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The Whole Spiel

Remembering Albert H. Small (1925-2021)

by Kara Blond, Director
October 4, 2021

Please join us in extending condolences to the family of Albert H. Small (1925-2021), son of the museum’s namesakes Lillian and Albert Small. Among his many accomplishments, we remember his tremendous legacy of leadership in philanthropy, and his long support of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington (JHSGW) and Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum (CJM). Mr. Small also served as Chair of the Honorary Directors of JHSGW.

Stuart Zuckerman, Adam Rubinson, Howard Morse, Albert H. Small, Jr., Ernie Marcus, and Albert H. Small pose in front of the historic synagogue at the 2016 moving of the synagogue.

Stuart Zuckerman, Adam Rubinson, Howard Morse, Albert H. Small, Jr., Ernie Marcus, and Albert H. Small at the 2016 moving of the historic synagogue. Photo Credit: Ron Sachs / CNP. Copyright Capital Jewish Museum

In a 2016 oral history with JHSGW, Mr. Small spoke of his passion for history and the Society: “If we don’t preserve it, we’ve lost our history. And I believe that, not only for the Jewish people, but I believe that for all history. If we don’t preserve, if somebody doesn’t step up and preserve it, it could be lost forever. Once it’s lost it’s hard to reclaim. I believe in supporting these things.” The Small family’s long history in Washington began in the heart of the downtown neighborhood that was the center of early Jewish residential and religious life, where Mr. Small’s grandfather, Isadore, owned a hardware store on 7th Street NW. In 1969, Mr. Small’s parents, Lillian and Albert Small, made a made a major contribution to restore the 1876 historic Adas Israel synagogue, which was then named the Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum in their honor. In 2017, the family extended that commitment to the organization, donating the lead gift to build the expanded museum.

An accomplished real estate developer and passionate collector of historic documents, Mr. Small was a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution in 2007, the National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2009, and was recognized by the Library of Congress, the National Archives and many other organizations for his dedication to history, education and preservation.

May his memory be a blessing.

Small family portrait, 1940s. Back row, standing, L to R: Albert Small, Albert H. Small, Julian Behrend Seated, L to R: Morton Alper, Carolyn Alper, Richard Alper, Lillian Small, Helene Behrend

Small family portrait, 1940s. Back row, standing, L to R: Albert Small, Albert H. Small, Julian Behrend
Seated, L to R: Morton Alper, Carolyn Alper, Richard Alper, Lillian Small, Helene Behrend
Steve Zweig, photographer. Copyright Small Family Collection, Capital Jewish Museum