Sun, Dec 04
10:30AM
Sun, Dec 04
10:30AM

conference

From Middle Eastern North African Jewish Refugees to Israeli Cultural Renaissance – Live Event

Join us for this international conference featuring speakers from Canada, Israel, the Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. Click the ticket link below for a full schedule.


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conference

Thu, Dec 01
07:30PM
Thu, Dec 01
07:30PM

concert

Break Forth into Joy – A Choral Festival

Celebrate 400 years of Jewish Music - from Salamone Rossi to the present day, and feast on the glorious tapestry of Jewish Choral music featuring compositions by Yehezkel Braun, Josh Ehrlich, Natasha Hirschhorn, Flory Jaboda, David Nowakowsky, Nick Page, Stephen Richards, Benjie Ellen Schiller, and Robert Starer.


Presented by:

concert

Wed, Nov 30
12:00PM
Wed, Nov 30
12:00PM

book talk

Yiddish Paris: Staging Nation and Community in Interwar France - Online Event

Nick Underwood explores how left-wing Yiddish-speaking emigrants from Eastern Europe created a Yiddish diaspora nation in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s in his new publication, Yiddish Paris: Staging Nation and Community in Interwar France.

In this first full-length study of interwar Yiddish culture in France, Underwood argues that the emergence of a Yiddish Paris depended on "culture makers," mostly Jews from Socialist and Communist backgrounds who created cultural and scholarly organizations and institutions, including the French branch of YIVO, theater troupes, choruses, and a pavilion at the Paris World's Fair of 1937.

Yiddish Paris examines how these left-wing Yiddish-speaking Jews insisted that even in France, a country known for demanding the assimilation of immigrant and minority groups, they could remain a distinct group, part of a transnational Yiddish-speaking Jewish nation. Yet, in the process, they in fact created a French-inflected version of Jewish diaspora nationalism, finding allies among French intellectuals, largely on the left.

Join YIVO for a discussion of this publication with Underwood in conversation with Professor Laura Hobson Faure.

Buy the book.

About the Speaker
Nick Underwood is an assistant professor of history and the Berger-Neilsen Chair of Judaic Studies at The College of Idaho. He earned his PhD from the University of Colorado Boulder and, prior to his current appointment, held postdocs at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a member of the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project.


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Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Nov 30
02:00PM
Wed, Nov 30
02:00PM

book talk

German Jews and the University – Live Event

For centuries Jews in Germany were denied full rights and excluded from gentile society. At the same time, Jewish law restricted scholarship to exegesis of the Talmud. But from the late seventeenth century onward, as German universities progressively opened their doors to them, many Jews turned toward university studies. Now available in English translation for the first time, Monika Richarz’s classic study addresses the far-reaching transformation of German Jewry under the impact of university education. With translator Joydeep Bagchee (Hindu University of America), historian Shmuel Feiner (Bar-Ilan University), Rabbi Edward Reichman (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University), and moderator Marion Kaplan (New York University).

After registering for this event, you will receive a code for 40% off the book from Camden House/Boydell & Brewer, valid through December 31st, 2022.

About the Speakers
Joydeep Bagchee is a core doctoral faculty member at the Hindu University of America and a visiting lecturer based in Berlin, Germany. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from New School for Social Research, New York. His areas of expertise are twentieth-century Continental philosophy, German Romanticism, Nietzsche, philology, and the Western reception of Indian thought. Along with Dr. Vishwa Adluri, he is the author of The Nay Science: A History of German Indology (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Philology and Criticism: A Guide to Mahabharata Textual Criticism (Anthem, 2018). He co-edited the volume Argument and Design: The Unity of the Mahabharata (Brill, 2016). Dr. Bagchee has taught at Technische Universität Dresden, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich and has been a fellow at Free University, Berlin. 

Shmuel Feiner is a professor of Modern Jewish History at Bar Ilan University and Chairman of the Historical Society of Israel, as well as the Samuel Braun Chair for the History of the Jews in Germany. Among his publications: The Jewish Enlightenment; Moses Mendelssohn; The Origins of Jewish Secularization in Eighteenth Century Europe; The Jewish Eighteenth Century, A European Biography, Volume 1, 1700-1750; The Jewish Eighteenth Century, A European Biography, Volume 2, 1750-1800. He was visiting Professor at Yale University (2011) and Frankfurt University (2012). Recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, 2012, and the former Chairman of the Jerusalem Leo Baeck Institute.

Marion Kaplan is the Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at New York University. She is a three-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award for her books: The Making of the Jewish Middle Class: Women, Family and Identity in Imperial Germany (New York, Oxford University Press, 1991); Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany (Oxford University Press, 1998); and Gender and Jewish History, co-edited with Deborah Dash Moore (Indiana, 2011). Her most recent book is Hitler's Jewish Refugees: Hope and Anxiety in Portugal (Yale, 2020). All of her monographs have been translated into German.

Rabbi Edward Reichman received his B.A. from Yeshiva University; M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and Rabbinic Ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. In addition to his full-time clinical practice in emergency medicine at Montefiore Medical Center, Rabbi Reichman lectures internationally on Jewish medical ethics. He has edited books and penned many book chapters and journal articles on Jewish medical ethics and Jewish medical history. He is the recipient of a Kornfeld Foundation Study Fellowship and the Michael A. and Jonathan S. Rubinstein Medical Ethics Prize. He was elected to the Davidoff Society for excellence in medical teaching at Einstein and was awarded the Outstanding Mentor Award for two years at Yeshiva University. He has served on the advisory boards of the New York Organ Donor Network, Center for Genetics and Public Policy, the Program for Jewish Genetic Health at Einstein and the Rabbinical Council of America.

Monika Richarz is the former director of the Institute for the History of German Jews and professor of history at the University of Hamburg. She received her Ph.D. from the Free University of Berlin, was a research fellow at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York, and has published widely on Jewish social and cultural history. In addition to German Jews and the University, she is the author of Jewish Life in Germany: Memoirs from Three Centuries and co-author of German-Jewish History in Modern Times, vol. III. She edited Die Hamburger Kauffrau Glikl, Juedische Existenz in der Frühen Neuzeit.


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book talk

Tue, Nov 29
12:00PM
Tue, Nov 29
12:00PM

a conversation

Live From the Archive! Enriching Pursuits: A Brief History of American Jewish Philanthropy with the American Jewish Historical Society – Live on Zoom

Philanthropy is not unique to the United States, but United States philanthropy is unique, especially when we consider the contributions of the American Jewish community to the larger American philanthropic landscape. The number and spectrum of organizations in America relying on charitable support is immense and broad —including mutual aid societies, hospitals, religious entities, scientific institutes, schools, and cultural heritage institutions—and their impact is virtually incalculable.  

Did you know that AJHS has preserved the archives of American Jewish philanthropy throughout our own history, documenting organizations as large as UJA-Federation as well as smaller local organizations across the United States? And do you know how the history of American Jewish philanthropy directly relates to larger themes in the history of American Jewish communities and individuals raising funds for vital causes, or how the roles of these organizations grow and facilitate change within their communities?

Join Melanie Meyers, Chair of Collections and Engagement, and Tamar Zeffren, Director of Archival Partnerships, on Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2022, for an exploration of the history of American Jewish philanthropy through the lens of relevant collections at the American Jewish Historical Society. Let’s learn together how meaningful items from these vital collections illuminate the fascinating and complex chronicle of charitable giving in the United States.


Presented by:

a conversation

Tue, Nov 29
12:30PM
Tue, Nov 29
12:30PM

panel discussion

The DNA Reunion Project at CJH – Live on Zoom

Tune in for the official launch of the DNA Reunion Project at the Center for Jewish History, a new worldwide effort by the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute to reunite families separated by the Holocaust. Jennifer Mendelsohn and Adina Newman, professional genealogists with a niche expertise in Ashkenazi Jewish genetic genealogy, will discuss prior cases they have solved using DNA, including identifying the unknown father of a baby born in a concentration camp, tracking down the biological family of a toddler found in a Polish orphanage after the war, and identifying the unknown father of a child survivor of Theresienstadt. That child survivor, Jackie Young, will join Mendelsohn and Newman in a conversation moderated by Daniel Mendelsohn, author of The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million.

The DNA Reunion Project at the Center for Jewish History will make commercial DNA kits available free of charge to Holocaust survivors or their children and will serve as a central genealogical resource where survivors with complex case histories can avail themselves of expert genetic genealogical consultation. Learn more about how DNA testing can restore family to a population ravaged by genocide and find out how to apply or support this vital initiative.


Presented by:

panel discussion

Tue, Nov 29
07:00PM
Tue, Nov 29
07:00PM

film and discussion

I Am Free...But Who is Left? – Live Event

A mother, a father, four brothers, and a sister live in Hrubieszow, Poland, a small town with a majority Jewish population. They thrive economically and academically despite antisemitism. "I Am Free … But Who Is Left?” is a new documentary created by Joanne Weiner Rudof and Lawrence Langer with Yale's Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies that tells their story. Survivors of the family and the town describe the Nazi invasion, brutality, destruction, and murder. Personal photographs and documents enhance reflective first-person accounts. Join YIVO for the New York premiere screening of this film.

About the Filmmakers
Joanne Weiner Rudof retired as the archivist at the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University in September 2017 after thirty-three years. She has written numerous articles, book chapters, and conference papers on Holocaust testimonies. She has edited and produced documentaries including Voices from the Yugoslav HolocaustRemembering CzestochowaParallel Paths, and the award winning national PBS broadcast, Witness: Voices from the Holocaust for which she was co-editor of the book with the same title. She has coordinated over twenty Holocaust testimony projects in North and South America, Europe, and Israel and advised video testimony projects documenting genocide, oppression, and human rights violations. She was a 2019 recipient of an award from Lessons & Legacies and the Holocaust Education Foundation in recognition of her “Distinguished Contribution to Holocaust Education.”

Lawrence L. Langer is Alumnae Chair Professor of English emeritus from Simmons College (now Simmons University) in Boston, from which he retired in 1992. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Holocaust literature, memoirs, testimony and art, including The Holocaust and the Literary Imagination (1976), which was one of three finalists for the National Book Award. His Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory (1991) won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism and was named one of the ten best books of the year by the Sunday New York Times Book Review. His most recent work is The Afterdeath of the Holocaust (2021). He has also provided extended critical commentary for twelve volumes representing the artistic achievement of child Holocaust survivor Samuel Bak, whose titles include Landscapes of Jewish Experience (1997), Return to Vilna (2007), and From Generation to Generation (2016). In 2016 he received the Holocaust Educational Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award for Holocaust Studies and Research.


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film and discussion

Mon, Nov 28
06:00PM
Mon, Nov 28
06:00PM

lecture

Recovering Memory: Artistic and Artivist Interventions into Historic Silences, from the Archives to the Streets – Live Event

Vivian J. Prins Artistic Resident Zuzanna Hertzberg discusses her practice of recovering memory, mainly herstories of Jewish women, as a tool for combating cultural and political oppression and increasing fascism. In the artivist (art + activism) practice, she brings archives out into the streets and other public spaces. The aim of her actions is construction of a new archive accessible to all.

She will present the archival research she is conducting at CJH in the form of artistic practices and interventions: bringing their results into the present, she targets the social body as means of healing from non-memory. In addition, she will speak about art as a form of education, capable of functioning in almost every type of public space.

This talk focuses on three of the artist’s long-term ongoing projects which deal with the resistance of women during the Shoah; Jewish-Ukrainian women anarchists; and a series of works dedicated to the International Brigades.

About the Speaker
Zuzanna Hertzberg is an interdisciplinary artist, artivist, and researcher. Her artistic practice includes painting, performance, textiles, and assemblage. She is the author of installations and collages using archival materials. She is interested in the interweaving of individual and collective memory, and in the search for identity in the mechanism of appropriation and restitution of minority heritage, especially women’s heritage, as well as issues of geopolitics and strategies of marginalization of uncomfortable narratives. She is involved in individual and collective practices combating discrimination and violence against marginalized people and groups.

She earned her PhD degree at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts (Spaces of Ignorance, 2018) and did doctoral studies at the New Media Department: Painting Studio and Public Domain Art Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (supervised by Professor Leon Tarasewicz and Professor Krzysztof Wodiczko). She graduated with honors from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 2011 with a Master’s Degree in Painting (Professor Leon Tarasewicz and PhD Pawel Susid Painting Studio). She is also a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, Painting and Graphic Design Department.

She participated in a number of exhibitions in Poland and abroad, among them: Still Present!, The 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Germany (2022); In the beginning was the deed!, Arsenal Gallery, Bialystok (2021); Difficult Pasts. Connected Worlds, Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga (2020/21); Individual and Organized Resistance of Women during the Holocaust, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, Poland (2019); Touch the ArtUjazdowski Castle Cen- tre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (2019); Young polish painting, National Museum in Gdansk (2019); Niepodlegle: Women, Independence and National Discourse, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2018/19); Zuzanna Ginczanka. True Life Is Only About Happiness., Lviv Center for Urban History, Lviv, Ukraine (2018); A microcosm of things: The public and private lives of collections, Museum of Warsaw (2017/18); Progress and hygiene, Zacheta – National Galery of Art, Warsaw (2014).

She was a recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including The Vivian J. Prins Foundation Artistic Residency at The Center For Jewish History, New York (2022); The Tarbut Fellowship, a scholarship program organized by the Joint Distribution Committee (2019-2022); Kavaleridze.RE:VISION international art residency, Kiev, Ukraine, (2018); The Retreat for Jewish Artists organized by Asylum Arts and POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw (2017), Innovating Science Communication at Medical Museums 2014 in Leiden – Netherlands with the art project Eugenics and Euthanasia. Representative of Poland in the 4th edition of UNESCO Art Camp Biennial - Colors of the Planet 2014 in Andorra.

She is the co-founder of the Jewish Antifascist Block, a member of collective Syrena and the Antifascist Coalition, and a member of the board of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland.


Presented by:

lecture

Sun, Nov 20
02:00PM
Sun, Nov 20
02:00PM

yiddish club

YIVO Yiddish Club: Yiddish Songwriting Today With Adah Hetko - Online Event

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

This session features Adah Hetko, a Yiddish singer, songwriter, and educator living in Somerville, Massachusetts. Hetko graduated with a master’s degree in Jewish Studies from Indiana University in 2018 and worked as a Graduate Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center from 2018-2019. She has been a fellow and staff member for Yiddish New York and has coordinated multidisciplinary programs for KlezKanada’s 2020 and 2021 retreats. Hetko is lead vocalist and dance leader for klezmer band Burikes and performs with the Yiddish song trio Levyosn. In addition to performing traditional songs, she composes new Yiddish songs and poetry settings, and English-language adaptations and translations.


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Presented by:

yiddish club

Sun, Nov 20
06:00PM
Sun, Nov 20
06:00PM

theater

Arrivals: A Sephardi-Ashkenazi Love Story – Live Event

A Jewish Romeo & Juliet love story based on historical events. A hit in Seattle, coming to New York.

When the first Sephardic Jew arrived in Seattle in 1902, not everything went as planned. Marco Cordova, a young Sephardic Jew from Turkey, came to America to make his fortune. Bayla Keigelman, a fragile Ashkenazi girl from Russia, arrived fleeing a pogrom. Their meeting seemed written in the stars until tradition declared their love forbidden.


Presented by:

theater

Thu, Nov 17
12:30PM
Thu, Nov 17
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Karen Hartman - Online Event

Julie Salamon (Wall Street Journal & NY Times) sits down with playwright Karen Hartman. Karen Hartman’s work launches VOLT at 59e59 Theaters, an unprecedented festival of three off-Broadway premieres by a single author simultaneously: New Golden Age (Primary Stages); Goldie, Max & Milk (MBL Productions); and The Lucky Star (The Directors Company). Also in 2022, Denver Theater Center presented the world premiere musical Rattlesnake Kate, book by Hartman, score by Neyla Pekarek. 

Good Faith: Four Chats about Race and the New Haven Fire Department premiered at Yale Repertory Theater in 2019. Roz and Ray (McKnight Fellowship, Edgerton New Play Prize), premiered at Seattle Rep and Victory Gardens. The Lucky Star (as The Book of Joseph) premiered at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and broke box office records at Everyman Theater in Baltimore. Hartman is developing Project Dawn (People’s Light, NEA Art Works Grant, NNPN Rolling World Premiere) for Population Media Center as a television series, and another project for 20th Television. She wrote the book for Alice Bliss (music: Jenny Giering, lyrics: Adam Gwon, based on Laura Harrington’s novel) which won the 2019 Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award. Her prose has appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post. A recent Guggenheim Fellow and former Fulbright Scholar, Hodder Fellow, and New Dramatist, Hartman served as Senior Artist-in-Residence at University of Washington School for five years, and lives in Brooklyn with her family.


Presented by:

conversation

Thu, Nov 17
07:00PM
Thu, Nov 17
07:00PM

panel discussion

Jewish Paths to Emancipation: Struggles for Citizenship Across Revolutionary Europe – Live Event & Livestreamed on Zoom

Join us in celebrating our new exhibit, How Jews Became Citizens: Highlights from the Sid Lapidus Collection, with three contributing scholars, Dr. David Sorkin (Yale University), Dr. Marsha Rozenblit (University of Maryland), and Dr. Daniel Schwartz(George Washington University), in conversation with moderator and exhibit curator Ivy Weingram, as they discuss the Sid Lapidus Collection of Early Modern Judaica on which the exhibit is based, as well as overarching issues of Jewish emancipation in Europe and citizenship the world over. The exhibit will be open for viewing in advance of the panel.

The exhibit has been made possible by the generous support of Sid and Ruth Lapidus, a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 


Presented by:

panel discussion

Wed, Nov 16
07:00PM
Wed, Nov 16
07:00PM

film and discussion

"Ver vet blaybn?"" (Who Will Remain?) — A Documentary About Avrom Sutzkever – Live Event

Join YIVO and the Yiddish Book Center for the New York premiere screening of Ver Vet Blaybn? (Who Will Remain?), a film about Yiddish poet Avrom Sutzkever. The award-winning documentary, a production of the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project, features Sutzkever's grandaughter, Israeli actress Hadas Kalderon, traveling to Lithuania and using Sutzkever's diary to trace his early life in Vilna and his survival of the Holocaust.

Sutzkever (1913–2010) was an acclaimed Yiddish poet—described by the New York Times as the “greatest poet of the Holocaust”—whose verse drew on his youth in Siberia and Vilna, his spiritual and material resistance during World War II, and his post-war life in the State of Israel. Kalderon, whose native language is Hebrew, relies on translations of her grandfather’s work, but is nevertheless determined to connect with what remains of the poet’s bygone world and confront the personal responsibility of preserving her grandfather’s literary legacy.

Woven into the documentary are family home videos, newly recorded interviews, and archival recordings including Sutzkever’s testimony at the Nuremberg Trial. Recitation of Sutzkever's poetry and personal reflections on resisting Nazi forces as a partisan fighter reveal how Sutzkever tried to make sense of the Holocaust and its aftermath. As Kalderon strives to reconstruct the stories told by her grandfather, the film examines the limits of language, geography, and time. A Q&A with filmmakers Emily Felder and Christa Whitney will follow the screening.

This film is in Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, and English with English subtitles. Running Time: 57 minutes.

About the Filmmakers
Christa P. WhitneyProducer and Co-Director
Originally from Northern California, Christa discovered Yiddish while studying comparative literature at Smith College. She has studied Yiddish language at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute, the Workmen’s Circle, and the Yiddish Book Center. For the past ten years, she has directed the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project, traveling near and far recording oral history interviews, managing a video archive, and producing documentary films and web features about all aspects of Yiddish language and culture.

Emily FelderEditor and Co-Director
Emily Felder is a documentary film editor whose work has been screened in museums, libraries, and schools across the country. She studied anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she became invested in archaeology, visual ethnography, and non-fiction storytelling. She worked as the premiere technical assistant for the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project, and as an assistant editor at Florentine Films/Hott Productions on feature-length documentaries broadcast on PBS. She is now an editor and videographer based in Los Angeles where she continues to make films.


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Presented by:

film and discussion

Tue, Nov 15
12:00PM
Tue, Nov 15
12:00PM

book talk

Exclusive Authors Series with Sarina Roffé - Online Event

Join us for an episode of Exclusive Authors Series with Sarina Roffé as she discusses her book Branching Out from Sepharad.

In Branching Out from Sepharad, readers will follow the history of Jewish life in Hispania, Spain, the Middle East and the Americas as Sarina Roffé links three rabbinic dynasties from the 11th Century to the present day, all with an Irish Converso Twist.

About the Author
Sarina Roffé is a professional genealogist, editor of the journal DOROT, and founder of the Sephardic Heritage Project. She is the author of Branching Out From Sepharad (Sephardic Heritage Project, 2017), which outlines the history of Jews in Spain, the 1492 expulsion, their history in Syria, and their immigration to the Americas. She is Co-Chair of the Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative, and Chair of the JewishGen Sephardic Research Division.

Sarina is also the author of Backyard Kitchen: Mediterranean Salads, and Backyard Kitchen: the Main Course and a cooking app called Sarina’s Sephardic Cuisine, available in the Apple Store, as well as hundreds of articles. Sarina presents often at IAJGS Conferences and has completed over a dozen genealogies, through her genealogy consulting business, Sephardic Genealogical Journeys.

Click here for more about the book.


Presented by:

book talk

Tue, Nov 15
06:30PM
Tue, Nov 15
06:30PM

film

Dear Fredy: Sexuality and Politics in the Theresienstadt Ghetto – Live Event

Combining interviews, archival material, and animation, this documentary tells the story of Fredy Hirsch, a gay, Zionist athlete who became the head of the youth department of the Theresienstadt Ghetto. Hirsch faced discrimination and persecution both for his sexuality and as a Jew, but he was also a widely admired figure in Theresienstadt. Following the screening, LBI’s Head of Public Outreach, Michael Simonson, will discuss Hirsch’s life, as well as the topic of sexuality in concentration camps.

About the Speaker
Michael Simonson has been part of the Leo Baeck Institute since 2002. Since his beginnings as a new archivist, he has taken on many roles, including the position of Director of the Dr. Robert Ira Lewy Reference Services and as Director of Public Outreach. Simonson works closely with researchers and their needs, be it academic or personal genealogy. He has coordinated a number of programs online, as well as the monthly meetings of the Leo Baeck Institute book club. You are always welcome to write him with any questions you have related to your research.


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film

Mon, Nov 14
01:00PM
Mon, Nov 14
01:00PM

book talk

Analysis and Exile: Boyhood, Loss, and the Lessons of Anna Freud - Online Event

Analysis and Exile: Boyhood, Loss, and the Lessons of Anna Freud is the story of the childhood and youth of Peter Heller, one of the first children to be psychoanalyzed by Anna Freud and one of the 20 students invited to attend her experimental school in 1920s Vienna. While Anna tries to teach him how to overcome his fears, Peter’s native Vienna slides into fascist barbarism and he is forced to navigate an increasingly dangerous world. When he is eighteen, he flees to England only to be deported to Canada, where he is interned as a German-speaking foreign national; here Jewish refugees and Nazi P.O.W.’s live cheek by jowl. To tell this story, Vivian Heller draws on a wealth of primary sources, including her father’s case history and his internment diary, using novelistic techniques to bring the past alive.

About the Speaker
Vivian Heller is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. She received her PhD in English Literature and Modern Studies from Yale University. She is the author of Joyce, Decadence, and Emancipation, which won the Choice Book Award, and a history of the building of the New York subway, The City Beneath Us. She has published essays and short stories in The Georgetown ReviewConfrontationBombFence and elsewhere. She has taught at Bennington, Barnard and Bard Colleges, and is currently a lecturer in the Columbia University’s Program in Narrative Medicine and a writing consultant at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.


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book talk

Fri, Nov 11
10:00AM
Fri, Nov 11
10:00AM

class

All in the Mishpocheh: Intro to Jewish Genealogy at CJH - Live on Zoom

10-session classes run from November 2022 through January 2023
Section 1: Tuesdays at 4:30 - 5:45 p.m. ET beginning November 1, Instructor: Moriah Amit, or:
Section 2: Fridays at 10 - 11:15 a.m. ET beginning November 4, Instructor: J.D. Arden

Ready to take a deep dive into your family history?

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

Some of the main topics covered in the course are:
Introduction to Genealogy
Family Tree Building & Preservation
Genealogy Myths
Basics of DNA
Immigration
American Research
NYC Research
International Research
Ethics, the Holocaust

Students are encouraged to participate live but are welcome to watch or review class recordings as needed.

Read what some of the participants of last spring's session had to say about the class:

"The instructor is very knowledgeable, organized, and engaging in the virtual format."

"Clear instructions, questions answered immediately, open class participation."

"The information and guidance provided helped me to launch my genealogy research in an effective way."

"The course gave me terrific resources to use in the future and demonstrated how to use the resources. It was terrific to listen to the progress of others and how they reached their goals."


Presented by:

class

Thu, Nov 10
03:30PM
Thu, Nov 10
03:30PM

book talk

Dineh: An Autobiographical Novel - Online Event

Ida Maze's autobiographical novel Dineh is a haunting portrait of her rural, village, and small-town life in White Russia (now Belarus) at the turn of the 20th century. Dineh's story is interwoven with portraits of other people, chiefly women and girls, in her community. The novel examines the lives of women, including class stratification, thwarted romance, violence (domestic, state-instigated, and otherwise), and the perils of childbirth. In addition to exploring relations between Jews and non-Jews, Maze's novel touches on Tsarist anti-Semitism, restrictions on Jewish economic survival, and the rising tide of revolutionary movements.

Originally published in Yiddish, Dineh has been translated for the first time into English by Yermiyahu Ahron Taub. Join YIVO for a discussion of this publication featuring Taub in conversation with Professor Alice Nakhimovsky.

Buy the book.

About the Speakers
Yermiyahu Ahron Taub is a poet, writer, and Yiddish literary translator. He is the author of two books of fiction, Beloved Comrades: a Novel in Stories (2020) and Prodigal Children in the House of G-d: Stories (2018), and six volumes of poetry, including A Mouse Among Tottering Skyscrapers: Selected Yiddish Poems (2017). Yermiyahu's most recent translation from the Yiddish is Dineh: an Autobiographical Novel by Ida Maze (2022). Learn more on his website.

Alice Nakhimovsky is Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at Colgate University. She has written widely about Russian Jews. Her 2014 book, Dear Mendl, Dear Reyzl: Yiddish Letter Manuals in Russia and America, written with Roberta Newman, won a National Jewish Book Award. Her next book is called "Bad Moral Luck: Eight Jewish Lives under Stalin."


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Presented by:

book talk

Thu, Nov 10
05:00PM
Thu, Nov 10
05:00PM

lecture

Family History Today: Clued In - Case Studies from Sherlock Cohn, The Photo Genealogist - Online Event

At its core, genealogy research is detective work. In this fun and informative talk, Sherlock Cohn, the photo genealogy sleuth, will explore how and why it is important to find the clues our ancestors left for us in our family photos. Participants will learn what clues an expert looks for in photos, how to organize your approach to dating and interpreting photos, and how to match photo information with vital records. Additionally, Sherlock will present how she solved “The Case of the Mistaken Date,” demonstrating how accurate dating, photo identification, knowledge of fashion, and records matching can illuminate our ancestors’ lives and help us solve some of our vexing genealogy mysteries.  At the conclusion, she will help attendees begin the process of analyzing their own family photos.


Presented by:

lecture

Thu, Nov 10
06:30PM
Thu, Nov 10
06:30PM

conversation

Virtual Tenement Talk – Yiddish in Translation: on the Hunt for Novels by Women With YIVO – Online Event

In this special virtual Tenement Talk on Youtube Live with the Tenement Museum, we explore the lives of Jewish women in tenements through women’s novels. On the hunt to defy the “urban legend” that women only wrote poems and short stories in Yiddish, but not novels, Professor Anita Norich discovered scores of novels, some of them at the YIVO archive. In this conversation, we’ll focus on these novels and her translations, and how they shed light on tenement life and women’s lives more broadly, including abortions, sex outside of marriage, and how women found and rebuilt homes in the face of revolution, war, economic challenges and misogyny. Dr. Anita Norich will be joined in conversation with Tenement Museum President Dr. Annie Polland.


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Presented by:

conversation

Thu, Nov 10
06:30PM
Thu, Nov 10
06:30PM

curator's tour

Curator's Tour of From A(gam) to Z(aritsky) – Live Event

Join Collections Curator Bonni-Dara Michaels for a special tour of From A(gam)to Z(aritsky),exploring the character of Israeli art and the personal relationships between artists, collectors, and donors.


Presented by:

curator's tour

Wed, Nov 09
02:00PM
Wed, Nov 09
02:00PM

lecture

Recreating Lost Synagogues - Online Event

Marc Grellert (TU Darmstadt) discusses his decades of work creating virtual reconstructions of synagogues destroyed during the Nazi period. This work began after the 1994 firebombing of a Lübeck synagogue, the first racist attack on a Jewish house of worship in Germany since 1945. Today, more than 25 destroyed synagogues have been recreated virtually.

About the Speaker
Marc Grellert teaches digital design at the TU Darmstadt and is co-founder of the company Architectura Virtualis. His work and research focuses on virtual reconstructions and simulations of architecture, knowledge transfer with the help of digital media, and the development and realization of installations and exhibits for exhibitions. He studied architecture at the TU Darmstadt and received his doctorate in 2007 on the potential of digital technologies for remembering destroyed architecture.

Grellert has led numerous national and international research projects in the context of reconstruction, simulation and visualization of historical buildings and urban facilities, including the Vatican Palace at the time of the High Renaissance, the Berlin Palace, the Moscow Kremlin, the Imperial Tombs of Xi'an" (China), synagogues in Germany, the construction and design history of St. Peter's Cathedral, the Khmer temples in Cambodia, Ephesus (Turkey), the Dresden Residence Palace, the London Crystal Palace of 1851 and the virtual construction history of the Florentine Cathedral.

In 1994, he initiated the virtual reconstructions of synagogues destroyed during the Nazi era and developed the Synagogue Internet Archive in 2002.


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Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Nov 09
07:30PM
Wed, Nov 09
07:30PM

concert

Kristallnacht and Its Aftermath – Live Event

A fitting tribute to those whose lives forever changed by the events leading up to Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938, “The Night of Broken Glass,” and others who were deported by the Nazis, or lost in the Holocaust. This annual program presented by the American Society for Jewish Music, YIVO, the Leo Baeck Institute, and the Center for Jewish History, will feature the Trio SerenadeSong of Authum, and Rapsodia Notturna by Karol Rathaus, a Piano Trio by Hans Gál, and the Suite Polonaise by Simon Laks, three composers who were forced to restart their promising young careers in as immigrants in new countries.


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Presented by:

concert

Tue, Nov 08
04:30PM
Tue, Nov 08
04:30PM

class

All in the Mishpocheh: Intro to Jewish Genealogy at CJH - Live on Zoom

10-session classes run from November 2022 through January 2023
Section 1: Tuesdays at 4:30 - 5:45 p.m. ET beginning November 1, Instructor: Moriah Amit, or:
Section 2: Fridays at 10 - 11:15 a.m. ET beginning November 4, Instructor: J.D. Arden

Ready to take a deep dive into your family history?

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

Some of the main topics covered in the course are:
Introduction to Genealogy
Family Tree Building & Preservation
Genealogy Myths
Basics of DNA
Immigration
American Research
NYC Research
International Research
Ethics, the Holocaust

Students are encouraged to participate live but are welcome to watch or review class recordings as needed.

Read what some of the participants of last spring's session had to say about the class:

"The instructor is very knowledgeable, organized, and engaging in the virtual format."

"Clear instructions, questions answered immediately, open class participation."

"The information and guidance provided helped me to launch my genealogy research in an effective way."

"The course gave me terrific resources to use in the future and demonstrated how to use the resources. It was terrific to listen to the progress of others and how they reached their goals."


Presented by:

class

Sun, Nov 06
03:00PM
Sun, Nov 06
03:00PM

theater

Arrivals: A Sephardi-Ashkenazi Love Story – Live Event

A Jewish Romeo & Juliet love story based on historical events. A hit in Seattle, coming to New York.

When the first Sephardic Jew arrived in Seattle in 1902, not everything went as planned. Marco Cordova, a young Sephardic Jew from Turkey, came to America to make his fortune. Bayla Keigelman, a fragile Ashkenazi girl from Russia, arrived fleeing a pogrom. Their meeting seemed written in the stars until tradition declared their love forbidden.


Presented by:

theater

Fri, Nov 04
10:00AM
Fri, Nov 04
10:00AM

class

All in the Mishpocheh: Intro to Jewish Genealogy at CJH - Live on Zoom

10-session classes run from November 2022 through January 2023
Section 1: Tuesdays at 4:30 - 5:45 p.m. ET beginning November 1, Instructor: Moriah Amit, or:
Section 2: Fridays at 10 - 11:15 a.m. ET beginning November 4, Instructor: J.D. Arden

Ready to take a deep dive into your family history?

