Tue, Apr 13
01:00PM
Tue, Apr 13
01:00PM

lecture

Glikl's Afterlives: On the Circulation and Reception of Glikl's Memoirs

How did Glikl, often referred to as "Glückel von Hameln," become such an iconic and oft-cited figure in Ashkenazic cultural history? In this talk, Matthew Johnson ventures an answer to this question by exploring the belated circulation and reception of Glikl's memoirs (written between 1691 and 1719) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Johnson will provide an overview of the particular editions and translations—in Yiddish, German, Hebrew, and English—that first made Glikl's memoirs available to a large audience and shaped how they were read and understood, often in contradictory ways, in modernity.


About the Speaker:

Matthew Johnson is a PhD candidate in Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago. His dissertation concerns the relationship between Yiddish- and German-language literature in the twentieth century. His research has been supported by the YIVO Institute, the Fulbright Program and the IFK in Vienna, the Posen Society of Fellows, and the Yiddish Book Center.


Presented by:

lecture

Mon, Apr 12
12:00PM
Mon, Apr 12
12:00PM

lecture

Rich Cultural Heritage of Bukharian Jews II: Language and Literature

On the heels of previous IJE sessions on Bukharian Jewish history and culture, we invite you to join us for a deeper dive into the literary and linguistic tradition of Bukharian Jews. Through our exploration of the eclectic literature and dynamic language of Bukharian Jews, we will discover some of the essential ways in which this Central Asian Jewish community has developed its vibrant and multifaceted culture. Our discussion will take us on a journey to Central Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, the Land of Israel, the United States and beyond.

Originally from Uzbekistan, Ruben Shimonov grew up in Seattle, where he obtained his BA in International Relations, Near Eastern Studies, and Jewish Studies at the University of Washington. As a Bukharian Jew—whose multilayered identity lies at the intersection of Mizrahi, Sephardic, and Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ)—Ruben roots his work as an educator, social innovator, and community builder in a deep passion for the diverse cultural mosaic of the Jewish people.


Presented by:

lecture

Thu, Apr 08
02:00PM
Thu, Apr 08
02:00PM

book talk

Julie Metz and Ariana Neumann in Conversation: Eva and Eve

Julie Metz's mother Eve was the quintessential New Yorker–steely, savvy, thrifty, pragmatic, brusque. It was difficult to imagine her living anywhere else except the Upper West Side of Manhattan, but New York City was in fact her adopted home. She was born in Vienna to a comfortable, middle class Jewish family until Germany annexed Austria on March 12th, 1938.

In the two years following the Nazi takeover, her father Julius struggled to find a safe haven for his wife and children. Across the ocean, anti-immigration fervor prevailed as part of the initial America First movement. Miraculously, Julius got his family out of Vienna just in time, thanks to perseverance, a medicine package made of folded paper, a sympathetic American Vice Consul, and good luck.

Shortly after Eve’s death, Metz found a keepsake book her mother had kept hidden in a drawer for over half a century, filled with farewell notes from her childhood friends and relatives. In that secret keepsake book, her mother’s name was Eva. Inspired by this discovery, Metz set out in search of her mother’s lost childhood. The result is Eva and Eve, a real-life detective story that offers moments of grace, serendipity, and lessons for this polarized moment when once again Otherness is the enemy.

Please join us as Julie Metz engages in conversation with Ariana Neumann, who in similar fashion wrote about her family's past as Jews living in Prague at the time of the Nazi occupation. Both women in their work bring to light answers to questions that they had learned, growing up in their families, were not to be asked. Ariana Neumann's own work, When Time Stopped: A Memoir of my Father's War and What Remains, was published in 2020. It was a winner of the 2020 National Jewish Book Award for Best Memoir. Both women have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List. 


About the Speakers:

Julie Metz is the New York Times bestselling author of Perfection. She has written for publications including The New York TimesSalon, Dame, Redbook, and Glamour. She has received fellowships at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and The Vermont Studio Center. She lives with her family in the Hudson Valley. You can find out more about Julie’s writing life on Instagram: @JulieMetzWriter and her website.

Ariana Neumann was born and grew up in Venezuela. She has a BA in History and French Literature from Tufts University, an MA in Spanish and Latin American Literature from New York University and a PgDIP in Psychology of Religion from University of London. She previously was involved in publishing, worked as a foreign correspondent for Venezuela’s The Daily Journal and her writing also appeared in The European. She currently lives in London with her family. When Time Stopped is her first book. Listen to a podcast with Ariana Neumann here.

Order their Books
Eva and Eve: A Search for My Mother's Lost Childhood and What a War Left Behind.
When Time Stopped: Memoirs of my Father's War and What Remains


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Apr 07
12:00PM
Wed, Apr 07
12:00PM

lecture

The Untold Story of Bukharian Jews During WWII

Manashe Khaimov presents a unique intergenerational video project that documented the little-told story of the role of the Bukharian Jews in World War II; in addition to the stories of Ashkenazi Jews who were evacuated from their homes and fled to Central Asia.


Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Apr 07
04:00PM
Wed, Apr 07
04:00PM

book talk

Family Affairs: Writing Parents’ Stories

In the fourth program of the series, Bernice Lerner, author of All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, a British Doctor and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen (Johns Hopkins, 2020) and Susan Jacobowitz, author of the manuscript Far from Childhood: A Holocaust Memoir, discuss with Natalia Aleksiun their parents' interrupted childhoods during the Holocaust in the Carpathian Mountains. The authors will reflect on their work uncovering the life trajectories of Rachel Genuth and Henryk Jakobowicz and the link between their own familiarity with and distance from the stories. They will share insights about the role of their own scholarship and writing about intimate tales of suffering, rupture, continuity, and courage.


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Mar 31
02:00PM
Wed, Mar 31
02:00PM

book club

LBI Book Club, Vol. IX: The Spirit Returneth by Selma Stern

The Spirit Returneth tells the story of a Jewish family living in Jewish communities along the Rhine in the fateful years of 1348 and 1349. Through following the children of one family, who leave home to marry and start families of their own or to study, we follow the progression of the Black Death as it spreads across Germany, bringing with it horrific pogroms and massacres of Jews. As the disease and accompanying violence spreads, we watch the characters, Jews but also Christians sympathetic to them, struggle for survival and/or accept death. The book was published immediately after the Holocaust in 1946, and both at the time and today reviewers have noted that the novel deals with the Holocaust in actuality, but the author chose to distance herself from the immediate event and purposely set her novel in an "earlier Holocaust" of the Jewish people in Germany.

Author
Selma Stern (1890 - 1981) was one of the first women to become a professional historian in Germany. Her writings in history dealt with Jewish history, and included the history of Jewish emancipation, the Court Jews of the Early Modern period, She is best-remembered for her seven-volume work The Prussian State and the Jews. A research fellow at the Akademie für die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin, she received her doctorate and married the director and founder of the academy, Eugen Täubler. In 1941 they fled to the United States, some of the last Jews able to flee Germany. Settling in New York at first, they then went to the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, where she worked as an archivist. Eugen died in 1953. Selma Stern retired in 1955, quickly becoming one of the founders of the Leo Baeck Institute. In 1960 she moved to Switzerland to live near her sister, where she continued to write as well. She died in Basel in 1981.

Where to Get the Book
The Leo Baeck Institute has received permission from the publisher to copy and share the book with members of the book club, as the book is out of print. Once you register for the event, you will receive a link to a copy of the book in our Dropbox account in your order confirmation email. You can download the book and read it online, or if you have access to a printer you can print it out and read the hard copy. You will also find a copy here and there using Ebay, Amazon, and other book selling websites, but they are rare to find and often expensive. That said, you can sometimes find a cheap copy as well.


Presented by:

book club

Thu, Mar 25
02:00PM
Thu, Mar 25
02:00PM

panel discussion

The Blood Libel: New Media and Conspiracy Theories

Magda Teter will join David N. Myers to discuss the story of Simon of Trent and the role of print media in spreading conspiracy theories.

More than 600 years ago, a conspiracy theory about the murder of children went viral in a brand new medium, and it has circulated in ever-changing forms to the present day, inspiring vigilantism, mob violence, and state persecution.

Magda Teter (Fordham University), whose new history of the "Blood Libel" tracks its origins and spread, will join fellow historian David N. Myers (UCLA) to discuss the story of Simon of Trent as a case study in how a new medium – print – accelerated the spread of conspiracy theories.

