News Archive

The Road to Unfreedom Book Review by Deborah Herzberg

Posted on March 28, 2018

Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century is one of the best-selling books that we carry in the Museum Shop. Mr. Snyder is a highly-respected historian of the Holocaust whose latest book The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America is subtitled “How Russia’s campaign to undermine democracies threatens the European Union and the United States.” On Tyranny’s highly readable message is that we can use awareness of the ‘politics of everyday’ to be aware of the small ways citizens might succumb to or fend off the slow slide towards tyranny. The Road to Unfreedom is an in depth analysis of ways that Russia is working towards the destabilization of Western democracies. It details how Russian efforts first influenced the British Brexit vote towards leaving the European Union. Snyder proceeds to detail the ways they then influenced the nomination and election of Donald Trump who was susceptible to this influence because he was deeply in debt to Russia through the shell corporations which had bailed him out of bankruptcy. Russia did this by using social media to ‘exploit American gullibility.” Click to continue »

Director's Statement

Posted on March 27, 2018

OJMCHE Director Judy Margles was invited to speak recently at an Oregon Women’s History Consortium event in anticipation of the 100th anniversary, in 2020, of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which placed women’s voting rights in the U.S. Constitution. In her remarks she reflects on the way in which voting is a core principal of Judaism and suggests some possible directions that may be taken by future voters. Click to continue »

Vedem: A Jewish Resistance ‘Zine from the Holocaust

Posted on March 7, 2018

OJMCHE’s current exhibition Vedem Underground is currently featured here in an article in Artslandia. Many thanks to Artslandia and writer Nim Wunnan who through his nuanced writing presents compelling evidence on the importance of independent publishing and the connections to be made in social/political struggles through history. Click to continue »

Jews in Suspense

Posted on February 7, 2018

OJMCHE is pleased to launch another film series curated by film historian Ygal Kaufman. Jews in Suspense kicks off on March 6th. We sat down with Ygal when we launched the series with the Many Funny Faces of the Jewish People and you can visit that interview here; Jews in Suspense is a series of films created by and starring some of Hollywood's greatest Jewish artists, all featuring the theme of pursuit. The films all feature Jewish stars in some form of pursuit; be it literal (Charade) or romantic (Scarlet Street) or obsessive (he Strange Love of Martha Iver). All three films are directed by titans of Jewish direction and feature legendary Jewish actors. They all feature an assortment of Jewish creative virtuosos as well, including writers, producers and cinematographers, whose works have been celebrated for decades. All films are presented with historical introduction from series curator, Ygal Kaufman, as well as newsreels, cartoons and other ephemera from each screening's original year of release. Click to continue »

The Wolloch “Holocaust Haggadah”

Posted on January 24, 2018

A numbered edition of the beautiful and moving Wolloch Pessach Haggadah In Memory of the Holocaust, a recent donation to OJMCHE’s collections, will be on display in our upcoming exhibition in the East Gallery. This unique manuscript, “infused with hope and compassion,” features full-page illustrations by American artist David Wander and illuminated calligraphy by Rabbi Yonah Weinrib. It was commissioned by Zygfryd and Helene Wolloch in memory of their parents who died in the Holocaust. After being completed in 1984, it was published in bound-book form for the benefit of Yad Vashem. Copies of the original portfolio, containing 59 hand-printed pages, have been presented to major libraries and collections of Judaica. Click to continue »

Director's Statement

Posted on January 15, 2018

Martin Luther King and Anne Frank were both born in 1929, barely six months apart. Anne Frank died in 1945 of typhus in Bergen Belson at age 15 and Martin Luther King was shot in Memphis in 1968. Today they would have been 89 years old. Both lived in a period where racism was ubiquitous. For Anne Frank and her family the enactment in 1935 of the Nuremberg Laws, which excluded German Jews from citizenship and prohibited them from marrying Germans institutionalized what was already a world filled with anitisemetic propaganda. Martin Luther King’s world wasn’t all that different – as a black man in the south he was unable to vote, he was segregated in schools, restaurants, on busses and other public accommodations.

As we reflect on the meaning of their lives and work we can look to the words of former Anti Defamation League National Director and Holocaust survivor Abraham Foxman,“In our work over the last 100 years, and particularly in the aftermath of the Holocaust and other incidents of hate, we have always asked the question, ‘What if?’ What if America had been a more tolerant and welcoming society? What if more people had stood up to defy Hitler? What kind of world could we imagine for our children and grandchildren if more people stood up to say ‘no’ to racism, bigotry, prejudice and antisemitism.” Click to continue »