Comic Adventure at the Center for Jewish History

Nadine Thomas, Director of DEIB
New York City is a cultural mecca, and the Parents Association’s Community Gathering Committee (CGC) is taking advantage of what the city has to offer. The CGC has organized trips to the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Modern Art, The Jewish Museum, the Museum for Chinese in America, The Morgan Library and Museum, the Apollo Theater, and the Museum of the City of New York. We can add another outing to the list. On October 27, we visited the Center for Jewish History.

It was unseasonably warm; the weather was balmy, at 79 degrees, and it was a perfect day for a community outing. Attendees headed into the Center for Jewish History located on 16th Street for a day of comics, culture, history, and a family-friendly immersive experience. Fun fact: the Center for Jewish History building was once the American Foundation for the Blind. The Center for Jewish History has since been converted into the spacious, visually stunning place it is today. On the first floor, your eyes cannot help but be drawn to the floor; it is inlaid with silver and depicts items found in nature. The JewCE exhibit was located on the second floor of the Rosenberg and Winnick Galleries; JewCE stands for the Jewish Comics Experience. 

The exhibit is presented in two parts. Part one is the multimedia Museum of the Jewish Comics Experience, which consists of five micro-exhibits focusing on the origin story of the Jewish comic book industry. The students were excited to see a familiar character featured during the self-guided tour; it was co-creator Joe Simon's original Captain America artwork. Part two, a big highlight for the boys, was The Laboratory. Imagine a floor-to-ceiling whiteboard, St. Bernard’s boys, dry-erase markers, and the green light to be creative. I saw nothing but smiles! Many of the students enjoyed The Laboratory’s interactive dress-up photo area, where the character you create becomes the cover story of a JewCE comic book. 

Congratulations to the Parents Association’s Community Gathering Committee for organizing another successful event for the St. Bernard’s community. We learned quite a bit about the role of the Jewish community’s relationship to the comic book world and had fun doing it. Hope to see you at the next one.