Simon was a toddler whose dead body was found on Easter Sunday in 1475 in a canal under the home of a Jewish family in the city of Trent, then part of the Holy Roman Empire (now Italy). The town’s Jews were accused of killing Simon as part of a supposed Jewish ritual that required the blood of a Christian child, and the trial resulted in the destruction of Trent’s Jewish community and the creation of a cult with little Simon at its center. As historian Magda Teter notes in her essay on the incident for Leo Baeck Institute's Shared History Project, “The trial had a long-term impact on Jewish history, Catholic history and canon law, and the history of antisemitism. Its reverberations are still felt today.”

While this incident was not the first or last trial of Jews accused of killing a Christian child, it took on a life of its own because it happened soon after the advent of the printing press. This allowed for the first time a broad dissemination of stories, inspiring literary and artistic productions that became increasingly detached from reality as they spread.

This history matters more than ever today as mis- and disinformation spread in another new medium destabilize institutions and inspire violence.

About the Panelists
Magda Teter is Shvidler Chair in Judaic Studies and Professor of History at Fordham University. Her work focuses on early modern religious and cultural history, with emphasis on Jewish-Christian relations, the politics of religion, and transmission of culture among Jews and Christians across Europe in the early modern period. She published numerous articles and books in English, Polish, Italian, and Hebrew. Teter was recently appointed the 2020-2021 National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Fellow at the Center for Jewish History, and she will be working on her current research project, The Dissemination and Uses of the Jewish Past: The Role of The Present in The Production and Politics of History.

David N. Myers is the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA, where he serves as the director of the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy. He is the author or editor of fifteen books in the field of Jewish history, including a forthcoming book with Nomi Stolzenberg on the Satmar Hasidic community of Kiryas Joel, New York. Myers serves as President of the New Israel Fund.


Presented by:

panel discussion

Wed, Mar 24
01:00PM
Wed, Mar 24
01:00PM

cooking show

What's Cooking for Passover - The Cream Puff Challenge!

Culinary historian Sarah Lohman gives a live demonstration from her kitchen.

A light fluffy choux pastry filled with cream that’s kosher for Passover? Sounds like a challenge! Culinary historian Sarah Lohman hosts a live demonstration with step-by-step instructions to help you whip up this delicate and delicious treat.  Director of Collections Melanie Meyers pulls from several of the Passover cookbooks found in our collections that document how food trends have changed and evolved for this holiday. The ingredients tell a story of immigration, trade, and intersectionality- understanding through food, the diversity of the American Jewish community.


Presented by:

cooking show

Wed, Mar 24
04:00PM
Wed, Mar 24
04:00PM

book talk

The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War

Historian David Nasaw is the author of the award-winning, acclaimed biographies The Patriarch, Andrew Carnegie, and The Chief.  In his sweeping new masterwork, THE LAST MILLION: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War (Penguin Press), Nasaw turns his attention to the gripping yet little-known story of the million displaced persons left behind in Germany following the end of World War II: Jews, Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, and other Eastern Europeans who refused to go home or had no homes to return to. The Last Million would spend the next three to five years in displaced persons camps, temporary homelands in exile, divided by nationality, with their own police forces, churches and synagogues, schools, newspapers, theaters, and infirmaries. By 1952, the Last Million were scattered around the world. As they crossed from their broken past into an unknowable future, they carried with them their wounds, their fears, their hope, and their secrets.

Nasaw will share this history in a wide-ranging conversation with Atina Grossmann, author of Jews, Germans, and Allies: Close Encounters in Occupied Germany (Princeton University Press) and Professor of History in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Cooper Union, whose research relates to transnational Jewish refugee stories.

This program is funded, in part, by a Humanities New York CARES Grant, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Presented by:

book talk

Tue, Mar 23
11:00AM
Tue, Mar 23
11:00AM

panel discussion

Nazi-Looted Art and Archives: Recovering and Preserving Jewish Culture

The ravages of the Holocaust and post-World War II led to the theft and disappearance of art, archives, and personal assets. Join Jonathan Brent and Howard Spiegler for a discussion on the quest to recover and preserve these cultural treasures.


About the Speakers:

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.

Howard Spiegler is co-chair of Herrick, Feinstein LLP’s Art Law Group, handling all aspects of commercial art matters. Working with other specialists in the firm, Howard advises clients on international trade issues, loans, museum and private exhibitions, organization and structuring of businesses, estate planning, insurance issues, art financing, tax, criminal law concerns, and other matters.

He has been integrally involved in some of the most important litigations brought on behalf of foreign governments and heirs of Holocaust victims and others to recover stolen artwork or other cultural property, including the precedent-setting “Portrait of Wally” case, in which he settled a litigation, with the assistance of the U.S. Government, brought on behalf of an estate to recover a painting confiscated by a Nazi agent in the late 1930s, the recovery on behalf of the family of the famous Soviet artist Kazimir Malevich of a number of extremely valuable and important Malevich paintings from the City of Amsterdam, and the recovery, on behalf of the Royal Library of Sweden, of a 415-year-old atlas, and other valuable books, which had been stolen from the library.

Howard is a frequent lecturer and panelist at educational, professional and industry organizations on a myriad of topics in art law. He is a regular writer and contributor to a variety of publications including the recently published first edition of The Art Law Review, of which Howard is the co-editor and for which he co-authored a chapter providing an overview of art law in the United States.


Presented by:

panel discussion

Sun, Mar 21
10:00AM
Sun, Mar 21
10:00AM

cooking show

Sephardic Culinary History with Chef Hélène Jawhara-Piñer

Episode VIII: Mexican Crypto-Jewish Pesach recipe

Sephardi Culinary History is a show that combines chef and scholar Hélène Jawhara-Piñer’s fascination with food studies and flair for creating delicious cuisine. Join along as she cooks Sephardic history! ASF Broome & Allen Fellow Piñer earned her Ph.D in History, Medieval History, and the History of Food from the University of Tours, France.


Presented by:

cooking show

Thu, Mar 18
12:30PM
Thu, Mar 18
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Susan Rosenberg Jones and Rebecca Naomi Jones

A new virtual interview series hosted by Julie Salamon

Author and journalist Julie Salamon (Wall Street Journal and NY Times) sits down with influential cultural leaders in the Jewish American community; we'll hear their thoughts about working in this present moment, current projects, and what they have to say about their Jewish identity. Grab your lunch and tune in for our conversation with Photographer Susan Rosenberg Jones and her daughter Actor, Rebecca Naomi Jones

Our Guests This Week
Susan Rosenberg Jones is a portrait and documentary photographer focused on home, family, and community. Her work has been displayed at Camerawork Gallery, apexart Gallery in Tribeca, Griffin Museum, and Howland Cultural Arts Center among others.  Her series Second Time Around was selected for the Portfolio Showcase 9 exhibit at the Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft Collins, CO in 2016, received Honorable Mention in the 2017 Baxter Street at CCNY Annual Juried Competition, and was named a 2017 Critical Mass Top 50. Widowed, a portrait and text series, was named a 2019 Critical Mass Top 200 finalist. And in 2020, Susan was awarded a Critical Mass 200 finalist for her series, Safe Haven, an examination of her relationship with her husband during the Covid-19 lockdown in NYC.  Susan’s work has been published in Lenscratch, Fraction, Float Magazine, The American Scholar, and F-Stop Magazine. She has participated in numerous juried group exhibitions. www.susanrosenbergjones.com 

Rebecca Naomi Jones has performed on Broadway in Oklahoma!Significant Other, Hedwig and The Angry Inch, American Idiot and Passing Strange. Her off-Broadway performances include Big Love (Drama League nomination), Murder Ballad (Lilly award and Lucille Lortel nomination), Describe the Night (2018 Obie Award for Best Play), Marie and Rosetta, Fire In Dreamland, The Fortress of Solitude, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Wig Out! and As You Like It. Films: Someone Great (upcoming), The Outside Story (upcoming), French Fries, Most Likely To Murder, The Big Sick, Ratter, Ordinary World, Passing Strange and the documentary Broadway Idiot. Select Television: Strangers, High Maintenance, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, Inside Amy Schumer, Limitless and Difficult People. Solo concerts: Lincoln Center American Songbook, Apollo Cafe. Rebecca holds a BFA in Drama from the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Interviewed By
Julie Salamon is an American author, critic and storyteller. She worked at The Wall Street Journal for sixteen 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. Her books have received wide critical and popular attention, she has just completed "Unlikely Friends," a memoir for Audible Original, scheduled for release in 2021.


