Special Exhibits

Uneasy Years: Michigan Jewry During Depression and War

Uneasy Years

Michigan Jewry During Depression and War
June 20 - September 23, 2012


The Great Depression and World War II had significant impact on every American during that era. American Jews had a unique experience. While many enjoyed success and popularity, they were also aware that anti-Semitism was an ever-present threat. The rise of Nazi Germany and the horrors of the Holocaust were further sources of stress.

Uneasy Years: Michigan Jewry During Depression and War explores the dilemmas and successes of Michigan Jews during the decades of the 1930s and 1940s. The exhibit’s photographs explore how Jews, many of whom were recent immigrants or refugees, adjusted to American life, made it through the Great Depression, and participated in the American war effort.

A series of oral history interviews with members of the Kalamazoo Jewish community brings a local dimension to the exhibit. Artifacts reflecting local religious observances will also be on display.

This traveling exhibit was made possible with financial support from the 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.