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Jews, Cities and Culture: Hamburg, New York and Kiev
February 6, 2014

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014 | 6:30pm
Emily J. Levine, University of North Carolina, Greensboro; Tony Michels, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Natan Meir, Portland State University; Alisa Solomon, Moderator, Columbia University

Admission: General - $10 | YIVO, CJH and LBI members, seniors and students - $7
Box Office: | 212.868.4444

This program is presented by YIVO, the Center for Jewish History and the Leo Baeck Institute.

Art museums and galleries, libraries, concert halls and political arenas have long been hallmarks of culturally sophisticated urban centers. Join us for a lively discussion of how the unique features of three distinct cities provided settings for the flowering of Jewish cultural and intellectual life, as well as Jewish cultural contributions to the larger life of the cities in which Jews lived, often on the margins.


Emily J. Levine is Assistant Professor of Modern European History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her research centers on German Jews, European culture, and intellectual history, and the relationships between contexts and ideas. Her first book, Dreamland of Humanists: Warburg, Cassirer, Panofsky, and the Hamburg School (University of Chicago Press) was published in December 2013 and her articles have appeared in the Journal of Modern History and the Journal of the History of Ideas. In the academic year of 2012–2013 she was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow in Berlin. She is working on a new project about the history of the globalization of higher education.

Natan M. Meir is the Lorry I. Lokey Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at Portland State University. His research interest is modern Jewish history, focusing on the social and cultural history of East European Jewry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His first book, Kiev: Jewish Metropolis, 1861-1914 (Indiana University Press), was published in June 2010 and his articles have appeared in Jewish Quarterly Review and Slavic Review. Meir is currently working on a study of vulnerable and marginalized groups among East European Jews in the nineteenth century, and he is a consultant for the Russian Jewish Museum of Moscow, now in development stages. Prior to coming to PSU, Meir taught at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, during which he spent a sabbatical year as a Yad Hanadiv postdoctoral fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Tony Michels is the George L. Mosse Associate Professor of American Jewish History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is author of A Fire in Their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York (Harvard University Press) and editor of Jewish Radicals: A Documentary History (New York University Press). He is currently at work on a book on Communism, anti-Communism, and American Jews.

Alisa Solomon teaches at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she directs the Arts & Culture concentration in the MA program. A theater critic and general reporter for the Village Voice from 1983 to 2004, she has also contributed to The New York Times, The Nation, Tablet, The Forward,,, American Theater, TDR – The Drama Review, and other publications. Her first book, Re-Dressing the Canon: Essays on Theater and Gender (Routledge), won the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. She is the editor of three anthologies: Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (with Tony Kushner; Grove Press); Theater and Social Change (Theater, 31:3); and The Queerest Art: Essays on Lesbian and Gay Theater (with Framji Minwalla; New York University Press), and edited and wrote the Introduction to The Reverend Billy Project: From Rehearsal Hall to Super Mall with the Church of Life After Shopping (University of Michigan), by Bill Talen and Savitri D. Her most recent book, Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof, was published by Metropolitan Books/Holt in October 2013.

Venue: YIVO Institute at the Center for Jewish History  |  15 West 16th Street - NYC   view map

For directions and parking information, click here.

All public programs are wheelchair accessible. A limited number of assistive listening devices are available for deaf and hard of hearing individuals upon request.