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The High Holidays Over The Years: Inside The Forverts Archive

The images of the High Holidays are, in many ways, timeless.

No matter what era, these moments — whether challah baking, preparing holiday candles, or leading services — can transcend years, allowing us to reach over the decades to our predecessors, to the Jew buying candles in a Lower East Side market or heading to shul in Grodno.

The archives of the Forward carry some of these poignant yontef portraits in Jewish communities, both in prewar Europe and in America. Our incredible archivist, Chana Pollack, has dug them out for some timely reflection, appearing for the very first time online here:

From the Forward Archive

New year’s greetings from Gold’s ‘Chreyn’ (horseradish), 1952. Image by Forward Archive

Forward Archive

Yiddish-language greeting card for the Jewish New Year, from American Jewish troops fighting in the Korean War, 1952. Image by Forward Archive

Forward Archive

High Holiday Services led by American Jewish soldiers during the Korean War, 1952. Image by Forward Archive

From the Forward archive

Advertisement for High Holidays at the Concord Hotel in the Catskills, 1949. Image by Forward Archive

From the Forward archive

Photograph by Alter Kacyzne. A Polish Jewish baker at the marketplace on the eve of a holiday. 1929. Image by Forward archive

From the Forward archive

A challah baker, September 20 1931. Image by Forward archive

From the Forward archive

Kosher slaughterer prepares for the holidays, Lower East Side 1929. Image by Forward Archive

From the Forward archive

The Chudnov family in Toms River, NJ, harvests their cabbage crop on erev yontef in 1949. Image by Forward archive

From the Forward archive

In the early 1930’s, Herman and Hannah Grossman, owner of a photography studio on Mokotowska Street in Warsaw, posed for a photograph while performing the kapores ritual. In the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jews seek absolution for the year’s transgressions in part by swinging a chicken overhead, while prayers help human sins transfer onto the fowl. Image by Forward archive

From the Forward archive

Jewish women buying candles for Yom Kippur on the Lower East Side. Image by Forward Archive

From the Forward archive

Women on their way to synagogue in Grodno, Poland, 1920’s Image by Forward Archive

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