After two years of research and preparation by Linda Forgosh, the Exhibition Curator and Executive Director of the Jewish Historical Society of MetroWest, the “Weequahic Memoirs” exhibit opened at the Leon & Toby Cooperman Center in West Orange in June 2008 with a reception and program featuring Newark Mayor Corey Booker and other dignitaries. In September, it moved to the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany for a month.
The exhibition features well-known venues such as Weequahic Park, fashionable Bergen Street’s merchants, Weequahic High School, Syd’s Hot Dogs, the Weequahic Diner and the Tavern restaurant, original 1940’s street signs, vintage clothing items, and sports memorabilia.
The heart of the exhibition is “The Great Map of Weequahic” which features family names and addresses of former residences that were gathered by the Jewish Historical Society of MetroWest. A video documentary that plays continuously features four individuals recalling four decades of Jewish life in the neighborhood.
The reviews are in and they are all exceptional.
Douglas Eldridge, Executive Director of the Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, states: “This exhibit, Weequahic Memoirs, seems to be one of the best exhibits I have ever seen about any Newark neighborhood.”
Phil Yourish, the Executive Director of the Weequahic High School Alumni Association, the Vice President of the Jewish Museum of NJ, and a JHSMW Board member states: “This was an extraordinary endeavor and it truly captures the wonderful memories, dynamic, spirit and uniqueness of the Weequahic experience. Moreover, to have this exhibit in Newark for the first time at this synagogue, which is symbolic of the large Jewish presence in the city during the first half of the 20th century, is a great privilege.”