Click Here to Listen To: YIVO, Freud, and American Jewry: Discourse on Eastern Europe as a “Talking Cure” for American Jewish Ambivalence on February 25, 2014 at Center for Jewish History.
MAX WEINREICH FELLOWSHIP LECTURE | Rose and Isidore Drench Memorial Fellowship & Dora and Mayer Tendler Fellowship
Markus Krah, Doctoral Candidate, Jewish Theological Seminary
RSVP Required: yivo.org/reservations | 212.294.6140
In the 1940s and 50s, American Jewish leaders voiced concerns about the suppression and fragmentation of Jewishness in modern mass society and the pressure to assimilate to mainstream American expectations. Guided by Max Weinreich, who was intellectually engaged with Freudian ideas, YIVO advocated for a holistic, integrated Jewishness modeled after the East European ideal of Yiddishkayt. YIVO was a key voice in a larger discourse, as American Jews encountered different images of the East European past: shtetl and pogrom, piety and poverty, Hasidism and Socialism, among others. Markus Krah’s dissertation traces these competing narratives in magazines, sermons, radio shows, and popular literature. His lecture will discuss the idea that this discourse served as a “talking cure,” as American Jews searched the complex East European past for meaning and grounding in the complex American present.