Our Jewish Stories
This is the mini library that I built with my family for my Mitzvah Project. It's pretty new, but it is still a big part of our family.
The whole family helped. My mom helped me build the actual library, my dad helped me screw it into the ground and find a place to put it, and my sister donated some of her own books.
If you want to come by to drop off any books you may have already read, or to pick up a few books, you can come anytime.
- Jake G.
This is one of our two menorahs. It was my dad’s and he was given it when he was a kid. When I became old enough to not burn down the house by lighting a candle (I was pretty young), it became my menorah that I light every Chanukah.
- Avery H.
This is my own shofar. It was given to me by my dad, and I blow it every year on Rosh Hashanah.
- Harry H.
The item that I chose was my grandfather’s tallit. It was given to my dad, but he never had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony so it was given to me during my Bat Mitzvah. My brother will use it in a few years when he becomes Bar Mitzvah, and it will continue to be used in our family for generations to come.
It is very important to my family but especially my dad because it represents our family’s past and also our future as a Jewish family.
This is a photo from when my great-grandma, Florence, visited Germany in 1925 when she was about 13 years old.
Florence was born around 1912 in America, but most of my ancestors lived in Germany where they owned a hotel called the Benjamin Guest House. My great-grandma Florence traveled all the way from Kentucky to Germany to visit that side of her family, and after her own mother passed away she had this picture, as well as another one of the family standing outside the Benjamin Guest House, framed. She gave it to her daughter, Ann, (my grandma), who then gave it to my mom, Jane. And that is how it came to hang in the hallway of my mom’s home.
*Florence is the girl sitting all the way to the left, on the edge of the bench*
The coin in this photo was my grandmother’s coin and was given to me by my aunt at my Bar Mitzvah. The story of my Jewish life through this token goes back three generations ago, and was given to me just a few months ago. However, it really means a lot to me as a Jew as my grandmother was really my Jewish link.
While my grandmother was not at my Bar Mitzvah, my aunt gave me this to put in my pocket. It really felt like she was there in spirit. I also have it resting on a bunny above my bed that was a gift from my Nana in her life, really making it special for me every time I look at it.
- Julien W.
I took on sewing as a hobby about 5 years ago when I was 8. When I was about 10, my great-grandmother gave me a special sewing box. The sewing box tells the story of my Jewish history dating back to the early 1900’s when thread was less than $0.02.
My great-great grandmother came to the U.S. in the early 20th century. As a Jew coming from France she didn't have much money, and could only afford essential needs. My great-great-grandmother and great-grandmother lived in the Jewish part of New Orleans during the Great Depression, and in her home she had a sewing box. Back then only the rich could buy dresses, and sewing machines were expensive, so the sewing box my great-great-grandmother had was used to make all of her clothes.
My great-grandmother gave me this sewing box, and now I’m using the old thread that was in it for masks for my family and friends.
This is a menorah. My family has been using this menorah my whole life, and all three of my older sisters' lives. This is the menorah that my grandparents used with my mother when she was a child. They spent every Chanukah lighting the candles and now we still do the same.