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Past Program Archives and Podcasts

DOCtober: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg                                                                                                  
Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Join us as we close out our cinema series with two documentaries that examine, commemorate, and celebrate America’s love of the game.

About The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (USA, 1999, 95 minutes)
This critically-acclaimed documentary explores the story of the Detroit Tigers slugger who fought antisemitism and came close to breaking Babe Ruth’s homerun record. He was baseball’s first Jewish star. Tall, handsome, and uncommonly good-natured, Greenberg was a secular Jew from the Bronx who became “the baseball Moses,” an icon for everyone from Walter Matthau to Alan Dershowitz.

Featuring Director Aviva Kempner in conversation with Professor of Religion and advisor to Chasing Dreams, Rabbi Rebecca T. Alpert, Temple University (Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball).                                                            

Writing Baseball
Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm

What happens when baseball leaves the field and swirls around in the imaginations of great writers? This conversation seeks to understand the journey of baseball from the field to the page, where deeply personal connections are translated into text, resonating with readers across generations.

Participants include: Morris Dickstein, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he is also the founder and Senior Fellow of the Center for the Humanities; author Eric Rolfe Greenberg who wrote The Celebrant, one of Sports Illustrated's Top 100 Sports Books of All Time; and journalist and bestselling author Jane Leavy (Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy and The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood).

In conjunction with Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American


The Search for the Rosenberg Diary: Inside the Mind of a Nazi Perpetrator
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Presented by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

After a relentless 17-year search for Alfred Rosenberg’s diary, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum  reveals the significance of this latest acquisition to its permanent collection by taking you into the mind of a major Nazi ideologue, who was a close confidant of Adolf Hitler and instrumental in the “Final Solution.” The program features rarely seen video clips and archival images.

Speakers include:
Steven Luckert, Curator, Permanent Exhibition
Henry Mayer, Senior Advisor on Archives
Suzy Snyder, Curator, Art and Artifacts


Café Conversation: Neil Lanctot
Wednesday, August  13, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Sit down for a chat with Neil Lanctot, Ph.D., baseball historian and author of Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella, hailed “a rich and thoroughly enjoyable book” by the Los Angeles Times. Books will be available for sale and signing. For more information on Campy, visit the author's website.

In conjunction with Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American  

Café Conversation: Laura SilverKnish
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Meet award-winning journalist, Laura Silver, author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food, which Joan Nathan has called “truly riveting”. Books will be available for sale and signing. To learn more about Knish, you can read the press release here.

About the Author:
Laura Silver, the world’s leading knish expert, is an award-winning journalist whose writing on food and culture has appeared in The New York Times and the Forward and on NPR. Laura has been a writer in residence at the Millay Colony, the Banff Centre, and the New York Public Library.

Presented with Temple University’s Feinstein Center for American Jewish History

Photo Credit: Joan Roth

Classics and Crackerjacks: Summer CinemaSummer Cinema
Wednesdays in July, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Join us throughout baseball season for a cinema series filled with baseball classics, documentaries, and family films that examine, commemorate, and celebrate America’s love of the game.

July 9: The Natural
July 16: Bull Durham
July 23: A League of Their Own
July 30: Field of Dreams

With remarks from longtime film critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Carrie Rickey, fun baseball-themed giveaways, and more!

In conjunction with Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American 

The Natural  (USA, 1984, 134 minutes)
Roy Hobbs has always known what he wants to be: a baseball star. With his homemade bat Wonderboy at his side, he longs to escape the humdrum farm life he’s always known. Then a tragic night crushes his dream in one fell swoop. Years later, the now-old rookie emerges in the shadow of doubt. Will Roy finally be able to achieve his destiny? Based on the classic novel by Bernard Malamud, Robert Redford shines alongside Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, and Barbara Hershey. Rated: PG

Bull Durham  (USA, 1988, 108 minutes)
What happens when an unschooled pitching phenom, his reluctant mentor, and a sultry and sage baseball groupie cross paths over the course of a minor league season? A movie classic that, one film critic said, “works equally as a love story, a baseball fable, and a comedy, while ignoring the clichés of each genre.” By turns funny and serious, philosophical and down-to-earth, Bull Durham proves that loving baseball is a metaphor for loving life. Sports Illustrated ranked it the #1 Greatest Sports Movie of All Time. Starring Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon. Rated: R

A League of Their Own  (USA, 1992, 128 minutes)
It’s the 1940s and America’s young men are fighting in World War II. Baseball, our favorite pastime, is in trouble. Enter this beloved film based on the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Watch sparks fly as Coach Jimmy Dugan, a faded champ, tries to reign in his sassy players while battling his own shortcomings. Starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell. Rated: PG

Field of Dreams  (USA, 1989, 107 minutes)
When hardworking Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella starts hearing voices, he takes a life-altering leap of faith and transforms his cornfield into a baseball diamond. His journey gives him a second look at what it means to dream, reminding him that not everything is as it seems. “If you build it, he will come.” This enchanting, heart-warming film features Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster, and Amy Madigan. Rated: PG

Photo credit: © Columbia Pictures Corporation

Chasing Dreams Mall ExtravaganzaMall Extravaganza
Sunday, June 15, 2014

10:00 am  The Museum opens — FREE all day and open until 8:30 pm
2:00 pm    The outdoor festivities begin
9:00 pm    Field of Dreams outdoor screening

We’re taking it outside for this fun family day on Independence Mall featuring games, arts and crafts, meet-and-greets with MLB personalities, music, and more!

At the Museum – come on in!
The Museum and Chasing Dreams will be FREE and open late — explore our groundbreaking special exhibition through a self-guided family tour, share your favorite baseball memories in the Museum’s It’s Your Story recording booths, interact with Koufax on the Koncourse, and more!

Outdoor Festivities
Specific times and additional details will be posted here as they become available.

  •     Meet former MLB players, including former Philadelphia Phillie Thomas Greene, who was part of the 1993 National League      Championship and World Series team
  •     Get the whole family up and dancing with live music from Philadelphia Funk Authority, Alex & the Kaleidoscope Band, and     the DJ-led dance party sensation, Baby Loves Disco
  •     Test your arm with the speed pitch challenge, practice your swing with the t-ball challenge, play virtual baseball and other     baseball-themed carnival games, create arts and crafts, stop by the photo booth, get your face painted, and sample some of     Philly’s favorite food trucks
  •     Bring a donation for Pitch In for Baseball – this non-profit organization will be on-site to collect new or gently-used baseball     equipment that will be donated to baseball-loving kids in need around the world (a list of requested items will be posted shortly)
  •     The first 200 fans that come to our outdoor information booth can pick up their FREEChasing Dreams mini-beach balls…just in     time for summer
  •     Kids can take a shot at broadcasting the events of the day at KYW’s Kidcast booth
  •     Grab your blanket and stick around for an outdoor screening Field of Dreams celebrating the film’s 25th anniversary (Blankets     and towels welcome, but please no chairs, glass, or alcohol! A limited number of chairs will be available)

Sponsors and Partners – thank you!
Program sponsorship provided by Keystone Property Group and Parkway Corporation.
Media sponsorship provided by KYW Newsradio 1060
Community partner: Pitch in for Baseball

In conjunction with Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American 

Photo credit: Donated by Corbis

Dreamers and Doers: Kim Ng
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Meet the Senior Vice President for Baseball Operations at Major League Baseball, Kim Ng, a Chinese American woman breaking barriers in a traditionally male-dominated field who continually demonstrates passion, vision, and a quintessential American spirit. Her focus on aspiration and hard work— dreaming and doing—reminds us that anything is possible.

Moderated by WHYY Senior Reporter and guest host of Fresh Air, Dave Davies.

In conjunction with Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American 

Baseball in America Today
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Explore the role of baseball in American life and culture today with the President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Jeff Idelson, New York Times bestselling author, Kostya Kennedy, and ESPN Senior Writer, Steve Wulf.

In conjunction with Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American 


Jackie Robinson: Outsider Hero
Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Inspired by the legacy of the legendary, barrier-breaking #42, the Official Historian of Major League Baseball, John Thorn, will lead a conversation on the contemporary relevance of Robinson’s legacy for outsiders of every kind. Also featuring:
Lisa Doris Alexander, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Africana Studies, Wayne State University; author of When Baseball Isn’t White, Straight and Male
Della Britton Baeza, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Jackie Robinson Foundation
Adrian Burgos, Jr., Ph.D., Professor of History, University of Illinois; author of Cuban Star and Playing America’s Game
Neil Lanctot, Ph.D., writer and historian; author of Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella

In conjunction withChasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American 


Remembering Tragedy: Commemoration and Memorialization in America
Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm

On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day - Yom HaShoah - and on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Nathan Rapoport’s Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs located on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway, join us for this discussion about tragedy and memory in America.

The Museum's Chief Executive Officer and Gwen Goodman Director, Ivy L. Barsky, will lead a conversation between Executive Vice President for Programs and Memorial Museum Director for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Alice M. Greenwald, and the Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dr. James E. Young.


Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust (USA, 2013, 56 min.)
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm 
 Rescue in the Philippines
Join us for this documentary, narrated by Liev Schreiber, which chronicles the incredible, little-known story of a group of courageous friends who helped 1,300 Jews escape the Nazis and immigrate to the Philippines. The unlikely secret team included the five Frieder brothers, Cincinnati businessmen making two-for-a-nickel cigars in pre-WWII Manila; Manuel L. Quezón, the first President of the Philippines Commonwealth; Paul V. McNutt, the United States High Commissioner to the Philippines, and then-Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower.

A talk-back follows with Rescue producer and granddaughter of Morris Frieder, Peggy J. Ellis, and Herbert Frieder’s Philadelphia-based sons, Dick and Sam Frieder, in conversation with Dr. Dean J. Kotlowski, professor of history at Salisbury University and McNutt biographer, and Dr. Jacques Lipetz, a refugee featured in the film.

2nd Annual Freedom Seder Revisited
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 6:30 pm

What does freedom mean to you? 
Inspired by the original 1969 Freedom Seder, where hundreds of people of all backgrounds gathered to explore and celebrate freedom in the context of the Civil Rights Movement, this communal event invites you to the Passover table for an evening of commemoration, stories, and a community exploration of freedom in America today.

Featuring stories and performances by:
Jay Ansill, Fiddle
Nero Catalano, Mandolin
Alice Gatling, Performer (Gidion's Knot, Interact Theatre)
Kitty Hailey, Private Investigator and Storyteller
Eliza Hardy Jones, Vocals
Justin Jain, Performer (The Berserker Residents)
Khalil Munir, Tap Dancer and Storyteller
Andrew Nelson, Music Director, Bass
Romona Riscoe Benson, Manager, Corporate Relations, PECO
Leah Walton, Performer (Gilda Radner in Bunny Bunny, 1812 Productions)

With on-screen participation from:
Cabaret Performer Dito van Reigersberg/Martha Graham Cracker
Rabbi Arthur Waskow*, founder and leader of the original 1969 Freedom Seder
Our Museum visitors

Emcee: R.H. Levin, NMAJH Community Relations Liaison

*Rabbi Waskow served on the advisory committee for the Museum’s first 2013 Freedom Seder Revisited, and is expected to attend.

Sponsored by PECO, the Louis N. Cassett Foundation, the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, and the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation

In partnership with First Person Arts and Operation Understanding

Community Partners: Art Sanctuary, Hillel of the University of Pennsylvania, Historic St. George's United Methodist Church, Jews in ALL Hues, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas, Inc., Repair the World: Philadelphia, Taller Puertorriqueño, and The Shalom Center

About the 1969 Freedom Seder
On the first anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the third night of Passover, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, this ancient Jewish story of liberation was intertwined with a current struggle for liberation for the first time: Black America’s fight for equal rights, at what is now known as the original Freedom Seder. This tradition has continued. Experience a piece of history and help to create the next chapter.

Old Jews Talking Baseball ThornOkrent
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Longtime friends, baseball experts, and fans Dan Okrent and John Thorn sat down for a chat about life and baseball. They pondered why Fantasy Baseball is a metaphor for what Jews and other minorities have always longed for in baseball and in American life. They even told a joke. Or two.

Bestselling writer Daniel Okrent was the first public editor of The New York Times, and is perhaps best known for inventing Rotisserie (aka "Fantasy") Baseball and for bringing Old Jews Telling Jokes to the stage. John Thorn is the Official Historian for Major League Baseball and served as the chief consultant to Chasing Dreams. Both were significant contributors to Ken Burns’ Baseball, among countless other accomplishments.

