My friend and fellow Association of Jewish Library member Lisa Silverman does such a good job gathering interesting websites that for this week and next I am copying parts of her article that appears in the Jewish Journal, a California publication. I’ve also added some events that look interesting.
Lisa has been a librarian in a variety of libraries over the years and currently freelances. She has also led tours on the theme of hidden Jews in the American Southwest for Road Scholars.
I have adjusted the time from PST to EST. One of the gifts of attending events via the internet is that we can attend so many different classes, lectures and events and only have to adjust our clocks. And very often these sessions are free or ask only a small fee for attending.
Even if you cannot sign on to an event that interests you at the advertised time, sign up since many organizations provide recordings after the fact. If you like an organization’s offerings, visit the website to see what past sessions are available.
Learn, enjoy, and share your knowledge.
Thursday, February 10
THE BENE-ISRAEL OF INDIA: AN ANCIENT LIVING COMMUNITY
The Bene-Israel is the largest Jewish historical community from the Indian sub-continent. How did it all began? What part did they take in the history of today’s India and Pakistan? What was their role under British colonial rule, and in the creation of the Bollywood film industry? Of some 100,000 Bene Israel at the turn of the 21st century, less than 4,000 remain in India. The great majority have immigrated to Israel, thus realizing their motto: “Mother India, Father Israel” Presented by Eliaz Reuben-Dandeker, a 4th generation Israeli, and descendant of the leaders of the Bene-Israel community from the 18th century, the Kammodan Mocadem Divekars. Feb, 10, 1:30, EST. $9.00 donation. https://www.qesher.com/the-bene-israel-of-india/
ASSAF GAVRON ON CONTEMPORARY ISRAELI LITERATURE: CAN YOU AVOID POLITICS?
Join CSP as we examine contemporary Israeli fiction and the role of politics within it. Does life in such a politically-charged environment influence the kind of fiction and other art forms created within it? What is the role of authors in such an environment? Are they expected to deal with it, have an obligation to do so? Or perhaps a burden, a monkey on their back that they are not allowed to escape from? Writer Assaf Gavron shows how contemporary Israeli writers deal with these and other questions, both in their fiction and beyond it. Assaf Gavron has published six novels, a collection of short stories and a non-fiction collection of Jerusalem falafel-joint reviews. His fiction has been translated into 12 languages. His latest English translation, The Hilltop, was published in 2014 by Scribner. Feb. 10, 3:30 pm, EST. Free. https://mailchi.mp/c91e65ebae37/csp-zoom-programs-week-of-april-5-5923962
MARC CHAGALL IN AMERICA: THE MODERNIST ART PIONEER
Join New York Adventure Club as we explore the life, legacy, and groundbreaking art of Marc Chagall, a French artist of Belarusian Jewish origin whose modernist art subjects ranged from life memories and fantasies to the Jewish culture. Upon the Nazi invasion of France in 1940 during WWII — and fearing for his and his family’s life due to their Jewish origins — French pioneer of phantastic art Marc Chagall made the hard decision to leave everything behind and escape to America with his family. But despite being deeply affected by the human crisis of his time — as well as the loss of his beloved wife Bella — he continued working, supported by his daughter Ida, his dealer Pierre Matisse, and the larger community of artists in exile. This is the harrowing story of one of the most prolific artists of the 20th century, and the incredible art works he contributed to the world. Led by Sylvia Laudien-Meo — art historian, museum educator, and NYC tour guide. Feb. 10, 1:00 pm, EST. $10.00. https://www.nyadventureclub.com/event/marc-chagall-in-america-the-modernist-art-pioneer-webinar-registration-240041870697/
WRITING EUROPE BEFORE THE HOLOCAUST: A CONVERSATION WITH RACHEL KADISH AND MENACHEM KAISER
