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YIVO-Bard Winter Program on Ashkenazi Civilization Keynote Address
Rethinking Kishinev: How a Riot Changed 20th Century Jewish History
Jan 6 2014

MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014 | 7pm
Steven Zipperstein, Stanford University; Inaugural YIVO Jacob Kronhill Visiting Scholar in History

Click HERE to watch the video.

This program was part of the YIVO-Bard Winter Program on Ashkenazi Civilization, January 6-23, 2014.

Kishinev's 1903 pogrom was the first event in Russian Jewish life to receive international attention. The riot, leaving 49 dead in an obscure border town, dominated the headlines of the western press for weeks, intruded on US-Russian relations, and impacted an astonishing array of institutions: the nascent Jewish army in Palestine, the NAACP, and most likely the first version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Why did it have such impact, and why did it become a prism through which Russian Jewish history has
been defined?


Steven Zipperstein, Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford University, is the author of several acclaimed books, including The Jews of Odessa: A Cultural History, 1794-1881 (Stanford University Press, 1985), Imagining Russian Jewry: Memory, History, Identity (University of Washington Press, 1999) and Elusive Prophet: Ahad Ha'am and the Origins of Zionism (University of California, 1993). For sixteen years, between 1991-2007, Dr. Zipperstein was Director of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford which emerged as one of the leading programs in the field under his leadership. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Koret Award for contributions to American Jewish life.

Dr. Steven Zipperstein is the inaugural Jacob Kronhill Visiting Scholar in History at YIVO for the Spring 2014 semester. During this time, Dr. Zipperstein will lead a graduate seminar on Jewish historiography, and will teach a public evening course, Jews and the Russian Revolution, which meets for six Mondays, beginning April 28, from 7:00-8:30pm. For more information, contact YIVO’s Director of Education, Jennifer Young,, or 917-606-8290.

About the YIVO-Bard Winter Program on Ashkenazi Civilization
The Winter Program offers public classes on the history, culture and art of Eastern European Jewish life and its diasporas, taught by leading writers, scholars and artists. To find out more, visit:

Image: Emil Flohri, Stop Your Cruel Oppression of the Jews, 1904. Library of Congress.
This political cartoon appeared after the 1903 pogrom in Kishinev. In it, a "Russian Jew" carries a large bundle labeled "Oppression." Hanging from the bundle are weights labeled "Autocracy," "Robbery," "Cruelty," "Assassination," "Deception," and "Murder." In the background a Jewish community burns, while in the upper left corner, President Theodore Roosevelt asks the Emperor of Russia, Nicholas II, "Now that you have peace without, why not remove his burden and have peace within your borders?"