Museum of Family History has been created with a dual purpose.
The first is to create some sort of tangible, albeit virtual,
form that would represent and honor the history of my own
extended family. This, generally speaking, would have only
been of interest to my family and to others who might share
some sort of non-familial connection. The second purpose is to
educate and inform everyone about the history of the Jewish
people, especially from the time in which they lived in
Eastern Europe, to the years they spent in whatever country
they would eventually call their new home. As it has turned
out, this website is more about the families of others, which
pleases me greatly as the Museum strives to be inclusive and
lasting tribute to other families as well.
Creating such a virtual
museum, i.e. a museum that exists only on the Internet, has
its advantages and offers unique opportunities. Such a museum
does not require the raising of funds (though contributions
are gratefully accepted and greatly appreciated) to erect an actual building, but can
be created by a person with the imagination, time, knowledge and
the means to do so, not to mention the material to fill such a
museum. Such as it is, a virtual (Internet-only) museum can only be filled
with that which attracts the senses of sight and sound (at
least until an olfactory chip is invented). The Museum of
Family History to a great degree is composed of photographs
and text and is somewhat interactive. At present there are a
many sound clips that are included in a good number of
exhibitions, with more to come. There is also many video clips
on this site as well. Of course, how successful the Museum
will be will dependent on the
generosity and thoughtfulness of others who are themselves the
repositories and archives of their own family history, and to
whom I am already beholden.
In this vein, the only
limitation is time and material. Therefore, I would like to
share a portion of the space available to my website with
others, as long as it fits in with the goals of the museum. I
am hoping that many of you will be willing to share
photographs, stories, articles, etc. with the museum, perhaps
creating your own "traveling" exhibition so that it can
proudly be displayed for all to see. If you are inclined to
undertake such a project, please contact the museum with the
specifics before you get started, with an estimate of the time
it will take you to prepare such an exhibition. The Museum can
be contacted at
Such an exhibition would be best if it was a combination of
photographs and text and reflected the overall principles of
There will be many
exhibitions in the future that will require additional
photographs, not just from the European countries, but also
from countries like the United States, Israel, Australia and
those in Latin America. If you have photographs that you are
willing to share, i.e. that the museum can place in various
exhibitions, please contact the museum. The same request is
made to all those who have the ability to write well. Also
volunteers are needed to transcribe, also to translate from
Yiddish to English (the printed word). If
anyone has the requisite knowledge to write for the museum and
wishes to do so on a volunteer basis, please let me know.
Lastly, this museum is always interested in hearing your ideas
about how to make the website better, so please don't hesitate
to present them.
From time to time,
please check the "Call Box" below, where the museum will be
asking for certain types of material that is needed, that
might be included in future exhibitions. Your help and
contributions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
1. Family photographs from Europe, up
until 1950, especially Eastern Europe. For each photograph, if
possible, please identify the people, as well as the year the
photo was taken and the town the people in the photo came
2. Modern-day photographs taken of various towns and cities in
3. Family photographs, up until 1950,
from anywhere else in the world, that have the name (and
preferably the address) of a photographic studio either
imprinted on the photo itself, or on the matte that surrounds
4. Personal recollections, anecdotes,
etc. of family life in the shtetls/towns/cities of Europe up
through the end of World War II, preferably with photographs.
5. Photographs, recollections,
anecdotes, etc. of your experience or that of family members,
in the Yiddish theatre or in vaudeville, from anywhere in the
6. Photographs of any Holocaust memorials from anywhere in the
world. Please visit the current exhibitions that display
memorial photos from New York, New Jersey and various
countries in Eastern Europe.
7. Testimony of family experiences in Europe during World War
II and the Holocaust.
8. Photographs of the Buchenwald
concentration camp, whether they be old photographs or
photographs taken during a visit to the memorial site.
9. Photographs of the synagogues of Europe, either new or old,
along with personal recollections of the synagogues of one's
own ancestral town there.
10. Personal recollections and photos from the 1939 World's
Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York.
11. Old photos and recollections of visits to Coney Island,
Brooklyn, New York, preferably pre-1950.