Upcoming Events

Qesher is an independent initiative introducing different Jewish communities from around the world. Your contributions to the talks allow us to continue with our mission. You can choose from three different admission fees according to your ability. We also donate 10% of the profits of every talk to different projects and institutions.

Learn more about us here. You can also read more about the projects supported thanks to your contribution here.

Thursday, December 1

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

The Jews of Cuba: Journeys, Stories, Poems

Ruth Behar - My talk will offer a broad perspective on the Jews of Cuba drawing on historical scholarship, ethnography, and literary and artistic visions. We will start with a close look at the formation of the first Jewish communities in the early 20th century and examine the rise and fall of these communities after the Cuban Revolution. The revitalization of Jewish life since the 1990s will lead us to the present day and to how Jews continue to assert their presence on the island in challenging times. We will also spend time exploring the nostalgia felt by Jewish Cubans who left the island but could never forget their beloved Cuba. Read more and sign up

Sunday, December 4

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

The Jews of South Africa: a special community at the tip of the continent

Craig Nudelman -The history of the Jews in South Africa officially began in 1841, when a congregation of British Jews, known as the Gardens Shul, was founded in Cape Town. We will experience the history of the community's roots in Cape Town's city center, and we will learn about the role of the Lithuanian Jewish immigrants in development of Johannesburg during the years of the "Gold Rush". We will discuss the situation of Jews in South Africa before, during and after the Apartheid regime, and we will witness the growth from a small service of 17 men in 1841 to the healthy and vibrant community of today. Read more and sign up

Thursday, December 8

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

The Bene-Israel of India: an ancient living community

Eliaz Reuben-Dandeker -The Bene-Israel is the largest Jewish historical community from the Indian sub-continent. According to their oral tradition, they arrived in India sometime in the first or second century BCE. We will explore their history, culture and heritage. How did it all began? What part did they take in the history of today's India and Pakistan? What was their role under British colonial rule, and in the creation of the Bollywood film industry? Of some 100,000 Bene Israel at the turn of the 21st century, less than 4,000 remain in India. The great majority have immigrated to Israel, thus realizing their motto: "Mother India, Father Israel". Read more and sign up

Sunday, December 11

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

Shtetl Part 1: A Jewish Universe

Evgenia Kempinski - A shtetl is often defined as a small self-contained Jewish market town, full of Jewish life and tradition. But a simple definition does not explain its importance and influence on Jewish life and culture. This talk will help us find our own answers to many questions about the phenomenon of a shtetl like: What was so unique about the shtetl? What made the life of the Jewish community in the shtetl so special? What did the shtetl look like and who actually lived there? Were there any non-Jews in the shtetl? In addition, we will discuss food, traditions, language, beliefs, jobs, community and other important elements of the shtetl's everyday life. Read more and sign up

Wednesday, December 14

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

Two people, one womb: The Jews of Italy

Miriam Camerini - Jews have been living in Italy since the last centuries BCE, even before the destruction of the second Temple. They've adopted local music, food, language, style, and customs. There have been tough times, but overall, it is a story of co-existence and mutual respect. We'll explore the history of Jews during the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the ghettos of Venice, Mantua and Rome through emancipation, World Wars, and the present day. We'll discover language, poetry, music, theater, liturgy and - of course - cuisine. Read more and sign up

Thursday, December 15

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

Shtetl Part 2: A Virtual Tour of the Once Jewish Towns of Eastern Europe

Evgenia Kempinski - In our previous talk we presented the general world of the shtetl. This time we are going to visit selected shtetls from all ends of Eastern Europe - Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus. We will walk down their old streets, look at the Jewish homes, and see how general shtetl features are reflected in them. We will discuss the relations between Jews and Christians, as well as the political and social life in these shtetls. We will see how shtetl life changed over the centuries. Combining old and new photographs and people's memoirs we will travel through time to imagine and understand the life of our ancestors. Read more and sign up

Sunday, December 18

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

Jewish New York: The Upper West Side, a crucible of Jewish life in America

Barry Judelman - Join us as we explore the unique and rich history of the Jewish community of the Upper West Side in New York. The neighborhood is a "powerhouse" of iconic Synagogues, renowned Jewish schools, multiple cultural and educational institutions and, of course, great Jewish eateries. We will visit many of these sites and review the patterns of migration that brought Jews to this special neighborhood from the Lower East Side and in later years from Europe as Jewish refugees began fleeing the war. We will also discuss how this special community continues to shape the identity of American Jewry to this day. Read more and sign up

Thursday, December 22

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

Salonica and Sarajevo:

Balkan Sephardi Metropolises

Dr. Joseph Benatov - As Sephardi Jews settled in the Ottoman Empire, Salonica and Sarajevo became two of the most important centers of Jewish life. Our talk will highlight some of the most important figures and events from the Jewish histories of these cities. How did the famous Sarajevo Haggadah survive both Nazi occupation and the Balcan Wars? What effect did the charismatic false messiah Sabbatai Zevi have on the Jews of 17th-century Salonica? We will also travel through these picturesque sites and visit their sumptuous synagogues, the iconic White Tower of Thessaloniki, the colorful Old Bazaar of Sarajevo, and much more. Read more and sign up

