American Jewish Historical Society

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Past Events

The Fighting 69th

Monday, September 15, 2014 at 6:30 PM

World War I — Jewish Experiences in the Trenches and at the Home Front Film Series

A 1940 Warner Brothers film directed by William Keighley, the film is based upon the actual exploits of New York City’s 69th infantry Regiment during WWI. The plot centers on misfit Jerry Plunkett (James Cagney), a macho and a coward, unable to fit into the Irish brigade. Among the cast of characters is also Mischa Moskowitz (Mike Murphy for his Regiment friends), who speaks Yiddish, prays in Hebrew, but fights like an Irishman. Discussant: Thomas Doherty, Professor of American Studies, Brandeis University.

Luis Moses Gomez: A Pioneer Merchant in Colonial America

Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Exhibit Opening and Benefit Reception

Center for Jewish History, NYC

Benefit for Gomez Foundation for Mill House.

Presented by Gomez Foundation for Mill House in partnership with ASF, AJHS.

Music in Our Time: 2014

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Presented by AJHS & ASJM

The annual Music in Our Time concert features music with Jewish content. This year’s concert features a work by John Zorn (in honor of his 60th birthday), played by his musicians, as well as music by Schoenfield, Fridman, Binder and Bauer, performed by the young artists of the Mannes College of Music The New School, plus Yiddish songs of Lazare Weiner, sung by Cantor Robert Ableson with pianist Laura Leon.

Prayers for Fellow Prisoners

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Norway’s acclaimed Ullern Kammerkor presents music dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust—“Bøner for medfangar” (“Prayers for Fellow Prisoners”) by Kristian Hernes with a text by Dietrich Bonhoeffer—and music by Gideon Klein and Viktor Ullmann, composers active during imprisonment in Theresienstadt.

Presented by AJHS and ASJM

Watchers of the Sky

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Film and Discussion

Join us for a special preview screening of Watchers of the Sky, the Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary that uncovers the forgotten life of Raphael Lemkin. Lemkin coined the term “genocide” and campaigned for international laws that would prevent and punish this crime against humanity. The post-screening discussion will include Philippe Sands, distinguished international criminal lawyer and Professor of International Law at University College London, filmmaker Edet Belzberg, and Donna-Lee Frieze, editor of Lemkin’s recently published autobiography Totally Unofficial.

“Native Genius”: A Night of Entertainment Celebrating the History of Jewish Contributions to American Theatre, 1800-1860

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Join us for an evening of lively and interactive 19th-century theater featuring the drama, comedy, music and poetry of Jewish playwrights and artists from the pre-Civil War period. In conjunction with the exhibition By Dawn’s Early Light: Jewish Contributions to American Culture from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War, on view through August 16, 2014.

Mixing Music: Istanbul Jews and Their Sacred Songs

Monday, March 24, 7:00 PM

Lecture with musical examples

Dr. Maureen Jackson traces the linked histories of Istanbul and its Jewish community, as well as the historical-musical vestiges of multi-religious music making in Ottoman and Turkish society. She focuses on the Jewish religious repertoire that developed in interaction with Ottoman court music and people, places, and practices that shaped an Ottoman music world and Jewish cultural life to present day. Dr. Munir Beken, ethnomusicologist and oud master, will bring to life the Turkish musical forms at the heart of Dr. Jackson's talk.

Presented by AJHS and ASJM

American Jewish Political Culture and the Liberal Persuasion

Monday, February 24, 6:30 PM

Book Talk

Henry L. Feingold speaks about his new book (Syracuse University Press, 2013). The sustained loyalty of the Jewish electorate to the Democratic party, while other ethnic voters cast their ballots elsewhere, has long puzzled political pundits and chagrined Republican stalwarts. Yet efforts to turn the Jewish vote have thus far failed. The majority of Jewish voters continue to pull down the democratic voting lever as if guided by some divine force. No Republican presidential candidate has won the Jewish vote since the election of Theodore Roosevelt in 1904.

Since the heady years of the New Deal, Jewish liberalism has found shelter under the left wing of that party and Jewish voters have become some of the most politically engaged citizens of the Republic. American Jewish Political Culture and the Liberal Persuasion searches for the source of such political engagement, exploring the constantly adapting liberalism at the heart of American Jewish political behavior. Drawing on sociology and philosophy to inform his historical synthesis of a centuries-long, transcontinental pattern, Feingold eschews voting statistics and political theory. Instead, he tells the story of three overarching concerns that weave throughout the political priorities of contemporary American Jews: an ever-changing definition of liberalism; the hope and turmoil of Israel; and the obsession with the Holocaust. The resulting tapestry demonstrates a culture of great complexity and a political voice that often lacks coherence despite these consistent threads.

