Events by location: Center for Jewish History

Join us for an evening of performance exploring the Jewish experience during World War I. An esteemed cast of actors will bring to the stage the words of soldiers and civilians, politicians and poets, from home and abroad. Through memoir, music and imagery, these dramatic readings will reflect upon the war that created the modern world.

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This film series commemorates the start of the Great War, a time when violence once again disrupted peaceful life around the world. Four classic international films reflect a range of Jewish experiences in the East and the West.

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Unknown Photographer, Jewish service during WWI

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An international roster of scholars will discuss the state of scholarship and introduce cutting-edge research on Jews in World War I, examining the war’s importance as a cataclysmic event in Jewish and world history.

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Jonathan Skolnik (UMass Amherst) presents his book, Jewish Pasts, German Fictions , the first comprehensive study of how German-Jewish writers used images from the Spanish-Jewish past to define their place in German culture and society.

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Jewish Pasts, German Fictions is the first comprehensive study of how German-Jewish writers used images from the Spanish-Jewish past to define their place in German culture and society.

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Around 30 Jewish chaplains served with honor and distinction in the German army during World War I, providing spiritual care for about 100,000 Jewish, as well as non-Jewish, soldiers, and also Jewish refugees made homeless by the Tsarist army

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The upheaval and mass migrations of WWI led to new encounters between Eastern and Western European Jews, and narrowed the divide between these two cultures. This roundtable examines the consequences of these encounters and the origins of the Jewish East-West division. With Steve Aschheim (Hebrew University), Hasia Diner (NYU), and Anson Rabinbach (Princeton University).

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Journalist Peter Beinart leads a discussion on the dramatic Post-War period and the creation of the state of Israel, bringing together the experiences of Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jewish migrants in Eastern Europe, Allied-occupied Germany and Israel.

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Historian Anna Manchin (Prins Postdoctoral Fellow, CJH), historian Michael Miller (Central European University), and activist Adam Schonberger will discuss contemporary Jewish life in Budapest.

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There Was Once... 2011, Directed by Gábor Kálmán

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The second of two films screened in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of nationwide Jewish deportations in Hungary, There Was Once… documents the contemporary struggles of a Hungarian high school teacher who sparks controversy by uncovering the Jewish past of her small town, Kalocsa.

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Free Fall

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Acclaimed director Péter Forgács explores the unique circumstances of the Holocaust in southern Hungary in his intimate film Free Fall, told through the home videos of a Jewish family in the 1940s. Forgács will introduce the film and join us for a post-screening discussion and reception.

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