Copies of records are available by contacting the NJHS office directly by email or by calling 402/334-6441/42. The fees are 20 cents/NJHS members and 25 cents for all others. The cost of mailing will be added to the cost. Photographs can also be obtained for $5.00 a piece plus the cost of mailing.
The centerpieces of our archives contain information on the families of our Jewish community. Significant contributions to our collection include the history of several of the major families in our community including, but not limited to the following:
Rose Blumkin Collection – A biography of Rose Blumkin, the founder of Nebraska Furniture Mart with audio, photographic and anecdotal information. From her home in Russia to the incredible business she established in Omaha. Rose achieved national recognition for the successful management of a small family business that became a multi-million dollar enterprises and part of Warren Buffett’s financial empire.
J.L Brandeis Family Story – The Brandeis Department Store at the corner of 16th & Dodge, originally called the Boston Store, was started in 1881 by Jonas L. Brandeis. The Brandeis family built a grand downtown emporium fashioned after the larger east coast department stores. They were at their peak during the 1970’s when retail chains were expanding. Brandeis had 15 stores located throughout the Midwest. The NJHS Society has a photograph and video history of this enduring story.
Friedman Family and Borsheims Fine Jewelry – Louis Friedman came to Omaha over a century ago and purchased a small family-owned jewelry store in downtown Omaha he called Borsheims. His philosophy was to offer an extensive inventory and exceptional customer service along with quality merchandise. The business grew to become one of the largest jewelry stores in the nation. It is still run by Louis’ descendants and is also a part of Warren Buffett’s financial empire.
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Ann Ronell – A songwriter, born in Omaha to Mollie and Morris Rosenblatt in 1905 credits include: “Baby’s Birthday Party”, “Rain on the Roof” and “Willow, Weep for Me”. One of her songs, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” written for a Disney cartoon is still heard around the world. She was music director on many films and wrote the scores for “Champagne Waltz (1937), “Aligiers” (1938), “The Story of G.I. Joe” (1945) and “Love Happy” (1949). Ronell died in 1993 at the age of 85.
In 1986, Philip and Ethel Klutznick established the Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization at Northwestern University in Chicago. They also established The Klutznick Endowed Chair in Jewish Civilization at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. At the time, it seemed a radical idea to have a Jewish studies chair at a Jesuit school. But, as explained by chair holder Leonard J. Greenspoon, civilization is the key word. “Klutznick wanted to use the inclusive term ‘civilization’ to describe his all-encompassing view of Judaism as more than theology, more than ritual practice. Judaism, in Klutznick’s vision, incorporates all aspects of life, including the arts, literature, politics, history, and the social sciences.” His foundation continues to promote this philosophy today.