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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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.


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.


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.


Presented by:

lecture