Words of the Week

I’m going to switch things up a bit this week. Instead of excerpting something that I’ve read lately, I’ll recommend that you “attend” two terrific lectures that are now available via video recording.

The source for each, in this case, is the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University.

You might begin with Professor Rebecca Kobrin’s presentation on “Emma Lazarus: The Words that Reshaped America,” which was recorded shortly before the recent July 4 holiday. (Apologies for the tiny screen—I can’t seem to figure out how to embed a larger one. But you should be able to access “full-screen” mode yourself; you can also click the linked page above for another approach to the same content.)

And you might continue with an archival presentation of Professor Jonathan Sarna’s 2019 lecture on Cora Wilburn, whom he introduced to me (and, I suspect, many others in the audience at the time), as “the first Jewish novelist in America.”

One thought on “Words of the Week

  1. David Groskind says:

    You can read a good deal of Prof. Sarna’s lecture at https://bit.ly/3euqBzm. “What is true, however, is that American Jewish history has generally been unkind to individuals who failed to live up to the community’s (shifting) ideals. Subversives, the independent-minded, the transgressors—women in particular—have been banished from cultural memory. That, more than anything else, may account for the forgetting of Cora Wilburn. ” Wilburn’s 32 page book of poems “The Spiritual Significance of Gems” is available free at https://bit.ly/3j1qbUO

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