On July 7, 2021, New York City will host its ‘Hometown Heroes’ ticker tape parade to thank the local essential workers who saw the city through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade’s route starts just in front of the Museum, goes past The Battery, and then turns onto Broadway’s Canyon of Heroes.
In the slideshow below, we highlight the stories of essential workers from prior decades through photographs that belong to the Museum’s Permanent Collection.
Moizesz Dworecki with volunteer fire department 1924. Moizesz Dworecki (center) was the chief of the volunteer fire department in Lida. The members were all Jews. His daughter Fanya Dworetskaya (name Americanized later to Frances Dworecki) was born in 1920 in Lida. Moizesz was arrested in February 1940 and sent to Komi to the Gulag. Her mother, Maria Dworetskaya, was killed in the Lida Ghetto. Fanya left Lida with her younger (by 3 years) sister Etel (now Dr. Ellen Garber) for Minsk in November 1940. In June 1941 as the Germans were approaching Minsk, they fled, and ended up in Kazakhstan. Their father was released in 1941 because of an amnesty for Polish prisoners. Gift of Dr. Frances Dworecki. 2002.P.24.
Herman M. Solomon (1911-1988) in postal service uniform, mailbag over his shoulder, letters in hand. He was the first Jewish postal worker in the Ellenville, NY Postal Service. Circa 1930s. Gift of Lillian B. Solomon. 1932.91.
Potato Seller, 1932. Part of photograph portfolio, "Shtetl 1932," with photographer's name, Tim Gidal, above the portfolio name. Gift of Janet Lehr, New York. 1025.98.2
Jindrich Frisch practicing dentistry, Prague, prewar. With patient and nurse. Frisch was born April 4, 1903 in Cervena Recice, died Bergen-Belsen in 1945, after liberation, of tuberculosis. Gift of Helen and Paul Kalfus. 2006.P.22
Kaethe Mansbacher holding her daughter Hannelore in front of the family grocery store in Berlin, early 1930s. The family lived in Berlin until Kristallnacht. They moved to Shanghai in April 1939, left in June 1947 and arrived in San Francisco on July 3, 1947. Gift of Hannah M. Weill. 460.96.
Corporal Dorothy Sadow in military uniform, 1945. Dorothy Sadow was born July 10, 1923, in the Bronx, New York. She entered the army at the age of 21 and served in a secretarial capacity at various stations. Most of her time was spent with Air Technical Command at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. On her first furlough she was in Tampa at Drew Field. There she met Melvin Ginsberg, born in New York in 1918. He had enlisted in the Air Corps pilot training. He ended up a rear gunner. He never went overseas. He left the army as a sergeant. Dorothy was demoted from Sergeant to PFC after going AWOL to be with Melvin while he sat shiva. She left the army as a corporal. They were married on June 8, 1946 in New York. Soon after they changed their name to Gardiner. Dorothy worked as a secretary and later a legal secretary. Melvin was a truck driver. Gift of Dorothy Gardiner in memory of Melvin Gardiner. 1999.P.138.
Group photo with two male doctors and four female nurses from the Sosua hospital, Dominican Republic, 1940s. Left to right: Annie Feld, Dr. Herbert Kohn, Ruth Kahn, Dr. Hans Broch, Ruth Arnoldi, Martha Mondschein (later Bauer). Gift of Ruth Kahn Summers. 2007.P.112.
Farmer Dezider Scheer milking a cow, Sosua. Dezider Scheer was born in Slovakia c. 1918. He died in Canada in June 2013. He left Slovakia August 29k, 1939 with a small group of young men to travel to Palestine illegally. They were interned in Italy in a camp in St. Bertononeo near Salerno. In 1940, Mr. Trone, representative from the Dominican Republic Settlement Association [DORSA] came to the camp to select among the young refugees for a Jewish refugee settlement in Sosua, Dominican Republic. Scheer was chosen by Trone. He left the camp for Genoa and traveled via Barcelona and Madrid to Lisbon. He left Portugal on the Nea Hellas to New York, Ellis Island, and from there on the Cherokee for Puerto Plata. He arrived in Sosua in October 1940. He lived in Sosua for 10 years, had a farm with 25 cows, and was the director of the school. He enjoyed the life in Sosua but was lonely without his family. When he heard that his brother and his wife had survived the war and had immigrated to Canada, Mr. Scheer left the Sosua settlement in March 1950 to join his brother in Canada. Mr. Scheer left the settlement in March 1950, paying DORSA everything he owed and leaving with savings. Gift of Dezider and Shirley Scheer and family. 2008.P.63
At the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, an Iraqi scientist on left (Dr. Tikvah Vogel) supervises the work of her Yemenite assistant. Tikvah Vogel graduated from Weizmann Institute in 1971 with PhD. Barbara Pfeffer Collection, Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York. 1999.P.2227.