The book begins with the historical background of American Jewish politics before delving into old roots and then moving onto a thematic understanding of American Jewry's political psyche. This exhaustive work answers the grand question of where American Jewish liberalism comes from and ultimately questions whether the communal motivations behind such behavior are strong enough to withstand twenty-first-century America.

Henry L. Feingold is Professor Emeritus of history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and Baruch College. He is the author of several books, including The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration and the Holocaust and Bearing Witness: How America and Its Jews Responded to the Holocaust. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Leo Baeck Institute.

American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco

Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 6:30 PM

Jewish immigrants played a central role in transforming San Francisco from a sleepy village to a thriving metropolis. In the process they reinvented themselves as well, becoming a distinctly new kind of Jew - a San Francisco Jew. Join us for a screening of a new documentary about this transformation, followed by a discussion in which a panel of scholars will explore the intertwined destinies of San Francisco and the Jews who settled there.

America’s Enduring Cantorate: Lecture with Musical Examples

Sunday, January 26, 2014, 3 PM

The roles of cantors, and the music they sing, have developed from European heritage and responded to changing aesthetic needs across centuries. Noted scholars Dr. Mark Kligman and Dr. Mark Slobin, and Cantors Jack Mendelsohn and Barbara Ostfeld- Horowitz, will explore the legacies of cantors in America.

David’s Harp Returns! The Hanukkah Concert

Sunday, December 8, 2013, 3 PM

Sephardic, Israeli, Turkish, Greek, Egyptian, Ottoman, Bukarian and Yemenite songs will be featured in this thrilling performance by David’s Harp. The group returns by popular demand after its sell-out Hanukkah performance in 2011. Its five-piece ensemble will sing and play santouri, darbuka, keyboard, zills, flute, guitar, mandolin, electric bass daf and violin. A special guest will open the program with a story from the pen of a great Jewish writer-a tradition of the annual Hanukkah program. Plus menorah lighting, singing and refreshments!

Unbroken Spirits: Yosef Mendelevich and Soviet Jewry Activists

Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 7 PM

Although less well-known than Sharansky, Yosef Mendelevich was one of the boldest and most influential Refuseniks. He will discuss his riveting new memoir and be reunited with prominent veteran activists for an evening of memory, song and inspiration.

Click here for more information

German-Jewish Intellectuals in the Old World and the New

Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 6:30 PM

This event celebrates the publication of Against the Grain, Jewish Intellectuals in Hard Times (edited by Ezra Mendelsohn, Stefani Hoffman and Richard Cohen; Berghahn Books, NY)-a volume that reveals how Jewish intellectuals from German-speaking Europe reacted to the multiple crises of the 20th century. It honors the work of Steven Aschheim, esteemed scholar, teacher and mentor of a new generation of researchers in this field, some of whom are represented in the book. With Richard Cohen (Hebrew University), Marion Berghahn (Berghahn Books), Jerry Muller (The Catholic University of America), Adi Gordon (Amherst College), Ezra Mendelsohn (Hebrew University) and Steven Aschheim (Hebrew University).

Stealing Home: The Mystery of Moe Berg

Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 7 PM

Be one of the first to enjoy a new play based on the true story (and mystery) of Moe Berg, a professional baseball player and scholar-and one of the nation's first atomic spies. This staged reading of Stealing Home (by Allan Appel, directed by Avram Ludwig) will be performed by members of the Actors Studio.

Archives Week

Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 4:30-6:30 PM

Click here for Program

Passages through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War Curator’s Tour

Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 6 PM

Jewish Soldiers in the Civil War/Jews and the Battle of Gettysburg Lecture

Monday, June 3, 2013, 6 PM

Historian and Civil War scholar John Sellers details a major new research project to identify the thousands of Jews who fought in America’s deadliest conflict, joined by historical demographer J. David Hacker (6-6:30pm). Followed by a panel discussion with collector Robert D. Marcus, historian Lance Sussman, Gettysburg tour guide extraordinaire Gary Kross, and acclaimed artist Mort Künstler (6:30pm).

