Throngs Attracted to Jewish Exhibit at Chicago World’s Fair

The outstanding exhibit in the Hall of Religion at A Century of Progress!

This is the way the thousands of visitors characterize the Jewish exhibit.

This exhibit, which attracts thousands of World Fair visitors, is the story of the Jewish People. Ten beautiful murals cover the panels of the walls of the exhibit. They are modern conceptions of the high-points in Judaism painted by A. Raymond Katz of Chicago. They represent “The Law”, “Providence”, “Social Justice”, “Peace and Security”, “Religious Freedom”, “Faith”, “The Sabbath”, “The Dignity of Labor”, “Democracy”, and “The Messianic Hope.”

At each end of the exhibit is placed a velopticon, the constant display of which shows 140 slides, in each machine, of the great Jewish leaders and the work done by Jewish organizations the world over. Among the slides are pictures of Jews who are or have been leaders in peace, art, literature, science, philanthropoy, religion, and government. Scenes also are shown from the various Jewish charitable, educational and scientific institutions in the United States and Palestine.

In the center of the exhibit is an ark in which are placed three beautifully inscribed Torahs, especially lent for the duration of the Fair. Above the Ark is inscribed in Hebrew “I will set the Lord Always Before Me.” Over that are two tablets of the Ten Commandments. At the very top, near the ceiling, is lettered “Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord Our God. The Lord Is One.” Fastened in the ceiling above the altar is the perpetual light. Flanking the altar on both sides are a pair of seven-branched candelabra.

In the front portion of the exhibit are two glass cases containing examples of scrolls, early religious printing and modern Jewish religious works. In the cases also are many interesting old ceremonial pieces.

Officials of the World’s Fair estimate that to date more than 40 percent of the people who attend the Fair enter the Hall of Religion and a very large proportion of them visit the Jewish exhibit. The altar arouses the most interest in Gentile visitors.

Stationed in the Jewish exhibit all day and until closing time are two theological students from the Hebrew Union College, who are there to answer questions. In addition, there are two hostesses on duty at all times. The women work in shifts, three shifts each day. In all, more than 120 women have volunteered to give of their time and act as hostesses regularly.

“When do the mystic rites begin?” a visitor inquired in an awed voice. It took a great deal of explaining to clear up in this man’s mind the exact meaning and significance of the Ark and Torahs.

The Jewish exhibit was constructed at a cost of $10,000 by the Jews of the United States. Contributions ranged from the $2,000 given by the Jewish Day Committee to small contributions from Sunday School classes. Various religious groups throughout the country joined in making the exhibit possible.

Directly responsible for the success of the Jewish exhibit are two of Chicago’s leading rabbis—Dr. Louis L. Mann of Sinai Temple, and Dr. Gerson B. Levi of Isaiah Israel Temple. These two men were members of the committee of twelve, composed of leaders from different religious groups of Chicago, which had charge of the construction and use of the Hall of Religion.

That much interest is being evidenced in the Jewish exhibit among Gentiles may be seen in the request of the Deaconesses of Baltimore that the exhibit be brought to their city and shown under their auspices when A Century of Progress closes.

NEXT STORY