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.


Tuesday, July 23

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

UK 8:00 pm / France 9:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 60 minutes

Krakow Jewish Culture Festival 2024 A Virtual Experience

Olga Bokhonovskaya - This pre-recorded tour, with the guide's live narrative, takes you through the events of the annual Krakow Jewish Culture Festival. One of the oldest and largest events in the world, presenting both traditional and modern Jewish culture, the festival is held in Kazimierz, Krakow's former Jewish quarter for the 33rd time this year. The festival brings together artists of Jewish culture from all over the world – music bands, soloists, choirs, jazz musicians, and dance teachers. Its events educate people about Jewish culture, history, and faith, which flourished in Poland before the Holocaust. Read more and sign up for free

Thursday, July 25

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 Krakow Part 1: The Golden Age Of Krakow Jews

Olga Bokhonovskaya - Join us to learn about the Golden Age of Krakow Jews and discover Kazimierz, Krakow's Jewish quarter. Learn what attracted Jews to Krakow, when the Old Synagogue was built, and why Jews left Krakow and settled in Kazimierz. As you stroll through the streets of the Old Town, you'll follow in the footsteps of the Jews who moved from the city center to Kazimierz. You'll hear exciting stories of Jewish traders and prominent thinkers and virtually visit 7 old synagogues while learning their fascinating history. Read more and sign up

Sunday, July 28

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 Krakow Part 2: The

Krakow Ghetto and the Revival of Jewish Life

Olga Bokhonovskaya - By the end of the 1930s, the Jewish community of Krakow constituted about 25% of the city's population. The streets of the former Krakow ghetto bear witness to the desperate struggle for survival and the destruction of this city's Jewish community under Nazi occupation. Join us on this virtual tour to learn about the most devastating period of Krakow's Jewish history. You'll see the places depicted in "Schindler's List", and you will also learn about the revival of Jewish life after the war and the fall of Communism. Read more and sign up

Thursday, August 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

Jewish 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 organized 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. Read more and sign up

Sunday, August 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

Jews of Burma: The Tribe That Vanished

Misha Gulko - This is the story of the Burmese Jewish community - 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 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 photojournalist, 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. Read more and sign up


Tuesday, August 6

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 60 minutes

Qesher Book Club: "Shalom Uganda - A Jewish Community in the Equator"

Janice Masur grew up in a tiny, remote European Jewish community in Kampala, Uganda, under British Imperial rule, with no rabbi or Jewish infrastructure. And yet, this community of only twenty-three families formed a cohesive group that celebrated all Jewish festivals together and upheld their Jewish identity. Sadly, while Kampala Jewry made every effort to survive, it eventually failed and withered under the hot African sun. In "Shalom Uganda: A Jewish Community on the Equator", Masur tells her story of living in this little-known Ashkenazi Jewish community from 1949 to 1961. Because so many Jewish communities were obliterated in the last century, she documents, remembers, and preserves Kampala European Jewry with all the respect that it deserves. This book is the only piece of scholarship on this particular Jewish topic. Read more and sign up for free

Thursday, August 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

Czeching In: The Rich History and Vibrant Present of Prague's Jewish Community

Emma Günsberger Join us on a captivating journey through time as we uncover the remarkable history of Jews in Czechia and delve deep into the heart of Prague to discover its vibrant Jewish heritage. Explore Prague's Jewish Quarter and learn about its history and contemporary life on a virtual guided tour. Learn about the current community, their cultural events, community initiatives, and the challenges they are facing today, which shape the lives of today's Czech Jews. Read more and sign up

Sunday, August 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

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

Thursday, August 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

Desert Roots: Jewish Middle Eastern Music (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. Read more and sign up

Sunday, August 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 Siberia: Russia's Promised Land

Evgenia Kempinski - Siberia is a giant region of Russia usually associated with frost, snow, prisons and forests. But is it really like that? In this talk, we'll learn about Jewish life on this vast territory during the last 400 years. We'll explore when and how Jews got to Siberia, where they settled, and what they did there. I will also take you to Birobidjan – a Jewish Autonomous region located next to the border with China. Today it is still a unique place where a visitor may find the street signs in Yiddish. Temperatures in Siberia change from extreme cold to extreme hot, and so does the Jewish life there. Read more and sign up