Music in Our Time: 2013 Concert

Sunday, June 2, 2013, 3 PM

The American Society for Jewish Music and AJHS’s annual concert of Jewish music from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Jewish Women and the Civil War

Monday, May 6, 2013, 7 PM

Historians and literary scholars discuss whether as volunteers in hospitals and charity groups, proud resisters of military occupation, or even spies, Jewish women played a prominent role in nearly all aspects of the war - some were even important memoirists of the conflict.

Kaddish for Lincoln

Monday, April 29, 2013, 7 PM

In this discussion of Jewish attitudes toward Lincoln--and Lincoln’s evolving attitude toward Jews, Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer explores the 16th president’s relations with Jews during the Civil War, and assesses whether the Great Emancipator deserved the name many contemporaries gave to him in the 19th century: American Moses.

An Evening with Ken Burns: Revisiting the Civil War Documentary Series
20 Years on Discussion

Sunday, April 14, 2013, 6:30 PM

Over the course of 5 days in September 1990, Americans were captivated by Ken Burns? master history lesson on America?s bloodiest conflict. This program features the reflections of the Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmaker on the 150th anniversary of the war.

Rescue in the Philippines Documentary Film

Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 6:30 PM

This documentary tells the little-known story of the Philippines’ rescue of over 1,300 Jews from Nazi Europe. Orchestrated by Filipino and American politicians, Colonel Dwight Eisenhower and the Frieder brothers, Cincinnati-based businessmen, this film premiere will feature a discussion with the director, producers, former refugees and Frieder family descendants.

Passages through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War Curator's Tour*

Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 6 PM

Louis Marshall and the Founding of Modern American Judaism

Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 7 PM

Marshall was a brilliant lawyer and a pioneer of civil rights and environmental causes who exerted a profound effect on the American Jewish community. Yet today Marshall’s memory has faded, even as his legacy lives on. Scholar Matt Silver discusses the paradox of Marshall’s extraordinary career in his new biography. The author in conversation with AJHS Executive Director, Jonathan Karp.

FDR and the Jews

Thursday, March 7, 2013, 6:30 PM

Join Richard Breitman, Allan J. Lichtman and Elizabeth Borgwardt for a discussion of Breitman and Lichtman’s soon-to-be-published book FDR and the Jews, a fascinating new investigation of the machinations, compromises, and dilemmas surrounding the Roosevelt administration's reactions to the Holocaust-- and of the limitations of the presidency.

“A Night of Jewish Baseball”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 6:00-9:00 PM

Click here for more information

The Sixties and Jewish Celebrity: A Conversation with David Kaufman

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Sandy Koufax and Lenny Bruce all helped reshape American culture during a revolutionary decade. What role did their Jewish identity play? Join David Kaufman, author and Associate Professor of Religion at Hofstra University, in conversation with AJHS Executive Director Jonathan Karp.

Jews and Popular Music

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 6:30 PM

From Tin Pan Alley to Tommy Boy Records, Jews have often been at the center of the business of American popular music. Panelists Ben Sidran, musician, producer, NPR and VH-1 host and Jonathan Karp, SUNY Binghamton, Executive Director, American Jewish Historical Society, explain why. Co-sponsored by Center for Jewish History.

The Annual Hanukkah Concert

Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

This concert features Israeli jazz saxophone and clarinetist Anat Cohen and her quartet. The Jazz Journalists Association named Cohen "Clarinetist of the Year" for five years running, the first time that any artist has achieved that honor. Co-sponsored by American Society of Jewish Music.

Jews and Publishing

Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Three generations of leading publishers explore Jewish participation in the dramatic changes that transformed the book publishing industry in the post-war era from a sleepy "gentlemen's club" into a dynamic and tumultuous industry. Featuring three generations of publishing giants: Jonathan Karp, Executive VP and Publisher, Simon and Schuster; Jane Friedman, CEO and cofounder, Open Road Integrated Media; Jason Epstein, cofounder, The New York Review of Books, creator, the Library of America, former editorial director, Random House. Altie Karper, editorial director, Schocken Books, Moderator. Co-sponsored by the Jewish Book Council and Center for Jewish History.

Jews and Film: Exhibitors, Distributors and Showmen

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 1-5 PM

While the story of "Jewish Hollywood" is well-known, this program will address Jews' roles as film distributors and theater owners, impresarios of both commercial and art film houses that brought movie entertainment to urban and small-town America alike. Program includes a screening of the film Ivan and Abraham. Panelists: Toby Talbot, The New School, founder, New Yorker Films, co-owner, Lincoln Plaza Cinemas; Philip Lopate, American film critic, essayist, fiction writer, poet, and teacher; Ross Melnick, UCLA, author, American Showman. Co-sponsored by Columbia University Press and Center for Jewish History. Film screening in conjunction with AJHS Fall Film Reel.

