The African and Middle Eastern Division sponsors a regular series of talks given by experts in various fields. Since 2001, these talks have been recorded and most of these past events can be viewed online in the Library's Event Videos collection.
Learn more about upcoming events:
Quick to the Party: Southern Jews and the Americanization of Hanukkah (November 2, 2007)
Registrants attending the 32nd annual conference of the Southern Jewish Historical Society came to the Library as guests of the Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, to learn about Judaic treasures in the Library's collections.
Jewish Washington: Scrapbook of an American Community October 18, 2007)
Laura Cohen Apelbaum and Wendy Turman of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington spoke about the history of the Jewish community in Washington, D.C. The talk also included images from the new book, "Jewish Washington: Scrapbook of an American Community." The program was sponsored by the Library's African and Middle Eastern Division.
A Bibliographer Encounters the Muses: Reflections on the Yiddish Theater and Its Legacy (May 8, 2007)
Zachary M. Baker delivered the eighth Annual Myron M. Weinstein Memorial Lecture on the Hebraic Book as part of the Library's celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month. The lecture was titled "A Bibliographer Encounters the Muses: Reflections on the Yiddish Theater and Its Legacy." The lecture series honors Myron M. Weinstein (1927-1998), whose 29-year tenure at the Library was spent in the Hebraic Section.
Haven to Home: An American Journey (December 6, 2004)
The live performance, “Haven to Home: An American Journey,” tells the stories of Emma Lazarus, an immigrant’s daughter who became known as Lady Liberty’s poet, and Irving Berlin, an immigrant who became one of America’s best loved composers. The original play, commissioned by the Hebraic Section and written and directed by Roberta Gasbarre, Director, The Discovery Theater, Smithsonian Associates, explores how the values of liberty, opportunity, and religious freedom shaped American history. The 45 minute presentation was one of the public programs related to the Library of Congress exhibition, “From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America.”
The Jewish Book in America (June 7, 2004)
The Hebraic Section of the Library of Congress hosted the Fifth Annual Myron M. Weinstein Memorial Lecture on the Hebraic Book in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Jonathan D. Sarna presented a lecture, "The Jewish Book in America". Jonathan D. Sarna is the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and chairs the Academic and Editorial Board of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. He also serves as chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History and of Celebrate 350 and is the author most recently of "American Judaism: A History."
Jewish Women's Issues (March 30, 2004)
Author Susan Weidman Schneider, editor-in-chief of Lilith discusses her experiences of more than two decades at the helm of the award winning Jewish women's magazine.
Jews and Shoes (December 11, 2008)
Shoes are an integral part of Jewish material culture according to Edna Nahshon, author of "Jews and Shoes" (Berg Publishers, 2008). The book takes a fresh look at the makings and meanings of shoes, cobblers and barefootedness in Jewish experience. The book shows how shoes convey theological, social and economic concepts, and as such are intriguing subjects for inquiry within a wide range of cultural, artistic and historic contexts.
Iranian Jewry: From Past to Present (November 3, 2008)
A two-Day conference on the history and culture of Iranian Jewry, sponsored jointly by the African and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress and the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies and the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Center for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland. The Jews of Iran comprise not only one of the oldest populations of Jews in the world, but also one of the most ancient threads in the diverse fabric of the ancient Iranian community. Beginning with the Achaemenid period (550-330 B.C.) and lasting beyond the emigration of a portion of Iran's Jewish population to the United States and Israel in the late 1970s, Jews have had a complex interaction with the Persian state and culture.
