Jewish Community Studies with Matthew Boxer

Matthew Boxer joins us to talk about contemporary American Jewish communities, why gathering population data matters, what we can learn from these kinds of studies, and how examining a range of communities from across the U.S. helps us to understand the varieties of American Jewish life between smaller and larger communities. We discuss how community studies are put to practical use, how it relates to trends in Big Data and quantification, and how all this contributes to our broad understanding of American Jewry and the American Jewish experience.

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Why 1938 Matters Today with Frank Mecklenburg

Frank Mecklenburg joins us to talk about the Leo Baeck Institute’s 1938Projekt (1938 Project), an exciting initiative to track the experience of German Jews in 1938 on a day-by-day basis. We talk about the project and its objectives, what kind of history it tells us about the transformations over the course of 1938, and about the importance of learning from the past: How we can comprehend daily life under the Nazi regime, how such “normalcy” illustrates how authoritarian regimes consolidate their power and marginalize elements of the population, and how we can identify parallels between the past and today’s international crises of refugees and discrimination against minorities and immigrants. The LBI’s 1938Projekt, by posting one item each day that relates to what happened on the exact day eighty years ago, illustrates the past and also presents a demand for us to think about what’s happening today too.

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Houston Jewish History Archive with Joshua Furman

Joshua Furman joins us to discuss the Houston Jewish History Archive and how this effort to preserve the history of Houston’s Jewish community after Hurricane Harvey brings together the strands of American Jewish history and the challenges posed by human-caused climate change, how we try to preserve the past against the tide of a changing world and adapt in order to create sustainable lives and communities.

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