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Sun, Nov 28
03:00PM ET
Sun, Nov 28
03:00PM ET

concert

A Recital by Two Exceptional Students from the Conservatory of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance - Live

Featuring Yoav Roth, pianist, student at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and Karni Malu, singer, graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, student at Buchman Mehta Music Academy.

Auditorium seating is available for 100To ensure compliance with local health and safety guidelines, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (at least 14 days after your final vaccine dose) with matching ID is required for all visitors 12 and older. You can provide proof of vaccination by displaying it on your smartphone, by presenting a physical copy, or by using the New York State Excelsior Pass or NYC COVID Safe App (Android | iOS). Other acceptable forms of COVID-19 vaccination proof are the CDC Vaccination Card or NYC Vaccination RecordMask wearing is mandatory throughout the building.

Ticket Info: Free; reserve in-person tickets at eventbrite.com


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concert

Mon, Nov 29
06:00PM ET
Mon, Nov 29
06:00PM ET

conversation

RememberingWilliamHelmreich

Please join us for a program in tribute to William Helmreich, z”l, sociologist, author, scholar of Judaism, and distinguished professor. He walked every street of New York City – more than 6,000 miles – and wrote about his adventures, conversations, and insights in a series of excellent and uncommon guidebooks that introduce readers anew to the city and its neighborhoods.

The author of many books including The New York Nobody Knows (and individual volumes on Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan) along with Against All Odds and The World of the Yeshiva, William Helmreich was a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at City College and at CUNY’s Graduate Center. A man with deep curiosity, wide-ranging brilliance, and a generous spirit, he died of COVID in March 2020. 

Featuring:
Jeffrey S. Gurock, the Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, the author or editor of more than twenty books, many about the Jewish history of New York.

Matt Green, who is walking every block of New York City, as documented in the film The World Before Your Feet (which also features a cameo by William Helmreich).

In conversation with:
Sandee Brawarsky, award-winning journalist, author, and editor.

When you register for this event, you’ll also join the New York Jewish Week community of readers. Look for the latest news about Jewish New York in your inbox soon.

Ticket Info: Pay what you wish; register at programs.cjh.org/tickets/remembering-william-helmreich-2021-11-29 for a Zoom link


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conversation

Tue, Nov 30
09:00AM ET
Tue, Nov 30
09:00AM ET

panel discussion

Reclaiming Identity: Jews of Arab Lands and Iran share stories of identity, struggle and redemption

Join us for a global virtual event marking the November 30, Israel's national day of commemorating the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands and Iran. We will discuss questions such as: What is my true identity? How does my family narrative coexist within the greater Jewish world? Why, when, and how did I reclaim my heritage identity?

On June 23, 2014 the Knesset adopted a law designating November 30 as an annual, national day of commemoration for the 850,000 Jewish refugees who were displaced from Arab countries and Iran in the 20th century.

This year on November 30, Jews across the world will share personal experiences of their families who left those countries only to once again face losses in the experience of living their heritage and identity. It is time to reclaim our Jewish heritage.

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


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panel discussion

Tue, Nov 30
01:00PM ET
Tue, Nov 30
01:00PM ET

book talk

In the Midst of Civilized Europe: the Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust

Between 1918 and 1921, over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine by peasants, townsmen, and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbors with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them, and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms—ethnic riots—dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of complete extermination. Twenty years later, these dire predictions would come true.

Jeffrey Veidlinger’s new book In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust draws upon long-neglected archival materials, including thousands of newly discovered witness testimonies, trial records, and official orders, showing for the first time how this wave of genocidal violence created the conditions for the Holocaust. Join us for a discussion on this important new book featuring Jeffrey Veidlinger in conversation with Steven Zipperstein.

Purchase the book here.

About the Speakers
Jeffrey Veidlinger is a professor of history and Judaic studies at the University of Michigan. His books, which include The Moscow State Yiddish Theater and In the Shadow of the Shtetl, have won a National Jewish Book Award, the Barnard Hewitt Award for Theatre Scholarship, two Canadian Jewish Book Awards, and the J. I. Segal Award. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Steven J. Zipperstein is the Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford University. He is the author and editor of nine books; his most recent is Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History (Liveright/WW Norton) named a book of the year by The Economist and shortlisted for the National Jewish Book Award and the Mark Lytton Prize as the best non-fiction book of 2018. He is now writing a biography of Philip Roth for Yale's Jewish Lives series.

