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Empire of Charity: American Jews and the Rebuilding of Polish Lithuania, 1919-1939
Nov 8 2010

Rebecca Kobrin, Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University

Between 1919 and 1939, Jewish émigrés in the United States sent millions of dollars to rebuild their former homes scattered throughout Polish Lithuania. This talk focuses on the role Jewish émigrés and their philanthropy played in reshaping political, social, and economic life in Brisk and Vilna, the two historic intellectual centers of Lithuanian Jewry. While the stated goal of Jewish émigré generosity was to relieve economic distress, it often caused a reshaping of Jews' understanding of their place in the new nation-states of Eastern Europe during this era of political and economic upheaval.

Empire of Charity Video