Listen to a recording of the program here.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American

Left to right: Dan Okrent (by Ray Elman), John Thorn (by Dion Auguist)


In My Grandmother's Kitchen
Thursday, December 12 at 7:00 pm

We cooked up a night of storytelling about kitchens and the food, family, love, and life that fill them, featuring a delicious lineup of personal stories from Author and Illustrator Bryan Collier, Poet and 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion Denice Frohman, Celebrity Chef & Entrepreneur Delilah Winder, Storytelling Artist and First Person Arts Best Storyteller in Philadelphia 2012, Marjorie Winther, and you.

Emcee: Jason Sheehan, Philadelphia Magazine Food Editor, and Author of the memoir, Cooking Dirty.

Guest brought a recipe or a small item* that helped them to tell a brief anecdote about the role of food in their life, and became a part of the program. The story-sharing continued at the Jewish deli-style reception that followed. 


Who Should be an American? The Past and Future of Immigration Policy
Thursday, October 3 at 7:00 pm

Longtime metropolitan reporter for The New York Times and author of two books that address the subject of immigration, Joseph Berger, moderated this timely conversation featuring:

Tamar Jacoby, President and CEO, ImmigrationWorks USA
Mae Ngai, Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History, Columbia University
Jennifer I. Rodríguez, Executive Director, Mayor's Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs, City of Philadelphia.


In partnership with University of Pennsylvania’s Jewish Studies Program and Social Science Policy Forum, co-sponsored by the National Constitution Center, and supported by the Arlene and Stanley Ginsburg Family Foundation.

Media sponsorship provided by AL DÍA NewsMedia.



An Evening with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
September 6, 2013
at the National Constitution Center

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court—conducted a wide-ranging conversation with the National Constitution Center’s new President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen.

Presented by the National Constitution Center and NMAJH

Hemmed Up: Meet the Artists
August 7, 2013

Acclaimed Philadelphia-based artists Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez of Amber Art Collective have been hard at work over the past month developing Hemmed Up for the inaugural year of the Museum’s OPEN for Interpretation artist-in-residence program. Inspired by the American Jewish relationship to the textile industry and the broader themes of immigration, labor, and struggle that it represents, the artists applied a unique color-coding system to texts from the exhibition where each letter of the alphabet corresponds to a fabric color. The result? Come see for yourself!

Filmmaker Kevin Shields came along for the ride and has created a short film of their experiences.



Dreamers and Doers: Stuart Weitzman sw small
June 12, 2013

Entrepreneur and shoe designer, Stuart Weitzman kicked off NMAJH’s Dreamers and Doers speaker series on entrepreneurship. Weitzman told the story of the Stuart Weitzman company – a story of passion, vision, aspiration, and hard work to an audience of 250 people.

Highlights From Stuart Weitzman's Talk 

















The Yellow Ticket - Philadelphia Premiere  
May 9, 2013
At The Gershman Y

Presented in collaboration with the Gershman Y's Philadelphia Jewish Music Festival

NMAJH is proud to be a part of an exclusive five city North American tour of The Yellow Ticket - a live, multimedia concert event featuring the eponymous 1918 Pola Negri silent film with an original score by Alicia Svigals, one of the world's foremost klezmer fiddlers.

The score is the newest commission from the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s New Jewish Culture Network, and marks the first feature-length film composition by Svigals, who will perform the score live with virtuoso pianist Marilyn Lerner at each of the screenings of this cinema classic.

A talk-back with Svigals and Lerner immediately follows the screening. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Deutsches Film Institute

Acoustic Conversations: Women in Music aliciasvigals
May 5, 2013
At the Museum

Presented with The Gershman Y's Philadelphia Jewish Music Festival

Just days before the Philadelphia premiere of The Yellow Ticket, featuring a live score from composer and renowned klezmer fiddler Alicia Svigals, join Alicia and other special guests as we celebrate and explore women in music through an afternoon of live performance and intimate conversation.

Also featuring Jeri Lynne Johnson, Founding Music Director of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, and Magdaliz Roura, Puerto Rican singer of folk and traditional music from all over Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the founder, manager, lead singer, and guitarist of the Latin Ensemble, Trio Crisol.

Moderated by Andrea Clearfield, award-winning composer and founder and host of the Philadelphia performance series, The Salon.

This program is presented in collaboration with the Gershman Y's Philadelphia Jewish Music Festival and in conjunction with The Yellow Ticket screening event on May 9, 2013.

The Yellow Ticket production was commissioned by the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s New Jewish Culture Network, a league of North American performing arts presenters committed to the creation and touring of innovative projects.

Photo by Tina Chaden

Words Off the Page: An Evening with Distinguished Women Poets wilner
April 17, 2013

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Museum presents Kathryn Hellerstein, Lynn Levin, Taije Silverman, Elaine Terranova, and Eleanor Wilner, five contemporary women whose award-winning work has enriched American poetry and the Jewish literary tradition.

Each will read selected poems followed by a discussion and talk-back, moderated by Ellen Frankel, Opera Librettist; Former CEO and Editor-in-Chief, The Jewish Publication Society.

Light reception and book signing to follow.

Photo Credit: Bob Weinberg
Eleanor Wilner

The Clay Studio @ NMAJH clay bloom photography
Sunday, April 14

In observance of Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for victims of war and in celebration of Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, we invite families to join The Clay Studio for a special "hands"-on project at the Museum. Create your own hamsa - a palm-shaped symbol embraced by many cultures, particularly throughout the Middle East and Africa, as a talisman against the evil eye.

The word hamsa comes from the word for “five” (as in, five fingers) in both Hebrew and Arabic. You often see this shape in jewelry and wall-hangings. It is believed to provide defense against evil by many religions, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. 

Photo Credit: Photography Bloom
The Clay Studio at NMAJH on December 25, 2012

Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom: Ladino Songs Renewed guymedilowensemble
April 11, 2013

Presented with the Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region and Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas

Step into a new world of Ladino music, re-imagined by the award-winning Guy Mendilow Ensemble, internationally recognized musicians who take the music out of the realm of art songs and back to its roots as songs of the streets and of fiestas: a music alive with passion and humor and grit.

Epic tales of sailors and love lost to the seas, fantastic dreams, and the intrigue of kings abound in arrangements that crackle with rich musical storytelling, seamlessly interwoven with poetic narration and historical vignettes. Starting in ancient Spain and winding through Sarajevo, Salonica and Jerusalem, this concert brings to life the adventures and legends of traditional Sephardi songs, sung in the centuries-old Judeo-Spanish language, Ladino.

Light reception to follow.

The Guy Mendilow Ensemble is an award-winning group of world-class musicians from across the globe. Formed in 2004, the Ensemble has been enthusiastically received in venues ranging from world and traditional music festivals to performing arts centers, progressive Jewish organizations, and universities.

Check out their music here! Visit for more information and clips.

Photo by Gretjen Helene

Freedom Seder Revisited - SOLD OUT!FreedomSeder
March 28, 2013

Dinner (kosher for Passover) and special exhibition* access to follow. Advanced registration strongly encouraged!

Presented with Operation Understanding

What does freedom mean to YOU? Join us for an evening of commemoration, stories, and a community celebration of freedom, inspired by the original 1969 Freedom Seder.

Hear stories from community leaders and share your own. Featured speakers include:
David Acosta, Writer, Poet, Activist, and Cultural Worker
Deborah Block, Co-Artistic Director, Theatre Exile
Rev. Alfred T. Day, III, Pastor, Historic St. Georges United Methodist Church
Hon. David Oh, Councilman At-Large, Minority Whip, City Council of Philadelphia
Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler, Ph.D., 52nd Pastor, Mother Bethel AME Church
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Founder and Director, The Shalom Center; Leader and Author of the original 1969 Freedom Seder

Highlights From Freedom Seder Revisited 




About the Freedom Seder:
April 4, 1969 was the first anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr It was also the third night of Passover, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the story of the Exodus in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. At the intersection of these two events in 1969, hundreds of people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds gathered in a church in the heart of Washington, D.C. to celebrate freedom.

For the first time, the ancient Jewish story of liberation was intertwined with a current struggle for liberation: Black America’s fight for equal rights. This monumental event is now known as the original Freedom Seder. Jews around the world are told they must teach the Passover story to their children, to the next generation. In 1969, leaders interpreted that message in the context of the Civil Rights Movement. They brought together a group of people from all backgrounds to celebrate a common desire and right: freedom.

....And the tradition continues. Experience a piece of history and help to create the next chapter.

Community Partners:
Art Sanctuary
Greenfield Intercultural Center
Hillel of the University of Pennsylvania
Jews in All Hues
Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania
POWER Philadelphia
The Shalom Center

This program has been supported in part by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Federal-State Partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In partnership with the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts and in conjunction with the *special exhibition Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges.

Rev. Channing Phillips, Arthur Waskow, Topper Carew - April 4, 1969, original Freedom Seder; photo courtesy of Arthur Waskow.

Rage is Back (Event with Author Adam Mansbach) Rageisback
February 20, 2013

Presented by Young Friends of NMAJH and The Raven Society of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation

Acclaimed novelist and bestselling author of Go the F--- to Sleep, Adam Mansbach, returns to the Museum to discuss his new novel. Rage is Back is a love letter to the heart of New York, and the graffiti artists, small-time gangsters, and neighborhoods unknown to those outside the five boroughs of the city. The New York Times Book Review calls it, simply, "Exquisite."

Blake "KEO" Lethem, graffiti artist and Rage is Back cover art designer, joins Adam in conversation.

Moderator: James Braxton Peterson, Director of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University.

Light reception and book signing to follow!

Dialogues & Divergences: The Ongoing Evolution of Black-Jewish Relations in America 
February 20, 2013

Presented with the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania

Sara Lomax-Reese, President and General Manager of WURD Radio in Philadelphia, moderates a conversation between Cheryl Lynn Greenberg and John L. Jackson, Jr. as they navigate the complexities of historic and contemporary Black-Jewish relations in America.

Dr. Greenberg is the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of History at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and the award-winning author of numerous articles and books, including “Or Does it Explode?" Black Harlem in the Great Depression, Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century, and the editor of A Circle of Trust: Remembering SNCC.

Dr. Jackson is the Richard Perry University Professor of Communication, Anthropology & Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, with appointments in the Annenberg School for Communication and the Departments of Anthropology and Africana Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of numerous articles and four books, the most recent of which, Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, will be published by Harvard University Press in October.

Light reception immediately to follow, including access to the special exhibition Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges.
This discussion represents the third installment of a biannual public forum sponsored jointly by Penn and NMAJH, with generous support from the Arlene and Stanley Ginsburg Family Foundation, which aims to connect the Jewish experience narrated in the Museum’s core exhibition with larger themes in American history and culture.

In conjunction with the special exhibition Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges.

The Hampton Years - A Play Reading with Theatre Ariel JacquelineLawton
February 17, 2013

Sponsored By:
Presented with Theatre Ariel

This powerful new work set in the segregated South explores the development of prominent African American artists John Biggers and Samella Lewis under the tutelage of Austrian Jewish refugee painter and professor, Viktor Lowenfeld, at the Hampton Institute.

Lowenfeld joined the Hampton Institute in Virginia in 1939 as assistant professor of Industrial Arts and studio art teacher. He was later appointed as Chairman of the Art Department and in 1945, he was named curator of the distinguished collection of Black African Art at the Hampton Institute. Burgeoning artist John Biggers, who went on to become an internationally acclaimed painter, sculptor, teacher and philosopher, was his student. As was Samella Lewis, artist, printmaker and educator, with whom Lowenfeld had a contentious, but respectful relationship.

Discussion with playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton to follow. Lawton received her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. She participated in the Kennedy Center’s Playwrights’ Intensive (2002) and World Interplay (2003). She is the author of Anna K; Blood-bound and Tongue-tied; Deep Belly Beautiful;The Devil’s Sweet Water; Ira Aldridge: the African Roscius; Lions of Industry, Mothers of Invention; Love Brothers Serenade, Mad Breed, and Our Man Beverly Snow.

The performance is 2 hours long with a 10 minute intermission.
The Hampton Years was originally commissioned and developed by Theater J in Washington D.C.

In conjunction with the special exhibition Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges.

Photo Credit: Jason Hornick Jacqueline E. Lawton

The Films of Joel Katz joelkatz
February 6 and 13, 2013

Sponsored By:
Co-Sponsored by the Gershman Y’s Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival
Beyond Color: The Films of Joel Katz -- Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit (USA, 2002, 57 minutes) examines the alliance between American Jews and African Americans in the struggle for civil rights through the history of the famous anti-lynching song of the same name made famous by Billie Holiday.

Special guest speaker: Ruth Perlmutter, PJFF Artistic Director Emeritus.

Independent filmmaker Joel Katz makes films that expand upon micro-histories to examine broader themes of social history and race in America. His work has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous other agencies.

