The next JGSNY Meeting will take place on September 19th, 2010 at 2:00 PM.
Topic: “Memories of Ancestral Homes”
Location: Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street
Non-Members Admission: $5
Members of panel: Professors Mihai Grunfeld, Mimi Schwartz, Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer. Moderator: Renee Steinig
The presenters will discuss life in the towns after the Holocaust, personal experiences, impressions, and anecdotal stories.
Mihai Grunfeld, author of Leaving, Memories of Romania, offers a rich and stimulating account of growing up in post-war Romania, haunted by the Holocaust his parents do not speak about. At age 18, he and his brother travel to Czechoslovakia and escape to Austria, Their journey takes them through several countries and finally the United States where he settles. Mihai Grunfeld is a professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature at Vassar College.
Mimi Schwartz, author of Good Neighbors, Bad Times, Echoes of My Father’s German Village, grew up in America, hearing her father’s boyhood stories about his German village. Only when she heard about the remarkable story of the Torah being rescued by Christians on Kristallnacht, did she begin to understand what these stories mean. For twelve years, she traveled seeking answers, collecting stories, checking historical records. Mimi Schwartz, the author of five books and numerous essays, is a professor emerita at Richard Stockton College in N.J. where she teaches workshops in memoir and creative nonfiction.
Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer are the co-authors of Ghosts of Home, The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory. Professors Hirsch and Spitzer narrate an exciting multilayered tour of Czernowitz, through story-telling, part history and part memoir that includes voices of parents, survivors, and witnesses. It is also a delicate and moving story of how individuals connect to each other, giving us back the richness and frailty of the past. Marianne Hirsch, the daughter of Czernowitz Holocaust survivors, is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Institute for research on Women and Gender at Columbia University. She is the author of many books. Leo Spitzer, a historian, and Hirsch’s husband, is Kathe Tappe Vernon professor of History Emeritus at Dartmouth College and also has authored many books, most recently Hotel Bolivia: A Culture of memory in a Refuge from Nazism.
Book-signings will follow the meeting.
The Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at CJH will be open at 11:00 AM for networking with other researchers and access to research materials/computers before the meeting at 2:00 PM.