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

Some of the main topics covered in the course are:
Introduction to Genealogy
Family Tree Building & Preservation
Genealogy Myths
Basics of DNA
Immigration
American Research
NYC Research
International Research
Ethics, the Holocaust

Students are encouraged to participate live but are welcome to watch or review class recordings as needed.

Read what some of the participants of last spring's session had to say about the class:

"The instructor is very knowledgeable, organized, and engaging in the virtual format."

"Clear instructions, questions answered immediately, open class participation."

"The information and guidance provided helped me to launch my genealogy research in an effective way."

"The course gave me terrific resources to use in the future and demonstrated how to use the resources. It was terrific to listen to the progress of others and how they reached their goals."


Presented by:

class

Thu, Nov 03
01:00PM
Thu, Nov 03
01:00PM

book talk

The Golden Peacock: The Voice of the Yiddish Writer - Online Event

Many may be familiar with the poetry and prose of Celia Dropkin, Yankev Glatshteyn, Rokhl Korn, Aron Glanz-Leyeles, H. Leivick, Kadya Molodowsky, Itzik Manger, Avrom Sutzkever, Sholem-Aleichem, Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, Yekhiel Shraibman and Elie Wiesel. But it can be rare to hear audio recordings of these writers reading their own works.

The Golden Peacock: The Voice of the Yiddish Writer (in Yiddish: Di Goldene Pave: Dos Kol fun dem Yidishn Shrayber) is a unique collection of Yiddish literature. In addition to the audio recordings, the project includes the texts in Yiddish and in English translation, biographies of the writers, and notes in English about each selection.

Join YIVO for a discussion of this publication featuring Sheva Zucker in conversation with Anna Fishman Gonshor. This event will be conducted in English, with selections of Yiddish poetry featured alongside English translations.

Buy the book.

About the Speakers
Sheva Zucker has taught YIVO’s Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture for over two decades. She is the author of the textbooks Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature & Culture, Vols. I and II, which are used widely in university and adult classes around the world. She has taught and lectured on Yiddish and Yiddish literature on five continents and at major universities, including Columbia, New York University, Duke, Bar-Ilan, and Russian State Humanities University. From 2005 to 2020 she served as the executive director of the League for Yiddish and the editor of its all-Yiddish publication Afn Shvel. Her research and translation work focus mainly on women in Yiddish literature.

Anna Fishman Gonshor is Faculty Lecturer of Yiddish Studies in the Department of Jewish Studies at McGill University (retired). She has been guest lecturer for several university Yiddish programs and various institutions across North America. As a translator her work includes film, articles for academic publications and archival materials. In addition, she is a longstanding faculty member of the YIVO Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture.


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Presented by:

book talk

Thu, Nov 03
08:00PM
Thu, Nov 03
08:00PM

theater

Arrivals: A Sephardi-Ashkenazi Love Story – Live Event

A Jewish Romeo & Juliet love story based on historical events. A hit in Seattle, coming to New York.

When the first Sephardic Jew arrived in Seattle in 1902, not everything went as planned. Marco Cordova, a young Sephardic Jew from Turkey, came to America to make his fortune. Bayla Keigelman, a fragile Ashkenazi girl from Russia, arrived fleeing a pogrom. Their meeting seemed written in the stars until tradition declared their love forbidden.


Presented by:

theater

Tue, Nov 01
12:00PM
Tue, Nov 01
12:00PM

book talk

Exclusive Authors Series with Andrée Aelion Brooks and Ruth K. Abrahams - Online Event

Join us for an episode of our Exclusive Authors Series with Andrée Aelion Brooks and Ruth K. Abrahams discussing their book The Remarkable Life of Luis Moses Gomez.

During the early days of colonial America, a number of Sephardic Jews and conversos came from the Caribbean islands to the eastern seaboard for economic opportunity. They have largely been overlooked as the stories of the later German and Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants, took over in terms of numbers and achievements. Here is the story of one of those early Sephardic settlers who came from Jamaica to the New York area in search of such opportunities.

About the Authors
Andrée Aelion Brooks is a journalist, author and lecturer specializing in Jewish history. Formerly a contributing columnist for the New York Times, she is an Associate Fellow, Yale University, and founder of the Women’s (political) Campaign School at Yale. Her award-winning books include a comprehensive biography of Dona Gracia Nasi, a Jewish leader who was the richest woman in Renaissance Europe; Russian Dance, about a Jewish Bolshevik spy; Out of Spain, a children’s program in Sephardic history. She was honored in 2013 by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.

Executive Director of the Gomez Mill House Foundation (ret.) from 1999-2017, Dr. Ruth Abrahams also served as Executive Director of the Lehman College Foundation and Vice President for Advancement at Pratt Institute. Artistically, Dr. Abrahams sang professionally in New York from 1967-1980. She received an M.A. in Humanities (Japanese Studies), and a Ph.D. in Dance History from New York University, where she taught as adjunct associate professor from 1982-1996. She was a founding member and first president of World Dance Alliance-Americas, an international advocacy organization for dance.

Click here for more about the book.


Presented by:

book talk

Tue, Nov 01
04:30PM
Tue, Nov 01
04:30PM

class

All in the Mishpocheh: Intro to Jewish Genealogy at CJH - Live on Zoom

10-session classes run from November 2022 through January 2023
Section 1: Tuesdays at 4:30 - 5:45 p.m. ET beginning November 1, Instructor: Moriah Amit, or:
Section 2: Fridays at 10 - 11:15 a.m. ET beginning November 4, Instructor: J.D. Arden

Ready to take a deep dive into your family history?

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

Some of the main topics covered in the course are:
Introduction to Genealogy
Family Tree Building & Preservation
Genealogy Myths
Basics of DNA
Immigration
American Research
NYC Research
International Research
Ethics, the Holocaust

Students are encouraged to participate live but are welcome to watch or review class recordings as needed.

Read what some of the participants of last spring's session had to say about the class:

"The instructor is very knowledgeable, organized, and engaging in the virtual format."

"Clear instructions, questions answered immediately, open class participation."

"The information and guidance provided helped me to launch my genealogy research in an effective way."

"The course gave me terrific resources to use in the future and demonstrated how to use the resources. It was terrific to listen to the progress of others and how they reached their goals."


Presented by:

class

Tue, Nov 01
06:30PM
Tue, Nov 01
06:30PM

exhibition opening

Leopold Zunz: Scholarship and Revolution – Live Event

Leopold Zunz (1794–1886) founded the discipline of Jewish Studies (Wissenschaft des Judentums) and produced its first great body of scholarly work, but his scholarship was never an end in itself. Rather, he forged it as a weapon in the fight for emancipation, with unambiguous political implications. Ismar Schorsch (Jewish Theological Seminary) discusses Zunz’s scholarly and political legacy at the opening of a new exhibition focused on Zunz in the Smart Gallery at the Center for Jewish History.

Leopold Zunz: Creativity in Adversity will be available for purchase at this event.

About the Speaker
Ismar Schorsch is chancellor emeritus of The Jewish Theological Seminary and Rabbi Herman Abramovitz Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish History. He received the Leo Baeck Medal in 2015. Since retiring as chancellor in 2006, Dr. Schorsch has returned to his first love: the life of the mind and serious scholarship. His most recent book Leopold Zunz: Creativity in Adversity was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2017.

Previously he had authored Canon Without Closure (March 2007, Aviv Press), a wide-ranging collection of Torah commentaries written during his tenure as chancellor. In 2004, he published a two-volume collection of the articles and essays written while chancellor titled Polarities in Balance; and in 1995, he published The Sacred Cluster: The Core Values of Conservative Judaism, a highly acclaimed monograph outlining the seven fundamental tenets of the Movement. In Feburary 2018, Professor Schorsch was awarded the Moses Mendelsohn Prize by the city of Dessau, Germany.


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Presented by:

exhibition opening

Tue, Nov 01
08:00PM
Tue, Nov 01
08:00PM

theater

Arrivals: A Sephardi-Ashkenazi Love Story – Live Event

A Jewish Romeo & Juliet love story based on historical events. A hit in Seattle, coming to New York.

When the first Sephardic Jew arrived in Seattle in 1902, not everything went as planned. Marco Cordova, a young Sephardic Jew from Turkey, came to America to make his fortune. Bayla Keigelman, a fragile Ashkenazi girl from Russia, arrived fleeing a pogrom. Their meeting seemed written in the stars until tradition declared their love forbidden.


Presented by:

theater

Mon, Oct 31
01:00PM
Mon, Oct 31
01:00PM

workshop

How to Do Research at YIVO: Accessing Digitized Materials - Online Event

The Archives and Library at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research represent the single largest and most comprehensive collection of materials on Eastern European Jewish civilization in the world. With some 23 million items in the YIVO Archives and nearly 400,000 volumes in all European languages in YIVO's Library, the possibilities for research are endless.

Join YIVO archivist Hallel Yadin for an overview of how to access YIVO’s digitized holdings. This program will go over the portals that contain digitized archival and library materials, as well as tips for navigating each portal effectively.

This event is open to anyone interested in doing online research at YIVO or learning more about YIVO’s vast digitized collections.

About the Speaker
Hallel Yadin is an Archivist at YIVO. Before coming to YIVO full-time, she interned in the YIVO Archives and worked as a research assistant at Rutgers University Special Collections/University Archives. She is completing an M.L.I.S. with an emphasis in archival studies at the University of Missouri, and holds a B.A. in history from Rutgers University. She has reading knowledge of Yiddish and French.


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Presented by:

workshop

Sun, Oct 30
03:00PM
Sun, Oct 30
03:00PM

theater

Arrivals: A Sephardi-Ashkenazi Love Story – Live Event

A Jewish Romeo & Juliet love story based on historical events. A hit in Seattle, coming to New York.

When the first Sephardic Jew arrived in Seattle in 1902, not everything went as planned. Marco Cordova, a young Sephardic Jew from Turkey, came to America to make his fortune. Bayla Keigelman, a fragile Ashkenazi girl from Russia, arrived fleeing a pogrom. Their meeting seemed written in the stars until tradition declared their love forbidden.


Presented by:

theater

Thu, Oct 27
12:30PM
Thu, Oct 27
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with William Neuman - Online Event

Julie Salamon (Wall Street Journal, NY Times) sits down with author and journalist William Neuman. William reported for the New York Times for over 15 years and served as the Times’ Andes Region Bureau Chief from 2012 to 2016 while based in Caracas, Venezuela. He previously reported for the New York Post. His work has also been featured in DetailsThe Independent, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, among others. He began his journalism career while living in Mexico and has published English translations of several Spanish language novels.

Please note: This program previously featured guest Lynn Novick, which has changed due to a scheduling conflict.


Presented by:

conversation

Thu, Oct 27
02:00PM
Thu, Oct 27
02:00PM

book club

LBI Book Club: Good Neighbors, Bad Times Revisited - Online Event

Mimi Schwartz’s father was born Jewish in a tiny German village thirty years before the advent of Hitler when, as he’d tell her, “We all got along.” In her original memoir, Good Neighbors, Bad Times, Schwartz explored how human decency fared among Christian and Jewish neighbors before, during, and after Nazi times. Ten years after its publication, a letter arrived from a man named Max Sayer in South Australia. Sayer, it turns out, grew up Catholic in the village during the Third Reich, and in 1937 moved into an abandoned Jewish home five houses away from where the family of Schwartz’s father had lived for generations before fleeing to America a few months earlier. The two families had never met.

Sayer wrote an unpublished memoir about his childhood memories and in Schwartz's new edition, Good Neighbors, Bad Times Revisited, the two memoirs talk to each other. Weaving excerpts from Sayer's memoir and from a yearlong correspondence with him into her book, Schwartz revisits village history from a new perspective, deepening our understanding of decency and demonization. Given the rise of xenophobia, white supremacy, and antisemitism in the world today, this exploration seems more urgent than ever. (description taken from Thrift Books)

Learn more about the book in this video, and read a review in the Boston Globe.

About the Author
Mimi Schwartz is the author of seven books, most recently, Good Neighbors, Bad Times Revisited: Echoes of My Father’s German Village (2021); When History Is PersonalThoughts from a Queen-Sized Bed and Writing True, the Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction (with co-author Sondra Perl). Her short work has appeared in PloughsharesTikkunThe New York TimesThe Missouri ReviewFourth GenreCreative Nonfiction, and The Boston Globe, among others. Ten essays have been Notables in Best American Essays and she is recipient of a McDowell Fellowship, Geraldine R. Dodge Fellowship, and Editor’s Prize of The Florida Review, New Hampshire’s Best Literary Nonfiction Award and a Foreword Magazine Award for Best Memoir in 2008. She is Professor Emerita in Writing at Stockton University and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Buying the Book
Good Neighbors, Bad Times Revisited is available in both print and digital forms from the University of Nebraska Press here.


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Presented by:

book club

Thu, Oct 27
07:00PM
Thu, Oct 27
07:00PM

concert

Music of Hugo Kauder – Live Event

Hugo Kauder was a mid-century Viennese Jewish composer, pedagogue, and émigré to America, who defied the atonal trend of his generation with his uniquely harmonic, contrapuntal style. His legacy of over 300 works, many yet to be published, is receiving renewed interest today. A collaboration with the Leo Baeck Institute, American Society for Jewish Music, Hugo Kauder Society, and YIVO, this concert explores a selection of Kauder's vocal music, piano music, and chamber music including Kauder's newly available Violin Sonata in A minor.

A free online streaming option is also available. Learn more here.


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Presented by:

concert

Wed, Oct 26
06:30PM
Wed, Oct 26
06:30PM

panel discussion

Village Preservation: Recognizing and Protecting Jewish History – Live Event

Join us for a night of landmark discussion on the history of Union Square, and historic preservation! Special guest Village Preservation will join AJHS to discuss Union Square’s path to landmark status designation. Beginning with a historical overview of the Square, we’ll continue through to the landmarking campaign, and finish with an audience Q&A. Come learn how Union Square became a landmark! 


Presented by:

panel discussion

Tue, Oct 25
12:00PM
Tue, Oct 25
12:00PM

book talk

Exclusive Authors Series with Judith Roumani - Online Event

Join us for this episode of our Exclusive Authors Series with Judith Roumani discussing her new book Francophone Sephardic Fiction: Writing Migration, Diaspora, and Modernity.

Francophone Sephardic Fiction approaches modern Sephardic literature in a comparative way to draw out similarities and differences among selected francophone novelists from various countries, with a focus on North Africa. The definition of Sepharad here is broader than just Spain: it embraces Jews whose ancestors had lived in North Africa for centuries, even before the arrival of Islam, and who still today trace their allegiance to ways of being Jewish that go back to Babylon, as do those whose ancestors spent a few hundred years in Iberia. The author traces the strong influence of oral storytelling on modern novelists of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and explores the idea of the portable homeland, as exile and migration engulfed the long-rooted Sephardic communities.

About the Author
Judith Roumani is founder and director of the Jewish Institute of Pitigliano, and founder and editor of the online journal Sephardic Horizons, which appears three times a year (sephardichorizons.org). She received a BA Honors in Spanish and French from the University of Nottingham, an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of London, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Rutgers. She has taught Spanish and Sephardic studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, and other colleges in the Washington DC area. She has also been a director of publications, professional translator, an associate editor or author of five books and a monograph, and her work has been translated into Hebrew, Italian, and French.

Click here for more about the book.


Presented by:

book talk

Tue, Oct 25
01:00PM
Tue, Oct 25
01:00PM

lecture

The Origins of National Culture: Self Translation, Originals and Split Authors - Online Event

Is there a difference between originals and translations, artistically? Intuitively the answer seems to be: yes, especially in our cultural and historical context of modern Yiddish and Hebrew literatures, that share a vested interest in originality. But when matters come to self-translation, work written and rewritten by the same author, issues of origins and originality become murky.

This lecture will look at work by self-translating writers such as Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh, Hersch Dovid Nomberg, and Zalman Shneour to explore the ways authors and critics thought about self-translation, how they pondered and practiced writing the same work time and again. In thinking about this practice the validity of concepts such as “original” and “translation” will be scrutinized, as well as the idea that people have different capacities and even personalities in different languages. Looking at modes of self-presentation and literary composition will allow us to ask what, if at all, sets the self-translating author apart from other writers and translators.

About the Speakers
Yaakov Herskovitz is the inaugural Goldrich postdoctoral fellow in the Yiddish studies program at Tel Aviv University and teaches in the Yiddish studies program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prior to this appointment he served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as part of a German-Israeli research group studying Jewish-German literary exchanges in the interwar period. In 2019-2020 he was a fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, in a year devoted to Yiddish.

Currently he is concluding work on a book that deals with the role literary self-translation played in the formation of Jewish national cultures. Another book, forthcoming in Hebrew with Hakkibutz Hameuchad, is devoted to the translational poetics of Israeli poet Avot Yeshurun and the Yiddish origins of his Hebrew. Yaakov’s research interests include Modern Hebrew & Yiddish literature, translation studies, gender and the making of national cultures. His work has appeared in journals such as ShofarJewish Social Studies and most recently Prooftexts. He serves on the board of In geveb, a journal of Yiddish studies.


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Presented by:

lecture

Sun, Oct 23
02:00PM
Sun, Oct 23
02:00PM

yiddish club

YIVO Yiddish Club: Contemporary Yiddish Creativity in Israel With Mendy Cahan - Online Event

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

This session features Mendy Cahan, Yiddish singer, actor, badkhn, teacher, and founder of the YUNG YiDiSH Library and Cultural center in Tel Aviv which hosts a variety of activities to strengthen Yiddish culture in Israel. Cahan performs on Yiddish stages worldwide and at the Gesher Theatre in Tel Aviv. He has appeared in award-winning films including Murer: Anatomie eines Prozesses and the Oscar-awarded Son of Saul, for which he was also the Yiddish coach. Cahan will soon be seen in the upcoming Netflix series Diamonds. He currently lectures about Yiddish Literature at Alma College and is active as a volunteer for YUNG YiDiSH.


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Presented by:

yiddish club

Thu, Oct 20
01:00PM
Thu, Oct 20
01:00PM

book talk

Hugo Kauder: Composer, Musical Philosopher, Music Theorist

Hugo Kauder was a mid-century Viennese Jewish composer, pedagogue, and émigré to America, who defied the atonal trend of his generation with his uniquely harmonic, contrapuntal style. His legacy of over 300 works, many yet to be published, is receiving renewed interest today. YIVO's Director of Public Programs Alex Weiser joins Kauder's biographer, scholar and pianist Karin Wagner, for a conversation about Kauder, his work, and his legacy.

About the Speakers
Karin Wagner teaches piano and piano pedagogy at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Wagner has published widely on the subject of composers in exile.

Alex Weiser is the Director of Public Programs of YIVO and a composer of contemporary classical music. Weiser's debut album and all the days were purple, was named a 2020 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Music.


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book talk

Thu, Oct 20
06:00PM
Thu, Oct 20
06:00PM

book talk

The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of an Empire

The gilded Baghdadi Sassoons, one of the richest families in the world for over two centuries, built a vast empire through global finance and trade—cotton, opium, shipping—that reached across three continents. Against the monumental canvas of the Ottoman Empire and the changing face of the Far East, across Europe and Great Britain during the time of its farthest reach, Joseph Sassoon gives us a spectacular generational saga of the making (and undoing) of this family dynasty in his new book, The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of an Empire.

Dr. Joseph Sassoon, Professor of History and Political Economy and Director of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University, will be in conversation with Lauren Gilbert, Senior Manager for Public Services at the Center for Jewish History.


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book talk

Fri, Oct 14
11:00AM
Fri, Oct 14
11:00AM

walking tour

Walking Tour: The Unexpected Story of Jewish Williamsburg

This event is sold out.

It would be fair to call Williamsburg the Lower East Side’s lesser-known sibling. Opening in 1903, the Williamsburg bridge, which connects the Lower East Side to Williamsburg, soon came to be known as “The Jewish Highway.” Jewish immigrants, seeking to escape the crowded tenements of the Lower East Side, resettled in Williamsburg in large numbers. They brought with them all the character of similar enclaves – Yiddish, kosher butchers, and synagogues – as well as the familiar ambition of upward mobility. However, unlike the Lower East Side, Williamsburg was not soon past its heyday. 

After the Holocaust, Hungarian survivors, many of whom were Hasidic, became the next wave of immigrants to make their American starter homes in Williamsburg. But this second wave did not want to move on and assimilate. They stayed in Williamsburg, despite the polluted East River, high crime, and crumbling infrastructure, and maintained their traditions. Even as North Williamsburg has been reborn as a trendy hipster enclave in recent decades, the fourth generation of Hasidim continue to thrive in South Williamsburg. Our tour will take us through this story by way of the buildings, streets, and synagogues, with a nosh of the famous Hungarian kosher baking. And, since we’ll be visiting during the week of Sukkos, the community’s lively atmosphere will enrich your experience of contemporary Jewish Williamsburg. 

About the Tour Guide

Frieda Vizel  is a New York City tour guide who specializes in Jewish Williamsburg. She grew up in the Satmar Hasidic community and her four holocaust survivor grandparents lived in Williamsburg. She has since left the fold but remains drawn to the area‘s rich legacy.

Location and Other Details
This two-hour tour will begin at the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza Bus Terminal, a glass building at the corner of Broadway and Havermeyer Streets. Please plan to arrive at 10:45 AM to check in. We will not wait more than a few minutes for late arrivals. This tour will take place rain or shine. Note: Some tour stops are not wheelchair accessible. Additional logistical information will be emailed to all registrants one week before the tour, and again the day before the tour.


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walking tour

Thu, Oct 13
06:30PM
Thu, Oct 13
06:30PM

lecture and theatrical reading

Lew Nussimbaum aka Essad Bey: Wanderer between Words – Live Event

Born to a Jewish family in Kiev, raised in Baku, and converted to Islam in Berlin, Essad Bey’s (né Lew Nussimbaum) (1905–1942) orientalist writings reached a huge audience in the Weimar Republic. Although his novels and essays depicting life in locales such as Azerbaijan and the Caucasus helped shape notions of a mysterious and romantic East in the German public imagination, his own incredible life may have been the most fantastical story he left us. Michael Lahr will give a lecture on Essad Bey’s life and times, followed by a dramatic reading of selected works (in German with English subtitles) by the actor Gregorij H. von Leitis.

About the Presenters
Michael Lahr is is the Executive Director of the Lahr von Leïtis Academy & Archive, Vice Chairman of the Erwin Piscator Award Society, co-director of the Elysium Festival in Bernried, and member of the advisory board of the Nietzsche Forum Munich and the Leon Askin Forum Vienna. He is also the Program Director and Associate Artistic Director of Elysium - Between Two Continents.

Lahr is a co-author of the volume of essays Bilder des Menschen (Images of Man), to which he contributed an article entitled Der Jüdische Humanismus und das Konzept der Veranwortung (Jewish Humanism and the Concept of Responsibility). His essay about Nietzsches Einfluss auf die französische Gegenwartsphilosophie: Spurensuche im Werk Michel Foucaults (Nietzsche's Influence on French contemporary Philosophy: Looking for Traces in the Work of Michel Foucault) was published in the yearbook of the Nietzsche Forum Munich e.V. A specialist on Erwin Piscator, founder of the Political and Epic Theater, he curated the exhibition Erwin Piscator: Political Theater in Exile, which has been shown in Bernried, New York, Catania, Salzburg, and Munich.

Gregorij H. von Leitis has been working as a director at various theaters in Europe and the USA for more than 50 years. He is also the Artistic Director of Elysium - Between Two Continents. In 1985 he was the first non-American to receive the New York Theatre Club Prize for his direction of Bertolt Brecht's The Jewish Wife. In 2003, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by German President Johannes Rau for his merits in promoting international understanding by means of art. In April 2016, the Austrian Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer bestowed on him the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art. In recent years, Gregorij von Leïtis has been increasingly active as a speaker; through reading programs and literary-musical collages, he has been active in Germany and abroad against hate (Hate is a Failure of Imagination), for the preservation of democracy (Defending Democracy), and for environmental protection (After Us, the Deluge?), among other things.


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lecture and theatrical reading

Thu, Oct 13
07:30PM
Thu, Oct 13
07:30PM

concert

19th Century Piano Trios: On the Cusp of Romanticism

The Phoenix Chamber Ensemble performs Piano Trios by Schubert (No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 99) and Brahms (No. 2 in C major, Op. 87). Pianists/founders Vassa Sheveland Inessa Zaretsky will be joined by ensemble regulars Anna Elashvili on violin and Raman Ramakrishnan on cello.

This program will be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person.

Made possible by the Stravinsky Institute Foundation through the generous support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation.


Presented by:

concert

Sun, Oct 09
04:00PM
Sun, Oct 09
04:00PM

panel discussion

Poet Laureate of Southern Jews: Personal Remembrances of Eli Evans

Please join our panel of Eli Evans’ colleagues, friends and family remembering the man whose passion for southern Jewish history provided a legacy that has thrived for five decades. The panelists will bring their own perspective to the discussion about their colleague, their friend, their father.

The Panelists
Robert Rosen, moderator: When not involved in his Charleston law practice, Robert likely will be found studying and writing history. He has authored several books about the history of Charleston and southern Jewish history and has been a frequent participant with SJHSSC programs. Mr. Rosen also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Historic Charleston Foundation and is Chairman of the Arts and History Commission of the City of Charleston. He is past president of the JHSSC.

Marcie Cohen-Ferris: Marcie is a professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ferris’s research and teaching interests include southern history and culture–particularly the foodways and material culture of the American South, the history of the Jewish South, and American Jewish identity and culture.

Josh Evans: Josh, a SAG-AFTRA actor with multiple television and film credits to his name, is the only son of Eli and Judith Evans. His work can be seen on joshlevans.com

Macy B. Hart: Macy is the founder and President Emeritus of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL). Before establishing the ISJL, Macy was Director of the Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica, Mississippi, for 30 years. He also founded the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience (MSJE) in 1986; the new MSJE is now open in New Orleans.

Len Rogoff: Len, former president of the SJHS, has written and lectured on the Jewish history of North Carolina.  He is now historian for Jewish Heritage North Carolina.

Steve Whitfield: Steve is the Max Richter Professor of American Civilization, Emeritus, at Brandeis University. He has written extensively about American political and cultural history, and southern Jewish history.


Presented by:

panel discussion

Sun, Oct 02
10:00AM
Sun, Oct 02
10:00AM

symposium

Jews in the Gilded Age: The Leonard L. Milberg Symposium in honor of Harold T. Shapiro – Live Event

The American Jewish Historical Society is delighted to serve as host of the book launch event for Yearning to Breathe Free. This comprehensive volume, featuring contributions from twenty of American Jewish history’s most preeminent scholars, details Jewish life in Gilded Age America, and provides a much-needed glimpse into the political, economic, and social histories of Jewish Americans. Confirmed presenters include co-editors Jonathan Sarna and Adam Mendelsohn, contributors Melissa Klapper, Zev Eleff, and Daniel Soyer, Pamela NadellNY Times writer Mike Hale, and AJHS Trustee and best-selling author Julie Salamon.


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symposium

Thu, Sep 29
01:00PM
Thu, Sep 29
01:00PM

lecture

How to Do Research at YIVO: What is an Archive?

The Archives and Library at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research represent the single largest and most comprehensive collection of materials on Eastern European Jewish civilization in the world. With some 23 million items in the YIVO Archives and nearly 400,000 volumes in all European languages in YIVO's Library, the possibilities for research are endless.

Join YIVO archivist Hallel Yadin for an overview on how to do research at YIVO. The program will cover crucial and fundamental questions including: What is an archive? How is an archive different from a library? How are archives and libraries used, and by whom? What key terminologies associated with archives and libraries are useful to know?

Yadin will also cover the basics of how to search for material at YIVO. This event is open to anyone interested in doing research (online or in-person) at YIVO or learning more about YIVO’s vast collections.

Other programs in this series:

How To Do Research at YIVO: A Practical Introduction
How To Do Research at YIVO: Accessing Digitized Materials

About the Speaker
Hallel Yadin is an Archivist at YIVO. Before coming to YIVO full-time, she interned in the YIVO Archives and worked as a research assistant at Rutgers University Special Collections/University Archives. She is completing an M.L.I.S. with an emphasis in archival studies at the University of Missouri, and holds a B.A. in history from Rutgers University. She has reading knowledge of Yiddish and French.


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lecture

Thu, Sep 29
02:00PM
Thu, Sep 29
02:00PM

book talk

Anna and Dr. Helmy: How an Arab Doctor Saved a Jewish Girl in Hitler's Berlin

Journalist Ronen Steinke shares the remarkable story of Mohammed Helmy, the Egyptian doctor who risked his life to save Jewish Berliners from the Nazis. Steinke’s new book  focuses on Helmy’s relationship with Anna, a Jewish girl whose identity he helped to hide, as well as the encounters between Jews and Weimar-era Berlin’s Muslim community. With moderator Sophie Spaan.

After registering for this event, you will receive a code for 30% off the book from Oxford University Press.

About the Speakers
Ronen Steinke is a political commentator for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany's leading broadsheet newspaper. He has published a number of works in Germany on the Nazi period, including his biography of Fritz Bauer, the courageous German Jewish judge and prosecutor who played an instrumental role in bringing the Holocaust planner Adolf Eichmann to justice, and whose story was dramatized in the 2015 film The People vs. Fritz Bauer.

Sophie Spaan obtained her PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the KULeuven in 2021. Her historical research examined Muslim religious institutions and European Islam policies in London, Berlin and Paris in the interwar period. Previously, she completed degrees in History and Classics at the University of Edinburgh and Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, after which she worked as a researcher for the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies in Beirut. She is also the co-author of this 2016 article with Marya Hannun in Foreign Policy about the cultural and political position of Islam in Interwar Europe, "When Europe Loved Islam ."


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book talk

Wed, Sep 28
02:00PM
Wed, Sep 28
02:00PM

book club

LBI Book Club: When Time Stopped

About the Book
In this astonishing story that “reads like a thriller and is so, so timely,” (BuzzFeed) Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father’s past. “Like Anne Frank’s diary, it offers a story that needs to be told and heard” (Booklist, starred review).

In 1941, the first Neumann family member was taken by the Nazis, arrested in German-occupied Czechoslovakia for bathing in a stretch of river forbidden to Jews. He was transported to Auschwitz. Eighteen days later his prisoner number was entered into the morgue book.

Of thirty-four Neumann family members, twenty-five were murdered by the Nazis. One of the survivors was Hans Neumann, who, to escape the German death net, traveled to Berlin and hid in plain sight under the Gestapo’s eyes. What Hans experienced was so unspeakable that, when he built an industrial empire in Venezuela, he couldn’t bring himself to talk about it. All his daughter Ariana knew was that something terrible had happened.

When Hans died, he left Ariana a small box filled with letters, diary entries, and other memorabilia. Ten years later Ariana finally summoned the courage to have the letters translated, and she began reading. What she discovered launched her on a worldwide search that would deliver indelible portraits of a family loving, finding meaning, and trying to survive amid the worst that can be imagined.

A “beautifully told story of personal discovery,” (John le Carré) When Time Stopped is an unputdownable detective story and an epic family memoir, spanning nearly ninety years and crossing oceans. Neumann brings each relative to vivid life, and this “gripping, expertly researched narrative will inspire those looking to uncover their own family histories” (Publishers Weekly). (description taken from Amazon)

About the Author
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 has appeared in a variety of publications including The European, the Jewish Book Council, and The New York Times.

Learn more about When Time Stopped here, and read a review in The New York Times.

Getting the Book
When Time Stopped can be found in most library systems and is in stock in numerous bookstores. You can also purchase it here.


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book club

Thu, Sep 22
12:30PM
Thu, Sep 22
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Ruth Messinger

Julie Salamon (Wall Street Journal and NY Times) sits down with political leader and social justice advocate Ruth W. Messinger. Ruth is the Global Ambassador for American Jewish World Service, an international human rights organization she ran from 1998-2016. Additionally, she does social justice and organizing work at the Jewish Theological Seminary and at the Meyerson JCC, and teaches Jewish women social justice entrepreneurs.  Ruth is a trained social worker, and previously had a 20-year career in elected office in New York City. She serves on several boards, has 3 children, 8 grand-children and 3.5 thankgreat grandchildren.


Presented by:

conversation

Thu, Sep 22
01:00PM
Thu, Sep 22
01:00PM

book talk

Hidden Heretics: Jewish Doubt in the Digital Age

In her recent publication, Hidden Heretics: Jewish Doubt in the Digital Age, scholar Ayala Fader tells the fascinating, often heart-wrenching stories of married ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and women in twenty-first-century New York who lead “double lives” in order to protect those they love. 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, Fader investigates religious doubt and social change in the digital age. In following those living double lives, who range from the religiously observant but open-minded on one end to atheists on the other, Fader delves into universal quandaries of faith and skepticism, the ways digital media can change us, and family frictions that arise when a person radically transforms who they are and what they believe.

