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Cultural Diversity

Uneasy Years: Michigan Jewry During Depression and War

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This exhibition explores the dilemmas of Michigan Jews during Depression and WWII, at once increasingly at home in Michigan and the US, yet anxious amidst depression and rising anti-Semitism in the US, and the rise of Nazism, terror, and the war abroad. Five themes include:

At Home in Michigan: at work, and within community

Jews in the Mind of Michigan and America: present in popular culture at the same time as discrimination, and anti-Semitism is growing

Coming of War: as Nazi terror spread in Europe, Americans grappled with their ability and responsibility

Jews in World War II: Michigan Jews contributed in many ways after Pearl Harbor, when the US entered WWII

Immigrants, Refugees & Haven: as an immigrant nation, America's response to the refugee crisis was limited and restricted

Uneasy Years is a collaboration of Congregation Shaarey Zedek of East Lansing, Michigan State University Jewish Studies Program, and Michigan State University Museum with the cooperation of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan. Co-curators Dr. Kenneth Waltzer, Professor of History in James Madison College and Director of Integrative Studies in the Arts and Humanities, and Dr. Kirsten Fermaglich, Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies, both of MSU lead the research and developed the exhibit content and themes.


No current bookings. This exhibit is available.

This exhibition has been displayed at the following sites: Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI, Macomb Community College, Clinton Twp, MI; and Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Kalamazoo, MI.

  Rental fee (8-week period): $800, plus shipping.
  Number of pieces: 40 photographic/interpretive panels. Panels sized from 29"w x 25"h to 40"w x 30"h. Average size: 24"w x 30"h
  Running feet required: 80 -100 linear feet
  Insurance Value: $9,000
  Security requirement: Lockable, limited access display area; fire protection according to local ordinances
  Additional materials available: Press materials.

This traveling exhibition was made possible with financial support from Congregation Shaarey Zedek of East Lansing, Michigan State University Jewish Studies Program, Michigan State University Museum, the Michigan Humanities Council, the Ben Teitle Foundation, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and private donors.

Photos of two panels from Uneasy Years: Michigan Jewry During Depression and War

PICTURED: [left] Alicia Doiny in her selection photo in 1937. Photo courtesy of Alice Doiny Shelvin. [right] "Discrimination," panel from exhibit. Hostility towards Jews grew with the Depression, unemployment, and the rise of Nazism in Europe.






















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