This is the Schneider-Farris Family's Blog. Keep up with what we are doing by logging into this site regularly! (The reason this site is called "Tragedy and Triumph" is that when I first founded this site, my husband, Dan, had been in a horrible accident, and he recovered. His recovery was a miracle! Go back to the 2005 archives to read our story.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Visit to the Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia 12-23-14

During a trip to see my son in Philadelphia (he's traveling with an ice show), my daughter and I and my son wanted to go to the historical places, but heard that visiting the American Jewish Museum in Philadelphia would be a fantastic experience and it certainly was!

We arrived just as a tour was about to begin and were asked if we'd like to take part and going on that tour made our experience the best museum experience I've ever had in my life.  The tour guide began when Jews came to America in the 1600s and took us throught the present.  

It was an emotional experience to learn about the observant Jewish families in the US, learn about the struggles they faced, learn about the places they lived, where they worked, and more.  There was a lot of emphasis on anti-semitism and prejudice.  We saw a reproduction of the first synagogue in the United States and we learned about Jews during the Revoluationary War.  We learned that Abraham Lincoln not only fought for the rights of African Americans, but the rights of American Jews. 

I learned General Grant refused to have Jews in his company in the Civil War.  

I learned about the beginning of the Reform Movement and about a very non-kosher meal that was served to those who were invited that made a statement that eating kosher was not a requirement.

I learned a horrible story about a man with the last name Frank who was accused of a murder in the South and sentenced to prison and then killed because he was Jewish and also from the North.

As the tour moved on to modern times we learned about Jewish immigrants and where they came from, we learned about Jews in World War 1 and 2, Jewish camps, Jewish schools,  American Jewish music, and famous American Jews throughout American history.

At the end of the tour there is a place where visitors can tell their own stories and we had so much fun there!  Here are some of the videos we made that shared our family's history:

It was truly an amazing, emotional, and remarkable day, and a day we will never forget!

Below is an interesting video about the problem Jews have every year during the holiday season. It was part of the display at the museum called "The Night Before Hanukkah."

Watch the video playlist below to see some of the things we saw and learned:

When we left teh museum, Annabelle took a photo of Joel and I in front of the huge menoral that was lit up at the Independence Mall!

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Jo Ann Schneider Farris has participated in skating for most of her life as a competitor, coach, and author.