White: A Memoir in Color (USA, 2012, 59 minutes) is a personal exploration of identity and how the filmmaker's upbringing and relationship with his father came to bear on his own decisions about race and adoption.

Discussion with Joel Katz to follow, moderated by Louis Massiah, Executive Director, Scribe Video Center.

In conjunction with the special exhibition Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges. This program has been supported by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Federal-State Partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation.

MLK Family Day
January 15, 2013
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Museum will be open on and free* on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
As we observe Dr. King's birthday, commemorate the legacy of this American icon by exploring the challenges and blessings of freedom.
10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Your Words in Color
Work alongside Philadelphia muralists Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez as they help you to turn your words into colorful art at this drop-in workshop created by Fleisher Art Memorial and Amber Art Collective.
11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. From Swastika to Jim Crow
The documentary that inspired the current special exhibition. A talkback with filmmaker Steve Fischler follows the 2:00 p.m. screening.
Film courtesy of the Helen Bader Foundation, The Alpern Foundation, and the filmmakers Steve Fischler and Joel Sucher of Pacific Street Films.
Amber Art is a collaboration among five international public artists based in Philadelphia committed to creating meaningful pubic art that is transcendent. The MLK Family Day workshop is part of a larger body of work built off of the recent success of the artists’ participation in the Porch-light Initiative; a psychological study and collaboration with the Philadelphia Dept. of Mental Health, Yale Dept. of Psychology, Academy Award winner Nigel Noble, Project Home and the Mural Arts Program to prove the beneficial influences that art creation has in the recuperating attempts in institutions of rehabilitation.

Click here to see a video of the day!

Tu B'Shevat: Celebrate the Jewish New Year of Trees 

Date: 01/20/2013
Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Celebrate the Jewish New Year of Trees at Morris Arboretum's Tu B'Shevat  Family Day!   Singer, guitarist, and Jewish music specialist, Andi Joseph, aka The Musical Mommy, will delight all ages with her high energy musical performance.  After the performance, kids maytransplant a tree seedling to take home and learn how to care for their new tree buddy.
NMAJH has partnered with Morris Arboretum to offer Members a reciprocal $3 discount off general admission during the month of January. 
 Photo Credit: Morris Arboretum

Sponsored By:

Presented by Morris Arboretum


Taste of Limmud: Jewish Geography - Exploring Jewish Communities Around the World  


Date: 01/19/2013
Time: 7:00 pm -
6:30 p.m.   Registration
7:00 p.m.   Program & Breakout Sessions
10:00 p.m. Dessert reception
Jews of Shanghai.  Current events in Israel.  Jewish communities in South Africa.  Israeli dancing.  Yoga.  And more!  Join us for late-night learning (and fun!) as you travel around the world at this month’s Taste of Limmud event. Dessert reception to follow.

Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor - If Jews in North America eat Chinese food on Sundays, what do Jews in China eat?
Bobbi Cohen - The Jews of Shanghai
Calie Lowe - South African Jewry
Ben Profeta - Israeli Dancing
Elad Strohmayer, Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of Israel in Philadelphia - Israel Today
Rabbi Lance Sussman - The Civil War and 18th Century Jews in Philadelphia
Ahava Zarembski - Om Shalom Yoga
Amy Zitelman - From Seed to Spread - Tehina and Ethiopian Jewry

During both learning sessions, please feel free to take yourself on a self-guided tour of the Museum, including the new special exhibition, Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges (5th floor).

2013 Penn Lectures in Judaic Studies: What Matters About the Jewish Middle Ages?  

Date: 01/09/2013
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Hebrew Treasures in the Spanish Collections: The Lives and Afterlives of Books from Medieval Spain 
Join Esperanza Alfonso, Research Fellow at the Center for Social and Human Sciences, Spanish National Research Council, as she walks us through the rooms of a virtual exhibition of Hebrew medieval manuscripts from Spain.
This virtual exhibition—based on one held in 2012 at the Spanish National Library—includes luxurious biblical codices beautifully produced and lavishly illuminated; books of grammar; liturgical texts used in both private and community services; commentaries on the Bible; and polemic works. Of all these manuscripts only a few remained in the Iberian Peninsula after the expulsion of 1492 and, in some cases, Hebrew manuscripts were torn apart and used as filling material in the carpet pages of other books.
The vast majority of the texts, however, left the Peninsula with their expelled owners sometime before 1498 only to return to Spain after years of “exile.” In walking these virtual rooms the audience will see that the fate of books was closely tied with the lives of those who produced, illuminated, and owned them. Esperanza Alfonso authored Islamic Culture through Jewish Eyes: Al-Andalus from the Tenth to the Twelfth Century (2007) and coedited Late Medieval Jewish Identities: Iberia and Beyond (2010).

Heschel-King Festival

Friday-Saturday, January 4-5, 2013
At Mishkan Shalom
4101 Freeland Avenue, Philadelphia

Celebrate the lives, visions & teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr & Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
Bring Their Prophetic Voices to Bear on the Challenges of the 21st Century.

Keynote Speakers: What Would King & Heschel Have Us Do Today?
Dorothy Cotton, Human Rights Activist; Former Education Director, Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Founder, Dorothy Cotton Institute
Dr. Vincent Harding, historian, writer, Close Colleague of Dr. King
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Chair, Network of Spiritual Progressives; Editor, Tikkun magazine;  Student of Rabbi Heschel.

Join us for learning, conversation, action & performances! Click here for more information.

Being ______ at Christmas

Tuesday, December 25, 2012
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Snowy. Jewish. Happy. Caring. Buddhist. Generous. Family. Creative. Friendly. Sparkly. Fill in your own blank and join us for our annual day of family fun!

This signature event is back and better than ever with exciting new entertainment for 2012, including dance party sensation Baby Loves Disco, The Clay Studio, stand-up comedy, and more!

Click HERE for a full schedule of activities and important reminders.

Sponsored by the Robert Saligman Jewish Heritage Fund.

The Soviet Jewry Movement and American Jewish Advocacy
25 Years Later

Sunday, December 16, 2012

10:00 am Murray Friedman Memorial Symposium
12:30 pm Reflections, Responses & Musical Tribute

Sohrab Ahmari, The Wall Street Journal
Dr. Steven Bayme, Director of Contemporary Jewish Life, AJC
Gal Beckerman, author of When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone
Lisa Hostein, Jewish Exponent
Movement leaders and refuseniks

Musical tribute by Natasha Hirschhorn.

Presented by AJC Philadelphia and hosted by NMAJH in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Freedom Sunday, when an estimated 250,000 people marched on Washington in support of Soviet Jews.

The Smitten Kitchen

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm

At the Free Library of Philadelphia
Central Library, 1901 Vine Street

It’s hard to find a food blog with more accolades than Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen blog, which counts The New York Times, Martha Stewart, NPR, and Rachael Ray among its many admirers. Perelman’s philosophy is that there are no bad cooks, just bad recipes. In her new cookbook, shecollects quality recipes that any cook can create at home without using complicated methods or expensive, difficult-to-find ingredients. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is packed with more than 100 new recipes, accompanied by the detailed instructions, engaging writing, and high-quality photography that have earned her blog so many avid followers.

Join Deb in a delicious conversation with Maureen Fitzgerald, food editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Followed by book sales and signing. Click here to purchase Deb's cookbook in the Museum store.

Presented in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia.

The Soviet Jewry Movement 25 Years Later

(USA, 2008, 117 minutes)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:30 pm

Refusenik chronicles the epic saga of one of the most successful international human rights and solidarity campaigns in history, known as the Soviet Jewry Movement. See how a group of dedicated activists took on a powerful dictatorship and liberated 1.5 million people from tyranny, forever changing international relations in the process.

Presented by AJC-ACCESS Philadelphia and NMAJH in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Freedom Sunday, when an estimated 250,000 people marched on Washington in support of Soviet Jews.

Just a Pinch: A Brief and Unofficial History of Jewish Cooking in America

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm

"Don’t be chicken about chicken …. With fantasy and spicing you can make this familiar dish exotic and enticing…"
Excerpt from Manna About Town, published by Planter’s Peanut Oil, ca. 1965

Joy of Cooking may be a staple on your kitchen shelf, but what about the esteemed cookbooks from Crisco, Hebrew National Hot Dogs, and Molly Goldberg? Do these delicious tomes also occupy a coveted spot in the land of brisket-stained, flour-crusted, dog-eared recipes?

Get a special peek into cooking-related ephemera held in the Museum’s vast collection through images not regularly available to visitors, with readings by special guests, as you join us on this savory journey through Jewish cooking in America.

Guest readers include:
Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director, Free Library of Philadelphia
Audrey Claire Taichman of Audrey Claire, Twenty Manning Grill, and COOK
Lead actors from A Stoop on Orchard Street, Francine Berk ("Bubbie") and BD Boudreaux (Director, "Old Man")

Vintage recipes come to life at the light reception immediately to follow.

Religion & Politics: Faith, Democracy, and American Public Life

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Since the founding of the Republic, Americans have struggled with the relationship between religion and public life, a complex issue particularly apparent in this fraught presidential election year. A distinguished panel moderated by Jane Eisner, Editor-In-Chief of The Jewish Daily Forward, will tackle this timely subject, exploring the intersections between religion and politics in American life. Light reception to follow.

Panelists include:
--John J. DiIulio, Jr., Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society, Faculty Director & Co-Chair of the Director's Advisory Group, Robert A. Fox Leadership Program, University of Pennsylvania; Former Director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
--E.J. Dionne, Jr., Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution; Opinion Writer, The Washington Post; Professor, Georgetown University.
--Sarah Barringer Gordon, Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

This program is part of an ongoing program series presented by Penn’s Jewish Studies Program and the Museum that seeks to explore and draw between key themes of the American Jewish experience and broader dimensions of American history and culture.

Supported by the Arlene and Stanley Ginsburg Family Foundation.

Sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society.

Co-sponsored by The Forward, the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, and the National Constitution Center.

The Terezin Ensemble

Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm

At the Museum

The Terezin Ensemble, a young group of Israeli musicians, assembled this show to pay tribute to the great artists of Ghetto Terezin, and showcase these incredible men and women who struggled to create a vibrant cultural life in the face of Nazi dehumanization and extermination. This is the first time the Ensemble will perform the show outside the State of Israel. This special cabaret takes place in conjunction with The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation’s exhibition, Transcending their Boundaries, which is currently on display in the Children's wing of the Central Branch of the Free Library (1901 Vine Street) and features artwork created by children from Terezin. For more information please visit or

Presented by The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation.

Tobi Kahn: Conversation With the Artist & Curators

Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 6:00 pm

At the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art
Congregation Rodeph Shalom
615 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Join Wendi Furman, Director and Curator, PMJA; Mark D. Mitchell, Associate Curator of American Art and Manager of the Center for American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Josh Perelman, Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Collections, NMAJH, for a conversation with artist Tobi Kahn.

Reception follows discussion.

For more information on Tobi Kahn's RIFA: Sky and Water Paintings click here.

The Sway Machinery: Hidden Melodies Revealed
Philadelphia Premiere

Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Open bar (beer and wine) included

Celebrate the Jewish New Year with music from Hidden Melodies Revealed, a joyful, transformative concert that infuses the power of storytelling and the Cantorial music tradition into a unique experience, blurring the line between rock show and ritual.

Lead singer, Jeremiah Lockwood, believes that in the work of the master Cantors of the Golden Age of Cantorial music there is a model for contemporary creative work; one hears in the voice of the Cantor a deeply assured spokesperson for the community telling a story that is both of the moment and beyond the ability of history to contain. Lockwood continues his own family’s tradition and revisits the music of his grandfather, the legendary Cantor Jacob Konigsberg, in this project that seeks to reclaim the deep roots of Ashkenazic Jewish spiritual music.

The Sway Machinery is a Brooklyn-based collective that performs a cosmopolitan amalgam inspired by Ashkenazi Jewish spiritual music, blues, afro-beat, and rock. Its celebrated musicians have played in such acclaimed bands as Antibalas, Arcade Fire, and Balkan Beat Box. Hidden Melodies Revealed has been performed in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco for enthusiastic standing room only crowds. Visit for more information and clips.

Meet the First President

Sunday, August 19, 2012
1:00 pm Reading of letter in front of Museum on 5th Street

Program immediately to follow inside the Museum

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

In August of 1790, George Washington wrote the now famous and watershed letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport promising religious freedom.

222 years later you can join the nation’s foremost George Washington portrayer, Dean Malissa, as he reads the iconic letter, currently on display in the Museum’s special exhibition, To Bigotry No Sanction: George Washington and Religious Freedom. Families are invited to join us for a family-friendly conversation about religious freedom and to participate in an Ask-the-President session with "George Washington" following the reading.