Iranian Jewry: From Past To Present - Morning Session
The morning session focused on Jews in Medieval Persian Cultures and Resources for the Study of Iranian Jewry. Featured speakers and topics of discussion were Parvaneh Pourshariati, "Jewish Participation in Over-Land Trade in Late Antique Iran: A Preliminary Assessment"; Maria Subtelny, "The Jews at the Edge of the World: The Islamic Ascension Narrative as Missionary Text in Medieval Iran"; and Vera Moreen,"Neglected Sources: The Riches of Judeo-Persian Manuscripts." In addition, other speakers were Peggy Pearlstein, "Iranian Judaic and Hebraic Resources in the Collections of the Library of Congress"; Hirad Dinavari, "Jewish Resources in Persian and Iranian Collections at the Library of Congress"; and Vera Moreen, "Of Making Many Encyclopedias There Is No End: Reflections on the Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World."
Iranian Jewry: From Past To Present - Afternoon Session
The afternoon session focused on Jewish Material Culture and Folk Art and Jewish Culture in Twentieth Century Iran. Featured speakers and their topics of discussion were Judith Goldstein, "Muslim Rulers and Jewish Holy Men: Oral Tradition and the Imagination of Political Agency"; Shalom Sabar, "Persian and Kurdish Jewish Amulets: Shapes and Images, Texts and Social Function"; Evan Rapport, "Bukharian Jewish Musical Life and Its Relationship to Judeo-Persian Culture"; and Orly Rahimiyan, "The Iranian Shylock: The Image of the Jews in Iranian Cinema." Dalia Yasharpour, “Influence of the Jewish Persian rite on the Haggadah of the Kaifeng Chinese”
Song of Songs: The Honeybee in the Garden (October 28, 2008)
The Song of Songs is the Hebrew Bible's love song. But who sings this song? While the literal words tell of the passionate love of a man and a woman, the early rabbis understood the verses as an allegory of the love between God and Israel. In her illuminated manuscript, "The Song of Songs: the Honeybee in the Garden," author and artist Debra Band interprets and illustrates the biblical text.
Traditional Judaism or Reform (May 5, 2008)
As part of the Library's celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month, Marsha Rozenblit delivered the ninth annual Myron M. Weinstein Memorial Lecture on the Hebraic Book. The lecture focused on Viennese Jews in the 19th Century. Rozenblit is the Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History at the University of Maryland. The lecture series honors Myron M. Weinstein (1927-1998), whose 29-year tenure at the Library was spent in the Hebraic Section.
I Will Wake the Dawn: Illuminated Psalms (January 17, 2008)
The Book of Psalms is probably the best-known book of the Hebrew Bible. In her new book, "I Will Wake the Dawn: Illuminated Psalms," author and artist Debra Band has selected 36 of the most well-known of the 150 psalms to interpret and illustrate.
Is Israeli Classical Music Jewish? (November 19, 2009)
The music of Israel is a unique combination of Jewish and non-Jewish traditions that have come together over the course of a century to create a distinctive musical culture. Immigrants from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere brought with them their musical traditions, melding and molding them into a new Israeli sound that helped define the emerging national spirit. Ronit Seter, a scholar in the field of Israel art music, poses the question "Is Israeli Classical Music Jewish?"
A Conversation with Film Producer Louis Stroller (November 2, 2009)
Film producer Louis Stroller talks about film, the industry and current projects involving travel to Africa and Israel.
The Jews of Brazil (October 20, 2009)
Daniel R. Pinto of the Embassy of Brazil delivers an illustrated lecture on the Jews of Brazil.
Mark Ozer: The Litvak Legacy (October 15, 2009)
Dr. Mark Ozer discusses his book "The Litvak Legacy" documenting the contributions of Lithuanian Jews to the English speaking world and Israel.
The State of Art in Ethiopia (July 27, 2009)
Renowned artist Afewerk Tekle presented a lecture on the state of art in his native Ethiopia.
