A Rosenberg by Any Other Name? Jewish Name-Changing and American Jewish History with Kirsten Fermaglich and Geraldine Gudefin

What’s in a name? For many American Jews who changed their names in the twentieth century so they would sound “less Jewish,” clearly a lot. In this episode, guest host Geraldine Gudefin welcomes Kirsten Fermaglich to speak about her book A Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America and the big issues it brings up.

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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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American Judaism with Jonathan Sarna

Jonathan Sarna discusses American Judaism: A History, which recently was published in a second, revised edition. Listen in for a wide ranging conversation about American Jewish history in big terms, about Jonathan’s work at large and the book American Judaism in particular. As we discuss in the episode, American Judaism is one of a series of books which have been published in recent years that has tried to synthesize American Jewish history, so we will look closely at how the landscape of American Jewish historical studies has developed, how we tell the history of America’s Jews, and why it matters.

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Contemporary Yiddish Culture (and Podcasts!) with Sandra Fox

In this episode, we’re joined by Sandra Fox to talk about contemporary Yiddish culture and her Yiddish-language feminist podcast, Vaybertaytsh. The podcast recently came back for a new season, and so we’re going to be talking about the origin of the podcast as part of the development of contemporary Yiddish culture and its history.

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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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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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