It was an elbow-to-elbow noshing crush at the March 19 preview reception of the New-York Historical Society’s exhibition: “With Firmness in the Right: Lincoln and the Jews” which was inspired by the publication of “Lincoln and Jews: A History” (Thomas Dunne Books) by Jonathan D. Sarna (dubbed by the Forward in 2004 as one of the 50 most influential Jews in America) and Benjamin Shapell, founder of The Shapell Manuscript Foundation.
Among the 350 movers, shakers and literati in the Jewish community: The Forward’s editor-in-Chief, Jane Eisner, its founding editor Seth Lipsky, Israel’s consul general Ido Aharoni, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Ken Bialkin, Mark Podwal, John Ruskay, and George Blumenthal — who will digitize the show.
Introduced by Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, Rabbi David Wolpe Sinai Temple, Los Angeles informed: “Having actually read the book…whenever you have a great man, everyone wants to claim him. And it is no surprise that in some ways, Jews want to claim Lincoln…There are three aspects of Lincoln that make him profoundly Jewish…The first is that Lincoln grew up alienated– which is very Jewish. Second: more than any other president, Lincoln is characterized by his use of words. In our tradition there is no perfect life — only the perfect words. When you come into a Jewish building you kiss a word…When Lincoln used words to sway a nation, we remember [the] words. Like the biblical Abraham he was blessed with eloquence and a passionate and articulate people who celebrate and share his legacy.”