Out of the Box: Paint, Pray, Love
Known for her paintings of erotic female nudes, Lene Schneider-Kainer divorced her husband in 1926 and set off on an artistic odyssey across Asia. Retracing Marco Polo’s journey, the intrepid artist travelled from opium dens in Isfahan to Buddhist temples in the Himalayas and from brothels in Agra to the Peking Opera.
When she died, Schneider-Kainer left her travel diary, photographs, scrapbooks, and over 100 watercolors and sketches to the Leo Baeck Institute. Archivist Michael Simonson takes these rarely seen treasures Out of the Box and reveals the enchanting art and surprising story of a German-Jewish artist who defied the male art world and broke the boundaries set for women in her time.
Come early or stay late to see paintings by 11 other artists forced by the Nazi regime to leave Germany and Austria (as Schneider-Kainer would be, as well) on display in the Katherine and Clifford H. Goldsmith Gallery as part of LBI’s current exhibition, The Art of Exile: Paintings by German-Jewish Refugees.
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. Boxes filled with stories. We take these treasures Out of the Box in our new series. Join us!
Ticket Info: $10 general; $7 seniors; $5 CJH/Partner members, students at paintpraylove.bpt.me or 800-838-3006
Archivist and Director of Public Outreach at the Leo Baeck Institute, Michael Simonson discovered the story of Lene Schneider-Kainer when he was asked to translate her diary from German to English for greater research use. Drawn to her creativity and independence, Michael also began to explore a broader story of how Europeans, especially European Jews, viewed the Middle East and Asia in the 19th and early 20th century. 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 at LBI for the last seventeen years.
Nusakh Vilne Memorial
Join us for our annual event commemorating the Jewish community of Vilna through poetry, music, and presentation including readings and performances by Rivka Augenfeld, Michael Fox, Ellen Perecman, Ruth Baran-Gerold, and Mikhl Baran. Chaired by Elliot Palevsky, the program will include a presentation on YIVO’s forthcoming YIVO Bruce and Francesca Cernia Slovin Online Museum by YIVO’s Executive Director Jonathan Brent and the museum's Chief Curator, Karolina Ziulkoski. The presentation will showcase material from YIVO’s Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Online Collections project, including newly discovered material and the story of Bebe Epstein.
A reception will follow the presentations.
Ticket Info: Free; reservations at yivo.org/NusakhVilne2019 or 917-606-8290
Anneliese Landau’s Life in Music: Nazi Germany to Émigré California, with Dr. Lily E. Hirsch
The subject of her new book, Lily E. Hirsch introduces us to a woman who truly persisted. Anneliese Landau pushed past bias to earn a PhD in musicology in 1930. She then lectured on early German radio, breaking new ground in a developing medium. After the Nazis forced the firing of all Jews in broadcasting in early 1933, Landau worked in the Berlin Jewish Culture League (Jüdischer Kulturbund), a closed cultural organization created by and for Jews in negotiation with Hitler's regime. Although Rabbi Leo Baeck tried to help Landau’s parents leave Germany, in 1939, she would emigrate alone, the fate of her family members tied separately to the Kindertransport and to the Terezín concentration camp.
Landau settled in Los Angeles, assuming duties as music director of the Jewish Centers Association in 1944. In this role and those that came before, she knew and worked with many significant historical figures, among them Arnold Schoenberg, Bruno Walter, and Leo Baeck.
Anneliese Landau's Life in Music offers fresh perspective on the Nazi period in Germany as well as on music in southern California, impacted as it was by the many notable émigrés from German-speaking lands who settled in the area. Landau's story is ultimately one of stubborn survival: an account of one woman's confrontation with other people's expectations of her, as a woman and a Jew.
Ticket Info: Free; RSVP at jewishmusicforum.org or 800-838-3006
A Jewish King of Poland for One Night: On the Polish-Jewish Royal Dynasty that Never Was
In 2014, in an official visit to Poland, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin shared a curious personal anecdote: that he was the heir of the Polish throne. According to a family tradition, one of his ancestors, Saul Wahl, was elected King of Poland for one night.
Rivlin’s speech is just one example of an oft-repeated legend, which has persisted since the 18th century among the descendants of Saul Wahl (d. 1617). Most scholarship has focused on locating a “grain of truth” in the legend, but,historians have established that Wahl was never appointed king.
Ofer Dynes examines how this legend has informed the perspectives of those who considered themselves part of this Polish-Jewish royal dynasty. What, for example, can we glean from the legend’s political insights? How did Jews make sense of their place in the Polish political landscape? How did they imagine the possibilities and complexities of a Jew becoming the king of Poland? Second, on the basis of archival evidence, Dynes will reconstruct what the legend meant for Saul Wahl’s descendants, the prominent Katzenellenbogen rabbinic family, who considered themselves claimants for the Polish throne. Finally, Dynes will explore what it means – for both Poland and Israel – that the current Israeli President considers himself as a legitimate heir of a Polish royal dynasty.
Ticket Info: Free; reservations required at yivo.org/Jewish-King or 917-606-8290
North African French Resistance:A Well Kept Secret
The Vichy Regime, the Allies, and the Camps
by Dr. Nicole Cohen-Addad
They were hundreds, they were a thousand. French citizenship had been confiscated from most through discriminatory Vichy laws. Nevertheless, they fought as “patriots,” neutralizing the Vichy forces and paving the way for American and the British landings on the coasts of Morocco and Algeria in 1942, the first successful Allied landings on Axis soil. This was a major turning point in the Second World War. And, then, inexplicably, they were sent to camps in North Africa. Join us as we explore this little-known aspect of World War II history.
