Recent News

January 8

A History of Jewish Name Changing in America

The Raoul Wallenberg Annual Program funded by Leon and Toby Cooperman

RosenbergDr. Kirsten Fermaglich discusses her award-winning book on Jewish name changing in twentieth-century America. Her groundbreaking research reveals that name changing was a voluntary, broad-based response to a rise in antisemitism and had a lasting impact on American Jewish culture. Thursday, January 14, 7:00 p.m., on Zoom.

Advance registration required.

Register here

Read two opposing opinion pieces on Jewish name changing. Please note that these articles contain an outdated term for Black Americans.


FermaglichKirsten Fermaglich
, a professor of history and Jewish studies at Michigan State University, is the author of A Rosenberg by Any Other Name (NYU Press, 2018), which won the 2019 Saul Viener Book Prize awarded by the American Jewish Historical Society. She is also the author of American Dreams and Nazi Nightmares and coeditor of the Norton Critical Edition of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique.


Tevye’s Descendants: A Short History of Soviet Jewry

Three-Session Mini-Course
Wednesdays: February, 3, 10, 17 at 7:00 PM on Zoom


Soviet JewryFictionalized images of Russian Jewry, primarily embodied by Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, have little in common with the realities of life for Jews in Russia under the tsars and, later, under the commissars of the Soviet regime. Nor do they reflect the life and culture of Soviet Jews who emigrated to Israel and the West beginning in the 1970s. Using excerpts from archival documents, visual materials, and music, this mini-course explores the main themes in the experiences of Russian and Soviet Jews from 1773–1991.

Advance registration required.

Register here


Jonathan Dekel ChenJonathan Dekel-Chen
, the Allen and Joan Bildner Visiting Scholar for spring 2021, is Rabbi Edward Sandrow Chair in Soviet & East European Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His publications include Farming the Red Land: Jewish Agricultural Colonization and Local Soviet Power, 1923–1941 (Yale University Press, 2005), coedited volumes, and numerous scholarly articles.


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