The letter will be read in front of the Museum on 5th Street.

Steamy Summer Cinema Series

Join movie critic Carrie Rickey for a cinematic celebration that stirs up memories of summer camp, family holidays, bungalows, and, of course, a little summertime romance. Critically-acclaimed, award-winning, and incredibly popular, these films memorialize and explore a quintessential part of the American Jewish experience: summer.

Wednesdays in July
6:00 pm Light Reception
7:00 pm Film

Answer the daily Steamy Summer Cinema quiz on our Facebook page!

Preregister to be added to a drawing held at each screening for great door prizes. Prizes includememberships, program tickets, NMAJH gear, and more! Must be present to win. Two winners per screening.

Marjorie Morningstar
(USA, 1958, 128 minutes)
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Don’t miss Gene Kelly and Natalie Wood in this poignant and romantic melodrama. In one of the first instances of Jewishness so openly represented on film, she plays a camp counselor and he is a would-be dramatist working at a nearby theater. Even though they both come from upper-middle-class New York Jewish families, her parents do not approve of their relationship. Based on the 1955 Herman Wouk novel. Directed by Irving Rapper.

Dirty Dancing
(USA, 1987, 100 minutes)
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Happy 25th Anniversary, Dirty Dancing! Highly quotable with an addictive soundtrack, Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze ignite the screen in this timeless coming-of-age classic set in a 1960s Jewish Catskills resort. Don’t be afraid to sing along. You know you want to. Also stars Kelly Bishop and Jerry Orbach. Directed by Emile Ardolino.

A Walk on the Moon
(USA, 1999, 107 minutes)
Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Moon Landing. Woodstock. It is the summer of ’69 at a bungalow retreat in the Catskills where Jewish New Yorker Pearl Kantrowitz (Diane Lane) meets free-spirited, traveling salesman, Walker Jerome (Viggo Mortensen), while her husband (Liev Schreiber) is stuck working in the city. Pearl must ultimately decide between the love of her husband and children ... or the lure of her newfound desires. Also stars Tovah Feldshuh and Anna Paquin. Directed by Tony Goldwyn.  

This series was organized by writer and movie critic, Carrie Rickey, longtime film critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer where she reviewed everything from Room With a View to Shame, and interviewed celebrities from Lillian Gish to Will Smith.

Wrestling with Angels
(USA, 2006, 98 minutes)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm

In collaboration with The Wilma Theater’s production of Angels in America, the Museum presents Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner, a feature documentary film about Pulitzer and Tony® Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner. It tells the story about the evolution of an artist and of how Kushner, raised in the Deep South in Lake Charles, Louisiana, would become an outspoken activist, a compassionate spokesperson for outsiders, and one of today’s most entertaining and important playwrights. At its core, the film explores the mystery of creativity, and its source, and Kushner’s compelling plays that are set against the moral and political concerns of our times; directed by Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock.

Discussion to follow with Dr. Allen Kuharski, Stephen Lang Professor of the Performing Arts, Swarthmore College and Dr. Laura Levitt, Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies, and Gender Studies, Temple University. Moderated by Walter Bilderback, Dramaturg and Literary Manager, The Wilma Theater.

Presented with The Wilma Theater and held at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story
(USA, 2011, 84 min)

Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Sneak preview! See it before it opens at the Ritz on July 27.

This compelling documentary about Yonatan Netanyahu is an intimate journey into the mind of a young soldier; narration was drawn from his own letter and words, bringing a rare portrait of Israel’s elite soldiers and their greatest hero to the big screen.

The film consists of two story arcs that tragically and heroically connect. The first is the dramatic Entebbe hijack and rescue --8 days when a nation held its breath and executed a military miracle that redefined the Jewish Nations's call -"Never Again!" The second is the remarkable life story of Yonatan Netanyahu, a young soldier who struggled to find the balance between his family and the Nation he loved.

Please visit for more information.

Young Friends Camp Reunion

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Do you love camp? Do you dream about camp? Do you miss sitting around the campfire singing songs with the friends who know you best? Can you almost taste the s'mores? Fish your favorite camp shirt out of your bottom drawer, and join fellow camp alums and camp directors to celebrate all the things you loved about camp and contemplate how your camp experiences inform your lives today.

Following a welcome reception with light refreshments, campers will participate in breakout sessions that include:
Stories around the campfire
Arts and crafts
Camp Life to Real Life led by the Foundation for Jewish Camp
Improv games ... and more!

Everyone will come back together for a Remember the Time When ..., an improvisation performance inspired by your funniest camp memories.

Bring your camp photos and become a part of the museum's digital collection! Museum staff will be on hand to assist with scanning and uploading, you keep the originals.

Registered attendees will receive an email in advance linking them to a session sign-up form.

The mission of the Young Friends of the Museum is to inspire and involve the young professional community (ages 21-40) of Greater Philadelphia through social, educational, networking, and philanthropic programming celebrating American Jewish history and culture.

Leading the Way: America’s First Women Rabbis

Monday, June 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm

On the 40th anniversary of Rabbi Sally Priesand's ordination, join the first ordained North American Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative rabbis, and first open Orthodox rabba, as they share their unique experiences as “firsts” in their field. Rabbis Sally Priesand, Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Amy Eilberg, and Rabba Sara Hurwitz will discuss how and why they decided to become Jewish spiritual leaders, and explore challenges facing the Jewish community today. Moderated by Dr. Pamela S. Nadell, NMAJH historian; Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History; Chair of the Department of History; Director of the Jewish Studies Program, American University.

Light reception to follow.

Slaying the Dragon

Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Inspired by Center City Opera Theater’s world premiere of the new opera, Slaying the Dragon, based on the true story of the Grand Dragon of the Nebraska KKK who renounced violence and converted to Judaism, a panel of experts will explore the themes of atonement, forgiveness, tolerance, bigotry, and personal transformation. Featured speakers include Dr. Ellen Frankel, Slaying the Dragon librettist and Managing Director of the Center City Opera Theater; Kathryn Watterson, author of Not by the Sword: How a Cantor and His Family Transformed a Klansman, on which the opera is based; and Bob Wolfson, Associate National Director of the Anti-Defamation League. 

Presented with Center City Opera Theater.

Untold Stories: The Films of Aviva Kempner
The Rosenwald Schools (Work in Progress)
(Excerpt, Approx 20 minutes)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Aviva Kempner will share her work-in-progress documentary exploring the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, the son of German-Jewish immigrants who rose to become one of the wealthiest men in America as well as a beloved humanitarian.  He teamed with Richard Sears to build Sears, Roebuck & Co and became president of the company and its chairman. Rosenwald’s greatest accomplishment is the establishment of challenge grants, which seeded the creation of more than 5,500 schools for poor, rural African-American children in Southern states at a time when few received any public education. A talk-back with Ms. Kempner will follow.

Documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner investigates non-stereotypical images of Jews in history, focusing on and celebrating the lesser-known stories of Jewish heroes for which she has received numerous awards and critical acclaim. She founded the Washington Jewish Film Festival in 1989 and writes film criticism and feature articles for numerous publications, including The Boston Globe, The Forward, Washington Jewish Week, and The Washington Post.

Goldbergs Week at NMAJH

In conjunction with the May 16 screening of the documentary, Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, the Museum has declared the week of May 13 - 18, 2012 "Goldbergs Week"! To help celebrate the life of the visionary Gertrude Berg and the films of Aviva Kempner, Goldbergs Week includes: *FREE Museum admission for visitors with the last name of Goldberg during the week of May 13 - 18
*Screenings of episodes of The Goldbergs – FREE with Museum admission (which is free for visitors with the last name of Goldberg – see above)
Tuesday, May 15 - 11:30 am, noon, and 12:30 pm
Thursday, May 17 - 11:30 am, noon, and 12:30 pm
Friday, May 18 - 11:30 am, noon, and 12:30 pm
(a different episode will be screened in each timeslot; reservations not required)

Untold Stories: The Films of Aviva Kempner

Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg
(USA, 2009, 92 minutes)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Join movie critic Carrie Rickey for this humorous and eye-opening story of television pioneer Gertrude Berg. Berg was the, creator, principal writer, and star of The Goldbergs radio show, which became television’s first character-driven domestic sitcom in 1949. She received the first Best Actress Emmy in history, and paved the way for women in the entertainment industry, pioneering that genre by presenting America with an outwardly Jewish family that wore its immigrant heritage on its sleeve.

Documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner investigates non-stereotypical images of Jews in history, focusing on and celebrating the lesser-known stories of Jewish heroes for which she has received numerous awards and critical acclaim. She founded the Washington Jewish Film Festival in 1989 and writes film criticism and feature articles for numerous publications, including The Boston Globe, The Forward, Washington Jewish Week and The Washington Post.

I Never Saw Another Butterfly
From the book, …I Never Saw Another Butterfly… Edited by Hana Volavková

Thurday, May 10, 2012 at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm

A total of 15,000 children under the age of 15 passed through Terezin Concentration Camp; less than 100 survived. Wolf Performing Arts Center’s The Butterfly Project will honor the memory of these 15,000 children.

The Butterfly Project will take flight on the evening of the premiere performance in April at the National Museum of American Jewish History. Playwright Celeste Raspanti will join us for this memorable event. This important evening will launch Wolf PAC’s year-long endeavor to take I Never Saw Another Butterfly on tour throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area. This touring production, featuring student performers, will be offered free of charge to schools, churches, synagogues, retirement communities and community centers throughout the region. Touring performances will include a chance for the audiences to meet the performers, to learn about and discuss the history behind the play, and the opportunity to create one of the 15,000 butterflies being crafted and collected throughout the project’s lifetime.
Visit for more information.

Cosponsored by Wolf Performing Arts Center.

Upstarts: An Afternoon of Jewish Shorts
Featured as part of the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival

Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm

At the Museum

Short films are a kind of micro-cinema. In concision, speed and instant gratification, they have a special appeal in this age of acronyms and limited attention spans. And yet, shorts are also complete and often complex narratives that, like feature films, are structured by character, plot, theme and genre. From animation to allegory, documentary to avant-garde, and comedy to tragedy -- they explore family bonds, self-discovery, and resilience -- a whole range of emotions.


Grandmothers (Avos)
Directed by Michael Wahrmann
Brazil, 2009, 12 minutes

Starring David (David de Ster)
Directed by Ester Gould
Netherlands, 2010, 10 minutes

Grandpa Looked Like William Powell
Directed by David B. Levy
USA, 2010, 4 minutes

The Lives and Times of Abraham Kahn
Directed Yaron Dahan
Israel, 2009, 18 Minutes

On Leave (Regila)
Directed by Asat Saban
Israel, 2011, 15 minutes

To Kill a Bumble Bee (Laharog Devora)
Directed by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon
Israel, 2009, 8 minutes

Seltzer Works
Directed by Jessica Edwards
USA, 2010, 7 minutes

Transparent Black (Shahor Shakuf)
Directed by Roni Geffen
Israel, 2010, 21 Minutes

Untold Stories: The Films of Aviva Kempner

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg
(USA, 1999, 95 minutes)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Join us for this critically-acclaimed film about Hank Greenberg, the Detroit Tigers slugger who fought anti-Semitism, and came close to breaking Babe Ruth’s homerun record. He was baseball’s first Jewish star. Tall, handsome, and uncommonly good-natured, Greenberg was a secular Jew from the Bronx who became “the baseball Moses,” an icon for everyone from Walter Matthau to Alan Dershowitz. Guest speaker: Rebecca T. Alpert, Associate Professor of Religion, Temple University; Author of Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball (Oxford University Press). For more information:

Religion and Politics: When General Grant Expelled the Jews

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm

In a presidential election year fraught with religious debate, Dr. Jonathan Sarna will discuss his new book, When General Grant Expelled the Jews (Schocken 2012). It is the first complete account of General Ulysses S. Grant’s order, in the middle of the Civil War, to expel all Jews from the territory under his command. The order came back to haunt Grant when he ran for president. Never before had Jews been so widely noticed in a presidential contest, and never before had they been confronted so publicly with the question of how to balance their “American” and “Jewish” interests. Grant’s decision remains the most notorious anti-Jewish order by a government official in American history.

Dr. Sarna, Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and NMAJH Chief Historian, is recognized as a leading commentator on American Jewish history, religion and life.

Generously supported by the Charles & Esther Lee Kimerling Charitable Foundation.