Tuesday, August 20

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

Qesher Book Club: "The Loving Life: Memoirs of an Iranian-Jewish Woman"

Ilana Ebrahimi Kahen, author of "The Loving Life", presents an insightful exploration of the impact of the 1979 Islamic Revolution on Iran's Jewish minority, detailing how this upheaval challenged their community and altered their lives. Ilana also recounts her journey from Iran to London, focusing on the cultural adaptation process and the preservation of identity within the diaspora. The presentation concludes with valuable lessons learned from Holocaust survivors, emphasizing the importance of inter-generational communication in preserving historical memory. Read more and sign up for free

Thursday, September 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

From Mount Ararat to Mount Sinai: The Jews of Armenia 

Lasha Shakulashvili - The first contacts between Jews and Armenians date back to antiquity, and there is evidence of Jewish settlements in the Armenian Highlands dating as early as the 1st century BC. Currently, the Jewish community of Armenia is estimated at around 500 – 2000 people, mostly descendants of Ashkenazi Jews who fled Eastern Europe and relocated here, finding a safe haven before and during World War II. This is the story of a community that strives to celebrate Judaism beyond the fact of simply having Jewish roots. Read more and sign up

Sunday, September 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

Stories from Jewish Barbados, the Pearl of the Caribbean

Neal Rechtman - Join us for a fascinating tour of Jewish Barbados. We will visit the restored Nidhe Israel synagogue (1654), its adjacent cemeteries, and the recently discovered Mikveh. Learn how a group of Sephardic Jews, fleeing the Portuguese Inquisition in Brazil, made their way to Barbados and secured the protection of Oliver Cromwell, the English Protestant leader. This early Sephardic community later grew with new arrivals from England and was key in developing the British sugar industry. After its decline and the mass emigration of Jews from the island, a subsequent wave of Ashkenazi refugees formed the core of today's tiny 50-person community, giving Neal the distinction of being 2% of the entire Jewish population of Barbados. Read more and sign up

Thursday, September 12

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 Streets of Jewish Minsk: A Journey Through History

Sonya Shaipak - Embark on a captivating journey through the streets of Jewish Minsk. This talk will transport you back to the bustling neighborhoods where the Jewish communities lived, worked and prayed, and to the contributions of its inhabitants from the early 19th century to the mid-20th century, when more than half of the population was Jewish. We will uncover the resilience and creativity that characterized the Minsk's Jews, even in the face of adversity and persecution. By revisiting the streets of Jewish Minsk, we aim to celebrate the enduring legacy of a community that played a vital role in the city's history. Read more and sign up


Tuesday, September 10

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

Qesher Book Club: The Gallery of Beauties

Nina Wachsman - Venice, 1612. Two very different women, a notorious courtesan and a Talmudic scholar, are brought together by an artist when they pose for a "Gallery of Beauties," forming a relationship neither of them anticipated. Conflicted about her past, Belladonna finds herself drawn to Diana, the rabbi's widowed daughter and has ambitions for her future, but only if Diana will discard her origins and her traditions. The Gallery of Beauties was nominated for an Agatha for Best First Novel, and a Silver Falchion for Best Historical Novel. The book has two sequels; "The Courtesan's Secret" follows a "converso" courtesan who, hiding in the Venice Ghetto, learns about Jewish life and heritage. "The Courtesan's Pirate," to be published on September 3, follows Jews escaping the Old World for religious freedom in the New World, facing new dangers along the way. Read more and sign up for free

Sunday, September 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

Echoes of the Past: Jewish Life in Venice's Ghetto and Beyond

Nina Wachsman - What is known about the Jews of Venice is that they were the first to be restricted to living in a small walled island known as a "ghetto." But though they were limited in where they could live, Jews were valued and their presence in Venice was seen as a benefit to the welfare of the city. This talk will describe Jewish life within and outside the Venetian Ghetto and the famous men and women from its Golden Age. Today, the smaller yet vibrant Jewish community in Venice preserves its heritage through synagogues, a museum, and cultural activities. You will come away with a better appreciation of the unique relationship between the city of Venice and its Jews. Read more and sign up

Thursday, September 19

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

Past and Future Events

Greek Jewry: At the crossroads of civilizations

Joseph Michael Vardakis - The 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.

