VIEW ALL EVENTS
Thu, Jan 20
12:30PM ET
Thu, Jan 20
12:30PM ET

conversation

At Lunch with Alex Edelman

Julie Salamon (Wall Street Journal and NY Times) sits down with comedian and writer Alex Edelman! Known for his solo shows- three, all award-winning, sell-out hits in London's West End and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival- and for his TV writing. At the start of the pandemic, he served as the head writer and executive producer of Saturday Night Seder, a star studded 70-minute special posted on YouTube, that has so far raised $3.5 million for the CDC Foundation (COVID- 19) Emergency Response Fund. His show Just for Us, presented by Mike Birbiglia and directed by Adam Brace, will resume performances at NYC's Cherry Lane Theatre on January 24th. We are thrilled to welcome Alex to the show!

Ticket Info: Free; register at ajhs-org.zoom.us for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

conversation

Thu, Jan 20
06:30PM ET
Thu, Jan 20
06:30PM ET

book talk

EndpapersAFamilyStoryofBooksWarEscapeandHome

Researched over a year that author Alexander Wolff spent living in Berlin, Endpapers excavates the extraordinary histories of his grandfather and father: the renowned publisher Kurt Wolff, dubbed “perhaps the twentieth century’s most discriminating publisher” by the New York Times Book Review, and Kurt’s son Niko, who fought in the Wehrmacht during World War II before coming to America.

Born in Bonn into a highly cultured German-Jewish family, Kurt Wolff set up his own publishing firm at 23, publishing Franz Kafka, Joseph Roth, Karl Kraus, and many other authors whose books would soon be burned by the Nazis. Fleeing Germany in 1933, Kurt and his second wife immigrated to New York, where they founded Pantheon Books, which would soon take its own place in literary history. But Kurt’s son Niko, offspring of his first marriage to Elisabeth Merck, was left behind in Germany, where despite his Jewish heritage he served the Nazis on two fronts. With surprising revelations from never-before-published family letters, diaries, and photographs, Endpapers is a moving and intimate family story, weaving a literary tapestry of the perils, triumphs, and secrets of history and exile.

This program is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Ticket Info: Pay what you wish; register at /tickets/endpapers-2022-01-20 for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

book talk

Thu, Jan 20
06:30PM ET
Thu, Jan 20
06:30PM ET

concert

Virtual Tenement Talk: New York in Yiddish Song – Live on YouTube

Join us on YouTube Live for the first ever concert streamed live from inside the Tenement Museum’s historic 97 Orchard Street! The Tenement Museum and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research are partnering to bring you a night exploring New York City in the Yiddish imagination with musical performances from inside the recreated 1890s parlor of the Levine family, immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Since the earliest days of Jewish immigration to the United States, the “Golden Land” beckoned to the Jewish masses of Eastern Europe as a land of freedom and opportunity, and these ideas quickly made their way into Yiddish songs. This concert will range from Sholem Aleichem’s 1892 lullaby which calls America a “Garden of Eden” for Jews, to songs about the realities of immigration, labor, and crime in turn-of-the-century New York City.

The premiere of Pulitzer prize-finalist Alex Weiser’s newly expanded song cycle in a dark blue night which explores New York City at night through the eyes of Yiddish immigrant poets will round out the program. The concert will feature introduction and historical commentary by Alex Weiser, in conversation with Tenement Museum President Annie Polland, and musical performances by singer Eliza Bagg and pianist Paul Kerekes.

This program is part of the Tenement Museum’s series of discussions looking at the idea of the American Dream—what has it meant to people in different moments? Who has had access to it?

Ticket Info: Suggested donation; register at yivo.org/New-York-in-Yiddish-Song for a YouTube link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

concert

Wed, Jan 26
04:00PM ET
Wed, Jan 26
04:00PM ET

panel discussion

Black Studies and Jewish Studies in Conversation: DuBois before Warsaw, Fascism before Racism

In the summer and fall of 1936, Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois spent four months in the Third Reich writing correspondence for the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper. In contrast to Du Bois’s postwar reflections on fascism in general and Nazism in particular, this correspondence, in its form as serialized columns, produced neither a definitive nor discrete analysis but offered an ambivalent and mercurial elaboration of comparison across time. While Du Bois’s stated intention for his Courier column was “to prevent the American Negro from considering his problem as local and provincial, but rather as a part of the whole international development of the modern world,” the elaboration of this international perspective was marked by unsettlement, incoherence, and contingency as Du Bois struggled across the columns to stabilize an international relation, let alone similitude, between regimes of race in the United States and the Third Reich. These serialized columns move us away from unearthing a static and complete comparative perspective toward the assembling and disassembling of different vantage points that retreat from the comforts of analogical orthodoxies. Du Bois’s unsettlement of comparison is an inventive mode, generating multiple diachronic and synchronic trajectories of white supremacy and fascism and rehearsing various relations across anti-Black and antisemitic processes of racialization while nonetheless maintaining their incommensurability.