The Approach of the Halakah and Sharia' to Contemporary Legal Issues (June 17, 2009)
Judaic and Islamic legal systems (based on Halakah and Sharia', respectively) have endured for centuries despite the rapid changes and challenges of the modern world --from exploration of outer space to human cloning. They serve as a testimony to the relevance and universality of their underlying values and principles. The potential application of these legal systems to the development of foreign policy was the subject of a program titled "The Approach of the Halakah and Sharia' to Contemporary Legal Issues." In addition to explaining the historical development of Judaic and Islamic law, the program explored adaptations of these laws that could benefit policymakers in their legislative work on foreign policy and other areas affecting religiously oriented communities
What Stillness Illuminated (June 4, 2009)
Aaron Taub presented a reading of his poetry in a program sponsored by the African and Middle Eastern Division.
Jewish Life in Mr. Lincoln's City (May 19, 2009)
Laura Cohen Apelbaum and Wendy Turman spoke about and showed a power point presentation on the new exhibit at the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington on "Jewish Life in Mr. Lincoln's City."
Breaking the Holocaust Silence: A Hidden Hasidic Text of 1947 - and Elie Wiesel (May 13, 2009)
Gershon Greenberg delivered the 10th Annual Myron M. Weinstein Memorial Lecture on the Hebraic Book. The lecture was titled "Breaking the Holocaust Silence: A Hidden Hasidic Text of 1947—and Elie Wiesel." The lecture series honors Myron M. Weinstein (1927-1998), whose 29-year tenure at the Library was spent in the Hebraic Section.
My Father's Paradise (February 11, 2009)
Yona Sabar was born in a mud hut in the remote Kurdish region of Northern Iraq. Protected by towering mountains, the Jews of Zakho lived peacefully among Muslims and Christians for hundreds of years. But in the late 1940s, the outside world came crashing in, and Yona would be the last boy in Zakho to become a bar mitzvah. Yona's son Ariel Sabar discussed his new book, "My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq."
Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France (December 13, 2010)
Joan Nathan discusses her latest book.
The Lion of Judah: Prince Ermias Sahle Selsssie (December 9, 2010)
His Royal Highness Prince Ermias Sahle Selsssie Haile Selassie discusses his work.
The Long Presence of French & German Immigrants on the Mississippi (December 8, 2010)
Anny Bloch-Raymond discusses the French-Jewish communities along the Mississippi River and the issue of belonging.
The Most Musical Nation: Jews & Culture in the Late Russian Empire (November, 4, 2010)
James Loeffler discusses the role of music in the formation of modern Jewish identity in 19th- and 20th-century Russia in his new book, "The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire."
The History of Education in Ethiopia with Special Emphasis on Higher Education (October 26, 2010)
Dr. Aklilu Habte discusses the history of higher education in Ethiopia.
Michal Govrin: Hold on to the Sun(October 18, 2010)
Michal Govrin presents a lecture about her new book, "Hold on to the Sun."
Vernacular Voices: Language & Identity in Medieval French Jewish Communities (September 20, 2010)
Kirsten A. Fudeman discussed her new book, "Vernacular Voices: Language and Identity in Medieval French Jewish Communities."
Samuel's Daughter: A Love Story from Third-Century Parthia (June 9, 2010)
Library Hebraic area specialist Ann Brener discusses her book "Samuel's Daughter" along with Dr. Levon Avdoyan, Mr. Hirad Dinavari, Dr. Muhannad Salhi, Peggy Pearlstein
Gail Twersky Reimer: Making Trouble (May 26, 2010)
As demonstrated by vaudevillian Sophie Tucker, silent film and stage star Molly Picon, Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice, stand-up comic Joan Rivers, "Saturday Night Live" performer Gilda Radner and Broadway's Wendy Wasserstein, American Jewish women comedians have made an indelible impact on the entertainment world and the times in which they lived. Each was unique in her talent but shared the joy and burden of being Jewish, female and funny. Their stories are told in "Making Trouble," a documentary film produced by the Jewish Women's Archive (JWA).
Childs Play: The Judaization of Adolescence in 20th-Century America (May 13, 2010)
Jenna Weissman Joselit delivers a lecture titled "Child's Play: The Judaization of Adolescence in 20th-Century America."
