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European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2014

The Jews and the Great War

This season’s topic examines how the experience of the First World War reshaped Jewish history and culture and challenged perceptions of Jewish identity in the UK, Palestine, Germany and Eastern Europe.

These events are organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London, the Jewish Museum, Frankfurt am Main and the Fritz Bauer Institut, Frankfurt am Main, in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London.

Places are strictly limited and must be reserved in advance by contacting the Leo Baeck Institute, London
Email: info(ghi)leobaeck.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7882 5690

Venue: German Historical Institute London.

2 April
(6.30pm)

ROZ CURRIE (JEWISH MILITARY MUSEUM, LONDON)
Curating the Jewish Experience of the First World War

The First World War was a pivotal time of change for the Jewish community in Britain and indeed throughout Europe and the Middle East. Roz Currie has curated the Jewish Military Museum and Jewish Museum London joint exhibition on this subject. This lecture will discuss the challenges behind telling this story, it will touch on newly uncovered narratives of those at war and also question what it meant to be a British Jew at the outbreak of war.

Roz Currie earned an MA in Japanese and Chinese archaeology at School of Oriental and African Studies. After having completed an MA in museum studies at UCL, she started at the Jewish Military Museum in January 2012 as its first professional museum curator.

This lecture is available as a MP3 download (this will take you to the Leo Baeck Institute website)

22 May
(6.30pm)

GLENDA ABRAMSON (UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD)
Jews in Palestine during the Great War

In this lecture Glenda Abramson will describe life in the Jewish settlement in Palestine under the autocratic rule of Jemal Pasha. Once the war took hold, Palestine was in a parlous condition, almost entirely cut off from the rest of the world, short of essential goods, medical supplies and funds to support those in the Jewish settlement who depended on international charity. The lack of supplies led to large-scale starvation and disease. How did the Jewish settlement in Palestine cope with these dramatic political, economic and cultural challenges?

Glenda Abramson is Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies and Emeritus Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford. Her publications include Drama and Ideology in Modern Israel (1998), Hebrew Writing of the First World War (2008), Soldiers’ Tales (2013) and edited books such as: The Encyclopedia of Modern Jewish Culture. She is editor-in-chief of The Journal of Modern Jewish Studies.

3 July
(6.30pm)

JAY WINTER (YALE UNIVERSITY)
The Great War and Jewish Memory

The Great War shattered Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi’s celebrated distinction between history and memory in Jewish cultural life. Jay Winter argues that Jewish history and Jewish memory collided between 1914 and 1918 in ways which transformed both and created a new category he terms ‘historical remembrance’.

The war unleashed both, centripetal forces, moving Jews to the core of their societies and centrifugal forces, dispersing huge populations of Jews in Eastern Europe and Russia, creating terrifying violence, the appearance of which was a precondition for the Holocaust 25 years later.

Jay Winter is the Charles J. Stille Professor of History at Yale University. His latest monograph René Cassin and the Rights of Man. From the Great War to the Universal Declaration was published in 2013. He is editor-in-chief of the three-volume Cambridge History of the First World War (2014) and a founder of the Historial de la grande guerre at Péronne, Somme, France.

This lecture is available as a MP3 download (this will take you to the Leo Baeck Institute website)

 

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