28 October 2009

Boston: Prof. Zvi Gitelman, Nov. 12 and 15

Judaic Studies scholar Professor Zvi Gitelman will give two lectures at the Third Lecture Series co-sponsored by Hebrew College and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston.

Prof. Zvi Gitelman will give two lectures on Jewish Genealogy and History

On November 12, Prof. Gitelman will speak on "Culture Wars: Litvaks vs Galizianers in Eastern Europe," at 8pm at Temple Emanuel, Newton.

The program focuses on the cultural chasm - sometimes comic, sometimes tense - between the two main streams of Yiddishkeit. Eastern Europe, home to 80% of American Jews, was an area of diverse religious practices, political ideologies, Yiddish pronunciation, foods, customs, and dress. Some of this diversity carried over to America, but it has faded in the post-immigrant generations. This talk will explore the differences among Eastern European Jews and the stereotypes to which they gave rise, illustrating the richness and vitality of a civilization that continues to inform Jewish life in Europe, the Americas and Israel.
On November 15, his second talk is titled "A century of ambivalence: Jews, Soviets and Russians," at 3.30pm at Hebrew College, Newton.

His talk will address the complex and uneasy relationship among Jews, Soviets and Russians. In 1900, 5.2 million Jews lived in the Soviet Empire; today, they number about 500,000. On the one hand, Russian Jewry experienced pogroms, two World Wars, two revolutions, purges, Communism, the Holocaust and Stalin's anti-Semitism over the course of a century or more. On the other hand, Russian Jewry experienced unprecedented social, political and vocational mobility.
Gitelman is the Tisch Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He served as Director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies and Director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University. He is the author of “Ethnicity or Religion? The Evolution of Jewish Identities” and “A Century of Ambivalence: The Jews of Russia and the Soviet Union since 1881,” and numerous other books.

Both programs are free. Space is limited for the November 15 program, and advance registration is required. Register online or call 617-559-8622.

An intensive nine-session course (Monday evenings) on how to research Jewish family history begins at Hebrew College on February 8, 2010. For more information, click here. It is taught by experienced genealogists from the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston.

Both the lectures and the course are made possible by a generous grant from Harvey Krueger of New York.

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