Ivan and Abraham

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 1:00 PM

In 1930s Poland, it was traditional for some Christian boys to live with Jewish families in order to learn a trade from Jewish craftsmen. For this reason, Ivan has gone to live on a large estate with Abraham and his family, has learned Yiddish, and has become Abraham's best friend. But the anti-Semitism born of poverty, ignorance, and superstition is fierce in this community and the two boys run away into the countryside to flee an imminent conflict. Journeying together in a menacing environment, they reveal their innocence and inseparability. This film is being shown as part of the Culture Brokers series, co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish History and Columbia University Press.

The Ritchie Boys

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 6:30 PM

"The Ritchie Boys" is the untold story of a group of young men who fled Nazi Germany and returned to Europe as soldiers in U.S. uniforms. They knew the psychology and the language of the enemy better than anybody else. In Camp Ritchie, Maryland, they were trained in intelligence and psychological warfare. Not always courageous, but determined, bright, and inventive, they fought their own kind of war. They saved lives. They were victors, not victims. Please join us for a discussion with Ritchie Boys alumnus Victor Brombert.

Jews as Art Dealers and Collectors

Monday, October 22, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Jews' prominence as collectors and dealers supported their claim to membership in European high culture and made them the principal targets of Nazi dispossession. Art historian Emily Bilski, historian Charles Dellheim, and curator/art dealer Jane Kallir trace this fascinating history and its current repercussions. Co-sponsored by Yeshiva University Museum.

Portrait of Wally

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM

In 1939, Egon Schiele's celebrated painting "Portrait of Wally" (1912), a beguiling portrait of the Austrian artist's red-haired mistress Walburga ('Wally') Neuzil, was seized by a Nazi from Lea Bondi, a Viennese gallery owner. Nearly sixty years later, the painting surfaced on the walls of the Museum of Modern Art, triggering a historic court case that pitted the Manhattan District Attorney, the United States Government and the heirs of Lea Bondi against a major Austrian Museum and the MoMA. After the screening, join us for a conversation with director Andrew Shea. Co-sponsored by Yeshiva University Museum.

Crossing Delancey

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Only in New York Summer Film Series

Directed by Joan Micklin Silver. With Amy Irving, Peter Riegert, Reizl Bozyk, Sylvia Miles. A romantic comedy about an independent young woman who ultimately succumbs to the charms of nice Jewish man who sells pickles on the Lower East Side thanks to the machinations of a matchmaker. Amy Irving was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for best actress. 97 minutes, 1988.

The film will be introduced by Annie Polland, historian and vice president for education at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

Next Stop, Greenwich Village

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Only in New York Summer Film Series

Directed by Paul Mazursky. With Lenny Baker, Shelley Winters, Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Greene. A semi-autobiographical account of Mazursky’s early life as an aspiring actor in New York who moves out of his parent’s Brooklyn apartment to seek his fortune in the bohemian life of Greenwich Village in 1953. 111 minutes, 1976.

The film will be introduced by Noah Isenberg, a film scholar and cultural critic based at The New School.

Music in Our Time: 2012


Sunday, June 3, 2012, 3:00 PM

A felicitous blend of contemporary styles and a variety of vocal and instrumental combinations. With a rarely-heard piece by Leonard Bernstein (Piano Trio, for piano violin and cello); and works by Hugo Weisgall (selections from The Golden Peacock, a delicious set of Yiddish songs for soprano); Ben Yarmonlinsky (Menasche Songs, for baritone, set to texts by the late Samuel Menashe, who received the first “Neglected Master” award); Jody Rockmayer (Marsyas for harp and oboe, based on the Greek myth of Marsyas finding the aulos (oboe) created by Athena); and the award-winning composer Mark Zuckerman (Managerie for soprano, flute and piano, based on texts by the French poet Robert Desnos), this promises to be a stimulating and enjoyable program.

New York Places/Jewish Spaces: Life in the City, 1700-2012

A Symposium

Sunday, April 29, 2012, 11:00 AM-6:00 PM

New York City has been home to more Jews than any other city in the United States. Over the years, countless observers—from poets to politicians—have considered New York a “Jewish City.” But what exactly does that idea mean? How have Jews shaped New York? And how has America’s largest city molded the Jews? Join us on Sunday, April 29, for a day of discussion on the remarkable synergy between this great people and this great city.

