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Mon, Jul 13
04:30PM
Mon, Jul 13
04:30PM

lecture

Ab. Cahan's Early Experiments in Yiddish Journalism: di "Sedre" and the Novella "How Rafol Naaritsokh Became a Socialist"

Ellie Kellman | Delivered in Yiddish

Abraham Cahan is known for writing what he called pleyne (plain) Yiddish. As editor of the socialist daily Forverts during the first half of the twentieth century, he famously expunged from the newspaper vocabulary he considered esoteric or unfamiliar to immigrant readers. During the 1890s, Cahan experimented with writing in a variety of genres for an audience of newly literate immigrants. As a co-founder of the socialist weekly Arbeter tsaytung, he tested his supposition that immigrants would buy a socialist paper if it were to supply sophisticated content in a simplified, partly entertaining form. In connection with this effort, Cahan created several popular genres for the paper. Among them was the well-known "Sedre." Each week, Cahan chose a theme from the weekly Torah portion and interpreted it along the lines of his socialist world view.

Among Cahan's less well known experiments with popularizing socialist ideas was his novella "How Rafol Naaritsokh Became a Socialist," which appeared in installments in Arbeter tsaytung in 1894. The protagonist, Rafol, a talented cabinet maker from Lithuania, immigrates to America and finds work in a furniture factory in New York. Suffering under the routinized and alienating labor that is required of him, he becomes active in a socialist circle, where he comes to understand that capitalism both exploits his body and dulls his spirit. Gradually, he embraces socialism in order to revive his sense of pride in productive work.

The novella was reprinted in pamphlet form in 1896. In 1907, Cahan revised and expanded the work into a full-length novel entitled Rafol Naaritsokh – the Story of a Carpenter Who Saw the Light.

The speaker will analyze the language and content of "Di Sedre" and the original version of Rafol Naaritsokh for the purpose of broadening the scope of scholarly evaluation of Cahan's early contribution to the Yiddish press.

Ticket Info: Free; register at yivo.org/YCLS2020-Kellman to receive a link to the Zoom program


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lecture

Tue, Jul 14
02:00PM
Tue, Jul 14
02:00PM

book talk

LBI Book Club, Vol. III: Her First American by Lore Segal – Live on Zoom

Lore Segal’s Her First American (1985) follows a young Austrian refugee named Ilka who falls in love with a powerfully charming and prominent Black intellectual in 1950s America. Ilka is as wide-eyed as most 22-year-olds, but she has an uncommon sort of fearlessness—the kind that seems to have never known fear. Carter Bayoux, her wiser and older inamorata, gives Ilka an introduction to the way that race, class, religion, and prejudice function in America. The novel, hailed by many as a classic, took her 18 years to write and has a modernist touch, especially in the crackling bits of dialogue and an almost deadpan sense of humor—yes, humor. Despite the heavy subject matter, her sentences always have a way of working toward some wry, dark truth. But the heart of Her First American is in the powerfully drawn humanity of each of the main characters. One is estranged from her country; the other is estranged within his country. Their love comes partly from the friction between that shared sense of half-displacement.*

The first chapter of Her First American is based on the Lore Segal’s short story The First American, published in The New Yorker in 1983. Click here to listen to Alice Mattison reading and discussing the story with Deborah Treisman.

Author

Lore Segal is a novelist, essayist, short story writer, children's book author, translator and teacher, living in New York City.

When Segal was ten years old in 1938, she escaped her native Vienna and went to England on a Kindertransport, where she lived with a number of foster families–an experience she would later write about in her novel Other People’s Houses. After receiving her B.A. English Honors from the University of London in 1948, she went to live in the Dominican Republic until American quotas allowed her to come to New York in May 1951.

Between 1968 and 1996 Lore Segal taught writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, Princeton, Bennington College, Sarah Lawrence, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Ohio State University, from which she retired in 1996. Among many other awards, she has received the Clifton Fadiman Medal, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a grant from the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. Many of her stories were published in the The New Yorker, and her book Shakespeare's Kitchen was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2008. Her latest book, The Journal I Did Not Keep, a collection of new and selected writings, was published in 2019.

See a short introduction to Lore Segal by The New Yorker here.