Thursday, December 29

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

Kavkazi "Mountain Jews": Ancient Hebrew and Persian roots at the border of Azerbaijan and Russia

Valeriya Nakshun - The Jewish community of the Caucasus lived for centuries in the mountainous region between the Black and Caspian Seas. However, their history dates back to biblical times, when they found refuge in the Persian Empire. They remained under the sphere of Persian influence until 1812, when these lands were ceded to Tsarist Russia to be later absorbed into the Soviet Union. This talk will feature an overview of Kavkazi Jewish origins and history, and the way in which the diaspora is making efforts to preserve their heritage today.  Read more and sign up

Thursday, January 5

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

Jewish city tour of Riga, the hidden gem of the Baltic

Daniel Gurevich - Join us for a virtual walking tour of Riga, once dubbed the 'Paris of the North'. Latvia's capital is an architectural gem of gothic, renaissance, baroque and Art Nouveau buildings, and its Old Town was declared a UNESCO Heritage site in 1997. The Jewish history of Riga reaches as far back as the 13th century, but it wouldn't be for at least 200 more years that Jews would make an economic impact. In the late 1920s, Riga even became the center of the global Lubavitch movement. Come and discover this hidden gem with us.  Read more and sign up

Sunday, January 8

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

Jewish Bulgaria: A Virtual Sephardic Journey

Dr. Joseph Benatov  - Join us for a dynamic interactive trip through Bulgaria's rich Jewish heritage. You will have a chance to learn about the history and culture of the Bulgarian Sephardic Jews and the details surrounding the survival of 50,000 of them during the Holocaust. Joseph will also share personal family stories of growing up and being part of the country's vibrant Jewish community. Read more and sign up

Past and Future Events

Jews of Iran: Not Just Purim and the Revolution

Alan Niku - Iran's Jewish community is one of the oldest in the world. But is there more to those 2700 years than Queen Esther and the Islamic Revolution? This talk examines the lesser-known parts of its history. Through the music, languages, foods, writings, and stories, the Jews of Iran have forged a culture at once Persian and Jewish, with traditions and aesthetics uniquely their own. Now in a second Diaspora in the United States and Israel, with a small population remaining in Iran, the community faces inevitable changes. We will use the knowledge of the past to discuss how the unique heritage of Iran's Jews can be preserved.  Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Desert Roots: Concert and Presentation

Dror Sinai - Dror will take us on a beautiful journey around Yemen, Spain and North Africa from the 10th century until today, through songs of spirit and awe, songs of thanks and songs of love and hope. We will unveil how these chants inspired and connected Jews from different times and places, but with the same longings and spiritual quests. Dror will accompany his singing with a variety of percussion instruments including a Doumbek (an hourglass Middle Eastern drum also known as Tabla or Darbuka) Tar, Duff & Bendir (Mideastern & North African Frame drums) a Riq (Mideastern tambourine), Cajon (box drum) bells, shakers and rattles. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Jewish Life in China: Tales from the Far East

Pablo Faivel Levinton - For many people it is surprising to learn that there is a long and rich history of Jewish communities in China. In this talk we will explore the three places with the most relevant historical presence of Jews: Kaifeng (where a community was established in the Middle Ages and whose descendants still live today); Harbin (where a community from Russia thrived around the Trans-Siberian Railway), and Shanghai (where thousands of Jews came as refugees during WWII). We will also learn how Jewish life is today for those who currently live in China. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Music among the Crypto-Jews of Portugal: An almost vanished world

Judith Cohen - After the expulsion of Jews from Portugal, some stayed as Crypto-Jews. The early 20th century saw the "discovery" of the Jews of Belmonte and the northeast region of Tras-os-Montes, who had lived in isolation with few cultural contacts with the outside world. I will introduce the people I interviewed and explain how songs and recited prayers work in both the religious and secular contexts. Then we will move to the internet and social media age and their folklorization, always, with an emphasis on people and where and how they live. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


The Jews of Kurdistan: A Land of Jewish Heritage, and Potential Reconciliation

Levi Meir Clancy - Jews from Kurdistan have a documented history going all the way back to the Bible, and there are hundreds of thousands of Jews whose ancestors immigrated from Kurdistan to the present-day State of Israel.  We will learn about the unique Jewish history of Kurdistan, including famous heritage sites and major historical figures. We will also explore Jewish and Muslim relations through the context of the overall Kurdish Muslim world. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


