Thu, Jun 06
01:00PM
Thu, Jun 06
01:00PM

book talk

Psychoanalysis and Jewish Languages - Live on Zoom

There is an academic interest in the "Jewish Freud," aiming to detect Jewish influences on Freud, his own feelings about being Jewish, and suppressed traces of Jewishness in his thought. This book takes a different approach, turning its gaze not on Freud but rather on those who seek out his concealed Jewishness. What is it that propels the scholarly aim to show Freud in a Jewish light? Naomi Seidman explores attempts to "touch" Freud (and other famous Jews) through Jewish languages, seeking out his Hebrew name or evidence that he knew some Yiddish. Tracing a history of this drive to bring Freud into Jewish range, Seidman also charts Freud's responses to (and jokes about) this desire. More specifically, she reads the reception and translation of Freud in Hebrew and Yiddish as instances of the desire to touch, feel, "rescue," and connect with the famous professor from Vienna.

Join YIVO for a discussion with Seidman about this newly published book, led by scholar Ken Frieden.

This program is supported, 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, Jun 05
01:00PM
Wed, Jun 05
01:00PM

lecture

Celia Dropkin as a Translingual Writer - Live on Zoom

Translingual author Celia Dropkin (1887-1956) wrote in three languages: Russian, Yiddish, and English. Though she produced her first literary works in Russian, she emigrated from the Russian Empire to the United States in 1912 and five years later, she began translating her Russian poems into Yiddish. It was in Yiddish that Dropkin made a name for herself as an author with a bold and original voice. Additionally, because she resided in the United States, English became increasingly important in her life as yet another language of her literary creativity. Although she is known only as a Yiddish author today, the role of Russian and English in Dropkin’s oeuvre cannot be ignored. In her literary activity, Dropkin navigated between Russian, Yiddish, and English and their corresponding cultures, challenging the literary boundaries established by national categories.

In this talk, Jakub Zygmunt will present a linguistic biography of Celia Dropkin, discuss selected translingual practices found in her work, and demonstrate what the translingual framework can tell us new about Dropkin’s work in particular and Yiddish literature in general.

About the Speaker
Jakub Zygmunt is a PhD candidate in Literary Studies at the University of Warsaw. His research project focuses on the relationship between Celia Dropkin’s oeuvre and various literary traditions, as well as strategies of translation that enabled her work to exist in different cultures. Jakub holds degrees in Jewish Studies and Law, which he pursued at the College of Inter-Area Individual Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw. He is the 2023-2024 recipient of The Vladimir and Pearl Heifetz Memorial Fellowship and the Vivian Lefsky Hort Memorial Fellowship at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.


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lecture

Wed, Jun 05
06:30PM
Wed, Jun 05
06:30PM

book talk

Resisters: How Ordinary Jews Fought Persecution in Hitler's Germany with Author Wolf Gruner - In-person and Live on Zoom

Resisters: How Ordinary Jews Fought Persecution in Hitler's Germany with Author Wolf Gruner - In-person and Live on Zoom

Join us when historian Wolf Gruner presents his new book Resisters: How Ordinary Jews Fought Persecution in Hitler's Germany. “Resisters” offers unique and gripping perspective on the lives of everyday Jews who resisted Nazi persecution. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

About the Book
Drawing on twelve years of research in dozens of archives in Austria, Germany, Israel, and the United States, this book tells the story of five Jewish people—a merchant, a homemaker, a real estate broker, and two teenagers—who bravely resisted persecution and defended themselves in Nazi Germany. These stories have not been told until now, and each case is one of many, as Gruner shows by resurfacing similar accounts of Jewish refusal to accept persecution and violence in Germany and Austria between 1933 and 1943, upending the notion of passive Jews and expanding the concept of resistance.

Each individual described here represents a category of resistance: written opposition, oral protest, contesting Nazi propaganda, defiance of anti-Jewish laws and measures, and self-defense against physical attacks. Many of these courageous acts resulted in the resisters being prosecuted and put on trial, and often receiving harsh punishments, while some led to acquittal by courts and others to changes in Nazi policies. Taken together, these accounts reframe our understanding of German Jewish attitudes during the Holocaust, while also providing an astonishing examination of the complex Nazi reactions to the many individual acts of Jewish resistance. (From Yale University Press)

About the Author
Wolf Gruner is the Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies and Professor of History at the University of Southern California and founding director of the USC Dornsife Center of Advanced Genocide Research. A historian and specialist on topics relating to the Holocaust and German-Jewish History his research encompasses numerous topics including the comparative history of mass violence and its resistance on a global scale. He has written 10 books, coedited four volumes and published almost 80 articles and book chapters on related topics. Recent book publications include The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia: Czech Initiatives, German Policies, Jewish Responses (Berghahn Books 2019) and Parias de la Patria: The myth of the liberation of the indigenous people in the Republic of Bolivia (Plural Editores 2015). Additionally, he is a member of the Academic Committee of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, and co-founder of the Consortium of Higher Education Centers for Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies.


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book talk

Tue, Jun 04
06:30PM
Tue, Jun 04
06:30PM

lecture

Wild Outside in the Night: Queer Jewishness and Childhood Liminality in the Picture-Books of Maurice Sendak - In-person Event and Live on Zoom

Wild Outside in the Night: Queer Jewishness and Childhood Liminality in the Picture-Books of Maurice Sendak - In-person Event and Live on Zoom

The late Jewish American gay artist Maurice Sendak (1928-2012) changed the face of children’s literature by depicting emotionally isolated, unruly, and ethnically particular protagonists who use fantasy to resist social coercion and self-erasure. In Wild Visionary: Maurice Sendak in Queer Jewish Context (Stanford University Press, 2020), Golan Moskowitz investigates the evolution of Sendak’s artistic vision and its appeal for American, Jewish, and queer audiences. The present talk will draw from that study, illuminating how Sendak’s multiple perspectives as a gay, Holocaust-conscious, American-born son of Yiddish-speaking Polish immigrants informed his life and work. It will also explore how his work interacted dynamically with his cultural surroundings, offering insights into experiences of marginality and creative resilience in twentieth- and twenty-first-century America.

Golan Moskowitz is Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at Tulane University and a core faculty member of Tulane’s Grant Center for the American Jewish Experience. He teaches courses on Jewish gender and sexuality, American popular culture, Holocaust studies, and comics and graphic novels. He is the author of Wild Visionary: Maurice Sendak in Queer Jewish Context (Stanford University Press, 2020) and of several publications on intergenerational memory in post-Holocaust family narratives.


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lecture

Sun, Jun 02
10:30AM
Sun, Jun 02
10:30AM

walking tour

Walking Tour: Exploring the Jewish Upper West Side

Walking Tour: Exploring the Jewish Upper West Side

Discover the vibrant tapestry of Jewish heritage on the Upper West Side alongside Barry Judelman, historian and tour guide. Stroll through a neighborhood brimming with cultural treasures, where synagogues, schools, and the essence of Jewish life intertwine with architectural marvels in Beaux Arts, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco styles.

The many sites of Jewish interest we’ll visit include: The Jewish Center, a Modern Orthodox synagogue that was among the first in the US to feature a pool and recreational space, Society for the Advancement of Judaism, the founding congregation of the Reconstructionist movement, and Congregation Rodeph Sholom, home of the first Reform day school in North America. Engage in enlightening discussions about how this community continues to influence the narrative of American Jewish identity, and savor delectable delights from Zabar's along the way. Join us for an enriching exploration of history, culture, and the enduring spirit of Jewish life in New York City.

This tour will take place rain or shine. Note: Some tour stops are not wheelchair accessible. The meeting location and 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

Sun, Jun 02
06:00PM
Sun, Jun 02
06:00PM

film festival

26th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival Opening Night Ceremony

The 26th Anniversary Edition of the American Sephardi Federation’s New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival will be held from June 2nd to 9th, 2024.

This year’s festival promises to be truly extraordinary, as we proudly announce NY, US and international premiere films, world-renowned filmmakers and actors receiving the Pomegranate Awards and the return to the American stage, hand in hand with the ASF, of the iconic internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter Enrico Macias.

Join us at the Opening Night for a mesmerizing performance by Enrico Macias and the Pomegranate Awards Ceremony honoring acclaimed filmmaker Alexandre Arcady, cultural icon Stella Levi, and celebrated actor and director John Turturro.


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film festival

Thu, May 30
01:00PM
Thu, May 30
01:00PM

book talk

Neo-Nazi Terrorism and Countercultural Fascism - Live on Zoom

A new wave of aspiring neo-Nazi terrorists has arisen—including the infamous Atomwaffen Division, and they have a bible: James Mason’s Siege, which praises terrorism, serial killers, and Charles Manson. Neo-Nazi Terrorism and Countercultural Fascism: The Origins and Afterlife of James Mason's Siege documents the origins of Siege and shows how Mason’s vision emerged during debates in the 1970s after the splintering of the American Nazi Party/NSWPP. The second part of the book unveils for the first time how four 1980s musicians and publishers—Boyd Rice, Michael Moynihan, Adam Parfrey, and Nikolas Schreck—discovered and promoted the terrorist ideologue.

Join YIVO for a discussion of this book with author Spencer Sunshine.

This program is supported, 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, May 29
06:00PM
Wed, May 29
06:00PM

book launch

Rediscovering Mazaltob - In-person Event

Book presentation and discussion with the editors Yaëlle Azagury and Frances Malino.

Dr. Yaëlle Azagury is a writer, literary scholar and critic. She has taught French literature and Literature-Humanities at Barnard College, Columbia University, and SUNY-Purchase.  She contributed essays and scholarly articles for Women Writing Africa (Feminist Press, 2008), Rethinking Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa and the Middle East (Indiana University Press, 2011) and other works.  Her criticism has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Jerusalem Report, and Lilith.  A native of Tangier, Morocco, she holds graduate degrees from the Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle, Sciences-Po Paris, and Columbia University.

Frances Malino is the Sophia Moses Robison Professor of Jewish Studies and History Emerita at Wellesley College. She is author of The Sephardic Jews of Bordeaux: Assimilation and Emancipation in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France (1978) and A Jew in the French Revolution: The Life of Zalkind Hourwitz(1996) and co-editor of Essays in Modern Jewish History: a Tribute to Ben Halpern (1982), The Jews in Modern France(1985), Profiles in Diversity: Jews in a Changing Europe (1998), and Voices of the Diaspora: Jewish Women Writing in the New Europe (2005). Her current project is titled Teaching Freedom: Jewish Sisters in Muslim Lands. In 2012 she was named Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques by the French Ministry of Education. Malino is a co-founder and current President of Digital Heritage Mapping, whose flagship initiative is the Diarna Geo-Museum of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Life.


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book launch

Tue, May 28
01:00PM
Tue, May 28
01:00PM

lecture

Passing in Print: (Non)Jewish News in the Mainstream Press during the Holocaust - Live on Zoom

In the early days of World War II, as the threat of Nazism loomed large, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) and its non-sectarian subsidiary, the Overseas News Agency (ONA), embarked on a covert mission to inform the world about the escalating crisis in Europe. This lecture will uncover the ways in which these organizations operated to overcome significant barriers in news gathering and dissemination in a prejudiced media landscape. Moreover, it will explore how the JTA and ONA used a particular form of “passing” to place stories of Jewish persecution on the front pages of America's leading newspapers in their attempts to alter public perceptions of Jewish persecution in Europe without revealing their Jewish affiliations. The lecture traces the strategic decisions made by key figures in the Jewish journalistic world during a time of crisis that fundamentally reshaped how news was categorized, gathered, circulated, and consumed.

About the Speaker
Nathan Lucky holds a BA (Hons.) and MA in history from the University of British Columbia. Currently, he is a PhD student at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. His areas of interest include Holocaust history, news media production and circulation, Jewish and non-Jewish relations, refugees, and espionage. He is the 2023-2024 recipient of The Rose and Isidore Drench Memorial Fellowship and the Dora and Mayer Tendler Endowed Fellowship in American Jewish Studies at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.


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lecture

Tue, May 21
06:30PM
Tue, May 21
06:30PM

lecture

65th Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture by Hillel Kieval - In-person and Live on Zoom

65th Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture by Hillel Kieval - In-person and Live on Zoom

About the Lecture
Still Reading Kafka? On Language, Literature, Friendship, and Identity in Central Europe

To pick up and read the novels or short stories of Franz Kafka hardly needs justification. His standing as one of the last century’s most important writers is assured. The question is: What can Kafka’s writings and the various contexts in which his life transpired—linguistic, familial, cultural, political—reveal about the textures of Jewish life in Central Europe at the turn of the century? In the 65th Annual Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture, Hillel Kieval (Washington University in St. Louis) revisits crucial aspects of Kafka’s life, work, and intellectual relationships, to explore what it meant to be both Jewish and a citizen of Prague before and after the First World War.

The Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture is endowed by Marianne C. Dreyfus and Family, the descendants of Rabbi Leo Baeck

About the Speaker
Hillel J. Kieval is the Gloria M. Goldstein Professor Emeritus of Jewish History and Thought at Washington University in St. Louis. Over the course of his career, has held visiting appointments at Charles University in Prague, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Universidad Hebraica in Mexico City, Vilnius University in Lithuania, and the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Hillel Kieval’s research interests focus on Jewish culture and society in Central and East-Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They range from pathways of Jewish acculturation and integration to the impact of nationalism and ethnic conflict on modern Jewish identities, and from cross-cultural conflicts and misunderstandings to the discursive practices of modern antisemitism. His books include Blood Inscriptions: Science, Modernity, and Ritual Murder at Europe’s Fin de Siècle (2022); Prague and Beyond: Jews in the Bohemian Lands (Co-editor, 2022); Languages of Community: The Jewish Experience in the Czech Lands (2000); and The Making of Czech Jewry: National Conflict and Jewish Society in Bohemia, 1870-1918(1988).

In May 2022, Prof. Kieval was awarded the Silver Medal of the Faculty of Arts, from Charles University of Prague.


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lecture

Mon, May 20
01:00PM
Mon, May 20
01:00PM

lecture

Self-Government between the Shtetl and the Village: Rural Leaders and Jewish-Polish Relations in the Lublin Countryside before World War II - Live on Zoom

The village head (in Polish: soltys) was a familiar feature of life in the countryside of the Second Polish Republic and a leader who shaped the daily lives of rural inhabitants through wide ranging economic, social, and security responsibilities. This lecture will offer initial reflections on the role and significance of Christian and Jewish village heads in prewar village and town societies in the Lublin region, as well as introduce Miranda Brethour’s dissertation project on the collaboration of rural institutions with the German occupiers during the Holocaust in Poland. Considering an array of sources, including prewar memoirs, religious and secular self-government records, and court files, Brethour will describe how rural leadership—such as the village head—was an important site of interaction between Jews and Christians in the Lublin countryside leading up to German occupation.

