Welcome to The Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History


Welcome to the website of The Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, an exciting new community resource located in the historic Rondout waterfront district of Kingston, New York.


Immigrant Gifts to America, MAY 7 – 31: 

A Reher Center project showcasing past and present immigrant contributions to the arts, sciences and culture in Ulster County and its environs.

Join us at the Art Society of Kingston (ASK)  throughout the month of May for the first event in our Immigrant Gifts to America series when the Reher Center, in conjunction with ASK and the James Cox Gallery of Woodstock, will present a month-long celebration of immigrant contributions to the arts in Ulster County, including a solo art exhibition of the work of immigrant artist Joseph Garlock (1884-1980), and a group show of immigrant artists who are ASK members.

Other events scheduled throughout the month include:

  • a movie series comprised of films that highlight the immigrant experience;
  • an evening of story telling under the direction of award-winning professional storyteller Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi, featuring personal narratives  by local artists describing how their immigrant experiences have shaped their art;
  • and a workshop, “In the Presence of the Absent,”  about a pervasive but little known suffering among immigrants known as “migratory mourning.”  The workshop will be led by María Elena Ferrer, an expert on migratory mourning.  Immigrant Gifts… will culminate in the fourth annual Kingston Community Block Party, which has been renamed the Kingston Multicultural Festival.  A detailed schedule of events is available at Immigrant Gifts.

Kingston Multicultural Festival, June 5, 1 – 5 p.m., T.R. Gallo Park- Join us June 5th for our 4th annual Kingston Multicultural Festival. This family friendly event offers an afternoon of ethnic foods, dance, music, children’s activities and an opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate the rich mix of cultures that live and work together in our region. Over 2,000 people turned out last year to stroll through the exhibits, sample the foods and enjoy the music and dancing provided by 20 organizations and performing groups.

For additional information, please contact the office of the Jewish Federation of Ulster County at (845) 338-8131, or email us at info@rehercenter.org.  We are also looking for volunteers to help with set-up, starting at 10 a.m., throughout the day, and to help clean-up.  For pictures of last year’s event and information about this year’s as it becomes available, visit us at Kingston Multicultural Festival (KMF).

Rondout Revisited- Hudson Valley Mall- Our core exhibit, Rondout Revisited, which had been on display at the Matthewis Persen House for the last three seasons, is moving to the Hudson Valley Mall.  The exhibit highlights three stages in Rondout’s development: it’s early 19th century transition from its colonial, agrarian roots to a burgeoning urban center spurred on by the opening of the D & H Canal and the introduction of steam travel; its turn of the century mercantile culture in the years immediately after the closing of the canal and several other of its leading industries; and its long, slow decline throughout the first half of the 20th century culminating in the urban renewal  years.  The exhibit will be revised for the Hudson Valley Mall installation.  Opening date to be determined.


Join the Reher Center team as we host the Matthewis Persen House again this year Saturday, September 17th, from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  The Persen House is located on the SE corner of John and Crown Streets.  This year we will be focusing on an immigrant history of Kingston from the perspective of some of the many cultural groups that have found a home in community.  We will also be asking members of the community with memories to share about life in Kingston as an immigrant or as a member of a specific ethnic group, to stop by and have their stories recorded for our growing oral history archive.

A project of the Jewish Federation of Ulster County, the Reher Center is rooted in the Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), often expressed today by working for social justice.  In keeping with its mission, the Center serves not only as a museum highlighting Rondout’s rich history of diversity and commerce, but also as a cultural hub where all people can gather  to explore and share their varied traditions, past and present, in search of common ground.

Learn more about mission, our building and our programs by touring our website.