Portuguese Secrets: Little-Known Jewish History that Changed the World

Irene Shaland - Travel with us to Portugal and discover the most fascinating Jewish history, which is largely unknown. Jewish heritage in Portugal has greatly influenced the country's development throughout the ages. From Roman and Visigoth times to the brilliant Age of Discovery, through the dark centuries of Inquisition and persecution, when the Jewish faith and traditions survived in secret, to World War II, when the country became a safe haven for thousands of European refugees; and to today's small but blossoming Jewish community. 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 Scandinavian societies today. 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.

Berlin Jewish Heritage Through the Ages

Olga Bokhonovskaya - This Jewish Berlin tour explores the fascinating history of Berlin's Jewish community from the early settlers to the modern times. You'll visit the oldest Jewish cemetery, see the imposing New Berlin Synagogue and hear about the Jewish merchants, financiers, and intellectuals who played important roles in the economic and social life of the German capital. On a visit to the "Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe" and the "Trains to Life - Trains to Death" Monument, you'll uncover the darkest period of the history of Berlin Jews. Finally, you'll learn about the Jews of the GDR and how the Jewish communities were rebuilt on both sides of the Berlin Wall. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date.

Jews in the Jungle: The Community of Suriname

Jacob Steinberg - Discover the surprising and fascinating story of the Jews of Suriname, the oldest existing Jewish community in the Americas. It all began with the establishment of the Jewish community in Amsterdam by Portuguese and Spanish Jews in the late 16th century. Thousands of them moved to Dutch Brazil (Recife) and three groups continued to what is Suriname today, clearing the jungle and starting sugar plantations. We will also learn the role of the community in saving Jews during WW2 and what life here looks like today for the small and isolated Jewish community in Suriname. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date.

Jews of Algeria: French, Indigenous, or both?

Dr. Jessica Hammerman - Join us for an overview of the history of Jews of Algeria before, during, and after the French presence there. Sixty years have passed since the mass exodus of Jews from Algeria. Of all the Jews who fled Arab countries, the Algerians were unusual: they held French nationality, although the community was indigenous. Was there something inherently antisemitic about Muslim culture in Algeria? Or were Jews and Muslims divided by the French colonial government? In this talk, we will discuss some of these issues while learning about the unique history and culture of the Algerian Jews. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date.

Communities of the Past: A Virtual Tour of Ukrainian Shtetls

Evgenia Kempinski - After having visited the main cities of Ukraine, in this fourth part of our Jewish Ukraine series we will explore the shtetls of Berdichev, Chernowitz, Vizhnitsa, Hotin, Medzhibozh, Minkovtsy, Murapha, Husyatin, and Chortkiv, symbols of a bygone era in Jewish history. Join us on this virtual expedition to resurrect the past and honor the legacy of Jewish life in Ukrainian shtetls. Let us bridge the gap between generations and weave together the threads of a remarkable heritage. 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.

The Jewish Metropolis: A tour of Jewish New York through Time and Space

Daniel Soyer - New York City is the greatest Jewish metropolis of all time. At its peak, Jews constituted nearly 30% of the city's population. Not surprisingly, Jews have influenced New York's culture, economy, and politics. But the Jewish presence is also very diverse. From the establishment of the first community in 1654 to the present, New York Jews have pioneered religious reform and led the resurgence of traditionalist orthodoxy; they have been among the richest financiers and poorest shop workers; they have provided the base for political radicalism and liberalism, and the intellectual power behind resurgent conservatism. This talk will offer a virtual tour of Jewish New York through time and space – from the 17th century to the 21st, and from tenements of the Lower East Side to leafy Riverdale. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

A Jewish Tour of Serbia: Where Ashkenaz meets Sepharad

Sonja Viličić -With a little bit of Balkan and a little bit of Central and Eastern European vibes, this tour will take you on a journey through a country with a turbulent history; a country which had one foot in the Ottoman Empire and another one in the Austro-Hungarian. The tour will explore the history and culture of the Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities that have inhabited present-day Serbia. We will explore the role of Jewish communities during the bitter times in regional history - the World Wars and the breakup of Yugoslavia. We will conclude our tour with an overview of the contemporary Jewish life of Serbia. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

