(New York, NY) – The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, which is currently presenting the award-winning exhibition Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. through May 2, 2021, announces its February programming. The Museum will offer a dynamic array of virtual programs and events to safely engage audiences unable to visit in person through the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic.
February highlights include:
In The Rise and Fall of the Jewish New York Speech, author EJ White (You Talkin’ To Me?), filmmaker Heather Quinlan (If These Knishes Could Talk and O Brooklyn! My Brooklyn!), Queens College linguistics professor Dr. Michael Newman, and author and Georgetown University linguistics professor Dr. Deborah Tannen explore the evolution of Jewish New York speech (FEBRUARY 4).
The New York Librarian Who Spied on American Nazis, co-presented by the Museum and the Leo Baeck Institute, will share the fascinating life and legacy of Florence Mendheim, a Jewish librarian who went undercover in the 1930s to spy on Nazis in the New York area (FEBRUARY 9).
Legacies: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, who has overseen the development of the world’s first safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, will discuss his experience as the son of Holocaust survivors and how his upbringing informed his accomplished career. He will be joined in conversation by Robert Krulwich, science and technology journalist and longtime host of the double Peabody Award-winning show Radiolab (FEBRUARY 18).
Admission to most virtual programs is complimentary with a suggested donation, except where prices are noted. For more details on these and additional Winter 2021 programs and events, visit: https://mjhnyc.org/current-events/.
“The 2020 year was not without hardship and challenges, but it presented our institution, like so many others, an incredible opportunity to expand our reach through the virtual realm,” says Jack Kliger, President & CEO of the Museum. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to Holocaust education and remembrance, and to celebrating the full breadth of Jewish heritage, culture, and scholarship. We were thrilled to reopen our doors to visitors in the fall of 2020 while continuing to present online programming that reached nearly 150,000 additional audience members. We are excited to further grow that audience in 2021.”
“My Name Is Sara” Screening And Discussion
Tuesday, February 2 at 2 PM ET
My Name is Sara, an award-winning film not yet released in theaters, is based on the true story of 13-year-old Sara Goralnik, who escaped a Jewish Ghetto in Poland and hid in plain sight in the Ukrainian countryside. Join the film’s director Steven Oritt, lead-actress Zuzanna Surowy, Executive Producer Andy Intrater, Sara Goralnik’s son and Co-Executive Producer Mickey Shapiro, and Museum President & CEO Jack Kliger for a discussion on the film, co-presented by the Museum and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation. Attendees will receive a private link to screen the film during the four-day period before the program.
The Rise and Fall of the New York Speech
Thursday, February 4 at 2 PM ET
The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and the Museum of the City of New York dive into the distinguishing characteristics of Jewish New York speech and its evolution over the last century. Featured panelists author EJ White (You Talkin’ To Me?), filmmaker Heather Quinlan (If These Knishes Could Talk and O Brooklyn! My Brooklyn!), Queens College linguistics professor Dr. Michael Newman, and author and Georgetown University linguistics professor Dr. Deborah Tannen join moderator Dr. Lilly Tuttle, Curator at the Museum of the City of New York for this virtual discussion.
The New York Librarian Who Spied On American Nazis
Tuesday, February 9 at 2 PM ET
Marshall Curry, Academy Award-winning filmmaker (A Night at the Garden); Dr. Daniel Greene, President and Librarian at the Newberry Library, professor of history at Northwestern University, and curator of Americans and the Holocaust; and Michael Simonson, Head of Public Outreach and Archivist at the Leo Baeck Institute discuss the life and legacy of Florence Mendheim, a Jewish librarian who went undercover in the 1930s to spy on local Nazi groups in the New York area. This program is co-presented by the Museum and the Leo Baeck Institute.
The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis 50th Anniversary Screening And Discussion
Thursday, February 11 at 2 PM ET
Join the Museum for a screening and discussion of the 1970 classic The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis based on the historical novel by Giorgio Bassani. Ricky Ian Gordon, composer of the operatic adaptation of the film, and Portia Prebys, longtime companion of Giorgio Bassani, join Italian film and history experts for a discussion on the film. Attendees will receive a private link to screen the film during the four-day period before the program.
