NYC Event Tomorrow: Writers on View: 4th Annual Writers Read

From the Yeshiva University Museum:

“Join host Linda Shires and writers and poets Gabriel Brownstein, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Dara Horn, Henry Israeli and Sima Rabinowitz for original poems and stories in dialgoue with the exhilarating exhibition In the Beginning: Artists Respond to Genesis currently on view. Free.”

At the museum, Wednesday, February 2, 2010, 6 p.m.

Susan Suleiman to Speak on "Irene Nemirovsky and the ‘Jewish Question’ in Interwar France"

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has announced that the 2010 J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Annual Lecture will feature Professor Susan Rubin Suleiman, speaking on on “Irène Némirovsky and the ‘Jewish Question’ in Interwar France.” The lecture is scheduled for Thursday evening, February 4, 2010, in Washington.

Susan Rubin Suleiman (with whom I have had the privilege of studying) is the C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. In her lecture, she will discuss the life and work of French writer Irène Némirovsky in relation to questions of Jewish identity in France before, during, and after the Holocaust.

A reception will follow the lecture. Reservations are requested.

Next Sunday in NYC: Imagination and Catastrophe: Art and the Aftermath of Genocide

Next Sunday (January 10, 2010) in New York City, the Center for Jewish History presents a symposium titled ““Imagination and Catastrophe: Art and the Aftermath of Genocide”:

Join filmmakers, writers, and musicians to discuss the complexity of creating art that deals with genocide and its aftermath. These artists and critics will discuss how the imagination wrestles with historically catastrophic events. The program will include segments of films, readings of fiction and poetry and a musical presentation, “The Golden Peacock” by Hugo Weisgall. In the creation of art out of catastrophe, genocide can be understood in more complex ways.

“There can be no poetry after Auschwitz.” – Theodore Adorno

Join Atom Egoyan, director, writer, producer, Academy Award nominee; Peter Balakian award winning poet; Emily Duncan-Brown, soprano; Donna-Lee Frieze scholar of genocide, philosophy and film studies, Marcie Hershman novelist; Laura Leon, pianist, and R. Clifton Spargo, writer to discuss:

–Is the artist obligated to tell the truth about history?

–What is the ethical impact of fictionalizing genocide?

–How does the artist use his or her medium to depict the horrors of history without sentimentality?

Admission: $20 general, $15 CJH members

Tenement Saga: Early Jewish American Literature (NYC Event, January 7)

Coming up at the Tenement Museum in Manhattan on Thursday, January 7: “Tenement Saga: Early Jewish American Literature,” a free event (RSVP requested). “Annie Polland, Sandford Sternlicht and Suzanne Wasserman discuss early 20th century literature of the Jewish LES including The Rise and Fall of David Levinsky and Bread Givers. Wasserman previews a clip of her documentary about Anzia Yezerska.” This program is part of an “evening series of lectures, readings, panel discussions and programming that provides perspective on New York City’s rich culture.”

MJHNYC Event: "How to Write Our Parents’ Wars"

So, now that I know my way to the Museum of Jewish Heritage, I’m even more interested in the programs offered there this winter.

Here’s one January event that looks especially interesting:


Sunday, January 24, 1:30 p.m.

How to Write Our Parents’ Wars

Panel discussion and memoir writing workshop with Judith Greenberg (Cypora’s Echo), Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer (Ghosts of Home), Irene Kacandes (Daddy’s War: Greek American Stories), Nancy Kricorian (Zabelle), and Gabriele Schwab (Haunting Legacies); moderated by Nancy K. Miller (Bequest and Betrayal: Memoirs of a Parent’s Death)

Writers and critics in history and literary studies will discuss the challenges we face in bringing the complicated narratives of the past into the present. Following the discussion, audience members can participate in a memoir writing workshop in small groups led by individual panelists. Pre-registration for the workshop is required.

$10, $7 students/seniors, $5 members

For more information, click here.

Visit to the Museum of Jewish Heritage

I’m embarrassed to admit that my visit to the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Sunday was my very first to that incredible institution.

In addition to the permanent core exhibition, I wanted to see two temporary offerings: “Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges” and “The Morgenthaus: A Legacy of Service.” Each would have been well worth the trip (and admission) on its own.

I encourage everyone to go to the Museum and see these exhibitions themselves, but even a Web visit will provide much to think about.

P.S. It appears that a film quite related to “Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow” will be screened in DC as part of the Washington Jewish Film Festival on Tuesday, December 8.

National Yiddish Book Center Launches Post-Baccalaureate Fellows Program

From the National Yiddish Book Center Web site:

The National Yiddish Book Center has openings for two Post-Baccalaurate Fellows during the 2009-2010 academic year. The full-time Fellows will be mentored by senior members of the Book Center’s staff, and will undertake assignments in each of our six major program areas.

* Bibliography: Work with the Center’s bibliographer to shelve and organize Yiddish books in our new, climate-controlled, on-site Deposit Library; help sort, process and index periodicals and ready them for digitization; answer reference questions and help students, scholars and visitors find Yiddish books; and provide support for users of the Center’s online library at
* Interpretation: Provide guided tours to visitors of all ages.
* Ethnography: Conduct structured oral history interviews with visitors, index archival recordings, and select excerpts for inclusion on the Book Center’s website, New Discoveries exhibition, Pakn Treger and other publications.
* Exhibitions: Help track down artifacts and provide curatorial assistance for the Book Center’s new, 10,000-square-foot permanent exhibition.
* Education and Public Programs: Provide support for the Book Center’s new educational programs, including Yiddish classes and residential Jewish Cultural Encounters for adults; a Winter Program for college students; teacher training and other endeavors.
* Web, Translation and Publications: Provide content and help coordinate online forums and communities on the Book Center’s expanded website; assist with translation from Yiddish to English; assist the editor in researching and writing for Pakn Treger, the Book Center’s English-language magazine.

$20,000 stipend plus health insurance. This is a nine-month position.

B.A. in Jewish Studies or equivalent; working knowledge of Yiddish; flexibility, good nature and a spirit of adventure.

Check the Web site for application instructions and more information.

Upcoming Events at the Museum of Jewish Heritage

News from the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust:

“The September-October public programming schedule at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust will feature provocative discussions, intriguing authors, and talented performing artists. The Museum welcomes author Zoë Heller who will speak about her well-received book, The Believers, on September 9. On September 13, families of all ages are invited to American Girl: Meet Rebecca Rubin with author Jacqueline Dembar Greene. The premiere of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, A Radio Play by Meyer Levin, will be performed on September 14. Following the performance, author Cynthia Ozick, historian Neil Baldwin, and others will discuss the controversy surrounding the play and its fall into obscurity. Novelist Dara Horn will discuss her latest book, All Other Nights, on September 16 with Tablet Magazine’s Alana Newhouse.

In conjunction with the special exhibition Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges, a panel of leading academics will discuss Racial Laws: Nuremberg & Jim Crow on October 14; and on October 28, Professor Stephen H. Norwood will talk about his groundbreaking work The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Conflict on American Campuses.

The Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company will present the world premiere of their new work Tribe, as part of Nextbook’s Jewish Body Festival on October 21. On October 25, author Hans J. Sternberg will discuss his memoir We Were Merchants: The Sternberg Family and the Story of Goudchaux’s and Maison Blanche Department Stores with author Eli N. Evans.”

For more information on these programs, consult the Museum of Jewish Heritage.