This exhibition curated by the Greenwich Historical Society located in Cos Cob will explore the history of the Jews of Greenwich within the broader context of the history of the town and the nation.
Beginning with the question of why Jews chose to settle in Greenwich and how they gained an economic foothold, the exhibition will explore the experience of Jewish families living and working in Greenwich for more than a century. It will examine how they, like other immigrants, struggled with the pull to integrate into American society and yet also remain distinct. And it will look at how they, as well as other minorities in Greenwich, have contributed to the larger community despite experiencing periods of discrimination and restrictions on worship, employment and housing opportunities.
Although the lion’s share of the growth of Greenwich’s Jewish community began in the 1960s (today about 11 percent of the population is Jewish), the tale really begins with the mass exodus of Jews from Eastern Europe to America between 1880 and 1920. The stories of those who sought to build new lives here–emblematic of larger historical themes–will be told through photographs, artifacts, archival documents, ephemera and first-person accounts. The exhibition will also explore the little-known fact that there were Jewish property owners in Greenwich as far back as Colonial times.
An American Odyssey: The Jewish Experience in Greenwich is curated by Dr. Ann Meyerson, a nationally recognized independent museum curator who most recently co-curated The First Jewish Americans: Freedom and Culture in the New World (October 28, 2016 to March 12, 2017) at the New-York Historical Society.