Date: Sunday, September 25, 2016
Trayes Hall, Douglas Student Center, 100 George Street, New Brunswick
The Toby and Herbert Stolzer Endowed Program
As part of Rutgers 250 commemoration, three leading scholars of American Jewish history will probe the state of Jewish life in America on key dates tied to the founding of Rutgers: 1766, 1866, and 1966. These historians will initiate the discussion by each examining an artifact of Jewish life in America: a letter about a Jewish family living in colonial New Brunswick, a mid-nineteenth-century local charity roll, and a landmark ’60s rock album.
Laura Arnold Leibman, Reed College, author of Messianism, Secrecy, & Mysticism: A New Interpretation of Early American Jewish Life
Annie Polland, The Tenement Museum, co-author of Emerging Metropolis: New York Jews in the Age of Immigration, 1840-1920
Tony Michels, University of Wisconsin Madison, author of Jewish Radicals: A Documentary Reader
Moderator: Jeffrey Shandler, Chair,Department of Jewish Studies, Rutgers
Laura Arnold Leibman
is Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She is widely known for her expertise in early American studies and for her work in American literary history. She is the academic director of the multimedia public television series American Passages (2003) and the award-winning author of several scholarly books on early American literature and culture, including Messianism, Secrecy, and Mysticism: A New Interpretation of Early American Jewish Life (2012) which won a National Jewish Book Award, a Jordan Schnitzer Book Award, and was a Choice Outstanding Academic Title.
has been Senior Vice President of Education & Programs at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City since 2009. She is responsible for developing the museum’s tour content and other interpretive and educational programs. Polland’s scholarly work, Landmark of the Spirit: The Eldridge Street Synagogue
(Yale University Press, 2009), Working for the Sabbath
(Labor: Studies in Working Class History in America, Spring 2009), May a Free Thinker Help a Pious Man?: The Shared World of the Secular and the Religious
(American Jewish History, December 2007) investigates the religious life of Eastern European Jews in New York. She is a visiting professor at Eugene Lang College, the New School. She formerly served as Vice President for Education at the Museum at Eldridge Street.
is the George L. Mosse Professor of American Jewish History at University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is author of A Fire in Their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York
(Harvard, 2005) and editor of Jewish Radicals: A Documentary History
(NYU, 2012). He is also-co-editor of the journal Jewish Social Studies
and the forthcoming Cambridge History of Judaism: The Modern Period
. His articles and reviews have appeared in Marginalia Review, Jacobin, Forward, Nextbook, Guilt
and Pleasure Quarterly
, and other publications.