Join YIVO for a discussion of this recent publication featuring Fader in conversation with Josh Lambert, professor and director of the Jewish Studies Program at Wellesley College.

About the Speakers
Ayala Fader is Professor of Anthropology at Fordham University. She is the author of the award-winning books, Mitzvah Girls: Bringing Up the Next Generation of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn (2009) and Hidden Heretics: Jewish Doubt in the Digital Age (2020). Fader’s research, supported by fellowships including the NSF and the NEH, appears in academic journals and more public venues. Fader is the co-founder of the Seminar on Jewish Orthodoxies at Fordham’s Jewish Studies Program, on the steering committee of the Haredi Research Group, and is a fellow at the American Academy for Jewish Research. As the director of Fordham’s Center for Public Anthropology, Fader is currently collaborating on the Demystifying Language Project, which works to make linguistic anthropology a social justice resource for public high schools.

Josh Lambert is the Sophia Moses Robison Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and English, and director of the Jewish Studies Program, at Wellesley College. He's the author of The Literary Mafia: Jews, Publishing, and Postwar American Literature (2022) and Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture (2014), and coeditor of How Yiddish Changed America and How America Changed Yiddish (2020).


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book talk

Wed, Sep 21
01:00PM
Wed, Sep 21
01:00PM

lecture

The Nightmare in Jewish History and Culture

Dreaming is a universal human experience and every culture has their own set of beliefs and theories about the nature, origins and meaning of dreams. Jewish tradition, too, developed various attitudes and responses toward dreams and specific dream phenomena, both positive and negative. Some Jewish thinkers dismissed dreams as an inconsequential reflection of waking life while others viewed them as a vehicle of divine communication or as portending the future. The nightmare was a category of dreams given particular attention in Jewish culture with specific beliefs and ritual practices developing as responses to this emotionally unsettling experience.

This talk will explore the variety of conceptions and interpretations of the nightmare in Jewish culture and the range of responses that Jews have taken toward this phenomenon in different periods and places, from the Bible through to the twentieth century. It will situate nightmares in context of the understandings of dreams prevalent in Jewish culture and discuss them from psychological, magical, mystical and halakhic perspectives. As will be shown, nightmares were not only of central concern to Jews throughout history but they contributed to a number of particularly rich forms of Jewish cultural expression.

About the Speakers
Elly Moseson earned his B.A. at Columbia University where he studied literature and philosophy and completed his M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Boston University. He has been a Visiting Professor at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and held postdoctoral positions at the University of Hamburg, Tel Aviv University and Haifa University. His research interests include early modern Jewish movements and literatures, the cultural and political functions of texts, and the intersection of literature, psychoanalysis and religion. He is currently working on a monograph on the role of literature in the formation of the Hasidic movement and a series of studies on dreams and magic in Jewish culture.


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lecture

Wed, Sep 21
06:30PM
Wed, Sep 21
06:30PM

book talk

The Rise and Fall of Protestant Brooklyn – Live Event

The American Jewish Historical Society presents The Rise and Fall of Protestant Brooklyn, book talk with authors, Stuart M. Blumin and Glenn C. Altschuler.

The Rise and Fall of Protestant Brooklyn, tells the story of nineteenth-century Brooklyn’s domination by upper- and middle-class Protestants with roots in Puritan New England. This lively history describes the unraveling of the control they wielded as more ethnically diverse groups moved into the “City of Churches” during the twentieth century.

Before it became a prime American example of urban ethnic diversity, Brooklyn was a lovely and salubrious “town across the river” from Manhattan, celebrated for its churches and upright suburban living. But challenges to this way of life issued from the sheer growth of the city, from new secular institutions—department stores, theaters, professional baseball—and from the licit and illicit attractions of Coney Island, all of which were at odds with post-Puritan piety and behavior.

Despite these developments, the Yankee-Protestant hegemony largely held until the massive influx of Southern and Eastern European immigrants in the twentieth century. As The Rise and Fall of Protestant Brooklyn demonstrates, in their churches, synagogues, and other communal institutions, and on their neighborhood streets, the new Brooklynites established the ethnic mosaic that laid the groundwork for the theory of cultural pluralism, giving it a central place within the American Creed.


Presented by:

book talk

Tue, Sep 20
12:00PM
Tue, Sep 20
12:00PM

book talk

Exclusive Authors Series with Regina M. Tessone

Join us for a new episode of the Exclusive Authors Series with Regine M. Tessone who discusses her book Monavar's Journey.

About the Book
On February 1, 1979, Regine Monavar Tessone recalls running through the Mehrabad airport with her parents and three brothers to board the last flight out of Tehran on the eve of the Islamic Revolution. The pilot announced as they entered the aircraft, "You are the lucky ones! The airport is now closed and the Ayatollah Khomeini has arrived." In this intimate memoir, Monavar (a Farsi name meaning light) recreates the life of her Persian Jewish family before they fled Iran and her own adventures in their new home in America. Always buoyant (her maiden name Omid means hope), she describes reuniting with her mother's family in Brooklyn, visiting Israel and serving as a volunteer, falling in love with a non-Persian Jew, and becoming a successful fashion designer. Her story, at once personal and paradigmatic, reflects her nostalgia for the homeland of her youth and her embrace of the opportunities of her adopted homeland in the United States as a successful Iranian-Jewish immigrant.

About the Author
Regine Monavar Tessone is an Iranian American fashion designer. As a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, she founded Aqua Modesta, a unique line of modest women's swimwear and sportswear that attained worldwide success. Her initial professional goals achieved, she wrote this memoir to fulfill a lifelong dream: to share the story of her family's incredible escape on the last flight out of Tehran. She resides with her husband and children in New York and Jerusalem.

For more about the book: amazon.com/Monavars-Journey-Bridge-Regine-Tessone/dp/163837306X


Presented by:

book talk

Tue, Sep 20
02:00PM
Tue, Sep 20
02:00PM

book talk

Jacob Taubes: Professor of Apocalypse

Scion of a distinguished line of Talmudic scholars, Jacob Taubes (1923–1987) was an intellectual impresario whose inner restlessness led him from prewar Vienna to Zurich, Israel, the United States, and Cold War Berlin. Regarded by some as a genius, and by others as a charlatan, Taubes moved among yeshivas, monasteries, and leading academic institutions, including Columbia University. He wandered between Judaism and Christianity, left and right, piety and transgression. Along the way, he interacted with many of the leading minds of the age, from Leo Strauss and Gershom Scholem to Herbert Marcuse, Susan Sontag, and Carl Schmitt. This wide-ranging study shows how Taubes’s personal tensions mirrored broader conflicts between religious belief and scholarship, allegiance to Jewish origins and the urge to escape them, tradition and radicalism, and religion and politics.

Jerry Z. Muller (Catholic University) discusses his new biography of Taubes with Michael Brenner (American University/Munich).

About the Speakers
Michael Brenner is the Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies at American University and Director of AU’s Center for Israel Studies. Since 1997 he has been Professor of Jewish History and Culture at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich. He is the International President of the Leo Baeck Institute for the Study of German-Jewish History and serves on many academic boards, including the Jewish Museum of Berlin, the Israel Institute, the Center for European Studies of the University of Haifa and is board chair of the Franz Rosenzweig Research Center of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His nine books have been translated into ten languages and include The Renaissance of Jewish Culture in Weimar GermanyA Short History of the Jews; and In Hitler’s Munich: Jews, Revolution, and the Rise of Nazism. He is co-author of the four-volume German-Jewish History in Modern Times, for which he was awarded a National Jewish Book Award.

Jerry Z. Muller is Professor Emeritus of History at the Catholic University of America and the author of seven books, including The Mind and the Market and Capitalism and the Jews. His work has appeared in Foreign AffairsThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and other leading publications. His most recent book, Professor of Apocalypse: The Many Lives of Jacob Taubes has just been published by Princeton University Press. A German edition will be published by Suhrkamp/Jüdischer Verlag in December.


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book talk

Thu, Sep 15
06:30PM
Thu, Sep 15
06:30PM

lecture

Revenge: History and Fantasy - Live Program

From God to Quentin Tarantino: for the first time, an extraordinary exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Frankfurt, accompanied by a book and podcast, takes a look at the subject of revenge in Jewish cultural history. The show offers new perspectives ranging from biblical stories, rabbinical writings, and Jewish legends, to anti-Jewish myths and Jewish bandits. Pop cultural stories form the start of the exhibition, while its vanishing point can be found in the final testimonies of those murdered and the question of justice after the Shoah. Curator Max Czollek will present the exhibition. More about Revenge: History and Fantasy can be found here.

About the Speaker
Max Czollek lives in Berlin, where he was born in 1987. After studies of political science at the Technical University (TU) of Berlin, he earned a doctorate at the TU's Center for Research on Antisemitism. Since 2009 he is member of the poetry collective G13, which published books and organized lectures. 2013–2018 he was curator of the international project “Babelsprech.International” for the connection of the young German-speaking and European poetry scene. Together with Sasha Marianna Salzmann he was initiator of “Desintegration. Ein Kongress zeitgenössischer jüdischer Positionen” (2016) and “Radikale Jüdische Kulturtage” (2017) at Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin, Studio R. His lyric books Druckkammern (2012), Jubeljahre (2015) and Grenzwerte (2019) were published at Verlagshaus Berlin. 2018 his non-fiction book Desintegriert Euch! was published at Carl Hanser.


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lecture

Wed, Sep 14
12:00PM
Wed, Sep 14
12:00PM

lecture

Rosh Hashana Foods with Sarina Roffé

While most Jews have apples and honey before their Rosh Hashanah meal, Syrian Jews have many more brachot. Journalist, Sephardic historian and cookbook author Sarina Roffé will share recipes and discuss the foods unique to Syrian Jews on Rosh Hashanah. The recipes are for the brachot said before eating the holiday meal on Rosh Hashanah.

About the Speaker
Sarina Roffé is a professional genealogist, editor of the journal DOROT, and founder of the Sephardic Heritage Project. She is the author of "Branching Out From Sepharad" (Sephardic Heritage Project, 2017), which outlines the history of Jews in Spain, the 1492 expulsion, their history in Syria, and their immigration to the Americas. She is Co-Chair of the Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative, and Chair of the JewishGen Sephardic Research Division.

Sarina is also the author of "Backyard Kitchen: Mediterranean Salads," and "Backyard Kitchen: the Main Course" and a cooking app called Sarina’s Sephardic Cuisine, available in the Apple Store, as well as hundreds of articles. Sarina presents often at IAJGS Conferences and has completed over a dozen genealogies, through her genealogy consulting business, Sephardic Genealogical Journeys.

For more about Sarina's cookbooks: sarinassephardiccuisine.com/cookbooks


Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Sep 14
01:00PM
Wed, Sep 14
01:00PM

book talk

The Dancer and the Holocaust: a Biography of Pola Nirenska

In her book Tancerka i Zaglada (The Dancer and the Holocaust), Weronika Kostyrko uncovers the story of dancer Pola Nirenska (1910-1992) whose career was repeatedly interrupted by antisemitism and fascism. Born Pola Nirensztajn in Warsaw, Nirenska lived and worked in Poland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Great Britain before leaving for America. Kostyrko’s biography intertwines the story of an outstanding Jewish dancer, the history of the avant-garde in Europe and the United States, and the story of the Holocaust in Poland. Kostyrko’s book also sheds light on an unknown chapter in the biography of Jan Karski, a member of the Polish prewar establishment and wartime underground, with new revelations on Karski's attitude towards Jews.

Kostyrko retraced Nirenska’s life and legacy on the basis of interviews with the last witnesses living in the USA, with Nirenska’s relatives in Israel, as well as correspondence and archives scattered on three continents. Nirenska herself did not leave diaries, private letters, nor do we have a film record of her dance. Her name survives in The Jan Karski and Pola Nirenska Award, awarded annually by YIVO.

Join YIVO for a discussion of this important new biography featuring Kostyrko in conversation with YIVO’s Executive Director Jonathan Brent.

About the Author
Weronika Kostyrko worked for 20 years for the Polish liberal daily "Gazeta Wyborcza” as parliament reporter and correspondent in Germany, among other duties. As editor-in-chief of the newspaper’s women’s supplement, "Wysokie Obcasy,” she published many life stories of outstanding Jewish female figures. From 2011 Kostyrko served for five years at the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as editor-in-chief of the Culture.pl website that included many articles on Yiddish culture, bios of Jewish artists and descriptions of their selected works. She is currently working on a biography of Rosa Luxemburg.


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Presented by:

book talk

Tue, Sep 13
12:00PM
Tue, Sep 13
12:00PM

film and discussion

Rafting to Bombay: An Escape from Poland to India

In this documentary, Israeli director Erez Laufer tells the story of his father Nahum’s escape from the Nazis in Poland to India during WWII – against the backdrop of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks on the Chabad House. Registrants will receive a link to view the film (available 48 hours prior to the event) before the online discussion with Atina Grossmann (Cooper Union), Jael Silliman (author, scholar, and women’s rights activist, Calcutta), and Nahum Laufer himself. Moderated by Magdalena M. Wrobel, Associate Director of Public History at LBI.

About the Speakers
Atina Grossmann is Professor of History in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Cooper Union in New York City. She received her Ph.D from Rutgers University and her B.A. from The City University of New York. Her current research focuses on “Trauma: Privilege, Adventure in Transit: Jewish Refugees from National Socialism in Iran, India, and Central Asia in Transnational Context.” She has shed light on Jewish life in Germany in the immediate aftermath of World War II, bridging the divide between German history and Jewish studies. Grossmann has held guest professorships at the Humboldt University Berlin and the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, among others.

Nahum Laufer was born in 1935 in Poland. During WWII, he and his mother escaped the Nazis in a journey that ended in Bombay, India. It was during research for a documentary film about his personal life that Laufer became familiar with another fascinating and unfamiliar story, that of The Darien, which became the subject of his first film script. The Darien Dilemma was directed by his son, Erez Laufer, and edited by his daughter, Miri Laufer. The three of them continued their collaboration in Rafting to Bombay, the film which tells his own personal story.

Jael Silliman, born into the Baghdadi Jewish community of Calcutta, was educated at Wellesley College, Mass., Harvard University, University of Texas, Austin, and received her doctoral degree in international education at Columbia University. She has written extensively on gender and economic development, and women’s movements in the developing world. Her recent publications include The Teak Almirah and Where Gods Reside: Sacred Places of Kolkata.

Magdalena M. Wrobel is Associate Director of Public History at LBI. She joined LBI as a Research Associate in 2016. In 2017, she became Project Manager where she oversaw projects such as the 1938Projekt and Shared History Project. For the last five years, she has also supervised the Institute’s exhibitions. In her newest role as Associate Director of Public History, she is responsible for the implementation of programming and special initiatives. She holds Ph.D. in History from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. As a Ph.D. candidate, Magdalena was a fellow at Haifa University, University College London, Columbia University, and the Center for Jewish History in New York. Before moving to New York, she lived in Krakow, Munich, Haifa, Jerusalem, and London. She is fluent in Polish, German, Russian, and Hebrew.


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film and discussion

Tue, Sep 13
01:00PM
Tue, Sep 13
01:00PM

panel discussion

The YIVO Sound Archive at 40: a Celebration

Join us for a fascinating insider discussion of the history of the YIVO Sound Archive, important areas of its collections, projects it has facilitated, and other stories of the past 40 years. Moderated by Hankus Netsky, this event will, for the very first time, bring together the founder of YIVO's Sound Archive, Henry Sapoznik, current YIVO Sound Archivists Lorin Sklamberg and Eléonore Biezunski, and former YIVO Sound Archivist Jenny Romaine.

The YIVO Sound Archive houses over 20,000 recordings (including 78, 45, and 33rpm discs, open-reel and cassette tapes, piano rolls, and compact discs and other digital formats) as well as various artifacts related to sound recordings. It is is one of the most extensive and frequently consulted Jewish music collections in the world, embracing Yiddish and Hebrew folk, pop and theater music, Holocaust songs, liturgical, choral and instrumental compositions and, of course, klezmer music, as well as spoken word, oral histories, interviews, and radio programs. In addition to serving researchers, the Sound Archive maintains a special link to the Yiddish cultural world, and has close relationships with many musicians who utilize its resources in creating their art. It serves anyone seeking to include Yiddish music in their life or work, including teachers, journalists, camp counselors, and radio producers, among others.

About the Speakers
Henry H. Sapoznik is an award winning producer, musicologist and performer and writer in the fields of traditional and popular Yiddish and American music and culture. Sapoznik, a native Yiddish speaker and child of Holocaust survivors, is one of the founders of the klezmer revival, the founder of the YIVO sound archives and a five time Grammy nominated producer and winner of the 2002 Peabody award for his 10 part NPR series “The Yiddish Radio Project.” The collection upon which it was based contains over 10,000 unique items and is housed at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

Sapoznik’s new book, A Tourist’s Guide to Lost Yiddish New York, is scheduled for a 2023 release by Excelsior Press.

Jenny Romaine is a director, designer, puppeteer, and co-founder/artistic director of the OBIE winning Great Small Works visual theater collective. She is music director of Jennifer Miller’s CIRCUS AMOK. Romaine/ Great Small Works performs, teaches, and directs in theaters, schools, parks, libraries, museums, prisons, street corners, and other public spaces, producing work on many scales, from gigantic outdoor spectacles with scores of participants, to miniature shows in living rooms. Jenny was a sound archivist at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research for 13 years and for several decades has drawn on Yiddish/Pan Jewish primary source materials to create art that has contemporary meaning. Her Great Small Works projects include Muntergang and Other Cheerful Downfalls about Yiddish puppeteers Zuni Maud and Yosl Cutler, The Sukkos Mob (featured in the film Punk Jews), community Purim Shpiln with the Aftselakhis Spectacle Committee in cahoots with JFREJ, and Vu bistu geven? / Where Have You Been? a Quebec-based adventure parable that asks questions about diasporic Jewish relationships to land.

Lorin Sklamberg is a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics, and teaches Yiddish song from São Paulo to Stockholm. His recent projects include a forthcoming recording of newly-discovered Yiddish cabaret songs from Helsinki and 150 Voices, a collaboration with Yiddish-Russian singer/pianist/composer Polina Shepherd and the members of five choirs in the UK and the United States. As YIVO’s longtime Sound Archivist, he co-curates the Ruth Rubin Legacy website and currently presents materials from the newly-digitized YIVO Yiddish Folksong Project worldwide. “One of the premier American singers in any genre.” – Robert Christgau, NPR.

Eléonore Biezunski is an award-winning Parisian singer/violinist/songwriter and scholar now living in NYC. An avid collector of Yiddish music, she has led several projects and has collaborated with a large number of well-known Jewish performers in the US and abroad. Her recordings include Yerushe (IEMJ, 2016) and Zol zayn (2014). Her composition “Tshemodan” was voted Best New Yiddish Song by São Paulo’s 2021 Bubbe Awards. As YIVO’s Sound Archivist since 2016, Eléonore has coordinated the Ruth Rubin Legacy website (ruthrubin.yivo.org). She has a PhD from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and has published several book chapters and articles on the history of Yiddish music and culture, and co-edited a reissue of the complete recordings of the French Elesdisc label, 1948-1953 (2015, IEMJ). She is also a team member of the Klezmer Institute and is a recipient of an NYSCA Folk Arts Apprenticeship. www.eleonorebiezunski.com


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panel discussion

Sun, Sep 11
01:00PM
Sun, Sep 11
01:00PM

commemoration

Nusakh Vilne Memorial - Live and Livestreamed on Zoom

Join us in commemorating the Jewish community of Vilna through poetry, music, and presentation. This year, Justin Cammy will discuss the poetic legacy of Yung-vilne and Avrom Sutzkever using an archival document as his launching point. A mini concert featuring musical settings of poetry of Avrom Sutzkever will follow Cammy's presentation.

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

About the Speaker
Justin Cammy is professor of Jewish Studies and World Literatures at Smith College. An alum of YIVO's Uriel Weinreich Yiddish Summer Program and a past recipient of YIVO's Dina Abramowicz Emerging Scholar fellowship, he also serves as on-site summer director of the Naomi Prawer Kadar International Yiddish Summer Program at Tel Aviv University. Cammy is a leading expert on the interwar Yiddish literary group Young Vilna. His translation of Abraham Sutzkever's From the Vilna Ghetto to Nuremberg (McGill-Queen's) was a finalist for the 2021 National Jewish Book Award.


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commemoration

Thu, Sep 08
01:00PM
Thu, Sep 08
01:00PM

book talk

Serenade: A Balanchine Story

At age seventeen, Toni Bentley was chosen by Balanchine, then in his final years, to join the New York City Ballet. From both backstage and onstage, Bentley's new book Serenade: A Balanchine Story carries us through the serendipitous history and physical intricacies and demands of Serenade: its dazzling opening, with seventeen women in a double-diamond pattern; its radical, even jazzy, use of the highly refined language that is ballet; its place in the choreographer’s own dramatic story of his immigration to the United States from Soviet Russia; its mystical—and literal—embodiment of the tradition of classical ballet in just thirty-three minutes. Join YIVO for a discussion of this new book featuring Bentley in conversation with YIVO's Executive Director Jonathan Brent, including a discussion of how researching this book brought Bentley to YIVO, even though Balanchine was not Jewish.

Buy the book.

About the Author
Toni Bentley danced with George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet for ten years. She is the author of five New York Times Notable Books, including Winter Season: A Dancer’s JournalHolding On to the Air (coauthored with Suzanne Farrell), and The Surrender: An Erotic Memoir. Bentley is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and her work has appeared in The Best American Essays as well as in many periodicals, including The New York Times Book ReviewThe New YorkerThe Wall Street JournalThe New York Review of BooksThe Daily BeastVogue, and Vanity Fair.


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book talk

Wed, Sep 07
06:30PM
Wed, Sep 07
06:30PM

book talk

Jewish Noir II: Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds

Jewish Noir II: Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds is a new collection of short stories by Jewish and non-Jewish writers, including numerous award-winning authors, exploring the light and dark sides of religion and culture, examining such issues as the enduring legacy of negative stereotypes amid rising anti-Semitism, prejudice, assimilation, and questions of regional, national, and ethnic identity.

Co-editors Chantelle Aimée Osman and Kenneth Wishnia as well as contributors Dr. Maria Bivens-Smith, Robin Hemley, Rabbi Ilene Schneider, and Xu Xi will be in conversation with Lauren Gilbert, Senior Manager for Public Services at the Center for Jewish History.

Program registrants will receive a code for 20% off the cost of the book.


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book talk

Thu, Sep 01
01:00PM
Thu, Sep 01
01:00PM

lecture

Orthodox, Female, Poet: the Litvish Life of Hadasah Hirshovitz Levin, 1912-1946

Hadasah Hirshovitz Levin was a rare example of an Orthodox Jewish poet who came of age during the interwar period, a culturally turbulent time in Lithuanian Jewish history. The political and social turmoil wrought by the First World War resulted in the geographic relocation of the storied Lithuanian yeshivas, the central cultural and theological institutions of Lithuanian and Eastern European Orthodox Jewry. Some students exited the physical and ideological parameters of the Talmudical academies while others reinforced their commitment to the institution of the yeshiva. Traditionally observant women of Jewish Lithuania also underwent a transformation during this period. These women attempted to define themselves amidst the ruptures and sought avenues of creativity and religious expression that reflected the sociocultural milieu of the yeshiva world as well as the larger Eastern European cultural landscape.

Levin exemplified this struggle, bridging the gap between the yeshiva and the modern world of Orthodox education for women. Levin’s life reflected a breadth of experience immortalized in the poetry and prose she published in the interwar period. Levin’s wartime memoir offers a powerfully lyrical account of her experiences written in situ and point to a reality in which some Orthodox women achieved proficiency in both secular and religious texts.

In this lecture, Tzipora Weinberg will examine Levin’s written legacy in the context of lesser-known efforts and publications of her colleagues, to provide a lens into the experiences of an unknown group of traditionalist women in greater Jewish Lithuania.

About the Speaker
Tzipora Weinberg is a doctoral candidate in the Skirball Center for Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. Her research focuses on Eastern European Jewish history in the 20th century and centers around the intellectual and religious experiences of Orthodox Jewish women within the communities of Poland, Galicia, and Lithuania. She has presented her findings at Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Jewish Historical Institute, and the American Musicological Society, among other academic institutions. Her next article, “Shifting Paradigms, Pandemic Realities: the Reception of Ishay Ribo’s Music in the American Hasidic Community” is forthcoming in the Yale Journal of Music and Religion. As the 2021-2022 Max Weinreich Fellow in Baltic Jewish studies at YIVO and the 2022-2023 Dr. Sophie Bookhalter Fellow at the Center for Jewish History, she explores the educational and theological development of Orthodox women in Jewish Lithuania.


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lecture

Tue, Aug 30
12:00PM
Tue, Aug 30
12:00PM

lecture

Bene Israel Selichot

Join us as Hazzan Joshua Daniels introduces us to the Bene Israel piyyutim and selichot tunes as he shares stories from his life within and outside the Bene Israel community.

About the Speaker
Joshua Daniels was born in Bombay, India to an observant Jewish family. He is a member of the Bene Israel community which is the largest and oldest Jewish community from India. At an early age, his father encouraged him to read Hebrew and to follow the Bene Israel traditions with an emphasis on music and singing. His father Samuel Elijah Z”l is the greatest influence on Joshua’s life. He ensured that Joshua received a Jewish education and appointed the local hazzan in Bombay from the Etz Haeem synagogue to train him in Torah reading from the age of Bar Mitzvah.

At the age of 15, Joshua immigrated to Israel with his family before ultimately moving to Toronto, Canada. Joshua has been living in Toronto for 29 years with his wife and daughter. He has served as a chazzan and baal koreh (Torah reader) in various congregations. Joshua has expanded his knowledge and can perform the prayer services and Torah reading in Ashkenazi, Yerushalmi and Moroccan tropes. He continues to expand his singing abilities and is self- taught. He also has enriched his performance of the Bene Israel tunes and leads a minyan for High Holidays. He has taught more than 100 boys for their Bar Mitzvah, many of which could not read Hebrew. Joshua is ambitious, he continues to discover further aspects of Jewish prayer and song and takes pleasure in sharing his expertise.


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lecture

Thu, Aug 25
02:00PM
Thu, Aug 25
02:00PM

book club

LBI Book Club: Exile Music

About the Book
As a young girl growing up in Vienna in the 1930s, Orly has an idyllic childhood filled with music. Her father plays the viola in the Philharmonic, her mother is a well-regarded opera singer, her beloved and charismatic older brother holds the neighborhood in his thrall, and most of her eccentric and wonderful extended family live nearby. Only vaguely aware of Hitler's rise or how her Jewish heritage will define her family's identity, Orly spends her days immersed in play with her best friend and upstairs neighbor, Anneliese. Together they dream up vivid and elaborate worlds, where they can escape the growing tensions around them.

But in 1938, Orly's peaceful life is shattered when the Germans arrive. Her older brother flees Vienna first, and soon Orly, her father, and her mother procure refugee visas for La Paz, a city high up in the Bolivian Andes. Even as the number of Jewish refugees in the small community grows, her family is haunted by the music that can no longer be their livelihood, and by the family and friends they left behind. While Orly and her father find their footing in the mountains, Orly's mother grows even more distant, harboring a secret that could put their family at risk again. Years pass, the war ends, and Orly must decide: Is the love and adventure she has found in La Paz what defines home, or is the pull of her past in Europe – and the piece of her heart she left with Anneliese – too strong to ignore? (description taken from Amazon)

About the Author
Jennifer Steil is an award-winning novelist and memoirist who lives in many countries. She left the United States in 2006 to take a job as editor of a newspaper in Sana’a, Yemen, where she lived for four years. Her first book, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, was inspired by her experience in Yemen. She began writing her first novel, The Ambassador’s Wife, after she was kidnapped when pregnant with her daughter, an experience that became the first scene of the novel. She and her infant daughter were evacuated from Yemen after her husband Tim Torlot, a British diplomat, was attacked by a suicide bomber. They lived in Amman, Jordan, until his posting ended and he could join them in London. In 2012, they moved to La Paz, Bolivia. Early in her time there, Steil met Jewish Bolivians whose families had fled the Nazis in Europe during World War II. Their stories sparked her third book, the novel Exile Music.

The Ambassador’s Wife won the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Best Novel Award and the 2016 Phillip McMath Post Publication Book Award. Steil’s stories and articles have appeared in the New Orleans ReviewSaranac ReviewWorld Policy JournalThe WeekTimeLifePeauxdunque ReviewThe Washington TimesVogue UKDie WeltNew York PostThe Rumpus, and France 24.

Getting the Book
Exile Music can be found at most larger libraries. Purchase options for the book are available here.


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book club

Mon, Aug 15
05:00PM
Mon, Aug 15
05:00PM

lecture

Family History Today: Finding Overlooked Clues in German Records

Researchers often pick out basic information from vital records and then move on to the next generation. However, there's usually additional information to be gleaned from those vital records, as well as from other German sources, including newspapers, residency registrations, and real estate transactions. In this lecture, Alex Calzareth, Director of the JewishGen German Research Division, will share his strategies, honed over more than 20 years of German research, for correlating evidence and making sense of ambiguous records, especially those from the period before vital records were introduced.

Live closed captioning has been made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


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lecture

Thu, Jul 28
02:00PM
Thu, Jul 28
02:00PM

book club

LBI Book Club - Rheinsberg: A Picture Book for Lovers

About the Book

Rheinsberg: A Picture Book for Lovers is a story by Kurt Tucholsky. Written in 1912, it was the journalist's first literary work. The plot is a weekend trip of a young, unmarried pair of lovers from Berlin to Schloss Rheinsberg. The work, written in a light ironic style, was immediately successful. It was adapted to a film, an audio play, and audio books. It was translated into English in 2015.

The short tale describes a weekend trip of two young people who recently met, Claire and Wolfgang. They escape the city of Berlin where they live and work, for the rural Rheinsberg. They arrive by train, visit Schloss Rheinsberg, and spend the next days exploring the idyllic countryside, posing as a married couple so they can share a hotel room at night. After a final stroll through the park, they return home, to "the big city ... grey days and longing telephone conversations, secretive afternoons, work and all the happiness of their great love."

About the Author

Kurt Tucholsky was one of the most important journalists of the Weimar Republic. As a politically engaged journalist and temporary co-editor of the weekly magazine Die Weltbühne, he proved himself to be a social critic in the tradition of Heinrich Heine. He was simultaneously a satirist, an author of satirical political revues, a songwriter and a poet. He saw himself as a left-wing democrat and pacifist and warned against anti-democratic tendencies – above all in politics, the military – and the threat of National Socialism. His fears were confirmed when the Nazis came to power in January 1933. In May of that year, he was among the authors whose works were banned as "un-German" and burned; he was also among the first authors and intellectuals whose German citizenship was revoked. Fleeing to Sweden, he committed suicide in Gothenburg in 1935.

About our Guest
Eva C. Schweitzer works as a book author, journalist and publisher in Berlin and New York. She has published a total of twelve books, including two novels, her doctoral thesis on Times Square, and the short story collection Manhattan Moments. As a correspondent, she writes for various German newspapers, focusing on entertainment and literature. She began her career in Berlin as an editor of the taz and the Tagesspiegel. In 1992 she was awarded the Theodor Wolff Prize for her journalistic work.

In 2010, she founded Berlinica Publishing in Berlin and New York, which brings literature in translation to America, including that of Tucholsky and Ernst Toller, and soon Egon Erwin Kisch, as well as contemporary authors. Most recently, she researched the story of Tucholsky's family after the rise of the Nazis who fled to America, France, Italy and Holland, through a grant from the Kurt Tucholsky Foundation and the German Literary Archives in Marbach.


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book club

Mon, Jul 25
04:00PM
Mon, Jul 25
04:00PM

book talk

Tears Over Russia: A Search for Family and the Legacy of Ukraine's Pogroms

Between 1917 and 1921, 20 years before the Holocaust began, an estimated 100,000 to 250,000 Jews were murdered in anti-Jewish pogroms across Ukraine. Lisa Brahin grew up transfixed by her grandmother Channa’s stories about being forced to flee her hometown of Stavishche, as armies and bandit groups raided village after village, killing Jewish residents. Channa described a perilous three-year journey through Russia and Romania, led by a gallant American who had snuck into Ukraine to save his immediate family and ended up leading an exodus of nearly 80 to safety.

With almost no published sources to validate her grandmother’s tales, Lisa embarked on her incredible journey to tell Channa’s story, forging connections with archivists around the world to find elusive documents to fill in the gaps. She also tapped into connections closer to home, gathering testimonies from her grandmother’s relatives, childhood friends, and neighbors.