Presented by:

conversation

Thu, Mar 18
01:00PM
Thu, Mar 18
01:00PM

lecture

Sephardi Thought and Modernity: Sephardim in Israel and the Critique of Secularism

The intention of this series is to spark the interest in processes of Jewish modernization not exclusively mediated by Europeanization. The questions we will be dealing with are related to non-dichotomic identities, multiplicity and loss of language, colonization, social transformation, and intellectual responses to it. We will approach these questions by looking at Jewish-Arab influences, the Sephardi response to European modernization, the responses of the rabbinic leadership and the work of Sephardi intellectuals.

March 18th: Yaakov Yadgar (Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford): Sephardim in Israel and the critique of secularism


Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Mar 17
04:00PM
Wed, Mar 17
04:00PM

lecture

Family History Today: Location, Location, Location - Historical Maps in Genealogy Research

Answering the question "where do my ancestors come from?" is key to understanding their history and traditions. However, identifying and locating the places where they lived, particularly in Eastern Europe, is often a tricky task. In this lecture, Ed Mitukiewicz, map consultant for the documentary film Raise the Roof, will demonstrate how you can use historical map websites and geographic information databases to overcome these challenges.

This program is sponsored by the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute. It is funded, in part, by a Humanities New York CARES Grant, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Mar 17
07:00PM
Wed, Mar 17
07:00PM

panel discussion

The Tenor of Irish-Jewish Relations in 19th-20th Century New York

Join us as Miriam Nyhan Grey, Associate Director of NYU's Ireland House, hosts a discussion with Dr. Hasia Diner and Dr. Jeffrey Gurock as they question the long-accepted visions of Hibernians and Hebrews at constant loggerheads, and look to complicate the historical narrative with examples of common ground and cooperation. Dr. Diner will speak to the histories of American Jews and Irish American’s entwined with each other starting in 19th century. How they met informally on streets and in apartment buildings, but also how they connected in the labor movement, through politics, and schools.  In these encounters, Irish Americans, who had been in the United States longer and had established crucial power bases in the nation, served as mentors, models, and mediators for the Jews. Dr. Gurock will take us into the 20th century, describing the welcome Jews received at an Irish-Catholic University during the inter-war period, with a special emphasis on Jewish athletes becoming institutional standard bearers for St. John’s University. The relationship culminated in a tale of the unusual “get along” attitude obtained between the Irish and Jews in a post-war Bronx neighborhood. 


Presented by:

panel discussion

Mon, Mar 15
04:00PM
Mon, Mar 15
04:00PM

book talk

Hidden Heretics: Jewish Doubt in the Digital Age

Join author Ayala Fader (Fordham University) in conversation with Michal Kravel-Tovi (Tel Aviv University) about her book, a revealing look at Jewish men and women who secretly explore the outside world, in person and online, while remaining in their ultra-Orthodox religious communities.

What would you do if you questioned your religious faith, but revealing that would cause you to lose your family and the only way of life you had ever known? Hidden Heretics tells the fascinating, often heart-wrenching stories of married ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and women in 21st-century New York who lead “double lives” to protect those they love. While they no longer believe that God gave the Torah to Jews at Mount Sinai, these hidden heretics continue to live in their families and religious communities, even as they surreptitiously break Jewish commandments and explore forbidden secular worlds in person and online. Drawing on five years of fieldwork with those living double lives and the rabbis, life coaches, and religious therapists who minister to, advise, and sometimes excommunicate them, Ayala Fader investigates religious doubt and social change in the digital age.

In stories of conflicts between faith and self-fulfillment, Hidden Heretics explores the moral compromises and divided loyalties of individuals facing life-altering crossroads.

A 30% discount on the book is available to attendees and a special code will be included with your registration.


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Mar 10
12:00PM
Wed, Mar 10
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: The Mediterranean Diaspora in Late Antiquity: What Christianity Cost the Jews with Ross Shepard Kraemer

The Mediterranean Diaspora in Late Antiquity examines the fate of Jews living in the Mediterranean Jewish diaspora after the Roman emperor Constantine threw his patronage to the emerging orthodox (Nicene) Christian churches.

About the Author
Ross Shepard Kraemer is Professor Emerita of Religious Studies and Judaic Studies at Brown University, where she specialized in early Christianity and other religions of the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, including ancient Judaism. She holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Princeton University, and a B.A. from Smith College. Her many publications have focused particularly on gender and women's religions in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, and on aspects of Jews and Judaism in the late antique Mediterranean diaspora.


Presented by:

book talk

Mon, Mar 08
01:00PM
Mon, Mar 08
01:00PM

lecture

Leaving Behind the Froyen-vinkl, or How Women Functioned in the Male World of Yiddish Literature

For centuries, writing has been one of the few avenues available for women to make their voices heard in the public sphere. Joanna Lisek will present an overview of the strategies women used to break their way into the sphere of the printed Yiddish word: from annotations in the margins of books, to poems smuggled into the press in the guise of letters from readers, to the question of how relations with men were needed as leverage for getting published. Women writers and poets were not treated as equal partners in the male empire of Yiddish press and literature. Wedged into their froyen-vinkl, their “women’s corner,” women could expect condescension rather than actual recognition for their work. It is no coincidence that the seat of the Union of Jewish Writers and Journalists in Warsaw was described as a secular besmedresh, that is, a traditionally typical male institution. Finding a voice in the besmedresh of secular Yiddish literature was no easy task, and even more difficult was ensuring that this voice had a meaningful and important part in the discussion. Join us for this lecture to hear how they succeeded, oftentimes resorting to camouflage, at times openly manifesting their creative independence, all the while contending with unfavorable criticism.


About the Speaker:

Joanna Lisek is a literature scholar, translator, and faculty member at the Taube Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Wroclaw. Her main focus is on Jewish poetry and Yiddish culture, with a focus on women. She is the author of the monographs: Jung Wilne – ?ydowska grupa artystyczna [Yung Vilne, A Jewish Artistic Group, Wroclaw 2005] and Kol isze – g?os kobiet w poezji jidysz (od XVI w. do 1939 r.) [Kol ishe - The Voice of Women in Yiddish Poetry from the 16th Century to 1939, Sejny 2018], and the editor of the volumes: Nieme dusze? Kobiety w kulturze jidysz [Silent Souls? Women in Yiddish Culture, Wroclaw 2010] and Mykwa. Rytual i historia [Mikveh - Ritual and History, Wroclaw 2014]. She co-edited, with Karolina Szymaniak and Bella Szwarcman-Czarnota, Moja dzika koza. Antologia poetek jidysz [My Wild Goat. Anthology of Women Yiddish Poets, Kraków 2018]. In addition to the work of poets from Yiddish, she has translated into Polish works by, among others, Puah Rakovsky, Yente Serdatzky, and Chava Rosenfarb. Lisek is the editor of Zydzi. Polska. Autobiografia [Jews. Poland. Autobiography] series, which by 2023 will publish over 20 volumes of Jewish autobiographical literature, translated into Polish from Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Russian, as well as memoirs written originally in Polish.


Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Mar 03
12:00PM
Wed, Mar 03
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: The Jews of Iran and Rabbinic Literature: New Perspectives with Daniel Tsadik

Dr. Tsadik’s book addresses the question of Iranian Jewry’s familiarity with rabbinic literature from the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Many of the book’s theses challenge and revise prevailing views that see this Jewry as largely isolated from world Jewry and its rabbinic legacy.

About the Author
A Fulbright scholar, Dr. Daniel Tsadik obtained his PhD in 2002 from the Yale University History Department. He authored several articles, a book entitled "Between Foreigners and Shi‘is: Nineteenth-Century Iran and its Jewish Minority" (Stanford University Press, 2007), another book entitled "The Jews of Iran and Rabbinic Literature: New Perspectives" (2019) which won the (Israel) Prime Minister Prize, and co-edited the book "Iran, Israel and the Jews: Symbiosis and Conflict from the Archaemenids to the Islamic Republic" (2019). From 2008 to 2020, Professor Tsadik taught at Yeshiva University, where he served as Associate Professor of Sephardic and Iranian Studies. His current research is on Shi‘ite-Jewish polemics.

