Event details

May 6 – May 27, 2021

Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage and JewishGen.org for an adult education course exploring the origins of Ashkenazi Jewish names and the history of Jewish name changing in the United States. Led by Binyumen Schaechter and Dr. Kirsten Fermaglich, the four-part course will meet weekly on Thursdays from 5:00 to 6:30 PM ET. Each class will include a full lecture followed by student Q&A.

May 6 & May 13 at 5:00 PM ET
Ashkenazic Family Names: What Our Names Mean About Our Families
What do our family names say about our family histories? In the first two classes, Binyumen Schaechter will explore the adoption of Jewish family names in eastern Europe 200 years ago and dissect the clues that our names provide about how our ancestors worked and lived. He has lectured extensively on this topic—a passion he inherited from his renowned Yiddish linguist father, Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter. Binyumen is also the celebrated conductor of the Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus and musical theater composer.

May 20 & May 27 at 5:00 PM ET
The Rise, Politics, and Fall of Name Changing in the 20th Century
How and why did so many Jews change their last names after emigrating to the United States? In the second two classes, Dr. Kirsten Fermaglich will share her groundbreaking research into court documents, oral histories, and archival records and what it reveals about Jewish name changing, economic mobility, and identity in the 20th century. Fermaglich is Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Michigan State University and author of the award-winning book A Rosenberg By Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America.

Registration is for the full series. Classes cannot be purchased individually.
All registrants will receive access to a recording of the classes. Space is limited.

Pricing:
Non-members: $144
Individual, Dual, and Friends and Family memberships ($36 to $180): $115 (20% off the non-member price)
Sustaining level Museum memberships and above ($250+): Free

Not a member? Join today!

Public programming at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; a Humanities New York CARES Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act; and other generous donors.

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