About the Speaker
Miranda Brethour is a PhD Candidate at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center writing a dissertation on rural Polish self-government and the Holocaust in the Lublin region. She received her BA (2017) and MA (2019) in History from the University of Ottawa in Canada. Her dissertation, entitled “Faithful German Servants” or “Good Polish Citizens”? Violence, the Village Head, and Daily Life in Interwar and Occupied Poland, 1918 to 1956, has been supported by fellowships from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Research, the Central European History Society, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is also the recipient of the 2023-2024 Fellowship in Polish Jewish Studies at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.


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lecture

Mon, May 20
07:00PM
Mon, May 20
07:00PM

film and discussion

White Noise – In-Person Event & Livestreamed on YouTube (Discussion Only)

White Noise – In-Person Event & Livestreamed on YouTube (Discussion Only)

One week after the 2016 presidential election, white nationalists gathered in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the victory of President-elect Donald Trump. Addressing the crowd, the far-right leader Richard Spencer exclaimed, “Hail Trump! Hail our people!” to fanatical cheers and Nazi salutes. The Atlantic’s cameras captured exclusive footage of this moment, and the clip was shared widely on news networks and social-media platforms around the world.

WHITE NOISEThe Atlantic’s first feature documentary and Daniel Lombroso’s feature film debut, is the result of a four-year commitment to expose the roots of rising white nationalism in the U.S. and abroad. The film is a deeply reported journey through the underbelly of the alt-right, bringing viewers an unfiltered, clear-eyed look at a powerful extremist movement.

Join the Center for Jewish History for a screening of WHITE NOISE followed by a panel conversation with director and journalist Daniel Lombroso,Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, President of the Center for Jewish History and Professor of History at Fairfield University, and Anna Duensing, a historian specializing in evolving global politics of white supremacy across the twentieth century. They will discuss the ideas the alt-right has unleashed and how the movement has succeeded in infiltrating mainstream political discourse and shaping the direction of the United States. 

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HncFO8Sujvk&t=2s

Fascism in America: Past and Present, edited by Gavriel D. Rosenfeld and Janet Ward, will be available for sale and signing by both editors after the screening and discussion.

About the Speakers
Daniel Lombroso is a director and journalist who spent the last decade building the Oscar-nominated video departments at The New Yorker and The Atlantic. His debut feature film, WHITE NOISE, based on his four years reporting inside the white power movement, premiered in 2020 to critical acclaim. It was named one of the top documentaries of the year by Vox and The Boston Globe. His short, AMERICAN SCAR, received an Honorable Mention for the Grand Jury Prize at DocNYC and was nominated for a National Magazine Award. His latest film, NINA & IRENAis Executive Produced by Errol Morris and was one of the most celebrated short documentaries of 2023. Lombroso’s work has premiered at Sundance, TIFF, IDFA, and been recognized with seven Vimeo Staff Picks. He was on last year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list. 

Gavriel D. Rosenfeld is President of the Center for Jewish History and Professor of History at Fairfield University. He is the author of numerous books, including the co-edited volume (with Janet Ward), Fascism in America: Past and Present (Cambridge University Press, 2023) and The Fourth Reich: The Specter of Nazism from World War II to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2019). He is an editor at the Journal of Holocaust Research and edits the blog The Counterfactual History Review.

Anna Duensing is a historian specializing in African American history, transnational social movements, and the evolving global politics of white supremacy across the twentieth century. She received her Ph.D. in History and African American Studies and an M.A. concentration in Public Humanities from Yale University and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. She is working on her first book manuscript, tentatively entitled Fascism Is Already Here: Civil Rights and the Making of a Black Antifascist Tradition. She is also the host of a new podcast, “What It Is and How to Fight It,” which offers listeners a variety of perspectives on the question of fascism in the United States, past and present, through interviews with authors and activists. 


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film and discussion

Thu, May 16
12:30PM
Thu, May 16
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Geraldine Brooks – Live on Zoom

At Lunch with Geraldine Brooks – Live on Zoom

Julie Salamon (New York Times bestselling author) sits down with Pulitzer Prize winning author and former foreign correspondent Geraldine Brooks.

Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney. She worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald for three years as a feature writer with a special interest in environmental issues. Later she worked for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans. In 1990, with her husband Tony Horwitz, she won the Overseas Press Club Award for best coverage of the Gulf War. The following year they received a citation for excellence for their series, “War and Peace.”  In 2006 she was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University. She returned to Harvard as a Visiting Lecturer in 2021.

She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006 for her novel March. Her novels People of the BookCaleb’s Crossing and The Secret Chord all were New York Times Bestsellers. Her first novel, Year of Wonders is an an international bestseller, translated into more than 25 languages and currently optioned for a limited series by Olivia Coleman’s production company. She is also the author of the nonfiction works Nine Parts of DesireForeign Correspondence and The Idea of Home.

Brooks married fellow journalist and author Tony Horwitz in Tourette-sur-Loup France in 1984 and were together until his sudden death in 2019.  They have two sons, Nathaniel and Bizu, She now lives with a dog named Bear and a mare named Valentine by an old mill pond on Martha’s Vineyard and spends as much time as she can in Australia.  In 2016, she was named an Officer in the Order of Australia.


Presented by:

conversation

Thu, May 16
07:00PM
Thu, May 16
07:00PM

exhibit opening

The Instant Art of Morris Katz - Exhibition Opening - In-person Event

“Painting,” according to Morris Katz, “is like shmearing a bagel.” A genuine performance artist, his standard routine would be to line up two dozen canvases and paint them all within the span of an hour – using only a palette knife and toilet paper – all the while cracking jokes and explaining his craft to rapt audiences. Called “a self-contained vaudeville act” by New York Magazine, Katz holds a unique place in the annals of the art world as a painter who not only worked with incredible speed – whipping up paintings within just minutes – but who did so while engaging his audiences with Borscht Belt style shtick and then auctioning the paintings off to all comers.

Join YIVO to celebrate the launch of our newest exhibition, The Instant Art of Morris Katz, with a reception catered by the Challah Fairy and exhibit tours offered by YIVO Senior Academic Advisor & Director of Exhibitions, Eddy Portnoy.

Exhibit courtesy of the Oeuvre Family Collection.

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


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exhibit opening

Wed, May 15
07:30PM
Wed, May 15
07:30PM

concert

On Hollywood and Weimar: Songs of European Composers from the Golden Age of Film - In-person Event

On Hollywood and Weimar: Songs of European Composers from the Golden Age of Film - In-person Event

The Leo Baeck Institute and the American Society for Jewish Music invite you for a night of live music with Karyn Levitt, Soprano and Jed Distler, Piano.

Many of Hollywood’s greatest film scores were written by émigré and exiled composers who fled Nazi Europe for Southern California. From dusty westerns and sweeping romances to the thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock, this program celebrates the blending of the old world and the new to produce the uniquely hybrid sound of Hollywood’s Golden Age.


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concert

Tue, May 14
01:00PM
Tue, May 14
01:00PM

concert

Jewish Songs and Dances for Piano: Jacob Weinberg’s "Ten Jewish Songs" (1933) - Live on YouTube

Join us for a performance of Jacob Weinberg’s Ten Jewish Songs (1933): a collection of Jewish folksongs, holiday songs, dances, and Hasidic nigunim in piano arrangements. Published by the Bloch Publishing Company, these arrangements were meant for use in homes and schools. Born in Odessa and educated at the Moscow Conservatory of Music, Weinberg was one of the composers of the Society for Jewish Folk Music who pioneered Jewish classical music. Famous for writing the first Hebrew language opera, The Pioneers (Hechalutz), Weinberg was a prolific composer with many songs, choral works, chamber compositions, and oratorios to his name.

This collection of ten pieces will be performed by pianist Thomas Kotcheff.

The Sidney Krum Young Artists Concert Series is made possible by a generous gift from the Estate of Sidney Krum. 

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


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concert

Wed, May 08
01:00PM
Wed, May 08
01:00PM

lecture

Jewish Self-Defense in the Russian Empire 1903-1905 - Live on Zoom

The phenomenon of self-defense against anti-Jewish violence prior to World War II has remained a largely unexplored topic. This presentation will delve into the history of Jewish local guard and self-defense units in Jewish communities in the Russian Empire before and during the failed 1905 revolution. Among the issues discussed will be the formation and leadership of Jewish self-defense units, the political and socio-economic background of their members, as well as contemporaneous Jewish discourse and debate on both the efficacy and the necessity of self-defense. By shedding light on Jewish resistance to pogroms through analysis of a variety of primary sources, Netta Ehrlich will contribute to our understanding of the development of Jewish self-defense both in theory and in practice.

About the Speaker
Netta Ehrlich is a doctoral candidate and MacCracken Fellow at the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, NYU. Her dissertation focuses on self-defense in modern East European Jewish History. She has worked previously as an instructor and as a developer of educational programs at the Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies. Netta is the 2023-2024 recipient of the Professor Bernard Choseed Memorial Fellowship and the Natalie and Mendel Racolin Memorial Fellowship at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.


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lecture

Wed, May 08
07:30PM
Wed, May 08
07:30PM

concert

Will There Still Be Singing? A Hanns Eisler Cabaret - In-person Event

Will There Still Be Singing? A Hanns Eisler Cabaret - In-person Event

The Leo Baeck Institute and the American Society for Jewish Music invite you for a night of live music.

Soprano Karyn Levitt performs Eric Bentley’s English versions of the songs of Hanns Eisler and Bertolt Brecht, one of the 20th century’s great songwriting teams. Levitt’s close working relationship with Bentley, the foremost translator of Brecht’s lyrics and plays, gave her the opportunity of a lifetime to consult with the source of these acclaimed translations.

Karyn Levitt, Soprano<
The Hanns Eisler Trio
Eric Ostling, Musical Director and Piano
Michael Unger, Director


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concert

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

concert

Yiddish and Hebrew Song in the Weimar Republic

The Weimar Republic era contained a hotbed of Jewish musical activity. Following World War I, there was a spike of curiosity about Eastern European Jewry and Yiddish, which inspired many German-Jewish composers—from Cantor Leon Kornitzer to avant garde composer Stefan Wolpe—to explore Yiddish folksong in their music. At the same time, Berlin and Vienna acted as important publishing centers for the Jibneh Edition. In addition to featuring music of some German-Jewish composers such as Aron M. Rothmüller and Israel Brandmann, Jibneh Edition disseminated music of composers born in the Russian Empire associated with the Society for Jewish Folk Music such as Joel Engel, Joseph Achron, Michael Gnessin, and Alexander Krein, as well as the great Yiddish song composer Lazar Weiner writing in America. This rich musical activity bridged communities active in the East and West and reflected the linguistically and ideologically diverse aspirations of Jewish composers of its time. Join YIVO for a concert exploring Yiddish and Hebrew songs of the Weimar Republic.


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concert

Mon, May 06
01:00PM
Mon, May 06
01:00PM

lecture

Der oytser formen baym moler: Ryback's Formal Approach to Jewish Art - Live on Zoom

The visual and plastic works, as well as writings, of Jewish Ukrainian artist Issachar Ber Ryback (1897-1935) present a formal approach to national art, diverging from prevalent depictions of Jewish identity. Spanning illustration, drawing, painting, sculpture, stage design and theoretical writing, Ryback’s diverse body of work brings to the fore a material cult of everyday Eastern European Jewish life that was often overlooked. Central to the discussion is Shtetl, mayn khorever heym: a gedekhenish (Shtetl: My Destroyed Home, a Recollection), a lithograph album, conceived in 1917 within the Pale of Settlement and published in Berlin six years later in 1923. By closely analyzing the lithographs and Ryback’s contemporaneous writing, Noa Tsaushu examines the ways in which the artist exploited notions of materiality and visual representation to defy conventions of monolithic medium, push back against the Western European paradigm of Jewish aniconism, and challenge the hegemony of text as the Jewish medium of choice.

About the Speaker
Noa Tsaushu is a doctoral student of Yiddish Studies at Columbia University. She earned her master’s degree in Jewish Studies from Bar Ilan University, and her bachelor’s degree in fine art from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem. Guided by a comparative approach to cultural production, Noa specializes in modern Jewish art and Yiddish literature. Her dissertation, titled “Yiddish Art: The Desire for Cohesion among the Soviet-Yiddish Avant-Garde,” presents a theoretical framework for understanding the Yiddish avant-garde movement, a phenomenon in modern Yiddish culture that has been primarily approached in scholarship through historical and literary lenses. Noa is this year’s recipient of the Ruth and Joseph Kremen Memorial Fellowship in East European Arts, Music, and Theater at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. She recently translated and contributed to a volume of works from the Merrill C. Berman Collection titled Jewish Artists, Jewish Identity, 1917–1931.


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lecture

Thu, May 02
01:00PM
Thu, May 02
01:00PM

workshop

How to Do Research at YIVO: Reading a Finding Aid - Live on Zoom

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 24 million unique 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’s Reference and Outreach Archivist Ruby Landau-Pincus for a workshop on reading YIVO finding aids. A finding aid is a document that covers the background of an archival collection as well as a description of the materials within the collection and how they are arranged. This workshop will cover what information researchers can expect to discover in a finding aid and will provide an overview of a range of finding aid formats, from digital finding aids to legacy finding aids and other resources available for navigating collections in the YIVO Archives.

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

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


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workshop

Thu, May 02
07:30PM
Thu, May 02
07:30PM

lecture

The Golden Age of Classicism: Phoenix Chamber Ensemble Performs Music by Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert – In Person and Live on YouTube

The Golden Age of Classicism: Phoenix Chamber Ensemble Performs Music by Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert – In Person and Live on YouTube

Join Phoenix Chamber Ensemble pianists Vassa Shevel and Inessa Zaretsky and guest artists Titilayo Ayangadeon cello, Edwin Kaplan on viola, and Risa Schuchter on violin. 