For more about the book: mosadharavkook.com


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Mar 03
04:00PM
Wed, Mar 03
04:00PM

book talk

Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union

Join author Eliyana R. Adler (Penn State University) in conversation with Debórah Dwork (The Graduate Center, CUNY) about her book, the forgotten story of 200,000 Polish Jews who escaped the Holocaust as refugees stranded in remote corners of the USSR.

Between 1940 and 1946, about 200,000 Jewish refugees from Poland lived and toiled in the harsh Soviet interior. They endured hard labor, bitter cold, and extreme deprivation. But out of reach of the Nazis, they escaped the fate of millions of their coreligionists in the Holocaust.

Survival on the Margins is the first comprehensive account in English of their experiences. The refugees fled Poland after the German invasion in 1939 and settled in the Soviet territories newly annexed under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Facing hardship, and trusting little in Stalin, most spurned the offer of Soviet citizenship and were deported to labor camps in unoccupied areas of the east. They were on their own, in a forbidding wilderness thousands of miles from home. But they inadvertently escaped Hitler’s 1941 advance into the Soviet Union. While war raged and Europe’s Jews faced genocide, the refugees were permitted to leave their settlements after the Soviet government agreed to an amnesty. Most spent the remainder of the war coping with hunger and disease in Soviet Central Asia. When they were finally allowed to return to Poland in 1946, they encountered the devastation of the Holocaust, and many stopped talking about their own ordeals, their stories eventually subsumed within the central Holocaust narrative.

Drawing on untapped memoirs and testimonies of the survivors, Eliyana Adler rescues these important stories of determination and suffering on behalf of new generations.


Presented by:

book talk

Tue, Mar 02
01:00PM
Tue, Mar 02
01:00PM

panel discussion

Beba Epstein: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Girl

The YIVO Bruce and Francesca Cernia Slovin Online Museum's inaugural exhibition, Beba Epstein: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Girl, uses the true story of Beba Epstein, a girl born in Vilna in 1922 who survived the Holocaust, to explore East European Jewish life in the 20th century. The museum's innovative, interactive storytelling contextualizes over two hundred artifacts from the YIVO Archives.

Join us for a discussion celebrating this exhibition featuring Beba Epstein's son, Michael Leventhal, scholar Antony Polonsky, museum chief curator Karolina Ziulkoski, and YIVO's Executive Director and CEO Jonathan Brent. The discussion will be moderated by Gal Beckerman (The New York Times Book Review).


Presented by:

panel discussion

Mon, Mar 01
12:00PM
Mon, Mar 01
12:00PM

lecture

The Persian Experience: The Jews of the Great Silk Road

Follow in the footsteps of the Bukharian Jewish merchants on the Silk Road and discover the ancient network of trade routes that were for centuries crucial to Eurasian cultural interaction. Explore with us the history of these roads connecting East and West, stretching from the Korean peninsula and Japan to the Mediterranean Sea. Understand the impact and the contribution that Central Asia's Jewish communities of today's Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan made towards the development of this ancient path. We will learn about the Jewish presence in this area for over 2000 years, will look into their houses and read into the letters that the Jews of Central Asia exchanged for centuries with their fellow European Jewish communities.


About the Speaker:

Manashe Khaimov is an Adjunct Professor in Jewish Studies, with a specialty in History and Culture of the Bukharian Jews at Queens College. Manashe was born in a city along the Silk Road, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, where his ancestors lived for over 2000 years, which makes Manashe’s Jewish identity simultaneously Bukharian, Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian speaking. He is a fourth-generation community organizer, informal Jewish educator, and a lifelong learner who brings his passion working with Jewish community. He is founding director and social innovator of the Bukharian Jewish Union, the founder of AskBobo.org, the only Bukharian online dictionary and the founder of The Jewish Silk Road Tours ™ walking tours in NYC. Manashe researched and produced several documentaries about Bukharian Jewish community as part of the Bukharian Lens project: The Untold Story of Bukharian Jews; The Untold Story of Bukharian Jews and Ashkenazi Jews Who Were Evacuated During WWII to Central Asia; Bukharian Roots. Manashe launched MEROS: Center for Bukharian Jewish Research & Identity at Queens College Hillel.


Presented by:

lecture

Sun, Feb 28
10:00AM
Sun, Feb 28
10:00AM

cooking show

Sephardic Culinary History with Chef Hélène Jawhara-Piñer

Episode Seven: Turrón and Conversos

Sephardi Culinary History is a new show that combines chef and scholar Hélène Jawhara-Piñer’s fascination with food studies and flair for creating delicious cuisine. Join along as she cooks Sephardic history! ASF Broome & Allen Fellow Piñerearned her Ph.D in History, Medieval History, and the History of Food from the University of Tours, France.


Presented by:

cooking show

Sun, Feb 28
12:00PM
Sun, Feb 28
12:00PM

lecture

The Persian Experience: Uprooted from Iran with Sharona Mizrahi

In this part of "The Persian Experience" series, Sharona Mizrahi shares her personal story.

Sharona was born in Kerman, Iran. Her great-grandparents came from Hamadan and Yazd. Sharona's great-grandparents escaped the famine of 1917-1920 in Hamadan, the city mentioned in the Book of Esther as Hegmatana or Ekbatana, the capitol of the Persian Empire during Acheshverosh's regime.

Sharona's oldest brother, Kurosh, has traced her family's lineage back six generations. Sharona attended public school in Iran until her first year of high school. Then in 1984, she, along with two sisters and one brother Z"L, escaped from Iran. One night in August, two weeks prior to Rosh Hashanah, smugglers arrived in the middle of the night and the Mizrahi family dropped everything and left their house to escape.

In this talk, Sharona will give a brief history of her family and their one-year journey to the United States.


Presented by:

lecture

Thu, Feb 25
02:00PM
Thu, Feb 25
02:00PM

book club

LBI Book Club, Vol. VIII - Fanny von Arnstein: Daughter of the Enlightenment

In February, we will be reading Fanny von Arnstein: Daughter of the Enlightenment by Hilde Spiel.  We are pleased to have as our special guest in the discussion Professor Deborah Hertz.

About the Book
Fanny von Arnstein was an important figure in the history of the Enlightenment.  Born into a wealthy Jewish family in Berlin, she married and moved to Vienna, where she founded a salon attracted politicians, artists, writers, and other prominent figures. Included in this list are Madame de Staël, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Amadeus Mozart. Hilde Spiel's biography provides "a vivid portrait of a brave and passionate woman, illuminating a central era in European cultural and social history." (Quotes from Amazon review).  At the same time, a biography is also a product of its own place and time.  Published in 1962 in German, it was less than 20 years since the Holocaust, and thus speaks to Jewish world that had been decimated, but also reborn.

Author
Hilde Spiel (1911-1990) was born into a Jewish family in Vienna.  With the rise of Nazism in the country, she chose to immigrate to London in 1936, before the Anschluss.  Both an author and a journalist, Hilde and her family visited Austria regularly after the war, and Hilde returned permanently in 1963, the year after Fanny von Arnstein: Daughter of the Enlightenment was published. Spiel herself stated this was her favorite work of all she had written. She died in 1990 in Vienna.

Guest
Deborah Hertz is the Herman Wouk Chair in Modern Jewish Studies and a professor in the Department of History at the University of California in San Diego.  You can learn more about her work here.  We look forward to having her join us.


Presented by:

book club

Wed, Feb 24
03:00PM
Wed, Feb 24
03:00PM

lecture

Color on My Mind: The History of the First Black Mental Health Clinic in America

The Lafargue Clinic was founded in 1946 by a group of black intellectuals and German-Jewish doctors. These activists joined together to answer a pressing need in New York - the need for psychiatric care for Black people. Blacks were historically denied access to clinics and hospitals that provided for the mental needs of the city. Further, black intellectuals argued that their communities suffered two-fold: having the psychological needs all people had, but also further needs fueled by the racism they experienced around them.

Led by American cultural figures like writers Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and photographer Gordon Parks, as well as the German-Jewish doctors Frederic Wertham and Hilde Mosse (who had fled Berlin after Hitler took power in 1933), the Lafargue Clinic was in the basement of a church. Using partitions, small rooms were formed for visitors seeking psychiatric care. The care was free, even though it had to be privately supported, as no New York City government agencies agreed to fund it. The Lafargue Clinic became the first clinic for psychiatric care for Black people in America. Its legacy continues today as The Northside Center for Child Development.