About the Speakers
Ben Ratskoff is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Louchheim School of Judaic Studies at Hebrew Union College and the University of Southern California. He completed his dissertation, Waltzing with Hitler: Black Writers, the Third Reich and Demonic Grounds of Comparison, 1936-1940, at UCLA in June 2021. His writing has appeared in Jewish Studies Quarterly and Studies in American Jewish Literature as well as the Los Angeles Review of BooksTruthout, and Jewish Currents.

Amelia Glaser is Associate Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature at the University of California, San Diego, where she holds the Endowed Chair in Judaic Studies. Professor Glaser is the author of Jews and Ukrainians in Russia’s Literary Borderlands (Northwestern U.P., 2012) and Songs in Dark Times: Yiddish Poetry of Struggle from Scottsboro to Palestine (Harvard U.P., 2020). She is the editor of Stories of Khmelnytsky: Competing Literary Legacies of the 1648 Ukrainian Cossack Uprising (Stanford U.P., 2015) and, with Steven Lee, Comintern Aesthetics (U. Toronto Press). She is currently the Rita E. Hauser Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study where she is working on a book about Ukrainian poets and translators since the 2013-14 Euromaidan Revolution.

Ticket Info: Free; register at lbi.org/events/du-bois/ for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

panel discussion

Thu, Jan 27
01:00PM ET
Thu, Jan 27
01:00PM ET

book talk

From the Vilna Ghetto to Nuremberg: Memoir and Testimony

After escaping the Vilna Ghetto and surviving winter in the forest among partisan fighters, Avrom Sutzkever was airlifted to Moscow in 1944. The renowned Yiddish poet turned to memoir to detail his two years in the Vilna Ghetto. In his sobering account, Sutzkever details the Nazi occupation and establishment of the ghetto, daily life in the ghetto, and mass killings at Ponar. He also details armed Jewish resistance, how Jews organized collectively to retain their dignity, and demand for historical justice.

The memoir, From the Vilna Ghetto to Nuremberg: Memoir and Testimony, was originally published in Yiddish in 1946, and has been translated into English for the first time by professor of Jewish studies and world literatures Justin Cammy. Join Justin Cammy and YIVO's Executive Director and CEO Jonathan Brent for a discussion of the great poet’s account of the Holocaust.

About the Participants
Jonathan Brent is the Executive Director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City. From 1991 to 2009 he was Editorial Director and Associate Director of Yale Press. He is the founder of the world acclaimed Annals of Communism series, which he established at Yale Press in 1991. Brent is the co-author of Stalin’s Last Crime: The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, 1948-1953 (Harper-Collins, 2003) and Inside the Stalin Archives (Atlas Books, 2008). He is now working on a biography of the Soviet-Jewish writer Isaac Babel. Brent teaches history and literature at Bard College.

Justin Cammy is professor of Jewish Studies and World Literatures at Smith College. An alum of YIVO's Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish and a past recipient of YIVO's Dina Abramowicz Emerging Scholar fellowship, he is a leading expert on the interwar Yiddish literary group Young Vilna. In 2020 he was a faculty fellow of the Yiddish Matters research project at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, and in 2018 he was the recipient of a Yiddish Book Center translation fellowship. Cammy is the translator from the Yiddish of Sholem Aleichem's Judgment of Shomer, Hinde Bergner's On Long Winter Nights: Memoirs of a Jewish Family in a Galician Township, and most recently Abraham Sutzkever's From the Vilna Ghetto to Nuremberg (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2021).

Ticket Info: Free; register at yivo.org for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

book talk

Thu, Jan 27
02:00PM ET
Thu, Jan 27
02:00PM ET

book club

LBI Book Club, Vol. XVII – Professor Bernhardi

In January, we will be reading the play Professor Bernhardi by Arthur Schnitzler.  We are pleased to have as our special guest in the discussion Dr. Judith Beniston, Associate Professor at the University College of London.