Arnold Resnicoff on Faith and Foxholes: Religion in the Military (May 6, 2010)
In Celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month 2010, the Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, the Veterans History Project, and the American Folklife Center presented a talk by Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff on his experiences as a chaplain in the military.
"Barbie's Jewish Mother and Corporate Genius" (May 5, 2010)
Attorney and author Robin Gerber delivers a lecture about Mattel Inc.'s Ruth Handler titled "Barbie's Jewish Mother and Corporate Genius" in the Mary Pickford Theater. This lecture is a part of the Library's month-long celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month.
Shimon Iakerson: Unique Hebrew Manuscripts( February 3, 2010)
Shimon Iakerson, curator of Judaica at the Russian Museum of Ethnography, delivers a presentation on "Unique Hebrew Manuscripts in St. Petersburg, Russia" at the Library of Congress in the African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room.
Joseph in Africa: The Story of a Story (November 10, 2011)
Morgan Johnson presents the illustrated lecture, "Joseph in Africa: A 3,000 Year Story of a Story Retold in the Multi-ethnic Continent of Africa."
The Three Waves of Jewish Migration to China, 1845-1940 (October 4, 2011)
Liliane Willens discussed "The Three Waves of Jewish Migration to China, 1845-1940."
Poet Yermiyahu Ahron Taub (June 7, 2011)
Yermiyahu Ahron Taub reads from his new book of poetry, "Uncle Feygele," which explores the issues encountered by gay Orthodox Jews. He follows up with questions from the audience regarding the book and translating between English and Yiddish.
Emile Berliner & the Birth of the Recording Industry (May 17, 2011)
Emile Berliner (1851-1929) was a German-born immigrant whose inventions contributed to the birth of the recording industry. A largely self-educated man, Berliner was responsible for the development of the microphone, the flat recording disc and the gramophone player. Often overlooked by today's historians, Berliner's creative genius rivaled that of his better-known contemporaries Thomas Alva Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. Like the works of these two inventors, Berliner's innovations helped shape the modern American way of life. Berliner's life, work and connection to Washington, D.C., where he lived for many years, is the subject of a talk by Samuel Brylawski and Karen Lund.
Women Against Tyranny: Poems of the Resistance During the Holocaust (May 5, 2011)
Davi Walders speaks about her new book, "Women Against Tyranny: Poems of Resistance During the Holocaust."
Jews & Magic in Medici Florence (April 13, 2011)
With work published widely in the course of his 30 years of archival research in Florence, Edward Goldberg founded the Medici Archive Project to provide worldwide public access to the historical data in the Medici Granducal Archive through a fully searchable database. Established by Grand Duke Cosimo I in 1569, the archive of the Medici Grand Dukes offers the most complete record of any princely regime in Renaissance and Baroque Europe. The 3 million letters contained in more than 6,000 volumes richly document more than 200 years of human history (1537-1743). Through introducing his latest publication, "Jews and Magic in Medici Florence," Goldberg outlines Medici Florence and the culmination of his study on the topic.
Arthur Szyk and His Passover Haggadah (April 4, 2011)
Irvin Ungar discusses Polish-Jewish artist Arthur Szyk and his haggadah created in the stunning style of medieval illuminated manuscripts.
Coffee, Culture and Intellectual Property Rights: The Case of Ethiopia (March 31, 2011)
Heran Sereke-Berhan discusses coffee and intellectual property rights in Ethiopia
Joel ben Simeon & the Washington Haggadah (March 23, 2011)
David Stern and Katrin Kogman-Appel discuss the 1478 Washington Haggadah illustrated by Joel ben Simeon, among the most gifted and prolific scribe-artists in the history of the Jewish book.
Education of Jewish Girls in Tsarist Russia (March 15, 2011)
Eliyana Adler discusses her new book, "In Her Hands: The Education of Jewish Girls in Tsarist Russia."