The resulting book, Tears over Russia: A Search for Family and the Legacy of Ukraine's Pogroms brings to life a piece of untold Jewish history. Lisa will be in conversation with Lauren Gilbert, Senior Manager for Public Services at the Center for Jewish History.


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book talk

Thu, Jul 21
02:00PM
Thu, Jul 21
02:00PM

lecture

Sutzkever’s Environmental Poetics

Yiddish Civilization Lecture Series | Speaker: Justin Cammy Delivered in English

What can we learn by putting the environmental humanities in conversation with one of Yiddish literature's great poets? Scholar Justin Cammy will offer a reading of Sutzkever before and beyond the ghetto, one that explores the connection between nature, landscape and the search for a contemporary Yiddish spiritual vocabulary.

About the Speaker
Justin Cammy is professor of Jewish Studies and World Literatures at Smith College. An alum of YIVO's Uriel Weinreich Yiddish Summer Program and a past recipient of YIVO's Dina Abramowicz Emerging Scholar fellowship, he also serves as on-site summer director of the Naomi Prawer Kadar International Yiddish Summer Program at Tel Aviv University. Cammy is a leading expert on the interwar Yiddish literary group Young Vilna. His translation of Abraham Sutzkever's From the Vilna Ghetto to Nuremberg (McGill-Queen's) was a finalist for the 2021 National Jewish Book Award.


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lecture

Tue, Jul 19
02:00PM
Tue, Jul 19
02:00PM

lecture

Libes Briv (18th C.): Isaac Wetzlar’s Call for Reform of Jewish Society and Education

Yiddish Civilization Lecture Series | Marion AptrootDelivered in Yiddish

Isaac Wetzlar, a Jewish merchant in Germany, writes a Yiddish letter of brotherly love to his brothers and sisters in the mid-18th century. He criticizes the fabric of Jewish society in the German lands and lays out plans for a reform of Jewish education in Ashkenaz in which both Hebrew and Yiddish play a part – for both sexes. Wetzlar calls for a return to basics within Jewish tradition, but he was also inspired by the contemporary Pietist Christian revival movement.

Further reading:

  • The Libes Briv of Isaac Wetzlar. Edited and translated by Morris M. Faierstein. Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1996.
  • Aptroot, Marion, and Rebekka Voß, eds. Libes Briv (1748/49) Isaak Wetzlars pietistisches Erneuerungsprogramm des Judentums: Textedition, Übersetzung, Kommentar und historische Beiträge. Hamburg: Buske, 2021.

About the Speaker
Marion Aptroot received an MA in Romance Languages from Leiden University and a DPhil in Yiddish Studies from the University of Oxford. After teaching as Preceptor in Yiddish at Harvard from 1993–1996, she was appointed professor of Yiddish Culture, Language and Literature at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Her research focuses on Older Yiddish literature and the history of the Yiddish language in their broader contexts. She has written, co-edited or co-authored several books, including Araynfir in der yidisher shprakh un kultur (2002), Storm in the Community: Yiddish Polemical Pamphlets of Amsterdam Jewry, 1797–1798 (2002), Isaak Euchel, Reb Henoch, oder: woß tut me damit? Eine jüdische Komödie der Aufklärungszeit (2004), Jiddisch: Geschichte und Kultur einer Weltsprache (2010), Leket: Yiddish Studies Today (2012), Yiddish Language Structures (2014), Yiddish Knights (2020).


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lecture

Tue, Jul 19
08:00PM
Tue, Jul 19
08:00PM

workshop

Storytelling With YIVO's Beba Epstein: the Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Girl Exhibition

In this interactive workshop, co-presenter Teach the Shoah’s professional storytelling director Jennifer Zunikoff and the Chief Curator of the YIVO Online Museum Karolina Ziulkoski will guide you in using storytelling techniques to bring Beba’s story to life.

No storytelling experience needed.

Professional development credit available.


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workshop

Mon, Jul 18
11:00AM
Mon, Jul 18
11:00AM

lecture

Family History Today: Clandestine Jewish Immigration to Pre-State Israel

Between 1920 and 1948, over 100,000 European Jews attempted to immigrate to pre-state Israel, then British-Mandate Palestine, through illegal channels to circumvent Britain’s stringent immigration quotas. This clandestine migration, known as Aliyah Bet or Ha’apala, was predominantly comprised of refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe and Holocaust survivors from Europe’s DP camps. British patrols intercepted more than half of the Aliyah Bet ships heading to Palestine and sent most of the immigrants they discovered to detention camps in Cyprus, Mauritius, and the Atlit Camp in Palestine. In this lecture, Rina Offenbach, Director of the Bintivey Ha’apala Information and Research Center at the Atlit Detention Camp, will delve into the history of this episode, with a special focus on the Atlit Camp, and show you how to use the Atlit Center’s online database to learn more about your family’s arrival in Israel.

This program is sponsored by the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at the Center for Jewish History. Live closed captioning has been made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


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lecture

Thu, Jul 14
02:00PM
Thu, Jul 14
02:00PM

lecture

Tea Arciszewska’s 'miryeml' (1958) and Yiddish Plays by Women

Yiddish Civilization Lecture Series | Speaker: Sonia Gollance Delivered in English

Tea Arcizewska’s play Miryeml is a modernist work that deftly integrates twentieth-century history and Jewish folklore into a narrative about children’s response to the Holocaust. Although the playwright (1890-1962) herself is largely forgotten today, she was very involved in Yiddish cultural production in Warsaw in the 1910s and 1920s. After surviving World War II, she moved to Paris and finished her play Miryeml, which she had begun before the war. In 1954, Miryeml received the Alexander Shapiro Prize for best Yiddish drama from the World Jewish Culture Congress. 

In this talk, Sonia Gollance will discuss her translation-in-progress of Miryeml and selected texts about Arciszewska by contemporaries such as Y. Y. Trunk, Yosef Opatoshu, and Melech Ravitch. This talk will also address Gollance’s broader project as Managing Editor of Plotting Yiddish Drama (the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project’s database of English-language synopses of Yiddish plays) to locate and include works by women.

About the Speaker
Sonia Gollance is Lecturer in Yiddish (Assistant Professor) at University College London. Her research interests include Yiddish studies, German-Jewish literature, gender studies and performance studies. She has taught previously at the University of Vienna, The Ohio State University, and the University of Göttingen. Her book, It Could Lead to Dancing: Mixed-Sex Dancing and Jewish Modernity (Stanford University Press, 2021) was a National Jewish Book Award finalist. Her ongoing translation of Tea Arciszewska's play Miryeml was supported by a Translation Fellowship from the Yiddish Book Center. She is currently developing a project on women who wrote plays in Yiddish. In addition to her scholarship, she is also a Yiddish dance leader.


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lecture

Tue, Jul 12
02:00PM
Tue, Jul 12
02:00PM

lecture

The Theater of Aaron Zeitlin

Yiddish Civilization Lecture Series | Yitskhok Niborski | Delivered in Yiddish

Aaron Zeitlin (1898-1973) was 30 years old when he began to write plays for the theater. Up until then he primarily wrote poetry in long and short form, mostly inspired by Kabbalah. Through theater he sought to affect a broader audience with his mystical themes. In Warsaw from 1928-1938 he authored nearly a dozen works: dramas, comedies, and grotesque plays. In these works the abstract ideas are presented in the garb of concrete historical or contemporary circumstances.

Jacob Jacobson, a "grotesque play in four acts" (1931), depicts an imagined second world war in which the whole world is destroyed. Contrary to the materialistic perspective of the era when it was believed that the natural trajectory of history was perforce to give birth to a just world, this play indicates that in the absence of spirituality, the push behind history is in fact senseless bloodlust, and that Jews have no place in such a world.

About the Speaker
Yitskhok Niborski is a Vice President of the Paris Yiddish Center, and a beloved teacher to numerous students from all over the world. His extensive Yiddish teaching experiences includes courses in Buenos Aires and Paris, where he lives. In the Paris Yiddish Center, Niborski created the Summer University of Yiddish Language and Literature, which has become one of the most important Yiddish learning centers in Europe. He is known throughout the world for his Dictionary of Yiddish words of Hebrew and Aramaic origin. Niborski has also translated Spanish works into Yiddish and writes original poetry in Yiddish.


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lecture

Thu, Jul 07
02:00PM
Thu, Jul 07
02:00PM

lecture

Women on the Immigrant Yiddish Stage: Paths to Stardom

Yiddish Civilization Lecture Series | Speaker: Nina Warnke Delivered in English

Yiddish theater was one of the most dynamic cultural institutions of East European Jewish immigrants in New York during the decades around the turn of the twentieth century. It was also the only one that included women in significant numbers. However, for decades the leadership of some of the most successful companies were groups of men, including the male star, playwright, manager, or director. Female stars, or actresses with star ambitions were usually dependent on the male star-managers for roles. By the late 1890s, some women began seeking opportunities that would allow them more control of their repertoire and give them full star status, a trend that accelerated after 1900 and led to more instances of female stars headlining productions and several female-led theaters around World War I.

While traditionally historians of Yiddish theater have tended to look at its development through the lens of the two foundational playwrights Avrom Goldfaden and Jacob Gordin, and the actors (male and female) who supported their missions, this lecture will outline a reading of these decades through the prism of several female actors whose star ambitions led them to careers rarely described in historiographical accounts. Following the careers of these women illuminates shifting attitudes within society and the profession regarding gender and illustrates the significance of theatrical activity well beyond the flagship theaters on the Lower East Side.

About the Speaker
Nina Warnke is a scholar of Yiddish literature and culture with a focus on theater. Her research has concentrated on the intersection of immigrant Yiddish theater, cultural politics and the press, Yiddish reimaginations of Shylock on stage and in literature, Yiddish theater in a transnational context, and the role of gender in the Yiddish theater. Her most recent article, “New York Yiddish Star Actresses and their Self-Enactment in Memoirs” is forthcoming in Women on the Yiddish Stage, edited by Alyssa Quint and Amanda Seigel. Among her other scholarly publications are “Yiddish Shylocks in Theater and Literature,” (co-authored with Jeffrey Shandler), “Patriotn and Their Stars: Male Youth Culture in the Galleries of the New York Yiddish Theatre,” and “Going East: The Impact of American Yiddish Plays and Players on the Yiddish Stage in Czarist Russia, 1895-1914.

Nina has been teaching Yiddish language, literature, and culture at various universities around the US and is currently teaching at Gratz College and YIVO.


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lecture

Wed, Jul 06
12:00PM
Wed, Jul 06
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: Zahara and the Lost Books of Light

Seattle journalist Alienor Crespo travels to Spain to claim the promise of citizenship offered to the descendants of Jews expelled from Spain in 1492. As she relives history through her vijitas (visits) with her ancestors, Alienor also confronts modern-day extremism and commits herself to protecting an endangered “Library of Light” – a hidden treasure trove of medieval Hebrew and Arabic books, saved from the fires of the Inquisition.

About the Author
The author of five novels, Joyce Yarrow was born in the SE Bronx, escaped to Manhattan as a teenager, and today does most of her traveling through her writing. Joyce has worked as a screenwriter, singer-songwriter, multimedia performance artist, and member of the world music vocal ensemble, Abráce.She is a Pushcart nominee, whose stories and poems have been widely published. She considers the setting of her books to be characters in their own right and teaches workshops on "The Place of Place in Suspense Writing."

For more about the book: amazon.com


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book talk

Tue, Jul 05
02:00PM
Tue, Jul 05
02:00PM

lecture

Kyiv and Kharkiv – Two Centers of Yiddish Culture, 1917-1941

Yiddish Civilization Lecture Series | Speaker: Gennady Estraikh Delivered in Yiddish

After the 1917 revolution, Kyiv became the capital city of independent Ukraine and appeared as the most significant center of Yiddish culture in the Sovietized areas of the former Russian Empire. The Yiddish Kultur-Lige (Culture League), established in post-revolutionary Kyiv, had scores of branches in Ukraine and was replicated in several other countries. Its aim was to promote the development of all spheres of contemporary Yiddish culture, including education, literature, theater, art, and music.

In 1919, the Soviet regime punished Kyiv for serving as independent Ukraine’s capital, establishing Kharkiv as its capital instead. Kharkiv served as Soviet Ukraine’s capital until 1934. Kyiv’s loss of capital status caused outmigration of activists of Yiddish culture to Kharkiv. Kharkiv’s newly-established periodicals and publishing houses provided openings in journalism and other writing jobs for the Yiddish activists. The city’s 80,000 Jews, mostly recent in-migrants, made up about a fifth of the city’s population, turning Kharkiv into a vibrant population and cultural center of Jewish life.

Still, not a few activists had chosen to stay in Kyiv, whose 140,000 Jews formed over a quarter of the resident population in the mid-1920s. In Kyiv, several components of the Kultur-Lige had been regimented by the state and as such continued to function, including the publishing house Kultur-Lige, which produced the highest number of Yiddish books in the Soviet Union of the 1920s.

The lecture will discuss the overall creation of Yiddish culture during this time and the “division of labor” between the two major Ukrainian cities.

About the Speaker
Born in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Gennady Estraikh later lived in Moscow, where he turned to writing in Yiddish and worked as Managing Editor of the Yiddish literary journal Sovetish Heymland (Soviet Homeland) from 1988 to 1991. In 1991-2002, he lived in England, where he worked at the Oxford-based Institute of Yiddish Studies and the London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies. In 1996, he received his doctorate from the University of Oxford. His fields of expertise are Jewish intellectual history, Yiddish language and literature, and Soviet Jewish history. His publications include Intensive Yiddish (Oxford, 1996), Soviet Yiddish: Language Planning and Linguistic Development (Oxford, 1999), In Harness: Yiddish Writers’ Romance with Communism (Syracuse University Press, 2005), Yiddish in the Cold War (Oxford: Legenda, 2008), Yiddish Literary Life in Moscow, 1917-1991 (St. Petersburg: European University Press, 2016, in Russian), Yiddish Culture in Ukraine (Kyiv: Dukh i Litera, 2016, in Ukrainian), Transatlantic Russian Jewishness: Ideological Voyages of the Yiddish Daily Forverts in the First Half of the Twentieth Century (Boston, 2020), fifteen co-edited scholarly volumes, and several books in Yiddish.


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lecture

Thu, Jun 30
02:00PM
Thu, Jun 30
02:00PM

lecture

Displacement & Creative Resilience in the Modern Jewish Age

Yiddish Civilization Lecture Series | Speaker: Barry Trachtenberg Delivered in English

This talk introduces the Ashkenazic Jewish experience of exile and displacement that began in the late 19th century and which continued through the khurbn years and beyond. It begins with a discussion of Sholem Yankev Abramovich's (Mendele the Bookseller) 1890 short story "Shem & Japheth on the Train” as a harbinger of the unsettled times to come and of the necessity to identify new strategies for Jewish continuity. It focuses specifically on how Yiddish writers/activists/intellectuals contended with the mass migrations and the (economic, political, cultural, social) transformations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It then discusses—with references to Di Algemeyne Entsiklopedye—how Yiddishists embarked upon efforts to identify ways to ensure Jewish continuity in an age of endless rupture, all the while redefining and reconsidering what comprises Jewish peoplehood.

About the Speaker
Barry Trachtenberg is the Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. He is the author of The Revolutionary Roots of Modern Yiddish, 1903-1917 (2008, Syracuse); The United States and the Nazi Holocaust: Race, Refuge, and Remembrance (2018, Bloomsbury); and the recently published The Holocaust & the Exile of Yiddish: A History of the Algemeyne Entsiklopedye (Rutgers, 2022).


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lecture

Wed, Jun 29
12:00PM
Wed, Jun 29
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: Anthology of Religious Poetry from the Mexican Inquisition Trials of 16th-Century CryptoJews

A century after being expelled from Portugal, cryptoJews in Mexico, false converts to Christianity, could not speak of their beliefs for fear of becoming embroiled in the imprisonment, torture, and death in flames that characterized the Inquisition. Without written texts, the Jewish liturgy lost, clans of cryptoJews created a unique body of religious poetry, connecting them to the Laws of Moses, seeking redemption from sin, or hoping for an escape from their embittered lives. The Carvajal clan was led by Luis el Mozo, an alumbrado, a mystic, and his Judaizing sisters. Once discovered to be secretly practicing Judaism, years of suffering at the hands of the Inquisitors were meticulously recorded in the transcripts of their long demeaning trials. The Carvajal's friends, spouses, children and grandchildren were implicated as Judaizers, with many being reconciled by the Church to secular authorities to be burned alive at massive public ceremonies. The burning of Luis and his sisters was the main attraction for cheering crowds at the auto de fé of 1596 in Mexico City. The cruelty of the Inquisitors was matched by their attention to legal detail and testimonies made at trial. Buried within thousands of pages of transcripts, hiding in library special collections of rare books around the world are the only remnants of the religious poetry that sustained cryptoJews hiding in Mexico. Anthology uncovers these hidden treasures!

About the Author
Mark A. Schneegurt is an author, educator, scientist, and entrepreneur. His books range from scholarly works on science, religion, and literature to popular books on The Beatles. He has authored 80+ publications and has made 200+ public presentations of his works.


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book talk

Tue, Jun 28
02:00PM
Tue, Jun 28
02:00PM

lecture

Did the Yivo Linguists Disregard Hasidic Yiddish?

Yiddish Civilization Lecture Series | Speaker: Leyzer Burko Delivered in Yiddish

Today most native Yiddish speakers are Hasidim who speak dialects which are quite different from the Standard Yiddish that was codified by the YIVO linguists and is taught in most classes around the world. What led to the significant discrepancy between these two varieties? As Litvaks and secularists, did the YIVO linguists deliberately disregard Hasidic Yiddish out of anti-religious or anti-Hasidic prejudice? Did they design Standard Yiddish to conform with their own Litvak dialect?

This talk will attempt to answer these questions by contrasting the separate development of Standard Yiddish and Hasidic Yiddish both in Europe and America. Like most secular Jews, the YIVO linguists were generally estranged from Hasidim, but there were moments of contact between the two groups. In particular, Uriel Weinreich was interested in the Yiddish of the Transcarpathian region, the area most post-war Yiddish speaking Hasidim came from, and he encountered many ultra-Orthodox speakers in the course of his dialect interviews. To a degree, he even foresaw the current set of circumstances.

About the Speaker
Leyzer Burko is a Yiddishist from New York with a doctorate in Modern Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. His research interests include the history of the Yiddish language, Yiddish dialectology, Hasidic Yiddish and Yiddish lexicography. In his spare time, he works on a Yiddish Dialect Dictionary.


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lecture

Thu, Jun 23
12:30PM
Thu, Jun 23
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Anita Hollander

Julie Salamon (Wall Street Journal and NY Times) sits down with actor, singer, composer, and advocate Anita Hollander. Anita has performed throughout Europe, Asia, Russia and America, in film, TV, and live theatre. Her award-winning original solo musicals Still Standing Spectacular Falls have played Off-Broadway, at the Kennedy Center, The White House, nationally & internationally. She serves as SAG-AFTRA National Chair of Performers with Disabilities, and also directs the Village Temple Children’s Choir. (www.anitahollander.com)

Julie Salamon is a New York Times best-selling author, critic and storyteller. She was a reporter and film critic for The Wall Street Journal and then a TV critic and arts reporter for The New York Times. Her twelve books include the Hollywood classic The Devil’s Candy -and Wendy and the Lost Boys, an acclaimed biography of playwright Wendy Wasserstein. Julie has just completed "Unlikely Friends," a memoir available on Audible, and season two of TCM’s hit podcast “The Plot Thickens” which was named by the New York Times as one of the top ten podcasts for 2021.


Presented by:

conversation

Thu, Jun 23
02:00PM
Thu, Jun 23
02:00PM

lecture

"The Master's Tools": Jews and Music in Revolutionary Eastern Europe

Yiddish Civilization Lecture Series | Speaker: James Loeffler Delivered in English

What does it mean to compose art music in Yiddish? Can the Western classical tradition be harmonized with traditional Ashkenazi aesthetics? Can Jewish culture exist without nationalism? In this lecture, James Loeffler will explore these questions through the story of the first generation of modern Jewish composers in the late Russian Empire who sought to bridge the shtetl and the conservatory in their imagination of modern Yiddish culture.

About the Speaker
James Loeffler is Jay Berkowitz Professor of Jewish History at the University of Virginia, where he also serves as the Ida and Nathan Kolodiz Director of the Jewish Studies Program. He writes widely on modern Jewish history from antisemitism to Zionism, with a focus on the overlooked ties between the Jewish past and the global present in politics, law, and culture. His 2018 book Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century won the American Historical Association’s 2019 Dorothy Rosenberg Prize for best book in the field of Jewish history and the Association for Jewish Studies 2019 Jordan Schnitzer Prize for best book in the field of modern Jewish history. His other books include The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire (Yale, 2010), which won eight major awards and honors, including from the Association for Jewish Studies, the Sami Rohr Prize, and the ASCAP foundation and a co-edited volume, The Law of Strangers: Jewish Lawyers and International Law in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge, 2019). His other writings include essays on East European Jewish history, the antisemitism of Richard Wagner and Frederic Chopin, the tangled roots of Israeli music, and international law. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street JournalTabletMosaicHaaretzThe New Republic, the Hedgehog ReviewTime Magazine, and Slate.


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lecture

Wed, Jun 22
12:00PM
Wed, Jun 22
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: Bridging Traditions: Demystifying Differences Between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews

As the rabbi of a Sephardic synagogue for over twenty years who is himself of Ashkenazic descent and trained in Ashkenazic yeshivot, Rabbi Haim Jachter has a unique vantage point from which to observe the differences in customs and halachot between Ashkenazim and Sephardim. In Bridging Traditions, Rabbi Jachter applies his wide-ranging expertise to explicating an encyclopedic array of divergences between Ashkenazic and Sephardic halachic practice, while also capturing the diversity within different Sephardic communities. Bridging Traditions is essential reading for Jews of all origins who are interested in understanding their own practices and appreciating those of their brethren, and in seeing the kaleidoscope of halachic observance as a multi-faceted expression of an inner divine unity.

About the Author
Rabbi Haim Jachter is the rabbi of the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck. He serves as a Dayan on the Beth Din of Elizabeth and has acquired an international reputation of excellence in the area of Get administration.He is also teacher at Torah Academy of Bergen County. He is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America's Halacha Committee and Chairman of its Igun Resolution Committee. He is frequently sought out to assist communities in establishing and managing their Eruvin, and is the Rav HaMachshir of our eruv. Rabbi Jachter’s ordination is from Yeshiva University where he also earned his Master’s degree in Jewish Philosophy.

For more about the book: korenpub.com


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book talk

Wed, Jun 22
04:00PM
Wed, Jun 22
04:00PM

book club

People of the Book Club: <em>Remote Sympathy</em> by Catherine Chidgey

Go behind the stories and peer into the archives at the CJH book discussion, led by Lauren Gilbert, Senior Manager for Public Services at the Center for Jewish History. Join a discussion of Remote Sympathy by Catherine Chidgey, an exquisite novel of domestic drama and human connection set in and around Buchenwald during World War II and its aftermath, focusing on the relationship between an SS officer, his ill wife, and a prisoner called in for his medical expertise. We will be joined by LBI archivist Michael Simonson to look at some of the historical photos and documents relating to Buchenwald in the collections of the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) at the Center for Jewish History, and we and will have a Q&A with the author after the discussion.

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

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

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


Presented by:

book club

Fri, Jun 17
12:00PM
Fri, Jun 17
12:00PM

discussion

Family History Today: Discovering your Jewish Ancestors in France

The French Revolution created a rupture in all aspects of life in France, including its recordkeeping practices.  In this talk, Anne Morddel, a certified genealogist specializing in French genealogy, will explain how you can discover your Jewish ancestors in France in both pre-Revolutionary legal and religious records and post-Revolutionary civil records. Providing additional context, Ms. Mordell will outline the history of Jewish settlement in France from the Jewish expulsion of 1394 to the expansion of France’s boundaries during the Revolution, focusing on the Southwest, Alsace-Lorraine, and the communities around Avignon.

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


Presented by:

discussion

Tue, Jun 14
07:00PM
Tue, Jun 14
07:00PM

film

Lieber Thomas (Dear Thomas)

New York Premiere of a German Feature Film

Director Andreas Kleinert’s Thomas Brasch biopic Lieber Thomas (Germany, 2021, 150 min.) shows the life and dreams of a man for whom every world was always too small, someone who overcame boundaries and caused damage in the process. New York Premiere.

Part of the Thomas Brasch Retrospective
Born in England to Kindertransport refugees who were active Communists – Thomas Brasch came to embody the fault lines of German history like few other artists. As his father Horst Brasch rose in the ranks of East Germany’s ruling Socialist Unity Party, Thomas became an uncompromisingly radical writer whose activism led to censorship and three months in prison. After his move to West Germany, he refused to play the role of GDR-dissident and focused his critique on West German society and German history in plays, poetry, and a series of brilliant but challenging films. Although he is highly regarded as a translator of Chekhov’s and Shakespeare’s works into German, none of Thomas Brasch’s major works have ever been published in English. His major films, jarring meditations on German history such as Der Passagier – Welcome to Germany (1988, starring Tony Curtis as a choleric Hollywood director who returns to Germany to make a film about his experience in a concentration camp), are rarely shown in the United States. This spring, LBI, the Goethe-Institut New York, The German Film Office, The German Consulate General in New York, Deutsches Haus at NYU, and the Friends of Freiburg Alumni of North America will re-introduce audiences to this remarkable artist and story.

Please note that this event will be held in person at the Center for Jewish History. As of this time, vaccination is required to enter the CJH. More information on the CJH's COVID-19 policies are available here. We invite you to join us after the program for a light reception.


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film

Mon, Jun 13
12:00PM
Mon, Jun 13
12:00PM

panel discussion

The Soviet Jewry Movement, Revisited


Presented by:

panel discussion

Thu, Jun 09
01:00PM
Thu, Jun 09
01:00PM

lecture

Modernist Form / Modern Hegemony: Reading the Politics of Introspectivist Poetics

Introspectivism emerged in 1919 as a vanguardist movement of Yiddish poets in New York determined to overhaul what they perceived as the parochial sentimentalism and dogmatic formalism of their Yiddish literary predecessors. In early issues of the movement’s journal, Inzikh, they aimed to produce a “cosmopolitan” Yiddish literature that would not be confined to matters of Jewish interest alone. By the 1930s, however, the group’s vanguardist tenor had shifted considerably in this respect. The journal published outspoken critiques of Jewish assimilation in America and ardent appeals to a (Yiddish-)Jewish nation, all of which seem to contradict the movement's stated cosmopolitan aims.

Many scholars have accounted for Introspectivism’s history as a story of ideological transformation from an early period of “cosmopolitan” sentiments to a late period of conservative, “national” allegiances. Recent contributions to Yiddish scholarship have, however, complicated such straightforward narratives of national reclamation. In this talk, Elias Pitegoff builds on these recent efforts by investigating the relationship between Introspectivism’s evolving poetic program and its journalistic engagement in Marxist debates on national-cultural autonomy and Soviet governmental policy, prevalent in the New York Jewish press following the 1929 stock market crash. In so doing, Pitegoff hopes to further elucidate the specific nature of the politics that Introspectivists envisioned for their poetics and highlight the prescience of their views when considering matters of cultural politics today.

About the Speaker
Elias Pitegoff is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of German and Program in Judaic Studies at Princeton University and an independent translator. His research focuses on theorizations of aesthetics and politics in German Idealist philosophy with particular attention to how this has informed contingent views of the relation between politics and aesthetics in German, Yiddish and English language cultural production since “the Enlightenment.”


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lecture

Wed, Jun 08
12:00PM
Wed, Jun 08
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: Dialogues of Love and Fear: A Rabbi's Daughter, a Kes's Son, and Hope for the Future

Dialogues of Love and Fear is a work of imagination and insight that addresses fraught issues of our times in new and refreshing ways. The author, whose own dramatic life journey has taken him from shepherd to professor, from refugee to IDF officer, and from student of a kes (religious leader) to rabbi of an Ashkenazi synagogue, brings the many facets of his identity into dialogue in these brilliantly imagined conversations between two characters. Through them it provides a window into the world of Ethiopian Jewry, their challenges, and the deep questions that every complex relationship carries with it. Covering a huge breadth of topics, this heart-warming, optimistic book offers a transformative perspective that is tolerant, accessible, and committed to Jewish tradition.

About the Speakers
Rabbi Dr. Sharon Shalom made aliyah to Israel on his own in 1982 at the age of eight under Operation Bat Galim, operated by the Mossad and the IDF commandos. Rabbi Sharon Shalom received his PhD in Jewish philosophy from Bar-Ilan University and his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Har Etzion in Gush Etzion. Today he serves as rabbi of Congregation Kedoshei Yisrael in Kiryat Gat. He currently serves as a lecturer at Orot Yisrael College in Elkanah and at Bar-Ilan University. Dr. Shalom lives with his wife, Avital, and their five children in Kiryat Gat.

Steven Fine (born 1958), historian of Judaism in the Greco-Roman World, is professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University in New York, director of the Arch of Titus Digital Restoration project and of the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies, and a founding editor of -Images: A Journal of Jewish Art and Visual Culture.

For more about the book: amazon.com


Presented by:

book talk

Tue, Jun 07
02:00PM
Tue, Jun 07
02:00PM

book club

LBI Book Club: Where She Came From

About the Book
After the death of her mother, author and journalist Helen Epstein set out to uncover her mother's past and to learn more about her grandmother and great-grandmother, victims of the Holocaust. The result is this compelling biography, both a chronicle of three generations of women and a social history of Czechoslovakia's Jews. We chose to read this book in relation to our upcoming exhibit at the Leo Baeck Institute about the Theresienstadt Ghetto, which will be opening in April.

Click here to watch a discussion with Epstein about her mother's life and survival in the Holocaust.

About the Author
We will be joined at our meeting by Helen Epstein. The first tenured woman Professor of Journalism at NYU, she is the author of numerous books about her family history. These include the trilogy Children of the Holocaust (1979); Where She Came From: A Daughter's Search for Her Mother's History and The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma (2018). She published her late mother Franci Rabinek Epstein's memoir, Franci's War in 2020-2021, in seven languages. Her latest book is Getting Through It: My Year of Cancer during Covid.

"In Epstein's expert and sensitive hands, truth becomes not only stranger than fiction, but more magnetic, wise and powerful." Gloria Steinem

Learn more at www.helenepstein.com.


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book club

Tue, Jun 07
07:00PM
Tue, Jun 07
07:00PM

book talk

Revivalistics: From the Genesis of Israeli to Language Reclamation in Australia and Beyond

Ghil'ad Zuckermann's new book, Revivalistics: From the Genesis of Israeli to Language Reclamation in Australia and Beyond, tells the story of the Hebrew revival with new insights about modern Israeli Hebrew's connection to the Yiddish language. Introducing a new, trans-disciplinary field he calls revivalistics, Zuckermann's account also explores language revival more broadly and provides practical lessons for reclaiming and reviving languages with examples from the Barngarla Aboriginal language of South Australia. Join YIVO for a discussion of this new book featuring Zuckermann in conversation with Yiddish poet and linguist Dov-Ber Kerler.

Purchase the book.

About the Speakers
Ghil'ad Zuckermann is Chair of Linguistics and Endangered Languages at the University of Adelaide, Australia. He is a chief investigator in a large research project assessing language revival and mental health, funded by Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council. He is elected fellow of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, board member of the Foundation for Endangered Languages, and President of the Australian Association for Jewish Studies.

Dov-Ber Kerler is the Cohn Chair in Yiddish Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He taught Yiddish as well as courses on Yiddish literature, culture and scholarship in Jerusalem, Oxford, Moscow, and Vilnius. A son of the noted Yiddish poet, Yosef Kerler, Dov-Ber has been publishing his own original Yiddish poetry since 1993, in addition to scholarly and general articles (mostly in Yiddish). To date, since 1996, six collections of his poetry have been published in Britain and Israel, including a joint volume of his and his father’s poems, entitled “Shpigl–ksav” (Words in a Mirror).


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book talk

Thu, Jun 02
12:30PM
Thu, Jun 02
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Julianna Margulies

Julie Salamon (Wall Street Journal and NY Times) sits down with Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award winner, Julianna Margulies. Currently seen starring as Laura Peterson on Apple TV+'s The Morning Show, Margulies previously starred as Alicia Florrick on CBS' The Good Wife, which she also produced, and is well known for her role as one of the original cast members of ER. She has starred in the critically acclaimed series Billions and The Hot Zone. Julianna has added author to her list of credits with the recent release of her memoir, Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life. She has been involved with Project ALS and Erin's Law and is also a board member of the New York City based MCC Theatre company. She resides in New York City with her husband and son.

Julie Salamon is a New York Times best-selling author, critic and storyteller. She was a reporter and film critic for The Wall Street Journal and then a TV critic and arts reporter for The New York Times. Her twelve books include the Hollywood classic The Devil’s Candy and Wendy and the Lost Boys,an acclaimed biography of playwright Wendy Wasserstein. Julie has just completed "Unlikely Friends," a memoir available on Audible, and season two of TCM’s hit podcast The Plot Thickens which was named by the New York Times as one of the top ten podcasts for 2021.