About the Book
"Professor Bernhardi, completed in 1912, confounded expectations. The play has no love interest, one female character (in a minor role) and only one moment of dramatic action. At the end of Act I, the title figure, a Jewish doctor, denies a Catholic priest access to a patient who is dying of sepsis following a botched abortion; the following four acts explore the political and institutional fallout of that action. The play not only explores what it means to be an Austrian and a Jew but also asks whether medicine can be the basis of a rational, humanist world-view within which biography is irrelevant, and answers by depicting an institution torn apart by racial and religious difference, by anti-Semitism, careerism and political intrigue."  Dr. Judith Beniston on the Almeida Theater website.  You can read the full description here.

Professor Bernhardi has enjoyed a revival of interest in the last few years, with major productions in Berlin and Vienna, and The Doctor, a modern adaptation by Robert Icke, premiering in London's Almeida Theatre in August 2019. The Doctor was set to transfer to the West End before COVID and is due to open shortly in German translation at the Burgtheater in Vienna (when it reopens).

Arthur Schnitzler, (born May 15, 1862, Vienna, Austria—died October 21, 1931, Vienna), was an Austrian playwright and novelist known for his psychological dramas that dissect turn-of-the-century Viennese bourgeois life.

Schnitzler, the son of a well-known Jewish physician, took a medical degree and practiced medicine for much of his life, interesting himself particularly in psychiatry. He made his name as a writer with Anatol (1893), a series of seven one-act plays depicting the casual amours of a wealthy young Viennese man-about-town. Although these plays were much less probing than his later works, they revealed a gift of characterization, a power to evoke moods, and a detached, often melancholic, humor.

Schnitzler’s Reigen (1897; Merry-Go-Round), a cycle of 10 dramatic dialogues, depicts the heartlessness of men and women in the grip of lust. Though it gave rise to scandal even in 1920, when it was finally performed, the play inspired numerous stage and screen adaptations, including the French film La Ronde (1950), by Max Ophüls. Schnitzler was adept at creating a single, precisely shaded mood in a one-act play or short story. He often evoked the atmosphere of corrupt self-deception he saw in the last years of the Habsburg empire. He explored human psychology, portraying egotism in love, fear of death, the complexities of the erotic life, and the morbidity of spirit induced by a weary introspection. He depicted the hollowness of the Austrian military code of honour in the plays Liebelei (1896; Playing with Love) and Freiwild (1896; “Free Game”). His most successful novel, Leutnant Gustl (1901; None but the Brave), dealing with a similar theme, was the first European masterpiece written as an interior monologue. In Flucht in die Finsternis (1931; Flight into Darkness) he showed the onset of madness, stage by stage. In the play Professor Bernhardi (1912) and the novel Der Weg ins Freie (1908; The Road to the Open) he analyzed the position of the Jews in Austria. His other works include plays, novels, collections of stories, and several medical tracts.

*Biography taken from Encyclopedia Brittanica

Guest
Dr. Judith Beniston is an Associate Professor at the University College of London, England.  She has published a study of the revival of Catholic drama that accompanied the rise of political Catholicism in Austria in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and has written articles on numerous aspects of Austria's theatre culture, especially during the First Austrian Republic. From 2003 to 2010, she co-edited the annual journal Austrian Studies with Robert Vilain and has guest-edited the 2013 issue (Cultures at War: Austria-Hungary, 1914-1918) with Deborah Holmes and the 2019 issue (Placing Schnitzler) with Andrew Webber. She was co-investigator (2014-2020) of the project 'Digital Critical Edition of Middle-Period Works by Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931)' and within this project is lead editor of the medical drama Professor Bernhardi (1912).

Dr. Beniston has worked intensively on the play for a few years now and as in the final stages of preparing the digital critical edition.

Ticket Info: Free; register at lbi.org/events/book-club-professor-bernhardi for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

book club

Sun, Jan 30
02:00PM ET
Sun, Jan 30
02:00PM ET

celebration

Salud i Vida: The 5th Annual New York Ladino Day

Featuring scholar Eliezer Papo
Sephardic Nonagenarians: A Panel by Bryan Kirschen
Estreyikas d’Estambol Children’s Choir
“Kantiga,” a Ladino Short Story by Jane Mushabac
Trio Sefardi: the Musical Finale!

Ladino is a bridge to many cultures. It is a variety of Spanish that has absorbed words from Hebrew, Turkish, Arabic, French, Greek, and Portuguese. The mother tongue of Jews in the Ottoman Empire for 500 years, Ladino became the home language of Sephardim worldwide. While the number of Ladino speakers has sharply declined, distinguished Ladino Day programs like ours celebrate and preserve a vibrant language and heritage. These programs are, as Aviya Kushner wrote in the Forward, “Why Ladino Will Rise Again.”