Hayu Leilot/There Were Nights: An Artistic Journey in Celebration of Israel

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Celebrate Israel Independence Day! Join Udi Bar-David, renowned cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Artistic Director of Intercultural Journeys, and Mika Hary, Israeli superstar singer/songwriter, with her acclaimed band, The Mika Hary Group, as we pay tribute to the treasures of Israeli artistry, from folk to klezmer, with a touch of jazz and the classics. Special apprearance by Nitzan Haroz, Principal Trombone of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

2012 Penn Lectures in Judaic Studies
On the Road: Travel in Jewish History

Tour Guiding as Jewish-Israeli Identity Practice

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm

At the Museum

A young man moving to Israel from New York, Jackie Feldman thought of Israel as a “big place” of the Jewish future as well as a “small place” where he was marked as “Anglo-Saxon” and lived in a bubble of other Western Jewish immigrants. Within three years of his arrival, he began to work as a licensed tour guide, mostly for Christian tourists. Professor Feldman will explore how guiding practices accorded him status as exemplary Jew, native Israeli, and sometimes, as agent of a divine plan. As he remarks, “the pilgrims’ practices and desires helped me think through Second Temple pilgrimage, contemporary voyages of Holocaust memory, and my own sense of belonging.”

Jackie Feldman is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and a veteran tour guide. He focuses on the performance of contemporary pilgrimages and the role of pilgrimage in the construction of cultures and identities.

Presented with the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  

Mighty Max: An Evening with Max Weinberg
Tuesday, March 27 - 7:30 p.m. 
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
Just added: Max Weinberg, one night before he takes the stage in Philadelphia with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band!
Join legendary drummer Max Weinberg as he shares his personal experiences from playing his first Bar Mitzvah at age seven, to performing with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, The Max Weinberg 7 on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and the newly-formed Max Weinberg Big Band. Nicknamed "Mighty Max" by The Boss himself, Max continues to earn acclaim for his talent, style, and strong work ethic in his 38th year of performing with The E Street Band, which he has said is "the attainment of everything a twelve year old drummer from the suburbs of Jersey ever dared to dream."
Presented in Partnership with the National Constitution Center 
Generously supported by: Lisa Popowich and Jonathan B. Stein and Mickey and Larry Magid 

Foundations of Freedom: The Lasting Impact of Exodus 
Thursday, March 22 
6:30 p.m. 
As we approach Passover, the most widely observed Jewish holiday in the U.S., we are joined by two powerhouse scholars and authors who will reflect upon the theme of freedom in the Book of Exodus, and explore its relevance to contemporary Jewish social consciousness.
Samuel G. Freedman is an award-winning author, New York Times columnist, and professor at Columbia University. He is the author of six acclaimed books, including Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry (2000), and is currently at work on his seventh book, The Big Game: Football and Freedom in the Civil Rights South. He was a regular columnist on American Jewish issues for the Jerusalem Post from 2005 until 2009, and has written for such other Jewish publications as Tablet, the Forward, Azure, and the Jewish Week.
Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin, Founder and Chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone Colleges and Graduate Programs and Founding Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Israel, is an educator, speaker, and author, internationally renowned for his innovative educational and social action programs. His contributions have made him one of the leading voices of today’s Modern Orthodox world. In addition to the great strides Ohr Torah Stone has made in generating Jewish societal change, Rabbi Riskin also served as the Founding Rabbi of Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York, where, during his tenure, the synagogue pioneered the first women’s Advanced Talmud Study Program, the first synagogue service conducted for women by women (in 1971), and early activism on behalf of Soviet Jewry.
Sponsored by the Melvin N. & Eunice A. Miller Foundation 

Coming of Age in America  
Sunday, March 18  
Sunday, March 25  
In recognition of the 90th anniversary of the first American bat mitzvah, which took place on March 18, 1922, the Museum is presenting a two-day series of programs that invite the public to engage in an intergenerational dialogue about tweenhood and coming-of-age in America. All visitors are also encouraged to share their bat mitzvah and other family stories in the Museum’s It’s Your Story recording booths.
The programs are also being held in conjunction with the opening of a special exhibition, Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age, at the JCC of Manhattan. Created with Moving Traditions, the exhibition explores how the tradition of bat mitzvah has evolved and the related changes in Jewish education, practice and leadership.
 Collect-o-Rama 3/18 & 3/25
 Women’s History Tours 3/18 &3/25
 Tallit Silk-Screening with the Fabric Workshop and Museum 3/18
Coming of Age in America Discussion and Keynote, feat. Mayim Bialik 3/25
Sunday, March 18 - 2:00 p.m. (Deadline to register extended to March 14)
Sunday, March 25 - 11:00 a.m. (Deadline to register extended to March 21)
After deadline, please call 215-923-3811 ext 110  
Free with Museum admission, advanced reservations required
Explore and share Bat Mitzvah stories through your personal artifacts or photographs, and have your objects considered for the Museum’s collection. Click here for a detailed list of the kinds of artifacts that would be relevant for the Museum's collection.
Women's History Drop-in Tours
Sunday, March 18 - 10:30, 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 25 - 10:30, 11:30, 12:30 p.m.
Free with Museum Admission
Explore women in American Jewish history as told in our core exhibition. These free, docent-led tours are available on a first-come first served basis. Interested visitors must secure tour badges from the Membership Desk upon arrival to guarantee a spot. Tour badges are only distributed on the date of the tour.
Tallit Workshop with the Fabric Workshop and Museum
Sunday, March 18
12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Arrival & Registration
1:00 – 3:30 p.m. Workshop   
Deadline extended to March 14  
After deadline, please call 215-923-3811 ext 110  
Please note: this program will take place at the Fabric Workshop and Museum located at 1214 Arch Street (12th & Arch Streets) in Philadelphia.
Join the NMAJH and educators from the Fabric Workshop and Museum for this unique, hands-on activity appropriate for young women ages 11 – 15. Participants will create a tallit, the prayer shawl traditionally worn by boys and men, and more recently by girls and women upon becoming a bat mitzvah (and thereafter). The FWM is opening its studio and creating beautifully designed silk screens that participants will use to create a one-of-a-kind tallit they can take with them at the end of the workshop. Care and handling instructions will be provided.
Location and Parking: The FWM is located across the street from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Reading Terminal Market. There is no onsite parking but ample parking nearby. The closest lot is located around the corner, on Filbert Street, between 11th & 13th Streets. Participants may also be dropped off and picked up in front of the FWM.
Important notes: Please wear old, comfortable clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty; ink will wash off hands, but not fabric. Aprons and gloves will be provided. All participants will be required to sign the Fabric Workshop and Museum’s “Hold Harmless” agreement upon arrival.
Coming of Age in America
Discussion and Keynote
Sunday, March 25
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.  
Leading scholars on Jewish rituals and rites of passage will discuss the history of bat mitzvah in America in the context of Women’s history and against the backdrop of coming-of-age and tweenhood in America more broadly.
• Dr. Joyce Antler is the Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Culture and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Brandeis University, where she chairs the American Studies Program. She is the author or editor of ten books, including The Journey Home: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America.
• Dr. Melissa R. Klapper, Professor of History at Rowan University, has conducted research on American gender studies and Jewish history, including the history of adolescence, education and women during the Gilded Age and Progressive Eras. Her publications include Jewish Girls Coming of Age in America, 1860-1920.
• Dr. Jonathan Krasner, Associate Professor of the American Jewish Experience at Hebrew Union College, recently published The Benderly Boys and American Jewish Education and has co-authored the article “‘Are You There God?’ Judaism and Jewishness in Judy Blume’s Adolescent Fiction.”
• Dr. Pamela S. Nadell serves on the Museum’s historians committee, which advises on the content and presentation of the core exhibition. Nadell is the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History and is Chair of the Department of History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at American University.
• Moderator: Rabbi Dr. Carole B. Balin is a Professor of Jewish History at Hebrew Union College in New York. She is also a board member of Moving Traditions - the organization that created and oversees the successful program Rosh Chodesh: It's a Girl Thing! – and co-curator of the Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age project that has yielded over 130 oral histories of American bat mitzvah “firsts”.
A keynote address by Mayim Bialik will immediately follow. Ms. Bialik is best known for her portrayal of the title role on the 1990s television sitcom Blossom, her portrayal of the young Bette Midler in Beaches, and her current, critically acclaimed role as Amy Farrah Fowler on the hit sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. She will share with participants her experiences as a young, Jewish woman both on and off the set of Blossom, discuss her endeavors in the academic and entertainment worlds, and explore how her Jewish background and studies inform her work today.
Fun fact: Mayim Bialik has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. For more information, visit
Coming of Age in America has been supported in part by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Federal-State Partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation.  

Sosúa: Dare to Dance Together   
Sunday, March 4    
3:00 p.m.   
Sosúa is an original musical based on the story of European Jews who escaped Germany prior to the Holocaust and found refuge in the seaside town of Sosúa in the Dominican Republic. This performance, directed by the renowned Liz Swados, promotes cross-cultural understanding and brings together a multi-cultural cast of contemporary American teens who help to make these historical events relevant to their lives today, each in his or her unique way. A talk-back with the cast will follow.  
Sosúa is appropriate for children 10 and up.
Originally created and composed by Elizabeth Swados
Concept- Victoria Neznansky
Director- George Drance
Music Director- Stephanie Wells
Assistant Director : Gabriel Portuondo
Assistant Director -Danielle Levanas
Produced and Presented by the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights with the help of the UJA-Federation of New York
Click here to read more about Sosúa
Sosúa is presented by the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood.

2012 Penn Lectures in Judaic Studies
On the Road: Travel in Jewish History
Jewish Tourism to Germany After the Holocaust  
Wednesday, February 15  
6:30 p.m.  
Free, advance registration is suggested  
After the Holocaust, Germany and its many famous historical sites have become important travel destinations for Jewish heritage tours from America. Professor Roemer seeks to explain the often painful and sometimes ambivalent experiences of Jewish tourists in Germany viewing their visits as part of a German and Jewish culture of remembrance.
Nils Roemer is Professor of History at the University of Texas, Dallas. His research focuses primarily on modern Western European Jewish history, with a specific interest on German-Jewish history.
Presented with the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Download the full list of lectures here . For more information visit

Getting Ahead: Immigrants, Business, and Ethnic Identity    
Thursday, February 9  
6:30 p.m.  
Members: Free  
Penn Students and Faculty with valid ID: Free  
Beth Wenger, NMAJH historian and Professor of History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, will moderate a group of leading scholars engaged in a broad consideration of immigrants and business, specifically focusing on Italians, Jews, Koreans, and others, exploring these diverse immigrant experiences in comparative context. Reception to follow.
Panelists include:
 Hasia Diner, Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History; Director of the Goldstein Goren Center for American Jewish History, New York University.
 Jennifer Lee, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine; Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation (2011-12).
 Diane Vecchio, Professor of History, Furman University.
Presented in partnership by the Museum and the University of Pennsylvania’s Jewish Studies Program, this discussion will explore and draw connections between key themes of the American Jewish experience and broader dimensions of American history and culture.
Supported by the Arlene and Stanley Ginsburg Family Foundation 

An American Perspective: Action and Inaction in World War II
Thursday, January 26  
6:30 p.m.  
NMAJH historian Dr. Michael Berenbaum will share his vast knowledge of World War II and the Holocaust, explore the American perspective and response, and provide insight into how those areas of the Museum were curated.
Dr. Berenbaum specializes in the conceptual development of museums and the development of historical films. Among his many leading roles in U.S. Holocaust scholarship and education, he is Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, where he is also a professor of Jewish Studies. He has also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, Director of the United States Holocaust Research Institute and Museum Project Director at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, overseeing its creation.