"Tu Que Bivas" - A Virtual Sephardic Photography Exhibition by Becky Behar

Join Becky Behar, photographer, artist, and scholar, as she shares her ongoing project, 'Tu Que Bivas.' Rooted in her Sephardic upbringing, Behar's work delves into her family's heritage. Collaborating with her mother and daughter, she explores traditions and rituals, revealing how they shape generations. Through her photographs, Behar uncovers the resonance of her mother's teachings in her daughter's experiences, inviting us to reflect on the preservation and celebration of heritage. Discover Behar's journey of discovery as she explores the interplay between past and present, tradition and innovation. Together, we'll explore the power of visual storytelling to connect us to our roots and shape our legacies. Click here to watch the recording

Jewish names around the world

Sarah Bunin Benor - What makes a family name Jewish? How did Jewish family names originate in different periods and places? Why did Jews in North America, Hungary, Israel, and elsewhere change their surnames, and why are new generations reclaiming them back? This session answers these and many more questions about Jewish first and last names. Participants will learn about patronymic (father-based) surnames, geographic names, and profession names. They will learn about traditions of naming babies after honorees and using biblical and local sources. 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 religious and secular contexts. Then we will move to the internet and social media age and their folklorization, always emphasizing people and where and how they live. 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 and 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 Panama: A Thriving Community Between Two Oceans

David Mizrachi Fidanque -Welcome to Panama, the only place where you can see the sunrise in the Pacific Ocean and set on the Atlantic Ocean. This is also the only country other than Israel to have had two Jewish Presidents in the XX Century. That is no small feat for a community that has existed openly only since the end of Spanish colonial rule in the 1820s. Home to 10,000-12,000 Jews, it is the largest continuously existing Jewish Community in Central America and it keeps growing thanks to the recent arrival of Jews from other Latin American countries fleeing political and economic instability. Join us on this virtual journey for a historical, demographic, social, gastronomic, and spiritual visit to this small but prosperous community. 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 '50s 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

East and South Ukraine: The Jewish Heritage of Kharkiv, Mariupol and Kherson

Evgenia KempinskiOver the last two years, the world has learned the names of Ukrainian towns and villages in the East and the South attacked by the Russian troops. Every one of these towns has its unique Jewish history and heritage. In this third part of our exploration of Ukraine, we will visit Kharkiv, Mariupol and Kherson, and we will cover the most important and interesting details using old and new photographs of towns, synagogues, Jewish families, homes, and much more. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

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. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

A Year of Music and Food in Jewish Italy

Miriam Camerini - Italy is one of the most ancient Jewish diasporas, probably the oldest in Western Europe. Both its liturgical music and culinary recipes are therefore believed to have stemmed directly from the destruction of the second Temple, if not earlier. Following an ideal Jewish calendar, from a Rosh Hashana to the next, we'll delve into the music and cuisine of what has been her family heritage for centuries and centuries with Miriam Camerini, Israeli-born, Italian-raised theatre director, actress, singer, and rabbi-to-be. Miriam has written a book on food and religion(s): (Ricette e Precetti, 2019) and has been researching and performing Jewish music of different diasporas for the last 20 years: come and hear! 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

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 Paris: A City of Contrasts

Emmanuelle Stein - In 2024, Paris is still one of the main Jewish centers in the world. Local community member and activist Emmanuelle Stein will describe what Jewish life looks like today in Paris, especially in light of the October 7th attacks and the increase in antisemitism. We will also learn about the beginnings of the Jewish presence in Paris since the Middle Ages, their emancipation under Napoleon, and the events of WWII. We will comment on the waves of modern Jewish immigration to the city, first from Eastern Europe and then from North Africa, and discover their neighborhoods, synagogues, and community institutions. 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 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 on 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 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

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

Jewish Amsterdam: A Small Community with a Giant History

Nachshon Rodrigues Pereira - Nachshon, one of the few remaining descendants of the original Portuguese Jews of 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

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 notified when we schedule a new date

Travel to Spain: Sephardic Jewish Heritage Tour

Moisés Hassán - The Jewish History of Spain is one of the most glorious and 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" on November 12-20, 2024. Watch the recording on our Facebook page.