Since 2013, International Ladino Day programs have been held around the world to honor the Ladino language, also known as Judeo-Spanish. January 30th marks New York’s 5th Annual Ladino Day curated by Drs. Jane Mushabac and Bryan Kirschen for the American Sephardi Federation.

Ticket Info: $15; register at us02web.zoom.usf or a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

celebration

Mon, Jan 31
12:00PM ET
Mon, Jan 31
12:00PM ET

virtual tour

Museum Mondays: Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center

Tour the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center in Or Yehuda from the comfort of your own home with Nachliel Selavan, the Museum Guy.

About Your Tour Guide
Nachliel Selavan created and delivered an integrated learning and museum tour program for both school and adult educational settings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has hosted similar pilot visits to a dozen museums in North America, and a few museums in Europe and in Jerusalem. He also teaches and engages audiences through virtual tours and social media. He has recently completed a year long Tanach Study podcast called Parasha Study Plus, delivering a weekly episode of Archaeology on the Parasha, and is now on his second podcast and a new video series reviewing every book in Tanach, called Archaeology Snapshot.

Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center: https://www.bjhcenglish.com/

Ticket Info: $10; register at us02web.zoom.usfor a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

virtual tour

Tue, Feb 01
12:00PM ET
Tue, Feb 01
12:00PM ET

lecture

The Jews of Italy and the African Empire

This project examines the causes, nature, and consequences of Italian Jews’ support for imperialism. I argue that between the 1890s and 1930s, Italian Jews took an active part in racializing and controlling indigenous Libyan and Ethiopian Jews. Moreover, by promoting the empire and upholding a racial hierarchy between Europeans and Africans, Italian Jews unwittingly contributed to their own downfall, since Italy’s antisemitic campaign (1938-1945) borrowed heavily from earlier anti-black legislation and propaganda. This book breaks new ground; using non-traditional sources, it is the first study to inquire what ordinary European Jewish women and men thought about empire and how they engaged with it in their daily life. The Italian case is uniquely fertile for examining the relationship between Jews and race; Italy’s forays into Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia, home to the Beta Israel, triggered the earliest significant encounter between white Jews and sub-Saharan black Jews. As such, Jews and Race also speaks to emerging interest in the history of Jews of color and broadens the study of intra-Jewish racism.

About the Speaker
Dr. Shira Klein is Associate Professor of History at Chapman University. She has won awards from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Yad Hanadiv/Beracha Foundation, and the USC Shoah Foundation.

Ticket Info: $10; register at us02web.zoom.us for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Feb 02
12:00PM ET
Wed, Feb 02
12:00PM ET

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: Jews of Ottoman Izmir - A Modern History

This lecture will tell the story of a long-overlooked Ottoman Jewish community in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Drawing extensively on a rich body of previously untapped Ladino archival material, the lecture will also offer a new read on Jewish modernity. Across Europe, Jews were often confronted with the notion that their religious and cultural distinctiveness was somehow incompatible with the modern age. Yet the view from Ottoman Izmir invites a different approach: what happens when Jewish difference is totally unremarkable? What happens when there is no “Jewish Question?” Through the voices of beggars on the street and mercantile elites, shoe-shiners and newspaper editors, rabbis and housewives, this lecture will underscore how it was new attitudes to poverty and social class, not Judaism, that most significantly framed this Sephardi community's encounter with the modern age.

About the Author
Dina Danon is Associate Professor of Judaic Studies at Binghamton University. She holds a doctorate in History from Stanford University. She is the author of The Jews of Ottoman Izmir: A Modern History (Stanford University Press, 2020), a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in Sephardic Culture. She was recently a fellow at the Katz Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she began work on a new project on the marketplace of matchmaking, marriage, and divorce in the eastern Sephardi diaspora. She is currently at work, with Nancy Berg, on a co-edited volume entitled Longing and Belonging: Jews and Muslims in the Modern Age.

For more about the book: https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=30277

Ticket Info: Free; register at us02web.zoom.usfor a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

book talk

Thu, Feb 03
12:30PM ET
Thu, Feb 03
12:30PM ET

lecture

Jews in American Opera: From Importers to Innovators

Opera arrived in America as a European import, with Jews playing an essential role in its promotion from the moment Lorenzo da Ponte landed in Philadelphia. A century later, a generation of European refugees would take their operatic experience and use it to develop two of the most quintessentially American art forms: the Hollywood movie and the Broadway musical. But, contrary to what you may have heard, opera didn’t die in the aftermath. Rather, today’s American Jewish composers have been hard at work pushing boundaries and reconceptualizing just what opera can do. Join us for a discussion with writer and educator Daniel Walber.