2012 Penn Lectures in Judaic Studies
On the Road: Travel in Jewish History  
Jewish Memories and Christian Travelers in the Holy Land, 300 - 1600  
Wednesday, January 18    
6:30 p.m.   
Free, advance registration is suggested   
This lecture will reveal the surprising extent to which the modern Christian vision of biblical antiquity is the product of Jewish memory.
The earliest Christians were determined to distinguish their new faith from Judaism. Church Fathers exhorted the faithful to keep their distance from Jerusalem and did their best to destroy or hide the places and objects – the Holy Sepulcher, the True Cross – which might otherwise have attracted Christian veneration. As a result, when Christian pilgrims finally began to defy these prohibitions, they faced the daunting task of reconstructing the memory and sacred geography of early Christianity from scratch. Over the course of the next thousand years, they repeatedly borrowed from Jewish memory to aid them in the process.  
Adam Beaver is Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University. His research focuses primarily on Spaniards’ interactions with the Levant, both real and imaginary.
Presented with the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  Download the full list of lectures here. For more information visit

Nicky's Family (film)  
Monday, January 16   Nicky's Family
7:00 p.m.   
All ticketing is handled by the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival/Gershman Y
At the Prince Music Theater
A young British stockbroker finds himself in Prague at the onset of the German invasion.  Spurred into action by the plight of the Jews, Nicholas Winton organizes an ad-hoc operation that saves over 600 Jewish children, bringing them to England in the nick of time. This is the story of the children Nicky saved as decades later they first discover the series of events that led to their rescue by an anonymous patron.
Audience Award Winner at the 2011 Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
Special Guest: Director Matej Minac
Sponsored by the National Museum of American Jewish History and Joseph S. and Renee M. Zuritsky
The Museum is proud to support the 31st season of the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Gershman Y. The Museum sponsors films in the Festival that examine aspects of the American Jewish experience.  Download the full list of films in Documentaries & Dialogue here.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day  
Monday, January 16, 2012   MLK - Heschel
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  
The Museum will be open and free with family-friendly activities for Dr. King’s birthday. Please join us as we celebrate the legacy of this American icon.
Activities include:
●  Self-guided tours highlighting artifacts related to the struggle for civil rights
●  A special screening of episodes of Eyes on the Prize in the Dell Theater
●  A freedom-themed watercolor project for children ages 5 and up in partnership with the Fleisher Art Memorial
●  Customized interactive exhibits to engage participants in discussions about MLK

Young, Jewish, and Activist – Panel Discussion  
Wednesday, November 30
7:00 p.m.  
Four young adult Jewish activists will consider how their Jewish origins and identities shape their engagement and activism through a discussion on Jewish identity and social justice.
Rachel Howe is the partnership and placement coordinator for the Community Learning Network at Temple University. She is the founder of the South Philly Parents Resource Center, a feminist-oriented parenting community. She says about her Jewish upbringing: “The version of Judaism that I was brought up with resembles more ethnic pride than a deity-focused religion, dominated by narratives of struggles for freedom, and crowned by the narrative of the Holocaust.”
Laurel Klein is a food activist and women’s rights advocate. She is the founder of Cafe Olam, a non-profit organization with Jewish roots, committed to community, urban renewal and sustainable living. She is a founder of Center City CSA, Rodeph Shalom’s sustainability committee founder, and one of the program chairs for LimmudPhilly. Klein is also the Introduction to Judaism Coordinator for the Union for Reform Judaism in Philadelphia and South Jersey.
Benjamin Landau-Beispiel first became involved in Left political activism as a participant in the anti-war movement at age 14. In high school, he organized for educational justice as a member of the Philadelphia Student Union. During his freshman year of college, he participated in a hunger strike to win a living wage for campus security guards, and remained involved in labor solidarity work throughout his college career. Since graduating, he has devoted himself to independently studying the history of the Left, with an eye towards how its current impasses might be overcome.
Jacob Winterstein is the Director of Development for the Philadelphia Student Union. He is a long time advocate for students’ rights within the public school system. Jacob has taught poetry, performance, acting, rapping, public speaking and leadership development workshops in many different capacities for young people in prisons, schools, universities, community centers, summer camps and non-profits. As a child and a teen, he attended the Jewish Children’s Folkshul in Mt. Airy.
Eli Goldblatt (moderator) is a professor of English and director of First Year Writing at Temple University. He has worked for many years with literacy-based programs in North Philadelphia through New City Writing, the outreach institute of the writing program at Temple. He was the founding director of the Community Learning Network, the service learning center for the university. His new book, Writing Home: A Literacy Autobiography, traces his development as a writer, starting as a child of a Jewish army doctor, attending college in the early ‘70s, studying medicine briefly, and witnessing the literacy campaign in post-revolutionary Nicaragua in 1980.

At Home in Utopia - Film (USA, 2008, 57 minutes)Utopia
Thursday, December 1
7:00 p.m.  

Save 15% on the Art of Being Jewish Package (Includes Aesthetics, Identity, Politics, At Home in Utopia, and East Towards Home)  
Jewish garment workers catapulted themselves out of the urban slums and ghettos by pooling their resources and building cooperatively owned and run apartment houses in the Bronx. At Home in Utopia captures their epic struggle across two generations as they tried to build an equitable and just society. The program includes a conversation with filmmaker Ellen Brodsky and film subject Yok Ziebel.
Story Circles: Documenting Radical PhiladelphiaIts Your Story   
Friday, December 2
2:00 p.m. and
Sunday, December 4
4:30 p.m.  
Free (space is limited, registration required)
Here is your chance to be part of documenting a formative and vital element of Jewish Philadelphia, by bringing your own memories and stories from radical Jewish communities in Philadelphia. The Story Circles will seed an oral history archive that will help to pass the radical Jewish tradition onto the next generations.
The Arts in Community Program, Tyler School of Art, in collaboration with the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History at Temple, has initiated a Community Arts & Oral History project on the history of radical Jewish culture and communities in Philadelphia. The project begins in 2011-12 with an oral history exploration of the history of Philadelphia’s radical/left-wing Jewish culture and communities, cosponsored by the National Museum of American Jewish History. The oral history project aims to document the world of left-wing Jews in Philadelphia, their communities and organizations, as they intersected with urban arts and culture in the 20th century. The stories and documentation gathered will be used as a basis for the creation of a cycle of community arts and media works by Tyler and Temple students in partnership with those who have lived radical Jewish culture and history.
Museum visitors are also encouraged to share their stories using the Museum’s It’s Your Story™ oral history booths located on the second floor.
East Towards Home – Performance
Sunday, December 4
2:00 p.m.
$5 members /$8 non-members
$5 Temple University Students. Includes East Towards Home and Museum admission anytime on 12/4. Valid student ID required. Select “Temple University Students 12/4 Package” on ticketing page.  
Save 15% on the Art of Being Jewish Package (Includes Aesthetics, Identity, Politics, At Home in Utopia, and East Towards Home)  
Theater artist Billy Yalowitz will present a staged reading of his play, East Towards Home, a journey into the radical left-wing culture of New York City and beyond, as the culminating event of the week-long The Art of Being Jewish in the City Residency.
East Towards Home is generously supported by the Feinstein Center for American History, the BMI-Woody Guthrie Research Fellowship, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage/Heritage Philadelphia Program Discovery Grant, The Puffin Foundation, and the National Museum of American Jewish History.

The Art of Being Jewish in the City Residency
As part of The Art of Being Jewish in the City, the Museum will host a week-long exploration of the politics and culture of Jewish urban life.
The Art of Being Jewish in the City is a year-long exploration of Jews, urbanism and the arts, presented by:
Temple University's Feinstein Center for American Jewish History 
The Gershman Y 
The National Museum of American Jewish History
Aesthetics, Identity, Politics: From Black Power to Jewish Radicalism - Lecture 
Tuesday, November 29
7:00 p.m. 
Save 15% on the Art of Being Jewish Package (Includes Aesthetics, Identity, Politics, At Home in Utopia, and East Towards Home) 
Noted scholar Michael E. Staub, Professor of English, Baruch College, City University of New York, will offer an engaging presentation about Jewish radicalism.
Mr. Staub is the author of numerous books on social change, including The Crisis of Jewish Liberalismin Postwar America, The Jewish 1960s: An American Sourcebook, and Madness Is Civilization: When the Diagnosis was Social, 1948-1980 (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming.)

Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival  
The Museum is proud to support the 31st season of the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Gershman Y. The Museum sponsors films in the Festival that examine aspects of the American Jewish experience.
Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.
Where I Stand: The Hank Greenspun Story  
Philadelphia Premiere  
(USA, 2008, 98 minutes)  
Sunday, November 6
2:30 p.m.
At the Prince Music Theater
With narration by Anthony Hopkins and an all-star cast of gangsters and movie stars Where I Stand is at times more gripping than the best work of fiction. With the birth of Vegas as one of its colorful backdrops, this entertaining, wild ride of a documentary rips through Greenspun’s fearless dealings with bigoted casino owners, murderous mobsters, Watergate, Green Valley and Yucca Mountain. Most astonishing is witnessing Greenspun’s secret missions transporting contraband military equipment during Israel’s War of Independence and his behind-the-scenes peacemaking efforts of the 1970s. Playing to sold-out crowds across the festival circuit, this true story of a real Jewish-American macher-hero — Hank “Indiana” Greenspun — is not to be missed.  
Special Guest: Director Scott Goldstein
Sponsored by The National Museum of American Jewish History, Comcast-Spectacor, The Borowsky Family Foundation, and Marcia and Ronald Rubin
Remembrance (Die verlorene Zeit)   
(Germany, 2011, 105 minutes, in English, German, and Polish w/English subtitles )  
Philadelphia Premiere
Wednesday, November 9
7:00 p.m.
At the Museum
Presented in partnership with The National Museum of American Jewish History  
I tend to believe in coincidence, that the course of our lives is led by accidental incidents and the decisions we make as a result of these incidents. -- Director Anna Justice  
Based on actual events, Remembrance is the remarkable story of two young people who meet under extraordinary circumstances and fall deeply in love. Poland, 1944: After a daring and improbable escape from a concentration camp, Polish partisan Tomasz (Mateusz Damięcki) and his Jewish lover Hannah (Dagmar Manzel) are separated in the chaos of war and left to believe the other is dead. Fast forward to New York City, 1976. It is 32 years later and in a twist of fate, a happily married Hannah hears a familiar voice on television. Torn and confused, Hannah must now confront her undying memories and lost love—the past uprooting her present. Masterfully directed by award-winning Anna Justice (Max Minsky and Me), Remembrance is a heartfelt journey through memory and reconciliation.  
Special Guest: Actor Mateusz Damięcki
Sponsored by Suzanne and Norman Cohn
Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story  (USA, 2010, 91 minutes)
Philadelphia Premiere  
Wednesday, November 16
7:00 p.m.
At the Museum  
Presented in partnership with The National Museum of American Jewish History
Seamlessly weaving archival footage, photographs and interviews (including a rare interview with Sandy Koufax), Jews and Baseball examines the cultural importance of the game for American integration and overcoming anti-Semitism. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman.  
Free access to the exhibition for Jews and Baseball ticket-holders beginning at 5:30 p.m. The box office, galleries, and store will be open from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Sponsored by the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

America as Haven
Tuesday, November 1  
7:00 P.M.  
Presented with the Wilma Theater and held at the National Museum of American Jewish History  
In conjunction with The Wilma Theater’s production of Our Class, America as Haven will examine the idea and reality of this country as a place where immigrants can find a new life. In a conversation moderated by noted author and Rutgers University Professor of Jewish Studies, Jeffrey Shandler, Our Class Director and Wilma Artistic Director, Blanka Zizka, who was born in the former Czechoslovakia, will discuss her own experience alongside Bosnian refugee and immigration lawyer, Emina Hadzic, and others with expertise in 20th century immigration. Actor Michael Rubenfeld from the Wilma’s production of the play will offer further insights into the immigrant experience through dramatic readings of letters from the Museum’s collection.
Complimentary reception follows the discussion.

Only in America® : Emma Lazarus  
Thursday, October 27
7:00 p.m. 
Co-sponsored by Nextbook Press. nextbook 
Happy Birthday, Statue of Liberty! In October 2011, the Statue of Liberty turns 125 years old. Originally a gift of friendship from France to the United States, the Statue has become the voice of welcome for generations of immigrants due to the words of one extraordinary American Jewish poet: Emma Lazarus. Emma Lazarus is one of the first 18 Jewish Americans to be included in the Museum’s Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame, a signature gallery in the new Museum’s core exhibition.
Join Lazarus biographer and Princeton University professor, Esther Schor, as she explores Lazarus’ life and writing beyond the words, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, and for which Lazarus is popularly known, and highlights Lazarus’ unique American Jewish experiences and identity. Book sales and author signings will follow.
Esther Schor is a poet and professor of English at Princeton University. She specializes in British Romanticism, travel literature, American Jewish Literature, Judaism and Yiddish literature in translation. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review and the Forward. Her biography, Emma Lazarus, won the 2006 National Jewish Book Award.
Professor Schor will be in conversation with Melissa Martens, curator of Emma Lazarus: Poet of Exiles, opening Oct. 26 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York.

