tv 1876 Synagogue Capital Jewish Museum CSPAN February 10, 2019 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
see it in a new landscape. it is more visible. it looks at home. >> washington, d.c.'s first synagogue, dedicated in 1876, was saved and demolition in the 1960's, and the building has been moved three times. most recently on january 29, 2019. they expect this location to be its permanent home. bere the synagogue will incorporated into a capital jewish museum, currently under construction. tv, on american history elected officials, and museum staff, rabbis, and the national endowment for the humanities chairman told a press conference as the synagogue completes its block long the move in the background. this is about a half-hour.
welcome and thank you for joining us today at the future of the lillian and albert small capital jewish museum. [applause] i am the executive director of the new museum, and i particularly would like to welcome the members of the small and albert families, and our generous donors who are here today. also a special thanks to the father of the holy rose church. our next-door neighbor for hosting this celebration. today marks another step in a really long journey for this us.oric synagogue behind i mean that very literally. this is the third relocation for this landmark tilting, which is the original -- landmark holding, which is the original home that celebrates its 150th anniversary.
in recognition of that shared history, we are thrilled to welcome the senior rabbis. i would like to welcome them to offer a blessing for this exciting moment. [applause] this is rabbi alexander. thank you to the capital jewish museum for this monumental project. pieces --ade moving more moving pieces than any of us could have a imagine. at the center of this project, you have treated this building as a movable sanctuary with god's presence at its center. this is particularly meaningful rabbis as weior approach our congregations 150th year. [applause] >> every time the jewish community returns the sacred scrolls, the torah back into the
ark, we say the words, may our days be renewed the days of old. [standby] present so that it can animate our future. the capital jewish museum. and all of its activities allow so that our past can inform our present and animate our future. to this beautiful, sacred building, may god bless you and your comings. you in yourys bless goings. amen. crowd: amen. >> thank you. alls so tempting to go
metaphoric today. yes, this is literally a building rolling dumbest reason behind us, but it is also a remarkable symbol of our city -- a building rolling down the street behind us, but it is also a remarkable symbol of our city. the firstbuilding was synagogue built an hour city. it was dedicated in 1876 with ulysses s grant as president looking on. it was built in just three months. more than just 300 people would go into its sanctuaries for services. 30 years later's, after that -- built a congregation was and sold and became a part of this city's fabric. ,t was home to greek orthodox african-american churches, and then a bicycle shop, a delhi, a
dentist, coffee shop, a barbecue restaurant, chinese and jewish grocers. metro slated the for that same corner lot, this little building that could was given landmark status. it was picked up off its foundation and rolled, for the first time, across g street, to third were it has been home to programs for the jewish community for the past 50 years. now the synagogue is on the move again to a really exciting future at the heart of the new capital jewish museum. which will in brace that historic synagogue with a two story atriumwo that connects the old and the new. construction will begin later this year. we plan to open our doors in 2021. designed for families, school groups, and tourist from around
the world, the new museum will invite visitors to connect, reflect an act. diverseacross communities. reflect on the relevance of history to today, and ask visitors to explore their own role in making change. andugh interactive media, immersive theater, experimental gaming and extensive programming, we want to use history to help opera visitors think about themselves differently, and add context to what they are hearing on the news and talking about at the dinner table. we will tell the story of the jews who came to washington who have an impact on public discourse and the course of our country. and those with deep roots who shaped the city we know today. we will focus on those who have made change at the local personal level, and at the national and international level, making their voices heard in congress, at the white house, and the supreme court.
