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Memory [clear filter]
Sunday, March 6

10:00am EST

We, Polish Jews: The Troubled Identities and Legacy of Poet Julian Tuwim, 1894-1953
Polish poet Julian Tuwim (1894-1953) created a remarkable body of work, and public profile, attempting to bridge both his Polish and Jewish identities. And sometimes bridges are swept away. Tuwim's writing and life reflect a commitment to Jewish diasporic hybridity in a more monolithic time and place. His triumphs and tragedies cast him as the interwar voice of Polish poetics, the most searing Jewish voice of Holocaust testimony, and the lost returnee to postwar Poland who brought his life to a premature end. Julian Tuwim is too little known in the West today. He is a major poet, reflecting the dilemmas of Jewish identity in 20th century Eastern Europe. Memory has been kinder to Tuwim in his homeland. In recent years, Poland has seen a flurry of memorials and celebrations in his honour. Is this how bridges are rebuilt? Come explore the writing, life and legacy of Julian Tuwim.

avatar for Myer Siemiatycki

Myer Siemiatycki

Ryerson University
Myer Siemiatycki is a Professor of Politics & Public Administration at Ryerson University, and Founding Director of the MA Program in Immigration and Settlement Studies. His research and publications range broadly across immigration, urban, labour and religious studies.Sample publications... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am EST

11:00am EST

An Exploration of Eastern European Jewish History through Yizkor Books
In the decades following the Shoah, Holocaust survivors throughout the world felt the need to perpetuate the memory of their destroyed communities through the publication of memorial books known as Yizkor Books. These books contain sections on the Jewish and general history of the city or town, as well as the story of how the Holocaust unfolded in the specific community. The chapters are a unique blend of formal history and personal reminiscences and memoirs. These books are often complemented with copious photographs as well as lists of names. Approximately 1,200 such books exist, forming a significant information source on the entire spectrum of Eastern European Jewish life. In this talk, I will present an overview of the contents and structure of these books, as well as several unique and unusual Shoah testimonies gleaned from their pages. Of course, I will bring along several examples of these books in their original as well as in translation.

avatar for Jerrold Landau

Jerrold Landau

Jerrold Landau has been translating yiddish Memory Books, and material of historical and genealogical interest for the English reading audience. His work is published through JewishGen and jerroldlandau.com Through his translation work, Jerrold has gained expertise in the history... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 11:50am EST

11:00am EST

Truth and Fiction - Memory and Jewish Tradition
This is a conversation about writing, memory, truth and fiction between two newly published first-time authors, and how one writes about matters very personal – personal not just to these two individuals, but rather to all of us. This is especially true when the two books – Conversations For Two (Jacqueline Markowitz) and Evolution of An Unorthodox Rabbi (John Moscowitz) embody the profound truth that memory is a crucial conduit of Jewish tradition.

avatar for Jacqueline Markowitz

Jacqueline Markowitz

Jacqueline Markowitz is a writer and creative producer with a background in film, visual art and advertising. Conversations for Two (The Jam Press) is her first novel. Jacqui’s other writing can be found on her blog, recipeforlifeclub.com, which was borne out of the desire to share stories of home, culture and memory... Read More →
avatar for John Moscowitz

John Moscowitz

Rabbi John Moscowitz is Rabbi Emeritus of Holy Blossom Temple, where he served the congregation for twenty five years, including twelve as Senior Rabbi. He is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and is the author of Evolution of an Unorthodox Rabbi... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 11:50am EST

12:00pm EST

Chabad in Russia: Hasidic Power in the Post-Soviet Space
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Chabad-Lubavitch has established itself as the dominant force in Russian Jewish life. Its reach extends to some 140 cities across Russia and the country’s chief rabbi, a Lubavitcher named Berel Lazar, maintains close ties with President Vladimir Putin. Through its wealth and enthusiastic activism, the ultra-Orthodox movement has profoundly shaped the religious, cultural and political agendas inside a Jewish community that has an extremely complicated relationship with its ex-Soviet identity and past. This session will begin with an overview of post-Soviet Russian Jewish history--a fascinating story of renewal and growth. Then through lecture and discussion we will examine not only the controversial politics of Chabad’s rise to power, but how the movement speaks so effectively to the peculiar sensibilities of post-Soviet Russian Jewry as well. Tapper will share findings from his own ethnographic fieldwork inside Moscow’s Chabad synagogues.

avatar for Joshua Tapper

Joshua Tapper

Joshua Tapper is journalist who has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Globe and Mail, the Jewish Daily Forward, and Tablet magazine, among other publications. Currently a correspondent for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Tapper has been on staff at the Toronto... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm EST

