University at Albany

Jews Along The Hudson

2011-2012 Program

All events are free and open to the public

Sunday, September 18

"Summer Joins the Past" with Photographer Albert J. Winn

Photographer Albert J. Winn

"Summer Joins the Past"

1:00pm @ UAlbany Alumni House - Uptown Campus

Co-sponsored by University at Albany Hillel

Summer camp was once an important part of the cultural landscape of the Jewish adolescent experience in the United States. Started in the early years of the twentieth century as a refuge from congested slums, summer camps became vehicles for Jewish assimilation into the American mainstream, combining Native-American and American folklore, sports, and arts and crafts activities in a Jewish cultural setting. Read more.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise

Rabbi Don Cashman

Albany and the Origins of Jewish Reform

7:00 PM @ The Golub Center, The United Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York

Co-sponsored by The United Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York

Albany, N.Y. was a signicant incubator in the origin and growth of Reform Judaism in America. Albany had the distinction of being the home of Isaac Mayer Wise who served as Rabbi of Temple Beth El (1846-1850) and Temple Anshei Emeth (1850-1854), the former position ending with a now-infamous fist fight on Rosh Hashanah. Wise was not only a Reformer, but he also wanted to unify American Judaism with an American rite of Jewish worship. He saw the need for an organization of likeminded congregations that could provide the financial and ideological underpinnings to create a seminary to train rabbis in North America.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise

Chris McKenna & Barry Trachtenberg

Investigating Kiryas Joel

7:00 PM @ Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center

Situated in the town of Monroe, NY, the village of Kiryas Joel is home to over 23,000 Hasidic Jews of the Satmarer dynasty. An offshoot of their home community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn 60 miles to the south, Kiryas Joel has been at the center of controversy since its founding in 1979. For over a decade, reporter Chris McKenna of the Times Herald-Record has covered Kiryas Joel. In conversation
with Associate Prof. Barry Trachtenberg, who has conducted several research trips to Kiryas Joel, McKenna will share his insights into the challenges of reporting on this otherwise closed community.


Thursday December 1, 2011

Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Eric Keenaghan

The Poet Muriel Rukeyser and the Politics of Life-Writing

7:00 PM @ William K. Sanford Town Library

Prolifc poet, essayist, journalist, and biographer Muriel Rukeyser is perhaps best-known as the one who offered second wave feminists their most galvanizing and oft-repeated lines: "What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open". In this talk, poet and UAlbany Associate Professor of English Eric Keenaghan explores the political and ethical implications of Rukeyser's life-writing, that is, her writing about life through her writing of others' lives in her poetry and prose.


Thursday February 16, 2012

The Jewish Civil Libertarian Arthur Garfield Hays

Richard Hamm

The Jewish Civil Libertarian Arthur Garfield Hays

7:00 PM @ William K. Sanford Town Library

Co-sponsored by NYS Civil Liberties Union

From the 1920s until his death in 1955, Arthur Garfeld Hays—a grandchild of German-Jewish immigrants—was a leading advocate of civil liberties in American society. As UAlbany Professor of History Richard Hamm discusses, Hays was often embroiled in controversies over Zionism, group
libel laws, and defenses of American Nazis’ free speech rights. Hays also consistently stuck to his view that the best way for Jews to protect their own civil liberties was to come to the defense of other groups who were persecuted.


Thursday March 29, 2012

Catskill Cinema: Glimpses of Borscht Belt life on Film

Audrey Kupferberg and Rob Edelman

Catskill Cinema: Glimpses of Borscht Belt Life on Film

7:00 PM @ The Linda WAMC's Performing Arts Studio

Summer respites in the Catskills were a way of life for Jewish New Yorkers during the first six or seven decades of the Twentieth Century. Presenting films such as Billy Crystal’s Mr. Saturday Night, Dirty Dancing and Having Wonderful Time with Ginger Rogers, Kupferberg and Edelman discuss
issues relating to the type of entertainment presented at Catskill hotels, the importance of time away from New York City, dating, parent-child conflicts—and of course, the food!


Sunday April 29, 2012

Emma Lazarus

Esther Schor

Emma Lazarus

2:30 PM @ Museum of Jewish Heritage

For most Americans, Emma Lazarus's reputation rests on one poem, "The New Colossus," affixed to the base of the Statue of Liberty. Lazarus, however, was a much-heralded artist in her day and a formidable woman of passion and integrity. As poet Esther Schor reveals, Lazarus's brief life
had many chapters; she was a youthful prodigy who briefly became the protégée of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a poet renowned on two continents, a fierce polemicist and champion of Russian Jewish refugees, and a Zionist before Zionism existed.