Jewish Istanbul: Where East Meets West

Nisya Isman Allovi - Istanbul, a city of captivating contrasts, intertwines diverse religions and cultures, serving as the junction between two continents. A modern-day embodiment of ancient Constantinople, it presents a breathtaking panorama of towering minarets and domes surrounded by water, bathed in a golden glow by the sun. Within its many neighborhoods lie numerous synagogues, each with its unique narrative, telling tales of the Jews who built them and worshipped within. Join me in an exploration of the Jewish heritage sites of this amazing city. As a proud member of Istanbul's vibrant Jewish community, I invite you to acquaint yourself with the richness of the Turkish Jewish culture. 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

Along the Silk Roads to Jerusalem: A Voyage into Bukharian Jewish History and Culture

Ruben Shimonov - Embark with us on an exploration of the eclectic and multilayered story of Central Asia's ancient Jewish community—Bukharian Jews. Join us as we discover the ways in which Bukharian Jews have developed their rich culture against the backdrop of the changing societies surrounding them—including Iranian, Arab, Turkic and Russian empires. Through archival documents, music, photographs of heritage sites, and personal stories, our educator—Uzbekistan-born Ruben Shimonov— will take us on a journey through Central Asia, the Middle East, and the United States. Sign up here to be notified 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 notified when we schedule a new date

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

Evgenia Kempinski - We invite you to visit the heart of Ukraine through the key cities of Kiev and Odesa 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 Odesa, most Russian-speaking Jews will name it the Jewish capital of the former USSR. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

The Jewish Experience in Uruguay

Shai Abend - We will embark on a fascinating journey back in time to explore the origins of Jewish immigration to Uruguay. We'll step into the shoes of those who chose this country as their destination, imagining the unique reality they encountered. Discover the process that led to the formation of the organized Jewish community. Witness how Uruguay shaped a vibrant, diverse, and ideologically active community. Share in the life stories of prominent figures who lived in the country and explore intriguing connections between Jewish and Uruguayan culture. Finally, engage in a dialogue about the current state of Jewish life in Uruguay, reflecting on its key issues and future challenges. 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 outside of Budapest. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

The Music and Poetry of the Jews of Iran

Alan Niku - Jews and Persians: two cultures known for their music and poetry. From hazzanut and klezmer to dastgah and motrebi, and from Psalms and piyyutim to ghazals and robaiyat, these two peoples have been linked through their common love for poetry, and for the musical expression of that poetry. So what about the Jews of Iran? Was their music similar to other Jewish communities? Was it more Iranian or Jewish? Did they participate in greater society, or were they isolated from the music and poetry around them? And what can we learn about the Jews of Iran through their music? We will explore these and more questions in this class about the music and poetry of the Jews of Iran. 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

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 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, and 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

Stories from Curaçao's Jewish History

Ronald Gomes Casseres - The island of Curaçao is considered the cradle of Judaism in the Americas. The almost 400 years of a Jewish presence here are exemplified by Mikvé Israel-Emanuel, the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the continent.  The founders of this congregation were Jews from the Amsterdam Portuguese community, whose success allowed them to help start other communities in the Caribbean and provide support to congregations in New York and Rhode Island. The history of Congregation Mikvé Israel-Emanuel will be told through stories of events that have formed it, and the broader Jewish community as they are today. 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

Restoring Legacy: Reclaiming the Brest-Litovsk Jewish Cemetery in Belarus

Debra Brunner and Artur Livshyts - Over 80 years ago, the headstones that once stood in the Brest-Litovsk Jewish cemetery, (pre-war Poland and today Belarus), were desecrated and used for other purposes. Over 1200 headstones have been discovered over the last 20 years and will finally come home to rest in a stunning memorial. This memorial will be a testament to Brest's rich Jewish heritage, acknowledge and honor the community that was so brutally extinguished in the Holocaust, and educate visitors about Brest's Jewish community of today. Sign up here to receive the video

The Moroccan Jews of Cabo Verde: The Preservation of a Unique Heritage

Carol Castiel - The story of the Jews of Cabo Verde is a continuation of the larger Sephardic/Moroccan Jewish Diaspora. A former Portuguese colony, the Republic of Cabo Verde lies in the Atlantic Ocean about 300 miles off the coast of West Africa. After Portugal abolished the Inquisition, Moroccan Jews started immigrating in the mid-1800s. Carol Castiel, founder of the "Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project", will explore the historical, economic, and political reasons for this migration, discuss why the practice of Judaism was not sustained in the long run, and address the efforts taken to restore and preserve Cabo Verde's several Sephardic cemeteries. 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, the capital of modern Russia, is home to the largest Jewish community in the country, still numbering some 100,000 people. Despite all the current political events, Jewish life here flourishes. 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 day 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. Finally, we will also cover the changes in the atmosphere and Jewish Community life in Moscow since 24.02.2022 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, the United States, and Belgium. 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