Into the Light: The Healing Art of Kalman Aron (December 4, 2012)
An illustrated lecture by Susan Beilby Magee about her new book on Holocaust survivor Kalman Aron.
We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust (November 28, 2012)
Ellen Cassedy discusses her new book, "We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust."
Arise! Arise! Deborah, Ruth & Hannah (November 19, 2012)
An illustrated lecture by artist and calligrapher, Debra Band, on the publication of her new book "Arise! Arise! Deborah, Ruth and Hannah."
The Fabric of America through the Art of Arthur Szyk (November 6, 2012)
An illustrated lecture on the art of Arthur Szyk by Irvin Ungar.
100 Years of Hebrew Poetry (November 5, 2012)
Poet and anthologist Peter Cole reads from his poems and discusses the history of Hebrew poetry.
The Jewish Book Since the Invention of Printing (October 25, 2012)
A lecture by Dr. Emile Schrijver on the history of the Jewish book since the invention of printing.
The Stations That Spoke Your Language: Radio and the Yiddish American Cultural Renaissance (September 6-7, 2012)
Leading Yiddish language and culture experts joined media scholars and Library of Congress specialists to address Yiddish radio in America: its history and cultural impact, its continuing influence on American media, and its multifaceted legacy.
Radio and the Yiddish American Cultural Renaissance (Day 1)
Radio and the Yiddish American Cultural Renaissance (Day 2, Morning)
Radio and the Yiddish American Cultural Renaissance (Day 2, Afternoon)
From Spanish Court to Ottoman Palace (August 21, 2012)
Ann Brener discusses Hebrew books from the 16th century in the collections of the Library of Congress.
Heaven on Earth: A Tour of Solomon's Temple through Near Eastern Eyes (June 25, 2012)
Victor Avigdor Hurowitz presented "Heaven on Earth: A Tour of Solomon's Temple Through Ancient Near Eastern Eyes."
No One's Son (May 3, 2012)
Documentary filmmaker, Tewodros "Teddy" Fekadu has lived in five countries and three continents, ultimately journeying from Eritrea and Ethiopia to the Gold Coast of Australia. His life spans war, family love, the Catholic Church, homelessness, three years of detention in Japan, and finally a country to call home and the creation of his own company.
Jews and Theater in an Intercultural Context (May 2, 2012)
Dr. Edna Nahshon will speak about her new book, "Jews and Theater in an Intercultural Context."
The Heart Has Reasons: Holocaust Rescuers & Their Stories of Courage (April 19, 2012)
Mark Klempner spoke about people he interviewed for his book, "The Heart Has Reasons: Holocaust Rescuers and Their Stories of Courage."
The First Modern Jew: Spinoza and the History of an Image (April 18, 2012)
Daniel B. Schwartz discusses his new book, "The First Modern Jew: Spinoza and the History of an Image."
A Concert of Ladino Music: Flory Jagoda (March 27, 2012)
In celebration of Women's History Month, the Library presented a concert of Ladino music with Flory Jagoda in performance with Tiffani Ferrantelli and Zhenya Tochenaya.
A Momentous One Hundred Years: Ancient Ethiopia, 520-620 A.D. (March 22, 2012)
Hailu Habtu discusses the critical century of 520-620 A.D. in Ethiopia.
Jews on Trial: The Papal Inquisition in Modena, 1598-1638 (March 21, 2012)
Katherine Aron-Beller will be speaking about her book on the Modena inquisition of 1598-1638.
In the Mediterranean Mode: Israeli Women Composers (March 6, 2012)
Ronit Seter discussed Israeli woman composers Shulamit Ran, Betty Olivero and Chaya Czernowin.
Poetry Reading: Star of David (November 22, 2013)
Rick Black reads from his book of poems, "Star of David."
Poetry Reading by Merrill Leffler (September 24, 2013)
Merrill Leffler speaks about his new book, "Mark the Music."