Ticket Info: Free; register at ajhs-org.zoom.us for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

lecture

Thu, Feb 03
01:00PM ET
Thu, Feb 03
01:00PM ET

book talk

The Letters Project: a Daughter’s Journey

In 1986, when her mother died at the age of 64, Eleanor Reissa went through all of her belongings. In the back of her mother’s lingerie drawer, she found an old leather purse. Inside that purse was a wad of dried-up papers in a brittle baggie: fifty-six letters handwritten in German by her father, in 1949—only four years after Auschwitz—to her mother, also a refugee, already living in the United States. Thirty years later, with her father’s letters as her silent guide, Reissa goes on a journey, unearthing the unknowable about her family’s past and her own present. Join us for a discussion of the The Letters Project: A Daughter’s Journey, with Reissa in conversation with journalist and author Sandee Brawarsky.

Buy the book.

About the Speakers
Eleanor Reissa is a Tony-nominated director (Those Were the Days), a Broadway (Indecent) and television actress (The Plot Against America), a prize-winning playwright, a former artistic director of the world’s oldest Yiddish theater, and a singer in every major venue in New York City and in festivals around the world. She is a storyteller in English and Yiddish, and the daughter of parents who lived through the Holocaust. She is the host of the Yale University/Fortunoff Archive podcast, Those Who Were There: Voices of the Holocaust. Her memoir, THE LETTERS PROJECT: A Daughter’s Journey, will be published on January 18th, 2022.

Sandee Brawarsky is an award-winning journalist, editor, and author of several books, most recently 212 Views of Central Park: Experiencing New York City’s Jewel from Every Angle (Abrams) with photographer Mick Hales.

Ticket Info: Free; register at yivo.org/The-Letters-Project for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

book talk

Sun, Feb 06
12:00PM ET
Sun, Feb 06
12:00PM ET

lecture

The Jew who Ruled Persia: The Story of Sa'ad ad-Dawla

Sa'ad ad-Dawla was a Persian Jew from the city of Abhar. Being a master in recovering delayed taxes, he was able to rise in the ranks of the Mongol Ilkhanate that ruled all of Persia and Iraq. He had personal interactions with Ilkhan Argun, where he demonstrated a strong compunction against corruption, a facility with languages, knowledge about minute matters throughout the lands, and the ability to cure the Ilkhan of disease. The led to Argun appointing him as the Grand Vizier of the Ilkhanate in 1289, the most powerful position in the country below the Ilkhan himself. Despite the offense that many Muslims took to having a Jew in such a position of power, the Buddhist Argun defended him and gave him a long leash to improve the Ilkhanate.

About the Speaker
Richard Sassoon is an Iraqi-American of Jewish heritage who graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Fordham University Law School with a J.D. with an LL.M. in European Business Law from Madrid’s Universidad Pontificia Comillas. He currently works at UnitedLex as a Contract Manager, but has previously held roles at Samsung Engineering, J.P. Morgan, and several law firms. Richard sits on the ASF Young Leaders Board as well as among the recipients of Broome & Allen Fellowship and Scholarship. Richard has a long-standing interest in diverse cultures and regions, having visited over fifty different countries, meeting various high-level diplomats with Jewish organizations, working on three continents, and handling legal documents in five languages.

Ticket Info: Free; register at us02web.zoom.us for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Feb 09
01:00PM ET
Wed, Feb 09
01:00PM ET

cooking show

Irene Pletka Presents: Awful, Offal Dinner – Live on YouTube

Lung, tongue, liver, and brains were once among the staples of the Eastern European Jewish diet. Part of the all-but-forgotten pantheon of offal—organ meats—foodstuffs that found virtue in the thrifty cooking born of using whatever proteins that were available and affordable. Join YIVO’s Vice Chair Irene Pletka for her Awful, Offal Dinner, a tour through culinary delicacies the faint of heart will not want to try at home. Premiering on YouTube, this event will feature six cooking videos which detail the preparation of six organ-meat dishes, discuss their historic cultural contexts, and feature friends trying and discussing the surprisingly delicious results.