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

Jews of Denmark: A Virtual Tour of Jewish Copenhagen

Charlotte Thalmay - This conversation explores the history of Jewish Copenhagen: the triumphs, sorrows, and legacies of those who have long called Denmark home. We'll explore important locations throughout the city, such as the Great Synagogue. We'll discuss World War ll and understand how 95% of the community was saved from the Holocaust. We'll learn about Jewish life in Copenhagen today, the issue of antisemitism, and the terror attack on a synagogue in 2015. This presentation will deepen participants' understanding of Jewish Copenhagen, its history, its struggles, and insight into what it was and what it is to be Jewish in Denmark. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

A Look at Jewish Colombia: Its Community, History, and Challenges

Vivianne Tesone Milhem  - Learn about the Jewish presence in Colombia, its historical roots, how the communities were established, the challenges we faced during the country's Civil War, and how our identity has been shaped by all these factors. My name is Vivianne and I am a third-generation Jew living in Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia. I will tell you the history of my family and use that as a springboard to show you about my community and my country, illustrated by fascinating historical anecdotes and the recent resurgence of people who are rediscovering their lost Jewish roots. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

From the Inquisition to the Caribbean: The Jews of Jamaica

Rivka Campbell - The history of Jews in Jamaica is rich and extensive. The first wave of arrivals were escaping the Inquisition. Among the latest immigrants were European refugees running away from Nazism. Today the Jewish community is very connected with the local Jamaican population. Only one active synagogue remains, the sand floored Shaare Shalom, which hosts the United Congregation of Israelites in Kingston. Though the community today is but a fraction of its former size, its impact on Jamaica endures. 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, its legacy on the Belarusian Jewish community of today, and an insight into the building of the Jewish Cultural Heritage Trail initiated by The Together Plan Charity. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

The Jews of Crimea and the story of the Karaites

Evgenia Kempinski - The peninsula of Crimea, on the northern shore of the Black Sea, has been historically a land of different peoples and contested borders. Two different Jewish communities also lived here side by side for a very long time: traditional Jews and Karaites. We are going to visit Crimea and learn the differences between traditional (Rabbinic) and Karaite (Non-rabbinic) Jews. We will also talk about Jewish agricultural settlements, Zionist training camps, and Soviet Jewish collective farms. Then we will discuss the history and traditions of the Karaites in the Russian Empire and we will look at the Synagogues, Karaite praying homes (Kenesas), and old Jewish cemeteries. 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 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 the 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. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

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.  Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

The Jews of Egypt: From the Bible to the Golden Age and the Abraham Accords

Louise Arwas and Alec Nacamuli - The Jewish Community in Egypt is as old as the Jewish tradition itself. We will follow the Jewish presence from the time of the Bible through until its Golden Age, from around 1870 until the Suez Crisis in 1956. We will see how the tides changed for the community with the growth of Egyptian nationalism and the establishment of modern Israel. We will end by taking a look at the reality today, at the Jews, the synagogues and cemeteries that remain, and what efforts are being made to preserve this important part of Jewish and Egyptian history. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

The Jewish Community of Lebanon: Erasure and Memories

Leslie Hakim-Dowek - The Lebanese Jewish Community reaches back to Biblical times, but hardly has any remaining presence today. A complex mosaic of more than 20 religious denominations, Lebanon was a prosperous and tolerant society. However, after the Six-day war, fault lines started to appear, triggering the first major wave of Jewish migration. In 1975, the rest of the Jews had to escape a war-ravaged country. I will be drawing on my own family history, memories plus historical books. Furthermore, as a visual artist, I will also be presenting some of my photo-text series which often focus on the experience of war and displacement and the undeniable attachment to my birthplace, Beirut. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