Program:
Franz Schubert: Sonatina in A Minor, D.385 for violin and piano
Joseph Haydn:  Piano Trio in C Major, Hob. XV: No.21 
Franz Schubert: Ständchen, arranged for viola and piano 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Quartet in G Minor, K.478

Founded in 2005 by pianists Vassa Shevel and Inessa Zaretsky, the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble has, over the course of two decades, become a vital part of the New York classical community, presenting more than 70 public concerts at the Center for Jewish History. The ensemble has garnered a devoted following with its innovative programming and sensitive interpretations, earned an international reputation presenting concerts in Russia, Poland, Italy, and other European venues, and collaborated with numerous acclaimed guest artists, including clarinetist David Krakauer, the Grammy-nominated Enso Quartet, the Tesla Quartet, members of the Jasper String Quartet, the New York Little Opera Company, the Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet. 

Made possible by the Stravinsky Institute Foundation through the generous support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation. Presented in partnership with the Leo Baeck Institute.


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lecture

Fri, Apr 19
02:00PM
Fri, Apr 19
02:00PM

commemoration

Commemoration of the 81st Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising at Der Shteyn - Riverside Park between 83rd and 84th St.

Join Congress for Jewish Culture, Friends of the Bund, the Jewish Labor Committee, Workers Circle, and YIVO on Friday, April 19, 2024 at 2 PM to commemorate and remember the bravery of the partisans of the Warsaw Ghetto. This annual gathering follows a tradition established in 1947 by Jewish partisans, ghetto fighters and Holocaust survivors at the site designated by the City of New York for a memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It has become an annual gathering of Bundists and members of the secular, progressive Yiddish cultural community, as well as children and grandchildren of the original attendees.

Please join us to commemorate the 81st Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Speaking in the program are Julia Mintz and Lily Kshensky BaxterMarcel Kshensky will chair. In the artistic program will be Sarah GordonFeygele JacobsShifee LosaccoZalmen MlotekDaniella Rabbani, and Esti Zanoni.

The program will take place at der shteyn, the memorial stone in Riverside Park between 83rd and 84th Street. The event takes place under the open skies and is free and open to the public.


Presented by:

commemoration

Thu, Apr 18
07:00PM
Thu, Apr 18
07:00PM

performance

Miryeml - In-person Event & Live on Zoom

Tea Arciszewska's Miryeml was heralded as a powerful memorial to the million children murdered in the Holocaust. This nearly-forgotten modernist masterpiece is now available in English translation for the first time.

Arciszewska was a dazzling figure in the prewar Warsaw Yiddish culture scene – an actress, dramaturge, salon hostess, and muse to the renowned Yiddish writer I. L. Peretz. In the 1920s, she began writing a play about the experiences of children during the pogroms that followed World War I. She worked on it for decades, first publishing Miryeml in 1958. Yiddish critics praised the play, seeing it as a powerful response to the Holocaust. They recognized the character Miryeml as an extraordinary figure in Yiddish drama. The play received an Alexander Shapiro Prize from the Congress for Jewish Culture for Best Yiddish Drama.

Miryeml is a modernist work that deftly integrates twentieth-century history and Jewish folklore into a narrative about children’s response to trauma, challenging our expectations of Yiddish theatre.

Directed by Allen Lewis Rickman, this “rehearsed reading” will be performed in Sonia Gollance’s new English translation.

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


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performance

Wed, Apr 17
07:30PM
Wed, Apr 17
07:30PM

concert

Opera and Democracy: Songs from Exile - In-person Event

Opera and Democracy: Songs from Exile - In-person Event

The concert introduces two German-Jewish composers in American exile: Paul Aron and Rosy Geiger-Kullmann. Aron, a protagonist of the German interwar avant-garde, founded an opera company in New York in the 1950s to popularize the works of émigrés such as Darius Milhaud, Kurt Weill, Tadeusz Kassern, and Ernst Toch through piano arrangements and English translations. One of these - his English version of Toch’s short opera Egon & Emilie - will be presented alongside exile songs by Aron. Geiger-Kullmann, a successful opera composer of the Weimar Republic, was born in Frankfurt and fled from the Nazis to New York and later to Monterey. Excerpts from her opera Columbus, written after her arrival in New York, and two stage works from her years in Germany have been reconstructed and will be performed in excerpts – a world premiere.

Opera and Democracy: Listening to Exile is a series of concerts and discussions co-hosted by 1014 – space for ideas, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, the Goethe-Institut, the Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin, and American Society for Jewish Music. It is initiated by Thomas Mann House and curated by Thomas Mann Fellow Kai Hinrich Müller.


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concert

Tue, Apr 16
01:00PM
Tue, Apr 16
01:00PM

panel discussion

Responses to October 7th - Live on Zoom

Historian Jeffrey Herf will lead a panel exploring responses to Hamas’ October 7th massacres and to the state of Israel’s subsequent military response. Meir Litvak will discuss his scholarship on the Islamization of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; Norman Goda will examine rules of war, civilian casualties, and accusations of genocide; Karin Stögner will discuss theories of race and intersectionality and anti-Zionism, and the gendered aspects of the violence of October 7; and David Hirsh will examine the nature of leftist anti-Zionism that achieved predominance for some years in the British Labor Party.

Buy the books from this series.

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


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panel discussion

Mon, Apr 15
07:30PM
Mon, Apr 15
07:30PM

film screening

String Trio, Los Angeles 1946 - In-person Event

String Trio, Los Angeles 1946 - In-person Event

Join us for a 150-year celebration of Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), one of the 20th century’s most important and influential composers.

The event will feature the New York City premiere of a film by David Starobin, “String Trio, Los Angeles 1946" a documentary about Schoenberg. In August of 1946, Schoenberg's heart stopped beating. He composed "String Trio” immediately after his recuperation to try and describe his brush with death.

The documentary looks back at Schoenberg's 1933 departure from Nazi Germany, his career, and the composer's years in Los Angeles. In the film Gertrud and Arnold Schoenberg's three children, Nuria, Ronald, and Lawrence comment about their memories of their father, and well-known director Peter Sellars and violist Kim Kashkashian speak about the "String Trio."

After the film, there will be a panel discussion.


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film screening

Sun, Apr 14
04:30PM
Sun, Apr 14
04:30PM

discussion

Socrates, Moses, and the Long Fight Against Idolatry - In-person Event

Join us for a fascinating discussion celebrating the launch of Matt Gatton’s new book, The Shadows of Socrates: The Heresy, War, and Treachery Behind the Trial of Socrates.

The trial of the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates is widely considered the most famous trial of all time. At age 70, he was charged with impiety (a religious crime) and corrupting the youth, but the reasons for these charges were left unexplained, as the prosecution’s case was not recorded. There’s a reason for this: Socrates triggered the first great battle between philosophy and religion when he launched a searing critique of Athens’ most important and secretive idolatrous cult. Socrates has more in common with Moses, Maimonides, and Spinoza than you might ever have imagined. Sometimes the light of true reason must fight in the shadows.


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discussion

Fri, Apr 12
01:00PM
Fri, Apr 12
01:00PM

class

All in the Mishpocheh, Part II: Jewish Genealogy Beyond the Basics - Online Course

All in the Mishpocheh, Part II: Jewish Genealogy Beyond the Basics - Online Course

10-session online course (via Zoom)
Fridays, 1:00-2:15 PM ET
April 12 – June 14, 2024

Join the librarians of the Center for Jewish History’s Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute for this 10-week intermediate-level online course, designed for those who are familiar with the major online databases like Ancestry and JewishGen, as well as basic search strategies for Jewish names and ancestral towns, and at least a few relevant offline resources, such as reference books or archival records. NOTE: You don’t need to complete our beginner-level online course (Intro to Jewish Genealogy at CJH) to join this one. That said, we certainly welcome and encourage all our former students to continue their research journey with us. Topics will include strategies for getting past your “brick walls,” Jewish immigration after the Great Wave, tools for analyzing your DNA matches, tracking down lesser-known record types, digital preservation, artificial intelligence, and more. By the end of this course, you will have compiled the first portion of your family history narrative and will be equipped with the tools to complete it on your own!

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

FAQ

Can I contact the instructor outside of class time?
Absolutely! One unique aspect of this course is that our instructors not only permit, but encourage, their students to reach out to them beyond the class time – via email, video chat, or in-person visits. Former students say this one-on-one availability was instrumental in their personal research progress, providing the tailored guidance they needed to chart their research path.

Will I get personal feedback?
Yes. Your instructor will give you feedback on your assignments and your personal research questions either during or between classes. Your fellow students may also offer their advice during class.


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class

Fri, Apr 12
01:00PM
Fri, Apr 12
01:00PM

lecture

Restitution, Mourning, and Memory in the Early Federal Republic – Live on Zoom

Restitution, Mourning, and Memory in the Early Federal Republic – Live on Zoom

In this lecture, CJH NEH Scholar in Residence Helmut Walser Smith (Vanderbilt University) follows the postwar story of a group of Holocaust survivors from the small Swabian town of Haigerloch and argues that their restitution claims, while hedged in by legal categories, constituted an early form of truth telling. Focusing especially on the Buttenhausen Memorial erected in 1961, the presentation then shifts to public claims for truth about the Holocaust in the form of early commemoration. Although located in a village, this monument was essentially put up by Jews in New York and was less an act of memory than it was a form of mourning. The chapter concludes by asking when, where, and how the transition occurred to the first memorials erected by non-Jewish Germans. The presentation draws from the third chapter of the author's book-in-progress, tentatively entitled "Local Truth: How Jews and Germans made the Memory Culture of the Federal Republic."

About the Speakers
Helmut Walser Smith is the Martha Rivers Ingram Professor of History at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and currently NEH Scholar in Residence at the Center for Jewish History in New York. His books have appeared in six languages and include German Nationalism and Religious Conflict: Culture, Ideology, Politics, 1870-1914 (Princeton, 1995), The Butcher’s Tale: Murder and Antisemitism in a German Town (W.W. Norton, 2002), The Continuities of German History (Cambridge University Press, 2008), and Germany: A Nation in its Time: Before, During, and After Nationalism (W.W. Norton/Liveright, 2020). He is also the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History (Oxford University Press, 2011) and a number of other edited volumes. Over the years, his research has been supported by the NEH, the German Academic Exchange, the Volkswagen Foundation, the Humboldt Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is currently working on a book with the tentative title "Local Truth: How Jews and Germans made the Memory Culture of the Federal Republic."

Michael Brenner (respondent) holds the chair of Jewish History and Culture at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. He is also Distinguished Professor of History and Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies at American University and serves as International President of the Leo Baeck Institute for the Study of German-Jewish History. In 2021 he was the first recipient of the Baron Award for Scholarly Excellence in Research of the Jewish Experience. He is the author of ten books, translated into over a dozen languages. His latest books are In Hitler’s Munich: Jews, the Revolution, and the Rise of Nazism(Princeton University Press, 2022) and In Search of Israel: The History of an Idea (Princeton University Press, 2018).


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lecture

Thu, Apr 11
11:00AM
Thu, Apr 11
11:00AM

lecture

Family History Today: Belarus Archive Searches – Live on Zoom

Family History Today: Belarus Archive Searches – Live on Zoom

Many people seeking information about their Jewish ancestors in Belarus are quickly deterred because there are so few relevant records online. Until those records go online, genealogy research requires traveling to the Belarus Archives, mainly in Minsk and Grodno, and navigating large registers and document collections handwritten in Russian, which isn’t feasible for most Jews with Belarussian roots today. The London-based non-profit, The Together Plan (TTP), employs a team of Belarussian archivists who will search the Archives for records of your family for a reasonable fee, a portion of which supports TTP’s numerous on-the-ground efforts to revitalize Jewish communities in Belarus today. In this presentation, Carl Kaplan and Vasily Zaitsau, TTP’s Archive Services Caseworker in Boston and Archive Services Coordinator in Minsk, will explain how to initiate a genealogy research request with TTP, what their research process entails, and what kinds of results you may expect to receive from them, with examples of discoveries made for previous clients.


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lecture

Thu, Apr 11
06:30PM
Thu, Apr 11
06:30PM

exhibit opening

Exhibit Inauguration: “The Golden Age of the Jews of Alandalus” |

Exhibit Inauguration: “The Golden Age of the Jews of Alandalus” | "La Edad de Oro de los judíos de Alandalús" - In-person Event

Join us to celebrate the Golden Age of the Jewish community of Al-Andalus with:

Ángeles Moreno Bau, Ambassador of Spain to the United States
Jaime Moreno Bau, General Director of the Centro Sefarad-Israel
David Dangoor, President of the ASF
Dr. Vanessa Paloma Duncan-Elbaz, ASF Broome & Allen Fellow, Research Associate at Cambridge University, and award-winning scholar and singer
Rabbi Yamin Levy, Founder of the Maimonides Heritage Center and author of The Founding Fathers of Sephardic Jewry and The Mysticism of Andalusia
Matt Gatton, Sephardic scholar and author of The Shadows of Socrates
Dr. Hélene Jawhara Piñer, ASF Broome & Allen Scholar, award-winning author of Sephardi: cooking the history & Jews, Food, and Spain: The Oldest Medieval Spanish Cookbook and the Sephardic Culinary Heritage
Dvir Avnon-Klein, ASF Sephardi House Fellow and talented multi-instrumentalist

The exhibition has been organized by Centro Sefarad-Israel, with the collaboration of Casa del Mediterráneo, the Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies, and The George Feldenkers Program in Judaic Studies of the University of Miami, the Red de Juderías de España, the World Jewish Congress, Fundación Hispano Judía, and the American Sephardi Federation. It also has the support of Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs - European Union and Cooperation, the Community of Madrid, the Madrid City Council, ElAl, Instituto Cervantes, the University of Cambridge, the University of Granada, Trinity College Dublin, and the European Research Council.


Presented by:

exhibit opening

Wed, Apr 10
07:00PM
Wed, Apr 10
07:00PM

lecture

"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in Court: The Bern Trial (1933-1935) and the "Antisemitic International" - In-person Event & Live on Zoom

Between 1933 and 1935, a trial was held in Bern against members of the Swiss extreme right-wing National Front who had distributed “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a widely disseminated antisemitic publication that spread lies about Jews. The real target of the Jewish organization’s fascist movements.

During the course of the trial, both sides received ample support in the form of material assistance and propaganda. The defendants and their supporters in Nazi Germany were able to rely on an extensive network that had been established in the early 1920s to combat “Judaeo-Bolshevism.” This conspiratorial “Antisemitic International” united German völkisch circles, Italian fascists, Russian monarchists, and French conspiracy theorists. On the other side, the plaintiffs, who actively sought to expose the “Protocols” as a forgery in the hope that this would counteract their impact.

