NYC collaboration continues with two Jewish Studies events

By: Linda B. Glaser,  A&S Communications
December 21, 2017

The collaboration between Cornell’s Jewish Studies Program and the Center for Jewish History in New York City continues with two upcoming events on January 8 and March 28.

“Cornell Jewish Studies is thrilled to be working with the major independent Jewish research institution in the United States, and to be part of the university’s growing presence in New York City,” said Jonathan Boyarin, Paul and Bertha Hendrix Director of Jewish Studies, and Diann G. and Thomas A. Mann Professor of Modern Jewish Studies in the Departments of Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies.

On January 8, “Reversing Oblivion” will be screened, with a talkback afterward by filmmakers Ann Michel ’82 and Phil Wilde ’73. The film documents the filmmaker’s discovery of her grandparents’ confiscated pre-World War II estate and her own German Jewish heritage. The film also records the work of a team of Cornell architecture students who designed creative new uses for the site and presented them at a community forum, all under the direction of Aleksandr Mergold, assistant professor of Architecture, Art and Planning. Mergold will also be present for the talkback.

On March 26, a commemoration of the 1911 Triangle Fire will be held. Boyarin notes that the Center for Jewish History is less than a mile from the site of the fire, lending the event a poignant immediacy.

“The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in lower Manhattan on March 25, 1911 was one of the worst industrial disasters in United States history,” Boyarin said. “The vast majority of the 146 who died were young Jewish and Italian women, and the fire inspired both the growing labor movement and a broad range of laws designed to promote workers' welfare and safety.”

Speakers will include Nick Salvatore, Maurice and Hinda Neufeld Founders Professor in Industrial and Labor Relations, Emeritus; ILR’s Catherwood Library houses the world’s largest archive of material relating to the fire. Ruth Sergel, founder of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition and author of the award-winning book “See You in the Streets: Art, Action, and Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire” will also speak.

The Center for Jewish History in New York City provides a collaborative home for five partner organizations: the American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The partners’ collections comprise the world’s largest and most comprehensive archive of the modern Jewish experience outside of Israel, with more than 5 miles of archival documents (in dozens of languages and alphabet systems), more than 500,000 volumes, as well as thousands of artworks, textiles, ritual objects, recordings, films and photographs.

The Jan. 8 and March 26 events will be held at 6:30 pm at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for Center members and Cornell alumni, and can be purchased online. A reception will follow each event, sponsored by Bruce Slovin '57, the Center's founder and former chair."

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