Jerusalem as Modern City: A Virtual Tour of the German Colony and Baka

Eszter Koranyi - When someone thinks of Jerusalem, they usually imagine the holy sites.  Yet, Jerusalem is also a living modern city, with all its challenges and beauties. We invite you on a virtual walk starting from the middle of the 19th century, when the first residents of the Old City left its medieval alleys and settled outside of the walls, and newcomers came and brought a modern and new way of life. This process of modernization, stretching through different political landscapes and an ever-changing human mosaic of religions, ethnic identities and languages, has been going on since then. We will dive into two iconic neighborhoods to discover some of the characteristics of this process more in-depth, through stories and personal impressions. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

The Jewish Experience of the Southern USA

Lizzi Meister - Spanning thirteen states and three hundred years, the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience in New Orleans explores the diverse relationships, experiences, and environments encountered by Jewish communities in the American South. We'll discuss artifacts and stories from early Jewish immigrants as they navigated southern spaces to find and build communities. Learn how southern Jews maintained their identity and became part of the fabric of southern society. Learn more about lesser-known stories of southern Jewish experiences during pivotal aspects of American history. 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

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. 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 the 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

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 the 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

The Life of Jews in Japan

S. David Moche and Rachel Wahba - There have been Jews in Japan since the 16th century and in the 20th century, the city of Kobe had the largest community. Although Japan was allied with the Nazis during WWII, it initially welcomed Jewish refugees, and the diplomat Chiune Sugihara saved thousands of Jews from Eastern Europe. But after Pearl Harbor, many were deported to Shanghai. Today there is a small expatriate business community in Japan. In this talk, you will meet two very special presenters, both of whom grew up in Kobe. They will provide an overview of the Japanese Jewish story and share their families and their own personal experiences about being Jewish in Japan. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

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 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

Virtual tour of Jewish Bessarabia: Today's Moldova and its capital - Kishinev

Evgenia Kempinski - Today Moldova is still home to some 15,000 - 20,000 Jews. Historically, this land was known as Bessarabia, and Jews had already settled here by the 16th century. Along the tour, we will visit some of the typical Jewish towns of Bessarabia. We will also walk along the streets of Kishinev, once a city with at least 50,000 Jews (more than 40% of the city's population). We will speak about Kishinev's Synagogues, the Jewish political and intellectual leaders, and everyday Jewish life. We will look at the past and present and also discuss the future of Kishinev's Jewish community. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

The Bene-Israel of India: an ancient living community

Eliaz Reuben-Dandeker -The Bene-Israel is the largest historical Jewish community from the Indian subcontinent. 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 begin? 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". 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 of the 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, cemeteries belonging to different eras and traditions, and important events of WWI and WWII. Sephardic cuisine, music, Judeo-Spanish language, and 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

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

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 the 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. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

The Belgian Jewry: Dynamic, Complex, Unique

Eitan Bergman - Belgium, home to the largest Hassidic community in Europe, has been described as the 'most successful failed state in the world'. In this land of surrealism, the Belgian Jewish community mirrors its nation, exhibiting a multifaceted nature—strong yet weak, united yet divided. Embark on an enlightening journey with Eitan Bergman, a Liège-born Jew who found his way to national and European Jewish institutions. Through his personal and family stories, witness the exceptional character of Belgian Jewry and explore its remarkable evolution throughout history. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

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 who 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. Click here to watch the recording.

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. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

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, and 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. 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

Resilience and Resettlement: Examining the Past and the Fate of Venezuelan Jews

Henry Grunberg - The 20th century saw thousands of Jews from North Africa and Eastern Europe find refuge and opportunities in Venezuela, a land that became exceptionally welcoming to them. Since 1999, when Hugo Chávez took office, the emigration of Venezuelan Jews accelerated exponentially. This talk aims to shed light on the complex journey of the shrinking Jewish community in Venezuela. By understanding their story, we can gain deeper insights into the challenges faced by the Jews in Venezuela in a socio-political upheaval. We'll explore the broader themes of identity, migration, and cultural preservation, highlighting their struggles, resilience, and hopes for the future. Sign up here to be notified when we schedule a new date

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

Evgenia Kempinski - St. Petersburg, the capital of the 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 the 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 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 the 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

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

Remember Baghdad: A Personal Account of Jewish Life and History in Iraq

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 notified 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 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 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

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

Aleksandra Sajdak - 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. Click here to watch the recording.

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

By Sonya Shaipak 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 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 na