The Bund in the Borderlands

Lecture on Jewish Los Angeles Series   Caroline Luce (UCLA) In this lecture, Dr. Caroline Luce will offer a preview of her book-in-progress, Yiddish in the Land of Sunshine: Jewish Radicalism, Labor and Culture in Los Angeles, 1900-1950. The book follows a group of young Jewish radicals – most veterans of the Russian Revolution of […]

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

Lukas will be reading from his second novel, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo. A multigenerational novel centered around Cairo’s Ibn Ezra Synagogue, the book knits together the disparate experiences of three different narrators—an eleventh century Muslim watchman, a pair of Victorian-era linguists, and a contemporary Comparative Literature graduate student—as each “discovers” a trove of […]

Global Itineraries of Holocaust Memory: The Jewish Caribbean and Nazi Persecution in Literature and Art

During World War II, the Caribbean provided safe haven to Jewish refugees from the Nazis. Meanwhile, Caribbean expatriates living in Europe found themselves caught up in the war and, in some cases, imprisoned. This talk revisits these entangled wartime histories through the lens of art and literature. Caribbean artists and writers trace wartime journeys between […]

The Jewish Thread: The Hidden History of Costume Design in Hollywood

Co-organized by UCLA’s Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies and David C. Copley Center for Costume Design, and their Directors, Professors Sarah Abrevaya Stein and Deborah Nadoolman Landis, this innovative evening explores a forgotten dimension of Jewish and costume design history—the extraordinary prominence of eminent, Jewish costume designers, whose paths to the profession have […]

South African Jews, the Holocaust, and Apartheid

South Africa’s system of Apartheid (‘apartness’ in Afrikaans) was formalized in 1948, just three years after the end of the Holocaust. For South African Jews, the recent genocide served as powerful currency in the debate about how to relate to local racist practices and ideas. In this talk, Shirli Gilbert will explore the diverse and […]

American Jewish Exceptionalism’s Antisemitism Problem

When historians of the United States talk about antisemitism, more often than not they do so as proof of American exceptionalism: in its inexorable movement toward the margins of American life, antisemitism exemplifies what is unique and extraordinary about America. Antisemitism’s present absence from historical narratives of the United States has been essential to the […]

When Politics Aren’t Political: The Depoliticization of American Jewish Politics

Many of the core institutions of American Jewish life, including federations, private foundations, and other communal organizations, have long emphasized their remove from politics. Their declarations represent an almost century-long process of what Berman explains as “depoliticization.” Reflecting liberalism and its ideals of individual and market freedom, policies of depoliticization exercised discipline over American group […]

The Jewish Touchstone in the German Critique of Capitalism

Our understanding of modern capitalism is deeply indebted to the German sociological tradition, and to none more deeply than Karl Marx, Georg Simmel, Werner Sombart, and Max Weber. Notwithstanding their significant disagreements, all four thinkers conceived the origin and distinctive nature of modern capitalism by reference to Jews and Judaism. Chad Alan Goldberg sets out […]