Past Events

A conversation about the state of Jewish media in Germany with Rafael Seligman, publisher of the English-language Quarterly, “Jewish Voice from Germany.”

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Kurt Tucholsky is one of Weimar Germany’s most celebrated literary figures, loved by his many readers and hated by the Nazis. A forthcoming re-issue of long out-of-print English translations by Harry Zohn will re-introduce Tucholsky’s satirical masterpieces to today’s readers.

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Dr. Yael Sela-Teichler discusses the 1791 edition of Moses Mendelssohn’s German translation of Psalms, The Book of the Songs of Israel, exploring maskilic renderings of the music of the Hebrews that reclaim biblical poetry as Jewish musical heritage and challenge traditional notions of exile.

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Join us for a talk by NEH Senior Scholar Naomi Seidman exploring the role played by Yiddish and other Jewish languages in Freud’s writing, from the Yiddish of his parents “behind” his Viennese German to the translations and adaptations of his work in Eastern Europe.

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Made in 1989-90, at a decisive historical moment for Germany and Europe, Chronicle of Return documents the lives of German Jews who left Germany under the Nazi regime and returned to what would become the German Democratic Republic

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The Grammy-nominated New Budapest Orpheum Society performs Jewish songs from the Holocaust, gathered from the cabarets, camps, ghettos, theater, and films.

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Representatives of the German Justice Ministry and the authors of a new study on the involvement of former Nazis in the ministry’s early post-war history will discuss the role of the judiciary in the development and preservation of democracy.

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Through a close reading of key paintings and by a discussion of his many cultural networks across Germany and throughout Europe, this new study by Marion Deshmukh illuminates the painter Max Liebermann’s importance as a pioneer of German modernism.

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On this evening, George Prochnik presents his bildungsroman on Gershom Scholem, one of the twentieth century’s most important humanist thinkers. Prochnik traces the lifeline of Scholem, and weaves it with an intimate story of his own youth, marriage, and spiritual quest in Jerusalem.

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Supported by more than two hundred photographs, the second volume of Andras Koerner’s history, “How They Lived – The Everyday Lives of Hungarian Jews, 1867-1940” shows how the diverse groups of Hungarian Jews lived their everyday lives—how they raised their children, spent their leisure time, practiced their religion, performed their charity work, and more.

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In the new history, We’ll Always Have Casablanca, film historian Noah Isenberg gives a rich account of this beloved movie’s origins. Through extensive research and interviews with filmmakers, film critics, family members of the cast and crew, and diehard fans, Isenberg reveals the myths and realities behind Casablanca’s production, focusing in particular on the central role of refugees—nearly all the actors were immigrants from Hitler’s Europe.

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The dream of refuge from antisemitism, freedom from the arbitrary dictates of despots, and a place for Jewish religion and culture to flourish gained in popularity in the context of 19th-century discrimination against Jews. Yet some of the most potent and enduring expressions of the Zionist vision emanated from assimilated Jews in cities like Vienna and Berlin, where Jews enjoyed unprecedented rights and prosperity in this period.

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Join us for an evening of musical performance exploring the history of Jewish Austrian émigrés who transplanted the music of Viennese cafes to New York City. Esther Wratschko (Prins Foundation Fellow at the Center for Jewish History) will share her discoveries in the archives.

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The Kindertransport (“children’s transports”) is a remarkable story to arise out of the horrors of the Holocaust. Over 10,000 mostly Jewish children could be rescued, because their parents were willing to separate from them. Lilly Maier, Fulbright scholar, historian, and journalist, has researched the history of the Kindertransport for years and interviewed dozens of adults all over the United States who once were the young protagonists of these children’s transports. In this lecture, she will highlight the history and long-term effects of the intervention.

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Ismar Schorsch, former President of the Leo Baeck Institute, will engage in conversation with David Ellenson about the former’s newly published book, a biography of 19th century academic Leopold Zunz.

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