Remembering heros

In a 1944 letter to “Dear Mollye” Sklut, Jake Coonin wrote:

we must remember those names in something more than a bronze plaque in the foyer. Those names must represent an ideal, to be held forward to the future, as something substantial.

Let’s leave it at that – my words are too inadequate for my emotions…

Read Jake Coonin’s letter.

As we celebrate Memorial Day, I hope you will remember those names that represent the ideal that Jake Coonin was talking about.


JHSD in Dover

The Jewish Historical Society of Delaware is pleased to have the opportunity to present a special program for Delaware state employees in Dover on May 25, 2016.

Jewish American Heritage Month - May 2016Get ready for Memorial Day and commemorate Jewish American Heritage Month with an introduction to one of Delaware’s treasures. “Dear Mollye” was the salutation to hundreds of letters written by Delaware service men and women during the Second World War. The collection in the archives of the Jewish Historical Society of Delaware was created by Miss Mollye Sklut who wrote hundreds of letters to those serving in the armed forces during the war. Many of the letters she received in reply were published in the Y-Recorder, a monthly publication of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA) where Miss Sklut worked. The Jewish Historical Society’s archivist, Gail Pietrzyk, will give you a look at this remarkable collection of letters, photographs and the stories of the men and women who rightly deserve to be remembered as “the Greatest Generation.” Discover the challenges and technology of sending mailbags around the globe to carry letters to and from the troops. Learn about the first Delawarean killed in action and about many other Delaware heroes. 


For information about offering this or similar programs to your group or organization, please contact the Jewish Historical Society of Delaware.

Stitching History from the Holocaust


Stitching History from the Holocaust

Stitching History From the Holocaust is an original exhibit created by and on loan from Jewish Museum Milwaukee.  The exhibit is on display April 13 – August 14, 2016 at

Museum of Jewish Heritage | A Living Memorial to the HolocaustEdmond J. Safra Plaza | 36 Battery Place
Battery Park City | New York, NY 10280

A Tribute to Toni Young on May 1, 2016

Annual Meeting A Tribute to Toni Young May 1, 2016 3:00 PM call for reservation 302 655-6232The Jewish Historical Society of Delaware will present a Tribute to Toni Young on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at the Delaware History Museum, 504 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19801 at 3:00 p.m. as part of its annual meeting.
The program is free and open to the public with parking available at the Colonial Parking lot on Shipley Street between 5th and 6th Streets.



Toni is being recognized for her timeless contributions to and leadership of the Grand Opera House, the Delaware Historical Society, the Jewish Federation of Delaware, and the Jewish Historical Society of Delaware, among other Delaware cultural heritage institutions. Author, researcher, generous financial contributor and community leader for over forty years, Toni has left an indelible mark on the Delaware community.
Beginning with The Grand Experience: A History of the Grand Opera House, published in 1976, Toni demonstrated the importance of preserving what is historically significant in our city and community. Her research on the history of the Grand Opera House and the monthly column she contributed to the Grand Opera’s programs had brought significant historical insights to many visitors and patrons of the arts.
Toni literally ‘wrote the book’ on the history of the Jewish community in Wilmington. Her study, Becoming American, Remaining Jewish: The Story of Wilmington, Delaware’s First Jewish Community, 1879-1924, published by the University of Delaware Press in 2000, remains the most significant contribution to the history of the Delaware Jewish community. As a board member of the Jewish Historical Society of Delaware since 1975 and president from 1978 to 1980, she has helped craft our understanding of our community’s history and helped to create meaningful relationships with other Delaware cultural institutions.
Toni has also served the community as president of the Jewish Federation of Delaware from 1993 to 1996 and was the first woman to hold this post.
Toni is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Delaware Historical Society and was recognized as the 2008 recipient of the Historical Society’s History Makers Award as one who has made extraordinary and lasting contributions to the quality of life in Delaware, our nation, and/or the world.
At this date, former Governor and Congressman, Honorable Michael N. Castle, is honorary chair for the event. The event chairmen, Dr. Barry Kayne and John Elzufon, report that Tribute speakers are expected to be Governor Jack Markell; Scott Loehr, Executive Director of the Delaware Historical Society; Dan Kristol, President of the Jewish Historical Society of Delaware; and John Elzufon, Past President of the Jewish Federation of Delaware. A tribute letter from Vice-President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., will be presented to Toni.
The Jewish Historical Society of Delaware plans to hold its short annual meeting to elect officers and directors and present an annual report preceding the Tribute.
Seating is limited in the Delaware History Museum Copeland Room and reservations are recommended. Please RSVP by April 30 to 302 655-6232, email or visit the website,
Refreshments will be provided after the Tribute in the newly-renovated city council chambers in the now adjoining Old Town Hall. The event is contemporaneous with the presentation of the Delaware Historical Society exhibit of Delaware Silver.
Founded in 1974, the Jewish Historical Society of Delaware acquires, preserves, and publishes materials pertaining to the history of Jewish settlement and life in Delaware. Membership in the Jewish Historical Society of Delaware is open to all who are interested in supporting its mission. To learn about becoming a member, e-mail