The American Jewish Historical Exhibit: Conclusion
The American Jewish Historical Exhibit is a useful lens for examining how the American Jewish community was trying to engage in understanding their place in American history and society while it had maintained a persistent current of antisemitism that grew more louder and included more forms. The debate over the inclusion of religious objects in addition to historical objects suggests an uneasiness with their religious identity as more religious Jews immigrated. The exhibit debates are also reflective of larger academic debates during the nineteenth century moving away from religion and embracing science and empiricism.
The goals of the American Jewish Historical Exhibit reflect many of the tensions in late 19th century society and the tensions within American Jewish society itself. While American antisemitism was never government sanctioned and had never manifested itself in the violent waves seen throughout European history, historians have documented a strong current of antisemitic tropes existed in popular society throughout the nineteenth century. The appearance of more Jewish immigrants does not appear to have caused this increase, but rather, led to increased anxiety amongst the Jewish community that was questioning their place in American society and history.