and activists with leadership roles in every major social movement in our history. the hearte, right at of the nation's capital, at the center of a torah city, down the street from the capital. what happens here matters comment we are the only major city in the united states without a jewish museum. examples of scary anti-semitism over the past year, i think there has never been a more important moment to make this kind of statement about jewish life in our capital. willapital jewish museum be a critical addition to the city's cultural landscape. a forum for those difficult conversations and for civil discourse. a place where families of all faiths and cultures can explore russians around cultural, identity and change. explore things around coulter, identity and change. today is an important milestone
and is the beginning. follow usmail list, on facebook and twitter, come to our conversations that will be ongoing before the museum opens its doors. remember the metaphor of this little building that could about itsprofusion of life over first 143 years, and a vibrant future that is still to come. honored -- [applause] we are so honored to have support from our congressional leadership, including senate minority leader chuck schumer, who senses last-minute regrets. his last-minute regrets. no comment. however, we are pleased to have congresswoman eleanor holmes. [applause]
washington's delegate in congress here with us today as a representative for our nations capital. she understands that the history of our city is a mirror of the history of our nation, which we intend to celebrate with the new capital jewish museum. we are honored to have her with us here today. [applause] >> i am honored to be here. to those ofto say, you who keep moving our synagogue around -- [applause] youcan move it as much as want to, but you will never move it out of the district of columbia. the third move, this has got to be the last move. we insist this is its permanent home. seriously. i can think of no better way to commemorate the historic contributions of our jewish
community them by finally opening this capital jewish museum. pleasure to welcome a new museum and have a new museum to our city. you will become a new tourist attraction in the district of columbia. i love the way you are doing it. preservingng it by the city's first synagogue. theannot afford to lose city's first synagogue. you can use it and all those multiple ways, but is it -- but it is very important to the it'sry of this city that first synagogue be preserved.
i love that you are rendering it a national gathering price -- place. an educational space. structuree time, the will help us to understand how the jewish community, along with others, essentially built this city. to theless contribution nation's capital. grateful to the capital jewish museum for the way you have preserved the synagogue. i just cannot get over it. you simply picked it up and just kept moving it. [applause] -- [laughter] is no other example of this in our city. i recall your program in 2003,
somehow ir move, but feel this is where you are going to belong. that this is the final move and we are very glad for what it means for the nation's capital, and for all who live here and all who will visit us. societal for this contribution to the district of columbia. [applause] thank you, -- >> congresswoman. as chairman of the national endowment for the humanities, john parrish understands the impact that museums can have on a community, and on the collect the memory of our country. we are honored to have the support of the neh for this project. we are grateful to have him here as we begin our journey to create this new museum, which honors the shared stories of our past. [applause] >> shalom.
i am honored to be here today on behalf of the national endowment humanities, mi dedicated colleagues on this historic occasion. a chairman, i pledge to bring back cultural infrastructure projects. these public, private partnerships not only deserve the nation's history, they are anchor investments in our community's future. i am happy that the jewish historical society of greater washington, now known as the capital jewish museum, received a quarter of a million dollar grant and our inaugural challenge match cycle. [applause] our agency has awarded seven grants to this organization over the past 16 years. each one making the state more possible. supportral funding will the design and construction of a
new jewish museum in our city, including this relocation and renovation of the historic synagogue. have heard, when the synagogue was dedicated, president grant was in attendance, thus he became our nation's first president to attend a synagogue service. it is fitting that it has played a vital role in preserving our nation's religious history, as well as presidential, legislative, and judicial history. the humanities endowment has always understood that any comprehensive telling of american history requires the telling of american jewish history. over five decades, we have funded dozens of projects that underscore this commitment. decided ton neh highlight 50 of our most notable grants, we chose our grants of more than half $1 million to scholars who support the preservation, publication, and
