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Not By Bread Alone: How Traditionalists Survived Modernity
November 14, 2013

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2013 | 6:30pm
This program has passed. The video will be posted shortly.

Glenn Dynner, Sarah Lawrence College; Eliyahu Stern, Yale University; Natalia Aleksiun, Graduate School of Jewish Studies at Touro College (Moderator)

Admission: General - $10 | YIVO and CJH members, seniors and students - $7
Box Office: | 212.868.4444

During the late 19th century, most East European Jews still consented to rabbinic authority, conformed to traditional gender norms, and remained attuned to the rhythms of halakhah. But in the economic sphere, Jews interacted with non-Jews within prescribed roles, and women served as the breadwinners in Jewish households. How did tradition survive the forces of modernity? Join three scholars for an engaging discussion about the resilience and adaptability of traditionalism in the face of modernity.

Presented by the YIVO Institute and the Center for Jewish History.

Glenn Dynner is Associate Professor of Judaic Studies at Sarah Lawrence College and the 2013-2014 Senior NEH Scholar at the Center for Jewish History. He is author of “Men of Silk”: The Hasidic Conquest of Polish Jewish Society (2006). His new book, Yankel’s Tavern: Jews, Liquor & Life in the Kingdom of Poland (2013), examines the iconic Polish Jewish tavernkeeper in order to better understand everyday Polish Jewish life during the 19th century. He is also editor of Holy Dissent: Jewish and Christian Mystics in Eastern Europe (2011). During his tenure as the Senior NEH Scholar, Dynner will be drawing upon the thousands of petitions (kvitlekh) to Rabbi Elijah Guttmacher (1796 -1874), housed in the YIVO archives, to gain insight into the lives of traditionalist East European Jewish women during the 19th century transition to modernity.

Eliyahu Stern is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University. From 2009-2010 he was Junior William Golding Fellow in the Humanities at Brasenose College and the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford. His first book, The Genius: Elijah of Vilna and the Making of Modern Judaism, was published by Yale University Press in 2013. He has served as a term member on the Council on Foreign Relations, and a consultant to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland and is currently a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Natalia Aleksiun (Moderator) is Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History at Touro College, Graduate School of Jewish Studies, New York, and Assistant Professor of Modern History at the Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences. She earned her doctorate from Warsaw University in 2001. Her dissertation won the Polish Prime Minister's Award for doctoral students and appeared in print as Where to? The Zionist Movement in Poland, 1944-1950 (in Polish) in 2002. In 2010 Natalia earned a second doctorate from New York University. Natalia has served as co-editor of the twentieth volume of Polin, devoted to the memory of the Holocaust. Her work has been published in Yad Vashem Studies, Polish Review, Dapim, East European Jewish Affairs, Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Polin, Gal Ed, East European Societies and Politics and German History. She is currently working on a book about the so-called cadaver affair at European Universities in the 1920s and 1930s and on a project dealing with daily lives of Jews in hiding in Galicia during the Holocaust.

Venue: YIVO Institute at the Center for Jewish History  |  15 West 16th Street - NYC   view map

For directions and parking information, click here.

All public programs are wheelchair accessible. A limited number of assistive listening devices are available for deaf and hard of hearing individuals upon request.