The Eldridge Street Synagogue/Museum was a delightful find during a recent visit to Lower Manhattan. Although the neighborhood had greatly changed demographics from the early days when the Jewish community formed a vibrant setting on Eldridge Street, we found a jewel in the restored Synagogue building and its wonderful congregational memorabilia.
What brought us to the museum originally was the display of its wimpelin collection. Two examples were donated by their owner, Adrian Baker, with a wish to preserve the custom.
In follow-up communication with Ms. Baker regarding the 2 wimpelin, I received the following data.
“…they were discovered in a desk drawer in the basement of the house that belonged to my uncle (by marriage) who died in 2008. His family was Fredericks and they came from Germany, and these wimpels are about 200 years old – having been passed down through the generations in his family.”
They appear to have been from two contiguous generations, with one dated “19th day of Cheshvan, year 563 (corresponding to November 15, 1803),” and the second “Month of Ab (July or early August) year of 596 (1836).”
(Eldridge Street Museum; Judaica; Accession #2009.001 and #2009.002)