A fundraising dinner is planned this month for a small museum in suburban Des Moines that’s devoted to showcasing the accomplishments of Jewish Iowans. Sandi Yoder is director of the Caspe (CASP) Heritage Gallery in Waukee. The facility opened in 2003 and is owned by the Iowa Jewish Historical Society.
“We’re there to tell the story of the contribution and the lives that Jews have made to the state of Iowa,” Yoder says. “The concept of having an Iowa Jewish Historical Society started in 1989. For a while, we were located at Drake University, a partnership there, and have worked with the State Historical Society on several important exhibits.” Yoder says the museum features an array of artifacts and displays.
“What people can see is a wide range of stories about Jewish Iowans and what they have done,” Yoder says. “Our exhibits start in roughly World War One and carry up through modern times and then we have quite a number of changing exhibits.” Anyone who’s seen Steven Spielberg blockbuster film from 1993 will be interested in the museum.
“We have exhibits that show some of the affects and artifacts from World War Two and the Holocaust,” Yoder says. “We have some very unique items. We have a cup that was made in Schindler’s factory. I’m sure most of your listeners have heard of ‘Schindler’s List.’ There are some Des Moines residents who were saved by being on Schindler’s list.” A Patron Dinner in observance of Jewish Heritage Month will be held May 23rd. The Caspe Heritage Gallery is open one Sunday a month, with this Sunday, May 16th, being the May date, and by appointment. For more information, visit “www.jewishdesmoines.org” or call 515-205-0379.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City