Events by type: Panel Discussion

In her new book, Kerry Wallach examines the politics of Jewish identity in Weimar Germany and the ways in which Jews concealed or revealed their identities. With moderator Noah Isenberg (The New School) she will explore facets of Jewish visibility reflected in the new German television series, Babylon Berlin.

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Elliot R. Wolfson and Shaul Magid speak about Wolfson’s highly anticipated new book, The Duplicity of Philosophy’s Shadow: Heidegger, Nazism, and the Jewish Other. In spite of Heidegger’s explicit antisemitic statements, Wolfson reveals some crucial aspects of his thinking that betray an affinity with dimensions of Jewish thought.

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Historian Michael Brenner (American/University of Munich) will discuss contemporary Jewish life in Germany on the occasion of the English-language publication of A History of Jews in Germany since 1945.

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David Toren, a retired New York attorney who was born in 1925 and escaped Germany on a Kindertransport to Sweden in 1939 will discuss how his family recovered a looted painting that had been in the possession of the infamous Nazi art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt.

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The mother-daughter team behind The German-Jewish Cookbook (Brandeis University Press, 2017) discuss their historical and gastronomic exploration of German-Jewish cuisine.

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In 1967, Stephen Birmingham published his best-selling social history of New York’s elite German-Jewish banking families and posited a new, Jewish, American aristocracy. A panel of historians and a journalist will evaluate the legend and the reality of “Our Crowd” and the impact of the institutions they created on American life.

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The 2016 film Germans & Jews explores the country’s transformation from silence about the Holocaust to facing it head on. Post-film discussion with Steven Sokol (American Council on Germany), Rabbi Sonja Keren Pilz (Hebrew Union College), and attorney Steve Zehden (Noerr LLP).

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Nearly a century ago in Weimar Germany, a group of physicians and psychologists around Magnus Hirschfeld, many of them Jewish, fought to end the criminalization of homosexuality in Germany with arguments based on a study of human sexuality that was empirical and descriptive rather than normative. Legendary author and educator Ruth Westheimer joins historians Atina Grossmann and Robert Beachy to explore the legacy of German-Jewish gay rights and sex reform pioneers.

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How compatible are faith and reason, religious and civic loyalty, religious commitment and cosmopolitanism? These were the questions that shaped the Enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn’s biography and occupied his mind. Abraham Socher (Oberlin/Editor, Jewish Review of Books), David Sorkin (Yale), and Michah Gottlieb (NYU) discuss how Mendelssohn’s answers still resonate today.

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Historian Michael Brenner imagines a world in which Walther Rathenau survived to save the republic in the new book What Ifs of Jewish History. He joins the book’s editor, Gavriel Rosenfeld, to discuss what factors and which actors contributed to the disintegration of a fragile pluralism in the 1920s, and what that means for today’s world.

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