Authors Rachel Kadish (The Weight of Ink) and Menachem Kaiser (Plunder) will discuss their contributions to the February 2022 issue of The Jewish Quarterly, “In Search of Lost Time: Europe Before the Holocaust.” In her essay “Love and Restitution: The Vanished World of my Family’s Hotel,” Rachel Kadish traces the story of her family’s hotel in prewar Poland, which later became a Nazi barracks and then a Polish high school. In “Paper Brigade: The Incredible Story of the Vilnius Archive,” Menachem Kaiser examines the lineage and the future of the extraordinary archives of prewar Jewish documents that were discovered recently in Lithuania – and whose original rescuers became the namesake for JBC’s literary journal. Together, the two authors will explore the significance of the remains of the past, the battle to preserve them, and whether it is possible to seek restitution for historic injustices. Join US-based Jewish Book Council and UK-based The Jewish Quarterly for a unique literary event moderated by JBC Editorial Director Becca Kantor. Feb.10, 7:00 pm, EST. Free. https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/events/writing-europe-before-the-holocaust-a-conversation-with-rachel-kadish-and-menachem-kaiser
“GHOSTS OF THE THIRD REICH” POST FILM DISCUSSION
“Ghosts of the Third Reich” documents the poignant and anguished stories of descendants of the Nazis, who confront their family’s past and communicate their most profound feelings of guilt by inheritance. These individuals, whose family members were supporters, officers, and elite of the Nazi regime, share a common desire to distance themselves from Nazi ideology and the actions of their ancestors; and to liberate themselves from the guilt, shame, and pain that continue to levy a heavy price seventy years later. The confrontation with the inheritance of the Nazi legacy is powerfully evoked further in the inclusion of moments from The Austrian Encounter, a focal point for dialogue between descendants of Nazi perpetrators and survivors of the Holocaust. With filmmakers Claudia Ehrlick Sobral, Bernd Wollschlaege, and Samson Munn. Feb. 10, 3:00 pm, EST. Free. https://classroomswithoutborders.org/ghosts-third-reich-post-film-discussion/
UNSTOPPABLE: BOOK TALK WITH JOSHUA M. GREENE
After surviving Auschwitz and hunting Nazis for the U.S. Army, Siggi B. Wilzig came to America without a penny to his name. On arrival, he made three vows: to never go hungry again, to support the Jewish people, and to speak out against injustice. From humble beginnings shoveling snow and laboring in sweatshops, Siggi became President, Chairman, and CEO of a New York Stock Exchange-listed oil company and grew a full-service commercial bank to more than $4 billion in assets. Siggi’s ascent is a riveting story of grit, cunning, luck, and the determination to live life to the fullest. Join us for a conversation with Holocaust scholar and author Joshua M. Greene about his latest book, Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig’s Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend. Feb 10, 7:00 pm, EST. Free. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-k64TtDVTP2P_Cyd6nqvaQ
Friday, February 11
FRIDAY NIGHT SERVICES WITH SPECIAL GUEST DR. DEBORAH LIPSTADT
In 2020, there were 2,024 antisemitic incidents recorded in the United States. French Jews are abandoning their homes, removing their Jewish stars and avoiding Jewish neighborhoods. The number of antisemitic incidents across Canada rose by 20 percent; in Australia the percentage hit 30. Deborah Lipstadt, the nominated US Department of State Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, joins The Streiker Center to talk about antisemitism across the globe. Feb. 11, 6:00 pm, EST. Free. https://streicker.nyc/current-season/lipstadt
Sunday, February 13
A DIASPORA WITHIN A DIASPORA: SEPHARDIC JEWS IN AMERICA
As many as fifty thousand Jews from the lands of the former Ottoman Empire came to the United States in the decades surrounding World War I. They constituted a tiny minority within the broader Jewish American community. How did the newly arriving Sephardic Jews adapt to their new country of residence? What became of their language, culture, religious traditions, and connections to their places birth? How was their experience shaped by interactions with their new neighbors, including Yiddish-speaking Jews? This lecture will explore the trajectories of Sephardic Jews from the Mediterranean world to America during the twentieth century. Presented by Dr. Devin E. Naar, Professor in Sephardic Studies, Associate Professor of History, and faculty at the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Feb. 13, 1:00 am, EST. Free.
