Dr. Cyrus Adler Lectures in 1893 On His Presidentially-Mandated Tour of the Levant

April 30, 1893

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Dr. Cyrus Adler Lectures in 1893 On His Presidentially-Mandated Tour of the Levant
1 page | SMC 1601

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      That he might, ultimately, bring "Mohammedans" to the Chicago World's Fair Midway -  a mile-long avenue that ran at a right angle to the White City and blended education with amusement - Cyrus Adler was appointed Special Commissioner to the Orient for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago by President Benjamin Harrison. His charge was to tour the Mid-East and North Africa for three years,  and induce the countries of the region to participate in the Exposition. Ethnic villages showing the evolution of mankind -  the Levant being in the middle - were to be a starred feature on the Midway. Adler's main contribution to this jamboree (at which was introduced, among other wonders, the "belly dance", performed at the Egyptian Theater on the Expo's Cairo Street) was to insist that the Jews were not a race but a religion, and as such, could not be represented by a "village." That, and his influence in employing scores of American and Palestinian Jews in the guise of Muslims. Less noticeable at the time, but more enduring, was the collection of Jewish artifacts Adler collected and exhibited at the Exposition.

      In 1893, back in Baltimore, Adler lectured on his marvelous tour of Turkey, the Holy Land, Egypt, Tunis, Algiers and Morocco- as this handbill attests.

      Handbill; 1 page, quarto, Friends Meeting House on Eutaw and Monument Streets, Baltimore, Maryland, April 30, no year [1893].
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