Zachor: Yizkor Books As Collective Memory Of A Lost World
Tuesday, February 16 at 2 PM ET
Yizkor (Memorial) Books document and memorialize hundreds of Jewish communities destroyed by the Nazis. Compiled from memory by groups of former residents of each town in the immediate decades after the Holocaust, Yizkor Books are some of the best sources for learning about pre-war Jewish life in Eastern and Central Europe. Of the more than 1,500 Yizkor Books in existence, hundreds have been completely or partially translated into English by JewishGen and more than 100 translated editions are now available in print. Avraham Groll, Executive Director of JewishGen; Joyce Field, former JewishGen VP for Research and Data Acquisition and Yizkor Book Project Manager; Lance Ackerfeld, Director of the Yizkor Book Project; and Joel Alpert, Coordinator of the Yizkor Books in Print Project, explore the history, evolution, and impact of Yizkor Books.
Legacies: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla
Thursday, February 18 at 9 AM ET
Dr. Albert Bourla, as CEO of Pfizer, has overseen the development of the world’s first safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. Long before he stepped up to lead one of the world’s premier biopharmaceutical companies, Dr. Bourla was born in Thessaloniki, Greece to a family with deep roots in the city’s Sephardic Jewish community. His parents were among the few to survive the Holocaust in the Greek port city. Although Dr. Bourla now lives in New York, he is deeply connected to his Greek Jewish roots. Dr. Bourla joins Robert Krulwich, science and technology journalist and longtime host of the double Peabody Award-winning show Radiolab for a live conversation on Dr. Bourla’s experience as the son of Holocaust survivors and how his family and upbringing have informed his accomplished career.
Stories Survive: Jerry Lindenstraus
Sunday, February 21 at 2 PM ET
After witnessing the burning of synagogues during Kristallnacht, Jerry Lindenstraus and his family escaped Germany in July 1939, barely a month before the start of World War II. They made their way to Shanghai, where Jerry lived and grew up for the next seven years. He attended a British-style school for Jewish refugees in Shanghai founded by Horace Kadoorie, became a bar mitzvah at a Shanghai synagogue, and joined the 13th Shanghai (United) Group of the Boy Scouts. After the war, Jerry traveled across the globe alone to join his mother in Colombia. He ultimately settled in New York in 1957 and worked in the import-export business. This Stories Survive program explores his long journey from Germany to New York through wartime Shanghai.
Returning To The Town Known As Auschwitz
Tuesday, February 23 at 5 PM ET
The Auschwitz Jewish Center (AJC), a Polish satellite location of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, is the only Jewish presence remaining in the vicinity of Auschwitz. Since 2000, the Center has preserved Jewish memory in the town of Oświęcim and educated about the contemporary dangers of antisemitism and other forms of prejudice.
In November 2020, the Museum honored the AJC’s 20th anniversary with a special program exploring the rich Jewish history of Oświęcim. The second program in the Center’s 20th anniversary series will explore the Center’s commemoration efforts in Oświęcim and their impact on descendants of the town’s Jewish residents, featuring Barbara Posner and Shlomi Shaked, the daughter and grandson of survivors from Oświęcim, who have both reconnected with the town over the past two decades.
The Megillah In Yiddish
Thursday, February 25 at 7 PM ET
The Museum and the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene host a simkhe (celebration) in honor of Purim. The evening will feature a lively reading of the Meglies Ester (Book of Esther) in Yiddish (with English subtitles), as translated by the great poet Yehoash, followed by a festive musical performance. The program will also include a presentation of historic artifacts from the Museum’s collection illustrating Purim and its role in 20th century European Jewish communities.
Stories Survive: Ruth Gruener
Sunday, February 28 at 2 PM ET
Ruth Gruener’s parents owned a candy shop in her hometown of Lvov, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine), where she was born in 1933. At six years old, Ruth’s life changed forever. Living first under Soviet occupation and then under Nazi rule, she was forced into a ghetto and later into hiding with a customer of her parents’ candy shop. By the end of the Holocaust, Ruth was the only surviving student from her kindergarten class. She emigrated to the United States in 1949 after a challenging escape from the Soviet Union. In this Stories Survive program, she’ll share her experience of hate, kindness, and coming of age during the Holocaust.
Among the Museum’s most successful virtual programs in 2020 were its Annual Gathering of Remembrance, held online for the very first time, and its commemoration of the 75th anniversary of World War II’s end, “We Are Here: A Celebration of Resilience, Resistance, and Hope.” In total, the Museum presented more than 106 virtual programs and events throughout the pandemic to date, reaching nearly 150,000 people.