Register to join this presentation by Gabriel Mendes, author of Under the Strain of Color: Harlem's Lafargue Clinic and the Promise of an Antiracist Psychiatry, (Cornell University Press, 2015). He will discuss the history of the Lafargue clinic, its importance in the history of public health, and its important role in the battles against school segregation.


About the Speaker:

Gabriel N. Mendes is Director of Public Health Programs at the Bard Prison Initiative. He has held academic positions at Emmanuel College, UC San Diego, and, most recently, Vanderbilt University, where he was Senior Lecturer at the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society. He was also Associate Director of the Higher Education Opportunity Program at Bard College and Director of the Men2B Program at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. Mendes is the author of Under the Strain of Color: Harlem’s Lafargue Clinic and the Promise of an Antiracist Psychiatry (Cornell University Press, 2015), and he is currently writing his second book Through a Glass Darkly: Race and Madness in Modern America. Mendes holds a Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University, an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from Hobart College.


Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Feb 24
04:00PM
Wed, Feb 24
04:00PM

book club

People of the Book Club: The Lost Shtetl with Author Max Gross

Go behind the stories and peer inside the archives at the CJH book discussion, led by Lauren Gilbert, Senior Manager for Public Services at the Center for Jewish History. This session will feature a discussion of The Lost Shtetl by Max Gross, winner of the 2020 National Jewish Book Award in the "Book Club" category. A work of speculative fiction and magical realism, The Lost Shtetl tells the tale of a previously undiscovered remote Polish shtetl that is suddenly and unceremoniously dragged into the present. We will be joined by the author for a Q&A after the discussion.

Participants will need to obtain their own copy to read before the discussion.

NOTE: This is a book discussion, not a lecture, so space is limited.


Presented by:

book club

Tue, Feb 23
12:00PM
Tue, Feb 23
12:00PM

workshop

The Persian Experience: East and West - Can the Two Walk Together?

Join us for an experiential workshop with poet Esther Shkalim where she will share about her life as a Persian Jew in Israel, accompanied by readings from her well-received works "Sharkiya" and "What a Woman Must Know," published by Kinneret-Zemura-Bitan.

Part of "The Persian Experience," East and West: Can the Two Walk Together? (Amos 3:3) is a discussion with poet Esther Shkalim on a Mizrahi woman in a Western, secular society. Shkalim will discuss the following questions:

How does a woman from a Mizrahi traditional patriarchal society contend with Western, modern, secular Israeli society?
What is her relationship to the status of women in Mizrahi society, Orthodox society, and Israeli society?
How does she approach the ethnic mosaic of Israeli society?


About the Speaker:

Esther Shkalim is a poet of Persian heritage who researches Jewish diasporas of the East and West, with a focus on culture and community. Her two books, "Sharkiya" and "What a Woman Must Know" were published by Kinneret-Zemura-Bitan. In addition, she has published many poems in different books and journals, educational texts, and literary journals. Her poems are studied in universities, colleges and schools across Israel.


Presented by:

workshop

Mon, Feb 22
01:00PM
Mon, Feb 22
01:00PM

lecture

The Picture and Price of Jewish Assimilation in Documentary & Feature Silent Film

The early twentieth century was a period of assimilation and acculturation for large segments of the Jewish population living in the United States and Central and Eastern Europe. It was also a time of development and flowering for cinema – a new, democratic art form. Focusing on documentaries as well as feature silent films, 2019 Jan Karski & Pola Nirenska Award recipient Professor Daniel Grinberg will analyze the changing character and perception of Jews in both the United States and Poland.

This analysis will be compared with sociological theories and observations, as well as with literary presentations of the subject (I. Zangwill, A Yezierska, A Gordin). This talk will also consider the price of assimilation for Jewish communities of this period, the persistent “myth of America,” omnipresent in Yiddish culture before WW2, and antisemitic stereotypes and cliches popular in films of the 1920s and 1930s.


Presented by:

lecture

Sun, Feb 21
12:00PM
Sun, Feb 21
12:00PM

workshop

The Persian Experience: Persian Music Workshop

Explore Persian music with singer, creator, composer, and researcher Maureen Nehedar.


About the Speaker:

Maureen Nehedar is an Israeli singer, creator, composer, and researcher. She has created a revival of Persian-Jewish tradition poetry (Piyutim). In August 2018 she released her new Piyyutim CD 'Why do you stand afar', in 2016 she released the CD Gole Gandom and in 2014 she released the album Asleep in the Bosom of Childhood. In 2019 she won the Neve Shechter Prize and The Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts for Original Israeli Work.


Presented by:

workshop

Thu, Feb 18
12:30PM
Thu, Feb 18
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Ann Temkin

A new virtual interview series hosted by Julie Salamon

Author and journalist Julie Salamon (Wall Street Journal and NY Times) sits down with influential cultural leaders in the Jewish American Community; we'll hear their thoughts about working in this present moment, current projects, and what they have to say about their Jewish identity. Grab your lunch and tune in for our first conversation with Ann TemkinChief Curator at MoMA in New York City.


About the Speakers:

Julie Salamon is an American author, critic and storyteller. She worked at The Wall Street Journal for 16 years first as a commodities and banking reporter before spending 11 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. Her books have received wide critical and popular attention, she has just completed "Unlikely Friends," a memoir for Audible Original, scheduled for release in 2021.

Ann Temkin is an American art curator, and currently the Marie-Josee and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  Previously she was the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Ms. Temkin is an ex-officio Trustee at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and a member of the Claifornia Institute of the Arts Board of Overseers. She was born in Connecticut and received her BA magna cum laude from Harvard University and her PhD in the history of art from Yale University.


Presented by:

conversation

Thu, Feb 18
04:00PM
Thu, Feb 18
04:00PM

lecture

Not Antigone’s Heirs: Soviet Yiddish and Vernacular Holocaust Memory Culture - Live on Zoom

AJS Dissertation Completion Fellow 2020/21 Miriam Schulz looks at a little-known chapter of Soviet Jewry: Soviet Yiddish cultural groups and influential individuals and the ways in which they created their own vernacular Holocaust memory culture in the Soviet Union, not against but within state politics. They made their memory practices part of the post-Stalinist memory culture that had ostensibly little room for Holocaust memorialization. With the help of several examples, looking primarily at the interplay of Holocaust monuments and texts, she will showcase aspects of this Soviet Yiddish memory culture and the labor that went into it despite the less-than-conducive environment.


Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Feb 17
12:00PM
Wed, Feb 17
12:00PM

book talk

The Persian Experience: Book Discussion with Roya Hakakian

This discussion with Roya Hakakian opens our lecture series on Persian Jewry.

In "Journey from the Land of No" Roya Hakakian recalls her childhood and adolescence in prerevolutionary Iran with candor and verve. The result is a beautifully written coming-of-age story about one deeply intelligent and perceptive girl’s attempt to find an authentic voice of her own at a time of cultural closing and repression. Remarkably, she manages to re-create a time and place dominated by religious fanaticism, violence, and fear with an open heart and often with great humor.

Roya Hakakian is the author of "Assassins of the Turquoise Palace" and "Journey from the Land of No," and has published two collections of poetry in Persian. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and on NPR’s All Things Considered. She has collaborated on programming for leading journalism units in network television, including 60 Minutes. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and served on the editorial board of World Affairs. Since 2015, she has taught at THREAD, a writing workshop at Yale, and is a fellow at the Davenport College at Yale. She lives in Connecticut.

For more about the book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/73604/journey-from-the-land-of-no-by-roya-hakakian/


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Feb 17
01:00PM
Wed, Feb 17
01:00PM

book talk

Yiddish: Biography of a Language – Live on Zoom

Jeffrey Shandler's new book, Yiddish: Biography of a Language, presents the story of Yiddish, the defining vernacular of Ashkenazi Jews, from its origins to the present. Shandler relates the multifaceted history of Yiddish in the form of a biographical profile. Through a series of thematic chapters—from “Name” and “Date and Place of Birth” to “Religion” and “Life Expectancy”—he offers surprising insights into the dynamic interrelation of the language, its speakers, and their culture and explores the varied symbolic investments that Yiddish speakers and others have made in the language. Join us for a conversation celebrating this new book with Jeffrey Shandler, Anita Norich, and Ayala Fader, moderated by YIVO's Academic Advisor and Director of Exhibitions Eddy Portnoy.


