Lecture by Author Michael Goldfarb: How the Emancipation of Jews Led to Revolution and Renaissance

Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 6:30 PM

For almost 500 years the Jews of Europe were kept apart, confined to ghettos or tiny villages in the countryside. Then, in one extraordinary moment in the French Revolution, the Jews of France were emancipated. Soon the ghetto gates were opened all over Europe. The era of Emanciption had begun. What happened next would change the course of history.


Michael Goldfarb was the London-based voice of National Public Radio for almost twenty years when he became interested in the struggle of immigrants and minorities to succeed in a new country. This contemporary history reflects the journey of European Jews as they became increasingly integrated into European society.

Author Michael Goldfarb

When Jews left the ghetto, Jewish history changed and Western culture was transformed. Until the French Revolution, Jews were largely isolated, disenfranchised and powerless. Afterwards, their liberation enabled them to make extraordinary contributions to modernity in the areas of science, music, philosophy and culture.

From Warsaw to Damascus, Paris and Berlin, Jews were obtaining more and more rights and made their mark as doctors, lawyers, educators and businessmen. Yet Theodore Herzl continued to pursue the Zionist dream of a Jewish state.

Mr. Goldfarb presents the history of emancipation with the excitement of a reporter breaking news and the insights of a scholar whose informed observations animate this fascinating story.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Forchheimer Auditorium
The Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011
6:30 – 8:30 PM
RSVP: (212) 744-6400 or email here
LBI Members: $5.00; Non-Members: $10.00

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