*The preceding description of the novel is adapted from Catherine Lacey’s introduction of Lore Segal’s The Journal I Did Not Keep.

Ticket Info: Free; register at eventbrite.com/e/lbi-book-club-vol-iii-her-first-american-by-lore-segal-tickets-109205618946 to receive a link to the Zoom program


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book talk

Wed, Jul 15
04:00PM
Wed, Jul 15
04:00PM

book talk

Being Heumann with Judy Heumann—LIVE ON ZOOM

Judy Heumann is an internationally recognized leader in the disability community and a lifelong civil rights advocate. From fighting to attend grade school to winning a lawsuit against the New York City school system for denying her a teacher’s license, her actions throughout her life set a precedent that have fundamentally improved rights for people with disabilities, sparking a national movement that led to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. She has worked with a wide range of activist organizations, NGOs, and governments since the 1970s, serving in the Clinton and Obama administrations and as the World Bank’s first adviser on disability and development. In Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist, she recounts her lifelong battle to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in society.

An ASL interpreter will be present at this event.

Ticket Info: Pay what you wish; register at heumann.bpt.me or 800-838-3006 to receive a link to the Zoom program


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book talk

Thu, Jul 16
04:30PM
Thu, Jul 16
04:30PM

lecture

Chaim Zhitlovsky and His Philosophy of Yiddishism

Tony Michels | Delivered in English

Although barely remembered today, Dr. Chaim Zhitlovsky (1865-1943) was a towering figure in modern Jewish politics and culture during his own lifetime. He was highly influential yet often controversial. A revolutionary socialist and Jewish nationalist, Zhitlovsky promoted the idea of a Yiddish cultural renaissance in the United States, eastern Europe, and wherever Yiddish-speaking Jews lived. At various times, he supported Zionism and Communism; at other times he was a fierce critic of both. Who was Chaim Zhitlovsky and what was his philosophy of Yiddishism? This lecture explores the life and thought of one of the most intriguing Jewish thinkers of the modern era.

Ticket Info: Free; register at yivo.org/YCLS2020-Michels to receive a link to the Zoom program


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lecture

Mon, Jul 20
04:30PM
Mon, Jul 20
04:30PM

lecture

Stutchkoff and Yiddish Radio

Amanda (Miryem-Khaye) Seigel | Delivered in Yiddish

Nahum Stutchkoff was a prominent Yiddish lexicographer (Der oyster fun der yidisher shprakh; Der yidisher gramen-leksikon), but did you know that he was also a prolific playwright, actor, director, lyricist, translator and producer of Yiddish radio programs? Stutchkoff spent years at WEVD radio in New York, creating Yiddish radio dramas that enthralled listeners with family sagas, melodramatic sob stories and comic scenes of intergenerational conflict, all produced on a shoestring budget and seasoned with homemade special effects – not to mention his delightful commercials for food products. This lecture will explore Stutchkoff’s legacy within the “golden age” of Yiddish radio, drawing on his rich archive in the Dorot Jewish Division, New York Public Library.

Ticket Info: Free; register at yivo.org/YCLS2020-Seigel to receive a link to the Zoom program


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lecture

Wed, Jul 22
04:00PM
Wed, Jul 22
04:00PM

lecture

From the Inquisition to The Mishiguene Restaurant: The Latin American Jewish Food Story – Live on Zoom

Take a culinary tour of Jewish Latin America with esteemed food and culture writer and cookbook author Jayne Cohen. We will begin our journey during the Inquisition and travel all the way to today’s Mishiguene (a Spanish take on meshuggeneh), the Jewish restaurant in Buenos Aires rated number 18 on Latin America’s 50 Best list. Along the way we’ll explore diverse Jewish foodways south of the border, from tamales con schmaltz, posole with matzoh balls and guava-filled sufganiyot, to Cuba's kosher butcher and the most traditional kitchens. And then we’ll take a look at how Latin American Jewish immigrants are changing the landscape of Jewish cuisine in the U.S.