In this lecture, Michael Hagemeister will use the Bern trial as a case study of Jewish legal self-defense in order to shed light on both the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and the concerted efforts against the “Antisemitic International” in the 1930s, which have received little attention from historians.

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


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Presented by:

lecture

Sun, Apr 07
10:00AM
Sun, Apr 07
10:00AM

symposium

Reconsidering Jewish Migration to the United States: A Century of Controversy – In-person & live on Zoom

Reconsidering Jewish Migration to the United States: A Century of Controversy – In-person & live on Zoom

Reconsidering Jewish Migration to the United States: A Century of Controversy marks the 100th anniversary of the pivotal Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924 by exploring a century of Jewish engagement with immigration at the national and international level. The symposium brings together nationally renowned scholars and experts to examine how the 1924 act restricted immigration from the interwar period to the 1960s, how Jews and other groups were affected, and how the liberalization of immigration law after the 1960s produced major demographic changes in the United States and set the stage for contemporary political controversies over the role of immigration in American life. 

Click here for a list of panels and speakers.

Speakers will be selling and signing books throughout the day. At the conclusion of the symposium, please join us for a wine and cheese reception to celebrate the opening of a related exhibition, Crossing the Ocean. Three Waves of German Jewish Immigration to the United States, presented by the Leo Baeck Institute.

The symposium is generously sponsored by the Selz Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, and supplemented by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

Photo Credit: Coming to America, 1952, Louis Stettner, © Louis Stettner Estate 2024


Presented by:

symposium

Sun, Apr 07
05:30PM
Sun, Apr 07
05:30PM

exhibit opening

Crossing the Ocean Exhibit Opening - In-person Event

Crossing the Ocean Exhibit Opening - In-person Event

Based on personal accounts from the LBI Archives, this exhibition explores how the experience of German-speaking Jews coming to America changed between the 1840s and 1950s. It emphasizes the often-marginalized aspect of the migration history, the decision-making, and crossing the ocean in the search for a better life. While showing various aspects of the immigration process and practicalities, the exhibition focuses on the role of transnational contacts between past and prospective immigrants. The strength of one's contacts in the United States could make or break an immigration attempt. The story encompasses three waves of immigration: the 19th century, 1933–1941, and post-World War II. In the year of the 100th Anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1924, which virtually stopped mass immigration to the United States for two generations, immigration, particularly refugees, is still an acute problem of world affairs.

The exhibit will officially open during the symposium Reconsidering Jewish Migration to the United States: A Century of Controversy, organized by the Center for Jewish History on April 7, 2024. 


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exhibit opening

Thu, Apr 04
01:00PM
Thu, Apr 04
01:00PM

lecture

The Lodz Ghetto and the Kriminalpolizei: Jews, Neighbors, and Perpetrators in the Holocaust - Live on Zoom

The German criminal police (Kriminalpolizei, or Kripo) maintained a permanent station in the Lodz ghetto, which over the four years of its existence imprisoned some 200,000 Jews. Responsible for stopping smuggling networks and for gathering information about hidden possessions inside and outside the ghetto, the Kripo relied heavily on local ethnic Germans, the so-called Volksdeutsche. These policemen exploited their prewar social networks in their investigations and carried out violent acts against Jews familiar to them. They deployed their Polish and Yiddish language skills in interrogations of suspects, and they used their knowledge of Jewish religious practices and local customs to spy on the Jews and later to evaluate their confiscated property.

In this talk, Winson Chu focuses on how police records in Poland and survivor sources at YIVO enable a better understanding of such prewar connections with wartime perpetrators. By providing additional detail and context to existing accounts of ghetto experiences, this approach re-embeds Jews into interethnic relations in prewar Lodz and Nazi-occupied Poland and questions the common perception of the Lodz ghetto as “hermetically sealed.”


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Presented by:

lecture

Thu, Apr 04
07:30PM
Thu, Apr 04
07:30PM

lecture

“Juden, Baptized and Unbaptized”: Jewishness and Ferdinand Hiller’s 'Israel’s Siegesgesang' - Live on Zoom

German composer Ferdinand Hiller (1811-85) lived and worked throughout a period of tumultuous change, marked by unprecedented movement (both geographic and socio-economic), active assimilation, and formalized emancipation for the Jews of German-speaking Europe. A piano prodigy and student of Hummel, he was a direct contemporary of Felix Mendelssohn, with whom he was personally and professionally close. Hiller, who was baptized at the age of 29, had a complex engagement with Jewishness and Judaism, which has thus been variously essentialized as a pervasive part of his identity to mere circumstance of birth, ignored and forgotten. Of several compositions explicitly engaging with Jewish texts, his 1840 oratorio, Die Zerstörung Jerusalems, was a widely acclaimed success throughout Germany and beyond, whereas Hiller’s eight-movement choral work, Israel’s Siegesgesang, op. 151 (1871) had a more modest initial reception.

This presentation shows how Hiller, by this point a well-established teacher and musical authority on the classical and early romantic traditions, used Psalm and other texts from the Hebrew Bible in Israel’s Siegesgesang to reflect current political sentiment following the Battle of Sedan, which ended the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. Amanda Ruppenthal-Stein will trace this work’s appearance from German-speaking Europe to English audiences in London, Cincinnati, Boston, and San Francisco, and finally in the 1897 edition of the Union Hymnal, showing how not only did Hiller clearly recognize his Jewish heritage and engage with it in varied ways throughout his life, but also the recognition of him as member of the broader Jewish community, regardless of his baptismal status.

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


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Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Apr 03
07:30PM
Wed, Apr 03
07:30PM

concert

Momenta String Quartet - Beatrice Diener Ensemble-in-Residence at Stern College - In-person Event

Momenta String Quartet - Beatrice Diener Ensemble-in-Residence at Stern College - In-person Event

The Momenta String Quartet, Beatrice Diener Ensemble-in-Residence at Stern College for Women (Yeshiva University), performs the work of Jewish composers of the 20th and 21st centuries.  With music by Mauricio KagelErwin Schulhoff and a world premiere for flute and string sextet by Yeshiva University faculty composer David Glaser.

Featuring guest flutist Anthony Trionfo.


Presented by:

concert

Tue, Apr 02
06:30PM
Tue, Apr 02
06:30PM

lecture

Stolpertexte: Archives, Literature, and Memory - In-person Event

Stolpertexte: Archives, Literature, and Memory - In-person Event

The LBI Archives hold tens of thousands of family collections that include diaries, memoirs, letters, and photographs that document the everyday lives of German-speaking Jews. In LBI's newest project, German-language writers have been invited to engage with these collections and the people described in them in short literary texts called Stolpertexte. Like their namesake brass memorial plaques, these texts interrupt our daily routines and remind us in the here and now on the lives and hopes of people from whom Nazi terror took everything away.

In addition to some of Germany's leading authors, a new generation of literary talent is also engaged in the project. LBI invites you to meet students from the German Literature Institute in Leipzig, Germany’s premiere creative-writing program, who will read from their own Stolpertexte and a short documentary theater piece. German writer Max Czollek, who holds the Spring 2024 DAAD Chair in Contemporary Poetics at NYU, will discuss literary memory culture in Germany and engage in a discussion with the students. Featuring Nadja EtinskiAmalie Mbianda NjikiTara MeisterKonstantin SchmidtbauerMücahit TürkJonë ZhitiaHannah Beckmann.

Cosponsored by Deutsches Haus at NYU.


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Presented by:

lecture

Mon, Apr 01
07:00PM
Mon, Apr 01
07:00PM

film screening and discussion

Drew Friedman: Vermeer of the Borscht Belt - In-person Event

For years, artist Drew Friedman has chronicled a strange, alternate universe populated by forgotten Hollywood stars, old Jewish comedians and liver-spotted elevator operators. Drew Friedman: Vermeer of the Borscht Belt is an in-depth documentary tracing artist Friedman's evolution from underground comics to the cover of The New Yorker. The film, directed by Kevin Dougherty, features interviews with Friedman's friends and colleagues, including Gilbert Gottfried, Patton Oswalt, Richard Kind, Mike Judge, Merrill Markoe and many others.

Join YIVO for a screening of this new documentary followed by a panel discussion with Friedman, his wife Kathy Bidus, Dougherty, David Letterman band leader Paul Shaffer, actors Craig Bierko and Richard Kind, filmmaker Owen Kline, and comedy writers Tom Leopold and Frank Santopadre, led by YIVO Senior Academic Advisor & Director of Exhibitions Eddy Portnoy.

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


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Presented by:

film screening and discussion

Sun, Mar 31
01:00PM
Sun, Mar 31
01:00PM

symposium

Moses Mendelssohn Returns to Jerusalem - In-person Event

Moses Mendelssohn Returns to Jerusalem - In-person Event

This symposium marks the first Hebrew translation of Moses Mendelssohn's Jerusalem in seventy-five years.

Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786) wrote Jerusalem with his back to the wall. His Jewish identity and liberal outlook were challenged in the public sphere of the German Enlightenment, and this was his last opportunity to write a book that would perpetuate the essence of his faith and his values as the first modern Jewish humanist. The work, which moves between apologetics for his faith and political and religious philosophy was primarily a daring essay that categorically denied the rule of religion and advocated tolerance and freedom of thought. Neither the state nor the church had the right to govern a person’s conscience; and, no less far-reaching and pioneering: these values are consistent with Judaism. In the summer of 1783, seven years after the resounding voice of protest against tyranny and in favor of liberty and equality was heard in the American Declaration of Independence, less than six years before the French Revolution, but only two years and two months before his death, the man who was called the “German Socrates,” a highly prominent figure in the Enlightenment, published one of the fundamental documents in Jewish modernity.

Featuring a Talk By:
Dr. Shmuel Feiner, Professor Emeritus of Modern Jewish History, Bar-Ilan University; Editor of the new translation of Jerusalem.

Moderated By:
Professor Michah GottliebNYU

With Responses By:
Professor Shira BilletJewish Theological Seminary
Professor Leah HochmanHebrew Union College
Jonathan GreenNYU

With Concluding Reflections By:
Professor Jacob J. SchacterYeshiva University

Organized by Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University and LBI, co-sponsored by Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Center for Jewish History, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, and JTS Hendel Center for Ethics and Justice.


Presented by:

symposium

Sun, Mar 31
03:00PM
Sun, Mar 31
03:00PM

discussion

Why Spinoza Matters Now: Truth and Freedom in America Today - In-person Event

Join us for a lively and timely discussion celebrating the launch of Ian Buruma’s new book, Spinoza: Freedom’s Messiah. Buruma will be joined on the panel by Steven Nadler, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, & Clémence Boulouque

350 years after his death, the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza remains vitally relevant — especially in this period of deep political division and with the threat to liberal democracy not only in Europe and elsewhere, but right here at home. Spinoza was the most open and important proponent of democracy, toleration, politics free from religious sectarian interference, and freedom of expression in the early modern period. He was also “cancelled” (Herem) by Amsterdam’s Jewish community.

See this New Yorker review, “Baruch Spinoza and the Art of Thinking in Dangerous Times,” as well as Buruma’s latest, “The 17th-Century Heretic We Could Really Use Now,” in The New York Times.


Presented by:

discussion

Thu, Mar 28
07:00PM
Thu, Mar 28
07:00PM

concert

In a Dark Blue Night - In-person Event

Celebrate the release of in a dark blue night, the follow-up to Alex Weiser’s Pulitzer Prize nominated debut album and all the days were purple.

A love letter to New York City, in a dark blue nightfeatures acclaimed singer Annie Rosen with a seven-piece chamber ensemble and comprises two song cycles that explore Jewish immigrant New York City. The first cycle, in a dark blue night, features five settings of Yiddish poetry written by newly arrived immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Coney Island Days follows and sets to music words from an oral history interview with Weiser’s grandmother about childhood in the bilingual immigrant world of Coney Island in the 1930s and ‘40s.

Join YIVO to celebrate the release of this album with performances, discussion, and a post-concert reception. The album, which will be released by Cantaloupe Music on Friday, March 29, 2024, will be available for pre-release purchase and signing after the concert.

The Sidney Krum Young Artists Concert Series is made possible by a generous gift from the Estate of Sidney Krum.

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


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Presented by:

concert

Wed, Mar 27
01:00PM
Wed, Mar 27
01:00PM

lecture

Yiddish and Hebrew Little Magazines in the Weimar Republic - Live on Zoom

In this talk, Barbara Mann will discuss the "little magazine," a staple of modernist Jewish culture which flourished in the Weimar Republic. The little magazine is a distinctively portable and collaborative genre, an appropriate venue for the migrant, cosmopolitan mix of Berlin’s interwar Jewish population. Each issue blended poetry, manifestos and visual arts to create a unique form of cultural expression. Mann will explore the publishing history of Yiddish and Hebrew little magazines, their content, physical features, and readership.

About the Speaker
Barbara E. Mann is the inaugural holder of the Stephen H. Hoffman Professorship in Modern Hebrew Language and Literature at Case Western Reserve University. She is the author of A Place in History: Modernism, Tel Aviv and the Creation of Jewish Urban Space (Stanford, 2006) and Space and Place in Jewish Studies (Rutgers, 2012).


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Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Mar 27
06:30PM
Wed, Mar 27
06:30PM

book talk

The Money Kings: The Epic Story of the Jewish Immigrants Who Transformed Wall Street and Shaped Modern America - In-person Event

The Money Kings: The Epic Story of the Jewish Immigrants Who Transformed Wall Street and Shaped Modern America - In-person Event

Join AJHS and LBI for a discussion with The Money Kings author Daniel Schulman and  Susie J. Pak author of Gentlemen Bankers.

The Money Kings is the incredible saga of the German-Jewish immigrants—with now familiar names like Goldman and Sachs, Kuhn and Loeb, Warburg and Schiff, Lehman and Seligman—who profoundly influenced the rise of modern finance (and so much more), from the New York Times best-selling author of Sons of Wichita.

Joseph Seligman arrived in the United States in 1837, with the equivalent of $100 sewn into the lining of his pants. Then came the Lehman brothers, who would open a general store in Montgomery, Alabama. Not far behind were Solomon Loeb and Marcus Goldman, among the “Forty-Eighters” fleeing a Germany that had relegated Jews to an underclass.  These industrious immigrants would soon go from peddling trinkets and buying up shopkeepers’ IOUs to forming what would become some of the largest investment banks in the world—Goldman Sachs, Kuhn Loeb, Lehman Brothers, J. & W. Seligman & Co. They would clash and collaborate with J. P. Morgan, E. H. Harriman, Jay Gould, and other famed tycoons of the era. And their firms would help to transform the United States from a debtor nation into a financial superpower, capitalizing American industry and underwriting some of the twentieth century’s quintessential companies, like General Motors, Macy’s, and Sears. Along the way, they would shape the destiny not just of American finance but of the millions of Eastern European Jews who spilled off steamships in New York Harbor in the early 1900s, including Daniel Schulman’s paternal grandparents.


