Lessons From My Parents’ Basement: Learning History From Family Heirlooms
Letters from a navy soldier killed in the Pacific during WWII, photos of Israel’s first Independence Day parade, a commemorative ashtray from a 1961 Jewish Federation fundraiser, a half-finished weaving of Hebrew letters, Yiddish letters wrapped carefully in a white cloth and hidden at the bottom of a box. The objects we find in our homes tell us our family stories. But they also tell us much more than that. They can help us understand our connections to larger histories of immigration and integration, communal and religious change, and shifting cultural norms, and they can help us create a meaningful legacy for future generations.
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