The Jews of Galicia (Western Ukraine): A Virtual Tour of Lviv and Brody

Evgenia Kempinski - Lviv, the city that changed hands so many times: from Russia to Poland, from Poland to Austria, then back to Poland, then to USSR and finally to independent Ukraine. Jews settled here as early as the 13th century. In the best times, there were about 100 synagogues, and Jewish religious, business and intellectual life flourished here over the centuries. Brody, today a small and unknown town, was in the past, one of the most important Jewish centers in Europe. We invite you to travel around Galicia and discuss the uniqueness of its Jewish history. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Greek Jewry: At the crossroads of civilizations

Joseph Michael Vardakis - TThe presence of Jews in Greece dates back to antiquity: it is the oldest Jewish community in the Western hemisphere, and it was the epicenter of Sephardi culture in Europe, boasting the unique Greek-speaking Romaniote community as well as Jews that had taken refuge there from all across Europe. At the start of WWII, Jews in Greece numbered around 80,000; however, the Holocaust decimated the Jewish population. At present, the Jewish community is working to preserve its unique heritage. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


The Beauty and Magic of Yiddish

Lasha Shakulashvili - Nothing symbolizes more Ashkenazi Jews' history and storytelling than Yiddish. The language has been an integral part of the European linguistic and cultural diversity and its beauty can be felt through its many phrases and sayings.

Travel with us to Berlin, Odessa and Tbilisi to learn how different waves of Jewish migration brought Yiddish to various corners of Europe and the Caucasus, creating a unique linguistic mosaic. Hear some of the most touching and amusing Yiddish expressions and words. Discover how Yiddish can help you speak to the ghosts and allow you to understand better Jewish wisdom and mysticism. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


The Jews of Ukraine: A Virtual Tour of Kiev and Odessa

Evgenia Kempinski - We invite you to visit the heart of Ukraine through the key cities of Kiev and Odessa, and to explore their Jewish Heritage. Jews have been living in Kiev since the 8th century. Over the years, Kiev was home to Jewish scholars and Rabbis, writers and Zionists, business, cultural and political leaders. Kiev Jewish community has experienced times of amazing prosperity and tragic devastation. As to Odessa, most Russian-speaking Jews will name it as a Jewish capital of former USSR. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


"Streets of Kazimierz": The History of Krakow's Jewish Quarter

Anna Maria Baryła - For many centuries, Kazimierz was a place where ethnic Polish and Jewish cultures coexisted and intermingled. In 1941, the Jews of Krakow were forcibly relocated by the Nazis into the ghetto, and most did not survive the war. Since 1988, a popular annual Jewish Cultural Festival has re-introduced Jewish culture and currently, Krakow is experiencing a rebirth of Jewish life as the local Jewish community grows. Young people are finding out about their Jewish roots, there's a thriving JCC, and a Jewish preschool has recently opened in the city. Join us to learn about all of this and more! Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Gleams and shadows of Jewish life in France

Emmanuelle Stein - France has currently the largest Jewish population in Europe. The history of French Jews successively alternated between periods of tolerance and prosperity and the ordeal of insecurity and anti-Semitism, with both phenomena sometimes coexisting in parallel. Paris born Emmanuelle Stein will provide an overview of the Jewish presence in France from the Middle Ages to present day, while describing what pluralistic Judaism looks like here today through the eyes of a young Jewish woman and activist for human rights. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


From Nowogrodek to New York City and Beyond: The Music and History of Klezmer

Yale Strom - The word "klezmer" comes from Hebrew "kli zemer" which means "instrument of the singing". Over time it came to signify the musicians themselves, and in current usage it also refers to the musical genre of East European Jewish dance music. This lecture will look at the development of klezmer from medieval times through the 20th century, with the inclusion of photos, video, and musical examples (some from Yale Strom himself). Many of the locations that will be discussed have been personally visited by Strom, who has done ethnographic research there. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


The Jews of London: One Thousand Years of History

Ian Fagelson Join us on a journey through the streets and alleys of London to discover the history of the Jews in England. From the arrival of a Jewish community from Normandy in 1066/67 to the Kindertransport children of 1938/39, Jews have played essential roles in the unfolding drama of British history. On our journey, we will encounter many colourful characters and visit some of the most spectacular sites in the City, revealing the little-known Jewish associations of some of London's most famous landmarks. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Jewish Lisbon and Portugal: a community reconnecting with its past

Glória Ribeiro - Join me on a virtual tour through the Jewish heritage of Lisbon, Portugal; a presence that dates back to the Roman era. This visit will allow you to understand the living Jewish community in Lisbon and learn about their history, their traditions, and their everyday life. For centuries after the expulsion, many "Conversos" kept practicing their faith in strict secrecy, and the most famous example are the Belmonte Jews, who until recently lived as a strictly isolated community. We will make a detour in our journey to learn about them and about the rapidly growing community of Porto. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Rosh Hashanah Food Traditions Around the World