Presented by:

conversation

Wed, Jun 01
12:00PM
Wed, Jun 01
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: José and the Pirate Captain Toledano

Join us for this episode of New Works Wednesdays with Arnon Z. Schorr and Joshua Edelglass as they discuss their new book José and the Pirate Captain Toledano!

About the Book
Set in the shadows of the Spanish Inquisition, this is the coming-of-age story of José Alfaro, a young refugee who forms a powerful bond with the mysterious Pirate Captain Toledano. It’s also a dynamic pirate adventure on the high seas, with hand-to-hand combat and ship-to-ship action, and the powerful story of a dark time in history when people took different paths to survive.

About the Authors
Arnon Z. Shorr, a filmmaker and screenwriter, loves telling stories. Half-Sepharadi / half-Ashkenazi, a Hebrew speaker in America, a Jewish private-school kid in a mostly non-Jewish suburb, whenever he’d set foot in one world, his other foot would betray him as different. That’s why he tells stories that embrace the peculiar and the other. For more about Arnon, visit www.arnonshorr.com. Formerly of Los Angeles, he lives in Boston.

Joshua Edelglass’ work has appeared in publications including Tikkun Magazine, and The New Haven Review. His artwork has also appeared in numerous exhibitions, including Pow! Jewish Comics Art and Influence at the Brooklyn Jewish Art Museum. He has watched Star Trek II more times than is probably healthy. For more information about Josh, visit www.MotionPicturesComics.com. He is the Assistant Director of Camp Ramah New England and lives near Boston.

For more about the book: amazon.com


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Jun 01
01:00PM
Wed, Jun 01
01:00PM

panel discussion

Are We in the Midst of a Yiddish Renaissance?

Are we currently experiencing a Yiddish renaissance? This is one of the questions we are often asked at YIVO. YIVO’s own community of Yiddish learners has expanded more than 10-fold in the last two years. Duolingo has added Yiddish as a language. Headline after headline touts Yiddish as unexpectedly alive and well. What does this all mean for Yiddish in the 21st century?

Join YIVO for a conversation about the Yiddish world today. Led by YIVO’s Director of Public Programs Alex Weiser, this program will feature journalist and playwright Rokhl Kafrissen, scholar and In Geveb Editor-in-chief Jessica Kirzane, scholar and Yiddish podcast founder and host Sandra Fox, and YIVO’s Director of Education Ben Kaplan.

About the Speakers
Sandra Fox is a historian of American Jewish history, Jewish youth and childhood, and Yiddish culture. A senior researcher in the Concentration in Education & Jewish Studies at Stanford University, her forthcoming book, The Jews of Summer, addresses the lived experiences of youth in postwar Jewish summer camps and the role of intergenerational negotiation in the making of American Jewish culture (Stanford University Press, Winter 2023). She is also in the early stages of research on young Jews who joined new religious movements from the 1960s through the 1990s, and on the intense “anti-cult” response of American Jewish organizations.

Sandra received her doctorate from New York University’s joint program in History and Hebrew Judaic Studies in 2018. In addition to her research, Sandra is the founder and executive producer of the Yiddish-language podcast Vaybertaytsh, and is a peer-review editor at In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies.

Rokhl Kafrissen is a journalist and playwright in New York City. Her ‘Rokhl’s Golden City’ column began appearing in Tablet in 2017, the only regular feature in the world dedicated to new Yiddish culture in all its iterations. Her op-eds on feminism, sociology and Jewish life appear in newspapers all over the world. She was a 2019-2020 14th Street Y LABA fellow, for which she wrote Shtumer Shabes (Silent Sabbath), a black comedy about the dangers of ethnography and human experimentation.

Ben Kaplan runs the educational programs at YIVO, which include the Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture, the YIVO-Bard Winter Program on Ashkenazi Civilization, and the Shine Online Educational Series. He studied at Williams College, the Middlebury School of Hebrew, and now at YIVO, where he makes a point to speak Yiddish every day.

Jessica Kirzane is the assistant instructional professor of Yiddish at the University of Chicago. She is the Editor-in-Chief for In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies. Her academic work has appeared in the Journal of Jewish IdentitiesZutotAmerican Jewish HistoryJudaism: Race, and Ethics: Conversations and Questions (Penn State University Press, 2020) and The Sacred Encounter: Jewish Perspectives in Sexuality (CCAR Press, 2014) and her translations have been published in jewishfiction.net, Jewish CurrentsColumbia JournalPakn TregerYour Impossible Voice, and elsewhere. She is the translator of Miriam Karpilove's Diary of a Lonely Girl, or the Battle Against Free Love (Syracuse UP, 2019). Kirzane was a 2017 Translation Fellow and an 2018 Pedagogy Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center. She earned her PhD in Yiddish Studies from Columbia University in 2017.

Alex Weiser is the Director of Public Programs at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research where he curates and produces programs combining a fascination with and curiosity for historical context, with an eye toward influential Jewish contributions to the culture of today and tomorrow. Born and raised in NYC, Weiser is also an active composer of contemporary classical music. In his capacity as a composer Weiser has been praised as having a “sophisticated ear and knack for evoking luscious textures and imaginative yet approachable harmonies,” (I Care If You Listen) and his music has been described as “compelling” (New York Times), and “shapely, melody-rich” (Wall Street Journal).

An energetic advocate for contemporary classical music and for the work of his peers, before joining the team at YIVO Weiser was for nearly five years a director of the MATA Festival, the “the city’s leading showcase for vital new music by emerging composers” (The New Yorker), and co-founded and directs Kettle Corn New Music, an “engaging” (New York Times) series acclaimed for capturing “all of the prestige” that contemporary classical music has to offer, with “none of the pomp” (Feast of Music).


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Presented by:

panel discussion

Tue, May 31
12:00PM
Tue, May 31
12:00PM

lecture

Between Baghdad and Asia

Beginning in the mid-19th century, a vibrant network of Jews primarily from Iraq but also from the Levant and Iran formed communities throughout the Indian sub-continent and East Asia. These communities flourished for over a decade and the remnants of these communities can still be seen to this day in places like Bombay, Singapore, and Hong Kong through the institutions they built and the communities which continue to exist. This talk traces the history of Baghdadi Jews in Asia from its earliest beginning until the present day, exploring the relevance of these communities both to Baghdad and the larger Jewish world.

About the Speaker
Sasha Goldstein-Sabbah is assistant professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, she received her PhD in 2019 from Leiden University. She is specialized in the modern history of Middle Eastern and North African Jewry. She is the author of numerous scholarly and trade publications including her recent monograph Baghdadi Jewish Networks in the Age of Nationalism (Brill, 2021).


Presented by:

lecture

Thu, May 26
07:00PM
Thu, May 26
07:00PM

concert

Continuing Evolution: Yiddish Folksong Today – Live & Streamed on Zoom

YIVO’s Continuing Evolution: Yiddish Folksong Today is a music festival celebrating Yiddish folksong. The festival includes premieres of contemporary classical works reimagining Yiddish folksongs; classic compositions which engage with Yiddish folksongs; little-known settings of Yiddish folksongs from YIVO’s archival collections; discussions of archival work related to the study and preservation of Yiddish folksong; and performances by contemporary artists engaged with Yiddish folksong.

This concert features music by Frederic Rzweski alongside the premiere of new works by Derek DavidLainie FeffermanDavid LudwigDaniel Schlosberg, and Dan Shore. Performances will include current and former students of the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program: soprano Jardena Gertler-Jaffe, tenor Max Jansen, and Mezzo-soprano Megan Jones with special guest pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough. This evening also features performances by Eléonore BiezunskiZhenya Lopatnik, and Sarah Myerson.

This program is co-sponsored by American Society for Jewish Music, The Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s An-sky Institute for Yiddish Culture, Congress for Jewish Culture, Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish ExperienceMilken Archive, and Yiddish New York.

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

About the Performers
The Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard Conservatory is a unique Master of Music program in vocal arts. Created to prepare the young singer for the special challenges of pursuing a professional life in music in the 21st century, this two-year MM degree program balances a respect for established repertory and expressive techniques with the flexibility and curiosity needed to keep abreast of evolving musical ideas. Students work on operatic, art song, chamber music, and new music repertoire throughout the coursework of the program. Operatic repertoire is studied and performed throughout the curriculum and in fully staged productions at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. The program also includes a strong practical component, with seminars and classes on career skills led by some of the leading figures in arts management and administration.


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Presented by:

concert

Wed, May 25
01:00PM
Wed, May 25
01:00PM

lecture

Galicia on Our Mind: The Role of Regionalism in New York's Jewish Immigrant Community, 1890-1938

Between 1881 and 1910 more than 200,000 Jews left the Habsburg province of Galicia, a region that is today divided between southeastern Poland and western Ukraine. No longer living in the places of their childhood, they settled in urban centers, such as New York’s Lower East Side. In this culturally diverse and densely populated immigrant neighborhood, Galician Jews began to search for new relationships that linked the places they left and the ones where they arrived and settled.

In his talk, Dr. Sophie Bookhalter Graduate Fellow Oskar Czendze (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) in conversation with Dr. Jeffrey Shandler (Rutgers University) will take the audience to the streets of New York’s immigrant quarter and trace the lives and culture of Jews who arrived from Galicia. Examples from autobiographical writings, Yiddish press, music and theatre, Jewish hometown associations, as well as visual material by American Jewish tourists visiting their hometowns, will illuminate the significance of local and regional identifications from the early immigrant era to the interwar period. Why did an Austrian province that had ceased to exist in 1918 continue to loom large in the American Jewish mind, how did the concept of Galicia change over time, and what does the “Galitsyaner” tell us about the role of regionalism in modern Jewish history and culture?


Presented by:

lecture

Tue, May 24
01:00PM
Tue, May 24
01:00PM

lecture

Yiddish Theatre in South America (1930-1960): Transnational Networks and Artistic Exchange

During the interwar period, a large population of Yiddish-speaking Jews settled in South America, escaping difficult living conditions and antisemitism in Europe. For Jewish immigrants, Yiddish theatre functioned as a meeting place where they could share their mother tongue and deal with the feeling of longing for the “alter heym.” As a result, the major cities of the region—Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile, and Montevideo—became important Yiddish theatre centers and attractive destinations for Yiddish artists. At the same time, by the 1930s, Yiddish theatre audiences in the U.S. and Europe were starting to decline, so actors increasingly toured countries where Yiddish theatre thrived, as was the case in South America. This multidirectional migratory movement of European Jews during the interwar period and the internationally used language of Yiddish contributed to the creation of an extensive transnational network of Yiddish artists, which allowed them to perform throughout the world.

In this lecture, Dr. Paula Ansaldo will explore the development of the South American Yiddish theatre scene and the connections it established with the main Yiddish cultural centers of the time in the U.S. and Europe and with the larger theatrical ecosystem of South America.

About the Speaker
Paula Ansaldo holds a Ph.D. in History and Theory of Arts from the University of Buenos Aires. She is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Council for Technical and Scientific Research of Argentina and the Institute of Performing Arts-UBA, and a member of the Centre of Jewish Studies. She teaches History of Theatre II in the Department of Arts at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature-UBA. She has co-published the book Independent Theatre: History and Present (Buenos Aires: Ediciones del CCC, 2017) and Perspectives on Theater Directing: Theory, History, and Poetics (Córdoba: National University of Córdoba Press, 2021) and several articles on the history of Jewish theatre in Argentina in academic publications of the U.S., Spain, Brazil, France, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Poland, and Argentina. She has received grants from CONICET, Fordham University-New York Public Library, Coimbra Group Universities, American Philosophical Society, and Latin American Jewish Studies Association. She is also the recipient of the 2021-2022 Ruth and Joseph Kremen Memorial Fellowship in East European Arts, Music, and Theater at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.


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Presented by:

lecture

Tue, May 24
02:00PM
Tue, May 24
02:00PM

panel discussion

Thomas Brasch: The Life of an Artist

The life and legacy of the multifaceted artist Thomas Brasch will be the topic of discussion by a panel including Professor Cathy Gelbin (The University of Manchester), German Consul General in New York, David Gill, and artist Alexander Polzin.

About the Speakers
Professor Cathy Gelbin is the co-editor of the Leo Baeck Institute Year Book for German-Jewish History and Culture (Oxford Journals). She is a film historian and cultural studies scholar with special interests in European life and its Jewish cultures. Her work on feature film, video testimony, literary texts and live art has focused on Holocaust representations and the dynamics of modern German-speaking Jewish culture. Before joining the University of Manchester, she was Research Associate and Director of Research and Educational Programmes at the Centre for German-Jewish Studies, University of Sussex.

David Gill, German Consul General in New York, was born in Schönebeck/Elbe in 1966. He has been the Consul General in New York since August 2017. Prior to his appointment, he served as State Secretary and Head of the Office of the Federal President from 2012-2017.

Alexander Polzin, born in East Berlin in 1973, originally trained as a stonemason. He enjoys an international career as a sculptor, painter, stage designer and opera director. In addition, he develops unique collaborations with writers, composers, musicians, choreographers and scholars from all over the world. He was a close friend of Brasch's and organized a multifaceted tribute to Brasch at the 2021 Berlin International Literature Festival.

Part of the Thomas Brasch Retrospective
Born in England to Kindertransport refugees who were active Communists – Thomas Brasch came to embody the fault lines of German history like few other artists. As his father Horst Brasch rose in the ranks of East Germany’s ruling Socialist Unity Party, Thomas became an uncompromisingly radical writer whose activism led to censorship and three months in prison. After his move to West Germany, he refused to play the role of GDR-dissident and focused his critique on West German society and German history in plays, poetry, and a series of brilliant but challenging films. Although he is highly regarded as a translator of Chekhov’s and Shakespeare’s works into German, none of Thomas Brasch’s major works have ever been published in English. His major films, jarring meditations on German history such as Der Passagier – Welcome to Germany (1988, starring Tony Curtis as a choleric Hollywood director who returns to Germany to make a film about his experience in a concentration camp), are rarely shown in the United States. This spring, LBI, the Goethe-Institut New York, The German Film Office, The German Consulate General in New York, Deutsches Haus at NYU, and the Friends of Freiburg Alumni of North America will re-introduce audiences to this remarkable artist and story.


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Presented by:

panel discussion

Mon, May 23
01:00PM
Mon, May 23
01:00PM

panel discussion

The YIVO Folksong Project

From 1973-1975 YIVO collected 2,000 Yiddish folk songs and oral histories as a part of its YIVO Folksong Project: East European Jewish Folksong in its Social Context. The project, directed by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, created a one-of-a-kind audio resource which includes recordings of Yiddish folk songs from genres and groups which are rarely documented and gives insight into the songs traditional Eastern European Jewish singers sang, the range and variety of their repertoire, how they learned to sing, and what singing meant to them on a personal and communal level.

Thanks to a “Recordings at Risk Grant” from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), this collection has now been digitized and is available to researchers anywhere in the world. Join YIVO for a discussion of the YIVO Folksong Project including examples of material from the project, and a demonstration of how to access this material. This panel will feature the original project director Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, ethnomusicologist Mark Slobin, singer and composer Joshua Waletzky, and YIVO Sound Archivist Eléonore Biezunski.

Part of YIVO’s Continuing Evolution: Yiddish Folksong Today, a music festival celebrating Yiddish folksong.

This program is co-sponsored by American Society for Jewish Music, The Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s An-sky Institute for Yiddish Culture, Congress for Jewish Culture, Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish ExperienceMilken Archive, and Yiddish New York.


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Presented by:

panel discussion

Mon, May 23
07:00PM
Mon, May 23
07:00PM

film and discussion

Film Screening: A Crime on the Bayou – Live in person

Join us for a screening of A Crime on the Bayou, followed by a discussion with civil rights attorney and one of the film's subjects, Armand Derfner.

A Crime on the Bayou is the story of Gary Duncan, a Black teenager from Plaquemines Parish, a swampy strip of land south of New Orleans. In 1966, Duncan tries to break up an argument between white and Black teenagers outside a newly integrated school. He gently lays his hand on a white boy's arm. The boy recoils like a snake. That night, police burst into Duncan's trailer and arrest him for assault on a minor. A young Jewish attorney, Richard Sobol, leaves his prestigious D.C. firm to volunteer in New Orleans. With his help, Duncan bravely stands up to a racist legal system powered by a white supremacist boss to challenge his unfair arrest. Their fight goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and their lifelong friendship is forged.


Presented by:

film and discussion

Thu, May 19
01:00PM
Thu, May 19
01:00PM

lecture

Homes of the Past: The Story of a Lost Museum

In the midst of World War II, a small group of scholars who had gathered at the YIVO Institute’s New York headquarters announced plans to create a “Museum of the Homes of the Past,” which would present to American visitors the richness of East European Jewish life. But after spending more than two years collecting hundreds of items for the museum, the project was abandoned. Why did YIVO set out to create this museum? What was the vision for its displays? Why was this project never realized? And what can we learn from this episode, largely forgotten, which took place at a momentous turning point in Jewish history?  Join Center for Jewish History 2021-22 NEH Scholar in Residence Jeffrey Shandler (Rutgers University) in conversation with Kalman Weiser (York University) to address these questions and more.

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


About the Speakers:

Jeffrey Shandler is Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University and the 2021-22 National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar in Residence at the Center for Jewish History. A scholar of modern and contemporary Jewish life, he is the author, editor, or translator of 16 books, most recently Yiddish: Biography of a Language (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Kalman Weiser is the Silber Family Professor of Modern Jewish Studies and the acting director of the Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies at York University. He is the author of several studies about Jewish nationalism and Yiddish linguistics and culture. His most recent co-edited volume is Key Concepts in the Study of Antisemitism (Palgrave, 2021) His book Jewish People, Yiddish Nation: Noah Prylucki and the Folkists In Poland won the 2012 Canadian Jewish Book Award for scholarship. He is also a contributor to and co-editor of Czernowitz at 100: The First Yiddish Conference in Historical Perspective (2010) and therevised and expanded edition of Solomon Birnbaum's Yiddish: a Survey and a Grammar (2016).


Presented by:

lecture

Thu, May 19
06:00PM
Thu, May 19
06:00PM

celebration

2022 Center for Jewish History Gala

2022 Center for Jewish History Gala

Please join us on Thursday evening, May 19th, as the Center for Jewish History honors Professor Saul Friedländer, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Holocaust survivor, and Sid Lapidus, pioneering leader of the Center since its founding, Chair of the American Jewish Historical Society, and a principal of Warburg Pincus for more than half a century. Your gift in support of the Center will help us to protect, remember, and illuminate the stories that together make up our shared heritage. For more information and to attend this special event, click here.

Program
6:00pm Cocktail Reception and Dinner
7:30pm Featured Remarks
8:15pm Dessert Reception

Business attire
Dietary laws observed

Check gala.cjh.org for up-to-date COVID protocol


Presented by:

celebration

Wed, May 18
01:00PM
Wed, May 18
01:00PM

book talk

In Hitler's Munich: Jews, the Revolution, and the Rise of Nazism

In the aftermath of Germany’s defeat in World War I and the failed November Revolution of 1918–19, the conservative government of Bavaria identified Jews with left-wing radicalism. Munich became a hotbed of right-wing extremism, with synagogues under attack and Jews physically assaulted in the streets. It was here that Adolf Hitler established the Nazi movement and developed his antisemitic ideas. In this program, LBI International President and acclaimed historian Prof. Michael Brenner(American University/University of Munich) will discuss his new book, a gripping account of how Bavaria’s capital city became the testing ground for Nazism and the Final Solution.

Prof. Steven Aschheim will join in conversation with Prof. Brenner, and the discussion will be chaired by Dr. Irene Aue-Ben-David.


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Presented by:

book talk

Wed, May 18
07:00PM
Wed, May 18
07:00PM

concert

Continuing Evolution: Yiddish Folksong Today – Live and Streamed on Zoom

YIVO’s Continuing Evolution: Yiddish Folksong Today is a music festival celebrating Yiddish folksong. The festival includes premieres of contemporary classical works reimagining Yiddish folksongs; classic compositions which engage with Yiddish folksongs; little-known settings of Yiddish folksongs from YIVO’s archival collections; discussions of archival work related to the study and preservation of Yiddish folksong; and performances by contemporary artists engaged with Yiddish folksong.

This concert features music by Stefan WolpeLazare Saminsky, and Joseph Achron, alongside the premiere of new works by Marti EptseinAaron KernisAnthony Russell/Uri SchreterJudith Shatin, and Anat Spiegel. Performances will be by members of the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program: soprano Abagael Cheng, soprano Maria Giovanetti, soprano Francesca Lionetta, soprano Montana Smith, and bass-baritone Michael Aoun. This evening also features performances by Carol Freeman and Zachary Scholl.

This program is co-sponsored by American Society for Jewish Music, The Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s An-sky Institute for Yiddish Culture, Congress for Jewish Culture, Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish ExperienceMilken Archive, and Yiddish New York.

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

About the Performers
The Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard Conservatory is a unique Master of Music program in vocal arts. Created to prepare the young singer for the special challenges of pursuing a professional life in music in the 21st century, this two-year MM degree program balances a respect for established repertory and expressive techniques with the flexibility and curiosity needed to keep abreast of evolving musical ideas. Students work on operatic, art song, chamber music, and new music repertoire throughout the coursework of the program. Operatic repertoire is studied and performed throughout the curriculum and in fully staged productions at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. The program also includes a strong practical component, with seminars and classes on career skills led by some of the leading figures in arts management and administration.


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Presented by:

concert

Wed, May 18
07:00PM
Wed, May 18
07:00PM

discussion

Family History Today: Ask a Genealogy Librarian – Online & Archival Resources for U.S. Research

In our second genealogy Q & A session on Zoom, Moriah Amit, the Center for Jewish History’s Senior Genealogy Librarian, will answer your questions about where to find specific types of U.S. records and how to use U.S. databases more effectively. This program is appropriate for beginner and intermediate-level researchers and for people from all Jewish communities, including those of Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi descent. We highly recommend that you send us your most important question in advance by replying to your registration confirmation email.

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


Presented by:

discussion

Tue, May 17
07:00PM
Tue, May 17
07:00PM

film

Familie Brasch: A Documentary Film about a German-Jewish Family – Live Film Screening

In this documentary (Germany, 2018, 103 min.), director Annekatrin Hendel delivers a portrait of three generations of Brasches as a microcosm of societal tensions — between East and West, art and politics, Communism and religion, love and betrayal, utopia and self-destruction.

Part of the Thomas Brasch Retrospective
Born in England to Kindertransport refugees who were active Communists – Thomas Brasch came to embody the fault lines of German history like few other artists. As his father Horst Brasch rose in the ranks of East Germany’s ruling Socialist Unity Party, Thomas became an uncompromisingly radical writer whose activism led to censorship and three months in prison. After his move to West Germany, he refused to play the role of GDR-dissident and focused his critique on West German society and German history in plays, poetry, and a series of brilliant but challenging films. Although he is highly regarded as a translator of Chekhov’s and Shakespeare’s works into German, none of Thomas Brasch’s major works have ever been published in English. His major films, jarring meditations on German history such as Der Passagier – Welcome to Germany (1988, starring Tony Curtis as a choleric Hollywood director who returns to Germany to make a film about his experience in a concentration camp), are rarely shown in the United States. This spring, LBI, the Goethe-Institut New York, The German Film Office, The German Consulate General in New York, Deutsches Haus at NYU, and the Friends of Freiburg Alumni of North America will re-introduce audiences to this remarkable artist and story.


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Presented by:

film

Sun, May 15
02:00PM
Sun, May 15
02:00PM

book launch

Alice’s Book: How the Nazis Stole My Grandmother’s Cookbook

When the Anschluss happens, Alice Urbach, a renowned chef and cookery book writer, is forced to flee Vienna for England. Returning to the ruins of Vienna in the late 1940s, she discovers that her bestselling cookbook is being published under a different name.

Karina Urbach tells the story of a family torn apart by the Nazi regime, of a woman who, with her unwavering passion for cooking, survived the horror and losses of the Holocaust to begin a new life in America, and of a fight for restitution that lasted eight decades.

Join us as we engage in conversation with Karina Urbach about her grandmother’s life, the journey of reclaiming her grandmother’s work, and the larger picture of restitution and what it can include.

“Urbach not only reconstructs individual fates from family correspondence and tape interviews from her grandmother’s estate, she also draws on a myriad of archives […] The fact that she manages this without sentimentality is an achievement in itself. The facts are moving enough.” – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Learn more about the story in these articles on LBI's website and in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Watch a trailer for an upcoming documentary about the cookbook hereAvailable for sale in English on May 12th.

About Our Guest
Karina Urbach is a German historian who received her doctorate from the University of Cambridge, UK. From 2015 to 2021, she was a longterm visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Her most recent books are Go-Betweens for Hitler (2017) and the novel Cambridge 5 (written under the pseudonym Hannah Coler) which won the Crime Cologne Award in 2018.  Her new monograph Alice’s Book has been translated into six languages and was made into a documentary for German television in 2022.


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Presented by:

book launch

Sun, May 15
06:00PM
Sun, May 15
06:00PM

musical

The Ten Commandments, The Musical – Live event

One of France’s most successful musicals is coming to America. The Ten Commandments’ Off-Broadway cast features new diverse talent from musical theater and operatic backgrounds. Twelve artists will bring to life the story of Moses and the Jewish people.

David Serero, starring as Moses, will lead and direct the cast composed of DaShaun Williams (Ramses), Caroline Purdy (Nefertari), Stephanie Craven (Sephora), Melissa Lubars (Jochebed), Lisa Monde (Bithia), Cale Rausch (Joshua), Zachary Harris Martin (Aaron), Kristyn Vario (Myriam), Julia Anne Cohen and Andy Donnelly (various roles and U/S).

All performers will sing the beautiful music of Pascal Obispo, one of France’s most famous composers, with original lyrics by Lionel Florence and Patrice Guirao. The musical was originally created by Elie Chouraqui (ASF Pomegranate Awardee, 2020), who wrote the book. David Serero adapted the musical to English and is staging the show with respect to Broadway standards and culture.

The Ten Commandments dramatizes the biblical story of the life of Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince who becomes the deliverer of his real brethren, the enslaved Hebrews, and after that leads the Exodus to Mount Sinai, where he receives, from God, the Ten Commandments.


Presented by:

musical

Thu, May 12
02:00PM
Thu, May 12
02:00PM

panel discussion

Writing the Story: Exploring Family Holocaust Memoir

In recent years, an increasing number of people have been writing the history of their families in the Holocaust. At the Leo Baeck Institute, we collect and accession these histories if the families are from German-speaking Central Europe. Authored by intergenerational family members, including second and third generation, they provide an important resource for researchers and as a document of memory for the family members themselves, and the communities they came from, into the future. In other news, our new exhibit on the Theresienstadt Ghetto, Last Stop Before the Last Stop: Theresienstadt 1942 - 1945, opens on April 6th. This exhibit showcases material in the collections of the Leo Baeck Institute from the Theresienstadt Ghetto, telling the story of this transit camp and the suffering of its prisoners before their departure to their final destination in the Nazi extermination camps.

In light of both topics, the Leo Baeck Institute will hold a panel discussion with authors Helen Epstein and Ariana Neumann, both children of Holocaust survivors, who have written about their families during the Holocaust, and both with connection to the Theresienstadt Ghetto. In the discussion, moderated by author Ruth Franklin, they will discuss what sparked them to write about their parents and grandparents, approaches they took in this writing, resources they used, and what they discovered about their families on their journeys. If you are interested in the Holocaust, how it is remembered, the genre of memoir, and/or if you are interested in writing your own family memoir about the Holocaust, we hope you join us. In addition, both authors will have their books discussed in the Leo Baeck Institute Book Club this year, Helen Epstein in May and Ariana Neumann in September.

Our Panelists

Helen Epstein was the first tenured woman Professor of Journalism at NYU, she is the author of numerous books about her family history. These include the trilogy Children of the Holocaust (1979); Where She Came From: A Daughter's Search for Her Mother's History and The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma (2018). She published her late mother Franci Rabinek Epstein's memoir, Franci's War in 2020-2021, in seven languages. Her latest book is Getting Through It: My Year of Cancer during Covid.

"In Epstein's expert and sensitive hands, truth becomes not only stranger than fiction, but more magnetic, wise and powerful." –Gloria Steinem

Learn more at www.helenepstein.com. She joins us from Lexington, Massachusetts.

Ariana Neumann's memoir When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father's War and What Remains  was published in 2020. It has won numerous awards and mentions, including being a New York Times' Bestseller and a winner of the 2020 National Jewish Book Awards. The New York Times Book Review said of her book:

“The story Neumann uncovers is worthy of fiction with hairpin plot twists, daredevil acts of love and unexpected moments of humor in dark times. Given the slew of colorful characters and dramatic details, she could have turned her painstaking research into a historical novel. Instead she has written a superb family memoir that unfolds its poignant power on multiple levels. Yes, her account of one Jewish-Czech family’s race to outwit the Nazis makes for thrilling reading. But just as important is her lucid investigation of the nature of memory, identity and remembrance.” Ariana Neumann comes to us from London, England.

Our Moderator
Ruth Franklin’s work appears in many publications, including The New YorkerThe New York Times Book ReviewThe New York Review of Books, and Harper’s. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in biography, a Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library, a Leon Levy Fellowship in biography, and the Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism. Her first book, A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction (Oxford University Press, 2011), was a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Presented by:

panel discussion

Thu, May 12
08:00PM
Thu, May 12
08:00PM

musical

The Ten Commandments, The Musical – Live event

One of France’s most successful musicals is coming to America. The Ten Commandments’ Off-Broadway cast features new diverse talent from musical theater and operatic backgrounds. Twelve artists will bring to life the story of Moses and the Jewish people.

David Serero, starring as Moses, will lead and direct the cast composed of DaShaun Williams (Ramses), Caroline Purdy (Nefertari), Stephanie Craven (Sephora), Melissa Lubars (Jochebed), Lisa Monde (Bithia), Cale Rausch (Joshua), Zachary Harris Martin (Aaron), Kristyn Vario (Myriam), Julia Anne Cohen and Andy Donnelly (various roles and U/S).

All performers will sing the beautiful music of Pascal Obispo, one of France’s most famous composers, with original lyrics by Lionel Florence and Patrice Guirao. The musical was originally created by Elie Chouraqui (ASF Pomegranate Awardee, 2020), who wrote the book. David Serero adapted the musical to English and is staging the show with respect to Broadway standards and culture.

The Ten Commandments dramatizes the biblical story of the life of Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince who becomes the deliverer of his real brethren, the enslaved Hebrews, and after that leads the Exodus to Mount Sinai, where he receives, from God, the Ten Commandments.


Presented by:

musical

Wed, May 11
01:00PM
Wed, May 11
01:00PM

book talk

Israel's Moment: International Support for and Opposition to Establishing the Jewish State, 1945–1949

Drawing on new research in government, public and private archives, Jeffrey Herf's Israel's Moment: International Support for and Opposition to Establishing the Jewish State, 1945–1949 explores the political realities that underpinned support for and opposition to Zionist aspirations in Palestine in the wake of the Holocaust and during the onset of the Cold War. Herf explores the role of the United States, the Arab States, the Palestine Arabs, the Zionists, and key European governments from Britain and France to the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Poland. His findings reveal a spectrum of support and opposition that stood in sharp contrast to the political coordinates that emerged during the Cold War, shedding new light on how and why the state of Israel was established in 1948 and challenging conventional associations of left and right, imperialism and anti-imperialism, and racism and anti-racism. Join YIVO for a conversation about this new book with Jeffrey Herf and YIVO's Executive Director Jonathan Brent.

Purchase the book.

About the Speakers
Jeffrey Herf is a Distinguished University Professor of Modern European history at the University of Maryland. His publications include Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left, 1967-1989 (2016), Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (2009), and The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust (2006). He is a member of the American Historical Association and the German Studies Association.

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.


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Presented by:

book talk

Wed, May 11
01:00PM
Wed, May 11
01:00PM

lecture

Sephardi Thought and Modernity 2022 Webinar Series - Continuity and Rupture in Sephardi Modernities - Rhizomic Networks of Unruptured Continuity from 16th c. Italy to 21st c. Casablanca: Music, Power, Mysticism and Neo-Platonism

Seminar with Vanessa Paloma Elbaz, University of Cambridge.

This seminar is part of the 2nd edition of the Sephardi Thought and Modernity Series (2022) and intends to continue the exploration of Sephardic modernities initiated in 2021. In this second edition, we will focus on the question of continuity and rupture as a way to deepen our dialogue about the different forms that modernity has adopted throughout Sephardi history. We will discuss questions such as the meaning of the concept of “modernity” in non-European contexts such as the Levant and/or the Arab world. We will explore how non-European Jewish societies developed ways of life and practices that synthesized tradition, change and cultural diversity throughout time. We will delve into Sephardi intellectual life, cosmopolitanism, cultural belongings, language, translation and mobility.