Presented by:

book talk

Mon, Mar 25
01:00PM
Mon, Mar 25
01:00PM

discussion

Colonialism, Racism, and the Arab Israeli War of 1948 - Live on Zoom

In 1947, a two-thirds majority of the members of the United Nations, an organization which took its name from the term for the Allies fighting against Nazi Germany, voted to establish an Arab, and a Jewish state on what had been British Mandate Palestine. Supporters of the Jewish state, and the Zionists themselves, viewed that project as an anti-colonial, anti-racist, and as a continuation of the anti-fascist passions of World War II. The Arab opponents, at the time and since, denounced the establishment of Israel as precisely the opposite, that is, an example of colonialism, racism, and in Soviet era propaganda even a form of Nazism. Historian Benny Morris has written extensively about the causes and nature of the war of 1948, and the controversies that have surrounded it ever since. Historian Jeffrey Herf has examined the international politics surrounding Israel’s establishment. In conversation, Morris and Herf will explore these issues and the way they influence contemporary discussions.

Buy the books from this series.

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


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discussion

Thu, Mar 21
12:30PM
Thu, Mar 21
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Sally Fischer – Live on Zoom

At Lunch with Sally Fischer – Live on Zoom

Julie Salamon (New York Times best-selling author) sits down with Sally Fischer, Founder and President of Sally Fischer Public Relations based in New York City. Sally was born and raised in New York City, and as a teenager Fischer moved to Florence, Italy where she completed High School and University studies, living in Italy for ten years. Upon moving back to the United States Fischer knew that staying connected to Italy was her life-long goal and has dedicated her career to promoting the Best of Italy: the finest films, the food and wine, the regions, and cities, even the Winter Olympics of 2006 based in Torino. Fischer’s goal has been to create a cultural bridge between Italy and the United States and to promote all that Italy has to offer. In 2018, Sally Fischer was awarded the distinguished Italian decoration: Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia by the President of the Republic of Italy, the Honorable Sergio Mattarella. Fischer resides in Manhattan with her husband and son.


Presented by:

conversation

Thu, Mar 21
07:00PM
Thu, Mar 21
07:00PM

celebration

Is Anything Okay? The History of Jews and Comedy in America - In-person and Live on Zoom

Celebrate the launch of Is Anything Okay? The History of Jews and Comedy in America, our newest online course about Jewish comedy, which delves into the history of Jewish comedy and its development in the United States. Join us for a panel discussion with lead scholar Eddy Portnoy and special guests Judy Gold and Alan Zweibel as they consider the diverse world of Jewish comedy past, present, and future.

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


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Presented by:

celebration

Wed, Mar 20
07:30PM
Wed, Mar 20
07:30PM

concert

An Original Purimspiel - In-person Event

In partnership with the American Society of Jewish Music and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, this event will include musicians from the Mannes School of Music and the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music and performers from The School of Drama. The “Purim Spiel" — a dramatic and festive telling of the story of Esther, Mordechai, Haman, and King Ahasuerus will be punctuated by thrilling performances of klezmer music. Costumes are not required but are certainly welcome!

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


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Presented by:

concert

Tue, Mar 19
01:00PM
Tue, Mar 19
01:00PM

discussion

Reimagining the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - Live on Zoom

As the war in Gaza continues, a debate is unfolding over the future governance and status of Gaza. Join YIVO for a discussion with Marwan Muasher, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former Jordanian foreign minister and deputy prime minister, about Muasher's views on “the day after” in Gaza. In this conversation, led by former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel C. Kurtzer, Muasher will lay out his perspective on past failed peace processes, his own recently proposed framework for a peace process going forward, and his assessment of the likely alternatives to a durable peace.

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


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Presented by:

discussion

Tue, Mar 19
06:30PM
Tue, Mar 19
06:30PM

book talk

Postwar Stories: How Books Made Judaism American - In-person Event

Postwar Stories: How Books Made Judaism American - In-person Event

Join author Rachel Gordan for an in-person discussion of her new book Postwar Stories: How Books Made Judaism American with moderator Dara Horn.

Drawing on several archives, magazine articles, and nearly-forgotten bestsellers, Postwar Stories examines how Jewish middlebrow literature helped to shape post-Holocaust American Jewish identity. For both Jews and non-Jews accustomed to anti-Semitic tropes and images, positive depictions of Jews had a normalizing effect. Maybe Jews were just like other Americans, after all.

At the same time, anti-antisemitism novels and “Introduction to Judaism” literature helped to popularize the idea of Judaism as an American religion. In the process, these two genres contributed to a new form of Judaism–one that fit within the emerging myth of America as a Judeo-Christian nation, and yet displayed new confidence in revealing Judaism’s divergences from Christianity.


Presented by:

book talk

Mon, Mar 18
01:00PM
Mon, Mar 18
01:00PM

concert

Jewish Songs and Dances for Piano: Joel Engel’s “Five Piano Pieces” Op. 19 (1923) - Live on YouTube

Join us for a performance of Joel Engel’s Five Piano Pieces (1923): a collection of Jewish folksongs, dances, and Hasidic nigunim in virtuosic piano arrangements. Engel’s earlier Jewish Folksongsvolumes I, II, and II (featured by YIVO in November 2020 and June 2021) were the first published classical compositions to feature Yiddish folksongs. His use of Yiddish folk music in his compositions proved to be influential and inspired the Society for Jewish Folk Music and the composers affiliated with it to create a vast oeuvre of similar work.

This collection of five pieces will be performed by pianist Thomas Kotcheff.

The Sidney Krum Young Artists Concert Series is made possible by a generous gift from the Estate of Sidney Krum. 

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


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Presented by:

concert

Sun, Mar 17
01:30PM
Sun, Mar 17
01:30PM

lecture

Stuck: Immigration, Naturalization and Repatriation in the WWI Era – In-person lecture & live on Zoom

Stuck: Immigration, Naturalization and Repatriation in the WWI Era – In-person lecture & live on Zoom

Stolen passports, pleading letters, and fake visas all appear in the US State Department's Records of Foreign Service Posts. These documents tell harrowing tales of families separated by WWI, and the incredible lengths people went to in order to leave war-torn Europe and reunite with relatives in America.

In the years before WWI, husbands immigrated to the USA, intending to send for their family after getting settled, but the outbreak of war turned temporary situations into lengthy separations. Other cases illustrate a short visit to see family in the Old Country morphing into a years-long ordeal.

Both during and particularly after the war, the emergence of new European countries meant new rules and regulations controlling movement and emigration. Simultaneously, panic over an assumed mass influx of war refugees spurred the US Congress to pass restrictive laws that imposed quotas on would-be immigrants.

This presentation highlights some of the incredible experiences families endured during this era and explains the records used to recount their stories.



About the Speaker
Renée Carl is a professional genealogist and advocate for historic preservation and records access. She previously worked in public policy, until realizing that researching dead people is easier than working with Congress. Her background in government and cultural anthropology brings a unique perspective to locating and interpreting records. Renée is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington, and the JewishGen Latvia Research Group. She also serves as a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists Advocacy Committee and as policy advisor to the RecordsNotRevenue.com campaign. She worked as a researcher for Season 2 of PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow and served as lead researcher for Season 3. She regularly researches at the National Archives, Library of Congress, and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. You can find Renée online at EasternEuropeanMutt.com.

Co-sponsored with the Jewish Genealogical Society, Inc. (JGSNY) and Friends of Linda Cantor Z"L


Presented by:

lecture

Thu, Mar 14
07:00PM
Thu, Mar 14
07:00PM

lecture and concert

Wild Burning Rage and Song: Replies to Scottsboro - In-person Event

The Scottsboro Trials stand as one of the most renowned miscarriages of justice in the history of American jurisprudence. Beginning in 1931 with a false accusation of rape against nine Black teenagers, the case went on to invigorate a nascent Civil Rights movement, earn the international support of the Communist Party, and establish itself as a watchword among various strands of the American Left. It inspired reaction from the contemporary world of arts and letters as well, most famously by poets Langston Hughes and Richard Wright and novelist Harper Lee, who adapted its events in To Kill A Mockingbird.

The international, politically-oriented Yiddish intelligentsia of the thirties was no less galvanized, producing a body of creative response that passionately took up the themes of the trial, juxtaposing its American injustices with a diversity of images, tropes and language imbued with their own distinct histories of oppression.

Wild Burning Rage and Song: Replies to Scottsborobrings this world alive as a concert-lecture featuring Professor Amelia Glaser, author of Songs in Dark Times: Yiddish Poetry of Struggle from Scottsboro to Palestine (Harvard University Press), composer/vocalists Heather Klein and Anthony Russell, and composer/pianist Uri Schreter, performing their new settings of Yiddish and English poetry written in response to the pervasive climate of race prejudice that gave birth to the Scottsboro trials—and other injustices to come.

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


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Presented by:

lecture and concert

Wed, Mar 13
07:00PM
Wed, Mar 13
07:00PM

lecture

Hasidism in Poland on the Eve of the Holocaust - In-person Event & Live on Zoom

The Light of Learning tells the story of an unexpected Hasidic revival in Poland on the eve of the Holocaust. In the aftermath of World War I, as secularism spread, Hasidic leaders rapidly reinvented themselves as educators devoted to rescuing the youth by means of world-renowned yeshivas, Bais Yaakov schools for girls and women, and eventually underground yeshiva bunkers during the Holocaust. The Light of Learning belies notions of late Hasidic decadence and decline and transforms our understanding of Polish Jewry during its final hour.

Join YIVO for a presentation on this book with author Glenn Dynner along with performances of Hasidic nigunim by Lorin Sklamberg of the Klezmatics.

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


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Presented by:

lecture

Mon, Mar 11
01:00PM
Mon, Mar 11
01:00PM

book talk

Jewish Reading Habits in the Russian Empire - Live on Zoom

As significant economic, social, political, and cultural transformations swept the Jewish population of Tsarist Russia and Congress Poland between 1860 and 1914, the Yiddish language began to gain recognition as a central part of the Jewish cultural stage. Yiddish Transformed: Reading Habits in the Russian Empire, 1860-1914 examines the secular reading habits of East European Jews as the Jewish community began shifting to a modern society. Author Nathan Cohen explores Jewish reading practices alongside the rise of Yiddish by delving into publishing policies of Yiddish books and newspapers, popular literary genres of the time, the development of Jewish public libraries, as well as personal reflections of reading experiences.

Join YIVO for a discussion with Cohen about this book, led by YIVO’s Senior Academic Advisor and Director of Exhibitions Eddy Portnoy.

Buy the book.

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


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Presented by:

book talk

Sun, Mar 10
09:30AM
Sun, Mar 10
09:30AM

symposium

War and Memory in Jewish Material Culture - In-person Event

War and Memory in Jewish Material Culture - In-person Event

Professor Shalom Sabar
The Hebrew University
“Souvenirs of the Six-Day War as Conveyors of Socio-Historical Messages from the Past to Modern Israel”

Rabbi Joseph Topek
Stony Brook University
“Beyond the Civil War: Memory and Iconography in Early American Jewish Veteran Culture”

Co-sponsored by the Harry G. Friedman Society and Yeshiva University Museum


Presented by:

symposium

Wed, Mar 06
07:00PM
Wed, Mar 06
07:00PM

book talk

Music, Gender, and Jewish Orthodoxy in North America - In-person Event & Live on Zoom

Join YIVO for a conversation with Jeremiah Lockwood and Jessica Roda, led by Jonathan Boyarin in celebration of Lockwood and Roda’s new books Golden Ages: Hasidic Singers and Cantorial Revival in the Digital Era (Lockwood, UCPress) and For Women and Girls Only: Reshaping Jewish Orthodoxy Through the Arts in the Digital Age (Roda, NYU Press). Through ethnography and media analysis, Lockwood and Roda offer unique insights into the vibrant masculine and feminine art worlds of Hasidic and Litvish-Yeshivish Jews today. They lead us to rethink the power of the arts to understand agency, privacy and publicity in religious settings.

The book launch will conclude with two performances featuring Cantor Yoel Kohn and actress Malky Goldman, artists who participated with the authors in their research projects.

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


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Presented by:

book talk

Tue, Mar 05
06:30PM
Tue, Mar 05
06:30PM

panel discussion

Jewish Labor in Early 20th Century NYC: Intersections and Tensions – In-person Event

Jewish Labor in Early 20th Century NYC: Intersections and Tensions – In-person Event

Join AJHS on March 5th for a discussion on organized and informal Jewish labor movements in early 20th century New York City.  This conversation hopes to interrogate how factors such as gender, class, race, religion, and religious observance both fostered these movements and also presented complex challenges to their goals, as well as expanding upon the intersections of the Jewish community in New York at this time with other ethnic and cultural populations. Panelists include Cameron Black, Alice Kessler-Harris, Tejasvi Nagaraja & Daniel Walkowitz with Mary Anne Trasciatti as moderator.

Cameron Black (Panelist)- Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies.

Alice Kessler-Harris (Panelist) R. Gordon Hoxie Professor Emerita of American History in honor of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Professor Emerita in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender both at Columbia University.

Tejasvi Nagaraja (Panelist) Assistant Professor of Labor History, Global Labor and Work at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Daniel Walkowitz (Panelist) Professor Emeritus of Social and Cultural Analysis and Professor Emeritus of History at New York University.

Mary Anne Trasciatti (Moderator) Director of Hofstra’s Labor Studies Program and Professor of Rhetoric and Public Advocacy.


Presented by:

panel discussion

Sun, Mar 03
11:00AM
Sun, Mar 03
11:00AM

gallery tour

Final Day for Exhibition Tours of <em>The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries</em> - In-person Event

Final Day for Exhibition Tours of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries - In-person Event

We have arranged a day of special, free in-person tours:

11:00 – 11:30 am: Family Tour (for parents with children 7 and up)
Noon – 1:00 pm: Director’s Tour
1:00 – 1:30 pm: Highlight Tour
2:00– 2:30 pm: Highlight Tour
2:30 – 3:30 pm: Collector’s Tour with Robert Hartman
3:30 – 4:30 pm: Curator’s Tour with David Sclar
4:30 – 5:30 pm: Collector’s Tour with Robert Hartman

Space is limited, so reservations are recommended. When you RSVP at RSVP@yum.cjh.org, please indicate the date and time of your requested tour.