Yaffi Lvova - "They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat!"--the theme of every Jewish holiday! But what exactly are we eating? And why? Jewish culinary tradition varies between families. Food-related differences can be attributed to the surrounding culture, to geographical location, and to food migration around the globe. This talk will feature a brief overview of different Jewish culinary traditions, their history, and the way each dish is making its way through the diaspora. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Sefarad: Music of the Jews of Spain, Portugal and their diaspora

Judith Cohen - Sefarad is both a geographical place and a concept - it's Spain and Portugal, and it's the centuries and continents of the Sephardic diaspora, to the present. We'll travel - musically - from medieval Jewish life in Spain and Portugal through the diaspora in Morocco and the eastern Mediterranean, former Ottoman lands. Old ballads with hypnotizing stories, irresistible wedding song rhythms, songs of the Jewish calendar cycle and the popular love songs and songs of daily life will be presented both live and in archival recordings, with photos and stories of the Sephardim who kept this tradition alive against all odds. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Jewish Amsterdam: A Small Community with a Giant History

Nachshon Rodrigues Pereira -Nachshon, one of the few original Portuguese Jews left in Amsterdam will describe what Jewish Amsterdam was like in the 17th century, when the city was the center of the Jewish world: offering the best Jewish education, housing the biggest Rabbis and being home to the largest synagogue in the world. Find out how this community was shaped and how it shaped its environment. How much was lost during World War II and what is left now. A compelling journey embellished with music, visuals and anecdotes. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Recalling Jewish Calcutta

Jael Silliman  - With the use of slides and audio-visual images, I will present the history of our community, which came from the Middle East to Calcutta, then the seat of the British empire, to seek their fortunes. Though small in number, these Jews made an indelible impression on the mercantile city. Global events of the 1940s and 50's led to an exodus from India, and most of them sought their future in England, Australia, America, Canada and Israel. There are only a handful of Jews left in Calcutta today but there are three synagogues, two of which are quite magnificent, two schools and a sprawling cemetery. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Finland: Home of Kosher Reindeer and Kabbalat Shabbat at Midnight

Mercédesz Czimbalmos and Dóra Pataricza

The Jewish minority of Finland, numbering approximately 1200 people, is organised into two centers in Helsinki and Turku, which makes it one of the northernmost Jewish communities in the world. Finland is one of the few countries with an Eastern European (Litvak) Jewish community that was unaffected by the Holocaust. Its double nature as an Orthodox-rooted yet progressive Jewish congregation also makes it unique in the world. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


The 3K Virtual Tour of Jewish Lithuania: Kaunas, Kedainiai and Kalvarija

Daniel Gurevich - We continue our series of Virtual Tours in Lithuania. In my first talk we presented Jewish Vilnius. Now, get ready for the country's second-largest city, Kaunas, and the towns of Kedainiai and Kalvarija. Kaunas (Kovno) was 60% Jewish at the end of the 19th century. With the use of videos, I will guide you through its main Jewish heritage sights. After that, we will jump 50 kilometres north to Kedainiai, (Keidan), which was home to a very interesting Jewish community. Finally, the shtetl of Kalvarija (Kalvarye), is definitely a must-see in this journey. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

The Jews of Bahrain: A Resilient Community in the Persian Gulf

Ebrahim Nonoo - The Kingdom of Bahrain, identified in biblical times as the place of the Garden of Eden, has one of the smallest Jewish communities in the world. But this resilient collective can claim to be the only indigenous Jews left in the Persian Gulf. Since the signature of the Abraham Accords establishing diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Israel, a new era has begun. The Jewish community feels comfortable worshiping in public after many decades, and those who left for Israel can visit their homeland freely.  All this creates an atmosphere of coexistence absolutely exceptional in the Middle East. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Vilnius: The Jerusalem of Lithuania and the city of my family

Daniel Gurevich - Lithuania became home to a Jewish community seven hundred years ago that suddenly was known as "Litvak". Why? When? What did it mean then and what does it mean today? In this talk I will use my own personal and family stories to illustrate the past and present of Vilnius and Lithuania, explaining the main reasons why Vilnius is famous in the Jewish world, and showing you the principal hallmarks of a Jewish tour in Vilnius. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Jewish Africa: A Photographic Journey

Jono David - Since antiquity, the Jewish people have had a presence in Africa, making some of its communities among the oldest in the world. This interactive presentation delineates some of that history while taking viewers on a virtual journey through a photographic project that took me to 30 countries across the continent. The presentation spotlights emerging Black Jewish groups in Uganda, Cameroon, and Ghana as well as the historical Orthodox community of Djerba (Tunisia), Chabad-Lubavitch of Central Africa in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo), and the Jewish community of South Africa. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Jewish New York: A Virtual Tour of Harlem

Barry Judelman - Join us on a virtual walk by the former sites of Jewish religious life in the remarkable urban settlement of Harlem, which from 1870 -1930 was the third largest Jewish community in the world. View important landmarks and talk about legendary people of this often-forgotten segment of Jewish history, starting with its origins as a community for the very rich, and covering its glory days as a major center of Jewish life in New York. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