Harry S. Truman and the Jews

Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 6:30 PM

AJHS Spring Speaker Series — The Presidents & the Jews

Presented by Dr. Ronald Radosh, Adjunct Fellow, The Hudson Institute, columnist for, and Prof. Emeritus of History, CUNY.

Love, Loss & Legacy: Isidor and Ida Straus & The Titanic

Sunday, April 1, 2012, 3:00 PM

One hundred years ago, on April 15, 1912, the largest passenger steamship of the day sank in one of the saddest maritime disasters in history. Among the victims were Macy's owner Isidor Straus and his wife Ida. Their example of love and heroism forms one of the truly remarkable stories of the Titanic.

Direct descendants of Isidor and Ida Straus will be present to discuss their legacy, which will be placed in an historical context by Professor Steven Biel, Executive Director of the Humanities Center and Senior Lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University. Original artifacts and documents from the Titanic, belonging to the Straus Family, will be on display.

A wine, cheese & dessert reception will follow the program. The newly republished 100th Anniversary Edition of the Autobiography of Isidor Straus will be available for purchase and inscription by the editor and Straus descendants.

Teddy Roosevelt and the Jews

Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 6:30 PM

AJHS Spring Speaker Series — The Presidents & the Jews

Presented by Dr. Lance Sussman, Senior Rabbi of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, PA and lecturer in Jewish History at Temple University.

Abraham Lincoln and the Jews

February 28, 2012, 6:30 PM

AJHS Spring Speaker Series — The Presidents & the Jews

Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) and Professor of the American Jewish Experience at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati. Lectures on Teddy Roosevelt (March 27) and Harry S. Truman and Ronald Reagan (April) to follow this Spring.

David's Harp - A Hanukkah Concert

December 18, 2011, 3:00 PM

An amazing afternoon of some of the Middle East's most thrilling and scintillating music, featuring the group David's Harp, that holds many surprises for the audience. And, of course, Isaiah Sheffer, host of Public Radio International's Selected Shorts, will open the program reading a wonderful story from the pen of a great Jewish writer - a tradition of the annual Hanukkah program. David's Harp is a unique and exotic five-piece ensemble singing and playing santouri, darbuka, keyboard, zills, flute, guitar, mandolin, electric bass daf and violin. Directed by Joseph Alpar, the group offers an exciting program of Sephardic, Israeli, Turkish, Greek, Egyptian, Ottoman, Bukharian and Yemenite songs that that have audiences literally "dancing in the aisles"!

Not Idly By — Peter Bergson, America and the Holocaust

Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 6:30 PM

On November 24, 1942, Rabbi Stephen Wise held a press conference announcing State Department confirmation that the Jews of Europe were being mass murdered. How did American Jews and their leaders respond to the crisis? Not Idly By — Peter Bergson, America and the Holocaust, an award-winning new documentary by Pierre Sauvage (55 min.), presents the challenging testimony of Peter Bergson, a Palestinian Jew who led a determined and controversial American effort to fight the Holocaust. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Sauvage and distinguished scholars. Co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish History and the Varian Fry Institute.

Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Grey

Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 6:30 PM

Coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Grey is a first-of-its-kind film that reveals the little-known struggles facing American Jews both in battle and on the home front during the nation's deadliest war. This Documentary reveals an unknown chapter in American history when allegiances during the War Between the States deeply split the Jewish community between Union and Confederate sides. Join us for a viewing of this outstanding new film plus expert historical commentary.

Monument to Fallen Jewish Chaplains will Visit AJHS

Thursday, October 6, 2011, 7 PM

On the evening October 6th, AJHS will hold a service honoring the Jewish chaplains who died in military service to the United States. The memorial plaque listing the fallen will be displayed at AJHS for a 24-hour period prior to its permanent installation later in the month at the Arlington National Cemetery. Rear Admiral Rabbi Harold Robinson will preside; representatives from Jewish veterans and chaplains groups will be present; and there will be musical accompaniment.

Hollywood Zion

Thursday, September 15, 2011, 6:30 PM

Click here for speaker bios.

Israel's creation in 1948 was a story virtually made for Hollywood — a persecuted people rising heroically from the ashes to found a country of their own against extraordinary odds. But behind the miraculous tale, American Jews remained nervous about the ramifications of the new Jewish state. Join us and our panel of historians and critics to view clips from classical films like Exodus and Cast a Giant Shadow.

