fact, it was also the only Big Ten university to start the 2021 academic year on Rosh Hashanah.

      Your gift to the Jewish Archives safeguards history

      “There has literally never been a more compelling moment to preserve and protect history.” — Riv-Ellen Prell, Professor Emerita of American Studies. Join us in creating a full-time archivist position for the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives at the University of Minnesota. Your gift will help increase the archivist’s position from part-time to full-time in order to better tell the full story of the Upper Midwest Jewish community.
      Jewish Community Action newsletter

      Partners in archiving

      By Allison Campbell-Jensen Vic Rosenthal, Jewish Community Action’s executive director from 2000 to 2017 and, prior to that, a member of the board from its...
      Photo taken during an open house to commemorate the Berman's gift to the University.

      Sharing roots

      In 1984, what was then the Minnesota Jewish Historical Society was founded by local community leaders concerned that, with the passage of time, stories and materials were being lost. They began to collect both items and oral histories. By the late 1990s, however, they were running out of space. Then in 2000, former Gov. Elmer L. Andersen invited the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest to place a portion of their collection in the Archives and Special Collections at the University Libraries.
      American Jewish World March 31, 1933

      Putting the American Jewish World online

      After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the American Jewish World newspaper is being digitized by the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives at the Libraries — making it “available online for people across the Midwest, indeed across the world..."
      People viewing the Campus Divided exhibit

      Uncovering ‘A Campus Divided’

      In August 2017, “A Campus Divided: Progressives, Anticommunists, Racists, and Antisemitism at the University of Minnesota 1930-1942,” opened in Elmer L. Andersen Library. This exhibit sparked a controversy and began in a conversation.
      Four generations of a Jewish women in this photo from 1937. From left: Eleanor Laurie, baby Arlene Bomberg, mother, Alyce Bomberg, and Jenny Smith. (Upper Midwest Jewish Archives)

      Saving your family history

      For Archivist Kate Dietrick, a Zoom webinar on "Saving Your Family History" was a great way to reach a group of people who may not typically think of visiting the archives, while also answering the questions she fields regularly from individuals.

      Celebrating the St. Paul JCC’s Symphony Orchestra

      Each May is Jewish American Heritage Month, a month where we celebrate Jewish Americans who have helped weave the fabric of American history, culture, and society. This year, the theme is Jewish contributions to American music, which provides the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives an opportunity to shine a light on a unique local group of musicians in St. Paul, Minnesota who have been making music for 90 years.
      Rabbi Kassel Abelson in study, year unknown.

      Rabbi Kassel Abelson papers available to public

      This past fall, the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives received a new donation of the papers of local rabbi Kassel Abelson. The papers are now organized and ready for researchers to peruse, standing as a testament to Abelson’s career as rabbi of Beth El Synagogue for 40 years.
      A wall covered in Post-It Notes with comments from exhibit viewers.

      An archivist’s reflections on the success of ‘A Campus Divided’

      By the time the exhibit went up in August, the topic had been with us for three years and I had completely lost perspective. Would anyone else find A Campus Divided interesting? We had built it, would they come? It turned out that attention for the A Campus Divided was beyond anything we had experienced before, as thousands of people flocked to Andersen Library to view the exhibit.
      Groundbreaking for the new St. Paul Jewish Community Center building in Highland Park, 1963

      Jewish American Heritage Month

      May is Jewish American Heritage Month, a time set aside to recognize and celebrate Jewish American achievements and contributions to our country. To celebrate, we've included some highlights in this blog post of examples from the Libraries' Upper Midwest Jewish Archives.
      Image of Minnesota’s Synagogues: A History Map, from the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries

      New Resource: Minnesota Synagogues History Map

      "Minnesota’s Synagogues: A History Map" is a project that aims to map every synagogue and cemetery in Minnesota from the first, Mount Zion Temple in 1856, to the present, but also with our timeline slider, we aim to map which synagogues were at which location when.
      An image showing the front of the Temple Israel synagogue, built in 1928

      Temple Israel history uncovered

      Four ledger books from the 1880s have been digitized, making available for the first time this rich history Temple Israel, the oldest synagogue in Minneapolis.
      An image of the "People on the Move" exhibit showing the title banner, display cases and suitcases.

      Happy Anniversary!

      The Immigration History Research Center Archives, with our colleague Immigration History Research Center, celebrates 50 years this fall at the University of Minnesota.

      Elmer L. Andersen: A Different Kind of Library

      Despite our closed stacks, we encourage and embrace wide use of our collections to the community at large. We meet our researchers and provide one-on-one service to get you the materials you need. Since September 2014, Andersen Library has welcomed nearly 1,300 researchers into our reading room. We have also conducted nearly 200 instruction events to students and community members, with nearly 3,900 attendees.
      Rabbi C. David Matt's wedding in 1913

      U of M acquires Adath Jeshurun Congregation records

      The Nathan and Theresa Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives at the University of Minnesota has recently acquired the Adath Jeshurun Congregation records. Comprised of more...

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