Sponsored by Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University and Belzberg Program in Israel Studies, University of Calgary.


Presented by:

lecture

Tue, May 10
12:00PM
Tue, May 10
12:00PM

lecture

Between Baghdad and Asia

Beginning in the mid-19th century, a vibrant network of Jews primarily from Iraq but also from the Levant and Iran formed communities throughout the Indian sub-continent and East Asia. These communities flourished for over a decade and the remnants of these communities can still be seen to this day in places like Bombay, Singapore, and Hong Kong through the institutions they built and the communities which continue to exist. This talk traces the history of Baghdadi Jews in Asia from its earliest beginning until the present day, exploring the relevance of these communities both to Baghdad and the larger Jewish world.


Presented by:

lecture

Tue, May 10
08:00PM
Tue, May 10
08:00PM

musical

The Ten Commandments, The Musical – Live event

One of France’s most successful musicals is coming to America. The Ten Commandments’ Off-Broadway cast features new diverse talent from musical theater and operatic backgrounds. Twelve artists will bring to life the story of Moses and the Jewish people.

David Serero, starring as Moses, will lead and direct the cast composed of DaShaun Williams (Ramses), Caroline Purdy (Nefertari), Stephanie Craven (Sephora), Melissa Lubars (Jochebed), Lisa Monde (Bithia), Cale Rausch (Joshua), Zachary Harris Martin (Aaron), Kristyn Vario (Myriam), Julia Anne Cohen and Andy Donnelly (various roles and U/S).

All performers will sing the beautiful music of Pascal Obispo, one of France’s most famous composers, with original lyrics by Lionel Florence and Patrice Guirao. The musical was originally created by Elie Chouraqui (ASF Pomegranate Awardee, 2020), who wrote the book. David Serero adapted the musical to English and is staging the show with respect to Broadway standards and culture.

The Ten Commandments dramatizes the biblical story of the life of Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince who becomes the deliverer of his real brethren, the enslaved Hebrews, and after that leads the Exodus to Mount Sinai, where he receives, from God, the Ten Commandments.


Presented by:

musical

Mon, May 09
12:00PM
Mon, May 09
12:00PM

lecture

A “Feminist” Jewish Department Store in Imperial Berlin?: <em>Kaufhaus</em> N. Israel

Between 1899 and 1914, the Berlin department store N. Israel issued a series of breathtaking illustrated annual publications, which it distributed to its customers free of charge. Compiled using cutting-edge printing techniques, the albums addressed various current issues through text and extravagant and unusual displays of reproduced photographic images – with barely any direct advertising. From 1909, several volumes featured explicit “feminist” themes. These ranged from the valorization of women’s rights activists to visual celebrations of women’s contributions to western modernity in sports, politics, the arts, entertainment, and professional life – among these a female tattoo artist and snake farm owner – appearing almost a decade before German and American women gained the right to vote. 

In her talk, Center for Jewish History Dr. Sophie Bookhalter Graduate Research Fellow Angelina Palmén (University of Oxford) in conversation with Dr. Mila Ganeva (Miami University, Ohio), explores how and why an esteemed Imperial German department store and fashion house, owned by an acculturated Jewish family, apparently took a public stance in support of women’s rights. There has been increasing public awareness in recent years about the company’s significant social justice legacy in securing the rescue of thousands of Jews from Nazi era Berlin under Wilfrid Israel, the store’s final director. Two decades before the calamities, however, N. Israel was a flourishing fashion retailer, a self-proclaimed “women’s paradise” at the heart of Berlin, shaping the tastes of German consumers for a century before the First World War. The lecture takes listeners on a journey into the converging worlds of German feminism and a “Jewish” niche in ready-made fashion before the world wars, showing how a prominent Jewish family took a leading role in endorsing and culturally constructing “new womanhood,” in an era when the real-life New Woman remained but a rare curiosity.

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


About the Speakers:

Angelina Palmén is a DPhil candidate in Modern Jewish History at the University of Oxford. Her thesis, "Producing New Women: Work and Consumer Culture in the Wilhelmine Jewish Garment Trade," examines the promotion of feminism and women’s rights by companies in the Berlin industry for ready-made fashion and their mostly Jewish owners and executive directors 1890–1914. She is currently a Dr. Sophie Bookhalter Fellow at the Center for Jewish History in New York (2021–22). She has previously held doctoral fellowships through the Leo Baeck program in German-Jewish history by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation / Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (2018–9), and the Posen Society of Fellows (2018–20). Her interests in European and Jewish history include conceptions of gender, particularly in relation to women’s labor, feminism, business and entrepreneurship, fashion, visuality, and material culture.

Mila Ganeva is Professor of German and Affiliate faculty member of the Film Studies and Jewish Studies programs at Miami University in Ohio. A graduate of the University of Chicago (PhD 2000), she is the author of Women in Weimar Fashion: Discourses and Displays in German Culture, 1918-1933 (Camden House, 2008) and Film and Fashion amidst the Ruins of Berlin: Between Nazism and Cold War, 1945-1953 (Camden House, 2018) as well as numerous articles on fashion history and German film. She contributed an essay on fashion photographers in Berlin of the 1920s to the catalogue accompanying the exhibition “The New Woman Behind the Camera” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC (July 2021-January 2022). Most recently she published about the costumes and set designs in the popular German TV-series, Babylon Berlin and is completing an article “Dressing Babylon Berlin for a Global Audience: Extravaganza, Glamour, and Grit” forthcoming in 2022. She is currently writing a book-length study on “Cabaret and Film: Synergy and Competition in the Weimar Republic.”


Presented by:

lecture

Mon, May 09
12:00PM
Mon, May 09
12:00PM

lecture

The Five Pillars of Islam - A Jewish Perspective

Rick Sopher will explain the so-called “Five Pillars of Islam” (declaration of faith, prayer, giving, fasting and pilgrimage) and look at connections, similarities and differences with Jewish Practise. He will explore the basis of these practices and how one might have influenced the other.

Bonus: Rick will also look at the basis of the very close practices of Jewish and Muslim dietary laws and explain the history of this connection, which was first stated explicitly in the Qur’an.

About the Speaker
Rick has a financial background and is the CEO of Edmond de Rothschild Capital Holdings, which he joined in 1993. He is the Chairman of the world’s longest established investment fund of its type. Prior to that he worked at BDO Stoy Hayward, where he was appointed the youngest ever partner. He has received various industry awards including the Outstanding Contribution Award from Hedge Fund Review and the Decade of Excellence Award by Financial News.

Rick graduated from Cambridge University and has more recently worked in the area of interfaith relations with the Woolf Institute, Cambridge as a member of their Council.

During the lockdown period, Rick convened an online dialogue between Professors of Religion at the world’s leading universities to discuss the relationship between the Qur’an and the Bible and has himself dialogued with Muslim leaders on the subject.

Rick was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur in 2007 from President Chirac for his contribution to religious education in France and is Chairman or Director of several educational charities in the UK.


Presented by:

lecture

Mon, May 09
07:00PM
Mon, May 09
07:00PM

concert

Continuing Evolution: Yiddish Folksong Today – Live & Streamed on Zoom

YIVO’s Continuing Evolution: Yiddish Folksong Today is a music festival celebrating Yiddish folksong. The festival includes premieres of contemporary classical works reimagining Yiddish folksongs; classic compositions which engage with Yiddish folksongs; little-known settings of Yiddish folksongs from YIVO’s archival collections; discussions of archival work related to the study and preservation of Yiddish folksong; and performances by contemporary artists engaged with Yiddish folksong.

This concert features music by Sergei ProkofievMaurice RavelJoel EngelAlexander Veprik, and Aaron Copland, alongside the premiere of new works by Martin BresnickAnnie GosfieldPaul Alan Levi, and Alex Weiser. Performances will be by cellist Julian Schwarz, pianist Marika Bournaki, and more. This evening also features performances by Joshua Waletzky and Eléonore Weill.

This program is co-sponsored by American Society for Jewish Music, The Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s An-sky Institute for Yiddish Culture, Congress for Jewish Culture, Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish ExperienceMilken Archive, and Yiddish New York.

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


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Presented by:

concert

Sun, May 08
06:00PM
Sun, May 08
06:00PM

musical

The Ten Commandments, The Musical – Live event

One of France’s most successful musicals is coming to America. The Ten Commandments’ Off-Broadway cast features new diverse talent from musical theater and operatic backgrounds. Twelve artists will bring to life the story of Moses and the Jewish people.

David Serero, starring as Moses, will lead and direct the cast composed of DaShaun Williams (Ramses), Caroline Purdy (Nefertari), Stephanie Craven (Sephora), Melissa Lubars (Jochebed), Lisa Monde (Bithia), Cale Rausch (Joshua), Zachary Harris Martin (Aaron), Kristyn Vario (Myriam), Julia Anne Cohen and Andy Donnelly (various roles and U/S).

All performers will sing the beautiful music of Pascal Obispo, one of France’s most famous composers, with original lyrics by Lionel Florence and Patrice Guirao. The musical was originally created by Elie Chouraqui (ASF Pomegranate Awardee, 2020), who wrote the book. David Serero adapted the musical to English and is staging the show with respect to Broadway standards and culture.

The Ten Commandments dramatizes the biblical story of the life of Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince who becomes the deliverer of his real brethren, the enslaved Hebrews, and after that leads the Exodus to Mount Sinai, where he receives, from God, the Ten Commandments.


Presented by:

musical

Thu, May 05
03:00PM
Thu, May 05
03:00PM

musical

The Ten Commandments, The Musical – Live event

One of France’s most successful musicals is coming to America. The Ten Commandments’ Off-Broadway cast features new diverse talent from musical theater and operatic backgrounds. Twelve artists will bring to life the story of Moses and the Jewish people.

David Serero, starring as Moses, will lead and direct the cast composed of DaShaun Williams (Ramses), Caroline Purdy (Nefertari), Stephanie Craven (Sephora), Melissa Lubars (Jochebed), Lisa Monde (Bithia), Cale Rausch (Joshua), Zachary Harris Martin (Aaron), Kristyn Vario (Myriam), Julia Anne Cohen and Andy Donnelly (various roles and U/S).

All performers will sing the beautiful music of Pascal Obispo, one of France’s most famous composers, with original lyrics by Lionel Florence and Patrice Guirao. The musical was originally created by Elie Chouraqui (ASF Pomegranate Awardee, 2020), who wrote the book. David Serero adapted the musical to English and is staging the show with respect to Broadway standards and culture.

The Ten Commandments dramatizes the biblical story of the life of Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince who becomes the deliverer of his real brethren, the enslaved Hebrews, and after that leads the Exodus to Mount Sinai, where he receives, from God, the Ten Commandments.


Presented by:

musical

Thu, May 05
06:30PM
Thu, May 05
06:30PM

panel discussion

Jews in Colonial New York

Join us for a discussion about the lives of New York City Jews in the colonial era. We’ll look at community spaces such as the Sephardic Mill Street Synagogue, now known as Shearith Israel and the oldest synagogue in America. We’ll examine the influence of the Gomez and Judah families, the scandal of the Franks family, and the legacy of Haym Soloman’s Revolutionary war financing.


Presented by:

panel discussion

Thu, May 05
07:00PM
Thu, May 05
07:00PM

exhibit opening & panel discussion

Am Yisrael High: The Story of Jews and Cannabis – Live & Streamed on Zoom

Mentioned in the Bible and discussed in numerous traditional texts, cannabis has long been a part of Jewish life. For millennia, Jews have been buying, selling, and using cannabis for religious and medicinal purposes and as an intoxicant. The opening of YIVO’s latest exhibit, Am Yisrael High: The Story of Jews and Cannabis, will feature a panel discussion moderated by Eddy Portnoy, who will provide a brief overview of the relationship between Jews and cannabis. He’ll then moderate a discussion with Ed RosenthalAdriana KertzerRabbi/Dr. Yosef Glassman, and Madison Margolin. Their discussion will consider the many connections of the Jews to cannabis – religious and spiritual, historical, scientific, and more.

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

About the Speakers
Ed Rosenthal is a leading cannabis horticulture expert, educator, and legalization activist. Reverently given the nickname “Guru of Ganja” by High Times Magazine, Ed has propelled the effort to legalize marijuana, leading the movement to “grow your own” marijuana for nearly 50 years.

In 1999 Ed was deputized as an officer of the City of Oakland, where he oversaw starter plant operations so that medical patients could grow their own marijuana. His ensuing highly publicized federal trial in 2003 shifted public opinion in favor of state medical marijuana laws.

He is the author and editor of more than a dozen books on marijuana cultivation and social policy, including his latest, Cannabis Grower’s Handbook. “While using marijuana may not be addictive, growing it is,” says Ed. “If my other books helped you grow, ‘Cannabis Grower’s Handbook’ will take you to new highs."

Rosenthal is the founder of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Green Aid: The Medical Marijuana Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Madison Margolin is a journalist covering psychedelics, cannabis, spirituality, and Jewish life. She is the cofounder of DoubleBlind Magazine and has written for publications like Rolling StonePlayboy, and Vice, among others. Also a co-founder of the Jewish Psychedelic Summit and host of the Set & Setting podcast on the Be Here Now Network, Madison has traveled from cannabis farms in Northern California to underground ceremonies in Brooklyn to the shores of the Ganges River and all over Israel|Palestine, reporting on the role of entheogens in religion, culture, and healing.

Adriana Kertzer is a Brazilian-American partner at Plant Medicine Law Group, a psychedelics and cannabis law firm. Adriana began her legal career as a corporate associate on Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s Latin American capital markets team. Adriana has since drawn on her love of contracts as an entrepreneur in the fields of contemporary culture, real estate and cannabis, as well as in her role as Senior Advisor to the Senior Deputy Chairman at the National Endowment for the Arts under President Obama. Adriana is the author of the book Favelization: The Imaginary Brazil in Contemporary Film, Fashion and Design originally published by the Cooper Hewitt Museum (Smithsonian Institution) and the series Rebranding Pot. She is passionate about Jewish psychedelic culture, leads the interfaith working group Faith+Delics, and founded JewWhoTokes, an Instagram account that explores relationships with cannabis and psychedelics in the Jewish community.

Rabbi Dr. Yosef Glassman is board certified physician in Internal Medicine & Geriatrics and a specialist in Jewish cannabinoid therapeutics,. After his fellowship in general internal medicine at Johns Hopkins, he taught clinical geriatrics at both Tufts and Harvard Medical Schools. During this period, Dr. Glassman obtained s’micha from the President of the Toronto Rabbinical Council, Rabbi Dovid Schochet, after having studied both at Yeshivos Hilchos Olam and Shalom Rav in Tzfat. While living in Israel, Dr. Glassman served as a lieutenant in IDF medical corps near Dimona, and as a physician for members of the Israeli Knesset while directing a unit for clinical research at Hadassah Ein Kerem University Medical Center. While directing the department in Jerusalem, he was also certified as a mohel by Rabbi Yehuda Giat of Mercaz HaRav.

Rabbi Dr. Glassman writes for, and has appeared in several features in OUHidabrootBaltimore Jewish TimesJewish Advocate, the Huffington PostTablet Magazine and the NJ Jewish Link for his work in integrative geriatrics and cannabinoid therapeutics.

As trustee for the LifeLineLegalfund.com, he has appeared on on ABC News, CBS News, FoxNews, the USA Today Network, the cover of Ami Magazine, the Jerusalem Post and interviewed on i24 News for his work fighting for the rights of older and frail patients in the US.

Dr. Glassman currently directs the hospitalist program at the community hospital in Lakewood, NJ as he and his family eagerly await the Moshiach and an imminent return to Israel to complete his final project, Go2IsraelNow.com.

Eddy Portnoy is a specialist on Jewish popular culture. He currently serves as Academic Advisor for the Max Weinreich Center and Exhibition Curator at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The exhibitions he has created for YIVO have won plaudits from The New York TimesVICEThe Forward, and others. He is the author of Bad Rabbi and Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press (Stanford University Press 2017).


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Presented by:

exhibit opening & panel discussion

Wed, May 04
04:00PM
Wed, May 04
04:00PM

lecture

Melting Pots of Various Sizes: Jewish and Catholic Approaches to Americanization

When immigration from southern and eastern Europe began rising in the 1880s, many American Jews and Catholics viewed their co-religionists with a mixture of welcome, apprehension, and horror. With roots in Germany and Ireland, these religious communities had overcome prejudices and made places for themselves within a Protestant-dominated society. The sight of Italians parading hometown saints down the streets and Yiddish-speaking, bearded men peddling their wares threatened to undermine all they had achieved. While the historical narrative typically tells a story of clashing sensibilities, American Jews and Catholics had widely varying ideas of the degree to which newcomers should assimilate. This talk will reveal previously overlooked nuances within Jewish and Catholic communities and give particular attention to regional differences.

Anne Blankenship is Associate Professor of Religious Studies in North Dakota State University’s History, Philosophy, & Religious Studies Department. Her research investigates religious responses to injustice and relationships between national, racial, and religious identities. Her book Christianity, Social Justice, and Japanese American Incarceration during World War II demonstrated how the injustice transformed Asian American Christianity and challenged religious and racial boundaries in liberal American Christianity. Blankenship’s current book project is titled Religion, Race, and Immigration: How Jews, Catholics, and Protestants Faced Mass Immigration, 1882-1924. The project has received support from several institutions, including the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Academy of Religion. She received her doctoral degree in American Religious History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, and is a member of the Center for the Study of Religion & American Culture’s current Young Scholars of American Religion cohort. Blankenship teaches a wide range of courses, including World Religions, History of Christianity, Global Islam, New Religious Movements, American Religious History, and Religion and Politics.


Presented by:

lecture

Wed, May 04
07:00PM
Wed, May 04
07:00PM

book launch

ZABAR’S: A FAMILY STORY - Three Generations in Conversation – Live in person and on Zoom

When Louis and Lilly Zabar rented a counter in a dairy store on 80th Street and Broadway in 1934 to sell smoked fish, they could not have imagined that their store would eventually occupy half a city block and become a beloved mecca for quality food of all kinds. 

Lori Zabar—Louis’s and Lilly’s granddaughter—tells the story in a new book, Zabars: A Family Story, with Recipes, beginning with her grandparents’ escape from Ukraine in 1921. She describes Zabar’s gradual expansion and the passing of the torch to Louis’ children Saul and Stanley, and partner Murray Klein. She paints a delectable portrait of Zabar’s as it is today—the intoxicating aromas, the crowds, the devoted staff—and shares behind-the-scenes anecdotes of the long-time employees, family members, eccentric customers, and celebrity fans who have created a uniquely American institution that honors its immigrant roots, revels in its New York history, and is relentless in its devotion to the art and science of selling gourmet food.

Sadly, Lori Zabar passed away in February, before the publication of the book. At this event, Lori’s father Stanley, brother David, nephew Willie, and children Marguerite and Henry will be in conversation with New York Times food reporter Julia Moskin.

Zabar’s snacks will be served for those attending in person.

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

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


Presented by:

book launch

Tue, May 03
12:30PM
Tue, May 03
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Alexandra Silber

Julie Salamon (Wall Street Journal and NY Times) sits down with international actress, Grammy-nominated singer, and author, Alexandra Silber. In London’s West End she played starring roles Indecent, The Woman in White, Fiddler on the Roof, Kiss Me Kate and Carousel. In New York she’s appeared in Hello Again, Master Class, She Loves Me, Song of Norway, Arlington, and the 2016 Broadway revival Fiddler on the Roof. Alexandra is a Grammy-nominee for her portrayal of Maria in the symphonic recording of West Side Story, with San Francisco Symphony. Her debut novel After Anatevka and memoir White Hot Grief Parade are both published by Pegasus Books and also available on Audible.com. www.alexandrasilber.net

Julie Salamon is a New York Times best-selling author, critic and storyteller. She was a reporter and film critic for The Wall Street Journal and then a TV critic and arts reporter for The New York Times. Her twelve books include the Hollywood classic The Devil’s Candy -and Wendy and the Lost Boys,an acclaimed biography of playwright Wendy Wasserstein. Julie has just completed "Unlikely Friends," a memoir available on Audible, and season two of TCM’s hit podcast The Plot Thickens which was named by the New York Times as one of the top ten podcasts for 2021.


Presented by:

conversation

Tue, May 03
02:00PM
Tue, May 03
02:00PM

book talk

Transnationality and the Place of German Culture in Theresienstadt

Dr. Anna Hájková is Associate Professor of Modern European Continental History, University of Warwick and the author of The Last Ghetto (2020), the first in-depth, analytical history of a prisoner society during the Holocaust. Rather than depict the ghetto as an atomized state of exception, she argues that the prisoner societies in the Holocaust are best understood as existing among the many known versions of societies. In this lecture, she will discuss how ethnic differences between Czech, German-speaking, and other Jewish prisoners shaped identities, social relations, and experiences in Theresienstadt.


Presented by:

book talk

Mon, May 02
01:00PM
Mon, May 02
01:00PM

lecture

“What Does Your Dream Tell You?”: B. Rivkin and Yiddish Occultism in America

Max Weinreich Fellowship Lecture in American Jewish Studies

The writer B. Rivkin (Borukh Avrom Weinrebe, 1883–1945) is known to scholars today as an important anarchist thinker and Yiddish literary critic who formulated the notion that Yiddish literature must strive to serve as a non-territorial homeland for the Jewish people. Less known is that Rivkin was also a firm believer in the occult who attended spiritualist séances and speculated about the possibility of telepathic communication. Over the three decades of his literary career in the United States, Rivkin published hundreds of articles on occult topics, edited a short-lived Yiddish journal devoted to the development of latent inner powers, and published a weekly psychic dream interpretation column in the newspaper Der tog in the early 1940s that analyzed dreams submitted by readers in the shadow of the Holocaust. In this talk, Sam Glauber-Zimra will uncover this forgotten side of Rivkin’s literary career. Utilizing materials preserved in Rivkin’s archive at YIVO, he will trace the significance of the occult for Rivkin and his Yiddish-speaking immigrant readers as they navigated religious change and the crisis of the Holocaust.

About the Speaker
Samuel Glauber-Zimra is a PhD candidate in the Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His dissertation, “Occult Modernities: Hidden Realities in East European Jewish Culture, 1880–1939,” examines the various expressions of modern occultism within the popular culture and religious thought of Eastern European Jewry and its diaspora in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His most recent article, “Writings on Spiritualism from the Archive of R. Eliyahu Mordekhai Halevy Wolkowsky” appears in the journal Kabbalah, and he is the co-editor of Hillel Zeitlin, In the Secret Place of the Soul: Three Essays (Jerusalem: Blima, 2020) [Hebrew]. He is the 2021-2022 recipient of the The Rose and Isidore Drench Memorial Fellowship and the Dora and Mayer Tendler Endowed Fellowship in American Jewish Studies.


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Presented by:

lecture

Mon, May 02
04:00PM
Mon, May 02
04:00PM

discussion

SOLD OUT: Family History Today: Ask a Genealogy Librarian – Research in Archives around the World

Join us for our first-ever genealogy Q & A session via Zoom. J.D. Arden, the Center for Jewish History’s Reference & Genealogy Librarian, will answer your questions about finding and contacting archives outside the U.S. and getting foreign-language documents translated. This program is appropriate for beginner and intermediate-level researchers and for people from all Jewish communities, including those of Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi descent. We highly recommend that you send us your most important question in advance by responding to your registration confirmation email.

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


Presented by:

discussion

Mon, May 02
07:30PM
Mon, May 02
07:30PM

concert

Marjorie Diener Blenden Annual Artist-in-Residence Concert – Live concert

Featuring Steven Beck, pianist

Program:

Aaron Copland, Piano Sonata
David Glaser, Nocturnes world premiere
Ursula Mamlok, 2000 Notes
Erich Korngold, Sonata No. 3

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED; NO TICKETS SOLD AT VENUE


Presented by:

concert

Thu, Apr 28
07:00PM
Thu, Apr 28
07:00PM

conversation

50 Years of LGBTQ Families: From the "Queer Death Drive" to the Jewish “Gayby Boom”

In the late 1960s, gay and lesbian Jews were condemned by many mainstream rabbis as members of a childless “death cult” and a threat to the continuity of the Jewish people. It was taken for granted, sometimes within the gay community itself, that same-sex couples could never fulfill the mitzvah of having children. Jump forward to today, and it is now socially expected that LGBTQ Jews will find partners, marry, have children, belong to a synagogue, and send their children to Jewish camps and schools. How did this extraordinary shift take place? Join Dr. Gregg Drinkwater and Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman as they discuss the Jewish “Gayby Boom” and how the presence of children changed the LGBTQ Jewish world. Topics will include the targeting of gay men as a threat to children (for Jews, a trope linked to classic antisemitism); “turkey baster babies” and how reproductive technology served queer families; the changing dynamics within LGBTQ synagogues once children and schools became common; PFLAG and the political power of potential grandparents; the evolution of new relationship and family structures; and how heteronormativity has been both accepted and disrupted by LGBTQ families.


Presented by:

conversation

Thu, Apr 28
07:00PM
Thu, Apr 28
07:00PM

panel discussion

Identity Between Worlds: Hungarian-Jewish Cultural Achievement Before and After the Holocaust – Live Event

In the early 20th century, Budapest was the second-largest Jewish city in Europe, and Jewish artists and intellectuals played a major role in the city’s cosmopolitan cultural life. Highly acculturated and often comfortable in multiple languages including Hungarian and German, these cultural luminaries constructed personal and professional identities that transcended borders in a culturally fluid Mitteleuropa. Journalist Kati Marton and social historian András Koerner will discuss the complex role of national identity in the lives and work of Hungarian Jews, and how it was transformed by the political upheavals of the early twentieth century as well as the Holocaust. They will also explore the legacies of some of the most exceptional survivors. Rafael Pastor, son of the Hungarian-Jewish theater and cinema director and impresario and journalist, Bela Pasztor, will participate and moderate.

For those who cannot come in person, the program will also be streamed on Zoom, and LBI’s Facebook and YouTube pages. If you would like to receive the streaming links the day of the event, please select "Digital Admission" when you register on Eventbrite.

About the Speakers
András Koerner was born in in Budapest, where he studied architecture. In 1967, he continued his career as an architect in the United States.  Since his retirement, he dedicates his time to writing richly illustrated social histories and organizing exhibitions related to Jewish life in Hungary. His recent publications include: Jewish Cuisine in Hungary–A Cultural History with 83 Authentic Recipes (2019, Central European University Press) and How they Lived–The Everyday Lives of Hungarian Jews, published in two volumes covering the period between 1867–1940 (CEU Press, 2015 and 2016).

Kati Marton is the New York Times-bestselling author of nine books, including The Chancellor–The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel (2021), and Enemies of the People–My Family's Journey to America (2010). Her 2007 book, The Great Escape, tells the stories of nine extraordinary men who grew up during Budapest's brief Golden Age and fled antisemitism to the West, where they changed the world. An award-winning former NPR correspondent and ABC News bureau chief in Germany, Kati Marton was born in Hungary and lives in New York City.

Rafael Pastor (moderator) is a former business executive and currently a member of various Boards who was born in Israel to Holocaust-surviving Hungarian parents and emigrated to the United States when he was nine years old. In 2018, a book —Entertaining between Worlds: Bela Pasztor (1895-1966) and his Era — was published about the life and times of Rafael’s father, a prominent Jewish-Hungarian theater and film director and journalist who worked in Hungary, Israel, and Germany. Rafael's own career has spanned the media, education, and financial services sectors. He was Chairman of the Board and CEO of Vistage International, the world’s largest for-profit CEO membership company. Previously, he held CEO/President and other senior executive positions at Hoyts Cinemas Corporation, USA Networks, News Corporation, Fox Television, and CBS/Fox Video.

Please note that this event will be held in person at the Center for Jewish History. As of this time, vaccination is required to enter the CJH, and masks must be worn at all times. More information is available here.


Presented by:

panel discussion

Wed, Apr 27
02:00PM
Wed, Apr 27
02:00PM

book club

LBI Book Club: The Journal I Did Not Keep

About the Book
From the award-winning New Yorker writer comes this essential volume spanning almost six decades. Admired for “a voice unlike any other” (Cynthia Ozick) and a style both “wry and poignant” (The New Yorker), Lore Segal is a master literary stylist. This volume collects some of her finest work—including new and uncollected writing—and selections from her novels, stories, and essays. From her very first story—which appeared in The New Yorker in 1961—to today, Segal’s voice has been unique in contemporary American literature: Hilarious and urbane, heartbreaking and profound, keen and utterly unsentimental.

Segal has often used her own biography as both subject and inspiration: At age ten she was sent on the Kindertransport from Vienna to England to escape the Nazi invasion of Austria; grew up among English foster families; and eventually made her way to the United States. This experience was the impetus for her first novel, Other People’s Houses, and one that she has revisited throughout her career. From that beginning, Segal’s writing has ranged widely across form as well as subject matter. Her flawless prose and light touch belie the rigor and intelligence she brings to her art—qualities that were not missed by the New York Times reviewer who pointedly observed, “though it was not written by a man . . . Segal may have come closer than anyone to writing The Great American Novel.” With this volume comes a long-awaited career retrospective of an important American Writer. (Text excerpted from Amazon)

About the Author
We are pleased to welcome Lore Segal back as a special guest to our book club. Members will remember her joining us for her novel Her First American.

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

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

You can watch Lore Segal talk about her life and work here and here.

Purchasing the Book
The book can be found or ordered through numerous bookstores and libraries. One option is to order it via Amazon here.


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Presented by:

book club

Wed, Apr 27
07:30PM
Wed, Apr 27
07:30PM

concert

Forbidden Music: Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis

On Erev Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Commemoration Day)
featuring Ulrike Anton, flute
the Selini String Quartet
and students from the Mannes School of Music at the New School - Mannes Sound Festival

Featuring:
Hans Gál, Concertino for Flute and String Quartet, op. 82
Alexandre Tansman,Suite for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon
Lieder by Robert Fürstenthal and Julius Bürger
Erwin Schulhoff, Divertissement for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon


Presented by:

concert

Sun, Apr 24
02:00PM
Sun, Apr 24
02:00PM

yiddish club

YIVO Yiddish Club: Zalmen Mlotek and Yiddish Theater Today

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

This session features Zalmen Mlotek, conductor, composer, pianist, and the artistic director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF), the longest continuously running Yiddish theatre in the world.

Mlotek is an internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theater music as well as creator of new musicals such as The Golden Land which toured Italy under the sponsorship of Leonard Bernstein and Those Were The Days, nominated for two Tony Awards. As the artistic director of the NYTF for the past twenty years, Mlotek helped revive Yiddish classics, instituted simultaneous English and Russian supertitles at performances and brought leading creative artists of television, theatre and film, such as Itzhak Perlman, Mandy Patinkin, Sheldon Harnick, Ron Rifkin and Joel Grey to the Yiddish stage. His vision has propelled classics, including NYTF productions of the world premiere of Isaac Bashevis Singer's Yentl in Yiddish (1998), Di Yam Gazlonim (The Yiddish Pirates of Penzance, 2006) the 1923 Rumshinky operetta The Golden Bride (2016), and the critically acclaimed Fidler Afn Dakh (Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, 2018). During his tenure at the NYTF, the theatre company has been nominated or received over ten Drama Desk Awards and four Lucille Lortel Awards.


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Presented by:

yiddish club

Thu, Apr 14
01:00PM
Thu, Apr 14
01:00PM

lecture

Modernism in the Ghetto: Propaganda in the Graphic Design of Documents Produced by the Lodz Judenrat

Max Weinreich Fellowship Lecture in East European Arts, Music, and Theater

Unlike most of those who created them, a large number of documents produced by the Lodz Ghetto Judenrat survived the Holocaust. Among them is a unique collection of albums and posters made by Jewish artists employed in the Lodz Ghetto Graphics Office—a unit specially set up in May 1940 to provide visual presentations of statistical data produced by the Ghetto’s Statistical Department. The compositions on the album pages and boards, which engage modernist photo-collage techniques, use their layouts to connect text, graphs, and diagrams with photo-montages of pictures taken in the ghetto. The narrative and form of these Judenrat's official visual documents resembled industrial advertising and propaganda. They provide a positive yet false image of the conditions in the ghetto, a vision that was created not only for a contemporary audience, but also with the future recipients in mind – historians, who would evaluate the actions of the ghetto's administrators after the war.

In this lecture, Pawel Michna will uncover the artistic contexts of these unique and little known documents, of which the preeminent specimens are held in the YIVO Archives. He will analyze the role played by those documents in Lodz ghetto politics and how they were influenced by modern artistic movements such as the constructivist avant-garde. Also to be addressed will be the dissonance of a contemporary reading of documents created during the Holocaust but which contain no indication of its horrors and suffering. Finally, he will consider the question of how these documents, which present a false picture of the ghetto, convey important knowledge about the Shoah.