analysis of the dead sea scrolls from jerusalem's second temple. yes, we can discuss neh funding as an economic -- and a civic good. as a day such as this one, in the presence of the holy, maybe it is best to say that our endeavor is about the unceasing nature of human inquiry. about coming closer to knowing the unknowable. as our nation approaches is 250th anniversary in the year wants to ensure that the buildings, objects, documents associated with our nation's founding and development is a republic of protected future generations. grantees, such as the capital jewish museum, the neh sees our duty as not only preserving artifacts, or underwriting research, or presenting presentations of exhibitions in film, but it is a
sacred duty appointing the way for the next generation -- so the next generation can leave -- live meaningful, impactful, fulfilling lives. today we recognize a sacred space where such lives may be well nurtured. thank you. shalom. [applause] >> thank you, chairman. we are honored to have a number of members of the city council with us today. including alyssa silverman. while the mayor was scheduled to be with us before we had to move the event, we know she is here with us in spirit, and her support for our project remains strong. the capital jewish museum will sit in the new neighborhood of capital crossing inside the .istricts ward two, i am delighted to bite the councilmember to speak about how the museum will impact this
neighborhood and city in the coming years. [applause] >> thank you, thank you. good morning, everyone. we can do better than that. good morning. it is a great celebration. i cannot tell you how honored and pleased i am to be here for the third moving of the synagogue. i was at all of them. i would remember welcoming president grant when he showed up at 1876. [laughter] what an experience that was to have him at ward two. exciting time this is for our city. i have been here for 28 years. is it 27? almost 28 years. come on up and join me. this is alyssa silverman. his breanne here? alyssa silverman just got reelected for another four years. she is doing a great job and she
will say a couple of words. ijust wanted to say, when first represented this area, it was lost. it was an area that was desolate, there was nothing here, and it took a long time. is happening here today symbolizes the history of washington, d.c. in the last 30 years from a city that was lost, literally, to a city that is the most dynamic city in america. that deserves a big round of applause. [applause] many changes have taken place in this neighborhood. with a capital crossing's project, that was a spar through our city. to cover that over and connect the east and west of our city enormous achievement. now to have the capital jewish museum centered in this location is going to be an enormous addition. i have been around long we did a couple of other things. if you remember the jewish community center on 16th street. that was an abandoned tilting.
i was the ac chairman. back in those days we were able to reclaim the building. now it is one of the most fibrin community centers in the district of columbia located on 16th street. and the synagogue on six street -- sixth street. i get them all mixed up. it has become a great center and our community. i do want to take this opportunity to thank the family. right behind who was my classmate at the university of pennsylvania. he graduated a couple of years ago. -- we graduated a couple of years ago. i want to thank you all for coming out. i want to thank everybody involved in the project. it is exciting to see this movie are. to get it in place and for the project to continue and develop.
as a politician i always look forward to the ribbon-cutting. we will all be back for the ribbon-cutting. what an exciting opportunity. ,et me ask my colleague councilmember silverman to say a couple words. >> good morning, everyone. i think we are still in mourning. it is an exciting day. the moving of the synagogue shows that, even though cities change and populations change, we are in the sitter of what was the italian community and our city. that our stories are interwoven. at this time, we need to understand all the stories of our city. we need to understand how they are interwoven with each other. aboutspecially excited the programming that will take place at the museum. i have some friends who were involved with it.
i am excited that we can use it as an opportunity. i think it was said before, to have discussions about how we are -- how our fates are intertwined -- faiths are intertwined. we are stronger in understanding that we might see different prayers or pray in different spaces, but that we are stronger as a city when we appreciate our diversity. i am excited that we will be -- the tell that story jewish community story and a stronger way and have the city in the storyr part of washington and the evolution of our city. everyone.tulations to thank you to the small family, and thank you to everyone for making this little synagogue that could, happen. [applause] >> well said.
thank you. i would like to introduce our last eager. a member of our board. -- last speaker. a member of our board. adam recognizes what it will means for our city and our country. [applause] adam: on a sunday, after the attack on the pittsburgh synagogue, i was walking with my daughter to hebrew school at the current synagogue in cleveland park. she wanted to know why there were so many policeman and guards protecting the building. she recognized one of the guards as a nice man who used to guard the pizza shop. she wondered if there was a connection between the pizza shop and the synagogue. to her about some of the issues, she asked if anyone in our synagogue could fix the problem. most congregations in the district include members of congress and key government officials.
