Why Jewish Books and Libraries Matter with Joshua Teplitsky

Joshua Teplitsky joins us to discuss his book Prince of the Press and the broader issue of the history of Jewish books and book collecting. Prince of the Press is a fantastic book, and it opens up a great set of issues about the meaning of books and libraries in Jewish culture, the process of accumulating and transmitting Jewish learning over the generations, as well as how we understand Jewish life in early modern Europe in the widest terms.

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The Life and Legacy of Abraham Joshua Heschel, in Conversation with Susannah Heschel

Susannah Heschel joins us to talk about the work and legacy of her father, Abraham Joshua Heschel: What we take away from Heschel’s writings as well as his moral and political example, and what we still have to learn from him today. We also talk about Susannah’s efforts to publish her father’s writings as well as her own research in modern Jewish history and Jewish thought. Indeed, she’s a towering scholar in her own right and we’re delighted to have her on the podcast for a wide ranging discussion about the meaning and context of one her father’s work, and also how it relates to her own research and thinking about Jewish thought and why it matters.

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Roundtable Discussion on the Materiality of Jewish Culture with Aleksandra Buncic, Nathan Mastnjack, David Sclar, and Jason Lustig

Listen to a roundtable discussion on the materiality of Jewish culture with B Buncic, David Sclar, Nathan Mastnjack, and Jason Lustig, who in 2018-19 have been Harry Starr Fellows in Judaica at Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies. The theme this year has been the history of the Jewish book, and we come together to discuss why books matter in Jewish culture and why we should look at the material objects, writing platforms, and physical form in addition to the contents that they contain.

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Could It Happen Here? Fascism and Nazism in America with Steve Ross

Could fascists really have taken power in the US during the 1930s? It’s not just the stuff of fiction, as in “The Man in the High Castle” and The Plot Against America. In Steve Ross’ book Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America, we learn about the thrilling (and terrifying) history of how Nazis and fascists tried to establish a foothold on the west coast and the efforts of a handful of spies to try to take them down. In this episode, Steve Ross joins us to talk about his book and the history of fascist and pro-Nazi groups in LA, the real threat that fascism posed in the United States in the 1930s and 1940s, and what it teaches us, unfortunately, about our present moment.

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The Kishinev Pogrom with Steven Zipperstein

Steven Zipperstein discusses the Kishinev pogrom and its afterlife in modern Jewish history and memory: the tremendous influence of Kishinev on how Jews have seen the world, the dangers of misinformation and propaganda, and how one event can shape a generation. Ultimately, the pogrom highlights how and why history matters: how the Kishinev pogrom has become so influential in modern Jewish history, and also the tension between the public memory of the pogrom and the actual historical events themselves. Today, we’re in an age when actual facts and details do matter, but the Kishinev pogrom shows the power of myth and memory too.

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Holocaust Memory and the Digital Age with Jeffrey Shandler

Jeffrey Shandler joins us to talk about Holocaust Memory in the Digital Age: Survivors’ Stories and Memory Practices: How Holocaust memory and memorialization is changing in the digital age, the history and meaning of testimony and the Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive, and what the future holds in store for these memory practices.

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