“Sosúa: A Refuge for Jews in the Dominican Republic” Opens at Museum of Jewish Heritage Feb. 17


Accompanying the six-month exhibition is Dominican Haven: The Jewish Refugee Settlement in Sosúa 1940-1945, authored by Marion Kaplan, a professor in New York University s Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies.

Sosua settlers on their finca (farm), early 1940s. Photo Credit: Collection of Hanni Lesser Thuna.
Sosua settlers on their finca (farm), early 1940s. Photo Credit: Collection of Hanni Lesser Thuna.

“Sosúa: A Refuge for Jews in the Dominican Republic,” which opens Feb. 17 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (36 Battery Place), tells the story of Jewish refugees in the Dominican Republic in the 1940s. Subway lines: 4/5 (Bowling Green); W/R (Whitehall Street); 1 (South Ferry); J/M/Z (Broad Street). Accompanying the six-month exhibition is Dominican Haven: The Jewish Refugee Settlement in Sosúa 1940-1945, authored by Marion Kaplan, a professor in New York University’s Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies.

In 1938, a time when safe havens for Jewish refugees were hard to find, the government of the Dominican Republic offered to resettle up to 100,000 Jews. Sosúa, an abandoned banana plantation on the north coast of the island, became a refuge to hundreds of Jews beginning two years later.

Kaplan’s book explores the themes of the exhibition and includes background about the events leading up to the settlers’ arrival and their experiences in the Dominican Republic.

“The refugees could not have survived without the support of the Dominican government that offered them a shelter, the American Jewish philanthropists who organized and subsidized their escape and settlement, and the Dominican people who worked with and for them,” Kaplan writes. “This story offers a kaleidoscope of views and voices that came together in the creation of Sosúa.”

For more about the exhibition, call 646.437.4200 or visit www.mjhnyc.org

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