Online thematic exhibitions are a very effective way of presenting the contents of Judaica Europeana partners’ collections. Two such exhibits can be viewed via our website’s homepage www.judaica-europeana.eu/
Jewish postcards: Networking in Europe
This virtual exhibition of the Hungarian Jewish Archives in Budapest is based on the postcards collection of Vilmos Kohn, which has been digitized in the framework Judaica Europeana.
A nostalgic family scene at Hannukkah painted by Hermann Junkers. Postcard published in Frankfurt/Main by Paul Grödel c.1900
© Hungarian Jewish Archives, Budapest
The collection contains more than one thousand Jewish postcards, mostly from East-Central Europe, but also from the main destinations of Jewish migration: the ‘Goldene Medine’ (United States) or from the Yishuv (Palestine under the Ottoman rule and the British Mandate). The postcards became popular at the time when Jewish migration was a significant phenomenon. They were the best way of keeping alive the connections between family members dispersed in different countries and continents, and to continue networking. Moreover, the postcards were pictorial representations of Jews: they were the first popular media to depict Jews as they were seen.
At the peak of the postcards’ popularity (1880-1918), they answered the need for self-representation of very diverse Jewish millieus: the secular and traditional Jews, the Orthodox and Reform, the Zionists and others. Today, these picture postcards are important visual resources for research on Jewish identities. They help us to understand Jewish thinking and mentalities of the 19th century. The different sections of this exhibition include: greetings from the past, greetings from the old homelands and the New World, greetings from Zion, greetings from the battlefields of Europe, love greetings, representations of Biblical stories, and the most popular postcards which depict Jewish festivals, symbols and festive greetings.
Networking in Europe. Jewish postcards from the Hungarian Jewish Archives
A version of the postcard depicting a Hannukkah scene published by Schröder in Berlin in the 1920s and painted by Friedrich Kaskeline. The publisher is not known.
© Hungarian Jewish Archives, Budapest
Published by SB in Germany in the 1920s © Hungarian Jewish Archives, Budapest
Greetings from Sadogora. A detail from the postcard published by Simon Gross in Czernowitz c.1900 © Hungarian Jewish Archives, Budapest
Images of Greek Jews
This virtual exhibit from the Jewish Museum of Greece in Athens is a small selection of 20th century photographs from the Museum’s extensive photographic archive currently being digitized in the framework of the Judaica Europeana project. Family portraits, school children, scouts and others groups from Athens, Chania, Corfu, Ioannina, Thessaloniki and Volos, before and after World War I and II, capture Greek Jews at formal occasions, school trips or simply at leisure. They convey a sense of a flourishing and well integrated community.
A group of Jewish women gathered for afternoon coffee, Rhodes, 1940s © Hungarian Jewish Archives, Budapest
The aim of the exhibition is to convey the atmosphere and style of an era. The exhibition was curated by Leonidas Papadopoulos, professor of photography and head of the Museum’s Photographic Archive. In his own words: ‘[...] beyond this emotional relationship and the unique importance of the archive in the documentation of the history and culture of the Greek Jews, there is another aspect, one that I tried to ‘unfold’ in the present exhibition, namely, the artistic value of these photographs. Within the great quantity of images, there are a few that stand out, because they satisfy certain aesthetic criteria which place them on a higher plane, that of artistic photography. It is a happy occasion when the eye of the photographer, the subject, the moment and the final composition are in harmony.’
More virtual exhibits will be produced by Judaica Europeana Partners in the course of 2011.
Images of Greek Jews, Jewish Museum of Greece
Group of Jewish boy-scouts from Patras in front of the Caryatids on the Acropolis, 1938. © Jewish Museum of Greece, Athens
Mathilda Nehama with her son Alberto, Thessaloniki, 1920s. © Jewish Museum of Greece, Athens