Gershom G. Scholem, Lucy S. Dawidowicz, and the Problem of Jewish Secularism in the Postwar World

Date: Feb 26, 2017 - Feb 26, 2017

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Sponsor: JTS Learning in Your Community

Location: New Jersey

Category: JTS in Your Community

An Unexpected Conversation

Join us for a lecture and discussion with Dr. Nancy Sinkoff, JTS fellow and associate professor of Jewish Studies and History, Rutgers University. Dr. Sinkoff will teach an interactive class that will explore a fertile, and unknown, correspondence between one of the towering figures of 20th-century Jewish life, Gershom G. Scholem, and a well-known popular historian of the Holocaust, Lucy S. Dawidowicz, regarding the claims of secularism and mysticism on Nathan Birnbaum, a major figure of late 19th- and early 20th-century European Jewish nationalism. Their correspondence illustrates how Jewish intellectuals wrestled with the problems of constructing a Jewish life in a postwar, non-European context when the foundations of that culture were European.

Sunday, February 26, 10:00 a.m.

Temple Beth Shalom
193 East Mount Pleasant Avenue
Livingston, NJ

The program is free and open to the community.

For additional information, contact Temple Beth Shalom at (973) 992-3600 or

Nancy Sinkoff (MA, GS ’89) is associate professor of Jewish Studies and History and director of the Center for European Studies at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Sinkoff holds a BA from Harvard University, MA degrees from Columbia University and The Jewish Theological Seminary, and an MPhil and PhD from Columbia University. Her fields of interest include East European Jewish intellectual history, the Enlightenment, and gender. Her publications include Out of the Shtetl: Making Jews Modern in the Polish Borderland (Brown Judaic Studies, 2004) and “Yidishkayt and the Making of Lucy S. Dawidowicz,” Introduction to From That Place and Time: A Memoir1938–1947 (Rutgers University Press, 2008). Her cultural-intellectual biography of Lucy S. Dawidowicz, Last Witness: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History, is in progress. Beyond her activities within the scholarly sphere, Dr. Sinkoff has long devoted herself to bringing ideas and information to the public. Dr. Sinkoff has been a consultant for the 18th-century gallery of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw. She is a past faculty member of Context and has given public lectures at the Center for Jewish History, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and synagogues and JCCs in the New York tristate area. 

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