Past Events

A group of elite, cosmopolitan Jewish women played a central role in shaping the dynamic cultural world of late 18th-century Berlin. Sara Levy, an influential salon hostess and performing musician interacted with important composers and intellectuals of her day. Professors Nancy Sinkoff (Rutgers) and Christoph Wolff (Harvard) comment on Levy’s life and times and the music performed in this concert.

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2015_04_29-FrankfurtSchool

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In the decades following Israel’s establishment, subtle variations appeared in the attitudes of key Jewish members of the Frankfurt School toward the Jewish state. In his new book, The Frankfurt School, Jewish Lives and Antisemitism (Cambridge University Press), Jack Jacobs (John Jay College; Graduate Center, CUNY) offers new insights into why.

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The 21st century has seen a resurgence of interest in the works of Stefan Zweig, who was amongst the most acclaimed authors worldwide before he fell into obscurity. Mark Gelber (Ben Gurion University) and Birger Vanwesenbeck (SUNY) present two new books that reassess Zweig’s legacy.

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Peter Appelbaum will speak about his book, Loyal Sons, which describes, for the first time in English, the experiences of Jews in the German army during the First World War.

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At age 98, director Arnon Goldfinger’s grandmother passed away, leaving him the task of clearing out the Tel Aviv flat that she and her husband shared for decades after immigrating from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Sifting through a mountain of photos, letters, files, and objects, Goldfinger undertook the complex process of making sense of the accumulated ephemera of a lifetime.

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In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of New York City’s Landmarks law and the Landmarks Preservation Board, architectural historian and preservationist Dr. Samuel D. Gruber will trace the rich and varied architectural history of New York synagogues emphasizing remarkable buildings that have been lost, those that have been lovingly restored, and a significant number of noteworthy buildings that could and should be preserved. With an introduction by architectural historian Carol Krinsky.

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Kurt Hirschfeld, who built the Schauspielhaus Zürich into the last bastion of free German theater in the 30s, will be the topic of an international conference in Zurich on March 8 – 9, 2015, featuring a dramatic reading by the actors Stefan Kurt (Berliner Ensemble) and Friederike Wagner (Schauspielhaus Zürich).

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Drawing by Emil Orlik

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Andrew Marc Caplan, 2014-15 Cahnman Senior Scholar at CJH, will present his groundbreaking research on Jewish modernity in conjunction with a screening of Arnold Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron.

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The Wissenschaft des Judentums, launched by Jewish scholars in 19th century Germany, brought worldly disciplines like history, philology, and anthropology to bear on the sacred texts and rites of Judaism. This enterprise not only formed the basis of modern academic Jewish studies, but also shaped the manifold understanding and practice of Judaism as it exists today.

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unknown-country

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An Unknown Country is an independent film that tells the story of European Jews who were able to reach the shores of Ecuador in the 1930s. Featuring first hand accounts and archival material, the film opens a window on the exiles’ perilous escape and difficult adjustment as they remade their lives in an unknown land. With an introductory Lecture by Dr. Leo Spitzer.

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Luise Hirsch uses biography and social history to show how Russian- and German-Jewish women fought their way into the universities of Switzerland and Germany and became the first women professionals in modern history.

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Historian Volker Berghahn’s lecture will accompany LBI’s new exhibition German Jews at the Eastern Front in WWI: Modernism Meets Tradition.

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Dr. Josef Joffe will deliver the 57th annual Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at the Center for Jewish History, where he will be introduced by Dr. Henry Kissinger. Following the Lecture, Dr. Ronald B. Sobel, President of LBI, will present Dr. Joffe with the Leo Baeck Medal.

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Commissar

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Commissar was created by Aleksandr Askoldov in 1967, but was banned by Soviet censors for 20 years, due to the film’s sympathetic depiction of Jews. Commissar is a heartbreaking story of a Jewish family in a backwater Ukrainian shtetl ravaged by war and pogroms.

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German Federal Justice Minister Heiko Maas will discuss the research of an independent commission of historians appointed to investigate how the German Federal Justice Ministry dealt with the Nazi past in the early post-war period.

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