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Long Island Jewish History Museum Opens in Glen Cove

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Brad Kolodny, president of the Jewish Historical Society of Long Island and curator for the Long Island Jewish History Museum
Photo by Sharon Collins

The Long Island Jewish History Museum, located inside the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center in Glen Cove, officially opened to the public on Oct. 3.

The Jewish Historical Society of Long Island held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the museum and celebrated the opening of its first exhibit, “Earning A Living: 300 Years of Jewish Businesses on Long Island,” which profiles more than 60 businesses, on Oct. 2.

“Long Island is the fourth largest Jewish community in the United States today yet has been overlooked for its historical significance in the American Jewish landscape”, said Brad Kolodny, president of Jewish Historical Society of Long Island and curator of the Long Island Jewish History Museum. “Most people are aware of the Jewish population growth in Nassau and Suffolk counties after World War II, but our history goes back much further than that.”

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From left: Steven Kantorowitz, Esther Fortunoff, Andrea Bolender, Jay Steinberg, Cindy Dolgin, Judy Leopold, Andrew Hazen, and Brad KolodnyPhoto by Sharon Collins
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Art Pushkin standing beside items used at the tailor shop and dry cleaners run by his great-grandmother Rebecca Raff in Sea Cliff from 1914-1954Photo by Sharon Collins

The first exhibit features artifacts from local, Jewish-run businesses, including farmers, manufacturers, and retailers. One example is Louis Cohn’s 1910 sewing machine that was used for four generations at the Amityville Men’s Shop. It also includes interesting stories such as those of the family that founded popular retail store Fortunoff and a man who became a bootlegger of alcohol during the Prohibition era.

“We are thrilled to partner with Jewish Historical Society of Long Island to bring the largely unknown history of our local Jewish community to the forefront,” said Andrea Bolender, Chair of the Board at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center.  “An essential part of our mission is education, and we know the Long Island Jewish History Museum will enhance the experience for visitors to our center.”

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The museum’s first exhibitPhoto by Chris Leonardi

Admission to the Long Island Jewish History Museum is free and included with a suggested donation to enter the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center, located at 100 Crescent Beach Rd. in Glen Cove. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.

For more information, visit jhsli.org.

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