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 yiddishbooks.org.
* 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.

Paper Bridge Summer Arts Festival

The National Yiddish Book Center (Amherst, Mass.) will hold its fifth annual Paper Bridge Summer Arts Festival from July 12-16, 2009. It will include three special, low-cost workshops. Pre-registration is required.

Monday, July 13 – 10:00 a.m. and Wednesday, July 15 – 10:00 a.m.
Write Your Memories
Pulitzer-prize winning author and UMASS Professor Madeleine Blais leads a memoir writing workshop. Would you like to share your personal history with your children and grandchildren? This workshop will provide you the tools necessary to begin writing it all down. Cost: $10

Monday, July 13 – 4:00 p.m. and Thursday, July 16 – 4:00 p.m.
Translate Your Memories
Would you like to find out what a family letter, postcard, journal entry or recipe says in Yiddish? Bring it to our Yiddish translators and we will open the door to your family history. Cost: $5

Tuesday, July 14 – 4:00 p.m. and Thursday, July 16 – 10:00 a.m.
Preserve Your Memories
Do you have boxes of family letters, postcards and photographs? Bring them to the Book Center and Barbara Blumenthal, Rare Book Specialist at the Smith College Library, will show you how to safely archive them for future generations. Cost: $5

Council of American Jewish Museums Web Site

From the Foundation for Jewish Culture e-newsletter:

CAJM Launches New Website

We are excited to direct your attention to the beautiful and rich website recently launched by our colleagues at the Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM): www.cajm.net. The FJC is proud to have helped create this consortium of cultural institutions more than three decades ago. In addition to being the primary place for individuals in the Jewish museum field to learn and share, the website is a wonderful resource for interested travelers and Jewish culture enthusiasts and features a wide array of institutions, exhibitions, programs, and news.

Worth a visit!