Jewish Heritage Report
Vol. II, Nos. 1-2 / Spring-Summer 1998
The Shanghai Jewish community has greeted a series of high-level visitors in recent months.  On May 25, 1998, Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu visited the city, and stopped at the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue in the Hogkou District, now a museum. He wrote in the guestbook "We will never forget the help that the people of Shanghai gave to the Jews in their darkest hour."  In June, U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State Madelaine Albright and their entourage visited the Ohel Rahcel Synagogue…
To learn more about the Shanghai Jewish Community and to receive their newsletter The Shanghai Messenger, email

Judith Belinfante, long-time Director of the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, recently resigned from the museum after an association of 28 years.  Her public service is hardly ended, however, as she has entered Second Chamber of the States General of Holland as a member of the Labor Party.  The museum held a festive farewell for Judith on May 3, 1998.

Recent changes at New York’s YIVO Institute include the resignation of Director Tom Freudenheim, who will take up responsibilities as Director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin.  This follows the departures of  both Jerry Nadler, who resigned from his position as Research Director, and Michael Stienlauf, who, since publication of his highly acclaimed book Bondage to the Dead: Poland and the Memory of the Holocaust, has moved to Gratz College in Philadelphia.  He is Associate Professor of History and the college.  Steinlauf is also working on two books about Jewish theater in prewar Poland, and is also viewing Polish films about the Holocaust towards a conference paper this spring at CUNY.

Susan Morris, previously Administrator of the Western Jewish History Center at the Judah Magnes Museum in Berkeley, California, is now Acting Director of the Museum.  Susan Braham Koletsky has been named Acting Director of The Temple Museum of Religious Art at the Temple - Tifereth Israel, in Cleveland, Ohio.  Bernard Fishman has resigned as Director of Jewish Museum of Maryland after thirteen years, during which time the museum has become one of the premier  Jewish museums in the country .  Dr. Fishman says that "I pretty much accomplished all that I wanted to do – we restored the synagogue [1876 B’nai Israel], built a new building, and raised the endowment and budget six times."  He has taken the position of Executive Director of the Lehigh County Historical Society in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  The Jewish Museum of Maryland will soon loose its chief curator.  Expectant father Barry Kessler, who is stepping in as Acting Director while a search proceeds for Fishman’s replacement, plans to leave the museum  soon for personal reasons.  A detailed survey of the synagogues of Maryland begun by the Museum last year with National Endowment for the Humanities funding, will continue under Kessler’s direction.

New Magazines Highlight Monuments, Travel
Canadian journalists Bill Gladstone and Barbara Kingstone have founded The Wanderer, a new magazine devoted to Jewish Heritage & Travel.  The Summer 1998 issue includes a special section on "18 Great Things to See & Do in Israel.  The issue also includes an article on Jewish Museums in Emilia Romagna, Italy, by ISJM member Ruth Ellen Gruber.  For more subscription information write The Wanderer, 188 Balmoral Ave.,Toronto, Ont., Canada  M4V 1J6 or fax (416) 964-3633.

Midrasz, Poland’s new and attractive Jewish magazine, began publishing in 1997.  Since then, it has received notice well beyond the borders of Poland for thoughtful and often provocative articles.  To make these available to a wider public, the American Jewish Committee has helped prepare and distribute an English version of the magazine containing a wide selections of recent articles.  These pieces – some journalistic, some personal and reflective – provide the English reader with a wonderful opportunity to meet the new Jewish Poland.  To obtain copies of Midrasz in English, write The American Jewish Committee, 165 East 56th Street, New York, NY 10022-2746.

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Updated: 1-7-99