About the Speaker
Pawel Michna graduated from the Department of Art History at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. He is currently a PhD Student in the Department of Anthropology of Literature and Cultural Studies at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, where he is working on a project on the functioning of the Graphic Office in Lodz? Ghetto. His research interests focus on politically and socially engaged art from interwar avant-garde to contemporary art and Holocaust Studies, particularly art and visual documents created during Shoah. In 2020 he received The Ruth and Joseph Kremen Memorial Fellowship in YIVO Institute and Gerald D. Feldman Travel Grant awarded by the Max Weber Foundation.


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Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Apr 13
01:00PM
Wed, Apr 13
01:00PM

lecture

Sephardi Thought and Modernity 2022 Webinar Series - Continuity and Rupture in Sephardi Modernities: Middle Eastern and North African Jews in Paris: A Forgotten Chapter

Speakers: Julia Philips Cohen (Vanderbilt University) and Devi Mays (University of Michigan)

This seminar is part of the 2nd edition of the Sephardi Thought and Modernity Series (2022) and intends to continue the exploration of Sephardic modernities initiated in 2021. In this second edition, we will focus on the question of continuity and rupture as a way to deepen our dialogue about the different forms that modernity has adopted throughout Sephardi history. We will discuss questions such as the meaning of the concept of “modernity” in non-European contexts such as the Levant and/or the Arab world. We will explore how non-European Jewish societies developed ways of life and practices that synthesized tradition, change and cultural diversity throughout time. We will delve into Sephardi intellectual life, cosmopolitanism, cultural belongings, language, translation and mobility.


Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Apr 13
01:00PM
Wed, Apr 13
01:00PM

book talk

Free as a Jew: A New Memoir by Ruth Wisse

In her new book, Free as a Jew: A Personal Memoir of National Self-Liberation, Harvard professor emerita Ruth R. Wisse reflects on her experience fleeing the Holocaust as a child, living through the birth of the State of Israel, and teaching Yiddish literature and Comparative Literature at Harvard University for more than 20 years. Wisse’s reminiscences include stories about growing up in the Jewish community of Montreal and vivid memories of meeting and interacting with great figures of the Yiddish cultural world such as Itzik Manger, Avrom Sutzkever, Chaim Grade, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Chava Rosenfarb, Rokhl Korn, Max and Uriel Weinreich, Lucy Dawidowicz, Irving Howe, and Mordecai Gebirtig. Join YIVO for a discussion of Wisse’s new book focusing on the Yiddish and literary side of Wisse’s fascinatory story. A special collaboration with the Yiddish Book Center, this event will feature Wisse in conversation with author and founder of the Yiddish Book Center, Aaron Lansky.

Purchase the book.

About the Speakers
Ruth R. Wisse was Professor of Yiddish literature and Comparative Literature at Harvard University from 1993–2014 and before that, helped found the Jewish Studies Department at McGill University. Currently a senior fellow at the Tikvah Fund and recipient of its Herzl Prize, she has written widely on cultural and political subjects for the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, National Affairs, and other publications. Her books include The Schlemiel as Modern HeroThe Modern Jewish Canon: A Journey Through Literature and CultureNo Joke: Making Jewish HumorIf I Am Not for Myself: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews, and Jews and Power. In 2007, she was awarded the National Medal for the Humanities, and in 2004, an Honorary Degree by Yeshiva University.

Aaron Lansky is founder and president of the Yiddish Book Center. He holds a BA in modern Jewish history from Hampshire College and an MA in East European Jewish studies from McGill University, where he studied with Professor Wisse in the late 1970s. Over the years Mr. Lansky has received numerous awards and recognitions for his groundbreaking work to recover, digitize, translate, and celebrate modern Yiddish literature and culture, including honorary doctorates from Amherst College, the State University of New York, and Hebrew Union College, and a so-called “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation. His bestselling book, Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books, won the Massachusetts Book Award in Nonfiction.


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Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Apr 13
07:30PM
Wed, Apr 13
07:30PM

concert

Musical Chairs: Four Hands and Strings from Bach to Chopin

Join the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble featuring Ellen Braslavsky, Vassa Shevel and Inessa Zaretsky on piano, Anna Elashvili on violin, and Raman Ramakrishnan on cello for this eclectic program.

Program
Bach, Sicilianne - 4 hands arrangement by the Scott Brothers
Brahms, Sonata for violin and piano in D minor Op.108
Mendelssohn, Hebriden overture, Arr. for piano 4 hands, violin and cello

Intermission

Schubert, Lebenssturme, Op.144 for piano, 4 hands
Schumann, Bilder aus Osten, Op.66 for piano 4 hands
Chopin, Introduction and Polonaise Brillante for cello and piano
Manuel de Falla, Danse No.1 from La Vida Breve - arranged for piano, 6 hands by Paolo Savio

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

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

Proof of vaccination is required and mask wearing is mandatory throughout the building. Click here for our COVID-19 policy


Presented by:

concert

Tue, Apr 12
05:30PM
Tue, Apr 12
05:30PM

exhibit opening

Theresienstadt Exhibition Opening Featuring Zuzana Justman: Last Stop Before the Last Stop

Over 80 years have passed since the first transport of Jews arrived in Theresienstadt. Still, the Nazi transit camp just forty miles from Prague remains misunderstood. Much of the evidence that has survived was produced or shaped by the perpetrators: films made for purposes of Nazi propaganda, artwork created under strict supervision, and censored letters sent from the camp.

But the truth of Theresienstadt survives in memoirs, diaries, and other artifacts. The Leo Baeck Institute's new exhibition, Last Stop Before the Last Stop, reveals the inmates’ experience of the grim reality of Theresienstadt. What can we learn from the history of Theresienstadt for today and the future?

Beginning at 5:30 PM, we invite you to visit this exhibit in the Katherine and Clifford H. Goldsmith Gallery. At 6:30 PM, we will be joined via Zoom in our Great Hall for a live discussion with Zuzana Justman, a child survivor of Terezin. In our conversation with her, we will talk about daily life in the ghetto, exposing fallacies and realities of its history and the suffering and murder of its prisoners. Justman will then take questions from the live audience.

Please note that this event will be held in person at the Center for Jewish History. As of this time, vaccination is required to enter the CJH, and masks must be worn at all times. More information is available here. For those who cannot visit in person, Justman's opening remarks will also be streamed on our Facebook and YouTube pages.


Presented by:

exhibit opening

Sun, Apr 10
12:00PM
Sun, Apr 10
12:00PM

lecture

Why is the Sephardi Haggadah different from all other Haggadot?

Let us explore the fine details of different geographic Minhagim in the Sephardi world with Rabbi Albert Gabbai.

This event will be a hybrid event. For those interested in joining in-person at Congregation Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia, please contact us at drora@americansephardi.org


Presented by:

lecture

Thu, Apr 07
12:00PM
Thu, Apr 07
12:00PM

book talk

Hope Is Stronger Than Life: the Vilna Ghetto Diary of Zelig Kalmanovich

Zelig Kalmanovich (1885-1944) was a Yiddish linguist, translator, and a central member of YIVO's pre-war Vilna staff. Kalmanovich kept a vivid diary during his time in the Vilna Ghetto describing daily life, the hopes and efforts of the people to retain humanity, and his thoughts about the future of the Jewish people and Jewish culture. A new publication by the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History in Vilnius, Lithuania unites fragments of his diary from YIVO's collection in New York and their collection in Vilnius for the first-ever publication in English of this important testimony. Translated by Olga Lempert, the book contains essays providing background and context from editors Stanislovas Stasiulis and Saule Valiunaite.

Join YIVO for a panel discussion celebrating this publication featuring editors Stasiulis and Valiunaite, joined by Lara Lempertien?, head of the Judaica Department at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, and moderated by Professor Samuel Kassow.

Purchase the book.


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Presented by:

book talk

Thu, Apr 07
05:30PM
Thu, Apr 07
05:30PM

book launch

Elaine Black Yoneda: Jewish Immigration, Labor Activism, and Japanese American Exclusion and Incarceration – Live Event & Livestreamed on Zoom

Join us for the launch of Elaine Black Yoneda: Jewish Immigration, Labor Activism, and Japanese American Exclusion and Incarceration (Temple University Press, December 2021) with author Rachel Schreiber, PhD (Executive Dean, Parsons School of Design). During World War II, Elaine Black Yoneda, the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, spent eight months in a concentration camp—not in Europe, but in California. She did this voluntarily and in solidarity, insisting on accompanying her husband, Karl, and their son, Tommy, when they were incarcerated at the Manzanar Relocation Center. Elaine Black Yoneda is the first critical biography of this pioneering feminist and activist. Rachel Schreiber deftly traces Yoneda’s life as she became invested in radical politics and interracial and inter-ethnic labor activism. Schreiber illuminates the ways Yoneda’s work challenged dominant discourses and how she reconciled the contradictory political and social forces that shaped both her life and her family’s. Highlighting the dangers of anti-immigrant and anti-Asian xenophobia, Elaine Black Yoneda recounts an extraordinary life. It has been optioned to be produced as a feature film.

This program is live but is also being livestreamed on Zoom. If you register you will receive the Zoom link in case you cannot attend in person.

Location:

The New School - University Center
Starr Foundation Hall
63 5th Avenue, New York, NY

Visitors to The New School must show proof of vaccination. All guests must abide by The New School’s mask policy.


Presented by:

book launch

Thu, Apr 07
07:30PM
Thu, Apr 07
07:30PM

concert

EXILE: Music of the Early Modern Jewish Diaspora – Live event!

The ensemble Incantare, in collaboration with Rutgers faculty and specialists in early music, explores the continuities and influences between Jewish and non-Jewish music and musicians in Renaissance and early-modern Europe. The program sheds new light on the powerful role played by Jews in the formation of musical culture during this volatile period, when the foundations of the European musical tradition were forged.

EXILE is closely tied to the forthcoming book Music and Jewish Culture in Early Modern Italy: New Perspectives, coedited by Lynette Bowring, Rebecca Cypess, and Liza Malamut. As explained by Dr. Cypess, of Mason Gross School of the Arts, the book “demonstrates that musical culture was fluid and shared between Jews and non-Jews, and that this shared cultural space involved complexities of identity and meaning.”

Jews are often thought of as segregated from their non-Jewish neighbors in Europe, especially through physical barriers such as the walls of the Italian ghettos. But the reality was more complex than this, says Cypess: “While Jews were subject to many restrictions and even persecution, there was extensive contact and collaboration between Jews and non-Jews. Professional Jewish musicians, theorists, and instrument builders participated actively in the musical life of early-modern European cities.”

The concert will feature Incantare’s core ensemble of violins and sackbuts with singer specialists Jolle Greenleaf, Clara Osowski, Garrett Eucker, and Jonathan Woody; as well as special guests and author contributors Dongmyung Ahn on violin, Rebecca Cypess on organ and harpsichord, and Lynette Bowring joining the narration. The concert will contain narration and commentary on the music.

Please note that this event will be held in person at the Center for Jewish History. As of this time, vaccination is required to enter the CJH, and masks must be worn at all times. More information is available here.


Presented by:

concert

Wed, Apr 06
12:00PM
Wed, Apr 06
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: Anthology of Religious Poetry from the Mexican Inquisition Trials of 16th-Century CryptoJews

A century after being expelled from Portugal, cryptoJews in Mexico, false converts to Christianity, could not speak of their beliefs for fear of becoming embroiled in the imprisonment, torture, and death in flames that characterized the Inquisition. Without written texts, the Jewish liturgy lost, clans of cryptoJews created a unique body of religious poetry, connecting them to the Laws of Moses, seeking redemption from sin, or hoping for an escape from their embittered lives. The Carvajal clan was led by Luis el Mozo, an alumbrado, a mystic, and his Judaizing sisters. Once discovered to be secretly practicing Judaism, years of suffering at the hands of the Inquisitors were meticulously recorded in the transcripts of their long demeaning trials. The Carvajal's friends, spouses, children and grandchildren were implicated as Judaizers, with many being reconciled by the Church to secular authorities to be burned alive at massive public ceremonies. The burning of Luis and his sisters was the main attraction for cheering crowds at the auto de fé of 1596 in Mexico City. The cruelty of the Inquisitors was matched by their attention to legal detail and testimonies made at trial. Buried within thousands of pages of transcripts, hiding in library special collections of rare books around the world are the only remnants of the religious poetry that sustained cryptoJews hiding in Mexico. Anthology uncovers these hidden treasures!

About the Author
Mark A. Schneegurt is an author, educator, scientist, and entrepreneur. His books range from scholarly works on science, religion, and literature to popular books on The Beatles. He has authored 80+ publications and has made 200+ public presentations of his works.


Presented by:

book talk

Mon, Apr 04
04:00PM
Mon, Apr 04
04:00PM

book talk

The Murders of Moisés Ville: The Rise and Fall of the Jerusalem of South America – Live on Zoom

When Argentine journalist Javier Sinay discovers an article from 1947 by his great-grandfather detailing 22 murders that had occurred in Moisés Ville at the end of the 19th century, he launches his own investigation that soon turns into something deeper: an exploration of the history of Moisés Ville, one of the first Jewish agricultural communities in Argentina, and Sinay’s own connection to this historically thriving Jewish settlement.

Seeking refuge from the pogroms of Czarist Russia, a group of Jewish immigrants founded Moisés Ville in the late 1880s. Like their town’s prophetic namesake, these immigrants fled one form of persecution only to encounter a different set of hardships: exploitative land prices, starvation, illness, language barriers, and a series of murders perpetrated by roving gauchos who preyed upon their vulnerability. Sinay, though a descendant of these immigrants, is unfamiliar with this turbulent history, and his research into the spate of violence plunges him into his family’s past and their link to Moisés Ville. He combs through libraries and archives in search of documents about the murders and hires a book detective to track down issues of Der Viderkol, the first Yiddish newspaper in Argentina, which was started by his great-grandfather. Through interviews with his family members, current residents of Moisés Ville, historians, and archivists, Sinay compiles moving portraits of the victims of these murders and reveals the fascinating and complex history of the town once known as the “Jerusalem of South America.”

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


Presented by:

book talk

Sun, Apr 03
03:00PM
Sun, Apr 03
03:00PM

film festival

New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival at the Moise Safra Center

The New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival (NYSJFF) returns this year, celebrating its 24th anniversary, with movie premières, award ceremonies, filmmaker Q&As, a fashion show with Elie Tahari, and live music! 

This special edition, dedicated to Ike, Molly, & Steven Elias is being presented in partnership with and at the beautiful Moise Safra Center (130 E 82nd St., NYC) from 3-7 April 2022

ASF Pomegranate Award Honorees in attendance:
André Aciman (Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Caroline Aaron (Lifetime Achievement for Acting)
Lainie Kazan (Lifetime Achievement Award for Acting)
The Blacklist’s Amir Arison (Achievement Award for Acting)
Neta Elkayam (Achievement Award for Music)
Violeta Salama (Ronit Elkabetz, A”H Rising Star)


Presented by:

film festival

Thu, Mar 31
01:00PM
Thu, Mar 31
01:00PM

lecture

Hidden Connections, Unintended Consequences: American Jews, Contraband Trades, and Soviet Borders in the 1920s

On a cold early spring night in 1926, one Gerchik Botvinnik was apprehended by Soviet border guards while riding in his horse-drawn cart along a Belorussian country road. Among the wads of bills that the soldiers found stuffed in his pockets were some 405 US dollars (approximately $6,000 today). An investigation determined that Botvinnik obtained the dollars earlier that night by selling saccharin that had been smuggled in from nearby Poland. Botvinnik’s case was one of hundreds of thousands of seizures of contraband effected by Soviet authorities in the 1920s in a far-reaching struggle against smuggling. But the US banknotes that financed his operations were some of the millions of dollars that American Jews sent to their Soviet brethren with the Soviet government’s own encouragement.

The mixing of these two flows—the legal transatlantic remittances and the cross-border contraband—in Botvinnik’s pockets was no accident, and no exception. Drawing on original archival research in Europe and the United States, Andrey Shlyakhter uncovers the role that American Jews played, both wittingly and unwittingly, in the contraband trade that flourished across the Soviet borders. Linking philanthropists, bankers, union organizers, seamstresses, and furriers in New York and Chicago with politicians, merchants, trappers, smugglers, and everyday consumers in the Soviet Union and its neighbors, this is a history of hidden connections and unintended consequences.

About the Speaker
Dr. Andrey Shlyakhter is an international historian of the Soviet Union and its neighbors. His research explores the interaction of economics, security, and ideology at state frontiers. Dr. Shlyakhter received his PhD from the University of Chicago in December 2020 with the dissertation “Smuggler States: Poland, Latvia, Estonia, and Contraband Trade Across the Soviet Frontier, 1919-1924,” which was honored with a 2021 Ab Imperio Annual Award and is a finalist for the 2022 Herman E. Krooss Prize for Best Dissertation in Business History. Since taking his degree, Dr. Shlyakhter has been a Jacyk Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto; a Title VIII Research Scholar at the Kennan Institute of the Wilson Center; the 2021 Fisher Fellow at the Virtual Summer Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and most recently, the 2021-2022 Dina Abramowicz Emerging Scholar Fellow in Eastern European Jewish Studies at YIVO, where he conducted archival research for his postdoctoral book project, Smuggling Across the Soviet Borders: Contraband Trades, Soviet Solutions, and the Shadow Economic Origins of the Iron Curtain, 1917-1932.


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Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Mar 30
12:00PM
Wed, Mar 30
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: Jews in Old Postcards and Prints

Jews in Old Postcards and Prints is a collection of vintage postcards and antique prints annotated by Lars Fischer. The book sheds a thoughtful light on the history of Jews in Europe and around the Mediterranean, mainly in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and invites readers to reflect on the ways in which both Jews and non-Jews used postcards and prints to portray Jews, their communities, culture and institutions. Above all, the book celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of Jewish life and culture in the “golden age” of the postcard, of a world largely extinguished by the Shoah and the expulsion of Jews from Northern Africa.

About the Author
Lars Fischer’s scholarship and publications focus on the history and conceptualization of antisemitism, Jewish/non-Jewish relations, and Frankfurt School Critical Theory. Fischer has taught at UCL, King’s College London and the University of Cambridge and served as Secretary of the British Association for Jewish Studies and Councillor of the Royal Historical Society.

For more about the book: vintage-press.co.uk


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Mar 30
07:00PM
Wed, Mar 30
07:00PM

lecture

Family History Today: Learn Just Enough Russian for Genealogy

Start by learning the Russian (or Cyrillic) alphabet, both printed and handwritten, and graduate to stringing letters together to form words and names with the guidance of Jane Neff Rollins, a professional genealogist and Russian translator for genealogy databases. With this overview and a bit of practice, attendees will be able to identify family names and basic genealogical terms in handwritten vital record registers and printed business directories. 

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


Presented by:

lecture

Sun, Mar 27
02:00PM
Sun, Mar 27
02:00PM

yiddish club

YIVO Yiddish Club: Migle Anusauskaite and Her Yiddish Cartoons

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

This session features Migle Anušauskaite, a Judaica researcher and a cartoonist from Lithuania. She has worked in the Judaica Research Center of the National Library of Lithuania for almost 5 years, primarily with Yiddish manuscripts from the interwar period. Apart from her direct responsibilities and participation in the Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Online Collections project, Migle has worked extensively with texts and translations, from Yiddish and English to Lithuanian. She has translated two non-fiction books from English and an autobiography from Yiddish to Lithuanian and English. She has recently made 3 small comic books about the culture of Ashkenazi Jews. Since her first Yiddish Summer Program in 2017, Migle has become an avid participant in Yiddish programs, both online and in person. She has made many comics about her experiences in the Yiddish programs, some of which will be shared during the talk.


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Presented by:

yiddish club

Sun, Mar 27
02:30PM
Sun, Mar 27
02:30PM

film and panel discussion

In Celebration of “the Samaritans: a Biblical People” – Live Event

This culmination of the Yeshiva University Israelite Samaritans Project features a special first viewing and discussion of our documentary film Samaritans: A Biblical People with Filmmaker Moshe Alafi, Prof. Steven Fine and Prof. Erica Brown and book launches for The Samaritans: A Biblical People (Brill and YU Press, 2022) and The Samaritan Cookbook (Wipf and Stock, 2021).

A special exhibit of Jewish Artists Encounter Samaritan Culture, a joint project with the Jewish Art Salon, begins at 2 pm.


Presented by:

film and panel discussion

Fri, Mar 25
12:00PM
Fri, Mar 25
12:00PM

panel discussion

Using Personal Stories in Online Projects: Women’s Stories in the Shared History Project

Historical accounts have neglected women or been dominated by narratives about men. Yet over the centuries many women defied contemporary gender norms and paved the way for future generations of women and men. In recent decades, scholars have devoted more attention to the role of women in history. This required new perspectives on how to capture the historical narratives of women. How can the diaries, letters, and other material artifacts saved by the women and their families and preserved today in archives and museums help us understand the history of women’s experiences and the significance of gender in German-Jewish history in particular?

The Shared History Project – created by the Leo Baeck Institute New York | Berlin (LBI) – uses an innovative approach to presenting the history of German-speaking Jews that includes women, children, and everyday life. LBI has created a website that presents 58 artifacts (from over 50 different archives and museums) and tells stories about 1,700 years of Jewish life in German-speaking lands. With the help of historical essays and personal stories written by more than 60 scholars, archivists, and museum experts, this project helps academic and non-academic audiences understand the role of women and gender in historical events by focusing on themes like migration, inclusion, exclusion, persecution, resilience, as well as religion and the religious community.

This roundtable will use the SHP to illuminate how women’s lives were influential throughout the 1,700 years represented by these 58 objects. The discussion among three scholars will use artifacts as a starting point to tell stories about individual women and to address specific questions about how these stories contribute to broader social and historical narratives.

About the Speakers
Professor Rebecca Rovit, Associate Professor of Theater and Dance, University of Kansas. Dr. Rovit’s expertise on the cultural heritage of the Holocaust is evident her microhistory, The Jewish Kulturbund Theatre Company in Nazi Berlin (2012) and co-edited Theatrical Performance during the Holocaust (1999), a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. She has published widely in such journals as PAJTDRTheatre SurveyTheatre History Studies, and The Journal of Holocaust and Genocide Studies. She was Editor of the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism (2015-2018). Dr. Rovit has received fellowships from the ACLS, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the American Philosophical Society, DAAD, and the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board & Austrian-American Educational Commission. As a Fulbright Specialist (Theatre and Genocide, 2018-2023), she taught at the University of Vienna (2019), where she also organized a symposium on the Arts, Genocide, and Memorialization. This was a return visit to Vienna, where she was a Fulbright-IFK Senior Scholar in Cultural Studies (2016-17). She received a KU Hall Center of Humanities Resident Faculty Fellowship in Fall 2020 for her current book project on German-language theatre in Berlin and Vienna under multinational occupation, “Theatre from the Rubble of War, 1945-1955.” For the SHP, Rovit wrote about the biography of Gerda Lichtenstein.

Professor Lisa Silverman, Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Silverman specializes in modern German and Austrian Jewish cultural history, with a focus on visual culture, gender, and antisemitism. She is author of Becoming Austrians: Jews and Culture between the World Wars (Oxford, 2012) and co-author with Daniel H. Magilow of two editions of Holocaust Representations in History: an Introduction (Bloomsbury, 2015; 2019). In 2022 she will serve as the Michael Hauck Visiting Professor for Interdisciplinary Holocaust Research at the Fritz Bauer Institute for the History and Impact of the Holocaust at the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She is currently completing the manuscript for her next book: The Postwar Antisemite: Culture and Complicity after the Holocaust. For the SHP, Silverman wrote about the painting Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt.

Professor Magda Teter, Professor of History and Shvidler Chair of Judaic Studies at Fordham University. Teter is a scholar of early modern history, specializing in Jewish history, Jewish-Christian relations, cultural, legal, and social history, as well as the history of transmission of historical knowledge in the premodern and modern periods. She is a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research and the author of Jews and Heretics in Catholic Poland (Cambridge, 2005), Sinners on Trial (Harvard, 2011), Blood Libel: On the Trail of An Antisemitic Myth (Harvard, 2020) and two edited volumes, as well as numerous articles in English, Hebrew, Italian, and Polish. Teter’s work has been supported by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, YIVO Institute, and the Yad Ha-Nadiv Foundation (Israel), among others. For the SHP, Teter wrote about women as co-victims in the blood libel trials in 15th century.

William H. Weitzer, Ph.D., Moderator, became the John H. Slade Executive Director of the Leo Baeck Institute in January, 2013. Weitzer, formerly the Executive Vice President at Fairfield University in Connecticut, has over thirty years of experience in academic administration, budget and finance, fund raising, community relations, and program evaluation. In his role as Executive Director, he has overseen and written about LBI’s transition to an archive in the digital age.


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Presented by:

panel discussion

Thu, Mar 24
12:30PM
Thu, Mar 24
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Ben Mankiewicz

Julie Salamon (Wall Street Journal and NY Times) sits down with television personality, political commentator, and film critic Ben Mankiewicz. Ben is a host of Turner Classic Movies including their hit podcast The Plot Thickens, as well as hosting CBS Sunday Morning’s Screen Time, and What the Flick?! on The Young Turks Network.

Julie Salamon is a New York Times best-selling author, critic and storyteller. She was a reporter and film critic for The Wall Street Journaland then a TV critic and arts reporter for The New York Times. Her twelve books include the Hollywood classic The Devil’s Candy -and Wendy and the Lost Boys,an acclaimed biography of playwright Wendy Wasserstein. Julie has just completed "Unlikely Friends," a memoir available on Audible, and season two of TCM’s hit podcast The Plot Thickens which was named by the New York Times as one of the top ten podcasts for 2021.


Presented by:

conversation

Wed, Mar 23
11:00AM
Wed, Mar 23
11:00AM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran

Join us for New Works Wednesdays with Associate Professor Lior Sternfeld as he discusses his book Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran.

About the Book
Iran is home to the largest Jewish population in the Middle East, outside of Israel. At its peak in the twentieth century, the population numbered around 100,000; today about 25,000 Jews live in Iran. "Between Iran and Zion" offers the first history of this vibrant community over the course of the last century, from the 1905 Constitutional Revolution through the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Over this period, Iranian Jews grew from a peripheral community into a prominent one that has made clear impacts on daily life in Iran.

About the Author
Lior is an associate professor of history and Jewish Studies. He is a social historian of the modern Middle East with particular interests in the histories of the Jewish people and other minorities of the region. His first book, titled “Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran,” (Stanford University Press, 2018) examines, against the backdrop of Iranian nationalism, Zionism, and constitutionalism, the development and integration of Jewish communities in Iran into the nation-building projects of the last century. He is currently working on two book projects: “The Origins of Third Worldism in the Middle East” and a new study of the Iranian-Jewish Diaspora in the U.S. and Israel. He teaches on the modern Middle East, Iran, Jewish histories of the region, and Israel-Palestine related classes.

For more about the book: https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=27883


Presented by:

book talk

Tue, Mar 22
12:00PM
Tue, Mar 22
12:00PM

lecture

Kavkazi, Georgian, and Bukharian Jews: At the Crossroads of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-Speaking Worlds

Part 3: Bukharian Jews

The histories and cultures of Bukharian, Kavkazi (Mountain), and Georgian Jews are situated at the unique intersection of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-Speaking Jewish (RSJ) identities. Through this 3-part learning series, we will explore the multilayered and rich stories of these millennia-old communities in Central Asia and the Caucasus—discovering the ways in which they have developed their mosaic cultures through dynamic interactions with the dominant and changing societies surrounding them. Our discussion will also shed light on how their experiences fit into the broader historical saga of the Jewish people.

About the Speaker
Ruben Shimonov is an educator, community builder, and social entrepreneur with a passion for Jewish diversity. He previously served as Director of Community Engagement and Education at Queens College Hillel. Currently, Ruben is the American Sephardi Federation’s National Director of Sephardi House and Young Leadership. He is also the Founding Executive Director of the Sephardic Mizrahi Q Network and Director of Educational Experiences & Programming for the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee. He is an alumnus of the COJECO Blueprint, Nahum Goldmann and ASF Broome & Allen Fellowships for his work in Jewish social innovation and Sephardic scholarship. He has been listed among The Jewish Week's "36 Under 36" Jewish community leaders and changemakers. Currently, he is a Jewish Pedagogies Research Fellow at M² | The Institute of Experiential Jewish Education. Ruben has lectured extensively on the histories and cultures of various Sephardic and Mizrahi communities. He is also a visual artist specializing in multilingual calligraphy that interweaves Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian.


Presented by:

lecture

Mon, Mar 21
08:00PM
Mon, Mar 21
08:00PM

lecture and concert

Laughing at Hitler: Soviet Yiddish Music and Humor during World War II – Live on Zoom

With Anna Shternshis and Psoy Korolenko

Based on a recently discovered archive in the Ukrainian National library, this lecture-concert presents a number of Yiddish songs created in the Soviet Union under the Nazi occupation, in the Red Army and in the Soviet Rear. Anna and Psoy will present Yiddish songs that ridicule the German Army and Nazi leaders, ones that address the tensions between Jewish refugees in Romanian-run ghettos in Transnistria (Bershad, Mogilev-Podolsk and Shargorod), and other humorous pieces.


Presented by:

lecture and concert

Thu, Mar 17
07:00PM
Thu, Mar 17
07:00PM

film and discussion

Chewdaism: A Taste of Jewish Montreal – Live Event!

CHEWDAISM: A Taste of Jewish Montreal is an hour-long documentary following Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman of "YidLife Crisis" fame as they discover the roots of Montreal's Jewish community through a series of classic Jewish eateries. As they tell this story, Batalion and Elman encounter various guests along the way, sharing tales and meals during a day's worth of eating in and around the city.

This screening will mark the New York premiere of the film and will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with Batalion and Elman.

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

About the Speakers
YidLife Crisis is a Yiddish comedy web series and Jewish cultural brand created by two friends, Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman, wanting to pay homage to the yiddishkayt in their upbringing and the Jewish comedic lens on life with which they were raised. With the initial support of the Shaping our Future Grants and the Bronfman Fellowships, they created “YidLife Crisis” as a love letter about modern Jewish identity, set mostly in Yiddish, making Jewish identity inclusive to all through the ice-breaking power of comedy. What started as a passion project turned into a hit with over 3,000,000 video views and 30,000 subscribers, global press, awards and accolades, appearances and shoots around the world, the collaboration of talent such as Mayim Bialik and Howie Mandel, and a chance to work with various organizations from Jewish community centers through academic institutions through comedy festivals.


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Presented by:

film and discussion

Wed, Mar 16
12:00PM
Wed, Mar 16
12:00PM

panel discussion

Russia's War on Ukraine: Perspectives from Jewish History – Live on Zoom

Join four distinguished scholars of Jewish, Russian, and Ukrainian studies in a discussion of how we can understand the war in Ukraine from the perspective of Jewish history and how the region's history may inform the future.

Jeffrey Veidlinger, moderator, University of Michigan, Chair of the Center for Jewish History’s Academic Advisory Council
David Fishman, Jewish Theological Seminary
Amelia Glaser, University of California, San Diego
Marci Shore, Yale University


About the Speakers:

David E. Fishman is professor of history at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He directs the Jewish Archival Survey in Ukraine, which discovers and describes the documentation on Jewish history found in Ukrainian archives. His most recent book, The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis won the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category.


Amelia Glaser is Associate Professor of Literature and endowed chair in Judaic Studies at UC San Diego. She is currently a fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, where she is writing a book about contemporary poetry and society in Ukraine. She is the author of Jews and Ukrainians in Russia’s Literary Borderlands (2012)and Songs in Dark Times: Yiddish Poetry of Struggle from Scottsboro to Palestine (2020).


Marci Shore is associate professor of history at Yale University and a regular visiting fellow at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna. She is the translator of Michal Glowinski's The Black Seasons and the author of Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation's Life and Death in Marxism, 1918-1968, The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe, and The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution. In 2018 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship for her current project titled “Phenomenological Encounters: Scenes from Central Europe.


Jeffrey Veidlinger is a professor of history and Judaic studies at the University of Michigan. He has been Chair of the Center for Jewish History’s Academic Advisory Council since 2021. His books, which include The Moscow State Yiddish Theater and In the Shadow of the Shtetl, have won a National Jewish Book Award, the Barnard Hewitt Award for Theatre Scholarship, two Canadian Jewish Book Awards, and the J. I. Segal Award.


Presented by:

panel discussion

Tue, Mar 15
02:00PM
Tue, Mar 15
02:00PM

panel discussion

Genealogical Resources for Researching Women at the Leo Baeck Institute

In this talk, Karen Franklin and Michael Simonson of the Leo Baeck Institute will explore resources in the archives that provide insight and information about the lives and stories of women. Through memoirs, diaries, letters, family trees and other resources, of which 90% have been digitized and are available online, the Leo Baeck Institute offers extensive documentation of the lives of German-Jewish women over the centuries.