Presented by:

gallery tour

Thu, Feb 29
01:00PM
Thu, Feb 29
01:00PM

book talk

Firebird - Live on Zoom

Zuzanna Ginczanka’s last poem, “Non omnis moriar...” (“Not all of me shall die”), written shortly before her execution by the Nazis in the last months of World War II, is one of the most famous and unsettling texts in modern East European literature. A fiercely ironic last will and testament that names the person who betrayed her to the occupying authorities as a Jew, it exposes the hypocrisy at the heart of Polish nationalist myths. Firebird brings together many of Ginczanka’s uncollected poems and presents On Centaurs, her sole published book, in its entirety.

Join YIVO for a discussion of this book with translator Alissa Valles, led by YIVO Executive Director Jonathan Brent.

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


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Presented by:

book talk

Thu, Feb 29
02:00PM
Thu, Feb 29
02:00PM

book club

LBI Book Club:  Four Thousand Lives: The Rescue of Jewish Men to Britain, 1939 - Live on Zoom

LBI Book Club: Four Thousand Lives: The Rescue of Jewish Men to Britain, 1939 - Live on Zoom

In November 1938 about 30,000 German Jewish men were taken to concentration camps where they were subjected to torture, starvation and arbitrary death. In Four Thousand Lives, Clare Ungerson tells the remarkable story of how the grandees of Anglo-Jewry persuaded the British Government to allow them to establish a transit camp in Sandwich, East Kent, to which up to 4,000 men could be brought while they waited for permanent settlement overseas. The whole rescue was funded by the British Jewish community, with help from American Jewry. Most of the men had to leave their families behind. Would they get them out in time? And how would the people of Sandwich – a town the same size as the camp – react to so many German speaking Jewish foreigners? There was a well-organized branch of the British Union of Fascists in Sandwich. Lady Pearson, the BUF candidate for Canterbury, was President of the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce and Captain Gordon Canning, a prominent Fascist and close friend of Oswald Mosley, lived there and he and his grand friends used to meet there to play golf. This background adds to the drama of the race against time to save lives. Four Thousand Lives is not just a story of salvation, but also a revealing account of how a small English community reacted to the arrival of so many German Jews in their midst. (Description: Amazon).

About the Author and Guest
Professor Emerita Clare Ungerson was born in London to a German Jewish mother (originally from Stuttgart) and a Jewish father who had been born in London to parents who had come from near Lublin (then in Russia, now in Poland). Her maternal grandparents also managed to get out of Germany just in time at the end of June 1939. She was brought up in a completely secular household. Clare read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford and did a Masters in Social Policy at the London School of Economics. She then became an academic in the field of Social Policy, ending up as Professor of Social Policy at the University of Southampton. On retirement she moved to Sandwich in East Kent. Her book, 'Four Thousand Lives', was a retirement project for which she fortunately found a commercial publisher. The research for the book was mainly conducted in London and Jerusalem. She will be celebrating her 80th birthday in early February.


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Presented by:

book club

Wed, Feb 28
01:00PM
Wed, Feb 28
01:00PM

lecture

East European Jewish Women in Their Quest for a Dowry in the First Half of the Twentieth Century - Live on Zoom

Late nineteenth-century East European Jewry witnessed how various modernizing forces affected the most intimate spheres of Jewish life – family, sexuality, and household – and reconfigured women’s roles. Scholars have conventionally associated modernization with a shift from earlier and arranged unions toward later romantic marriages. Indeed, Jewish women increasingly attended secular high schools and universities, engaged in political, social, and cultural endeavors, took up gainful employment, and migrated. Yet, the economic reality dictated the marriage market for the masses of Jewish women from the working poor, turning marriage into a financial tool to improve woman’s fate.

This talk by Aleksandra Jakubczak will illuminate the link between the changing economy and Jewish courtship and marriage by situating it within the broader context of Jewish women’s responses to the promise of modernization on the one hand and the economic challenges accompanying it on the other. The increasing economic hardship faced by East European Jews at the turn of the century pushed Jewish women into the labor market and migratory routes. However, for some women, gainful employment and mobility did not necessarily mean emancipation from the traditional Jewish structures that had shaped their lives. Drawing on Yiddish, Hebrew, and Polish newspapers, brochures, court cases, and police reports, this lecture will show how East European Jewish women used their gainful employment, including in the sex industry, and migration to strike a good marriage deal and not to live independent lives.


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Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Feb 28
06:00PM
Wed, Feb 28
06:00PM

gallery tour

Museum Director's Tour of <em>The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries</em> - In-person Event

Museum Director's Tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries - In-person Event

Join YU Museum Director Gabriel Goldstein for a guided tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries, illuminating the life and impact of the multifaceted luminary and great Jewish sage across continents and cultures through rare manuscripts and books. Exhibition highlights include manuscripts in Maimonides’s own handwriting, a carved 11th century door to the Torah ark from Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue, and beautifully illuminated medieval manuscripts.


Presented by:

gallery tour

Tue, Feb 27
01:00PM
Tue, Feb 27
01:00PM

gallery tour

Museum Director's Tour of <em>The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries</em> - In-person Event

Museum Director's Tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries - In-person Event

Join YU Museum Director Gabriel Goldstein for a guided tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries, illuminating the life and impact of the multifaceted luminary and great Jewish sage across continents and cultures through rare manuscripts and books. Exhibition highlights include manuscripts in Maimonides’s own handwriting, a carved 11th century door to the Torah ark from Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue, and beautifully illuminated medieval manuscripts.


Presented by:

gallery tour

Mon, Feb 26
01:00PM
Mon, Feb 26
01:00PM

discussion

Hamas and the Origins of Islamic Antisemitism - Live on Zoom

During and after World War II and the Holocaust, the collaboration of leading Palestinian nationalists with the Nazi regime was a major issue in the press and politics, especially liberal politics, in New York and Washington. In the past several decades, historians in Israel, Germany and the United States have examined the details and nature of this collaboration and of the ideas of Islamists that led them to lend support to Hitler. The ideology of Hamas, famously expressed in its Charter of 1988, echoes themes of Jew-hatred in the key Islamist texts written eighty years earlier. In this conversation historians Matthias Küntzel and Jeffrey Herf will discuss the origins of Hamas, the history of Islamic antisemitism, and its causal significance in the war of 1947-1948.

Buy the books from this series.

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


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Presented by:

discussion

Sun, Feb 25
11:00AM
Sun, Feb 25
11:00AM

gallery tour

Exhibition Tour of <em>The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries</em> with Ilana Benson, YU Museum Director of Museum Education - In-person Event

Exhibition Tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries with Ilana Benson, YU Museum Director of Museum Education - In-person Event

Join Ilana Benson, YU Museum Director of Museum Education, for a guided tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries, illuminating the life and impact of the multifaceted luminary and great Jewish sage across continents and cultures through rare manuscripts and books. Exhibition highlights include manuscripts in Maimonides’s own handwriting, a carved 11th century door to the Torah ark from Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue, and beautifully illuminated medieval manuscripts.


Presented by:

gallery tour

Sun, Feb 25
11:00AM
Sun, Feb 25
11:00AM

discussion

2024 Summer Program Information Session - Advanced Levels - Live on Zoom

Are you thinking of returning to the Summer Program to continue your advanced studies? Join Summer Program faculty and staff for a brief information session about YIVO’s advanced levels. Open to graduates of YIVO’s level Daled and Hey (levels four and five) and those with comparable proficiency, this session will cover the structure of YIVO’s advanced levels, the online and in-person formats, admissions process, and more, with time for questions from prospective Summer Program participants.

The session will be conducted in Yiddish and is entirely optional (prospective participants are not required to attend).

Learn more about the Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture.


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Presented by:

discussion

Wed, Feb 21
01:00PM
Wed, Feb 21
01:00PM

lecture

The Reality of Myth for Yiddish Writers in Weimar Germany - Live on Zoom

Berlin in the Weimar Republic (1918-1933) — though peripheral to the centers of Yiddish culture in the United States, Poland, and the Soviet Union — offered financial windfalls and business opportunities for migrants with foreign currency, particularly for writers with contact to the American Yiddish press. Moreover, Germany, unlike Poland, maintained diplomatic and economic relations with the Soviet Union, which allowed writers sympathetic to the Bolshevik Revolution a safe haven.

The heyday of Yiddish culture in Berlin was relatively short-lived, dating from about 1921 until about 1926, after which the Soviet Union had achieved political stability and began to invest, at least for the next decade, in a wide series of Yiddish-language cultural institutions. Nevertheless, Berlin was an important way-station in the development of modern Yiddish culture and particularly a Yiddish avant-garde.

In historical terms, it is always necessary to distinguish between "myth" and "reality"; for Yiddish writers in interwar Berlin, however, what is fascinating is the degree to which myth and reality informed and interpenetrated one another. In this lecture, Marc Caplan will examine the historical significance and legendary allure of Weimar culture by considering three of its most significant Yiddish writers: Moyshe Kulbak, Dovid Bergelson, and Der Nister ("the hidden one," Pinkhes Kahanovitch).

Buy the book.

About the Speaker
Marc Caplan is a native of Louisiana and a graduate of Yale University. In 2003 he earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature from New York University. Since then he has held professorial appointments at Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University, Yale, the University of Wroclaw (Poland), and Dartmouth College, as well as research fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, the Universität Konstanz (Germany), the Center for Jewish History (New York), and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). In 2011 he published How Strange the Change: Language, Temporality, and Narrative Form in Peripheral Modernisms—a comparison of Yiddish and African literatures—with Stanford University Press. His second book, Yiddish Writers in Weimar Berlin: A Fugitive Modernism, was published by Indiana University Press in 2021. Currently he is a senior lecturer in Yiddish literature for the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany.


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Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Feb 21
06:30PM
Wed, Feb 21
06:30PM

lecture

Maimonides and Medicine - In-person Event

Lectures by:
Dr. Jeremy Brown:
The Surprising Influence of Maimonides's Treatise on Poisons

Dr. Edward Reichman:
If the Rambam Were Alive Today: Contemporary Jewish Medical Ethics
Through the Eyes of Maimonides

Moderated by Dr. Erica Brown, Vice Provost for Values and Leadership, Director, Sacks-Herenstein Center, Yeshiva University

Co-sponsored by Yeshiva University Museum and Yeshiva University Medical Ethics Society

Guided tours of the exhibition The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries will be offered at 5:30 pm and 8:00 pm


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Presented by:

lecture

Thu, Feb 15
07:30PM
Thu, Feb 15
07:30PM

concert

All About the Piano: Phoenix Chamber Ensemble and Guest Ellen Braslavsky Present a Concert for Two Pianos with Music by Bach, Shostakovich, Rossini & More – In-Person Event & Live on YouTube

All About the Piano: Phoenix Chamber Ensemble and Guest Ellen Braslavsky Present a Concert for Two Pianos with Music by Bach, Shostakovich, Rossini & More – In-Person Event & Live on YouTube

Join Phoenix Chamber Ensemble pianists Vassa Shevel and Inessa Zaretsky and guest pianist Ellen Braslavsky. The program will include pieces by Bach, Guastavino, Shostakovich, Arensky, Franck, Poulenc, and Rossini.

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


Presented by:

concert

Thu, Feb 15
07:30PM
Thu, Feb 15
07:30PM

lecture

A Scrolls-Based Reading of Jewish Text, Voice and Exile - Live on Zoom

Sephardic Jewish history is shaped by cases of population transfer across and around the Mediterranean. When Jewish populations migrated, they carried with them traditions and customs, and objects that embodied those traditions, like the Torah scroll. Venerated and anthropomorphized, the Torah scroll commemorates the past as a remnant of communal life in one place and points to a future in which it transforms a new space into a synagogue. The scroll is referred to as the “tree of life,” a life-giving force that affirms a future for Jewish communities even as its text is rooted in the past. The text that is embodied and vocalized gives life to the community, just as voicing the text brings the scroll to life. This presentation considers the different ways that a Torah scroll gives voice to the experience of exile for communities on the move, considering the ways that Jewish communities use the scroll as a life-giving force in their chanting and veneration practices.

In this lecture, Ilana Webster-Kogen will consider ethnographic material from across North African ritual, particularly the ways that congregations in France adjust the customs of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia as they navigate their communal voice. Considering Jewish migration from the perspective of the Torah scrolls that move with populations, Webster-Kogen proposes a reading of exile that centers mystical and postcolonial thought, Jewish-Muslim intimacies, and the power of giving voice to text.

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


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Presented by:

lecture

Wed, Feb 14
12:30PM
Wed, Feb 14
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Annette Insdorf – Live on Zoom

At Lunch with Annette Insdorf – Live on Zoom

Julie Salamon (author and journalist) sits down with film historian and author Annette Insdorf. Annette is Professor of Film at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, and Moderator of the popular “Reel Pieces” series at Manhattan’s 92Y, where she has interviewed 300 film celebrities. She is the author of the landmark study, Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust (with a foreword by Elie Wiesel); Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski; Francois Truffaut, a study of the French director’s work; Philip Kaufman, and Intimations: The Cinema of Wojciech Has. Her latest book is Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes, currently in its fourth printing.


Presented by:

conversation

Wed, Feb 14
06:00PM
Wed, Feb 14
06:00PM

gallery tour

Museum Director's Tour of <em>The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries</em> - In-person Event

Museum Director's Tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries - In-person Event

Join YU Museum Director Gabriel Goldstein for a guided tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries, illuminating the life and impact of the multifaceted luminary and great Jewish sage across continents and cultures through rare manuscripts and books. Exhibition highlights include manuscripts in Maimonides’s own handwriting, a carved 11th century door to the Torah ark from Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue, and beautifully illuminated medieval manuscripts.


Presented by:

gallery tour

Mon, Feb 12
12:00PM
Mon, Feb 12
12:00PM

book talk

Horizons Blossom, Borders Vanish: Anarchism and Yiddish Literature - Live on Zoom

Spanning the last two centuries, Horizons Blossom, Borders Vanish: Anarchism and Yiddish Literature by Anna Elena Torres combines archival research on the radical press and close readings of Yiddish poetry to offer an original literary study of the Jewish anarchist movement.