The Museum will also continue to provide robust, educational resources that include Virtual Field Trips for school groups (one on “Life During the Holocaust” and one on “Immigration and the U.S. Experience”), an online Holocaust Curriculum with flexible lesson plans, and a downloadable podcast of first-person testimonies, Those Who Were There: Voices from the Holocaust. Learn more at: https://mjhnyc.org/education/
Amid the pandemic, the Museum has made its Edmond J. Safra Hall available for rental, equipped with an upgraded sound system, three-camera system, and a TriCaster to live stream or record events. For more details: https://mjhnyc.org/space-rental/edmond-j-safra-hall-production-rentals/
As one of the largest Holocaust museums in the world, the Museum continues to leverage new technologies, advances in scholarship, and its extensive collection of nearly 40,000 objects to combat a worsening climate of antisemitism. Ever relevant and deeply committed to educating and inspiring people to action, the Museum is currently fundraising for its work in the new year. Donations can be made at: https://mjhnyc.org/donate/
For those able to make an in-person visit, the Museum is currently open to the public. For health and safety measures, it is only open three days per week on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, from 10 AM to 5 PM, allowing for the deep cleaning of all public spaces. In addition, the Museum is open at a limited, 25% capacity to ensure social distancing and is offering general admission, timed-entry tickets that grant visitor access to all galleries.
Visitors to the Museum will be able to view its current exhibition, Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away., which first opened in New York City on May 8, 2019 after a successful run in Madrid and has since been extended twice. It will now run through May 2, 2021 before it travels on to Kansas City.
Produced in partnership with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland and the international exhibition firm Musealia and curated by an international team of experts led by historian Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, this is the largest ever exhibition on Auschwitz. The exhibition won the Grand Prix at the 2020 European Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, the most prestigious award of the industry.
As of September 13, 2020:
Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday
10 AM – 5 PM
$16 general admission
$12 Seniors and ADA
Members can receive complimentary entrance based on membership levels.
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
36 Battery Place, New York City
Neighborhood: Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan
Auschwitz.nyc for map and directions
Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is made possible with lead support by Bruce C. Ratner, George and Adele Klein Family Foundation, Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert, and Larry and Klara Silverstein & Family. The exhibition is presented in part with major support by The David Berg Foundation, Patti Askwith Kenner, Oster Family Foundation, and The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust. The New York premiere is made possible in part by Simon & Stefany Bergson with additional support from The Knapp Family Foundation.
About the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never forget. The Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The third largest Holocaust museum in the world and the second largest in North America, the Museum of Jewish Heritage anchors the southernmost tip of Manhattan, completing the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage maintains a collection of almost 40,000 artifacts, photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies and contains classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition galleries, a resource center for educators, and a memorial art installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. The Museum is the home of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene.
Currently on view is the acclaimed exhibition Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. This is the most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the history of Auschwitz and its role in the Holocaust ever presented in North America, bringing together more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs from over 20 institutions and museums around the world. In response to demand, the exhibition’s run was recently extended to August 2020.
Also on view are Ordinary Treasures: Highlights from the Museum of Jewish Heritage Collection and Rendering Witness: Holocaust-Era Art as Testimony.
The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.
Musealia is a Spanish-based global producer of large-scale historical exhibitions that are presented at museums and education centers all over the world. Its vision is to create and manage exhibitions that are distinguished by a strong narrative character, historical rigor, emotional impact, and educational value.
ABOUT THE AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU STATE MUSEUM
Fulfilling the wish of survivors, on July 2, 1947, the Polish parliament created the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum on the site of two preserved parts of the former German Nazi camp: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. The Memorial today includes an Archive and a Collections department, and undertakes research, conservation, and publishing activities. It is, above all, an education center that teaches visitors about the history of Auschwitz and the Shoah.
In 2019, 2 million 320 thousand people visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
Artifacts and images from dozens of institutions and private collections from around the world are on view at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, including:
Amud Aish Memorial Museum, New York
Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Oświęcim
Auschwitz Jewish Center, Oświęcim
Buchenwald Memorial, Weimar
Canadian War Museum, Ottawa
Christian Schad Museum, Aschaffenburg
Czartoryski Museum and Library, Kraków
Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin
Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum, Kibbutz Lohamei Hagetaot
Hartheim Castle Education and Memorial Centre, Alkoven
Holocaust Center for Humanity, Seattle
House of the Wannsee Conference, Berlin
Imperial War Museum, London
Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Munich
Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw
Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam
Jewish Museum of Greece, Athens
Mauthausen Memorial, Mauthausen
Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg
Memorial Centre Westerbork, Hooghalen
Montreal Holocaust Museum, Montreal
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, New York
Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.kl
NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam
Slovak National Archives, Bratislava
Terezín Initiative Institute, Prague
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.
Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, London
Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
YIVO, New York City