THE VENICE GHETTO: A MEMORY SPACE THAT TRAVELS
Editors Chiara Camarda, Amanda K. Sharick, and Katharine G. Trostel will present their newly published collection, The Venice Ghetto: A Memory Space That Travels. The Venice Ghetto was founded in 1516 by the Venetian government as a segregated area of the city in which Jews were compelled to live. The world’s first ghetto and the origin of the English word, the term simultaneously works to mark specific places and their histories, and as a global symbol that evokes themes of identity, exile, marginalization, and segregation. To capture these multiple meanings, the editors of this volume conceptualize the ghetto as a “memory space that travels” through both time and space. They will also address the way in which the Ghetto speaks to contemporary issues and serves as a laboratory for thinking about the most critical challenges facing the globe, including nationalism, forced migration, climate change, and pervasive structural inequalities that span historical and geographic boundaries. They will be joined by contributors Murray Baumgarten and Shaul Bassi. Presented by the Jewish Community Library. Feb. 13, 2:00 pm, EST. Free. https://jewishlearning.works/event/venice-ghetto-a-memory-space/?event_date=2022-02-13
Monday, February 14
LOVE DURING THE HOLOCAUST
The Holocaust was one of the most profound ruptures in Jewish history. And yet, the foundational human emotion of love persisted—and even blossomed—in the most devastating circumstances. Join Dr. Edna Friedberg to explore the varied manifestations of love—romantic, parental, platonic—at a time of terror and loss. Each of these forms of deep affection and connection offered psychological sustenance and sometimes spurred life-saving acts of courage and altruism. The session will draw from primary sources including diaries, oral testimonies, artifacts, and historical photographs. Feb. 14, 2:00 pm, EST. Free.https://www.jtsa.edu/events-calendar/
Tuesday, February 15
SUITING THE SOUND – JEWISH RODEO TAILORS OF COUNTRY MUSIC
Ablaze with vibrant colors and sparkling with rhinestones, country music performers have been lighting up stages and turning heads in spectacular, custom-designed Western wear since the late 1940s. In this program, we’ll explore the lives and work of the three most influential of the pioneering rodeo tailors, Bernard “Rodeo Ben” Lichtenstein, Nathan Turk, and Nudie Cohn. Each of these three rodeo tailors were born to Jewish families and immigrated to the United States in the early 1900’s. Join the Museum of Jewish History to learn more about this interesting slice of American Jewish and Country Music history, listen in on good conversation between curators, and soak up insights (and a little music) from a country music legend. Presented by Josh Perelman, PhD, Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions & Interpretation, Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, and Mick Buck, Chief Curator, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, along with music from special guest Ray Benson, nine-time Grammy-winning co-founder and bandleader of the legendary band Asleep at the Wheel and the self-proclaimed “Tallest Jew in Country Music. Feb. 15, 8:00 pm, EST. Free. https://www.nmajh.org/events/suiting-the-sound-22/
FOR THE LOVE OF CHOCOLATE WITH AUTHOR MICHAEL LEVENTHAL
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Whether you eat it as candy, bake with it to make desserts or simply drink it on a cold day, chocolate has the ability to soothe the soul. But did you know that Jews were an integral part of the chocolate trade centuries ago, helping to introduce chocolate to countries around the world? Michael Leventhal, editor of Babka, Boulou & Blintzes and author of The Chocolate King will share the journey of Jews and chocolate, dating back to the 1600s, a sweet pairing that was Beshert, “meant to be.” Leventhal will be in conversation with Moment editor Sarah Breger. This program is sponsored by Moment’s Beshert project. Feb. 15 at 4:00 pm, EST. Free. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/3316441252612/WN_6_RHL2O7SyaEZVp4JrsSqg
ELECTION INTEGRITY AND VOTING RIGHTS: SHOULD WE REWRITE THE RULES?