Torres examines Yiddish anarchist aesthetics from the nineteenth-century Russian proletarian immigrant poets through the modernist avant-gardes of Warsaw, Chicago, and London to contemporary antifascist composers. The book also traces Jewish anarchist strategies for negotiating surveillance, censorship, detention, and deportation, revealing the connection between Yiddish modernism and struggles for free speech, women’s bodily autonomy, and the transnational circulation of avant-garde literature.

Rather than focusing on narratives of assimilation, Torres intervenes in earlier models of Jewish literature by centering refugee critique of the border. Jewish deportees, immigrants, and refugees opposed citizenship as the primary guarantor of human rights. Instead, they cultivated stateless imaginations, elaborated through literature.

Join YIVO for a discussion with Torres about this new book, led by scholar Amelia Glaser.

Buy the book.

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


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Presented by:

book talk

Sun, Feb 11
12:00PM
Sun, Feb 11
12:00PM

workshop

Community Read: "Ven ikh bin Roytshild" - Live on Zoom

Join YIVO and the International Association of Yiddish Clubs (IAYC) for a beshutfesdike leyenung, or a “Community Read.” Led by esteemed Yiddishist, Dr. Raphael (Refoyl) Finkel, attendees will read Sholem Aleichem's short story, “Ven ikh bin Roytshild,” (“If I Were Rothschild”). While Dr. Finkel reads the Yiddish text aloud, participants will see the story in yidishe oysyes, in YIVO transliteration, and in English translation. The online Yiddish text will have a feature that enables readers to see the English translation of any given word in red colored font. With another click, the word will return to the original Yiddish spelling. During the program, Dr. Finkel will explain the linguistic and cultural characteristics of certain words and phrases that appear in the Yiddish text. A discussion of the short story will follow the reading.

Read Ven ikh bin Roytshild in Yiddish, transliteration, and English translation.

Read the glossary for this text.

Read more about the New York production of Ven ikh bin Roytshild from 1939.

All registrants will receive links to the three texts and a glossary via email in advance of the program. For questions, please write to the IAYC at IAYCbriv@gmail.com.

IAYC is dedicating this program to the memory of the beloved Troim Katz Bliacher Handler z"l, who was a staunch Yiddishist and a Yiddish poet. For many years, she served on the IAYC executive board of directors. During her tenure, she selected teaching materials and performance materials for the benefit of IAYC Clubs and their leaders. Those materials were mailed to the clubs several times a year. In 2014, Troim received the IAYC Lifetime Achievement Award.


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Presented by:

workshop

Wed, Feb 07
07:30PM
Wed, Feb 07
07:30PM

concert

Liederabend: Wolfgang Holzmair sings the songs of Max Kowalski - In-person Event

Liederabend: Wolfgang Holzmair sings the songs of Max Kowalski - In-person Event

The Leo Baeck Institute and the American Society for Jewish Music invite you for a night of live music with Wolfgang Holzmair and Thérèse Lindquist on February 7th, 7:30PM EST at the Center for Jewish History.

Max Kowalski (1882–1956) was born in Poland but raised and educated in Frankfurt am Main, where he studied composition with Bernhard Sekles. He also obtained a law degree from the Univerisity of Marburg and represented musicians and composers including Arnold Schoenberg. A specialist in lieder whose setting of Guiraud’s Pierrot Lunaire (1912) earned him early accolades, he had a productive career as both an attorney and a widely published composer until the Nazi rise to power. Following his wife's suicide and his own arrest and internment in the Buchenwald concentration camp, Kowalski emigrated to London in 1939. He struggled to regain his earlier success as a composer and made a living as a teacher, cantor, and piano tuner.

Reflecting on his own work as an artist Kowalski once observed,“I am not concerned with any kind of ‘principles.’ I am an arch-romantic and rely wholly on feeling.” And then in a turn to Goethe’s Faust, “Feeling is all!”


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Presented by:

concert

Mon, Feb 05
05:00PM
Mon, Feb 05
05:00PM

lecture

Family History Today: The Future of Genealogy – Live on Zoom

Family History Today: The Future of Genealogy – Live on Zoom

While all family history researchers seek to uncover stories from the past, trendsetters in the field are employing up-to-the-minute technological tools and techniques in ways that will have a huge impact on the future of genealogy. Jarrett Ross, creator and host of the YouTube series GeneaVlogger and Professional Genealogist Reacts, will provide a preview of what lies ahead, covering emerging trends in artificial intelligence, facial recognition software, OCR software, and genetic genealogy.


Presented by:

lecture

Fri, Feb 02
10:00AM
Fri, Feb 02
10:00AM

discussion

2024 Summer Program Information Session - Live on Zoom

Have you always wanted to study Yiddish at YIVO’s Summer Program? Are you wondering what it would be like to take the program online or in person? Join faculty and staff of YIVO's Summer Program for a brief information session. This 30-minute session will cover the program’s structure, online and in-person formats, admissions process, and more, with time for questions from prospective Summer Program participants. The session will be conducted in English and is entirely optional (prospective participants are not required to attend).

Learn more about the Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture.


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Presented by:

discussion

Wed, Jan 31
01:00PM
Wed, Jan 31
01:00PM

discussion

2024 Summer Program Information Session - Live on Zoom

Have you always wanted to study Yiddish at YIVO’s Summer Program? Are you wondering what it would be like to take the program online or in person? Join faculty and staff of YIVO's Summer Program for a brief information session. This 30-minute session will cover the program’s structure, online and in-person formats, admissions process, and more, with time for questions from prospective Summer Program participants. The session will be conducted in English and is entirely optional (prospective participants are not required to attend).

Learn more about the Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture.


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Presented by:

discussion

Wed, Jan 31
06:00PM
Wed, Jan 31
06:00PM

exhibit opening

Leave to Land - In-person Event & Live on Zoom

Leave to Land - In-person Event & Live on Zoom

The Kitchener Camp has been largely forgotten today, but in 1939, this derelict army base on the Kent coast in southeastern England became the scene of an extraordinary rescue in which 4,000 men were saved from the Holocaust.

The Leave to Land traveling exhibition was authored by Clare Weissenberg and was based on materials collected through The Kitchener Camp Project, a unique online resource that brings together archival records and family treasures to build a moving and compelling picture of this unlikely sanctuary.

The exhibition premiered at London's Jewish Museum on September 1, 2019, and LBI New York is bringing a version of the exhibition to the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan on January 16, 2024.

Beginning at 6:00 PM EST on January 31, we invite you to visit this exhibit in the Katherine and Clifford H. Goldsmith Gallery. At 6:30 PM EST, we will be joined for a live panel discussion with Barbara Birch (President and CEO at ORT America), Emary Aronson (LBI Board Member and Chief Knowledge Officer and Senior Advisor to the CEO at Robin Hood), and Ronnie Wolf (Senior Adviser of the Leave to Land Exhibition) and moderated by Frank Mecklenburg (Mark M. and Lottie Salton Senior Historian at the Leo Baeck Institute).

Panelists will then take questions from the live audience.

Cosponsored by ORT America.


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Presented by:

exhibit opening

Tue, Jan 30
01:00PM
Tue, Jan 30
01:00PM

gallery tour

Museum Director's Tour of <em>The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries</em> - In-person Event

Museum Director's Tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries - In-person Event

Join YU Museum Director Gabriel Goldstein for a guided tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries, illuminating the life and impact of the multifaceted luminary and great Jewish sage across continents and cultures through rare manuscripts and books. Exhibition highlights include manuscripts in Maimonides’s own handwriting, a carved 11th century door to the Torah ark from Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue, and beautifully illuminated medieval manuscripts.


Presented by:

gallery tour

Tue, Jan 30
02:00PM
Tue, Jan 30
02:00PM

book club

LBI Book Club: The Morning Gift - Live on Zoom

LBI Book Club: The Morning Gift - Live on Zoom

Drama and romance abound in this charming epic romance, ideal for fans of The English Patient.

Twenty-year-old Ruth Berger is desperate. The daughter of a Jewish-Austrian professor, she was supposed to have escaped Vienna before the Nazis marched into the city. Yet the plan went completely wrong, and while her family and fiancé are waiting for her in safety, Ruth is stuck in Vienna with no way to escape. Then she encounters her father’s younger college professor, the dashing British paleontologist Quin Sommerville. Together, they strike a bargain: a marriage of convenience, to be annulled as soon as they return to safety. But dissolving the marriage proves to be more difficult than either of them thought—not the least because of the undeniable attraction Quin and Ruth share. To make matters worse, Ruth is enrolled in Quin’s university, in his very classes. Can their secret survive, or will circumstances destroy their love?

About the Author
Eva Ibbotson, born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner (21 January 1925 20 October 2010), was an Austrian-born British novelist, known for her children's books. Some of her novels for adults have been successfully reissued for the young adult market in recent years. For the historical novel Journey to the River Sea (Macmillan, 2001), she won the Smarties Prize in category 9 11 years, garnered unusual commendation as runner up for the Guardian Prize, and made the Carnegie, Whitbread, and Blue Peter shortlists. She was a finalist for the 2010 Guardian Prize at the time of her death. Her last book, The Abominables, was one of eight books on the longlist for the same award in 2012. (Bio from Amazon).


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Presented by:

book club

Tue, Jan 30
06:30PM
Tue, Jan 30
06:30PM

concert

The Blues and Resilience: A Concert in Honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day - In-person Event

The Blues and Resilience: A Concert in Honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day - In-person Event

This cultural-educational experience with live music featuring acclaimed Israeli Jazz musician (and ASF Pomegranate Award recipient) Itamar Borochov.


Presented by:

concert

Mon, Jan 29
09:00AM
Mon, Jan 29
09:00AM

conversation

Virtual Professional Development Workshop: Theresienstadt - Live on Zoom

Virtual Professional Development Workshop: Theresienstadt - Live on Zoom

In this virtual half-day professional development workshop, we will launch a series of brand-new lesson plans designed and created by a group of veteran teachers and using primary sources from The Leo Baeck Institute archive. After an introduction to both organizations and their teaching resources, the LBI will present a virtual walk through of their online exhibition, The Last Stop Before the Last Stop: Theresienstadt 1942-45. Then, teachers will have the option to join small discussion groups to learn more about two of the four lesson plans. 

The four lessons that teachers will be able to choose from are as follows: 

  1. “An Image Is Not Always Worth a 1000 Words”: Propaganda
  2. “Last Stop Before the Last Stop”: Transit 
  3. Children in Terezín 
  4. Intellectual Resistance 

At the end of the workshop, teachers will have gained in-depth understanding of two new lesson plans (and will be provided all four lessons) to teach about the Holocaust in social studies, English language arts, music or art classes.

LBI and DRF will provide a certificate stating that participants have earned 3 hours of professional development training. Participants will also receive a free book, In Echtzeit: Posts from the Past. 1938 from a Jewish PerspectiveIn Echtzeit signifies a watershed moment in the history of German-speaking Jewry, through personal documents that detail the experiences and hardships they suffered in the shadow of Nazi persecution and the cataclysmic events of 1938.


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Presented by:

conversation

Sun, Jan 28
10:00AM
Sun, Jan 28
10:00AM

symposium

Addressing Antisemitism: Contemporary Challenges – In-person & live on YouTube

Addressing Antisemitism: Contemporary Challenges – In-person & live on YouTube

Addressing Antisemitism: Contemporary Challenges seeks to explain the recent upsurge of Jew hatred in the contemporary world. Timed to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day and co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (ISCA) at Indiana University, the symposium brings together prominent scholars to discuss the challenge of defining antisemitism, explaining its explosion in Europe and the United States, understanding its dissemination through digital media, and determining how scholars and activists should best combat it in an era of intensifying global turmoil.

Click here for a list of panels and speakers.

Tickets include lunch and a wine and cheese reception after the program. Speakers will be selling and signing books throughout the day.

Museum Director’s Tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries 
Please join Yeshiva University Museum Director Gabriel Goldstein for a 30-minute exhibition highlights tour. Meet in front of the Popper Gallery at 1 pm. The exhibition will also be open for viewing during the wine and cheese reception from 5:30 to 6:00 pm.

This symposium is presented in partnership with Indiana University’s Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (ISCA) and has received generous support from the Achelis & Bodman Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), the American Jewish Committee’s Edward M. Chase Educational Fund, Robert S. Rifkind, the Moise Y Safra Foundation, and the Office of the President, Fairfield University. The symposium is the fourth installment in a larger series of public symposia sponsored by the Center for Jewish History’s Jewish Public History Forum.

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


Presented by:

symposium

Wed, Jan 24
01:00PM
Wed, Jan 24
01:00PM

gallery tour

Exhibition Tour of <em>The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries</em> with Ilana Benson, YU Museum Director of Museum Education - In-person Event

Exhibition Tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries with Ilana Benson, YU Museum Director of Museum Education - In-person Event

Join Ilana Benson, YU Museum Director of Museum Education, for a guided tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries, illuminating the life and impact of the multifaceted luminary and great Jewish sage across continents and cultures through rare manuscripts and books. Exhibition highlights include manuscripts in Maimonides’s own handwriting, a carved 11th century door to the Torah ark from Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue, and beautifully illuminated medieval manuscripts.


Presented by:

gallery tour

Wed, Jan 24
03:00PM
Wed, Jan 24
03:00PM

book talk

Between Two Worlds - Jewish War Brides After the Holocaust – Live on Zoom

Between Two Worlds - Jewish War Brides After the Holocaust – Live on Zoom

Between Two Worlds author Robin Judd joins us in discussion with historian Hasia Diner.

Facing the harrowing task of rebuilding a life in the wake of the Holocaust, many Jewish survivors, community and religious leaders, and Allied soldiers viewed marriage between Jewish women and military personnel as a way to move forward after unspeakable loss. Proponents believed that these unions were more than just a ticket out of war-torn Europe: they would help the Jewish people repopulate after the attempted annihilation of European Jewry.

Historian Robin Judd, whose grandmother survived the Holocaust and married an American soldier after liberation, introduces us to the Jewish women who lived through genocide and went on to wed American, Canadian, and British military personnel after the war. She offers an intimate portrait of how these unions emerged and developed—from meeting and courtship to marriage and immigration to life in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom—and shows how they helped shape the postwar world by touching thousands of lives, including those of the chaplains who officiated their weddings, the Allied authorities whose policy decisions structured the couples’ fates, and the bureaucrats involved in immigration and acculturation. The stories Judd tells are at once heartbreaking and restorative, and she vividly captures how the exhilaration of the brides’ early romances coexisted with survivor’s guilt, grief, and apprehension at the challenges of starting a new life in a new land.


