Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Hanukkah!

In honor of the first day of Hanukkah, we post this James Van Der Zee photograph of the Moorish Zionist Temple of Moorish Jews, which was located at 127 West 137th Street in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. The photograph comes from the James Van Der Zee framed photograph collection here at AARL. Van Der Zee was one of the foremost African American photographers during the Harlem Renaissance. His many prints, negatives and glass plates are known for documenting the spirit of the period, while also cultivating black pride, especially between the world wars. In his portraits Van Der Zee worked to both document social life and present aesthetically pleasing pieces of art. The Archives Division welcomes Hanukkah by sharing this piece of Van Der Zee artwork.


Landing, James E. Black Judaism: Story of An American Movement. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2002.

Leininger-Miller, Theresa. “Van Der Zee, James Augustus.” American National Biography Online.

Michaeli, Ethan. “Another Exodus: The Hebrew Israelites from Chicago to Dimona.” In Black Zion: African American Religious Encounters with Judaism. Yvonne Patricia Chireau and Nathanial Deutsch, eds. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Wintz, Cary D. and Paul Finkelman. “Van Der Zee, James.” Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance. New York: Routledge, 2004.

Posted by Nicole Carmolingo, AARL Archives Intern

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