rabbis, didn't they get arrested for protesting the plight of the dreamers in a capital? reached for the door to the classroom, she asked me is there anything we can do about ending hatred. as i contemplated her question, it reinforced to me how much the history of the nation's capital is the history of america. many communities, and key figures have come here. they not only live out their everyday american experience in this city, but because they were in the nation's capital, they were uniquely positioned to shape our country. the capital jewish museum will not merely tell that story, it will live that story. ,uided by an unconventional experimental spirit, it will visitors through
storytelling, compelling artifacts, hands-on interactive experiences, and up to the moment programming. it will engage in our national city story, past, present, and future. it will through it -- it will do it through a remarkable lens. not a traditional museum with objects under glass, the capital jewish museum will provide a strong sense of place. a place for gathering, for discussion, debate, collaboration, and cross-cultural understanding. a place offering safety and an opportunity for celebration of memory. a place where action and activism, where people can engage on how to repair the world. a place for learning, encouraging local school children, families, and turn it -- and tourist to reconcile their beliefs as a hear tales of resilience and continuity. at its core, it will be a place
for hearing and telling stories. stories about people who have come to washington and impacted the city, the nation and the world. some are stories of everyday people who get caught up in mass movements. some are those who shape the world as advisors to the powerful. some are stories of people who grows the public howard. men and women who came to washington who shaped policy for the national discourse. stories that can inspire us to day one we think about how to make a difference. this unique institution provides a place for all of us, and more for visitors of all faiths and background. thischored around historical synagogue building. the original congregation. it was a place where jews in the nation's capital could maintain their traditions, study, and celebrate their identity. while unique in its own way, this building was represented as a synagogue life in the mid-19th
century. now it's history of preservation and final location have come to symbolize the wave of jewish cultural migration. from irving centers to the suburbs of the 20th century and now back to downtown in the 20th century. as this building is being wheeled into place, and soon will be breaking ground on a new museum complex rising around it, i would like to think i can bring my daughter to this institution very soon. cannot only learn about her people's history, but to get that her answers to her questions and shape the type of person she wants to become. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. this is pretty awesome timing. of you for joining us. i would like to give a special welcome to our longtime supporters of the jewish historical society, and some other local and national leaders.
to our partners at the jewish federation of greater washington. our friends and colleagues at i, to property group partners, and for safely moving our building onto the site. with appreciation to our neighbors at the communications of america building behind us. and our many colleagues from the smithsonian. from the bible museum and the holocaust museum, thank you for sharing this day with us. to our colleagues from the is really embassy, thank you for being here. thank you to all of you who have joined us for this awesome milestone. stick with us, there is more excitement to come. [applause]
are watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span3. follow us on twitter at c-span history or information on our schedule, and to keep up with the latest history news. >> it seemed to be happening just about every week that somebody, either a famous person or ordinary man on the street, was getting subject to social media condemnation. they found himself in the middle of a shame tornado for some kind of dispute a bear. -- missed behavior. miss behavior. these pylons were bigger than they had ever been at any time in human history from the internet. theanaging editor of
washington xm inning editor experienced online shaming. she is our guest tonight on q&a at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> it was a tough decision to write this essay because it brought back what was troubling and a traumatic experience in my old life. event was ae headline i read in the new york times about a man who had committed suicide in a parked car in the west village and had not been found for seven days. this poor fellow had the worst moment of his life, it was when he threw a sandwich at a server at mcdonald's for giving him the wrong order. she turned out to be pregnant, this funny story made the local newspapers. it was at the top of his google search for the rest of his life from then on after it happened in 2013. he could not get a job because when they googled his name this story came up. any prospective employer to and want -- did not want to hire
this guy and it ruined his life. helen andrews on online shaming tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's and, university of chicago law professor laura weinrib talks about speeches. she's the author of the book, "the taming of free speech: america's civil liberties compromise." the supreme court historical society hosted this hour-long event. >> i'm pleased to welcome you to this evening's program, which is the fourth and final lecture in the society lecture series. this year, that series has been focused on world war i and the supreme court. it's been a highly successful series up until now.