Ticket Info: Free; register at yivo.org/Offal for a YouTube link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

cooking show

Thu, Feb 10
04:00PM ET
Thu, Feb 10
04:00PM ET

book club

PeopleoftheBookClubemEvaandEveemwithauthorJulieMetz

Go behind the stories and peer into the archives at the CJH book discussion, led by Lauren Gilbert, Senior Manager for Public Services at the Center for Jewish History. Join a discussion of Eva and Eve: A Search for My Mother’s Lost Childhood and What a War Left Behind, a memoirby Julie Metz. After her mother passed, Julie discovered a keepsake book filled with farewell notes from friends and relatives addressed to a ten-year-old girl named Eva. This long-hidden memento was the first clue to the secret pain that Julie’s mother had carried as a refugee and immigrant from Nazi-occupied Vienna. We will look at some of the family’s documents in the collections of the Leo Baeck Institute at the Center for Jewish History, and we will be joined by the author along with archivist Michael Simonson for a Q&A after the discussion.

Participants will need to obtain their own copy of the book to read in advance.

NOTE: This is an interactive book discussion for all participants, not a lecture, so space is limited.

This program is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Ticket Info: Pay what you wish; register at programs.cjh.org/tickets/people-book-club-2022-02-10 for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

book club

Tue, Feb 15
01:00PM ET
Tue, Feb 15
01:00PM ET

book talk

The Clever Little Tailor

Solomon Simon (1895-1970), a writer, educator, and editor, is perhaps best remembered as a children's author, particularly for his renditions in Yiddish and in English of the Chelm stories. His novel The Clever Little Tailor spins tales of a Jewish tailor who impresses kings, judges, thieves, and even giants with his sharp wit. Infused with Eastern European Jewish humor and folkways, the book is of interest to adults as well as children.

Simon originally published The Clever Little Tailor in Yiddish as a serial in the Kinder Zhurnal. Simon's grandson, David R. Forman, has now translated the novel for the first time into English. This is of special interest to Yiddish learners of all ages as the novel is available as a bilingual English-Yiddish text.

Join translator Forman in conversation with literature scholar Miriam Udel, as they discuss Solomon Simon, the new publication of The Clever Little Tailor, and the future of bilingual English-Yiddish literature.

Buy the book.

About the Speakers
David R. Forman, PhD, is the grandson of the Yiddish author Solomon Simon. Forman was first a calligrapher and graphic artist, then a psychology researcher and college professor before finally returning to his early love of writing. His poetry has been published online, in anthologies, and in literary journals. He began studying Yiddish in his fifties, in order to fulfill a lifelong vow of reading his grandfather’s work. He lives in Ithaca, New York where he teaches Elementary Yiddish at Cornell University. He has also worked at Cornell University Library, first in support of an online exhibition about the Jewish People's Fraternal Order, then as Jewish Institutional Ledgers Cataloger. In the fall of 2021, Kinder-Loshn Publications released The Clever Little Tailor by Solomon Simon, Forman's first book-length, Yiddish-to-English translation.

Miriam Udel is associate professor of German Studies and Jewish Studies at Emory University, where her teaching focuses on Yiddish language, literature, and culture. She holds an AB in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and a PhD in Comparative Literature, both from Harvard University. She was ordained in 2019 as part of the first cohort of the Executive Ordination Track at Yeshivat Maharat, a program designed to bring qualified mid-career women into the Orthodox rabbinate.

Udel’s academic research interests include 20th-century Yiddish literature and culture, Jewish children’s literature, and American-Jewish literature. She is the author of Never Better!: The Modern Jewish Picaresque (University of Michigan Press), winner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award in Modern Jewish Thought and Experience. She is the editor and translator of Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children’s Literature (NYU Press, 2020), winner of the Reference Award of the Association of Jewish Libraries. The 2021 puppet film Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup, released by Theater Emory, was based on her translation. Awarded an NEH Public Scholar grant this year, she is currently working on a critical study of Yiddish children’s literature.

Ticket Info: Free; register at yivo.org/The-Clever-Little-Tailor for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Feb 16
11:00AM ET
Wed, Feb 16
11:00AM ET

discussion

Jerusalem, New York, and London: A Discussion of Three German-Jewish Diasporas

Through the 1930s Jews fled Germany, and then Austria, seeking a safe haven as Nazi persecution intensified.  In this program, we will look at three cities of refuge, and neighborhoods within these cities that were focal points of settlement (Rehavia in Jerusalem and Washington Heights in New York in particular) for the new arrivals.  Speaking with two authors on the subject of German-Jewish diasporic communities, we will compare and contrast how the refugees started new lives, how they were received by their neighbors (both Jewish and non-Jewish), and how their identities transformed, from being German and Austrian to American, British, and Israeli.  In what ways were the experiences in each location similar, and in what ways were they different?

This discussion compliments our current exhibit, Refuge in the Heights: the Jews of Washington Heights.  You can view the exhibit virtually via the link on the right side of this page.