The Jewish Reception of Copernican Thought (September 17, 2013)
In his book, "New Heavens and a New Earth: The Jewish Reception of Copernican Thought," Jeremy Brown describes the long history of the very Jewish responses to Copernicus's sun-centered system where the moving earth was viewed by many as conflicting with the tenants of the Jewish faith.
Prayers of a Heretic: A Poetry Reading (August 27, 2013)
A reading by Yermiyahu Ahron Taub from his fourth book of poems, "Prayers of a Heretic," which explores the act of heresy and the condition of displacement refracted through the language of poetry and prayer. The title character has left the Orthodox Jewish world of his youth but remains engaged with his heritage and, in particular, the practice of prayer, albeit of a less traditional kind. Many of the poems in the collection celebrate reading, books and libraries as avenues for refuge and personal reconfiguration.
Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language & Culture of Orthodox Judaism (June 3, 2013)
In her book, "Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism," Sarah Bunin Benor describes how newly orthodox Jews have to adopt not only the laws and customs, but also new speech patterns.
Following a Dream: The Beta Israel Then & Now (May 31, 2013)
Nili Auerbach discussed the historical background of the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jewish) community, their extraordinary journey to and rescue by the State of Israel, their acclimation to a dramatically different country, and ultimately their current progress and efforts to acquire higher education.
Significance of the Religious Experience (May 23, 2013)
Howard Wettstein speaks on his new book "The Significance of the Religious Experience."
The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (May 13, 2013)
Aviva Kempner talked and showed film clips from a new special DVD edition of "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg."
Prophet in a Time of Priests (May 1, 2013)
In celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month, Janice Rothschild Blumberg discussed her new book "Prophet in a Time of Priests."
Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp (March 18, 2013)
Ann Kirschner discussed her new book, "Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp."
Sapphires in Song: Zemer Chai Jewish Choir (February 26, 2013)
The Zemer Chai Jewish Choir performed in conjunction with the Library exhibition "Words Like Sapphires."
Yiddish Songs of the Jazz Age (October 22, 2014)
Jane Peppler sings funny and nostalgic Yiddish songs from the 1920s and 1930s.
Introducing the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences (August 14, 2014)
Masresha Fetene and his colleagues founded the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences in 2010 based on the belief that a strong scientific community strengthens nations by enabling citizens to address critical economic, environmental and social issues in systematic and effective ways. The primary objective of the Academy is to promote scientific culture in Ethiopia by nurturing interest and curiosity in science. The goal is to ultimately produce a scientifically and technologically literate and informed citizenry so that people can make informed and better decisions on issues that have bearing on their day-to-day lives. It also aspires to see Ethiopia at the forefront of science and technology.
The Iranian Talmud: Reading the Talmud in its Sasanian Context (July 22, 2014)
Although the Babylonian Talmud, or Bavli, has been a text central and vital to the Jewish canon since the Middle Ages, the context in which it was produced has been poorly understood. Delving deep into Sasanian material culture and literary remains, Shai Secunda pieces together the dynamic world of late antique Iran, providing an unprecedented and accessible overview of the world that shaped the Bavli. Secunda unites the fields of Talmudic scholarship with Old Iranian studies to enable a fresh look at the heterogeneous religious and ethnic communities of pre-Islamic Iran. He analyzes the intercultural dynamics between the Jews and their Persian Zoroastrian neighbors, exploring the complex processes and modes of discourse through which these groups came into contact and considering the ways in which rabbis and Zoroastrian priests perceived one another.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahido Church (July 17, 2014)
Ephraim Isaac discussed his book about the history of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahido Church and also that of Christianity as a whole in Ethiopia. Not only are there strong Biblical Hebraic elements in the theology, political theory, and liturgical calendar of the Ethiopian Church but there is also a strong influence from Beta Israel and Ethiopian Jews. Besides these Ethiopian Jews and of course, the Orthodox Ethiopians and a few Protestant and roman Catholic Ethiopian Christians, there are in Ethiopia also very large numbers of Moslems and various native beliefs.
