—Highlights include: Isabel Wilkerson And Rabbi Angela Buchdahl on “Caste”; a conversation with Daniel Libeskind as part of the Museum’s ongoing Legacies series; Heroines of the Holocaust; and the Spring launch of Adult Holocaust Education—
(New York, NY) – The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust unveiled robust March programming, including virtual book talks, historical lectures, and conversations with Holocaust survivors. Amid the pandemic, the Museum has expanded its online offerings to educate and enlighten a global audience on Jewish heritage and the Holocaust.
March Highlights include:
- Internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind joins the Museum for the latest installment of the Legacies series. Mr. Libeskind and architecture critic Paul Goldberger discuss how Mr. Libeskind’s life and experience as the son of Holocaust survivors inform his work (March 2).
- In honor of Women’s History Month, Dr. Lori Weintrob, director of the Wagner College Holocaust Center, and Rokhl Kafrissen, Yiddish culture writer and Tablet Magazine contributor, lead a lecture on the Heroines of the Holocaust; more than 3,000 women who fought back against the Nazis in ghettos, forced labor camps, concentration camps, and partisan units. Also, Rachel Rachama Roth, a survivor of Auschwitz, provides her eyewitness testimony to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (March 16).
- Author Isabel Wilkerson explores the impact of the American caste system and its connections to caste systems in India and Nazi Germany in her #1 New York Times bestseller Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Wilkerson and Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl dive into Caste, the legacy of the Holocaust, and what lies under the surface of American life today (March 23).
Admission to most virtual programs is complimentary with a suggested donation, except where prices are noted. For more details on these and additional 2021 programs and events, visit: https://mjhnyc.org/current-events/.
In addition to online programming, the Museum still is open to visitors wishing to see the groundbreaking exhibition Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. before it leaves New York City. The exhibition is on view through May 2, 2021. Produced by the international exhibition firm Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, the exhibition is the largest ever on Auschwitz with more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs.
Currently, the Museum is open three days per week—Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays—rather than the previous six, and with limited hours, from 10 AM to 5 PM. General admission, timed-entry tickets purchased online in advance allow access to all Museum galleries. On the other days, the Museum deep cleans all public spaces. For more information regarding the Museum’s safety and visitor guidelines, visit mjhnyc.org/visitor-information. The Museum also will provide detailed information on planning a visit and updates on its website at mjhnyc.org.
Legacies: Daniel Libeskind
Tuesday, March 2 at 7 PM ET
An international figure in architecture and urban design, Daniel Libeskind is renowned for his ability to evoke cultural memory in buildings. His work includes the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, and the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen, as well as the master plan for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. Born in Lodz, Poland in 1946 to Holocaust survivors, Libeskind has a fascinating personal journey that has informed his work. Mr. Libeskind and Paul Goldberger, Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic and contributing editor at Vanity Fair, will discuss Libeskind’s life and legacy. This program is a part of the Museum’s Legacies series, which highlights notable figures who have a connection to Jewish heritage, identity, and the Holocaust.
Behind the Spectacle: Jews, Circuses, And Nazi Germany
Thursday, March 4 at 2 PM ET
Circuses were a popular form of entertainment in Nazi Germany and across Europe in the decades leading up to World War II. Jewish circus artists helped shape the industry in the late 19th century, and some—including a Jewish acrobat named Irene Danner—were saved by circuses during the Holocaust. This virtual program explores the lives and legacies of Jewish circus artists between 1860 and 1945. Stav Meishar, a multidisciplinary performance maker, stage artist, academic researcher, and educator who has created and performed The Escape Act, a one-woman show based on Danner’s story which also incorporates Meishar’s personal experiences as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, and Dr. Marline Otte, associate professor of history at Tulane University and author of Jewish Identities in German Popular Entertainment, 1890–1933 will lead the program.
Justice, Truth, And Memory In Jewish Argentina
Tuesday, February 9 at 5 PM ET
After World War II, Argentina became home to one of the world’s largest communities of Holocaust survivors; at the same time, the country provided refuge to many former Nazis. Today, this complex legacy of the Holocaust interacts with other legacies of violence in Argentina, including the 1976 to 1983 dictatorship and the 1994 AMIA bombing. This virtual program, co-presented with the Museo del Holocausto de Buenos Aires, will explore issues of justice, truth, and memory in Argentina. Featured panelists include: cultural anthropologist Dr. Natasha Zaretsky, a senior lecturer at New York University, visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University, and author of Acts of Repair: Justice, Truth, and the Politics of Memory in Argentina; therapist and writer Diana Wang, former chair of Generations of the Shoah, board member of the Museo del Holocausto de Buenos, Advisory Board of the World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust; and Ruth Messinger, longtime New York political leader and Global Ambassador and former president of American Jewish World Service.