1:00pm EST

The Relevance and Enjoyment of Postal History and Philately (the Hobby of Stamp Collecting) For Jews in the 21st Century
Philately and postal history have great relevance for Jews for many reasons. They allow Jews to connect to their Jewish roots. Postal history provides opportunities to collect material about people, themes and topics which publicize Jewish achievement, the Jewish religion and the roles of Jews in history and society. People therefore assemble items which tie to specific areas of Judaism or Zionism. They also collect material relating to Holocaust themes. People also collect just stamps of Palestine and Israel. These stamps commemorate many Jewish people and events. Ed Kroft , our presenter, is a postal historian who serves as the international president of the Society of Israel Philatelists, an international non-profit organization, with members in 24 countries.

avatar for ed kroft

ed kroft

Ed Kroft of Vancouver now serves as the international president of the Society of israel Philatelists. Members of the Society are located in 24 different countries. Ed is a renowned writer and speaker on postal history and is a national judge of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm EST

2:00pm EST

Playing Hitler's Games: The 1936 Nazi Olympics and the Canadian Jewish Community
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the infamous 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany, an priority event not only for Hitler and Germany but also for the Canadian Olympic Committee and the organized Canadian Jewish community which, in the wake of the Nuremberg Laws, campaigned against Canadian participation in the Games. The campaign failed. Canada participated in what turned out to be a propaganda bonanza for Nazi Germany. Troper will discuss the legacy of the Nazi Olympic Games and the part played by Canada and Canadian Jewish community in the Nazi Olympic saga.

avatar for Hesh Troper

Hesh Troper

Hesh Troper is a professor at the University of Toronto. He is perhaps best known as co-author of None Is Too Many. His most recent book is More than Just Games: Canada and the Nazi Olympics, written in partnership with Richard Menkis of the University of British Columbia. Hesh’s... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm EST

2:00pm EST

Jewish National Consciousness in The Soviet Union (1960s-1970s)
This presentation will profile underground Zionist groups, underground educational groups, the Soviet trials of the Jews of the period, the Dolnik case, the legal struggle for aliyah, and the reaction of the Soviet regime from the eyes of someone who lived through the Soviet-Jewish experience.

avatar for Vladimir Machlis

Vladimir Machlis

1944 - born in Moscow to Jewish parents.1951 - 1961 - elementary/high school.1962 - 1965 - Flight Academy (graduated as a helicopter pilot).1965 - expelled from the Youth League for expressing discontent with Soviet treatment of the Jews.1965 - 1971 - a pilot with Aeroflot Soviet... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm EST

3:00pm EST

Haggadah Messages - Jews and Culture Through the Hagaddah
We use a haggadah every Pesach. The first haggadda was written about 1100 years ago. Since then, thousands of haggadot have been written and published. They were written and illustrated in medieval Europe and Spain; in Renaissance Italy; through the Industrial Revolution, Communist Russia, and the Holocaust. This presentation will trace the political and realities of the lives of Jews from throughout history, illustrated with pictures and illustrations from ancient and modern haggadot.

avatar for Laya Crust

Laya Crust

Renowned artist, scribe, and speaker, Laya Crust fascinates audiences with her deep knowledge of manuscript art, Jewish liturgy, and Jewish art illumination. Her distinct way of weaving together biblical text, history, and ancient art offers awareness of the past while relating it... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:45pm EST

3:00pm EST

Hidden Gold - A True Story of the Holocaust
Profiling the following from Ella Burakowski's Holocaust novel Hidden Gold: Why I wrote; how I wrote; the importance of recording all testimony; how to cloak true events in a dialogue of emotion to engage a young reader.

avatar for Ella Burakowski

Ella Burakowski

Most people know me as Ask Ella, the advice columnist in The Canadian JewishNews, however this year I am gaining notoriety for my book that was published by Second Story Press – HIDDEN GOLD – A True Story of the Holocaust.I am the daughter of Holocaust survivors Shoshana Gold... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:50pm EST

4:00pm EST

The Hilsner Blood Libel of 1899 - Still Not Resolved

The murder of Anezka Hruzova in Bohemia in 1899 is the only case in history in which a Jew (Leopold Hilsner) was found guilty of “Jewish ritual murder”. This Kafkaesque trial is the reason why “Jewish ritual murder” is accepted as a fact in the antisemitic and Arab press. How did this bizarre case unravel? Why did prominent Jews support Dreyfus but not Hilsner? Why is the verdict not yet overturned?

Charles Heller is the grandson of Siegfried Heller, who was Hilsner’s guardian. He has visited Czech Republic many times and is familiar with modern research in this case, most of which is not available in English.

avatar for Charles Heller

Charles Heller

Graduate of Cambridge University, and B.Ed U of T.Recently retired music teacher, Peel Board of Education. Retired Choir Director , Beth Emeth Synagogue.Member of editorial board, Journal of Synagogue Music (Cantors Assembly, NY). Author of award-winning book “What To Listen For... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm EST