The National Constitution Center and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, as part of their ongoing conversations about how to restore the guardrails of American democracy, present a conversation exploring recent proposals to protect the integrity of our election process. Join Charles C.W. Cooke, senior writer at National Review; Edward B. Foley, professor and director of the election law program at Ohio State University; Michael T. Morley, professor at Florida State University Law; and Dawn Teele, SNF Agora Institute associate professor of political science, as they debate the merits of legislation pending in Congress and the states. Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, moderates. Feb 15, 7:00 pm, EST. Free. https://constitutioncenter.zoom.us/webinar/register/1316425204934/WN_5eBFpYbAReSKqqlkUplH9Q
NAZIS OF COPLEY SQUARE: BOOK TALK
In 1939, the Christian Front was formed in response to a call by Father Charles Edward Coughlin to oppose the Popular Front, a communist organization. The members of the Christian Front were American Catholics who supported a pro-Nazi agenda. In 1940, the FBI alleged that members of the group were trying to install what they called a “temporary dictatorship” to end the influence of Jews and Communists, who they saw as the same, in the United States. Charles Gallagher‘s new book Nazis of Copley Square: The Forgotten Story of the Christian Front chronicles the history of the front and how it was ultimately taken down. Join the Museum of Jewish History for a discussion about the book between Gallagher and David Kertzer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Paul Dupee, Professor of Social Science at Brown University. Feb. 15, 2:00 pm, EST. $10 suggested donation. https://mjhnyc.org/events/nazis-of-copley-square-book-talk/
Wednesday, February 16
BOOKTALK: NOAMI RAGEN, AN OBSERVANT WIFE
AJU is pleased to be welcoming back Naomi Ragen to share her latest novel, An Observant Wife. In this follow up to An Unorthodox Match, Ragen continues sharing the journey of Leah and Yaacov as they are plunged into the complex reality of their new lives together as Yaakov leaves his beloved yeshiva to work in the city, and Leah confronts the often agonizing restrictions imposed by religious laws governing even the most intimate moments of their married lives. Adding to their difficulties is the hostility of some in the community who continue to view Leah as a dangerous interloper, questioning her sincerity and adherence to religious laws and spreading outrageous rumors. https://www.aju.edu/byachad-together/events/Book-Talk-Naomi-Ragen%E2%80%99s-An-Observant-Wife
Thursday, February 17
TALES OF CHELM
In this third installment in the Chelm series, Gimpel and Barel the Beadle concoct a plan to capture the moon and help the poor citizens of Chelm. Gimpel proposes that they capture the moon by bringing in a big barrel of borscht. When the moon is reflected in barrel, they seal and cover it to “entrap” it. However, upon uncovering the barrel, they realize that they have made a crucial mistake. This installment is jam-packed with zaniness and utilizes mask work. https://jartsboston.org/event/how-the-chelmites-stole-the-moon/
Wednesday, February 23
MISSING HALF OF JEWISH BOOKSHELF:ISRAELI WOMEN WRITING MIDRASH
Tamar Biala co-edited the first ever volume of midrash written by Israeli women. This collection, titled “Dirshuni”, has already taken a place on the Jewish bookshelf and is being cited, taught and argued over in yeshivot, high schools, synagogues, the press alternative batei midrash, universities and even Army educational programs. The Midrashim deal head on with issues of social justice and the treatment of women by Jewish law and rabbinic authority, and offer deep and wide-ranging discussions of Biblical personalities, women’s religious roles, sexuality and fertility, prayer, the meaning of Torah study, and more.https://jewishorangecounty.org/calendar/csp-missing-half-of-jewish-bookshelf-israeli-women-writing-midrash-1643168505