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


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book talk

Tue, Nov 30
05:00PM ET
Tue, Nov 30
05:00PM ET

lecture

FamilyHistoryTodayJewishDressandCulturalHistory-WhatYouCanLearnfromGrandmas

For most of Jewish history, clothing represented a tension between dressing Jewish and dressing like everybody else. This was especially true in the late 19thand early 20th centuries, precisely the era in which the ancestors of most American Jews immigrated to the United States. In this talk, Eric Silverman, scholar at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center and author of A Cultural History of Jewish Dress, will demonstrate how we can “read” the clothing in our old family photos for clues about the wider historical processes that shaped our ancestors’ lives, aspirations, and struggles. 

Live closed captions will be available.

This program is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Live closed captioning has been made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Ticket Info: Pay what you wish; register at programs.cjh.org/tickets/family-history-today-2021-11-30 for a Zoom link


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lecture

Wed, Dec 01
01:00PM ET
Wed, Dec 01
01:00PM ET

book club

LBI Book Club, Vol. XVI: Panorama by H. G. Adler

The LBI Book Club will read and discuss Panorama by H.G. Adler with special guest Peter Filkins.

Please note that the Zoom link to the program can be found at the bottom of your registration confirmation email. This information will also be emailed to you via Eventbrite the day before the event at 9am EDT and 30 minutes prior to the event.

About the Book
Only recently available for the first time in English, Panorama is the newly-rediscovered first novel of H. G. Adler, a modernist master whose work has been compared to that of Kafka, Joyce, and Solzhenitsyn. A brilliant epic told in ten distinct vignettes, Panorama is a portrait of a place and people soon to be destroyed, as seen through the eyes of the young Josef Kramer. It moves from the pastoral World War I-era Bohemia of Josef's youth, to a German boarding school full of creeping prejudice, through an infamous extermination camp, and finally to Josef's self-imposed exile abroad, achieving veracity and power through a stream-of-consciousness style reminiscent of our greatest modern masters. Written soon after the war, Panorama was not published until 1988.

About the Author
Hans Günther Adler was born in Prague in 1910, the son of a bookbinder. He studied music, art, literature, philosophy and psychology. After completing his doctorate in 1935, he worked for Urania, a public educational institute in Prague, and for Czech radio. In February 1942, he was deported to Theresienstadt and from there in October 1944 to Auschwitz.  From there he was transferred to sub-camps of Buchenwald, where he was liberated.

After he was freed in April 1945, Adler returned to Prague. He first worked as a teacher of children and youth who had survived the Shoah (including Yehuda Bacon) and was active in rebuilding the Jewish Museum in Prague. On 11 February 1947, Adler emigrated to England and lived as a self-employed academic, author and lyrical poet in London. He dedicated himself to the task of depicting the persecution and extermination of European Jews.

In 1948, he completed his study entitled Theresienstadt 1941-1945. Das Antlitz einer Zwangsgemeinschaft ("Theresienstadt 1941-1945: The Face of an Enforced Community"), published in 1955. In this work, he analyzes the functioning of the bureaucracy and its role in the transportation and extermination of the Jewish population. Most of his work was published long after he had completed it or only after his death. In 1958, he received the Leo Baeck Medal, in 1969 the Charles Veillon Prize, in 1974 the Buber-Rosenzweig Medal. In 1977, he received the title of professor in Austria and in 1980 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the university of education in West Berlin. From 1973 to 1985, he was president of the PEN Centre for German-speaking Authors Abroad. H. G. Adler died in London on 21 August 1988.

About the Guest
Peter Filkins is an American poet and literary translator. Filkins graduated from Williams College with a Bachelor of Arts and from Columbia University with a Master of Fine Arts degree. His poetry collections include the forthcoming Water / Music, as well as The View We’re Granted, co-winner of the 2013 Sheila Motton Best Book Award from the New England Poetry Club, and Augustine’s Vision, winner of the 2009 New American Press Chapbook Award. His poems, essays, reviews, and translations have appeared in numerous journals, including The New Republic, Partisan Review, The New Criterion, and The Yale Review. 

Filkins has also translated several books of postwar German literature into English. His translation of Ingeborg Bachmann’s collected poems, Songs in Flight, received an Outstanding Translation Award in 1995 from the American Literary Translators Association and was reissued in an expanded second edition titled Darkness Spoken, which received a Distinguished Translation Award from the Austrian Ministry for Education, Art, and Culture in 2007. Filkins was the first to translate H. G. Adler's novels into English. The Journey, Panorama, and The Wall, the three novels Filkins translated, all written soon after the war, but not published until the 1962, 1968, and 1988, respectively. Filkins' translation of Panorama was listed as one of the best books of 2011 by The New Republic. His biography, H. G. Adler: A Life in Many Worlds, was published by Oxford University Press in March 2019.

Filkins has taught literature and writing at Bard College at Simon's Rock since 1988 and translation at the main campus of Bard College since 2006.

Ticket Info: Free; register at eventbrite.com/ for a Zoom link


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book club

Sun, Dec 05
12:00PM ET
Sun, Dec 05
12:00PM ET

celebration

Eid Al-Banat

The Institute of Jewish Experience and the Mizrahi Dance Archive invites you to a unique global celebration of Eid Al-Banat!

This year for the North African holiday of Eid Al-Banat (The Festival of Daughters, in Judeo-Arabic), or Hag HaBanot (Hebrew), we are bringing together female Mizrahi talents to virtually celebrate North African Jewish traditions, female leadership, music, dance, and so much more.

This festival honors the story of Jewish heroines like Judith and Queen Esther and the important role of women in Jewish life until today. It is customary to sing, dance, and light the night’s menorah candle and focus on bringing together generations of mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters and the extended community. Women would traditionally get together to bake sweet treats and give gifts to each other. They would sing piyyutim and pray for the health and wellbeing of the women in their lives. It is a celebration of women, past and present.

In this year’s celebration, we will be featuring musician Lala Tamar, a world-renowned Israeli singer, who will be streaming a concert from Morocco accompanied by local female musicians. Lala is known for her bold and feminine style where she incorporates her Moroccan roots and the ancient Judeo-Spanish language of Haketia.

Jackie Barzvi will be leading us in celebratory dance to Jewish Moroccan music, where anyone can follow along, without any previous dance experience. Jackie is a professional Raqs Sharqi (belly dance) instructor and performer and the creator of the Mizrahi Dance Archive.

Dr. Hélène Jawhara Piñer, author of Sephardi: Cooking the History. Recipes of the Jews of Spain and the Diaspora from the 13th Century to Today will be sharing a new recipe created uniquely for this program that incorporates the historical and modern significance of the day in the context of specific food items.

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


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celebration

Tue, Dec 07
11:00AM ET
Tue, Dec 07
11:00AM ET

panel discussion

Jewish Identity in Lithuania Today

Join YIVO for a conversation about the resurgence of interest in Jewish identity in Lithuania today. YIVO’s Executive Director Jonathan Brent will interview Migle AnušauskaiteAnna Avidan, and Kestas Pikunas about their work with and interest in Jewish culture today.

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


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panel discussion

Tue, Dec 07
03:00PM ET
Tue, Dec 07
03:00PM ET

panel discussion

Ethical Dilemmas for Religious Leaders in Times of Crisis

LBI & Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics

The rise of National Socialism, an ideology that sought to assimilate all social institutions toward its political ends, forced a reckoning for those in fields that once valued their independence from the state and political concerns. This played out not just in the professions, such as business, journalism, law, medicine but also in religion. Join us as our panelists Michael A. Meyer (Hebrew Union College) and Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth College) examine the excruciating choices faced by Jewish religious leaders, such as Rabbi Leo Baeck, as well as the response of Church leaders to National Socialism.

When he was elected to head the Reich Representation of German Jews in 1933, Leo Baeck had to continually weigh the value of principled opposition and almost certain martyrdom against the limited opportunities he had to reduce harm to his flock – all while maintaining the unity of a diverse Jewish community under threat. Famously, Baeck personally foreswore emigration even as he worked tirelessly to facilitate the escape of others.

Christian leaders did not face the same existential threat, but they grappled with how to respond to a regime that was at best indifferent and sometimes hostile to the church. For example, the "German Christian" movement within the Lutheran Church eagerly set about taking steps to harmonize its theology with a völkisch ideology, even revising scripture to remove Jewish influences. More theologically conservative elements resisted what they perceived as a threat to the autonomy of the Church, but only a small number of individuals ever overcame an ingrained attitude of Christian anti-Judaism to resist the Nazi's racial policies.

Our panel will discuss how the institutions, the theology, the training, and the personal moral vision of these religious leaders impacted their choices.

About the Panelists
Michael A. Meyer is the Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History Emeritus, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati. Meyer is the author of more than 200 articles and reviews as well as numerous books, including Response to Modernity: A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism and the biography, Leo Baeck: Living a Religious Imperative in Troubled Times (2020).

Susannah Heschel is the Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. Her scholarship focuses on Jewish-Christian relations in Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries, the history of biblical scholarship, and the history of antisemitism. Her numerous publications include Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus (University of Chicago Press), which won a National Jewish Book Award, and The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton University Press). She is the editor, with Robert P. Ericksen of the volume Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust (1999).

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


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panel discussion

Wed, Dec 08
06:30PM ET
Wed, Dec 08
06:30PM ET

book talk

UNDERJERUSALEMTheBuriedHistoryoftheWorldrsquosMostContestedCity

In UNDER JERUSALEM: The Buried History of the World’s Most Contested City, acclaimed journalist and author Andrew Lawler delves into the tombs, tunnels, and trenches of the Holy City—a saga of biblical treasures, intrepid explorers, and political upheaval—and brings to life the indelible characters who have investigated this subterranean landscape. Sharing previously unpublished images by National Geographic photographers, Lawler will discuss how the 150-year quest to unearth the city’s biblical history has not only led to remarkable discoveries, but also contributed to riots and bloodshed. And yet while the colorful array of excavators has helped spawn Zionism, create the state of Israel, and ultimately define the conflict over modern Jerusalem, their struggles to control this contested place may also provide a map for two peoples and three faiths to peacefully coexist.

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/under-jerusalem-2021-12-08 for a Zoom link


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book talk

Sun, Dec 12
02:00PM ET
Sun, Dec 12
02:00PM ET

yiddish club

YIVO Yiddish Club: Yiddish and Hasidic Culture in Film, Tv, and Theater Today With Eli Rosen

Nu, vilst redn a bisele yidish? An event for Yiddish enthusiasts the world over, the YIVO Yiddish club is an informal monthly gathering to celebrate mame-loshn. Hosted by Shane Baker, sessions take place in English, and are liberally peppered with Yiddish. Each month Baker is joined by a different guest who discusses their work and a related Yiddish cultural theme. In the spirit of a club, sessions are held as interactive zoom meetings in which participants can see and hear one another. Each session includes ample time for audience questions, group discussion, and, time permitting, knock-down, drag-out arguments. Attendees need not know any Yiddish to attend, though some familiarity with the language is highly recommended.

This session features actor, writer, and producer Eli Rosen for a discussion of Yiddish and Hasidic culture in film, TV, and theater today. Born and raised in a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, Rosen featured as Reb Yosele in the hit Neftlix series Unorthodox and is the managing director of New Yiddish Rep.

Ticket Info: Free; register at yivo.org/YiddishClub9 for a Zoom link


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yiddish club

Mon, Dec 13
05:00PM ET
Mon, Dec 13
05:00PM ET

lecture

FamilyHistoryTodayMid-18thCenturyAmericanJewishGenealogyResearch-ResourcesandConsiderations

Researching Jewish ancestors who immigrated to the United States in the mid-1800’s can be challenging, as common genealogical resources which exist in later periods may be unavailable or less informative in this period. In this lecture, Nancy Levin, a professional genealogist licensed by the Board for Certification of Genealogists since 1997, will highlight some of the lesser-known resources and special considerations necessary for successful research in mid-1800’s America. 

Live closed captions will be available. 

This program is sponsored by the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at the Center for Jewish History. It is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Live closed captioning has been made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Ticket Info: Pay what you wish; register at programs.cjh.org/tickets/family-history-today-2021-12-13 for a Zoom link


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lecture

Tue, Dec 14
01:00PM ET
Tue, Dec 14
01:00PM ET

lecture

Emotional Geography of Revenge: Polish Jews and the Search for Postwar Justice in the Polish Countryside

While there is now a considerable amount of work showing the disintegration and extra-legal purges omnipresent in postwar Europe in the immediate aftermath of liberation, individual Jews were usually written out of this story. They were often considered physically and emotionally incapable of getting revenge. The notion of revenge as not only morally ambiguous, but also “irrational” and “uncivilized” as well as dangerous, potentially leading to communal unrest and a circle of violence, was also at that point reinforced by representatives of the Polish Jewish community. Katarzyna Person discusses how individual survivors, despite very few opportunities available to them, did attempt to get both physical revenge and retribution. Thus the Jewish search for justice can and should be discussed as part of the wider European postwar search for revenge and retribution, while at the same time can be clearly disentangled from the violence surrounding it.


About the Speaker:

Katarzyna Person received her PhD from the University of London and her habilitacja from the Polish Academy of Science. She works in the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, where she leads the Ringelblum Archive publishing project. She has published on the Holocaust and its aftermath in occupied Poland. Her most recent book is Warsaw Ghetto Police. The Jewish Order Service during the Nazi Occupation (Cornell University Press 2021).

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


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lecture

Thu, Dec 16
07:30PM ET
Thu, Dec 16
07:30PM ET

concert

Celebrating Beethoven’s Birthday: Phoenix Chamber Ensemble Plays Trios by Beethoven, Mozart & Dvorak

On Beethoven’s 251st birthday, Phoenix Chamber Ensemble performs Mozart’s Piano Trio in B flat, K. 502, Beethoven’s Piano Trio in G major, Op. 1, No. 2, and Dvorak’s, Trio No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90 ("Dumky"). Pianists Vassa Shevel and Inessa Zaretsky are joined by Anna Elashvili on violin and Raman Ramakrishnan on cello.

Auditorium seating is available for 100. This concert will also be live streamed for those who cannot attend in person. 

To ensure compliance with local health and safety guidelines, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (at least 14 days after your final vaccine dose) with matching ID is required for all visitors 12 and older. You can provide proof of vaccination by displaying it on your smartphone, by presenting a physical copy, or by using the New York State Excelsior Pass or NYC COVID Safe App (Android | iOS). Other acceptable forms of COVID-19 vaccination proof are the CDC Vaccination Card or NYC Vaccination RecordMask wearing is mandatory throughout the building.

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

Ticket Info:
In person: $15 general; $10 members, seniors, students – ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY; NO SALES AT THE DOOR
Reserve In-Person Tickets

On YouTube: Pay what you wish
Reserve YouTube Tickets


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concert

Wed, Dec 22
12:00PM ET
Wed, Dec 22
12:00PM ET

panel discussion

Perspectives on Jewish Life in Germany Today

In December 1945, when asked by the German-Jewish emigre journal Aufbau in New York whether he thought there was any future for Jews in Germany, Leo Baeck answered unequivocally: “No! The history of German-speaking Jewry is definitively at its end. There is no turning back the clock.”

There was no stopping the clock either. The 15,000 or so Jews who had survived in hiding or in “mixed” marriages were joined by approximately 250,000 Jewish “Displaced Persons” from Eastern Europe seeking the safety of the American Occupation Zone. The vast majority prepared for emigration to Palestine or other countries outside Europe, but some remained to build lives in Germany, and the history of Jewish life in Germany continued.

Throughout 2021, the Shared History Project has traced the intertwined histories of German-speaking Jews and their neighbors across nearly two millennia full of transformations, surprises, and ruptures – none greater than the cataclysm that led Leo Baeck to declare the end of his people’s history. The postwar period has also seen dramatic transformations in Jewish life, however, most notably the influx of at least 200,000 people with Jewish backgrounds from the former Soviet Union after 1990.

Since then, the presence of a significant and growing Jewish population, new synagogues and rabbinical seminaries, and a burgeoning Jewish cultural sphere seemed to suggest that the “new” Germany had finally overcome its past. But how are Jewish people defining their own place within German society, within a Jewish sphere that is much more diverse than the rest of Germany recognizes, and within German and Jewish history and memory? In recent years, a vital and sometimes contentious discussion within and around the Jewish community in Germany has addressed questions about Jewish identity and belonging, the relationship between Jews and other minorities in Germany – especially the significantly larger Muslim population – and the uses and abuses of Jewish history in Germany’s public sphere.

Our panelists, historians Atina Grossmann (Cooper Union) and Darja Klingenberg (Viadrina University Frankfurt an der Oder) and the poet, theater-maker, and essayist Max Czollek will discuss the terms of these debates and how they emerged from the complex and fractured history of Germany’s post-war Jewish community.

About the Panelists
Atina Grossmann is Professor of Modern European and German History, and Women’s and Gender Studies at The Cooper Union, New York. Her numerous publications include Jews, Germans, and Allies: Close Encounters in Occupied Germany (2007, German 2012), Wege in der Fremde: Deutsch-jüdische Begegnungsgeschichte zwischen New York, Berlin und Teheran (2012), and Reforming Sex: The German Movement for Birth Control and Abortion Reform 1920–1950. She is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin and the co-author (with Tamar Lewinsky) of the section on the period 1945–1949 in A History of Jews in Germany since 1945 (Michael Brenner, ed.), a companion to the LBI’s four-volume German-Jewish History in Modern Times.

Max Czollek lives in Berlin, where he was born in 1987. After studying political science at the Technical University (TU) of Berlin, he earned a doctorate at the TU's Center for Research on Antisemitism. Since 2009 he has been a member of the poetry collective G13, which publishes books and organizes lectures. Together with Sasha Marianna Salzmann he was initiator of “Desintegration. Ein Kongress zeitgenössischer jüdischer Positionen” (2016) and “Radikale Jüdische Kulturtage” (2017) at Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin, Studio R. Since 2021 he has been curating the Coalition for a Pluralistic Public Discourse (CPPD) on memory culture in the pluralizing European societies. His lyric books Druckkammern (2012), Jubeljahre (2015) and Grenzwerte (2019) were published at Verlagshaus Berlin. In 2018 his non-fiction book Desintegriert Euch! was published at Carl Hanser, followed by Gegenwartsbewältigung in 2020.

Darja Klingenberg is a Research Associate at the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences at the European Viadrina University in Frankfurt an der Oder. Her research interests include migration and mobility, the Russian-speaking diaspora, feminist theory, and the sociologies of food and humor. She earned her PhD in social sciences at the Goethe University in Frankfurt with a dissertation on the sociology of middle-class Russian-speaking immigrants in Germany, which is also the topic of her forthcoming book Wohnen nach der Migration. Materialismus, Hoffnung und Melancholie migrantischer Mittelschichten.

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


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panel discussion

Wed, Dec 22
07:00PM ET
Wed, Dec 22
07:00PM ET

lecture & performance

A Very Jewish Christmas: Toledot Yeshu, a Jewish Anti-gospel

While the “December Dilemma” is a familiar challenge to Jews today, it has its origins in antiquity. Jews in the early days of Christianity encountered Christian traditions and sought to distinguish themselves and their beliefs. One result of this interreligious encounter is the ancient book, Toledot Yeshu, a satirical, carnivalesque anti-gospel telling the story of a magical but not divine Jesus. It was, in some Jewish communities, a tradition to read this story dramatically on Christmas Eve similar to the way that the Megiles-Ester is read on Purim. The text, shrouded in mystery, is extant in a variety of versions, and is believed to contain narrative traditions that are over 1500 years old. Renditions exist in Hebrew, Aramaic, Judeo Arabic, Judeo Persian, Ladino, and, of course, Yiddish. Rare versions were saved by the Paper Brigade from Nazi destruction and recently digitized as a part of the Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Online Collections Project.

Join YIVO for a very Jewish Christmas celebration featuring a talk on the history and receptions of Toledot Yeshu by Azzan Yadin-Israel. Following Yadin-Israel’s presentation, Shane Baker and Eleanor Reissa will perform a bilingual reading, in Yiddish and English, of a version of the story.

This event will take place in person with a kosher Chinese food feast following the presentation.

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
Azzan Yadin-Israel is a professor in the departments of Jewish Studies and Classics are Rutgers University, having earned a BA from the Hebrew University and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. His primary area of scholarship is early rabbinic literature, and he has published two books on midrash with the University of Pennsylvania Press. His monograph, "How the Forbidden Fruit Became and Apple" is forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press.

Shane Baker is executive director of the Congress for Jewish Culture, a Yiddish cultural organization based in New York. He is best known for playing Vladimir in his own Yiddish translation of Waiting for Godot, both Off Broadway and internationally. Pre-pandemic, he was appearing as his alter ego, Mitzi Manna in Her First-Ever Final Farewell Tour, with plans to continue in 2022. In 2020, he received Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Award.

Eleanor Reissa is a Tony nominated director, international concert artist, award winning playwright and Broadway actor. Fluent in two languages, English and Yiddish, she has lived a life in the theatre for over thirty years, in nearly every entertainment medium and in many parts of the world.  Her work is unique, honest, authentic, and reflects who she is. She appeals to a wide audience and has received critical recognition by the press as well as her peers.

Ticket Info: Live - $25 general; $20 YIVO members, students
Livestream – Free
Register for both at  yivo.org for a Zoom link


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lecture & performance