Ahavas Sholom – an Historic Landmark and Sacred Space

Newark's Last Remaining Synagogue born of the Great European Migration at the turn of the 20th Century

145 Broadway, Newark, NJ 07104
Phone: 973-485-2609 | Email: cahavassholom@optimum.net


JMNJ, Past Exhibits and Programs Descriptions

Past Exhibits and Programs Descriptions

Novosibirsk to New Jersey: Old and New World Synagogue Images by Vladimir Ginzburg – (March to May 2011) –

an exhibition of paintings and collages depicting the artist’s impression of European and New Jersey synagogues.  More than 20 paintings and collages make up this exhibition.  Each of them depicts one synagogue.  About half of them will show synagogues in the Czech Republic, Lativa, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries.  The other half of the exhibition will be devoted to synagogues in Jersey City, Newark, Paterson, Trenton and other New Jersey communities.  The exhibition reflects Ginzburg’s very mobile life.  Born in Russia, he explains that “the show provides some kind of continuation and connection.  It’s an attempt to tie this place where I am living now back to the place I come from.”

The Many Faces of Yisrael: Return from the Diaspora – (September 2010 to January 2011) –

an exhibition of paintings, sculpture, drawings and photographs, by featured artists Jahheal Massac, Phillip DeLoatch, and Mansa K. Mussa.  “The goal of this exhibition is to present art and objects that are powerful and moving,” said Max Herman, President of the Museum.  “But it will also expand many visitors’ views of who Jews are, what they look like, where they live – and of what it means to be Jewish.  We expect this exhibition to trigger new emotions and open eyes.”

Signs and Wonders – A Photography Exhibition by Eliyahu Lotzar – (April to June 2010) 

This was Mr. Lotzar’s debut exhibition following 30 years of study and work in the medium.  The international photographer is a Chatham native who spent 15 years living and working in Israel and is a citizen of both it and the United States.  He uses everyday scenes and natural wonders to draw the viewer into an experience of the peace and play of the present moment.  Lotzar says his work is informed by years of deep spiritual commitment to the message, “Be Here Now” as well as the study of yoga and the Kabbalah. 

Hard Times, Good Times: The Art of Michael Lenson – (Oct. to Dec. 2009) –

From the family collection of his son Barry Lenson, this was a first-time exhibit in Newark of the diverse paintings of Michael Lenson.  In 1999, Who’s Who in America called him “New Jersey’s most important muralist.”   He painted the mural for the NJ Pavilion at the Worlds Fair in 1939 and as director of the WPA Public Art Projects in NJ, he and his staff painted the murals at Newark City Hall, Weequahic High School, and many other venues.  Their studio was on Halsey Street in Newark.  His work has been described as “between surrealism and expressionism.”   According to his son Barry, ”He believed art should serve a human purpose.”   Lenson also wrote a weekly column of art criticism, ”The Realm of Art,” for The Newark Sunday News.  He passed away in 1971.  Barry and his brother David spoke about their father at the opening of the exhibit.

Marcia Marx “The Holocaust: A Retrospective” – (April to May 2009) –

a collection of original works by internationally recognized artist Marcia Marx.   Born and raised in the Weequahic section in Newark, her family was the owner of the long-established Clinton Milk Company in Newark.   She was inspired to create the work on the Holocaust during a two-year battle with cancer that ultimately claimed her life in 2005.  Just prior to her death, this work was exhibited as a collection at the Houston Holocaust Museum.  Titled “Lottery”, these pieces reflect on the often arbitrary nature of life and death, as seen through the lens of the Holocaust.  This was a first-time showing in NJ.  The paintings and sculpture were loaned to the Museum by her son, Greg Bennett and other materials were provided by her brother, Kelly Marx.  They both attended and spoke at the opening reception.