Ticket Info: Free; registration required at mishiguene.bpt.me to receive a link to the Zoom program


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About the Speaker:

Jayne Cohen writes and lectures extensively about Jewish cuisine and culture and created and moderated an annual program on Jewish cuisine around the world at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage for seven years. Her most recent book, Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover's Treasury of Classics and Improvisations, was named a James Beard award finalist in International Cooking. She has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs and has written for publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Gourmet, and Bon Appetit, among others.


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lecture

Wed, Jul 22
06:30PM
Wed, Jul 22
06:30PM

workshop

Virtual Workshop: Poetry Salon for Emma Lazarus' Birthday! – Live on Zoom

Come celebrate Emma Lazarus' birthday! Born on July 22, 1849, in the middle of a Cholera Epidemic, she would be 171 this year.  We invite previous participants to come and share the poems they have written during or after previous workshops.  We offer this as an opportunity to discuss our work and celebrate!

Led by celebrated teaching poets and contributors to the 92nd Street Y's #ANewColossus poetry festival, these virtual poetry workshops will delve into the construction and techniques used in writing “The New Colossus,” and place Lazarus' poem side by side with work by contemporary poets that is “descended” from, or inspired by, the original poem. 

Using what they have discovered as a springboard, salon participants will have two writing sessions per class based on prompts inspired by the poems they have discussed. During each salon, participants will have the chance to share the work they have created with their peers.  Some take-home revision and new poem prompt ideas will be provided as well.

Salon participants have the opportunity to submit their work to AJHS' national poetry contest. Poems are being accepted on a rolling basis, and winner will be announced September of 2020.

Ticket Info: Free; reservations required at ajhs.org/virtual-poetry-salon-emmas-birthday-july-22nd to receive a link to the Zoom program


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About the Speaker:

Lynn Melnick is the author of the poetry collections Refusenik, Landscape with Sex and Violence, and If I Should Say I Have Hope, and the co-editor of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation. Her poetry has appeared in APR, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and A Public Space. Her essays have appeared in LA Review of Books, ESPN, and the anthology Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture. I've Had to Think Up a Way to Survive, a book about Dolly Parton that is also a bit of a memoir, is forthcoming from University of Texas Press in 2022. A former fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and previously on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, she currently teaches poetry at Columbia University and the 92Y.


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workshop

Thu, Jul 23
04:30PM
Thu, Jul 23
04:30PM

lecture

The Accidental Rise of the Modern Yiddish Theater

Alyssa Quint | Delivered in English

The Accidental Rise of the Modern Yiddish Theater explores the particular social, commercial, cultural, linguistic, and historical circumstances that gave rise to the first public performances of Yiddish operetta in Romania and Russia from 1876 to 1883, a period considered the first chapter of the modern Yiddish theater. These performances kickstarted the global cultural phenomenon that became the modern Yiddish theater. Under what circumstances was this complex institution allowed to grow? And what accident of history—without which there may have been no Yiddish theater—lies at the intersection of all of these circumstances?

Ticket Info: Free; register at yivo.org/YCLS2020-Quint to receive a link to the Zoom program


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lecture

Thu, Jul 23
06:00PM
Thu, Jul 23
06:00PM

lecture

Family History Today: Reading between the Lines in your Family’s Papers – Live on Zoom

Family papers can tell us a lot about our family histories, but without proper historical context, much of what these documents might tell us is lost. In this presentation, Michael Simonson will provide crucial context to historical documents you might find in your own family history research, allowing you to understand your discoveries on a deeper level. While he will focus on examples from German and Austrian family papers, his presentation’s themes will be applicable to genealogical researchers of all backgrounds.

Ticket Info: Pay what you wish; register at simonson.bpt.me or 800-838-3006 to receive a link to the Zoom program


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About the Speaker:

Michael Simonson comes to us with a knowledge of genealogical resources for German and Austrian Jewish families gained over 17 years as an archivist at the Leo Baeck Institute.  In addition, Mr. Simonson now serves as the head of the Ira S. Lewy Reference Department and as the Director of Public Outreach for the Leo Baeck Institute.


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lecture

Mon, Jul 27
04:30PM
Mon, Jul 27
04:30PM

lecture

Brider un shvester fun arbet un noyt. A geshikhte fun 'bund.'

