Museums Trace Jewish Community’s Rise “From Shtetl to Suburb”

“From Shtetl to Suburb: One Hundred Years of Jewish Life in the Valley”
Illustrates Jewish Experience in the Pioneer Valley at the Springfield Museums
Through March 2nd, 2014

“The story of Jewish immigrants and their work to develop a thriving community over the last century is a fascinating tale of courage, hard work, and perseverance,” states Guy McLain, Director of the Wood Museum of Springfield History. “Their story is unique, but also emblematic of the challenges faced by so many immigrant groups throughout America’s history.”

The Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, in conjunction with several noted local organizations and guest curator Dr. Stuart Anfang, invites you to learn about the history of the Jewish community in Western Massachusetts from the late 19th century through the present.  By combining artifacts, photos, film, and personal histories, the exhibition offers multidimensional insights into the experiences of Jewish immigrants fleeing the pogroms of Czarist Russia in the late 19th century.  The exhibit also illustrates the growth of their community in the North End of Springfield, the eventual decline of such inner-city neighborhoods in the aftermath of World War II, and the 1960’s relocation of Springfield’s Jewish community and synagogues to Longmeadow and other parts of Western MA following a major urban renewal project in the North End…

From Shtetl to Suburb offers much food for thought regarding the definitions of “diversity” and “minority,” which have noticeably shifted over time in Western MA and the rest of the United States.  It’s a timely and poignant display of images and information that will doubtless open up room for dialogue and reconsideration of old ideas – as well as contemporary issues.

The exhibition will be on view from Tuesday, September 17th through Sunday, March 2nd, 2014.  The Wood Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10am-5pm and Sundays from 11am-5pm.  413-263-6800, ext. 485.  The Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, 21 Edwards St.  Springfield, MA.  General admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and college students, $8 for children 3-17, and free for children under 3 years and museum members.  Springfield residents receive free general admission with proof of address.  For more information:

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: