Sun, Jan 31

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Live via Zoom

Vilna: Capital of Yiddishland with Sam Kassow

Join Professor Sam Kassow, author of Who Will Write Our History? and Charles H. Northam Professor of History for a lecture on Vilna's Yiddish past.

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Vilna: Capital of Yiddishland with Sam Kassow

Time & Location

Jan 31, 2021, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CST

Live via Zoom

About the Event

Vilna, “the Jerusalem of Lithuania,” was the most “Jewish” city in Eastern Europe. Other cities had greater wealth and more Jews. Warsaw boasted the largest Jewish community in Europe;  Lodz was the proud center of Jewish industry. But  it was Vilna that possessed a unique power to forge new Jewish identities on the bedrock of Jewish tradition. Its magic came from its history -- and also from its very buildings and streets. Vilna was a center of traditional religious culture, the home of the famous Vilna Gaon and the “Vilna Shas”, the Vilna edition of the Talmud. But it was also the birthplace of the Bund, the largest Jewish socialist party in Eastern Europe. A hotbed of the Jewish Enlightenment and Hebrew literature, Vilna also became the undisputed world center of Yiddish culture. Religion and worldliness, Hebrew and Yiddish, tradition and modernity, all came together in the compact, baroque jewel that was Vilna - the capital of Yiddishland.

Samuel Kassow is the Charles H. Northam Professor of History at Trinity College. He has an M.Sc from the London School of Economics and a Ph.D from Princeton University. He has published widely on the history of Tsarist Russia and on  East European Jewish history. His book