Collections of interest to Jewish genealogists can be used in creative ways. From family trees that suggest the challenges women faced in childbirth and childcare, to newly created indices that make maiden names easier to find, to hundreds of interviews of Austrian Jewish refugees, created over the last 20 years, to many unexpected gems, etc. this material can offer new resources for looking at the less-studied lives of our families. LBI's Austrian Heritage Collection Gedenkdiener Ina Haider and Verena Rauch will also contribute to the discussion.

About the Speakers
Karen S. Franklin is the Director of Family History at Leo Baeck Institute, where she assists genealogists with family research and maintains relations with institutional partners in the genealogical field. She has served as chair of the Council of American Jewish Museums, the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, the Memorial Museums Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and as co-chair of the Board of Governors of JewishGen.org. A co-founder of the Obermayer German Jewish History Awards, she is currently on the board of the Southern Jewish Historical Society and is co-editor of the Memoirs Section of Southern Jewish History. Karen is the recipient of the 2018 IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michael Simonson is the Head of Public Outreach & Archivist at LBI. He has worked with countless genealogists in finding out more about their family history. He has given a number of genealogical talks for various Jewish genealogical societies over the 20 years he has worked for LBI.

Ina Haider and Verena Rauch are the Gedenkdiener for the Austrian Heritage Collection for 2021-2022.


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Presented by:

panel discussion

Mon, Mar 14
01:00PM
Mon, Mar 14
01:00PM

lecture

How to Do Research at YIVO: a Practical Introduction

The Archives and Library at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research represent the single largest and most comprehensive collection of materials on Eastern European Jewish civilization in the world. With some 23 million items in the YIVO Archives and nearly 400,000 volumes in all European languages in YIVO's Library, the possibilities for research are endless.

Join YIVO archivist Hallel Yadin for an overview on how to do research at YIVO. The program will cover what one can expect to find in YIVO's extensive archival and library holdings and how to access the collections. Yadin will also share tips on how to use YIVO's databases to effectively search for and organize materials. This event is open to anyone interested in doing online and/or in-person research at YIVO. All are welcome to attend: scholars, students, amateur researchers, and anyone who has ever been curious about YIVO's vast collections.

About the Speaker
Hallel Yadin is an Archivist at YIVO. Before coming to YIVO full-time, she interned in the YIVO Archives and worked as a research assistant at Rutgers University Special Collections/University Archives. She is completing an M.L.I.S. with an emphasis in archival studies at the University of Missouri, and holds a B.A. in history from Rutgers University. She has reading knowledge of Yiddish and French.


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Presented by:

lecture

Thu, Mar 10
07:00PM
Thu, Mar 10
07:00PM

film screening and discussion

Song Searcher: the Times and Toils of Moyshe Beregovsky – Live

Join YIVO for the American premiere screening of Song Searcher: The Times and Toils of Moyshe Beregovsky. This documentary film tells the story of musician and scholar Moyshe Beregovsky (Moisei Iakovlevich Beregovskii) who crisscrossed Ukraine with a phonograph in hand during the most dramatic years of Soviet history to record and study the traditional music of Ukrainian Jewry. Filmed on location in Ukraine and at YIVO in New York the film contains unique footage and archival recordings. Directed by Elena Yakovich and produced by Victorina Petrossiants, the documentary uses haunting historical images, heart-breaking testimony of survivor eyewitnesses, and commentary from renowned international scholars to recount the story of Beregovsky as well as of the people whose music Beregovsky studied. The music documented by Beregovsky is heard throughout the film in archival recordings and in live performances by contemporary klezmer musicians.

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


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Presented by:

film screening and discussion

Thu, Mar 10
07:00PM
Thu, Mar 10
07:00PM

discussion

50 Years of Queer Jewish Liturgy: A Look Back

Join Dr. Gregg Drinkwater and Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman as they look back at 50 years of LGBTQ Jewish liturgy. Drinkwater and Litman will reflect on key moments in the development of liturgy for LGBTQ-centered Jewish spiritual communities, examining prayers, poems, blessings, sermons, and rituals. Topics will include the often subtle queer subtexts found in Jewish liturgical material from LGBTQ synagogues in the 1970s; the spiritual practices sparked in those congregations by the trauma and urgency of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s; the interplay between the liturgical innovations of Jewish feminists and LGBTQ Jews; the turn toward more explicitly queer references in liturgy from the 1990s and 2000s; and Jewish liturgy centering transgender and nonbinary people developed in the last two decades.


Presented by:

discussion

Wed, Mar 09
01:00PM
Wed, Mar 09
01:00PM

lecture

Sephardi Thought and Modernity 2022 Webinar Series - Continuity and Rupture in Sephardi Modernities: Nostalgia as Critique: The Case of Jews in Egyptian Cinema

Speakers: Deborah Starr (Cornell University) and Eyal Sagui Bizawe (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) 

This seminar is part of the 2nd edition of the Sephardi Thought and Modernity Series (2022) and intends to continue the exploration of Sephardic modernities initiated in 2021. In this second edition, we will focus on the question of continuity and rupture as a way to deepen our dialogue about the different forms that modernity has adopted throughout Sephardi history. We will discuss questions such as the meaning of the concept of “modernity” in non-European contexts such as the Levant and/or the Arab world. We will explore how non-European Jewish societies developed ways of life and practices that synthesized tradition, change and cultural diversity throughout time. We will delve into Sephardi intellectual life, cosmopolitanism, cultural belongings, language, translation and mobility.


Presented by:

lecture

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

online class

All in the Mishpocheh: Intro to Jewish Genealogy at CJH

10 classes: Wednesdays, March 9, 16, 23, 30; April 6, 13, 27; May 4, 11 & 18
4:30 – 5:45 pm

Ready to take a deep dive into your family history?

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

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

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


Presented by:

online class

Tue, Mar 08
12:00PM
Tue, Mar 08
12:00PM

lecture

Iranian Jewry: A Brief History

Jews have lived in Iran for more than 2,000 years. This ancient community had its trials and tribulations, but remained until today. Despite all vicissitudes, Iranian Jews remained true to their roots and connected to their heritage for generations. Dr. Daniel Tsadik will provide an overview of the Jews in that region from ancient times until today.

About the Speaker
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.


Presented by:

lecture

Sun, Mar 06
12:00PM
Sun, Mar 06
12:00PM

lecture

Paving a New-Old Path: The Integration of Jewish Yemenite Folk Music in Israeli Art Music

The immigration of the Jews of Yemen to Israel began in the 13th century and lasts until this day. With them, Yemenite Jews brought their unique culture as reflected in their clothes, jewelry, food, art, dance and music. The presentation deals with the meeting of five Israeli composers from the first generation who were educated in the western music style, combining the folk Yemenite music that the immigrants brought with them. In analyzing the Jewish Yemenite folk music as well as music compositions influenced by these folk songs, the level of influence was checked in matters of folk vocal sound production, texture, typical intervals, modes and maqamat and other folk-Yemenite parameters. This research examines the ways any of those parameters appear in the concert music in pure, altered or complex way.

About the Speaker
Naama Perel-Tzadok completed her MA studies in Music Composition at Haifa University, Israel. She has written music for diverse ensembles, and today they are performed by different orchestras, ensembles and choirs in Israel. These days, she’s a lecturer at the technological college "Kineret", in the sound engineering department.


Presented by:

lecture

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

book talk

Becoming Elijah: Prophet of Transformation

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

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

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

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


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book talk

Wed, Mar 02
01:00PM
Wed, Mar 02
01:00PM

book talk

An Unchosen People: Jewish Political Reckoning in Interwar Poland

Reexamining the ideological ramifications of the so-called "Jewish Question," University of Chicago professor Kenneth B. Moss interrogates previous conceptions of Jewish agency in his new book, An Unchosen People: Jewish Political Reckoning in Interwar Poland. Moss investigates how Polish Jewish thinkers and activists, as well as ordinary people, reckoned with possibilities and limits of diaspora and Zionism. The book explores the bleak political reality for the largest Jewish community in interwar Europe as a minority population facing poverty, antisemitism, fascism, and nationalism.

Join Kenneth Moss in conversation with Stanford professor Steven Zipperstein for a discussion on this new publication and the history it unveils.

Buy the book.

About the Speakers
Kenneth B. Moss is Harriet and Ulrich E. Meyer Professor of Jewish History and the College at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Jewish Renaissance in the Russian Revolution, which won the Sami Rohr Prize of the National Jewish Book Council. His work has appeared in Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, Russian, German, and Portuguese as well as English.

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


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book talk

Mon, Feb 28
12:00PM
Mon, Feb 28
12:00PM

lecture

Jewish Languages Today: Endangered, Surviving, and Thriving

Throughout history Jews have spoken many languages, such as Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, Jewish Neo-Aramaic (Iraq-Iran), and Judeo-Malayalam (Southern India). Over the past two centuries, migrations and other historical events have led to many of these languages becoming endangered. At the same time, Jews are now engaging with these languages in postvernacular ways, such as through song and food, and new Jewish language varieties are developing, including Jewish English, Jewish Latin American Spanish, and Jewish French. This talk explains these developments and makes the case for the urgent need for documentation and reclamation.

About the Speaker
Dr. Sarah Benor is Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (Los Angeles campus) and Adjunct Professor (by courtesy) in the University of Southern California Linguistics Department. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in Linguistics in 2004. She has published and lectured widely about Jewish languages, linguistics, Yiddish, American Jews, and Orthodox Jews. Her books include Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism (Rutgers, 2012) and Hebrew Infusion: Language and Community at American Jewish Summer Camps (Rutgers, 2020). Dr. Benor is founding co-editor of the Journal of Jewish Languages (Brill) and co-editor of Languages in Jewish Communities, Past and Present (De Gruyter Mouton, 2018).


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lecture

Thu, Feb 24
12:00PM
Thu, Feb 24
12:00PM

lecture

Family History Today: Arolsen Archives - History, Exploration and Online Access

There are many myths surrounding the collections of the Arolsen Archives: International Center on Nazi Persecution in Bad Arolsen, Germany. Formerly known as the International Tracing Service, the Archives was established by the International Red Cross and Allied forces at the end of World War II to trace missing and displaced people and help reunite survivors with their relatives. In this lecture, Serafima Velkovich, Head of the Family Roots Research Section at the Yad Vashem Archives, will demystify the Arolsen Archives by describing its history, the types of files it holds, and what information can be gleaned from those files. Additionally, Ms. Velkovich will offer strategies for identifying relevant documents and key clues when searching its new Online Archives and additional collections available at the Arolsen Archives and 5 partner institutions worldwide, including Yad Vashem and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

This program is sponsored by the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at the Center for Jewish History. It is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


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lecture

Wed, Feb 23
12:00PM
Wed, Feb 23
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: Kashkarikas: Wasteless Kitchen - A Turkish-Sephardi Chef's Recipes and Stories

Join us for this episode of New Works Wednesdays with Chef Sibel Pinto as she explains the “global food waste challenge" and discusses her new bookKashkarikas: Wasteless Kitchen - A Turkish-Sephardi Chef's Recipes and Stories.

About the Book
In this colorful cookbook Chef Sibel Pinto gives an authentic collection of recipes, with many tips and tricks to open up new culinary possibilities for a conscious and sustainable kitchen. Pinto combines her Sephardic, Georgian and Turkish culinary heritage, her sustainability educator background and professional experience to raise awareness on how easy it is to respect and use seasonal ingredients from 'root-to-leaf'.

In this difficult Covid-19 pandemic period, where many would like to change habits and adapt new ways, you will find the secrets of her easy techniques and helpful insights, inspired by the memories of her ancestors' kitchens, her researches, her travels and the rich stories of her charity mission 'Action Kasharikas'.

The book consists of 222 versatile, mouthwatering recipes divided into easy-to-find 60 main ingredients to inspire the passionate home cooks to reproduce waste-free meals. This book is a tribute to previous generations and an invitation to new generations to respect the environment, to give a second life to ingredients, to learn, to experiment, to share and to enjoy.

About the Author
Sibel Cuniman Pinto is a chef, culinary instructor, researcher, author, and lecturer specialized in Sephardi, Turkish and Mediterranean cuisines. As a WorldChefs certified ‘Sustainability Education to Culinary Professionals’ and Agro Tech Paris certified Food Waste Prevention trainer, food waste activist, coach and consultant she teaches how to give a ‘second life’ to ingredients, using the root-to-leaf approach. She works to raise awareness in food waste reduction and sustainable and conscious kitchens. She educates and inspires people to eat real food.

For more about the book: https://www.kashkarikas.com/


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book talk

Wed, Feb 23
12:00PM
Wed, Feb 23
12:00PM

book talk

Vom jüdischen Witz zum Judenwitz (At Wit’s End)

Please note this program will be presented in German and English.

At Wit’s End explores the fascinating discourse on Jewish wit in the twentieth century when the Jewish joke became the subject of serious humanistic inquiry and inserted itself into the cultural and political debates among Germans and Jews against the ideologically charged backdrop of anti-Semitism, the Jewish question, and the Holocaust.

The first in-depth study to explore the Jewish joke as a crucial rhetorical figure in larger cultural debates in Germany, author Louis Kaplan presents an engrossing and lucid work of scholarship that examines how ‘der jüdische Witz‘ (referring to both Jewish wit and jokes) was utilized differently in a number of texts, from the Weimar Republic to the rise of National Socialism, and how it was re-introduced into the public sphere after the Holocaust with the controversial publication of Salcia Landmann’s collection of Jewish jokes in the reparations era (Wiedergutmachung). Kaplan reviews the claims made about the Jewish joke and its provocative laughter by notable writers from a variety of ideological perspectives, demonstrating how their reflections on this complex cultural trope enable a better understanding of German-Jewish intercultural relations and their eventual breakdown in the Third Reich. He also illustrates how selfcritical and self-ironic Jewish Witz maintained a fraught and ambivalent relationship with anti-Semitism.

In reviewing this critical and traumatic moment in modern German-Jewish history through the deadly discourse on the Jewish joke, At Wit’s End includes chapters on the virulent Austrian anti-Semitic racial theorist Arthur Trebitsch, the Nazi racial propagandist Siegfried Kadner, the German Marxist cultural historian Eduard Fuchs, the Jewish diasporic historian Erich Kahler, and the Jewish cabaret impresario Kurt Robitschek, among others. Shedding new light on anti-Semitism and on the Jewish question leading up to the Holocaust, At Wit’s End provides readers with a unique perspective by which to gain important insights about this crucial historical period that reverberates into the present day, when potentially offensive humor coupled with a toxic political climate and xenophobia can have deadly consequences.


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book talk

Tue, Feb 22
12:00PM
Tue, Feb 22
12:00PM

lecture

Kavkazi, Georgian, and Bukharian Jews: At the Crossroads of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-Speaking Worlds

Part 2: Georgian Jews

The histories and cultures of Bukharian, Kavkazi (Mountain), and Georgian Jews are situated at the unique intersection of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-Speaking Jewish (RSJ) identities. Through this 3-part learning series, we will explore the multilayered and rich stories of these millennia-old communities in Central Asia and the Caucasus—discovering the ways in which they have developed their mosaic cultures through dynamic interactions with the dominant and changing societies surrounding them. Our discussion will also shed light on how their experiences fit into the broader historical saga of the Jewish people.

About the Speaker
Ruben Shimonov is an educator, community builder, and social entrepreneur with a passion for Jewish diversity. He previously served as Director of Community Engagement and Education at Queens College Hillel. Currently, Ruben is the American Sephardi Federation’s National Director of Sephardi House and Young Leadership. He is also the Founding Executive Director of the Sephardic Mizrahi Q Network and Director of Educational Experiences & Programming for the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee. He is an alumnus of the COJECO Blueprint, Nahum Goldmann and ASF Broome & Allen Fellowships for his work in Jewish social innovation and Sephardic scholarship. He has been listed among The Jewish Week's "36 Under 36" Jewish community leaders and changemakers. Currently, he is a Jewish Pedagogies Research Fellow at M² | The Institute of Experiential Jewish Education. Ruben has lectured extensively on the histories and cultures of various Sephardic and Mizrahi communities. He is also a visual artist specializing in multilingual calligraphy that interweaves Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian.


Presented by:

lecture

Sun, Feb 20
02:00PM
Sun, Feb 20
02:00PM

yiddish club

YIVO Yiddish Club: Yiddish TikTok with Cameron Bernstein

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

This session features Cameron Bernstein, an artist and Yiddishist from the Chicagoland Jewish community. She began learning Yiddish in her senior year at the University of Chicago, graduating in 2020 with a BS in Statistics and a minor in Jewish Studies. Cameron has since built an impressive TikTok following creating engaging content about Yiddish language, history, and culture. She is the Yiddish Book Center's 2021-2022 Communications Fellow and is working towards a Masters in Public Health at George Washington University.


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yiddish club

Thu, Feb 17
12:00PM
Thu, Feb 17
12:00PM

book talk

“Where Do I Belong?”: Holocaust Survivors Return to Vienna

In the midst of a refugee crisis, with an official count of 82.4 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide, the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity (GC-CUNY) and the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies (NYU) continue to offer a year-long series that tackles historical and current cases.

What prompted Viennese Jews to return to their home city after the devastation of the Holocaust? What were their hopes, and what did they find? A lively conversation between historians Professor Albert Lichtblau and Dr. Elizabeth Anthony about Dr. Anthony’s award-winning new book, The Compromise of Return, plumbs survivors’ experiences of re-rooting in a post-Nazi society.


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book talk

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

conversation

At Lunch with Neal Shapiro

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

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


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conversation

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

book talk

Admiral Hyman Rickover: Engineer of Power

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

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

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

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


Presented by:

book talk

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

lecture & performance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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lecture & performance

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

discussion

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

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

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

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

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


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discussion

Wed, Feb 16
12:00PM
Wed, Feb 16
12:00PM

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: A Legend of Humility and Leadership: Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu

Join us for New Works Wednesdays with Yehuda Azoulay of Sephardic Legacy Series as he discusses his new book A Legend of Humility and Leadership: Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu.

For more about the book: https://sephardiclegacy.com/index.php/publications/

About the Speaker
Yehuda (Allen) Azoulay is a young and passionate noted scholar, educator, author, activist, and entrepreneur. He is the Vice President & Head of Investor Relations for Concrete Mortgage Capital Inc. Currently he holds a Rabbinical Degree, a Bachelors of Talmudic Law, a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Arts, from Excelsior College and a Masters of Science degree from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. He is presently pursuing his Doctorate from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning, from the Northwestern University and receiving his Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies. Yehuda was the Vice-Principal of Torah High/NCSY in Toronto for the past four years, and later moved in to the field of finance and is Vice President & Head of Investor Relations for Concrete Mortgage Capital Inc. Furthermore, Yehuda is the founder of “Sephardic Legacy Series – Institute for Preserving Sephardic Heritage.” To date he has authored five books and published over thirty articles on Sephardic historical topics.


Presented by:

book talk

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

book talk

The Clever Little Tailor

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

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

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

Buy the book.

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

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

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


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book talk

Sun, Feb 13
12:00PM
Sun, Feb 13
12:00PM

lecture

Protest, Philanthropy and the Struggle for 'Aliyah in 1940s' Aden

After the 1947 “pogrom” in ‘Aden, Selim Banin and a handful of other traumatized ‘Adeni Jewish notables were left to pick up the pieces of a shattered community. They founded the “Jewish Emergency Committee,” which took charge of representing ‘Adeni Jewry in negotiations and confrontations with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the British colonial regime ruling ‘Aden, and the Zionist organizations. Theirs is a story of solidarity and culture-clash in a philanthropic network that spanned New York, London, Tel Aviv, South Africa, Asmara, and ‘Aden. In time, through a combination of petitions, closed-door negotiations, and popular demonstrations, they would play a key role in making possible the evacuation of most Yemeni and ‘Adeni Jews to Israel.

About the Speaker
Benjamin Berman-Gladstone is a doctoral student at the Skirball Department for Hebrew and Judaic Studies and the Department of History at New York University. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Middle East Studies and Judaic Studies and received honors for his thesis on the idea of an "Ingathering of Exiles" in relations between the American, Israeli, and Yemeni Jewish communities during Operation On Eagles' Wings. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 2018 and spent the 2018-2019 year in Jerusalem on a Fulbright research scholarship. His writing about issues related to Israel, American Jewry, and Southwest Asian affairs has been published in the New York Times, Haaretz, Tablet Magazine, the Jewish Daily Forward, Tower Magazine, the Times of Israel, the Jewish Advocate, the Hill, the Brown Daily Herald, and the Brown Political Review.


Presented by:

lecture

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

book club

SOLD OUT: People of the Book Club: <em>Eva and Eve</em> with author Julie Metz

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

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

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

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


Presented by:

book club

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

cooking show

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

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


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Presented by:

cooking show

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

lecture

Sephardi Thought and Modernity 2022 Webinar Series - Continuity and Rupture in Sephardi Modernities: Esther Moyal, Emile Zola, and Alfred Dreyfus: An Arab-Jewish Feminist on the Affair that Rocked the World

Speaker: Lital Levy (Princeton University)

This seminar is part of the 2nd edition of the Sephardi Thought and Modernity Series (2022) and intends to continue the exploration of Sephardic modernities initiated in 2021. In this second edition, we will focus on the question of continuity and rupture as a way to deepen our dialogue about the different forms that modernity has adopted throughout Sephardi history. We will discuss questions such as the meaning of the concept of “modernity” in non-European contexts such as the Levant and/or the Arab world. We will explore how non-European Jewish societies developed ways of life and practices that synthesized tradition, change and cultural diversity throughout time. We will delve into Sephardi intellectual life, cosmopolitanism, cultural belongings, language, translation and mobility.


Presented by:

lecture

Tue, Feb 08
12:00PM
Tue, Feb 08
12:00PM

lecture

Kavkazi, Georgian, and Bukharian Jews: At the Crossroads of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-Speaking Worlds

Part 1: Kavkazi (Mountain) Jews

The histories and cultures of Bukharian, Kavkazi (Mountain), and Georgian Jews are situated at the unique intersection of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-Speaking Jewish (RSJ) identities. Through this 3-part learning series, we will explore the multilayered and rich stories of these millennia-old communities in Central Asia and the Caucasus—discovering the ways in which they have developed their mosaic cultures through dynamic interactions with the dominant and changing societies surrounding them. Our discussion will also shed light on how their experiences fit into the broader historical saga of the Jewish people.

About the Speaker
Ruben Shimonov is an educator, community builder, and social entrepreneur with a passion for Jewish diversity. He previously served as Director of Community Engagement and Education at Queens College Hillel. Currently, Ruben is the American Sephardi Federation’s National Director of Sephardi House and Young Leadership. He is also the Founding Executive Director of the Sephardic Mizrahi Q Network and Director of Educational Experiences & Programming for the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee. He is an alumnus of the COJECO Blueprint, Nahum Goldmann and ASF Broome & Allen Fellowships for his work in Jewish social innovation and Sephardic scholarship. He has been listed among The Jewish Week's "36 Under 36" Jewish community leaders and changemakers. Currently, he is a Jewish Pedagogies Research Fellow at M² | The Institute of Experiential Jewish Education. Ruben has lectured extensively on the histories and cultures of various Sephardic and Mizrahi communities. He is also a visual artist specializing in multilingual calligraphy that interweaves Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian.


Presented by:

lecture

Mon, Feb 07
08:00PM
Mon, Feb 07
08:00PM

lecture

Performing the Homeland: Contesting Boundaries of Moroccan Jewish Identity – Live on Zoom

With Dr. Samuel Torjman Thomas

The role of music has been central to defining a new diaspora identity within the Jewish community. For Moroccan Jews in one synagogue community in Brooklyn, the performance of liturgical, para-liturgical, and folk repertoires memorializes the homeland and galvanizes the boundaries of a distinctive Jewish ethnic community. This presentation focuses on approaches to liturgical practice in the synagogue, including communal prayers for Shabbat and the High Holy Days, and includes analyses of approaches to melody, vocal and rhythmic aesthetics, learning practices, leadership methods, and interactions between community members.


Presented by:

lecture

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

lecture

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

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

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


Presented by:

lecture

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

lecture

Jews in American Opera: From Importers to Innovators

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


Presented by:

lecture

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

book talk

The Letters Project: a Daughter’s Journey

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

Buy the book.

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

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


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Presented by:

book talk

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

book talk

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

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

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

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


Presented by:

book talk

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

lecture

The Jews of Italy and the African Empire

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

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


Presented by:

lecture

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

virtual tour

Museum Mondays: Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center

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

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

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


Presented by:

virtual tour

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

celebration

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

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

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

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


Presented by:

celebration

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

book talk

From the Vilna Ghetto to Nuremberg: Memoir and Testimony

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

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

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

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


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Presented by:

book talk

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

book club

LBI Book Club, Vol. XVII – Professor Bernhardi

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Biography taken from Encyclopedia Brittanica

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

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


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Presented by:

book club

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

panel discussion

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

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

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

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


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Presented by:

panel discussion

Thu, Jan 20
12:30PM
Thu, Jan 20
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Alex Edelman

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


Presented by:

conversation

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

book talk

Endpapers: A Family Story of Books, War, Escape, and Home

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

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

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


Presented by:

book talk

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

concert

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

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

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

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

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


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Presented by:

concert

Tue, Jan 18
01:00PM
Tue, Jan 18
01:00PM

panel discussion

The Shuttering of Memorial, a Russian Human Rights Group

In January 1989 in Moscow an NGO called Memorial was founded to document and publish the crimes of the Soviet regime. In two recent rulings by the Russian Supreme Court and Moscow's City Court, Memorial has been ordered to shut down. Russian prosecutors shuttered Memorial based on claims that it defied Russia’s “foreign agents” law and stoked support for extremists. Historians and international diplomats are calling this an attack on civil society and human rights. Join YIVO for a conversation discussing Memorial, and the meaning of the Russian government's actions with YIVO’s Executive Director Jonathan Brent, journalist and author Masha Gessen, Russian researcher and independent journalist Grigory Okhotin, and author Anna Nemzer.

About the Speakers
Masha Gessen is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of twelve books of nonfiction, including The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won the National Book Award in 2017, and, with photographer Misha Friedman, Never Remember: Looking for Stalin's Gulag in Putin's Russia.

Anna Nemzer is a Russian journalist, writer, documentary filmmaker and TV-presenter on the TV-channel Dozhd' (TV-Rain), the only independent TV-channel in Russia (which was recently entered in the register of "foreign agents"). The main focus of her works is historical memory.

Gregory Okhotin is co-founder of OVD-Info, an independent Russian human rights media project aimed at monitoring and preventing politically motivated persecution. From 2014-2018 he was a member of the board of International Memorial. From 2001-2011 Okhotin worked as journalist for Polit Ru, the newspaper Vedomosti, the Bolshoi Gorod, and RIA Novosti.

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.


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Presented by:

panel discussion

Sun, Jan 16
12:00PM
Sun, Jan 16
12:00PM

lecture

The Qur'an and its Relationship to Torah and Judaism

Rick Sopher will take us on an introductory exploration of the following questions:

  • Why does the Qur’an refer so extensively to the contents of the Torah? Are there differences between the way the Qur’an and the Torah tell the stories of Abraham, Moses, Joseph and other Biblical characters?
  • What does the Qur’an say about the Jews whom Muhammad encountered in his lifetime, especially in Medina between 622 CE and his death in 632 CE? Is the Qur’an anti-Jewish? Did the Islamic view of the Torah and Jews change over time?
  • How should verse 9:29 of the Qur’an and mentions of the dhimmi status of Jews be read? In the 1,300 years after the foundation of Islam, for Jews living in Muslim lands, did these verses act as a “humiliation” or as a “protection”?

About the Speaker
Rick has a financial background and is the CEO of Edmond de Rothschild Capital Holdings, which he joined in 1993. He is the Chairman of the world’s longest established investment fund of its type. Prior to that he worked at BDO Stoy Hayward, where he was appointed the youngest ever partner. He has received various industry awards including the Outstanding Contribution Award from Hedge Fund Review and the Decade of Excellence Award by Financial News.

Rick graduated from Cambridge University and has more recently worked in the area of interfaith relations with the Woolf Institute, Cambridge as a member of their Council.

During the lockdown period, Rick convened an online dialogue between Professors of Religion at the world’s leading universities to discuss the relationship between the Qur’an and the Bible and has himself dialogued with Muslim leaders on the subject.

Rick was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur in 2007 from President Chirac for his contribution to religious education in France and is Chairman or Director of several educational charities in the UK.


Presented by:

lecture

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

book talk

New Works Wednesdays: Italy’s Jews from Emancipation to Fascism

Join us for New Works Wednesdays with Dr. Shira Klein who will be discussing her new book "Italy's Jews from Emancipation to Fascism" (Cambridge University Press).

How did Italy treat Jews during World War II? Historians have shown beyond doubt that many Italians were complicit in the Holocaust, yet Italy is still known as the Axis state that helped Jews. Shira Klein uncovers how Italian Jews, though victims of Italian persecution, promoted the view that Fascist Italy was categorically good to them. She shows how the Jews' experience in the decades before World War II - during which they became fervent Italian patriots while maintaining their distinctive Jewish culture - led them later to bolster the myth of Italy's wartime innocence in the Fascist racial campaign. Italy's Jews experienced a century of dramatic changes, from emancipation in 1848, to the 1938 Racial Laws, wartime refuge in America and Palestine, and the rehabilitation of Holocaust survivors. This cultural and social history draws on a wealth of unexplored sources, including original interviews and unpublished memoirs.

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

For more about the book: https://www.cambridge.org/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-european-history/italys-jews-emancipation-fascism


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Jan 12
01:00PM
Wed, Jan 12
01:00PM

lecture

The Other Side: Law, Education, Ideology & Normalizing the Criminal

A school board in Texas was recently asked by its executive director to contemplate “opposing views” of the Holocaust. Can such views ever accord with reason, social, political and religious values? Hitler explicitly wished to create an “antisemitism of reason” and employed all the institutions of German society — education, law, religion, medicine, science, philosophy and history — to create the logic whereby segregation, expulsion and ultimately genocide was made reasonable, acceptable, normal to the majority of Germans. This lecture by YIVO's executive director Jonathan Brent will explore the other side of “normal.”

About the Speaker
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.


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Presented by:

lecture

Mon, Jan 10
12:00PM
Mon, Jan 10
12:00PM

virtual tour

Museum Mondays: Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center

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

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


Presented by:

virtual tour

Wed, Jan 05
01:00PM
Wed, Jan 05
01:00PM

lecture

How Should We Think about Freedom?

Freedom is the main idea of American political life, but no one knows what it means. The right treats it as the highest value, but defines it very narrowly, as the absence of hindrances. The left supports policies that are liberating, but concedes the idea of freedom to the right. Intellectuals propose that freedom will be brought by larger forces, such as economics or technology, which perverts the very idea of individual agency. Americans associate freedom with abstractions and phantoms, such as the "free market," which means granting their own rights to entities that do not actually exist. Meanwhile, the digital world remodels thought and behavior towards conformism and polarization. What would it take to have a country of free speakers and free people?

In this lecture, Timothy Snyder defines freedom as the capacity to choose among values, envision futures, and realize some of them. He makes the case that freedom takes five forms: sovereignty, unpredictability, mobility, solidarity, and factuality. Finally, he presents a vision of a future where Americans are far freer than we are today, and in which their freedom leaves them more secure and more capable of addressing the ecological and other existential threats we face as a species.

About the Speaker
Timothy Snyder is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He speaks five and reads ten European languages. His eight chief books are Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (1998); The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (2003); Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist’s Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (2005); The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (2008); Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010), Thinking the Twentieth Century (with Tony Judt, 2012); Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (2015); On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017); The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America (2018); and Our Malady: Lessons in Liberty from a Hospital Diary (2020). He has also co-edited three further books: The Wall Around the West: State Borders and Immigration Controls in Europe and North America (2001); Stalin and Europe: Terror, War, Domination (2013); and The Balkans as Europe (2018). His essays are collected in Ukrainian History, Russian Politics, European Futures (2014), and The Politics of Life and Death (2015).

Snyder's work has appeared in forty languages and has received a number of prizes, including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, the Literature Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Václav Havel Foundation prize, the Foundation for Polish Science prize in the social sciences, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding, the Dutch Auschwitz Committee award, and the Hannah Arendt Prize in Political Thought. Snyder was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford, has received the Carnegie and Guggenheim fellowships, and holds state orders from Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland. He has appeared in documentaries, on network television, and in major films. His books have inspired poster campaigns and exhibitions, films, sculpture, a punk rock song, a rap song, a play, and an opera. His words are quoted in political demonstrations around the world, most recently in Hong Kong. He is researching a family history of nationalism and finishing a philosophical book about freedom.


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Presented by:

lecture