Jewish Life US/World News

Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Jews in America

Jewish museum launches search for baseball memorabilia

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) has put out a call to baseball fans of all ages to submit artifacts, photos, and memorabilia that illustrate their passion for baseball, to be used as part of a major exhibition now being organized entitled “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Jews in America.” The exhibition is scheduled to open in Philadelphia in March of 2014 before embarking on a national tour.
“Chasing Dreams” will be the first major exhibition to weave together the history of American sport, leisure, and national identity with the story of Jewish immigration and integration into American life. The exhibition will provide a context for an examination of how Jews sought to navigate American culture and how they addressed the challenges of being members of a religious and ethnic minority community in the United States. The exhibition will celebrate well-known Jewish heroes such as Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax, as well as Jackie Robinson and Joe DiMaggio.
People around the world are invited to participate in the development of this exhibition through a tumblr site, chasingdreamsbaseball.tumblr.com, where they can post images of their memorabilia. Visitors to the site will be able to comment on each other’s posts and to communicate with the museum’s exhibition development team.
The museum is asking people to share items such as uniforms, signed baseball memorabilia, bobble heads and other giveaways; handwritten scorecards; signed tickets, balls, baseball cards, and other memorabilia (preferably with authentication or photo of the object being signed); baseball cards of personal significance; Little League trophies and championship bats; armed-forces or war-related baseball memorabilia (example: World War II V-mail commenting on baseball back home). Items specific to the Jewish experience in baseball might include any of the above related to Jewish players; baseball-themed bar/bat mitzvah memorabilia; custom Little League jerseys sponsored by Jewish businesses; and Jewish summer camp baseball artifacts and relics (t-shirts, signs with baseball calls in Hebrew).
“There are innumerable stories of immigrants who discovered America through baseball, and there is something about that game that holds an undeniable appeal to Jews,” says Josh Perelman, chief curator and director of exhibitions and collections for NMAJH. “The strategy, the trivia, the literature, the art, the memorabilia—all seem to hold a special place in the lives of American Jews.”
To post items and learn more about the project visit chasingdreamsbaseball.tumblr.com.

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