Celebration of Jewish Heritage Month at Porter County Library
The Indiana Jewish Historical Society in observation of Jewish Heritage Month will host its second annual display at the Porter County Library in Valparaiso beginning on May 1st with two guest speakers on Sunday May 7th and also Sunday May 28th. This is also part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the IJHS. Past IJHS President Trent D. Pendley of Furnessville again choreographed the display windows on the second floor at 103 Jefferson St, Valparaiso.
Jay Weinberg, an alumni of Valparaiso high school, an energetic chatty, athletic trainer, ukulele-playing song writer and world class artist, a prodigy of three prior generations of the family that put Toto, Indiana on the map, will tell us his story and also of his latest art projects that are focused on Coco Chanel and her overtures with the Nazis during the Shoah. His paintings are in galleries in New York and Palm Beach, and were recently flashed in Times Square, and we are fortunate to capture his attentions for an hour on Sunday May 7th at 2 PM.
Dr. Sandy Goldberg, the charming Emmy winning television personality, also the founder of A Silver Lining, a breast cancer advocacy agency offering free mammograms, will be the second guest speaker for Jewish Heritage Month at the Valparaiso Public Library Sunday, May 28th at 2 PM. Sandy the daughter of Russian immigrants (Ukrainian heritage), her father worked with the Gdańsk (Danzig in German) Kindertransport rescuing Jewish children, after having already fled from Germany himself. Sandy’s parents met in Chicago and moved to rural Arkansas where she was raised as the only Jewish family in town. Her stellar career now centers from Valparaiso, Indiana.
A veteran in Chicago’s media community Dr. Sandy Goldberg has now chosen to focus on the expansion of her foundation and raise awareness of breast health testing, nutrition and weight related topics to a broader and expanded audience. Sought after as an emcee and motivational speaker, listeners are inspired by her unique brand of pragmatism and hope.
Dr. Sandy Goldberg will present her story and A Silver Lining agenda as a program of the Porter County Library with the Indiana Jewish Historical Society Sunday, May 28th at 2PM 103 Jefferson St, Valparaiso, IN 46383. Both programs are free and open to the public.
This year’s exhibit again has a focus on local Jewry with personalities that made their mark on the quality of life, locally, nationally and even internationally. Notably, the late Valparaiso resident Alan Berman Ph.D. whom received the highest Civilian Award from the American Government among numerous scientific achievements and accolades from several United States Presidents; Irma Rosenthal Frankenstein, who visited with the Valparaiso Lowenstines early in the 20th century, and was also an advocate for the establishment of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. A Chronicle of the Befogged Dunes Bugs illustrated by Earl Reed Sr. was published as a fundraiser in 1958 for the Save the Dunes Council; Sylvia Troy “An indomitable defender- wielding newly learned strength and assertiveness on behalf of a cause. She was a resounding voice in securing the park’s first expansion bill, and for nearly a decade she vehemently protected the Dunes from further development and barrage of threats while leading the Save the Dunes Council at a critical time in the park’s infancy;” Max Withall, a late local artist and long-time Valparaiso resident whose works are in the process of being acquired by the POCO Museum on the town’s square; Shalah Silverman Romberg whose father and she owned 99 acres in Westchester Township as early as 1872, author of short-stories, president of Mt Sinai Hospital in Chicago. Ashley Lauren Halpern, namesake of her designer jewelry line exclusively at Albert’s Diamond Jewelers is the sponsor of this year’s Jewish Heritage Display at the library and the two guest presentations.
The Indiana Jewish Historical Society was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1972 to collect, preserve, publish, and promote the Indiana Jewish Experience. In the past half-century, the organization has published scores of their journal, Indiana Jewish History, and hosted as many forums around the state while adding an Indiana Historical Marker in 2022, with hopes for two more Historical markers connected to Indiana Jewish History in the next two years.
Thousands of documents from Indiana’s Jewish past are now digitized, and originals are held in the vaults of the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis. Society is hosting scan-a-thons to digitize more photographs and records, preserve the state’s Jewish heritage, and host the Podcast IN-Jewish History, where we sit down with extraordinary individuals and discuss the over 200 years of Jewish History here in Indiana.
Michael Brown of South Bend, Indiana, is the executive director of the IJHS. For more details, please see, https://www.ijhs.org/about-us/