Presented by:

book talk

Wed, Jan 24
06:00PM
Wed, Jan 24
06:00PM

gallery tour

Museum Director's Tour of <em>The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries</em> - In-person Event

Museum Director's Tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries - In-person Event

Join YU Museum Director Gabriel Goldstein for a guided tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries, illuminating the life and impact of the multifaceted luminary and great Jewish sage across continents and cultures through rare manuscripts and books. Exhibition highlights include manuscripts in Maimonides’s own handwriting, a carved 11th century door to the Torah ark from Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue, and beautifully illuminated medieval manuscripts.


Presented by:

gallery tour

Wed, Jan 24
07:00PM
Wed, Jan 24
07:00PM

concert

Shotns/Shadows: A New Album from the Fortunoff Archive - In-person Event & Live on Zoom

Join YIVO for a performance of the Yale Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies' newest album, Shotns/Shadows. Part of the "Songs From Testimonies" project, this album is based on poems and songs from interviews with Holocaust survivors recorded by the Fortunoff Archive. Compiled and researched by composer, multi-instrumentalist, ethnomusicologist, and Yiddish educator Zisl Slepovitch and arranged and recorded by singer Sasha Lurje and his ensemble, this album draws upon the more than 100 testimonies in the Fortunoff Archive's collection in which survivors recount poetry or sing musical compositions from the prewar, wartime and postwar periods. The songs and poems included on Shotns/Shadows were sung or recounted in a number of testimonies and reflect the richness of Holocaust video testimonies as a unique form of documentation.

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


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Presented by:

concert

Tue, Jan 23
06:30PM
Tue, Jan 23
06:30PM

leo baeck memorial lecture

64th Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture by Atina Grossmann - In-person Event & Live on Zoom

64th Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture by Atina Grossmann - In-person Event & Live on Zoom

Trauma, Privilege, and Adventure: Jewish Refugees Between ‘Orient’ and European Catastrophe

In the 64th Annual Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture, historian Atina Grossmann (Cooper Union) will examine the ambivalent, paradoxical, and diverse experiences, emotions, and memories of Jews who found refuge from National Socialism and the Holocaust in India and Iran after 1933.  Always shadowed by the emerging European catastrophe, uprooted Jews were also precariously privileged as white Europeans in non-western, colonial or semi-colonial societies. An extensive collection of family correspondence and memorabilia extending from wartime Nazi Berlin throughout the global diaspora of German Jewry as well as archival, literary, visual, and oral history sources illuminates refugees’ everyday lives in the changing context of interwar fascination and contact with the “Orient,” global war against fascism, anti-colonial independence movements, and gradual revelations about the destruction of the European world they had escaped.


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Presented by:

leo baeck memorial lecture

Sun, Jan 21
11:00AM
Sun, Jan 21
11:00AM

gallery tour

Exhibition Tour of <em>The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries</em> with Ilana Benson, YU Museum Director of Museum Education - In-person Event

Exhibition Tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries with Ilana Benson, YU Museum Director of Museum Education - In-person Event

Join Ilana Benson, YU Museum Director of Museum Education, for a guided tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries, illuminating the life and impact of the multifaceted luminary and great Jewish sage across continents and cultures through rare manuscripts and books. Exhibition highlights include manuscripts in Maimonides’s own handwriting, a carved 11th century door to the Torah ark from Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue, and beautifully illuminated medieval manuscripts.


Presented by:

gallery tour

Sun, Jan 21
02:00PM
Sun, Jan 21
02:00PM

panel discussion

Bendichas Manos: The 7th Annual New York Ladino Day - In-person Event

Bendichas Manos: The 7th Annual New York Ladino Day - In-person Event

Curated by Jane Mushabac and Bryan Kirschen

Featuring: Rabbi Marc Angel, author and editor of 38 books, and a 2023 International Sephardic Gala Honoree for his decades of remarkable community leadership.
Rachel Amado Bortnick, teacher and founder of the renowned online group, Ladinokomunita, now in its 25thyear with 1500 Ladino-speaking members worldwide.
Elizabeth Graver, author of the groundbreaking 2023 Sephardic novel Kantika, and long celebrated for her prize-winning fiction.
Sarah Aroeste, singer/songwriter, and Susan Barocas, foodwriter/story-teller, a duo whose “Savor” program of songs and talk about Sephardic cuisine is garnering raves here and abroad.

Ladino is a bridge to many cultures. A variety of Spanish, it 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 has written in the Forward, “Why Ladino Will Rise Again.”

Since 2013, Ladino Day programs have been held around the world to honor Ladino, also known as Judeo-Spanish. January 21st marks New York’s 7th Annual Ladino Day hosted by the American Sephardi Federation.

>© Rhodes, mid-19th century Sephardi & Romaniot Jewish Costumes in Greece & Turkey. 16 watercolours by Nicholas Stavroulakis published by the Association of the Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece, Athens, 1986.


Presented by:

panel discussion

Thu, Jan 18
12:30PM
Thu, Jan 18
12:30PM

conversation

At Lunch with Emily Bowen Cohen – Live on Zoom

At Lunch with Emily Bowen Cohen – Live on Zoom

Julie Salamon (Author and Journalist) sits down with Emily Bowen Cohen author of the graphic novel Two Tribes. Emily Bowen Cohen creates comics that explore intersectional identity. She is Jewish and a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She uses personal experience to tell stories that examine contemporary American and Jewish culture. Emily grew up in rural Oklahoma. Her father was the Chief of Staff at their tribal hospital and her mother is a nice Jewish girl from New Jersey. When Emily was nine years-old, her father passed away and she was separated from her Native family. A decade later, she returned to Oklahoma for a bittersweet homecoming.  Emily graduated from Harvard University. She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, with her husband and their three Native American Jewish children.


Presented by:

conversation

Thu, Jan 18
07:30PM
Thu, Jan 18
07:30PM

lecture and concert

"Thousands of Stories to Tell": Broadway Musicals, New York City, and the Making of Jewish Americans – In-Person Event

Featuring songs from Funny Girl (1964), The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N (1968), Rags (1986), and Ragtime(1998), this cabaret blends scholarship and artistry, history and storytelling. Beginning in the 1960s, for the first time, the Jewishness featured in Broadway musicals was neither represented through racialized comedic representations nor hidden underneath crypto-Jewish characters. Interestingly, many of the musicals of the latter half of the twentieth century that feature Jewish characters, culture, and history are set in the early part of the twentieth century, and most of those are set in the Progressive Era in New York City. These musicals, featuring representations of Jewish Americans, are steeped in a retrospective point of view, both romanticizing and problematizing narratives of immigration and Americanization. The selected musicals are among the many stories created to reaffirm how Jewish immigrants became Jewish Americans in the United States. Incorporating showtunes, lesser-known songs, storytelling, and scholarship, this cabaret invites audience members to consider the historical narratives of musicals in addition to enjoying the pleasure they provide.

This cabaret is based on Dr. Barrie Gelles’s scholarship that examines the themes and tropes in musicals that recreate, reframe, and reclaim narratives of Jewish American cultural history.

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


Presented by:

lecture and concert

Sun, Jan 14
10:00AM
Sun, Jan 14
10:00AM

symposium

A Medium for the Masses: The Yiddish Press and the Shaping of American Jewish Culture - In-person Event and Live on Zoom

This symposium will look back on more than 150 years of the Yiddish press in the United States, examining its role as a vehicle of acculturation, a forum for political and ideological debates, and a seedbed for the growth of a mass culture among Jews worldwide. The day’s events will culminate in an evening program celebrating the launch of Ayelet Brinn’s new book, A Revolution in Type: Gender and the Making of the American Yiddish Press (NYU Press, 2023), which offers a fascinating glimpse into the complex and often unexpected ways that women and ideas about women shaped widely read Yiddish newspapers.

Buy A Revolution in Type: Gender and the Making of the American Yiddish Press.

This program is part of the Center for Jewish History's Jewish Public History Forum.


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symposium

Sun, Jan 14
05:00PM
Sun, Jan 14
05:00PM

book launch

A Revolution in Type: Gender and the Making of the American Yiddish Press – In-Person Event & Live on Zoom

A Revolution in Type: Gender and the Making of the American Yiddish Press – In-Person Event & Live on Zoom

Author Ayelet Brinn will be in conversation with Anita Norich (Professor Emerita, University of Michigan) about her new book, A Revolution in Type: Gender and the Making of the American Yiddish Press, a fascinating glimpse into the complex and often unexpected ways that women and ideas about women shaped widely read Jewish newspapers.

Between the 1880s and 1920s, Yiddish-language newspapers rose from obscurity to become successful institutions integral to American Jewish life. During this period, Yiddish-speaking immigrants came to view newspapers as indispensable parts of their daily lives. For many Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, acclimating to America became inextricably intertwined with becoming a devoted reader of the Yiddish periodical press, as the newspapers and their staffs became a fusion of friends, religious and political authorities, tour guides, matchmakers, and social welfare agencies.

In A Revolution in Type, Ayelet Brinn argues that questions related to women were central to the emergence of the Yiddish press as a powerful, influential force in American Jewish culture. Through rhetorical debates about women readers and writers, the producers of the Yiddish press explored how to transform their newspapers to reach a large, diverse audience. The seemingly peripheral status of women’s columns and other newspaper features supposedly aimed at a female audience—but in reality, read with great interest by male and female readers alike—meant that editors and publishers often used these articles as testing grounds for the types of content their newspapers should encompass. The book explores the discovery of previously unknown work by female writers in the Yiddish press, whose contributions most often appeared without attribution; it also examines the work of men who wrote under women’s names to break into the press. Brinn shows that instead of framing issues of gender as marginal, we must view them as central to understanding how the American Yiddish press developed into the influential, complex, and diverse publication field it eventually became.

A wine and cheese reception and book signing will follow the program.

About the Author
Ayelet Brinn is the Philip D. Feltman Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish History in the Departments of Judaic Studies and History at the University of Hartford.


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book launch

Fri, Jan 12
01:00PM
Fri, Jan 12
01:00PM

class

All in the Mishpocheh: Intro to Jewish Genealogy at the CJH - Online Course

All in the Mishpocheh: Intro to Jewish Genealogy at the CJH - Online Course

10-session online course (via Zoom)
Fridays, 1:00-2:15 PM ET
January 12 – March 15, 2024

Join the staff of the Center for Jewish History’s Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute for this 10-week online genealogy course, suitable for beginners and anyone interested in reviewing the basics. Topics include family trees, online search strategies, immigration, DNA, Holocaust records, finding your ancestral towns, name changes, obtaining records from other countries, and much more. By the end of this course, you will have a portfolio of new documents and information on your ancestors' lives ready to share with your family. 

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

FAQ

Can I contact the instructor outside of class time?
Absolutely! One unique aspect of this course is that our librarian instructors not only permit, but encourage, their students to reach out to them beyond the class time – via email, video chat, or in-person visits. Former students say this one-on-one availability was instrumental in their personal research progress, providing the tailored guidance they needed to chart their research path.

Will I get personal feedback?
Yes. Your instructor will give you feedback on your assignments and your personal research questions either during or between classes. Your fellow students may also offer their advice during class.

 How many people will be in the class?
Class sizes have ranged from about 20-30 students, with an average of 10-15 students regularly participating in the live Zoom classes.


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class

Thu, Jan 11
07:00PM
Thu, Jan 11
07:00PM

discussion

Family History Today: The Krakovsky Documents – Live on Zoom

Family History Today: The Krakovsky Documents – Live on Zoom

For several years, Alex Krakovsky, a Ukrainian Jew, has been scanning Jewish metrical and census records found in long-closed Ukrainian archives and placing these documents, predominantly in Cyrillic (Russian), on a website where they can easily be accessed. Gary Pokrassa and Joel Spector, Director of Data Acquisition and Metric Record Projects, respectively, at the JewishGen Ukraine Research Division, will discuss the origin and method of Alex’s data acquisition and provide an overview of the contents of his site. Additionally, they will explain how to navigate the files in English, offer tips on working with the indexes and documents, and describe the Ukraine Research Division’s ongoing role in this project.


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discussion

Wed, Jan 10
06:00PM
Wed, Jan 10
06:00PM

gallery tour

<strong>Cancelled</strong>: Museum Director's Tour of <em>The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries</em>

Cancelled: Museum Director's Tour of The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries

Please note: This event has been cancelled.


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gallery tour

Mon, Jan 08
01:00PM
Mon, Jan 08
01:00PM

lecture

Holocaust Distortion in Poland and Beyond - Live on Zoom

Since the beginning of this century, the commemoration and the history of the Holocaust were at the heart of political struggles in Poland. In order to defend the “good name of the nation,” Polish authorities created institutions and legislated laws intended to enforce the official, state-approved version of history. This new narrative shifts the focus away from the Jewish victims of the Shoah and places it on righteous gentiles, real or imagined. It is within this context that old antisemitic tropes came alive and acquire new currency. This unprecedented, and state-sponsored, assault on the memory of the Shoah is known today as Holocaust distortion, a particularly insidious brand of Holocaust denial.  

In this lecture, Jan Grabowski will shed light on the origins of the current situation as well as its impact on Holocaust memory and Holocaust education in Poland, Europe, and beyond.

Buy a book on this topicNight Without End: The Fate of Jews in German-Occupied Poland.

This program is supported, 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

Thu, Jan 04
07:00PM
Thu, Jan 04
07:00PM

concert

Challenging the Theater of Memory: Yiddish Song beyond Kitsch and Stereotype - In-person Event and Live on Zoom

Performing Yiddish music in post-war Germany and Austria comes with a set of expectations and assumptions about Jewish culture. In this lecture-concert, Yiddish musicians and researchers Isabel Frey and Benjy Fox-Rosen confront these expectations, challenging the so-called “Theater of Memory” where Jewish roles are limited and often instrumentalized to fit into the broader dominant cultural narrative.

The evening’s musical journey begins with nostalgic Yiddish songs before moving to unaccompanied folk songs collected through ethnographic fieldwork. It continues with partisan and resistance songs from the Holocaust and concludes with new Yiddish music by the artists themselves. Through musical performance, dialogue, and short essayistic fragments, Frey and Fox-Rosen reflect on the myth of the shtetl, the ruptures and continuities of oral transmission, the weight of Holocaust memory culture and their own attempts to creatively deal with the expectations inherent to performing Jewish music in the German-speaking world.

Join YIVO for this performance followed by a Q&A with performers Isabel Frey and Benjy Fox-Rosen moderated by Samantha Cooper and Gordon Dale.


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concert