The Cornerstone is a podcast connecting Jewish historical sites in Western Pennsylvania to historic materials in the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives.
Each episode investigates one spot in the region. It might be a synagogue, a schoolhouse, a work of public art, a gravestone, or something as subtle as a painted-over mezuzah. The story of each spot is told through documents, photographs and oral histories, all of which can be studied in greater depth with interactive StoryMaps.
The Cornerstone is made possible through a grant from the SteelTree Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
1942 Fifth Avenue
A co-working space in Uptown started its life as an Elk’s Lodge. But for a decade it was the home to the hardworking boys of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.
2043 Webster Avenue
A domed church in the Hill District was once the hard-earned pride of Congregation Kether Torah, a small Jewish congregation hailing from the Volinia province of Russia.
1908 Wylie Avenue
The Blakey Program Center in the Hill District started its life as the Hebrew Institute, a pioneering effort to bring modern pedagogical ideas to traditional Jewish education.
1410 Fifth Avenue
A social service agency in Uptown was once the Merchant’s Savings & Trust Company, a leading financial institution for Jewish businesses and organizations in the Hill District.
437 Wible Run Road
A gravestone in the Workmen’s Circle No. 45 cemetery tells the story of a beloved Jewish humanitarian in the Hill District in the early decades of the 20th century.
I really didn’t know what to expect, but these informative, interesting, and entertaining episodes exceeded all expectations. I listened to all of them in one swoop. If you are interested in history, and especially if your family is from Pittsburgh, this is a must listen. I look forward to more!