A Tale of Three Kingdoms: The Jews of Andalusia, Morocco and Gibraltar

Moisés Hassán-Amselém - Andalusia (Andalucía), the southern region of Spain, was once considered the most advanced and educated society in the western world. After their expulsion, some of its Jews went south crossing the Strait of Gibraltar and settled down in the land already known as Morocco. Two hundred years later, some descendants of these now Moroccan Jews returned to Gibraltar, a rock of less than two square miles that had just become part of the British Empire, and since 1749 there has been a significant Jewish presence here. Travel with us in their footsteps. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Dublin's "Little Jerusalem": A Jewish History of Ireland

Alexander Vard - The Irish-Jewish community was a small but influential part of Irish society from the moment they first set foot in the medieval capital of Dublin in 1171 to the modern day. After over 800 years of permanent residence the Irish-Jews have left behind a rich history and culture that will be explored in this presentation centered on the story of the city's former Jewish quarter known locally as "Little Jerusalem". Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Jewish Tunisia: at a crossroads of civilizations

Rafram Chaddad - Tunisia, the former seat of Cartaghe's empire, has been home to different Jewish communities for more than 2000 years. Its central location at a crossroads of civilizations led to multiple influences in food, culture, language and identity. Rafram will take us through the different elements of the complex Jewish layer of Tunisia, which took a fateful turn in 1967 after the Six-Day War. Rafram will talk about how Jewish life looks today in Tunisia and about his work as a visual artist, which blends biography and Jewish identity in contemporary Tunisia. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Jewish Mexico: a Visual Journey

Monica Unikel - I invite you to a visual tour through the history of the Jews in Mexico, focused mostly on the twentieth century, when the current community was formed, but touching on episodes from the sixteenth century, when Crypto-Jews first arrived. We will learn about their origins, their establishment in the city's neighborhoods, their identity spaces for the living and the dead, their dreams and achievements. It will be a visual feast thanks to the incredible historical photos I have received from immigrant families, their first-hand testimonies, and other invaluable documents. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Colonial Roots and Vibrant Present: The Jewish Heritage of Brazil

Felipe Lichand - In Brazil we can find one of the largest Jewish communities in Latin America, with a presence in different regions, each with distinct stories. In this talk we will introduce you to the Jewish history of Brazil from colonial times to present. Travel with us to Rio, São Paulo and Recife, and discover with images and videos the most emblematic Jewish landmarks of these cities. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Jews of Burma: The Tribe That Vanished

Misha Gulko - This is the story of the Burmese Jewish - a community that once flourished but quickly ceased to exist. In its short history, the Burmese Jewish community went through the archetypical Jewish narrative, with inner rifts and the mortal danger from the outside. Its members either immigrated or assimilated, but is there still hope for the revival of Jewish life in this distant South-East Asian country? Being a photo-journalist, I took on the opportunity to photograph the remains of the Jewish presence in Burma today and the quickly vanishing traces of the Jewish presence in Burma's past. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

The Jews of Scandinavia: A Virtual Tour of Norway and Sweden

Evgenia Kempinski - The Jewish communities in Sweden and in Norway date back to the 18th and 19th centuries respectively, when Jews were legally permitted to reside in these Christian kingdoms. Join us as we explore the beauty of these countries and talk about their  brief, yet important, Jewish history. We will speak about the first Jews who settled in these lands and the growth of Jewish life in the first half of the 20th century. We will also compare the different fates of both communities during WWII. Finally, we will discuss modern-day antisemitism and views towards Israel in the Scandinavian societies today. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


The Two Millennia Story of Moroccan Jewry

Yona Abeddour - Morocco is home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the Diaspora. This two-millennia heritage is the result of an intersection between various civilizations and traditions including Berber, Andalusian, and Arab among others. We will explore the past and present of Moroccan Jewry while addressing some central questions related to why the Jews left or stayed, what is Jewish life like in Morocco today, and what is the future of Moroccan Jews in the country. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


The Jews of Ethiopia:

Being Black, Jewish and Israeli

Naftali Aklum - The story of the exodus of Ethiopian Jews to Israel is one of the most moving historical events of the Jewish people. Although it happened recently, most Israelis and Diaspora Jewry are not aware of the difficulties and challenges encountered by Ethiopian Jews in their trek to reach Israel. In this session we will embark on a journey from Ethiopia to Israel and learn about the Jewish Ethiopian community's way of life and traditions. By engaging through a personal Aliyah story, we will learn about the identity, strengths, and activism of the community and the reality of life in Israel for the immigrants and for the second generation of Israeli- Ethiopians. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

