About this Bilingual Exhibition
On view February 17 – July 25, 2008
In 1938, when openings for Jewish refugees were hard to find, the Dominican Republic offered to resettle 100,000 Jews. Sosúa, an abandoned banana plantation, would become a refuge to hundreds of Jews, and grow into a town that still thrives today. This exhibition tells how the settlers were recruited, what awaited them in Sosúa, and how they worked with their Dominican neighbors to establish the settlement. Sosúa speaks poignantly to one chapter in a shared Dominican and Jewish story.
Dominican Haven: The Jewish Refugee Settlement in Sosúa, 1940-1945 by Marion A. Kaplan; Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, 2008.
Dominican Haven examines the experiences of European Jewish refugees who settled in Sosúa between 1940 and 1945. The publication marks the first major English-language scholarship on this topic and is the companion volume to the exhibition. 273 pages; $19.95 Learn about the companion volume.
Wednesday, March 12 at 7 p.m.
Septeto Rodriguez — featuring acclaimed percussionist and composer Roberto Rodriguez — will perform a unique blend of Cuban jazz and klezmer. In addition to performing Rodriguez' musical tribute to the blending of Dominican and Jewish music and culture, "Sosúa La Bella," the ensemble will offer arrangements of traditional Jewish Horas in the Dominican style of meringue. The program will take place in the Museum's Special Events Hall. Dominican beer and mojitos will be served. Open bar included with admission.
Tickets are $30, $25 for members. Purchase tickets now
Beverages courtesy of Quisqueya Beer/Manhattan Beer Distributors.
Sosúa: A Refuge for Jews in the Dominican Republic/Un Refugio de Judíos en la República Dominicana Teachers Guide
Designed by Education staff to aid teachers in preparing students for a visit to the special exhibition, the guide includes information about the exhibition, pre- and post-visit lesson plans with student worksheets in English and Spanish, background information about Jewish life, anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust, and a chronology, glossary, and bibliography. Student worksheets include: To Stay or To Go?/¿Quedarse o irse?; Building a Society/Construir una sociedad; Establishing a Successful Economy/Establecer una economía exitosa; Pastimes and Cultural Life/Pasatiempos y vida cultural. Click here to download the free PDF.
Plan a Visit
Special exhibitions are free with Museum admission. $10 adults, $7 seniors, $5 students, members and children 12 and younger are admitted free. Admission is free on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Museum is located at 36 Battery Place in Battery Park City.
Subway: 4/5 Bowling Green; R/W Whitehall Street; 1 Rector Place or South Ferry
Bus: M1, M6, M15 to State Street/Battery Park; M9, M20 to Battery Park City.
Driving: FDR Drive to Battery Park/Staten Island Ferry (Exit 1) or West Side Highway becomes West Street, turn right onto Battery Place. Call 646.437.4200 for driving directions.
Sunday through Tuesday, and Thursday: 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.; Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ; Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Daylight Saving Time) 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time); eve of Jewish holidays: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Saturdays, Jewish holidays, and Thanksgiving Day.
Preserving 60 Years Worth of Archives
Several years ago, the Sosúa Jewish Museum rescued a large cache of materials relating to the early years of the Sosúa community; the documents had been abandoned to dampness, insects, mold, and other indignities. But it wasn't until 2004, when New York Senator Eric Schneiderman and Vivien Weissman of the American Jewish Congress approached the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust with the idea of doing an exhibition with the Sosúa Jewish Museum, that the materials received the attention they required. Before the materials could be examined for inclusion in the exhibition or used for research, they needed to be sorted, cleaned, and identified.
After investigating the state of the records, the Museum of Jewish Heritage arranged for a paper conservator to visit the Sosúa Jewish Museum, and then for an archivist to clean and arrange the materials. The result transformed the archival holdings. All of the material was examined, assessed, and reorganized into logical groups. It was then re-housed in special conservation-friendly, acid-free containers that had been shipped to Sosúa from the U.S., and arranged systematically on steel shelving in the reconfigured space, which had been cleaned and better sealed. Finally, a finding aid was created, describing the new groups of material, what each group contained, and the quantities of various documents in each group. The material was now ready to be used for future research and for the exhibition.
Host the Exhibition
Sosúa: A Refuge for Jews in the Dominican Republic/Sosúa: Un Refugio de Judíos en la República Dominicana is a traveling exhibition. If you are interested in bringing the exhibition to your institution starting in Fall 2008, please contact Ilona Moradof, Assistant Curator/Project Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 646.437.4358.
Links and Resources
State Senator Eric Schneiderman's Office: http://www.schneiderman.org
American Jewish Congress: http://www.ajcongress.org/
American Joint Distribution Committtee: http://www.jdc.org
CUNY Dominican Studies Institute: http://www1.ccny.cuny.edu/ci/dsi/