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Cincinnati Museum Center hosts 'Our Shared Story: 200 Years of Jewish Cincinnati' exhibition

200 Years of Jewish history
Posted at 5:51 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 17:51:39-04

CINCINNATI — A new exhibition celebrating the influences of Cincinnati's Jewish community opened at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Part of the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial, Our Shared Story: 200 Years of Jewish Cincinnati tells the story of those in Cincinnati's Jewish community who continue to influence, food, arts, medicine, social justice and more.

The museum center is partnering with the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center and the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial Committee to bring the exhibition to life.

The exhibition opened April 29 and runs through Oct. 2, and admission is included for visitors to the Cincinnati Museum Center or the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center.

“Together with Cincinnati Museum Center and our various partners, we are honored to bring together an illuminating exhibition that highlights the vibrancy, inclusivity and complexity of Jewish history and culture in the Queen City,” said Sarah L. Weiss, CEO of the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center. “From the creation of the Chestnut Street Cemetery in the 1820s to the diverse and growing community we have today, the city we love has been and will continue to be deeply influenced by the Jewish community.”

Alongside the exhibition's partners, aspects of it were curated and organized by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, Hebrew Union College, the Skirball Museum and the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.

The exhibition opens by retelling the beginning of the Jewish community in Cincinnati — Joseph Jonas. Jonas founded the first Jewish cemetery in Cincinnati in 1821. From there, other historical elements featured include immigration papers, tables set up for Passover seder, information about the basics of Judaism and the Torah as well as background on Cincinnati's Hebrew Union College, which is the oldest rabbinical seminary in the U.S.

Other than the more well-known aspects of Cincinnati's Jewish community, the exhibition educates visitors on names, companies and more that may have been forgotten but have made an impact on Cincinnati and the nation.

"Our Shared Story is a fitting name for this exhibition because the story of Cincinnati, the story of who we are as Cincinnatians, has been so intrinsically shaped by our Jewish community,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “With this exhibition we want to share Jewish culture and celebrate, together, the contributions that have built and are building the city we love today.”