Kolot Halev in Concert: My Soul Longs for You (June 16, 2014)
The Kolot Halev Choir featured music from the rich Jewish Russian tradition.
The Tenement Saga (May 19, 2014)
Sanford Sternlicht discussed his book, "The Tenement Saga." He tells the story of his own childhood in New York City's Lower East Side and puts it within the context of 14 early 20th-century East Side writers. Anzia Yezierska, Abraham Cahan, Michael Gold, Henry Roth and others defined this new "Jewish homeland" and paved the way for the later great Jewish American novelists.
Black Pearls Restrung: Hebrew and Yiddish Artists' Books at the Library of Congress (February 10, 2014)
Like their counterparts in other languages, artists' books in Hebrew and Yiddish embrace the new, the innovative; and they achieve their artistic vision in ways that range from the cutting edge of technology to a mastery of book arts planted firmly in the traditions of the past. In this talk, Ann Brener casts a curator's eye over the Hebraic artist's books in the Library of Congress and sketches various trends and historical processes in the development of the collections.
Traveling Through Ethiopia (September 25, 2015)
Esubalew Meaza discusses how he has showcased Ethiopia's culture, history, and landscape in his photo books.
In Search of a Usable Past: Reconstructing the Jewish History of Homestead, Pa. (May 18, 2015)
In celebration of Jewish-American Heritage Month, genealogist Tammy Hepps spoke about her research on the Jewish community of Homestead, Pa.
Kabbalat Shabbat: The Grand Unification (December 12, 2016)
Debra Band discussed her book, "Kabbalat Shabbat: The Grand Unification," a beautiful, intellectual and aesthetic guide for welcoming Shabbat into the contemporary Jewish home.
Never Tell a Boy Not to Fight (November 15, 2016)
Harry D. Boonin spoke about his new book, "Never Tell A Boy Not To Fight," about four Jewish boxers from Philadelphia.
From Manuscript to Printed Text (October 19, 2016)
Ittai Joseph Tamari discussed the Talmud in a program sponsored in cooperation with the Jewish studies program of American University and the Judaic studies program of George Washington University.
Imperial Exile (September 22, 2016)
Keith Bowers discussed his book, "Imperial Exile" about Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie's exile in Britain in the 1930s to escape the invading armies of the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini.
The Thirteenth Hour (September 19, 2016)
Translator Zelda Kahan Newman speaks about the Yiddish poetry of Rivka Basman Ben-Haim.
From Bomberg to the Beit Midrash (June 23, 2016)
Yoel Finkelman discusses page layout in Venice Hebrew printing and the experience of rabbinic learning.
The Blumenthals of the Upper-Lower Peninsula of Michigan (May 5, 2016)
In celebration of Jewish-American Heritage Month, genealogist Janette Silverman discussed methodology and resources for doing genealogical research. She shared her own family research as a case study.
Stolen Words: The Nazi Plunder of Jewish Books (May 3, 2016)
Mark Glickman discussed his book, "Stolen Words: The Nazi Plunder of Jewish Books," an epic story about the largest collection of Jewish books in the world--tens of millions of books that the Nazis looted from European Jewish families and institutions.
Jews of Posen Province in the 19th Century (March 21, 2016)
Edward David Luft discussed his book, "The Jews of Posen Province in the 19th Century."
From Russia with Love: Illustrated Children's Books in Hebrew from Omanut Press (1919-1921) (January 4, 2016)
Ann Brener follows Omanut Press from its beginning in revolutionary Moscow to its final relocation to Tel-Aviv in 1926, and shows images from some of their rare and beautiful children's books now preserved in the Library of Congress. Shoshana Zlatopolsky Persitz was the 24-year old founder of Omanut Press and its guiding spirit. It is to her that we owe some of the most beautiful books ever printed for children in Hebrew, yet in many ways the story behind their printing is almost as compelling as the books themselves. The lecture is followed by a reading of "Tom Thumb" by Chaim Nahman Bialik, translated from the Hebrew into English.