Only in America® : Emma Lazarus   
Thursday, October 27
7:00 p.m.  
Co-sponsored by Nextbook Press. nextbook  
Happy Birthday, Statue of Liberty! In October 2011, the Statue of Liberty turns 125 years old. Originally a gift of friendship from France to the United States, the Statue has become the voice of welcome for generations of immigrants due to the words of one extraordinary American Jewish poet: Emma Lazarus. Emma Lazarus is one of the first 18 Jewish Americans to be included in the Museum’s Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame, a signature gallery in the new Museum’s core exhibition.
Join Lazarus biographer and Princeton University professor, Esther Schor, as she explores Lazarus’ life and writing beyond the words, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, and for which Lazarus is popularly known, and highlights Lazarus’ unique American Jewish experiences and identity. Book sales and author signings will follow.
Esther Schor is a poet and professor of English at Princeton University. She specializes in British Romanticism, travel literature, American Jewish Literature, Judaism and Yiddish literature in translation. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review and the Forward. Her biography, Emma Lazarus, won the 2006 National Jewish Book Award.
Professor Schor will be in conversation with Melissa Martens, curator of Emma Lazarus: Poet of Exiles, opening Oct. 26 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York.

Ruth Gruber: A Centenary Celebration   
Sunday, October 23
2:00 p.m.  
Celebrate the incredible life of award-winning journalist, humanitarian and trailblazer, Dr. Ruth Gruber.  
Join Dr. Gruber for a screening of the acclaimed documentary about her life, Ahead of Time, including remarks from the centenarian herself, who turns 100 years old on Sept. 30.
Born to a Jewish immigrant family in Brooklyn in 1911, Dr. Gruber became the youngest Ph.D. in the world. Among her many remarkable experiences, Dr. Gruber gained unique access and insight into the modern history of the Jewish people. She escorted Holocaust refugees to America, covered the Nuremberg trials, documented the journey of the Haganah ship Exodus, and developed relationships with world leaders, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Truman and David Ben Gurion.
This program is dedicated to the memory of journalist and music-lover, Daniel Pearl. Every year, during Daniel Pearl World Music Days in October, special events and concerts all over the world are held in his memory, “dedicated to our shared belief that even though we may have different races, religions or ethnic backgrounds, we can all work together to achieve a better, hate-free world for everyone.”  
Co-sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania  
Film provided by The National Center for Jewish Film.

Reflections of a Jewish Southerner  
Sunday, October 16
3:00 p.m.  
Presented with Beth Am Israel and supported by the Charles & Esther Lee Kimerling Charitable Foundation  
Eli N. Evans, well-known southern historian and master storyteller, will lecture on southern Jewry and sign copies of his acclaimed book and classic in the field, The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the South. Abba Eban said of Evans, “The Jews of the South have found their poet laureate. . . . Evans's prose is like himself – stylish, serene, reflective, and relentlessly candid about the issues that moved his generation."
Evans will intermingle personal reflections on growing up in the South with American Jewish history, share stories of communities, individuals, and events and reveal the deeply intertwined strands of what he calls a unique "southern Jewish consciousness."  
About Eli Evans  
A native of Durham, North Carolina, Eli Evans’ illustrious career includes serving as a White House speech writer to President Lyndon Johnson, senior program officer with the Carnegie Corporation of New York and first president of the Charles H. Revson Foundation.
In addition to graduating Yale Law School, he has received honorary degrees from Hebrew Union College and the Jewish Theological Seminary. When inducted in 2001 into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the oldest honorary society in the US, founded by Benjamin Franklin, he was honored “for his dual contribution to American letters and as a philanthropist of uncommon originality and leadership.”

A Sephardic Journey: From Amsterdam to Philadelphia (and Places In Between)
Sunday, Oct. 9
2:00 p.m.  
Free for members of the Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and students / Non-members $8
Co-presented with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and being held at the National Museum of American Jewish History  
Rembrandt’s Jewish neighbors in Amsterdam would largely have been Sephardic families (from Spain and Portugal) who settled in the region seeking religious tolerance. In this lecture, William Pencak, professor of American History at Pennsylvania State University, looks at the history of the Sephardic Diaspora as it crossed Europe to Amsterdam in the sixteenth century and then to the Americas. It also spotlights Philadelphia’s Mikveh Israel, a Sephardic Jewish congregation founded in 1740.

Interfaith Forum: A Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Protestant conversation about Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Sunday, September 25
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.  
Co-presented with the Philadelphia Museum of Art  
Please note: this program will take place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Visit for ticketing.  
Rembrandt’s Amsterdam was a rich, interfaith, and diverse city. In this compelling conversation, nationally known thinkers and theologians from Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant faiths come together to wrestle with images of Jesus, starting with those in the Rembrandt exhibition.
Speakers include:
    • Arnold M. Eisen, Chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary of America
    • Rev. Jayne Oasin, Associate Rector, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church (Beverly, NJ)
    • James Redington, Jesuit priest and Hindu scholar; Senior Jesuit Fellow, Office of Mission and Identity, St. Joseph’s University; leader in Interreligious Dialogue.
    • Larry Silver (moderator), Farquhar Professor of Art History, University of Pennsylvania
Keynote Talk, 3:30 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Author and Scholar David Morgan, Professor of Religion and Director of the Graduate Program of Religion, Duke University
David Morgan is a religion scholar and art historian whose work has focused on the history of popular religious images and their reception. His books explore the visual aspects of various religions, and he is perhaps best known for his work on the mass-production and circulation of images of Jesus. In this talk, ranging from early Christian art to the Renaissance and from Rembrandt to the present, Professor Morgan asks the questions: Why is it that Jesus looks one way and not another? Why is he slender, Caucasian, meek, solemn? What happened to his Jewish ethnicity? Why does likeness matter and what cultural work does it perform? How can people be so sure that Jesus looked the way he is shown in the most popular 'portraits'?
This illustrated lecture explores the history and psychology of portraying Jesus in order to examine what the countless likenesses of a man never visually documented might mean.

It’s Your Story™: Adam Mansbach  
Tuesday, September 20
7:00 p.m. 

Join popular author of Go the F—k to Sleep and critically acclaimed novelist Adam Mansbach in a conversation about his ongoing journey as a young writer, the intersection of Black and Jewish cultures…and, of course, his reaction to the success of his recent non-traditional parenting book.
Adam’s novels include The End of the Jews, winner of the California Book Award, and the best-selling Angry Black White Boy, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2005. His fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Believer, Granta, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. He was the 2010-2011 New Voices Professor of Fiction at Rutgers University.
Book sales and signings immediately to follow.
Moderator: James Braxton Peterson, Director of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of English, Lehigh University
Praise for The End of the Jews
"Smart... engaging... exquisite. Original in the way it explores the creative interchange between blacks and Jews and the give-and-take dynamic of artistic partnership. Mansbach's characters are sharply drawn... the creative partnerships among artists are suggestively and beautifully portrayed." —New York Times Book Review
Special thanks to the Free Library of Philadelphia

Onstage Conversations Exploring Our Class: Jan T. Gross
Sunday, September 18
7:00 p.m.  

Presented with the Wilma Theater.  
Please note: this program will take place at the Wilma Theater. There is no performance prior to this discussion. Seating is limited; for tickets, visit, call 215.546.7824 or email
Author Jan T. Gross, a scholar of European history at Princeton University, discusses his book, Neighbors, a National Book Award finalist and major inspiration for Our Class. Dr. Gross will be interviewed on the Wilma stage by Agnieshka Baumritter, a local Polish-American lawyer.
NMAJH is pleased to collaborate with the Wilma Theater on Our Class programming. Save the date for America as Haven, a special event to be held at the Museum on Tuesday, November 1 at 7:00 p.m. For more information on Our Class, visit  
Onstage Conversations supported by The Wallace Foundation 

10Q: Reflect. React. Renew. 
Thursday, September 15
7:00 p.m.  

Presented with Reboot
As we approach the Jewish New Year, look back on the past year and reflect….with a twist.
Just days before Reboot kicks-off 10Q, its annual, national online initiative inspired by the traditional ten days of reflection that occur between the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, join NMAJH and Reboot for 10Q’s Philadelphia premiere.
In this special program, a dynamic panel of luminaries will share personal reflections and offer insights into the role reflective moments play in their lives and work. Program attendees will have the opportunity to reflect and leave their thoughts in the Museum’s interactive Contemporary Issues Forum.
Whether you're Jewish or not, 10Q is a great way for anyone to look back at the year that’s past, look ahead at the year to come, and take stock.
Speakers include:  
    • Ben Greenman (moderator), Editor, Goings On About Town, The New Yorker; 10Q Co-founder; author  
    • Vanessa Hidary, AKA The Hebrew Mamita, Actress/Solo Performer/Poet/Writer/Director
    • Charles London, Award-winning journalist, activist, and author (One Day the Soldiers Came, Far ` from Zion)
    • Matthue Roth, author of the Orthodox punk-rock road novel Never Mind the Goldbergs and Yom Kippur a Go-Go; co-creator of the animated series G-dcast
10Q is a free, online initiative in which anyone can participate.
Reboot is a growing network of thought-leaders and tastemakers who work toward a common goal: to “reboot” the culture, rituals, and traditions we’ve inherited and make them vital and resonant in our own lives.

PajamaRama: Jewish Stories and Activities
Sunday, July 17
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Hosted by the National Museum of American Jewish History
Sponsored by: Kehillah of Center City
Presented by: Germantown Jewish Centre
Put on your pajamas and join us for PajamaRama: Jewish Stories and Activities. Families with children ages 2-6 are encouraged to visit the Museum for story time in the sunny Freedom Experience overlooking historic Independence Mall. Light kosher snacks provided.
This program is free. Registration is not required.
Contact Mary George at or 215.635.8940, x 1219 with questions.    
Sunday, August 14
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.story

Hosted by the National Museum of American Jewish History
Sponsored by: Kehillah of Center City
Presented by: Congregation Rodeph Shalom
Put on your pajamas and join us for PajamaRama: Jewish Stories and Activities. Families with children ages 2-6 are encouraged to visit the Museum for story time in the sunny Freedom Experience overlooking historic Independence Mall. Light kosher snacks provided.
This program is free. Registration is not required. Program attendees wishing to visit the Museum can do so free of charge with their PajamaRama ticket, available at the admissions desk. Please note the Museum closes at 5:30 p.m. on Sundays so families should plan to visit the Museum prior to the program.
Contact Mary George at or 215.635.8940, x 1219 with questions.

Cocktails & Comedies Film Series

Uproarious classic comedies. Cocktail hour overlooking Independence Mall. A perfect summer night.
Cocktails & Comedies features four decades of Jewish humor with Jewish comedians and filmmakers whose classic films bring laughs to audiences of all backgrounds and across generations.
In the early days of film, you didn't have to be Jewish to make Americans laugh, but it certainly seems to have helped.As Jewish comics moved from vaudeville to Broadway and Hollywood, they revolutionized American comedy.Jewish comic stars such as the Marx brothers, and others, brought a new, earthy wit, filled with amusing anecdotes, foreign accents, a rapid-fire exchange of insults, and an unabashed willingness to mock themselves, replacing the once-characteristic folksy humor associated with their predecessors and paving the way for today’s entertainers.
Join us as we celebrate that comedic legacy through the Cocktails & Comedies film series, with a cocktail hour on the Robbi and Bruce Toll Terrace overlooking historic Independence Mall, followed by a featured film in the Dell Theater.
The Big Lebowski
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 Young Friends Kick Off  
6 :30 p.m. Arrival & Cocktail Reception*
7:00 p.m. Film Screening
*refreshments available until 8:30 p.m.
Presented in partnership with the Collaborativecollab  

"I don’t roll on Shabbos.”  
Academy Award-winning American Jewish filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, recent recipients of Israel’s esteemed Dan David Prize, created the cult classic The Big Lebowski in 1998.
In this hilariously quirky comedy about bowling, a severed toe, White Russians and a guy named ... The Dude, Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski must embark on a quest with his bowling buddies after his rug is destroyed in a twisted case of mistaken identity.

