2013-2014 Events Calendar


Fall 2013

Thursday, October 10

Dr. Miriam Isaacs

Songs from Atlantis: Exploring a Jewish Music Archive from 1948

Lecture by Dr. Miriam Isaacs

7:00 pm @ William K. Sanford Town Library
629 Albany Shaker Rd; Colonie, NY

During the summer of 1948, only three years after the end of WWII, a man devoted to Yiddish culture, Ben Stonehill, recorded survivors who were temporarily housed in a hotel in upper Manhattan just after they arrived. The singers included men and women, and even children. Stonehill collected over a thousand songs of many kinds, joyful as well as sad, mainly in Yiddish but also Hebrew, Polish and Russian. These songs are musical testimonies to the resilience of the survivors. These songs are a direct link to pre-war Jewish life in Eastern Europe and a cultural treasure. The music and chatting that went on in between the songs tell, not only of their terrible traumas but also of their hopes and the sheer pleasure of reconnecting with others in singing. In this talk, Dr. Miriam Isaacs, who held a fellowship at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to research this archive, will play some of these almost forgotten recordings and talk about the collector, the singers and the times.

Born in a Displaced Persons camp in post-war Germany, Dr. Isaacs earned her Ph.D. in linguistics from Cornell University. She taught Yiddish for many years at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has published and lectured widely on the subjects of Yiddish language and culture in the Hasidic worlds and among Displaced Persons camps.

This lecture is made possible through the generosity of the Colonie Jewish Community Association and the Campus Outreach Lecture Program of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Kosher Refreshments Provided


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