Dr. Nicole Cohen-Addad has been building an array of oral archives over since 2002, with various actors and witnesses of this very special time around 8 November 1942. The video interviews are readily available for viewing on the website of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum under her name.
Ticket Info: $15 general at bpt.me/4330256 or 800-838-3006
film and discussion
Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People
Join AJHS and CJH for a film screening followed by a conversation with Director Oren Rudavsky about the fascinating life and legacy of Joseph Pulitzer.
Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People explores the remarkable man behind the prestigious prizes. A Jewish immigrant from Hungary, Joseph Pulitzer began as a gifted journalist before becoming a successful publisher and businessman. Pulitzer was famous in his own time for his outspoken and cantankerous editorial voice and his newspapers’ striking illustrations, visual style, national circulation and financial success. Against the context of America’s explosive growth as a world force during the Gilded Age, Pulitzer emerges as the country’s first media titan, reshaping the newspaper to bear witness to and even propel that transformation. Joseph Pulitzer championed what he regarded as the sacred role of the free press in a democracy.
Narrated by Adam Driver, the documentary tells the story of Pulitzer’s life and accomplishments through a combination of archival footage, reenactments and interviews with authors, journalists and scholars. Liev Schreiber is the voice of Pulitzer, Tim Blake Nelson is the voice of Roosevelt and Rachel Brosnahan is the voice of investigative journalist Nellie Bly.
Ticket Info: $15 general; $12 CJH/Partner members, seniors, students; $20 at the door at bpt.me/4309891 or 800-838-3006
film and discussion
The Wedding Photo: Genealogy Comes Alive!
Contrary to dusty first impressions, genealogy can be an adventure. In Dan Oren's book, The Wedding Photo, a visit to an abandoned Polish Jewish cemetery in 1993 launches a 20-year search to solve the mystery of "Who is Buried in Sarah's Tomb?" A visit with a cousin unearths a breathtaking photo of a Berlin family wedding from 1926 and leads to discovering their unimaginable post-wedding history. An archivist in Prague discovers a secret uncle whose life takes the reader from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the Vatican in Rome. A memoir by Philip Roth shocks a daughter into unlocking a father's concealed past. In this talk, Dr. Oren will share his genealogical research strategies.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dan A. Oren, M.D. has worked for thirty years as a psychiatrist and faculty member at Yale Universtiy, the US National Institute of Mental Health, and the Univesity of Rzeszow, Poland. The author of Joining the Club: A History of Jews and Yale, he is the founder and president of the Friends of Jewish Heritage in Poland.
Ticket Info: $5 general at weddingphoto.bpt.me or 800-838-3006; free for CJH/JGS members (tickets not required)
Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey
Join Mikhal Dekel in conversation with Natalia Aleksiun about a family story that complicates our understanding of refuge, displacement, new homes, and the unexpected fate of child refugees.
Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey tracks the fates of those Polish Jews who during WWII were "saved by deportation.” It follows them alongside other Polish nationals from their Polish hometowns, into the Soviet interior, Central Asia, Iran, India and Mandatory Palestine. Dekel travels these paths of escape, refuge, exile and new home, probing archives and people - from Polish nationalists to Russian oligarchs to Korean Uzbeks - and painting a dynamic, situational history of Jews and Catholics, refugees and evacuees, natives and newcomers, the millions and the one - her father - a former child refugee. Tehran Children is also a history of the present: of ways in which complex pasts have been obliterated from but nonetheless have bled into present-day Poland, Russia, Uzbekistan, Iran, and Israel, of the limited frameworks at our disposal for understanding these pasts and of the possibility of expansion
A reception and book signing will follow the program.
This event is co-sponsored by the CCNY Foundations.
Ticket Info: $10 general; $7 seniors; $5 CJH/Partner members; free for students at tehranchildren.bpt.me or 800-838-3006
Mikhal Dekel is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at City College and the CUNY Graduate Center and Director of the Rifkind Center for Humanities and the Arts She is the author of The Universal Jew: Masculinity, Modernity and the Zionist Moment and Oedipus in Kishinev.
Natalia Aleksiun is Professor of Modern Jewish History at Touro College, Graduate School of Jewish Studies, New York. She is the author of Where to? The Zionist Movement in Poland, 1944-1950 and Conscious History: Polish Jewish Historians before the Holocaust.
family history today
DNA and the Golden Rule – The Law and Ethics of Genetic Genealogy
Whose permission is needed to test a child or an adult unable to consent? Who owns our DNA? What can we disclose about a cousin who has tested? The rules of the road for the ethical challenges facing genealogists interested in using DNA evidence as part of their family history research. Learn how applying the Golden Rule can guide us through many if not most of the situations in which we as genetic genealogists find ourselves.
About the Speaker: The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell is a genealogist with a law degree who writes and lectures on topics ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. On the faculty of numerous genealogy institutes, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, from which she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist® and Certified Genealogical Lecturer?. Her award-winning blog is at http://www.legalgenealogist.com.
An ASL interpreter may be made available if requested in advance.
Ticket Info: $10 general; $5 CJH/Partner members, seniors, students at geneticgenealogy.bpt.me or 800-838-3006
family history today