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Milstein Conference on New York and the American Jewish Experience
Nov 2 2009

Marking the culmination of three years of intensive work on the Milstein Family Jewish Communal Archive Project, this conference celebrated the history of Jewish life in the New York area, emphasized the achievements of Jewish communal organizations, and highlighted the treasures of Jewish archives. The program featured a discussion by New York Jewish community leaders of agencies which collaborated in the Milstein Project and papers by scholars on a wide variety of political, social and cultural issues. A panel of professional archivists discussed the rich resources found in local Jewish archives and the challenges faced in their preservation for the future.

Presented by YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in partnership with the 92nd Street Y, the Educational Alliance, F.E.G.S Health and Human Services System, NYANA and Surprise Lake Camp

Morning Session:
First Session: Opening Remarks: Jonathan Brent, Evan Kingsley, Hasia Diner Video
Introduction to Milstein Project: Fruma Mohrer, Milstein Project Director, YIVO Video
Screening of the Milstein Video Video
Bruce Slovin, Chairman of the Board, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, NY Video
Howard Milstein, Milstein Family Foundation Video
John Ruskay, Executive Vice President and CEO, UJA Federation of New York Video
Second Session: The Milstein Website Project: Fruma Mohrer Video
Roundtable Discussion:
CEO's of 92nd Street Y, Educational Alliance, Surprise Lake Camp, F.E.G.S. Health and Human Services System, NYANA, and YIVO

Afternoon Session:
Third Session: Overcoming Barriers: Integrating into American Life
Opening remarks by Fruma Moher and Hasia Diner, Moderator
Shira Kohn "Educated Advocaters: Jewish Responses to Discrimination Debates at New York Colleges and Universities, 1945-1960" Video
Kirstein Fermaglich, "From Mordechai to Max: Name-changing in New York City Landsmanschaft Records, 1875-1975" Video
Miyuki Kita, "Breaking the 'Gentleman's Agreement': Jews and the 1945 New York Fair Employment Practices Act." Video
Fourth Session: Displaced Persons, Social Welfare, and the Role of New York Communal Agencies at Home and Abroad
Beth S. Wenger, Moderator
Rebecca Kobrin, "Beyond the Myth of Mobility: Jewish Social Welfare Agencies, Jewish Immigrant Professionals and the Challenges of Adaptation to Life in New York City, 1948-1954" Video
Heidi Heft La Porte and David Strug, "The Role of the New York Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in the Child Welfare Cuban Refugee Service Program" Video
Beth B.Cohen, "Case Closed: Holocaust Survivors in Postwar America" Video
Rebecca Cutler, "Health Activism and the International Politics of American Jews in the Post World War II Era" Video
Fifth Session: Media, the Arts and the Jewish Communal Agenda
Hadassa Kosak, moderator
Marsha A. Dubrow,"Playing Musical Chairs: Lazar Weiner and New York's Shifting Jewish Communal Musical Landscape of the 1920s through the1960s" Video
Roberta Newman, "Delayed Pilgrims: The Radio Programs of the United Service for New Americans, 1947-1948" Video

Evening Session:
Roundtable Discussion: Preserving the Treasures of New York Jewish Archives  
Steve Siegel, Archivist, 92nd St. Y Archives Video
Charlotte Bonelli, Director, AJC Archives Video
Susan Woodland, Hadassah Archivist at the American Jewish Historical Society Video
Valery Bazarov, Director, Location and Family History Department, HIAS Video
Linda Levi, Assistant Executive Vice President for Global Archives, JDC Video
Shulamith Berger, Curator of Special Collections, Yeshiva University Video
Fruma Mohrer, Chief Archivist, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Video