Upcoming Programs & Events

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 6:30pm

Last Yiddish Heroes: Lost and Found Songs of Soviet Jews during World War II


During and just after World War II, folklorist Moshe Beregovsky and the Kiev Cabinet for Jewish Culture collected original Yiddish songs written by Soviet Jews. But in 1949, the Soviet government confiscated and hid away the songs. In this all-new concert and lecture program, singer-songwriter Psoy Korolenko and historian Anna Shternshis bring these lost Yiddish songs to life and share the incredible stories behind these treasures.

Pavel Lion, a.k.a. Psoy Korolenko, is one of Russia’s most popular – and clever – songwriters, as well as a pre-eminent Yiddish singer. He is a Moscow based singer/songwriter, translator, scholar and journalist. Self-referred to as a ''wandering scholar'' and an ''avant-bard'', he is know for his multilingual one-person cabaret-esque shows, which balance folk and klezmer music, free-style poetry and intellectual comedy. Psoy writes and sings in English, Russian, Yiddish, and French. On stage since 2000, he has published one book of selected essays and song lyrics ''The Hit Of The Century'', and 14 CDs – some of them in collaboration with active Jewish and Klezmer musicians ("Opa!", Daniel Kahn, Igor Krutogolov, "Oy Division").  Psoy is a member of the organizing committee for a Russian American music festival JetLAG, a guest of many klezmer music festivals, and an ex-artist in residence at the Trinity College (Hartford), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA). An author of insightful and sophisticated Russian sung poetry, Psoy is also known for his keen and explorative vision of the art of translation, “tradaptation” and what he calls Spell-Art (i.e. playing with foreign text, emphasizing linguistic distances, multilingual songs etc).

Anna Shternshis holds the position of Al and Malka Green Associate Professor of Yiddish studies at the University of Toronto. She is also the Director of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. She received her doctoral degree (D.Phil) in Modern Languages and Literatures from Oxford University in 2001.  Shternshis is the author of Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1923 - 1939 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006). Her second book entitled When Sonia Met Boris: Jewish Daily Life in Soviet Russia is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2017. She is currently working on the book-length study of evacuation and escape of Soviet Jews during World War II. She is the author of twenty articles on topics of Russian Jewish culture and post-Soviet Jewish diaspora. Shternshis is a co-editor-in-chief of East European Jewish Affairs.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016 -
4:30pm to 6:30pm

Book Launch for James E. Young, The Stages of Memory: Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between

Published by University of Massachusetts Press

James E. Young is founding director of the Institute andEmeritus Distinguished Professor of English and Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has served on juries that selected designs for the 9/11 Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. In his new book, The Stages of Memory: Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between, published by University of Massachusetts Press, Young reflects on the expectations that countries bring to their painful memorial debates. 


A reception with refreshments will precede the book talk, which will begin at 5.

A book sale and signing will follow this program. Thank you to Amherst Books for handling book sales.

New York City Book Event, November 10 at 7 at the 9/11 Memorial Museum: https://www.911memorial.org/events/james-e-young-stages-memory

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 12:15pm

Zionism, Holocaust Survivors, and the Creation of Israel

Avinoam Patt

Avinoam J. Patt is the Philip D. Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford, where he is also director of the Museum of Jewish Civilization.  He received his Ph.D. in Modern European History and Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University.  His first book, Finding Home and Homeland: Jewish Youth and Zionism in the Aftermath of the Holocaust (published by Wayne State University Press, May 2009) examines the appeal of Zionism for young survivors in Europe in the aftermath of the Holocaust and their role in the creation of the state of Israel.  He is also the co-editor (with Michael Berkowitz) of a collected volume on Jewish Displaced Persons, titled We are Here: New Approaches to the Study of Jewish Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany (Wayne State University Press, February 2010).  He is a contributor to several projects at the USHMM, and is co-author of the recently published source volume, entitled Jewish Responses to Persecution, 1938-1940 (USHMM/Alta Mira Press, September 2011).  He has also published numerous articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia articles on various topics related to Jewish life and culture before, during, and after the Holocaust. He is co-editor of a forthcoming anthology of recent American Jewish fiction entitled The New Diaspora: The Changing Landscape of American Jewish Fiction. In Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for American Jewish Fiction (with Mark Shechner and Victoria Aarons, to be published by Wayne State University Press in November 2014).  Patt teaches courses on Modern Jewish History, American Jewish History, Responses to the Holocaust, the History of Zionism and the State of Israel, Jewish film, and Modern Jewish Literature among others.

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 5:00pm

In Those Nightmarish Days: Ghetto Reportage as Witnessing

Samuel Kassow

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 5:00pm

'A Rubric of Pain Words': Holocaust Yiddish Glossaries and Postwar Language Work

Hannah Pollin-Galay


Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 4:00pm

Mitch Duneier

Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea

Information is forthcoming.  

Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 5:00pm

Musar after the Holocaust: Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler and the Rebuilding of Jewish Pietism

R. Eliyahu Dessler (d.1953) was arguably the most prominent proponent of the classical musar tradition to survive the Holocaust. He spent the war years in England where he moved from Lithuania to accompany his father for medical treatment. During the inter-war years, Dessler served as a dean of the Manchester Yeshiva where he trained many boys and young men who were part of the Kindertransports. After the war he immigrated to Mandate Palestine where he served as a spiritual mentor of the Ponovitsch Yeshiva in Bnei Brak until his death in 1953. This lecture will explore Dessler’s teachings, collected in the 5 volume Mikhtav M’Eliyahu, as an example of one who sought to reconstruct the ideology of musar with emphasis on its teachings as a response to the Holocaust. While not normally thought of as a post-Holocaust thinker, I will argue that Dessler’s musar is not simply a reiteration of pre-war musar but is a tool to teach his readers how to react to the theological challenges of the Holocaust.


Shaul Magid is the Jay and Jeanie Schotenstein Professor of Jewish Studies at Indiana University. He is also a Kogod Senior Research Fellow at The Shalom Hartman Institute in NYC. His work deals with the tradition and Jewish theology and philosophy from the early modern period to the present. His most recent book is *Hasidism Incarnate: Hasidism, Christianity, and the Construction of Modern Judaism* published with Stanford University Press. His forthcoming book *The Jewish Jesus of Volozhin: Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik's Commentary to the New testament* will be published by Yale University Press.

Monday, April 24, 2017 - 5:00pm

Race and Photography: Racial Photography as Scientific Evidence, 1876-1980

Amos Morris-Reich

Information is forthcoming.