American Jewish History Institutions in Philadelphia, New York Co-organize ‘1917,’ First Exhibition of Its Kind

On March 17, 2017, the National Museum of American Jewish History, located in Philadelphia, will open 1917: How One Year Changed the World. The exhibition, which is co-organized with the American Jewish Historical Society in New York, is the first to illustrate how three key events of a single year—America’s entry into World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the signing of the Balfour Declaration—brought about political, social, and cultural changes that reshaped the United States’ role in the world and directly affected everyday Americans. A series of public programs will be held in conjunction with the exhibition. 1917 will be on view at NMAJH in Philadelphia through July 16, 2017, and then travel to New York for its run at AJHS, from September 1 through December 29, 2017. The exhibition is expected to travel to different venues after leaving AJHS.

According to a press release from NMAJH, “1917 is unique in its presentation of this consequential year through the eyes of American Jews, eyewitnesses who understood and reacted to those events both as Americans and as part of an international diaspora community. American Jews found themselves facing the challenge of articulating identities as Americans and as Jews during a period characterized by nativism and xenophobia. Still, by the end of 1917, the financial and cultural leadership of Jewish life had shifted from Europe to the U.S., and in comparative terms, American Jews had become one of the most secure Jewish communities in the world.”

For more information about the exhibition and accompanying events, please visit the NMAJH website.

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