Jack Jacobs | Delivered in Yiddish

The Jewish Workers’ Bund, founded in Vilna in 1897, was the most important Jewish socialist party in Europe, and the most powerful Jewish political party in a number of Poland’s major cities in the years immediately preceding the Second World War. This talk will explore the history of the Bund, and its ideological development, and will attempt to explain both the reasons for the Bund’s success, and the party’s limitations. Why was a party rooted in Marxism, led by secularists, and advocating anti-Zionist ideas, so attractive to a significant proportion of Polish Jewry in the 1930s?

Ticket Info: Free; register at yivo.org/YCLS2020-Jacobs to receive a link to the Zoom program


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lecture

Tue, Jul 28
01:00PM
Tue, Jul 28
01:00PM

talk

LIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES: Emma Lazarus' Red Manuscript - A New Interactive Zoom Series from AJHS!

Emma Lazarus handwrote her work here in the mid-1880s, and while we typically turn to page 1 to study “The New Colossus,” this time we’ll turn to page 2 to study “Progress & Poverty.” Initially published in the New York Times, Lazarus wrote the poem after reading labor activist and journalist Henry George’s 526-page economic analysis, Progress & Poverty. Join Executive Director, Dr. Annie Polland, and AJHS Director of Collections and Engagement, Melanie Meyers, for a live show that draws on the perspectives of Professor Schor, historian Ed O’Donnell, author of Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age, and others, as you discover more facets to Lazarus’s work.

About the Series:
A new National Endowment for the Humanities CARES grant enables AJHS to bring curated objects and documents straight to you through new digital storytelling methods. In these live interactive Zoom sessions, you’ll see documents close up and pose questions to archivists and historians about what you are examining.

Ticket Info: Free; register at forms.office.com to receive a link to the Zoom program


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talk

Tue, Aug 11
04:00PM
Tue, Aug 11
04:00PM

talk

Out of the Box: Snapshots of a Life - Live on Zoom

A story from the Archives of the Leo Baeck Institute

With a keen photographic eye and sharp sense of humor, Emil Carl Grossmann documented his life as he encountered the quotidian joys and historic upheavals characterizing a life that spanned the 20th century. Diverse materials including autographed playbills, photographs of zoo animals, and personal ads, along with reminders of his family’s tragic history, come together to give a fuller picture of Grossmann and his time. By exploring his archival collection, Sarah Glover, Archivist at the Center for Jewish History, shows how much we can learn from just one box.  With Michael Simonson, head of the Reference Department and Director of Public Outreach for the Leo Baeck Institute.

About the Series
At the Center for Jewish History, there are tens of thousands of boxes in our partners’ archival collections. Boxes filled with photographs, journals, letters, and documents. We take these treasures Out of the Box in our new series. Join us!

Ticket Info: Pay what you wish; registration required at grossmann.bpt.me to receive a link to the program on Zoom


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About the Speakers:

Sarah Glover is an Archivist and Digitization Projects Liaison at the Center for Jewish History, where she has worked since 2015. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied English, History, and Jewish Studies and her Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan. Sarah uses her knowledge of German, Hebrew, and Yiddish in her archival work.

Michael Simonson serves as the head of the Ira S. Lewy Reference Department and as the Director of Public Outreach for the Leo Baeck Institute. Originally from Minnesota, Michael studied German history and German language before attending Pratt Institute for archival studies. A former President of the Archivist Roundtable of Metropolitan New York, Michael has worked as an archivist at LBI for the last 17 years.


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talk

Thu, Aug 20
06:00PM
Thu, Aug 20
06:00PM

lecture

Family History Today: Adventures in Genealogy – Live on Zoom

Jennifer Mendelsohn is the founder of #resistancegenealogy, a social media movement that’s garnered international attention by using genealogical and historical records to fight disinformation and honor America’s immigrant past. In this session she’ll talk about her path to becoming an “accidental activist.” She’ll also detail how her genealogical adventures have helped reunite long lost family members, debunked decades-old family fairy tales (Did you know no names were changed at Ellis Island?) and led to shocking, poignant and sometimes hilarious revelations.  

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: Pay what you wish; register at mendelsohn.bpt.me or 800-838-3006 to receive a link to the Zoom program


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lecture