A New Perspective on The Rescue Of Denmark’s Jews
Thursday, March 11 at 2 PM ET
More than 7,000 Danish Jews were evacuated to Sweden in October 1943. After crossing the Øresund by boat and landing on Swedish shores, approximately 6,000 of the refugees were interviewed by the Swedish Police Authority, to whom they disclosed a wealth of information about their lives in Denmark and the logistics of their escape. The Police Authority’s records have only recently been uncovered and explored by Danish scholars. Therkel Straede, professor of contemporary history at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, leads a discussion on the police records and what they reveal about this extraordinary feat of rescue.
Stories Survive: Martin Karplus
Sunday, March 14 at 2 PM ET
When Nobel Laureate Martin Karplus was eight years old, his family fled Nazi-occupied Austria, shortly after the arrival of German forces in 1938. They escaped via Switzerland and France to the United States, where he became a theoretical chemist. Karplus conducted groundbreaking work in the 1970s to develop multiscale models for complex chemical systems, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013. He is the Theodore William Richards Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus at Harvard University and the director of the Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory in France. He credits his life as a refugee as a decisive influence on his worldview and approach to science. This Stories Survive program will explore his childhood and accomplished career in science.
Heroines of The Holocaust
Tuesday, March 16 at 7 PM ET
During the Holocaust, more than 3,000 women fought back against the Nazis in ghettos, forced labor camps, concentration camps, and partisan units. Dr. Lori Weintrob, director of the Wagner College Holocaust Center, will lead a discussion on the lives of these female resistance fighters. Dr. Weintrob will be joined by Rokhl Kafrissen, Yiddish culture writer and Tablet Magazine contributor, and Rachel Rachama Roth, a survivor of Auschwitz, who will provide her eyewitness testimony to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Stories Survive: Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff
Sunday, March 21 at 2 PM ET
As a small child, Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff fled her Nazi-occupied hometown of Kosice, Slovakia (then Czechoslovakia) with her parents and infant brother. They remained on the run and in open hiding for seven months—during which they had several narrow escapes, including an arrest in Spain—until they reached Lisbon, Portugal, where they joined tens of thousands of Jewish refugees awaiting ships to the United States. With the assistance of HIAS, Dr. Klein Kassenoff and her parents were rescued from Portugal in 1941, boarding one of the last ships to safety. Dr. Klein Kassenoff became the founding director of the University of Miami Holocaust Teacher Institute. She is also the education chairperson at the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach, Florida and the education specialist for holocaust studies for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. This Stories Survive program will share the story of her family’s journey of perseverance and escape.
Isabel Wilkerson And Rabbi Angela Buchdahl on Caste
Tuesday, March 23 at 7 PM ET
While working on her Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Warmth of Other Suns, about the Great Migration of African Americans out of the Jim Crow South, Isabel Wilkerson realized that the United States had an unspoken and deeply ingrained caste system. In her new book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Wilkerson explores the impact of this American caste system—a rigid hierarchy of human divisions—and its connections to caste systems in India and Nazi Germany. She documents how the Nazis studied American race laws as they planned the German Nuremberg Laws, and she points forward to ways that we can move beyond artificial and destructive separations towards a common humanity. Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, senior rabbi at New York’s Central Synagogue and the first Asian-American person to be ordained as cantor or rabbi in North America, joins Wilkerson for a conversation about Caste, the legacy of the Holocaust, and what lies under the surface of American life today.
Plunder Book Talk With Menachem Kaiser And Stephanie Butnick
Thursday, March 25 at 7 PM ET
Menachem Kaiser’s new book Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure tells the story of his quest to reclaim his family’s apartment building in Poland—and of the astonishing entanglement with Nazi treasure hunters that follows. Kaiser’s story begins when he takes up his Holocaust survivor grandfather’s former battle to reclaim the family’s apartment building in Sosnowiec, Poland. Soon, Kaiser is on a circuitous path to encounters with the long-time residents of the building, a Polish lawyer known as “The Killer,” and a surprise discovery about his grandfather’s cousin that reshapes his quest. Stephanie Butnick, Tablet Magazine deputy editor and co-host of the leading Jewish podcast Unorthodox, joins Kaiser for a book talk about Plunder and the profound questions it raises about family inheritance.
This March, the Museum will launch its second adult education series. The three-part course, A Coat of Many Colors: Jewish Life in Europe Between the Two World Wars, begins Wednesday, March 10 and runs through Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
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 concludes May 2, 2021.
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.