The Jews of Georgia: A Diverse and Ancient Community in the Caucasus

Lasha Shakulashvili - Travel with us to the Caucasus Mountains and get acquainted with a diverse Jewish world, one that still sings in Georgian, Yiddish, Ladino and Jukhuri. All these languages were spoken by Georgia's Jewish communities, something which made the country one of the most unique locations in the Jewish world.  From its peak of 100,000 members, today the Georgian Jewish population comprises only a few thousand people, after the majority immigrated to Israel, United States and Belgium. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Past and Present of Jewish Romania, from Transylvania with love

Natalia Gross & Cristian Ezri - Before the Holocaust the Romanian Jewish Community had a very interesting mix of cultures, traditions and languages, based on the three areas of the country: Transylvania, Moldavia & Wallachia. Find out some of the historical facts and legends of the community, and the eclecticism of the scenery where Judaism could have been long gone. Discover our life story, and our goal to keep Judaism alive in Romania, while being fully involved in the secular society. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Jews of Argentina: "They sowed seeds and harvested doctors"

Claudia Hercman - We invite you to a virtual tour of Jewish Argentina, the 6th largest Jewish Community in the world. Argentina has always been a refuge for those who fled from the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal, the pogroms in Russia and the Holocaust in Europe. We will learn about the first Jewish immigrants, who settled in the rural areas and gradually moved to the cities. In the 60s there were half a million Jews in Argentina, now there are only 220,000. What happened to those who left and those who remained?  Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Jewish Languages Today: Endangered, Surviving, and Thriving

Sarah Bunin Benor - Throughout history, Jews around the world have spoken many languages. In this multimedia session, you will learn what these languages have had in common and how they are currently shifting. Over the past two centuries, migrations and other historical events have led to major changes in the linguistic profile of Jewish communities around the world. Several long-standing Jewish languages have become endangered. At the same time, Jews are engaging with these languages in "post-vernacular" ways. Dr. Benor will explain these developments and highlight the urgent need for documentation and reclamation. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Frost-resistant Jews of Siberia, Russia's promised land

Gregory Touretsky - Siberia is always bitterly cold, and dangerous, brown bears walk its streets - as the popular stereotype says. But is it really so? In this talk we'll learn about life on this vast territory during the last 400 years. Jews of the Pale of Settlement tried to escape to America, to Palestine - but some of them chose a different route and went to Siberia. Others were forced to go there. We'll explore when and how Jews got to Siberia, where they settled and what they did while the country and the world went through major changes time and again. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


The Jews of Yemen and a Journey on the Magic Carpet

Gavriella Bigio Dahan - The Jewish community of Yemen has existed since antiquity, but today comprises just a handful of affiliated members. The past century saw the largest waves of immigration to Israel, among which my grandmother took part. Through conversations with her, I learned both of her personal ordeal as a child thrust into the unknown, as well as the changing way of life for Yemenites in Israel. They and their descendants have made their mark in Israeli society and have contributed much to religious study, music, crafts and, of course, food. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


To be a Jew in Estonia - in the past, present and future

Evgenia Kempinski - This tour will take us through the 150 years of Jewish life in Estonia, the smallest of the Baltic countries. Estonia is known for its environmental beauty, and its capital Tallinn is considered one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. We will learn about the Jewish community's commercial success in the late 19th century, and speak about the "Jewish Cultural Autonomy" in the short-lived Republic of Estonia of the 1920s - 1930s. We will discuss the Holocaust and the Communist repression that followed. Finally, we will look at today's community and speak about the current Estonian attitude towards Jews, Israel, and the Holocaust. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


A Journey Through the Jewish Heritage of Hungary

Dora Koranyi - Join us for a virtual journey through today's Hungary and discover the rich Jewish heritage still to be found in so many villages and cities. By visiting synagogues, cemeteries and museums  we will discover the very early remains, from Roman times to the Middle Ages. We will find remnants from the Ottoman empire and witness the growth of the Ashkenazi community under the Austrian Monarchy. In this unique journey we will explore what survived after the Holocaust and the fall of communism. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Turkish Jews: Jewish legacy in Anatolia and today's Turkey

Nisya Isman Allovi - Director Jewish Museum of Turkey 

The history of the Jews in Anatolia started 2400 years ago with the arrival of Romaniot, Mizrahim and Karaits followed later by Ashkenazim and Sephardic Jews. We will examine ancient synagogues, Jewish settlements and cemeteries belonging to different eras and traditions, as well as important events of WWI and WWII. Sephardic cuisine, music, Judeo Spanish language, ethnographic and liturgical objects from the museum collection will be explained. Finally we will explore today's vibrant Jewish life in Turkey. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


In Golem's Shadow: The Jews of Prague between Reality and Fiction

David Kraus Jews arrived to the Czechlands before the 9th century, and eventually Prague became home to once the largest Jewish community in the world. Its former Jewish Quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the ancient Old New Synagogue, the oldest working shul. Did Hitler really build a "Museum of Extinct Race" in Prague - and how did the Golem oppose him? Why is the story of interwar Czechoslovakia a key to unlocking aspects of modern Jewish identity?  We will also cover the renaissance of a community that almost ceased to exist due to the Holocaust and Communism. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Bukharian Jews: At the Crossroads of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-Speaking Worlds