About the Speakers
Lori Gemeiner Bihler is the granddaughter of German-Jewish refugees who settled in Washington Heights and an Associate Professor of History at Framingham State University in Massachusetts. She is the author of Cities of Refuge: German Jews in London and New York, 1935-1945 (SUNY Press, 2018) and a past recipient of the LBI/DAAD Research Fellowship.

Thomas Sparr is a Publisher-at-Large for the German publisher Suhrkamp and former chief editor at Siedler. For many years, he worked at the Hebrew University and Leo Baeck Institute in Jerusalem. He is the author of German Jerusalem: The Remarkable Life of a German-Jewish Neighborhood in the Holy City, which came out in English in June of 2021.

Ticket Info: Free; register at lbi.org/events/jerusalem-new-york-and-london/ for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

discussion

Thu, Feb 17
12:30PM ET
Thu, Feb 17
12:30PM ET

conversation

At Lunch with Neal Shapiro

Julie Salamon (Wall Street Journal and NY Times) sits down with award-winning television producer, President and CEO of WNET, Neal Shapiro.

Julie Salamon is an American author, critic and storyteller. She worked at The Wall Street Journal for five years first as a commodities and banking reporter before spending eleven years as the paper's film critic. Later she became a staff journalist at The New York Times where she was a TV critic and arts reporter. Later she gained fellowships at the MacDowell Colony and became a Kaiser Media Fellow. She has written both fiction and non-fiction books for adults and children-- and produced articles for magazines that include The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Bazaar, and The New Republic. She has just completed "Unlikely Friends," a memoir available on Audible, and season two of TCM’s hit podcast, The Plot Thickens.

Ticket Info: Free; register at ajhs-org.zoom.us for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

conversation

Thu, Feb 17
06:30PM ET
Thu, Feb 17
06:30PM ET

book talk

AdmiralHymanRickoverEngineerofPower

Hyman George Rickover (1899–1986), born Chaim Godalia Rykower in a Polish shtetl, was the longest-serving U.S. military officer in history and an almost mythical figure in the United States Navy. Possessing engineering brilliance, a ferocious will, a combative personality, and an indefatigable work ethic, he oversaw the development of nuclear marine propulsion and the first civilian nuclear utility. 

In a new biography in the Jewish Lives series at Yale University Press, independent historian and award-winning freelance journalist Marc Wortman, PhD, explores the constant conflict Rickover faced and provoked, tracing how he revolutionized the navy and Cold War strategy. Wortman will be in conversation with Bruce E. Kahn, retired U.S. Navy Chaplain and Rabbi Emeritus at Temple Sholom in Chevy Chase, MD, who co-officiated at Rickover’s memorial service.

Program registrants will receive a code for 25% off and free shipping on the book.

This program is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Ticket Info: Free; register at programs.cjh.org/tickets/admiral-hyman-2022-02-17 for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

book talk

Thu, Feb 17
07:00PM ET
Thu, Feb 17
07:00PM ET

lecture & performance

An Evening of Yiddish Theater in Translation: Celebrating Nahma Sandrow's 'yiddish Plays for Reading and Performance' – Live in Person and Livestreamed on Zoom

Join YIVO for scenes of romance, political symbolism, and low comedy in Nahma Sandrow’s translations, performed by Yelena Shmulenson and Allen Lewis Rickman. The program reflects the variety and range of Yiddish theater repertory, which Sandrow's new book, Yiddish Plays for Reading and Performance, illustrates through three full plays and nine independent scenes, with directors’ notes. The author will introduce and narrate the program, putting the scenes in the context of Yiddish theater history and dramaturgy.

This event will take place in person with a wine reception to follow.

Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with matching ID is required in order to enter the Center for Jewish History. Click here to see our Visitor Safety Requirements.

About the Participants
Nahma Sandrow, a playwright and librettist, is Professor Emerita at City University of New York. Her books include Vagabond Stars: A World History of Yiddish Theater and God, Man, and Devil: Yiddish Plays in Translation. Many of her translations have been produced professionally, and the award-winning shows she developed out of Yiddish material (Kuni-LemlVagabond Stars) enjoyed long off-Broadway runs before touring, receiving rave reviews in the New York Times and other major New York newspapers, as well as Variety and the Associated Press.