Young Friends (Ages 21-40) are invited to join us on June 21 to experience the cultural phenomenon of The Dude in the "#1 cult film of all time!" (The Boston Globe)

The Producers  
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
6:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception
7:00 p.m. Film Screening

“I wanna be a producer!”  
In The Producers, Theatre producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) and his timid accountant Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) devise a scheme to make money by producing a sure-fire musical flop in this zany, lovable classic written and directed by Mel Brooks that inspired both a film remake and a hit Broadway musical more than 30 years later.  
In the late twentieth century's climate of increasing tolerance and integration, Jewish entertainers such as Mel Brooks approached their Jewishness with celebration and cynicism, no longer worried about being careful or defensive.Along the way, they created some of the most memorable moments in late twentieth century American culture.  
(1968, 88 min)

Annie Hall
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
6:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception
7:00 p.m. Film Screening

This iconic, Oscar-winning Woody Allen romantic comedy, considered to be his breakthrough film, follows the relationship misadventures of neurotic Jewish writer Alvy Singer and quirky aspiring singer Annie Hall.  
Allen plays a thinly disguised version of himself: Alvy Singer, a successful – if neurotic – television comedian living in Manhattan. Annie (the luminous Dianne Keaton) is a Midwestern transplant who dabbles in photography and sings in small clubs. When the two meet, the sparks are immediate – if repressed.Allen's antic sensibility shines here in a series of flashbacks to Alvy's childhood, growing up, quite literally, under a rumbling roller coaster. His boisterous Jewish family's dinner table shares a split screen with Hall's tight-lipped holiday table, one Alvy has joined for the first time. In the blink of "Grammy Hall's" eye, Alvy is transformed into a shtetl Jew, complete with beard and eastern European clothing, leading Allen to pose the ultimate Jewish question: "Is it the old Groucho Marx joke that I'm - I just don't want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member?"
Annie Hall won four Oscars, including Best Picture, and established Allen as the premier auteur filmmaker.  
(1977, 93 min)

The Princess Bride
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
6:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception
7:00 p.m. Film Screening

Co-sponsored by:
Neshama Group of Hadassah of Greater Philadelphia hadassah logo  
A beautiful princess.An evil prince.A scheming criminal mastermind.A mysterious masked pirate.  
Snappy patter and quotable lines abound in this timeless, swashbuckling love story featuring an A-list cast. Written by William Goldman and directed by Rob Reiner, it only gets better with each viewing – “inconceivable!”  
Avuncular Grandpa (Peter Falk) leads a skeptical grandson (Fred Savage) into the absurd, irresistible melodrama of this remarkable story. And what a story: a lowly stable boy, Westley (Cary Elwes), pledges his love to the beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright), only to be abducted and reportedly killed by pirates while Buttercup is betrothed to the evil Prince Humperdinck.  
The wild and woolly arcs of the story, the sudden twists of fate, and, above all, the cartoon-scaled characters all work because of Goldman's very funny script, Rob Reiner's confident direction, and a terrific cast that also includes Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Mel Brooks and Carol Kane.  
(1987, 98 min) 

Past, Present & Future American Jewish History Lecture Series Peddlers: The Big Impact of a Humble Occupation - June 29


hasia dinerpeddler  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

7:00 p.m.

Members: $10 (package of 3 for $24)

Non-members: $15 (package of 3 for $36)  



Join leading scholars for the "Past, Present & Future American Jewish History Lecture Series" as they explore unique facets of the American Jewish experience from when Jews first came to this country to the challenges currently facing the American Jewish community.  


Noted scholar Dr. Hasia R. Diner will examine how peddling, a humble occupation, indeed the lowest rung on the Jewish occupational ladder, did nothing less than make possible the mass migration of Jews out of Europe and the Ottoman Empire to the "new world.” She will explore how this way of making a living played a role in making that migration possible and in fostering Jewish integration in the British Isles, Canada, the United States, Central and South America, southern Africa and Australia. Diner’s exploration of this global history offers a new way to think of modern Jewish history. Hasia R. Diner is the Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History and director of the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History at New York University.

Past, Present & Future American Jewish History Lecture Series

 The History of Name-Changing in the U.S. - June 12

 kirsten fermaglich  Sunday, June 12, 20117:00 p.m. Members: $10 (package of 3 for $24)Non-members: $15 (package of 3 for $36)           Join leading scholars for the "Past, Present & Future American Jewish History Lecture Series" as they explore unique facets of the American Jewish experience from when Jews first came to this country to the challenges currently facing the American Jewish community.  Kirsten Fermaglich, a scholar of ethnic identity in the U.S., who is working on a book tentatively titled “A Rosenberg by Any Other Name, will explore the history of Jewish name-changing in the middle of the 20th century.  According to Fermaglich, in the middle of the 20th century, the number of petitions for name changes in New York City rose dramatically. In numbers disproportionate to the Jewish population in the city, the majority of name-change petitioners bore Jewish names. Name-changing, she said, reflects both Jewish success and Jewish weakness in American life. New York City name-change petitions provide a way to explore the process by which American Jews became middle class in the 20th century.   Fermaglich is a professor of American history and American Jewish history at Michigan State University.

Girls in Trouble Concert - Album Release Show - May 15 Troublejahm  Sunday, May 15, 2011  6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Young Friends Reception 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Concert  Members: $8  Non-members: $10  Young Friends: $10 (includes pre-concert reception with the band)    Join the Museum for the "Half You and Half Me" (JDUB Records) album release concert. Inspired by storyteller-songwriters such as Leonard Cohen and Joanna Newsom, Alicia Jo Rabins's Girls In Trouble creates first-person songs based on obscure stories of Biblical women, investigating the hidden places where their complicated lives overlap with hers. On her new album, "Half You Half Me" available everywhere May 17, 2011, Rabins retains the emotional vulnerability and poetic focus of Girls in Trouble's self-titled debut while broadening the band's sound into eclectic, atmospheric landscapes.

Young Friends (ages 21-40) are invited to pre-concert reception with the band at 6:00 p.m.

Film Screening: Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray - May 12 Blue and GrayjahmNCC            logo  Thursday, May 12, 2011 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Screening and DiscussionMembers: $10  Non-members: $15   To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, join the museum for a screening of Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray (Indigo Films, 2011), a first-of-its-kind documentary that reveals the little-known struggles that faced Jewish-Americans both in battle and on the home front during the Civil War. This film reveals an unknown chapter in American history when allegiances during the War Between the States deeply split the Jewish community. It examines a time when approximately 10,000 Jewish soldiers fought on both sides; 7,000 Union and 3,000 Confederate. It exposes General Ulysses Grant’s controversial decision to expel all Jews from his territory, and tells the stories of President Lincoln’s Jewish doctor who serve as a spy in the South and how five Union Jewish soldiers received the Congressional Medal of Honor. It features commentary by noted historians, with Sam Waterston as the voice of Abraham Lincoln and narration by Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Milius (Apocalypse Now). Civil War historian Gregory J. W. Urwin, professor of history at Temple University, will moderate a post-film discussion with Jonathan Gruber, the film’s director, producer and writer, and Rabbi Lance Sussman, Ph.D. and senior rabbi at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, a lecturer and author on Jewish history.       Presented in partnership with the National Constitution Center with generous support by Charles & Esther Lee Kimerling Charitable Foundation.   

The film is produced by Indigo Films with funding provided by the Shapell Manuscript Foundation. The film has been provided by the National Center for Jewish Film.

Friends of the IDF Philadelphia Chapter Grand Opening - May 10 FIDF            event  Tuesday, May 10th, 20115:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.Special Guests:Major General (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon - FIDF National DirectorColonel (Res.) Pinhas (Pinky) Zoaretz - Deputy FIDF National Director and Director of DevelopmentFeaturing:IDF Musical Ensemble and the Petach-Tikvah Conservatory OrchestraReflections by Israeli Soldiers

For ticket information please contact Linda Grife or Tzvia Wexler at 267.513.1875 or by email:
FIDF Flyer  FIDF RSVP Card   


Saul Bellow: Leters - Thursday, May 5, 2011



Thursday, May 5, 2011 *Please note the date change from April 13*

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Members: $10

Non-members: $15




Benjamin Taylor, Editor, offers a first-hand perspective on Saul Bellows: Letters (Viking, 2010), a never-before-published collection of letters by Saul Bellow, Nobel Prize in Literature winner, that spans eight decades and has been called “magnificent” by The New York Times. These frank and intimate letters to family members, friends, wives, lovers, and colleagues span four generations and provide an extraordinary perspective on a rich and varied life.


“It comes as no surprise to find that the great novelist was a great correspondent as well. I hungrily read the book through in three nights, as though I’d stumbled upon a lost Bellow masterpiece only recently unearthed.” - Philip Roth

About the author:  

Saul Bellow (1915-2005) is the only novelist to receive three National Book Awards for The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, and Mr. Sammler’s Planet. In 1976, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Humboldt’s Gift. The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to him in 1976 “for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work.” In 1990, Mr. Bellow was presented the National Book Award Foundation Medal for distinguished contribution to American letters. He also received the National Medal of Arts.


Editor Benjamin Taylor is the author of a book of essays, Into the Open, and two novels, Tales Out of School, winner of the 1996 Harold Ribalow Prize, and The Book of Getting Even, a Los Angeles Times Favorite Book of 2008, and in Spain, an El País Best Book of 2009. He is a member of the graduate writing faculty of The New School in New York City.



Book sales and signings with Benjamin Taylor will immediately follow the program.

Wall at the NMAJH: the Philadelphia Avant-Garde - April 234thwallcubeSaturday, April 23, 20117:00 pm – 9:00 pm, doors open at 6:30pmArtist reception immediately to follow. General Admission: $15 in advance, $20 day of eventThis one-night-only, co-curated presentation blends Fourth Wall’s multicultural eclecticism with the Museum's narrative of American Jewish history. Music, dance, theater, and more evoke the early twentieth century Parisian cultural scene in celebration of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. Artist reception immediately to follow. All are welcome. Passover dietary laws will be observed.Performers include:Adam MansbachCollete FuKlingon KlezMabel LeeTune Up Philly...and more

Night at the Museum - April 21eveningThursday, April 21, 20116:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.College students only. Free with a valid student ID.The Museum invites college students, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, to this private, after-hours event to discover 350 years of American Jewish life. Explore three-and-a-half floors of exciting American Jewish history – land in the New World with the first permanent Jewish settlers, examine conflicts across Jewish communities during the Civil War and take the exams immigrants arriving at Ellis Island took. See Sandy Koufax’s glove and Steven Spielberg’s first motion-picture camera. Reminisce about summer camp experiences, watch films and videos from Hollywood stars from the 1930s to today, and slap your “yes,” “no” or “um” post-it up on the wall in the Contemporary Issues Forum.Don’t forget to leave YOUR story on the way out, in an It’s Your Story video recording booth. Free, light kosher-for-Passover snacks will be provided.Click here to registe

Your Story: Michael Caspi - April 14, 2011caspicbs



Thursday, April 14, 2011 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Young Friends reception immediately to follow Members: $10 Non-members: $15 Young Friends* (ages 21-40): $15 *includes receptionJoin CBS 3 reporter Oren Liebermann in a lively conversation with Chef Michael Caspi. Caspi, the chef of M Restaurant at the historic Morris House Hotel in Philadelphia, will share the experiences that brought him from a culinary family in Jerusalem to Philadelphia’s Historic District in 2010, by way of some of New York’s most famous restaurants, including Chef Thomas Keller’s renowned Per Se. Chef Caspi will demonstrate the kitchen skills that make M Restaurant one of Philadelphia’s best kept secrets. Sample some of his creations and receive a coupon for M Restaurant. Young Friends are invited to join Chef Caspi for a private meet-and-greet reception immediately following the program in the Dreams of Freedom gallery where they will taste more of his delicious creations while enjoying nighttime views of Independence Mall. Oren Liebermann joined CBS 3 and The CW Philly’s Eyewitness News team as a general assignment reporter in September 2010. Liebermann was raised in Israel and at the Jersey shore. He is fluent in Hebrew, his first language, and holds dual citizenship in the United States and Israel.

Passover Haggadah: Go Forth and Learn - April 10haggadahSunday, April 10, 20114:00 pm – 6:00 pmMembers: FreeNon-members: Free after Museum admission*In celebration of Passover, one of the most observed Jewish Holidays, join eminent scholar Rabbi David Silber to explore his new book, A Passover Haggadah: Go Forth and Learn (with Rachel Furst; JPS: March, 2011), in an intimate classroom setting. The book features Hebrew and English Haggadah text combined with new commentary and essays, offering new insights that help deepen the Passover experience for today’s reader. Copies of A Passover Haggadah: Go Forth and Learn are currently available for purchase in the Museum Store and will also be available for purchase and signing by Rabbi Silber on April 10th. Rabbi Silber is the founder and dean of Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, New York City. A popular, nationally known lecturer on Bible, Silber is a recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for excellence in innovative Jewish education.* Museum admission can be purchased in advance by clicking here. Admission must be for April 10, 2011. All timeslots are valid. Members receive unlimited access during Museum hours, and do not require advanced timed

Penn Lectures in Judaic Studies: Incredible Recent Cases of Conversion to Judaism in Italy - April 6, 2011

italyWednesday, April 06, 2011

7:30 pm – 9:00 pmThis program is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required.Join Fabrizio Lelli, Associate Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature at the Università del Salento (Lecce, Italy) as he explores "Incredible Recent Cases of Conversion to Judaism in Italy" in the closing lecture of the 2011 Penn Lectures in Judaic Studies: Converts and Conversion in Jewish History and Culture, co-sponsored by the National Museum of American Jewish History. This annual series is presented by the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. For more information, click here. ________________________________