Ruben Shimonov  - The experience of the native Jews of Central Asia - Bukharian Jews - is situated at a unique intersection of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-speaking Jewish identities.  We will explore the eclectic story of this millennia-old Jewish community, discovering the ways in which Bukharian Jews have developed their multifaceted and rich culture, while also shedding light on how their journey fits into the broader historical saga of the Jewish people. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


The Jews of Belarus: From the Pale of Settlement to the USSR and Beyond

Debra Brunner and Artur Livshyts - Belarus' Jewish story is rich, vital, traumatic, fascinating and barely spoken of. The territory was ruled at different times by Lithuania, Poland and Russia. It was invaded by Nazis and came under the rule of the USSR until 1991. This talk will give a snapshot of the history of the Jewish people of Belarus, the legacy on the Belarusian Jewish community of today, and an insight into the building of Jewish Cultural Heritage Trail initiated by The Together Plan Charity. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


A Portrait of Jewish Life in Berlin

Micki Weinberg - Although associated today mainly with the Holocaust, both before and after the War, Berlin has been a center for Jewish creativity. Philosopher Moses Mendelssohn arrived in Berlin in 1743, and urged Jews to integrate into secular society. By the end of the century Berlin had become the center of the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment). In 1845 Reform in Judaism was founded here, and the Weimar years (1919-1933) were the golden age of Berlin Jewry. Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the city has returned to being a global center for Jewish artists, creatives, and others, who in turn have developed new communities and forms of Jewish life and thought.  Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


Jewish Barcelona: now you see it, now you don't

Dominique Tomasov Blinder- Jewish presence in Barcelona can be traced back to between the mid 9th until the end of the 14th century. What are the hints to this Jewish past? Are there any artifacts from those days? Where are they kept? How do we connect with our history? Which are our places of memory today? The early 20th century marks the beginning of a second chapter of Jewish life in the city. We will learn about the irregular evolution of this community, the second largest in Spain. And we will discover how Jews contributed to some of the "most Spanish" creations. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date


The Jews of the Great Silk Road: Yesterday and today

Manashe Khaimov - Follow in the footsteps of the Bukharian Jewish merchants on the Silk Road and discover the ancient network of trade routes that were for centuries crucial to Eurasian cultural interaction.  Understand the impact and the contribution that Central Asia's Jewish communities of today's Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan made towards the development of this ancient path, and learn about the Jewish presence in this area for over 2000 years. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Jewish Moscow: A century and a half of upheaval and resurgence

Evgenia Kempinski  - Moscow is home to the largest Jewish community in Russia, numbering some 250,000 people. Today Jewish life here flourishes and the community is known for its rich religious and cultural life. But it was not the same in the past. Our talk will cover the period of about 140-150 years, from the time when Jews were first allowed to settle in Moscow to the present days and we will pay a visit to all the Jewish highlights of the city: old and new synagogues, the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, the Holocaust Memorial Synagogue, and much more. Sign up here to be among the first to know when we repeat this talk

Stories of Jewish Budapest: From affirmation to persecution and revival

Dora Koranyi - Budapest, the capital of Hungary, has one of the most fascinating Jewish cultures and history in Europe. It is a community that still flourishes in spite of the many difficulties it has had throughout its long history. I would like to invite you to a virtual tour, where I will share with you stories about this community, from the time of the Austrian empire, through the Holocaust and the communist era until our present time. Sign up here to be among the first to know when we repeat this talk


St. Petersburg from the Jewish Perspective: Life, History, Art

Evgenia Kempinski - St. Petersburg, capital of Russian Empire for 200 years, is known for its unique beauty and rich cultural heritage. It's my privilege to show you the beauty of my city and much more; we will look at St. Petersburg through a Jewish lens. We will learn about the 'maskilim' who led the community in the 19th century, explore the role of Jews in the Russian Revolution, discuss the situation of the Soviet Jews, and witness the miraculous rebirth of Jewish life after the fall of USSR. I will also share with you my own family's story to illustrate the history and present-day life of our Jewish community. Sign up here to be among the first to know when we schedule a new date.

Polish Jews: Warsaw Ghetto remains and Jewish revival

Łukasz Godlewski - Before World War II, Warsaw was the second largest Jewish city in the world. After the Holocaust many survivors left Poland, but some stayed. In the last decades, young Polish people have been discovering their Jewish roots, which were often hidden by their parents and grandparents. I am one of them, and I want to share my family's story with you. I will also take you on a virtual tour of the Warsaw Ghetto remains and show you how Jewish life in Warsaw has revived. Sign up here to be among the first to know when we schedule a new date.