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Feb 17
07:00PM
Wed, Feb 17
07:00PM

book talk

Dr. Albert Menashe & The Holocaust in Salonika

Join Dr. Joe Halio for a special book talk on the newly republished memoirs of Dr. Albert Menashe, one of the few survivors from the Jewish Community of Salonika. BIRKENAU (AUSCHWITZ II): How 72,000 Greek Jews Perished was a ground-breaking work of Holocaust survivor testimony and was one of the first testimonies written by a survivor after World War II.


Presented by:

book talk

Tue, Feb 16
02:00PM
Tue, Feb 16
02:00PM

panel discussion

Jewish Life in Late Antiquity: From Colonia Agrippina to Augusta Raurica

Thanks to the order of a Roman Emperor from 321 CE that allowed the municipal council of the Roman colony at the site of modern-day Cologne to compel Jews to service, we know that Jews were part of late Roman society in the northern European provinces at least 17 centuries ago. A tiny ring of similar age bearing a menorah was unearthed in the Roman town of Augusta Raurica in modern-day Switzerland bears further testament to the presence of Jews in the late Roman Empire in Europe.

But what was life like in these outposts of the Empire? How did Jews relate to their pagan and Christian neighbors, and how do we know? As Leo Baeck Institute explores this history in the Shared History Project, we are pleased to convene three experts on late antiquity for a discussion of the archeological and historical evidence surrounding Jewish life in ancient Rome, the social and political structure of late Roman Society, and the role the Jews played in particular.

About the Panelists
Dr. Thomas Otten is the founding director of MiQua – LVR-Jewish Museum in the Archeological Quarter of Cologne. After studying pre- and early history, classical archaeology and ancient history, he managed the Rhenish Association for Monument and Landscape Conservation before heading the department of conservation and preservation at the public monument agency in the Ministry of Construction of North Rhine-Westphalia from 2006 to 2016. Between 2010 and 2015 he curated archaeology exhibitions on behalf of the federal state. He lectures at the Institute of Archaeology of Cologne University.

Prof. Werner Eck was Professor of Ancient History in the University of Cologne from 1979 to 2007. He earned a PhD in Ancient History from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. He is a leading expert on the history of the Roman Empire, and he was awarded the Max Planck Prize for International Research for “for pioneering insights in the history of the Roman Empire.” He was a member of the Institute for Avanced Study in Princeton from 1983–84, and at the Sackler-Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Tel Aviv from 1999–2000. He is Dr. h. c. of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and one of the co-editors of the Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae, a multi-lingual corpus of the inscriptions from Alexander to Muhammad in Israel.

Prof. René Bloch is Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Bern (Switzerland), where he holds a joint appointment in the Institute of Jewish Studies and the Institute of Classics. He obtained his Ph.D. (Dr. phil.) as well as his “habilitation” from the University of Basel. Bloch’s recent publications include: “Der jüdische Ring von Kaiseraugst” (in Jüdischer Kulturraum Aargau, J. Picard, A. Bhend, ed., 2020). “Jew or Judean: The Latin Evidence” (in Torah, Temple, Land, M. Witte et al., ed., 2021). “Moses: Motherless with Two Mothers” (in Missing Mothers: Maternal Absence in Antiquity, S. Hübner, D. M. Ratzan, ed., 2021).


Presented by:

panel discussion

Fri, Feb 12
01:00PM
Fri, Feb 12
01:00PM

panel discussion

Sexing American Jewish History

Moderator: Kathy Peiss, University of Pennsylvania
Discussants: Gillian Frank, University of Virginia; Rachel Kranson, University of Pittsburgh; Jonathan Krasner, Brandeis University

The latest issue of American Jewish History asks: What differences have Jews and Judaism made in the history of American sexuality? How has sexuality shaped the history of American Jews and Judaism?

Set the mood for your Valentine’s Day weekend by joining us for a virtual conversation that will celebrate the publication of this special issue, and consider all that we stand to learn by sexing American Jewish history.


Presented by:

panel discussion

Thu, Feb 11
03:00PM
Thu, Feb 11
03:00PM

lecture

Family History Today: Finding Your Eastern European Jewish Family on JRI-Poland.org

For 25 years, JRI-Poland.org has served as the preferred database for the historical Jewish records that survive in the archives of Poland. This vast collection of 6.2 million documents includes information about towns and families from Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Germany, and the former territories of Galicia and Prussia. In this lecture, Robinn Magid, Assistant Director of JRI-Poland.org, will recount some truly memorable stories of genealogical breakthroughs achieved by researchers, and will demonstrate how you can take advantage of this vast resource.

This program is sponsored by the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute. It is funded, in part, by a Humanities New York CARES Grant, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Feb 10
12:00PM
Wed, Feb 10
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: Ideas: Shemot with Sina Kahen

Following our New Works Wednesdays fall series with Sina Kahen discussing his first book in the "Ideas" series, we welcome him back for a discussion on the second, newly-released book "Ideas: Shemot."

Sina will be speaking about "Monotheism & Science: How the Exodus impacted our understanding of reality."

The Torah is Judaism's crown. The ideas gleaned from it have improved and advanced human civilisation. Sina Kahen weaves together ideas from ancient to modern times, in an effort to provide an intellectually honest and spiritually fulfilling representation of the Torah's weekly portions. Drawing from science, philosophy, psychology, and history, this series offers the reader a vision of Torah based on intellect and integration, rather than superstition and isolation.

Sina Kahen is author of 'Ideas: Shemot', the latest volume in his popular series on the weekly Torah portion, based on the Classical Sephardi approach to Torah. His full time work is in surgical robotics and AI, and he represents The Sephardi Habura in the UK.

For more about his book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RRBPX1Y


Presented by:

book talk

Sun, Feb 07
12:00PM
Sun, Feb 07
12:00PM

workshop

Writing Between Tongues: An Exploration of Hebrew and Arabic Calligraphy - Part 2

Following the success of December’s talk “Writing Between Tongues: An Exploration of Hebrew and Arabic Calligraphy”, we are excited to bring back educator and artist Ruben Shimonov for a follow-up interactive artist talk, virtual gallery tour, and workshop. In this 90-minute session, we will take a deeper dive into the rich visual worlds of Arabic and Hebrew calligraphy. Educator, community organizer, and artist Ruben Shimonov will take us on an exploratory journey of his multilingual calligraphy and the ways he has used his art to enrich Muslim-Jewish interfaith communities. We will have a talk-back with the artist, as well as a live calligraphy demonstration during which you can try your hand at the calligraphy!


Presented by:

workshop

Wed, Feb 03
12:00PM
Wed, Feb 03
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: Views of Jewish Morocco: Forms, Places, Narratives with Nadia Sabri

In this interactive session Nadia Sabri will have a discussion with book contributors Abdou Filaly Ansary, Vanessa Paloma Elbaz and Brahim El Guabli.

The book is a multidisciplinary collective work that focuses on the memory of Moroccan Judaism through autobiographical accounts, testimonies, artistic experiences and critical writings that shed light on them. These contributions weave an unprecedented set of texts and works of art, combining temporalities around memories of a world lost forever, of a Morocco that the young ignore, and that this book proposes to revisit in a pluralistic manner. The collection encompasses a contemporary reflection on the scope of maintaining the memory of Moroccan Judaism.


About the Speaker:

Academic and independent curator, Dr. Nadia Sabri is president of the Moroccan section of AICA (International Association of Art Critics). Nadia Sabri has built projects around Art and societal issues over the course of the last fifteen years. She conceives artistic projects as a driving force combining research, demonstrative processes, and experiences. Nadia Sabri has written and directed several research projects and publications on contemporary art and its relationship to sociopolitical issues such as cities, exile or even artist commitment. In 2015, she founded Exiles, paradigm fertile, a multidisciplinary platform for reflection and creation around the issue of exile as a creative and evolutionary paradigm. She lives in Rabat (Morocco) where she is associated professor at Mohammed V University and also works as a curator and researcher in several countries. For more about the book: https://lefennec.com/livre/exils-vues-du-maroc-juif-formes-lieux-recits/


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Feb 03
05:00PM
Wed, Feb 03
05:00PM

discussion

Family Affairs: Jewish Ruptures, Mourning, and Belonging – Live on Zoom

In the third program of the series, Sharon Musher, author of Promised Lands: Hadassah Kaplan, Zionism, and the Making of American Jewish Women and David Slucki, author of Sing This at My Funeral: A Memoir of Fathers and Sons, will discuss with Natalia Aleksiun their grandparents’ and parents’ turbulent life trajectories before, during, and after the war in New York, Europe, British Palestine, and Australia. Rather than an examination of modern Jewish politics, this conversation will reflect on family ties, hopes and disappointments, loss and belonging in an intimate perspective through studying personal documents of loved ones.