Goodly Treasures New & Old: Gary Rendsburg on the Biblical Song of Songs October 30, 2017).
Gary Rendsburg discussed the biblical Song of Songs, followed by a display of treasures from the Library's Hebraic section.
King Solomon's Table (May 15, 2017)
Joan Nathan shared stories and recipes from her latest cookbook "King Solomon's Table: a Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World."
Imperial Ethiopia's Unique Symbols, Structures & Role in the Modern World (May 11, 2017)
Gregory R. Copley discussed his research on the role of Ethiopia in the modern world.
How I Found my Jewish American Family (May 8, 2017)
Daniel Horowitz spoke about how to conduct genealogy research in a program cosponsored with the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington.
Marriage & Politics in 19th & 20th Century Ethiopia (April 20, 2017)
Heran Sereke-Brhan discussed marriage and politics in 19th- and 20th-Century Ethiopia.
Oedipus in Brooklyn & Other Stories by Blume Lempel (March 22, 2017)
Ellen Cassedy and Yermiyahu Ahron Taub discussed their translation of the Yiddish book,
"Oedipus in Brooklyn" by Blume Lempel.
Love Songs from the Middle East (February 16, 2017)
Through dramatic readings, Library specialists journeyed with their audience from the 7th century through modern times on the wings of love poems written by well-known poets from the Middle East and Spain. These poets included Qays ibn al-Mulawwah of 7th century Arabia, Judah Halevi (ca. 1075-1141) of Muslim Spain, Persian poet Hafiz (ca. 1325-1389), and Leyla Hanim (d. 1848) of Istanbul.
Whitechapel Noise: Jewish Immigrant Life in Yiddish Song and Verse, London 1884-1914 (October 23, 2018)
The Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division and the Music Division of the Library of Congress presented a book talk by author Vivi Lachs.
Gratitude in Low Voices: Dawit Gebremichael Habte (October 11, 2018)
The Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division presented a book talk by author Dawit Gebremichael Habte.
Historical Atlas of Hasidism (October 10, 2018)
The Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division and the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress presented a book talk by Marcin Wodzinski, Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Wroclaw, Poland.
From the Depths of Antiquity: Newly Acquired Torah Scroll (May 23, 2018)
Gary Rendsburg discusses an ancient Torah scroll sheet from the book of Exodus, newly acquired by the Library of Congress
Roads Taken: Jewish Peddlers & Their American Journeys (May 7, 2018)
Hasia Diner discussed her new book, "Roads Taken: Jewish Peddlers and Their American Journey."
The Accidental Rise of the Modern Yiddish Theater (November 21, 2019)
The Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division hosted a talk, The Accidental Rise of the Modern Yiddish Theater, by Alyssa Quint, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
From Tesfa to Tikva: 25 Years of Ethiopian Jews in Israel (June 3, 2019)
The Hebraic Section presented a book talk by Irene Fertik, Photographer. Both in photos and text, Fertik chronicles the story of 25 years of change and transition of Ethiopian Jews in Israel.
Joining the Club: A History of Jews and Yale (Monday, May 6, 2019)
In celebration of the Jewish-American Heritage Month, the Hebraic Section and the Jewish Generalogy Society of Greater Washington presented Dan A Oren, M.D., Yale University School of Medicine to talk about his book.
The Lost Library (March 28, 2019)
The Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division presented a book talk by Dan Robinowitz, author, attorney and Hebrew book collector.
Ascending to Heaven (January 30, 2020)
The Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Divsion hosted a book talk, Ascending to Heaven, by Author Esubalew Meaza. Meaza discussed his journey through Ethiopia to tell the stories of his native land.