The Struggle for Integration: Weequahic and Beyond / Jews and Blacks in Conversation – Part III: (March 2009) –

A two-part panel discussion about historic efforts to preserve racial integration in Weequahic and other Newark neighborhoods during the 1960s, as well as present-day challenges for maintaining racial integration in communities throughout Essex County.  Panel 1:  Children of Weequahic:  Sandra West – WHS 1964, Sandra King – WHS 1965, Harold Edwards – WHS 1966, Dr. Komozi Woodard – WHS 1967, Paula Borenstein – WHS 1967, and Carol Greenberg – WHS 1970.  Panel II:  Lessons Learned:  Dr. Robert Curvin, Estelle Greenberg, Hal Braff – WHS 1952, Nadaline Dworkin, and Gladys Grauer.  Co-sponsored by: Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience, The New Jersey Historical Society, The African-American Jewish Coalition

Weequahic Memoirs: Celebrating Newark’s Legendary Neighborhood – (November 2008 to March 2009) –

The exhibition, on loan from The Jewish Historical Society of MetroWest, is a collection of photographs, memorabilia, and documents representing Newark’s Weequahic section, mostly in the first half of the 20th century.  It 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.  Also included was – Some Weequahic Notables – a slide presentation created for the exhibit by Phil Yourish, the Museum’s Vice President, of distinguished individuals who grew up in the Weequahic section of Newark.  A well-attended opening program was presented by Linda Forgosh, the Executive Director of JHSMW and the curator of the exhibit.

L’chaim: Celebrating the Highlights of 20th Century Jewish Life in New Jersey – (December 2007 to September 2008) 

our inaugural exhibit opened on Sunday, December 9, 2007 featuring special guest lecturer, Manfred Anson, a notable Judaica collector, who designed the Statue of Liberty Menorah.  The exhibit was curated by museum consultant, Amy Stempler.  This exhibit presented an historical overview of the variety of Jewish experience throughout New Jersey.  Paterson silk workers, farmers in Vineland, utopian settlers in Roosevelt, avant-garde artists at Rutgers, immigrants and entrepreneurs in the vibrant metropolis of Newark were featured along with more than two dozen fascinating and delightful stories and vintage photos of Jewish people and institutions in a groundbreaking exhibit reflecting the diversity of Jewish life in New Jersey over the course of the 20th Century.  As part of the exhibit, Museum Vice President Phil Yourish created a slide show – Jewish in Jersey – portraying famous Jewish individuals who were born, grew up, resided, or worked in New Jersey.

Civil Rights and Civil Unrest: Jews and Blacks in Conversation, Part II – (May 2007) 

organized by JMNJ Board President Max Herman in conjunction with the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience and the African American-Jewish Coalition.  Two panel discussions explored the relationship of Jews and Blacks historically and within the City of Newark using the disorders of 1967 as a backdrop.  Participants were:  Dr. Clement Price, Dr. William Helmreich, Linda Caldwell Epps, Kenneth Gibson, Samuel Convissor, Richard Kuperman, Morris Spielberg, and Junius Williams.

New Jersey Heritage Symposium – (May 2006) –

hosted by the JMNJ, brought together Jewish professionals from throughout the state to discuss topics related to New Jersey’s Jewish history.  Amy Waterman, the Executive Director of the Eldridge Street Project in New York City, was the keynote speaker.

Roosevelt: A Utopian Experience in NJ – (October 2005) –

a lecture and slide presentation by Roosevelt Town Historian, Dr. Arthur Shapiro.  He related the fascinating story of this agricultural/industrial cooperative community established for Jewish garment workers by the U.S. government in 1936.  Roosevelt became the home of artists Ben Shahn and Jacob Landau.  A small pictorial exhibit from Roosevelt was displayed in the Museum gallery.

The  Jews of New Jersey – (October 2004) –

a lecture and slide presentation by Rutgers Professor Michael Rockland, the author of The Jews of New Jersey, A Pictorial History, which provided highlights of the texture of everyday life of New Jersey’s 460,000 Jews and their ancestors.  Places included in The Jews of New Jersey are:  Newark, Paterson, Trenton and Camden, Southern New Jersey farming communities, the Hasidic community in Morristown, the artist’s colony of Roosevelt in Monmouth County, beach towns such as Deal and Bradley Beach, New Brunswick/Highland Park, and postwar suburbs such as the Oranges, Cherry Hill, and Short Hills.