November 17, 2018

Hunting Jewish Chocolate Trail Objects

Courtesy of the Leo Baeck Institute

I am loving these Jewish chocolate objects as we research this fall’s Jews on the Chocolate Trail exhibit at the Herbert & Eileen Bernard Museum of Judaica – Temple Emanu-El, 
1 East 65th Street, New York, New York. This precious chocolate cup bears Albert Einstein’s image as a child. The set was fabricated for Albert and his sister Maya not long after her birth in the early 1880’s when the family lived in Munich. We could speculate about ties between hot chocolate drinking and genius.

This mid-century style ceiling lamp graced six of the Barton’s Bonbonniere chain stores designed by Victor Gruen. The shops were to be “toyshops for adults.” Attention to design permeated the stores as well as the packaging of this important Jewish company.

The history of Jews and chocolate builds on the Colonial period experience of Sephardim in the trade, manufacture, retail and consumption of chocolate in America. This advertisement highlights one of those, Rebecca Gomez and her chocolate manufactory. She was the only woman making chocolate at this period.

You are invited to engage your senses as you partake in an expedition into the Jewish stories of chocolate through decorative arts and historical documents at the exhibit which opens on October 20, 2017 and runs until February 24, 2018. The New World product of chocolate blazed a new world of commerce, appetite, and opportunity for Jewish refugees. Explore the surprising Jewish connections to chocolate, l’dor va dor, from generation to generation. Please feel free to be in touch if you know of other great items that connect Jews and chocolate.