2011 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award - May 4, 2011

Click here to view invitation

Click here for registration form

Join the American Jewish Historical Society when we honor of Ralph Lowenstein, founder of the Aliyah Bet/Machal Archives, and the North American volunteers who participated in the Israeli War of Independence.

This year's event will be held at the Center for Jewish History in New York City.

The American Jewish Historical Society is proud to become the repository of the Aliyah Bet/Machal Archives which records the heroism and sacrifice of approximately 1300 American and Canadian Jewish volunteers who fought in Palestine and for the newly created State of Israel from 1947-1949. If you are a member of Machal or the relative of a "Machalnik" with information to share, please let us know by contacting:

c/o Aliyah Bet/Machal Archive
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011

Phone: 212-294-6160

Visit our website for event updates!


Conversations on Conversion — A Symposium
Moderated by WNYC’s Brian Lehrer

Sunday, April 10, 2011, 4:00 - 7:00 PM

Conversion is an explosive topic in Jewish life. Historically, Jews have alternately welcomed and discouraged converts. Jewishness itself has been variously defined by religion, peoplehood, and ethnicity, with differing implications for converts in each case. In our own day the borderlines of Jewish identity appear less fixed than ever, and the question arises as to what significance conversion still holds in a Jewish world increasingly marked by assimilation, intermarriage and cultural hybridity.

Conversations on Conversion will address these issues in two ways, historically and contemporaneously. Two panels will be presented. The first centers on conversion in Jewish history from the biblical period to the mid-twentieth century, as discussed by leading historians currently conducting research on the topic at the Katz Center for Advanced Jewish Studies in Philadelphia. The second, to be hosted by WNYC radio personality Brian Lehrer, will present a range of important voices on conversion in Judaism today and address such related topics as intermarriage, denominational debates and the status of non-Jews in Israel today.

Presented by American Jewish Historical Society, Centro Primo Levi, Center for Jewish History, The Katz Center at the University of Pennsylvania and Yeshiva University Museum

Machal/Aliyah Bet Exhibition Opening, Panel Discussion & Reception

Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

No Charge • Reservations Required • 212-294-6160 or

Join us as we pay tribute to the more than 1,300 North American volunteers who served in Israel's 1948 War of Independence. Known by the Hebrew acronym Machal (volunteers from abroad), the stories of their sacrifice and heroism form part of the fabric of our own history. The American Jewish Historical Society is proud to be the steward of the Machal/Aliyah Bet Archives.

Moderated by: Deborah Dash Moore, Ph.D., Director, Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan

Panelists: Samuel Klausner, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Sociology Associate, Middle East Center, University of Pennsylvania; Machalnik

Ralph Lowenstein, Dean Emeritus of the College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida; Founder of the Machal/Aliyah Bet Archives at the University of Florida Libraries; Machalnik

Derek Penslar, Ph.D., Samuel Zacks Professor of Jewish History, University of Toronto

Click here to view photographs from the event.

Kenneth J. Bialkin/Citigroup Public Service Award given to Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Click here for photographs from the Eizenstat reception

American Jewish Historical Society, American Society for Jewish Music & Yeshiva University Museum present:
A Chanukah Cabaret & Holiday Extravaganza

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Come to the Cabaret — A Chanukah Cabaret! • 3:00 PM

With Yiddish and Sephardic songs and stories: A rollicking Trio by Paul Schoenfield -- pianist Ted Rosenthal playing jazz improvisations on Jewish and Chanukah songs -- Zalmen Mlotek and Guests from the National Yiddish Theater-Folksbiene -- Ladino Songs performed by Elie Massias -- and, of course, Isaiah Sheffer of PRI‘s Selected Shorts, as host and storyteller. An annual musical event at the Center given in celebration of a wonderful, joyous and freilach holiday.

Menorah lighting, singing and reception

Chanukah Family Program (ages 4 and up) • 1:00PM-3:00 PM
Free admission with concert ticket purchase

Explore Chanukah relics, hunt for hidden holiday objects, design a festive stained glass panel & tour Yeshiva University Museum galleries

Gal Beckerman Book Signing and Reception

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Click here for photographs from the book signing.



    Center for Jewish History

    15 West 16th St.
    New York, NY 10011
    Tel: 212-294-6160
    Fax: 212-294-6161

    99-101 Newbury Street
    Boston, MA 02116-3062
    Tel: 617-226-1245
    Fax: 617-226-1248
This section was last updated on September 17, 2014
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