Isaac Bashevis Singer: Singer in the Shtetl, the Shtetl in Singer (2004 lecture)

Isaac Bashevis Singer. Source: MDCarchives cropped by Beyond My Ken, Wikimedia Commons.
Isaac Bashevis Singer. Source: MDCarchives cropped by Beyond My Ken, Wikimedia Commons.

This is a lecture I delivered at the University of Central Florida back in October 2004 (my hair was quite a bit darker and, well, there).  Found the CD when I was cleaning out some old files. There’s a PPT that goes with this lecture, and I’m going to try to find a way to post it.  Anyway, this is the summer, so I won’t be sending out too many new lectures, thought I would add this one as well.  Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902-1991) was a Nobel Laureate for Literature, the first Yiddish writer to receive this distinguished award.  He was also a resident of my current home in Surfside, Florida. Hope you enjoy it!

Mitnagdim, Hasidim, Maskilim: The Cultural Geography of Jewish Eastern Europe

Ger Hasidim (Source: Wikipedia Commons)
Ger Hasidim (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

This lecture presents a broad overview of the three main intellectual-religious trends present in 19th century Jewish Eastern Europe: the traditionalist Mitnagdim, the innovative Hasidim, and the modernizing Maskilim. Good as an overall introduction, although I go into more detail on all of these movements in other lectures on this website.  Taped on April 21, 2013 as a lecture to the Jewish Geneaological Society of Broward Country.

Here’s the improved TorahCafe version. Please click on the icon below:

Watch on TorahCafé.com!

Solomon Mikhoels: Jews and Jewish Art in the USSR

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Solomon Mikhoels (1890-1948) was one of the most prominent actors and directors in early Soviet Russia. His career coincides with the brief flourishing of Yiddish culture under the policy of korenizatsiia, or “indiginization,” when the Communist authorities sought to develop folk culture as a means of developing loyalty to the new regime and its ideology. Performing in Shakespeare and Sholom Aleichem with equal grace, Mikhoels was a hero to Jews throughout the Soviet Union until Stalin brought the liberal policy to an abrupt end.