Yelena Shmulenson is perhaps best known as the icepick-wielding ‘Dora’ in the Coen brothers’ Oscar-nominated film A Serious Man (with Mr. Rickman). Other film and TV credits: Orange is the New Black (Inmate Boyle’, recurring), Blue BloodsMadame SecretaryThe KnickBoardwalk Empire (as Mrs. Manny Horvitz’), Chicago Med, Robert De Niro’s The Good ShepherdRomeo & Juliet in Yiddish, and Chinese Puzzle (w/Audrey Tautou). Stage credits include The Golem of Havana (LaMama/Miami New Drama), The Essence: A Yiddish Theater Dim Sum (Fringe/tour), two seasons at the Ellis Island Theatre, CoversKnockOld New Year with The Lost & Found Project, Tevye Served Raw (NYC) etc. She has also been a Yiddish coach/translator for numerous projects, has won three Earphones Awards for her recorded books (in English), and is fluent in five languages.

Allen Lewis Rickman is a Yiddish theater historian and translator as well as an actor, writer, and director. Acting credits include the Coen brothers' Oscar-nominated A Serious Man, Barry Levinson's You Don't Know Jack (with Al Pacino), John Turturro's Fading Gigolo (with Woody Allen), The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (as Red Skelton), recurring roles on Boardwalk Empire and Steven Spielberg’s Public MoralsRelatively Speaking on Broadway (with Marlo Thomas); and he has worked extensively Off Broadway, in regional theatre, and in Yiddish theatre. He co-adapted and directed the Drama Desk-nominated Yiddish Pirates of Penzance, and two other plays each for the Folksbiene and New Yiddish Rep. His translation of Zolotarevski’s Money, Love, and Shame! was produced in New York by the Target Margin company. Plays he’s written have been produced in France, Denmark, Spain, Luxembourg, Sweden, Romania, and the U.S.; his co-written farce Off the Hook was published in French in L’Avant-Scene Theatre, and his revue The Essence: A Yiddish Theater Dim Sum was published in the anthology Yiddishkeit, edited by the late Harvey Pekar.

Ticket Info: Free; registration required at yivo.org/Yiddish-Plays


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

lecture & performance

Thu, Mar 03
06:30PM ET
Thu, Mar 03
06:30PM ET

book talk

BecomingElijahProphetofTransformation

In the Bible, Elijah is a zealous prophet, attacking idolatry and injustice, championing God. He performs miracles, restoring life and calling down fire. When his earthly life ends, he vanishes in a whirlwind, carried off to heaven in a fiery chariot. Though residing in heaven, Elijah revisits earth—to help, rescue, enlighten, and eventually herald the Messiah. 

How did this zealot turn into a compassionate hero, the most popular figure in Jewish folklore, invited into every Jewish home during the Passover Seder? In Becoming Elijah: Prophet of Transformation, his new biography in the Jewish Lives series at Yale University Press, author Daniel C. Matt explores this question, tracing how Elijah develops from the Bible to rabbinic Judaism, Kabbalah, and Jewish ritual (as well as Christianity and Islam). Dr. Matt will be in conversation with Dr. Barry W. Holtz, Theodore and Florence Baumritter Professor of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Program registrants will receive a code for 25% off and free shipping on the book.

This program is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Ticket Info: Free; register at programs.cjh.org/tickets/becoming-elijah-2022-03-03 for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Mar 09
04:30PM ET
Wed, Mar 09
04:30PM ET

online class

AllintheMishpochehIntrotoJewishGenealogyatCJH

10 classes: Wednesdays, March 9, 16, 23, 30; April 6, 13, 27; May 4, 11 & 18

Ready to take a deep dive into your family history?

Join the staff of the Center for Jewish History for this 10-week online genealogy course, suitable for beginner and intermediate researchers. You will benefit from the expertise of our genealogy librarians and enjoy access to digitized archival material found in the collections of our onsite partner organizations, which include the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, American Jewish Historical Society, Leo Baeck Institute, and American Sephardi Federation. This course will be relevant and applicable to all areas of the Jewish diaspora—Sephardi, Mizrahi, and Ashkenazi—and will touch on numerous topics, including family tree building, DNA and endogamy, search strategies, common genealogy myths, Holocaust records, Landsmanshaftn, Jewish orphanages, and much more, with a particular focus on collections housed at the Center. By the end of the 10 weeks, you will have compiled a basic family history portfolio and will be equipped with a strong foundation for further explorations.

Hear what some of the participants of the fall session had to say about the class:
“[A] wonderful, intriguing and very fulfilling course!”
“The instructor had so much knowledge and provided helpful links…”
“Very congenial learning environment.”
“Thank you for this wonderful class!”

This program is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Ticket Info: $275 general, $250 CJH members; register at programs.cjh.org/tickets/genealogy-at-cjh-2022-03-09 for a Zoom link


Reserve Tickets


Presented by:

online class