Presented by:

discussion

Sun, Jan 31
10:00AM
Sun, Jan 31
10:00AM

cooking show

Sephardic Culinary History with Chef Hélène Jawhara-Piñer

Episode Six: Meatballs ‘cursed by the Jews’ & Muhallabiyye

A special show focusing on Sepharadim in the Middle East.

Sephardi Culinary History is a new show that combines chef and scholar Hélène Jawhara-Piñer’s fascination with food studies and flair for creating delicious cuisine. Join along as she cooks Sephardic history! ASF Broome & Allen Fellow Piñer earned her Ph.D in History, Medieval History, and the History of Food from the University of Tours, France.


Presented by:

cooking show

Thu, Jan 28
04:00PM
Thu, Jan 28
04:00PM

exhibit opening

Behind the Scenes of an Exhibition: Emile Bocian in Chinatown

In partnership with the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), the Center has launched a new online exhibition, An Unlikely Photojournalist: Emile Bocian in Chinatown, a never-before-seen collection of images of Manhattan’s Chinatown in the 1970s and 80s. Co-curators Kevin Chu, Assistant Director of Collections at MOCA, and Lauren Gilbert, Senior Manager of Public Services at the Center for Jewish History, will share a behind-the-scenes look into Bocian's life, his collection, and the genesis of the exhibition. Bocian’s grandniece and nephew will also be in attendance to share their memories.

Emile Bocian (1912-1990) was the child of Jewish immigrants who spent the last two decades of his life living and working in Chinatown as a photojournalist for The China Post, a Chinese-language daily. He photographed protests, celebrations, and scenes of daily life, as well as storefronts and streetscapes that provide a glimpse into a vanishing New York.


Presented by:

exhibit opening

Thu, Jan 28
07:00PM
Thu, Jan 28
07:00PM

book talk

The American Jewish Philanthropic Complex: A Conversation between Lila Corwin Berman and Dahlia Lithwick

Join Lila Corwin Berman, author of The American Jewish Philanthropic Complex: The History of a Multibillion-Dollar Institution, and Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate, for a discussion about the history of American Jewish philanthropy and what that history might tell us about money, politics, and the public good in American and American Jewish life today.

Berman is professor of history at Temple University, where she directs the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History. Lithwick writes about law and politics and is a contributing editor at Newsweek and senior editor at Slate.


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Jan 27
12:00PM
Wed, Jan 27
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays – “White Zion” with Gila Green

In our extended New Works Wednesdays series, we explore new fictions works. In this part of the series, Gila Green discusses her new work White Zion.

The novel takes readers into the worlds of 19th century Yemen, pre-State Israel, modern Israel and modern Canada. You will hear the voices of a young boy marveling at Israel's first air force on his own roof, the cry of a newly married woman helpless to defend herself against her new husband's desires, the anger of the heroine's uncle as he reveals startling secrets about his marriage and the fall-out after generations of war.

Gila Green's novels feature characters of Sephardi, Yemenite, and mixed Middle Eastern heritage because she couldn't find any Jewish stories that reflected her experience growing up and decided to write them herself. Her novel-in-stories White Zion explores one Yemenite family's journey from Sanaa to Jerusalem to Canada. In Passport Control, heroine Miriam Gil struggles to understand her Yemenite father's past against a trove of family secrets. Gila is an author, a creative writing teacher, an EFL college lecturer, an editor, and a mother of five. When she's not exploring the Middle East in her novels, she migrates to South Africa in her continuing environmental young adult series that takes place in Kruger National Park. In addition to her four published novels, her short works have been featured in dozens of publications including: Sephardic Horizons, Jewish Fiction, Jewish Literary Journal, Fiction Magazine, Akashic Books, The Fiddlehead, and others.

For more about the book and the author: https://www.gilagreenwrites.com/


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Jan 27
02:00PM
Wed, Jan 27
02:00PM

book club

LBI Book Club, Vol. VII: The War of the Jews

This month, we will be reading and discussing The War of the Jews: A Historical Novel of Josephus, Imperial Rome, and the Fall of Judea and the Second Temple (also known as Josephus: A Historical Romance) by Lion Feuchtwanger, published in 1932. We are pleased to be joined for the discussion by Professor Johnathan Skolnik.

About the Book
Joseph ben Matthias, Judaen aristocrat and Jerusalem Temple priest of the first rank, steps out into the boundless, magnificent city of Rome. He's clever, handsome, fêted by his Jewish hosts, and on a righteous mission to free three venerable old Jews wrongfully imprisoned as rebels. Joseph secures an audience with Nero's beautiful young Empress, Poppæa. Charmed by Joseph's zeal, she asks the Minister of Oriental Affairs to release the prisoners. The Minister seizes the opportunity to trade his assent for an edict guaranteed to outrage and mobilize the Jews of Judaen; Rome needs an excuse to comprehensively crush ongoing Jewish resistance. His scheme bears fruit. In the year 66 Judaen revolts. Led by canny old commander Vespasian, Roman forces prevail until only the fortified city of Jerusalem remains in the hands of Jewish rebels. Vespasian is acclaimed Emperor and returns to Rome, leaving the siege to his son Titus. Weeks drag by. Jerusalem, with its lofty, magnificent Temple, becomes to the besieging Romans a symbol of obdurate Jewish arrogance to be overthrown. Rebel commander, Roman captive and Flavian protégé, Josephus, long reviled as a traitor and Roman toady, is portrayed by Feuchtwanger with clear-eyed empathy as a complex, brilliant man whose desire to become a "citizen of the world" conflicts with his Jewish identity. It was Joseph’s destiny, however, to become a fierce defender in Rome of the unique importance of Jewish contribution to humanity, and to become known as the first-century historian Flavius Josephus and the author of The Jewish War (Description adapted from a review by Annis, HistoricalNovels.info).

About the Author
Lion Feuchtwanger (1884–1958) was a German-Jewish novelist and playwright. A prominent figure in the literary world of Weimar Germany, he influenced numerous contemporaries as a leading cultural figure, including Bertolt Brecht. Feuchtwanger's Judaism and fierce criticism of the Nazi movement, years before it assumed power, ensured that he would be a target of government-sponsored persecution after Adolf Hitler's appointment as chancellor of Germany in January 1933. Following a brief period of internment in France and a harrowing escape from Europe, he found asylum in the United States, where he died in California. Until his death, he was an important figure in German literature and the middle of a circle of cultural figures who had fled Europe in the Nazi period.

About our Guest
Jonathan Skolnik is Associate Professor of German at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is also on the faculty in Judaic and Near Eastern Studies and in History. His books include Jewish Pasts, German Fictions: History, Memory, and Minority Culture in Germany, 1824-1955. You can learn more about him here.


Presented by:

book club

Thu, Jan 21
01:00PM
Thu, Jan 21
01:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays – “Concealed” with Esther Amini

In our extended New Works Wednesdays series, we explore new fiction and nonfiction works. In this part of the series, Esther Amini discusses her new work Concealed.

Esther Amini grew up in Queens, New York, during the freewheeling 1960s. She also grew up in a Persian-Jewish household, the American-born daughter of parents who had fled Mashhad, Iran. In Concealed, she tells the story of being caught between these two worlds: the dutiful daughter of tradition-bound parents who hungers for more self-determination than tradition allows.

Exploring the roots of her father's deep silences and explosive temper, her mother's flamboyance and flights from home, and her own sense of indebtedness to her Iranian-born brothers, Amini uncovers the story of her parents' early years in Mashhad, Iran's holiest Muslim city; the little-known history of Mashhad's underground Jews; the incident that steeled her mother's resolve to leave; and her parents' arduous journey to the U.S., where they faced a new threat to their traditions: the threat of freedom. Determined to protect his daughter from corruption, Amini's father prohibits talk, books, education, and pushes an early Persian marriage instead. Can she resist? Should she? Focused intently on what she stands to gain, Amini comes to see what she also stands to lose: a family and community bound by food, celebrations, sibling escapades, and unexpected acts of devotion by parents to whom she feels invisible.