It is personal: Reviving the history of the Jewish community of Mosul, Iraq

Omar Mohammed - As a historian, I understand the difference between what happened and the "narrative of what happened". A difference that made me try to understand the history of my own city, Mosul, following its liberation from ISIS. What happened to the Jews of Mosul and why was their history erased and kept off the record? Who were they and how did they live? How were they deported and what happened next? Where are they now? Many questions that led me to start looking and searching for every Mosuli Jewish person around the world and to reconnect with them in order to preserve and document their stories. Sign up here to be among the first to know when we schedule a new date.

Remember Baghdad

Edwin Shuker - In 2015 Edwin Shuker was asked if he had any film footage of Baghdad for a documentary that was being produced about the story of Jews in Iraq. The director was incredulous when Edwin offered to fly to Baghdad with the film crew and get the footage himself! In doing so he revisited his childhood home, which he had not seen since the day his family escaped for their lives when he was young. In addition to that, he even purchased a new house in the city of Erbil! Over the course of the trip and production, Edwin vividly relived his life and the life of 2000 years of Jewish history in Iraq. In this talk he will share that life and let you live it too. Sign up here to be among the first to know when we repeat this talk


Golden Age, Silver Age: Jews of Spain yesterday and today

Dr. Victoria Atlas Prilutsky - Jewish History of Spain is one of the most glorious and most tragic passages in the history of Jewish People. For an hour and a half we'll be able to traipse together along those thrilling events and times: from the very beginning of Jewish presence and life in the Iberian peninsula, its flourishing, through its tragic interruption and into its recent revival (barely over a century ago) Sign up here to be among the first to know when we repeat this talk


Growing up Jewish in Uganda

Shoshana Nambi - The Abayudaya community was founded by a tribal chief who converted himself and many of his followers to Judaism in 1919. One hundred years later, there are nine synagogues in different Ugandan villages, three Jewish schools, and the community continues to grow. I will share the history of my community, as well as my own family story and journey to rabbinical school. I will also comment on my experiences living in Israel and America as a Ugandan Jew. Sign up here to be among the first to know whe we repeat this talk.

Get to know: "The Together Plan" Archive Service in Belarus - a trip to your roots

By Gillian Gruder and Vasily Zaitsau from The Together Plan, a charity supporting community empowerment in Belarus - Usually people have knowledge of only 2-3 generations and these stories are told to their children. It is so exciting to know how your great-great-grandfather was named, but are you ready to find out that in fact he was married twice, and he was also prosecuted? Or to find out that the real names of your great-grandmothers were nothing like the ones you knew?  Our service helps clients not only to find the names of their ancestors, but also how they lived in the old days. During the presentation of this project, Vasily and Gillian will show how this all comes TOGETHER. Watch the recording on our Facebook page.


Get to know the "Tarbut Foundation": striving to preserve the heritage and memory of the Jews of Maramures (Romania)

Peninah Zilberman - Tarbut Foundation Sighet (FTS) was established in 2014 following the 70ᵗʰ commemoration to the Jewish deportations from Maramures. Due to the tremendous success of that first gathering, we founded FTS with the intention to keep alive the memory of the 40,000 Maramures Jews that lived in the region before the Holocaust. We strive to preserve the Jewish heritage of Maramures through art, culture and education. We invite you to a webinar in order to learn more about our work. Watch the recording on our Facebook page.


Get to know: The Museum of Turkish Jews in Istanbul

Nisya Isman Allovi - Director and Curator of The Quincentennial Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews in Istanbul

This talk is part of our "Get to know" series, in which we introduce the organizations and projects that we donate to after the talks. The Museum of Turkish Jews showcases their unique legacy in the Ottoman Empire and in modern Turkey. It displays the 2600 years of historical and cultural heritage of Turkish Jews in this land, and their contributions to the social and political life in the country. Since 2015 it has welcomed visitors in its new complex in The Neve Shalom Synagogue. Lets take a tour at the museum together. Watch the recording on our Facebook page.


Get to know: The Genealogy Department at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw

For more than 25 years the Genealogy Department at the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw has been researching Jewish families' histories from Poland. They help rebuild fragmented family tales, find traces of ancestors, and connect relatives living in various parts of the world. What does one need to know about searching for roots? Where to begin? Whom to ask for assistance? How to prove your Polish citizenship? What are Jewish surnames? We invite you for a webinar to get to know the Jewish Genealogy Department from Warsaw. Watch the recording on our Facebook page.


Travel to Spain: Sephardic Jewish Heritage Tour

Moisés Hassán - Jewish History of Spain is one of the most glorious and most tragic passages in the history of Jewish People. In the first forty-five minutes of this talk we'll explore together those thrilling events and times: from the very beginning of Jewish presence and life in the Iberian Peninsula, through its Golden Age, until its tragic interruption and its recent revival. After this, we invite you to stay for the second part of the presentation, where we will focus on our "Sephardic Jewish Heritage Tour to Spain" in October 19-27, 2022. Watch the recording here