A “Just Married!: Extra: A Little Chuppah History

Posted on June 23rd, 2017 by

Curators have to make choices: not everything can make it into an exhibit, and there’s seldom enough space to share every interesting fact about the things that are on display. That’s where social media comes in! Here’s a closer look at another “Just Married” story from JMM collections manager and Just Married! curator Joanna Church. To read more “Just Married!” extras, click here. To read more posts from Joanna, click here.

The oldest of the three chuppahs on display in the exhibit is this burgundy velvet canopy, trimmed with gold braid and large green sequins. In addition to the “Mazel Tov” inscription in the center, it reads in Hebrew: “From the hands of the ladies auxiliary of Mogen Abraham.” (“Ladies Auxiliary” is transliterated from English.)

Gift of Isaac Kinek. JMM 1990.50.1

Gift of Isaac Kinek. JMM 1990.50.1

Gold embroidery and green sequins!

Gold embroidery and green sequins!

The Mogen Abraham, or First Galician, Congregation was founded in 1891, and existed at various East Baltimore addresses until it merged with Adath Yeshurun in 1974.  During the time this chuppah was in use, around the 1920s, this Orthodox congregation met at 402-404 S. Bond Street.

A storefront at 402-404 S. Bond Street, circa 1960. It’s not clear if this is the same building as that used by the synagogue. Photo by Menasha Katz. JMM 1987.137.58

A storefront at 402-404 S. Bond Street, circa 1960. It’s not clear if this is the same building as that used by the synagogue. Photo by Menasha Katz. JMM 1987.137.58

Despite its long history, this is one of those congregations for which we have very little material; in fact, right now a Vice President badge, the synagogue’s cornerstone from the S. Bond Street building, and this chuppah are the only artifacts in our collection.  The  Adath Yeshurun-Mogen Abraham Congregation closed sometime in the past few years.

Marble cornerstone from Congregation Mogen Abraham at 404 South Bond Street, 1902-1917. JMM 1992.76.1

Marble cornerstone from Congregation Mogen Abraham at 404 South Bond Street, 1902-1917. JMM 1992.76.1 This cornerstone has a story of its own – check it out here!

To read more posts from Collections Manager Joanna Church, click HERE!

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