Esther Amini is a writer, painter, and psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice. Her short stories have appeared in Elle, Lilith, Tablet, The Jewish Week, Barnard Magazine, Inscape Literary, and Proximity. She was named one of Aspen Words’ two best emerging memoirists and awarded its Emerging Writer Fellowship in 2016 based on her memoir entitled: “Concealed.” Her pieces have been performed by Jewish Women’s Theatre in Los Angeles and in Manhattan, and was chosen by JWT as their Artist-in-Residence in 2019.


Presented by:

book talk

Thu, Jan 14
02:00PM
Thu, Jan 14
02:00PM

book talk

Rabbi Leo Baeck: Living a Religious Imperative in Troubled Times

Michael A. Meyer's new biography of Leo Baeck affirms Baeck's place in history as a courageous community leader and as one of the most significant Jewish religious thinkers of the twentieth century, comparable to such better-known figures as Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, and Abraham Joshua Heschel. Meyer will discuss his new book with David Ellenson, Chancellor Emeritus of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.

About the Book
Rabbi, educator, intellectual, and community leader, Leo Baeck (1873–1956) was one of the most important Jewish figures of prewar Germany. The publication of his 1905 Das Wesen des Judentums (The Essence of Judaism) established him as a major voice for liberal Judaism. He served as a chaplain to the German army during the First World War and in the years following, resisting the call of political Zionism, he expressed his commitment to the belief in a vibrant place for Jews in a new Germany. This hope was dashed with the rise of Nazism, and from 1933 on, and continuing even after his deportation to Theresienstadt, he worked tirelessly in his capacity as a leader of the German Jewish community to offer his coreligionists whatever practical, intellectual, and spiritual support remained possible. While others after the war worked to rebuild German Jewish life from the ashes, a disillusioned Baeck pronounced the effort misguided and spent the rest of his life in England. Yet his name is perhaps best-known today from the Leo Baeck Institutes in New York, London, Berlin, and Jerusalem dedicated to the preservation of the cultural heritage of German-speaking Jewry.

According to Meyer, to understand Baeck fully, one must probe not only his thought and public activity but also his personality. Generally described as gentle and kind, he could also be combative when necessary, and a streak of puritanism and an outsized veneration for martyrdom ran through his psychological makeup. Drawing on a broad variety of sources, some coming to light only in recent years, but especially turning to Baeck's own writings, Meyer presents a complex and nuanced image of one of the most noteworthy personalities in the Jewish history of our age.


About the Speakers:

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.

David Ellenson is Chancellor Emeritus and I.H. and Anna Grancell Professor of Jewish Religious Thought at of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). He served as president of HUC-JIR for 12 years, from 2001–2013. He is a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem and a fellow and lecturer at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. His extensive publications include Tradition in TransitionRabbi Esriel Hildesheimer and the Creation of a Modern Jewish OrthodoxyBetween Tradition and Culture, and After Emancipation (a National Jewish Book Award winner).


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Jan 13
12:00PM
Wed, Jan 13
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays – The Lamps of Albarracin” with Edith Scott Saavedra

In our extended New Works Wednesdays series, we explore new fictions works. In this part of the series, Edith Scott Saavedra discusses her new work The Lamps of Albarracin.

Historical fiction author Edith Scott Saavedra explores her journey to bring alive the culture and history of Sephardic Aragon and true stories of resistance to the Spanish Inquisition by giving voice to women and girls. Inspired by traditions passed down from mother to daughter for generations, the author would discover in the historical records episodes of resistance long suppressed by the monarchy and church in Spain, write a historical novel in English and Spanish editions, and set out to bring this content to students in Spain and the United States.

"The Lamps of Albarracín" is a fictional first-person narrative by a Sephardic girl that recounts the arrival of the Spanish Inquisition into the Kingdom of Aragon in the 1480s. It is based on extensive review of Spanish Inquisition testimony and historical research. The novel gives voice to the diverse peoples of late-medieval Aragon – Jews, Muslims, Christians and persons of mixed heritage, with a focus on women and true stories of tolerance and courage. It also celebrates the rich culture and traditions of multicultural Aragon in the years prior to the Expulsion of the Jews.

Edith Scott Saavedra earned her BA and JD degrees from Harvard University. She has had a distinguished career as an international lawyer, business consultant and nonfiction author. The Lamps of Albarracín/Los Candiles de Albarracín, her first novel, has received media attention throughout the Spanish speaking world, including Radio Sefarad Madrid, Sefarad.es, eSefarad, Libertad Digital, Radio Aragón, Semanario Hebreo and Radio Las 2 Orillas Bogotá.

For more about the book: https://www.amazon.com/Lamps-Albarracin-Edith-Scott-Saavedra/dp/1724787519/


Presented by:

book talk

Sun, Jan 10
02:00PM
Sun, Jan 10
02:00PM

celebration

New York Ladino Day 2021: Adelantre / Onward!

Join us for ASF’s 4th Annual Ladino Day created by Jane Mushabac and Bryan Kirschen.

You’ll hear Ruth Azaria, actor Hank Azaria’s mother, speak about growing up with Ladino; Rabbi Nissim Elnecavé on expressions we love; Ladino students on learning the language; renowned writer Myriam Moscona; the premiere of a contemporary short play; and celebrated singer Daphna Mor.

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 last January, “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 10th marks New York’s 4th Annual Ladino Day created by Drs. Jane Mushabac and Bryan Kirschen for the American Sephardi Federation.


Presented by:

celebration

Wed, Jan 06
12:00PM
Wed, Jan 06
12:00PM

lecture

The Rich Cultural Heritage of Bukharan Jews

On the heels of our 2-part session about the multifaceted history of Bukharian Jews, we invite you to join us for a deeper dive into the rich and dynamic culture of this millenia-old community. Join us as we explore the musical, literary, and culinary heritage of Bukharian Jews—discovering the ways in which they have developed their mosaic culture through a dynamic interaction with the dominant and changing societies surrounding them. Our discussion will take us on a journey to Central Asia, the Land of Israel, the United States, and beyond.


About the Speaker:

Born in Uzbekistan, raised in Seattle, and currently based in New York City, Ruben Shimonov is a Jewish educator, community builder, social entrepreneur and artist with a passion for Jewish diversity and pluralism. He previously served as Director of Community Engagement & Education at Queens College Hillel—where he had, within his vast portfolio, the unique role of cultivating Sephardic & Mizrahi student life on campus. Currently, he is the Founding Executive Director of the Sephardic Mizrahi Q Network—a grassroots movement building a supportive, vibrant and much-needed community for LGBTQ+ Sephardic & Mizrahi Jews. He also serves as Vice-President of Education & Community Engagement on the Young Leadership Board of the American Sephardi Federation, as well as Director of Educational Experiences & Programming for the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee. Within both organizations, Ruben has used his artistry in Arabic, Hebrew & Persian calligraphy to enhance Muslim-Jewish dialogue and relationship building. In 2018, Ruben was listed among The Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36” young Jewish community leaders and changemakers. He has lectured extensively on the histories and cultures of various Sephardic & Mizrahi communities. He is also an alumnus of the COJECO Blueprint and Nahum Goldmann Fellowships for his work in Jewish social innovation.


Presented by:

lecture

Mon, Jan 04
01:00PM
Mon, Jan 04
01:00PM

lecture

Modern Russia and the Putin System – Live on Zoom

Join us for a discussion of the political system of modern Russia and its significance to the world by Russian politician and economist Grigory Yavlinsky. Yavlinksy will address the history of how and why Russia came to be as it is now, the current Russian political system and how it works, and the future of autocracy in Russia. After his lecture, Yavlinsky will be joined by YIVO's Executive Director and CEO Jonathan Brent for a conversation around these issues and audience Q&A.

This lecture is dedicated to Jonathan Brent.


About the Speaker:

Grigory Yavlinsky is a Russian politician and economist. A proponent of market-oriented reforms under Gorbachev, Yavlinsky has been a key figure of the liberal democratic opposition as a leader of political party ‘Yabloko’ for which he was the member of the Russian Parliament and the 2018 presidential candidate. His books include The Putin System. An Opposing View (Columbia, 2019); Realeconomik: The Hidden Cause of the Great Recession (Yale, 2011); Incentive and Institutions: The Transition to a Market Economy in Russia (Princeton, 2000); 500 Days: Transition to the Market Economy (St. Martin, 1991). He is a professor at the National Research University “Higher School of Economics” in Moscow.


Presented by:

lecture