Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture:

Jewish Nostalgia as Religious Practice

Next Event: February 8, 2023 $15.00 - $36.00
Gross headshot Contraptions CJM
Rachel B. Gross (Photo: Contraptions CJM)

Join one, two, or three adult learning lectures and Q&A with Rachel B. Gross, author of “Beyond the Synagogue: Jewish Nostalgia as Religious Practice.” Participants register for classes individually but the topics will build upon each other.

February 8 – Part 1: “Give Us Our Name: Creating Jewish Genealogy”

The first talk in the series, “Give Us Our Name: Creating Jewish Genealogy,” will explore how Jewish genealogists create emotional and spiritual connections to Jewish history through their research. In her lecture, Prof. Gross will trace the history of American Jewish genealogy since its organizational beginnings in the 1970s. We will examine how Jewish genealogy functions as a mitzvah, something both praiseworthy and required.

Upcoming sessions:
March 8 – Part 2: “Ghosts in the Gallery: Historic Synagogues and American Jewish Religion”

Historic synagogues like the Vilna Shul are places where Jews and non-Jews establish nostalgic and physical connections to the past. In the second lecture, “Ghosts in the Gallery: Historic Synagogues and American Jewish Religion,” Prof. Gross will discuss how staff members encourage Jewish and non-Jewish visitors to feel nostalgia for Eastern European Jewish immigration histories, creating religious communities that include Jews, non-Jews, and ghostly ancestors.

April 13 – Part 3: “The Jewish Deli Revival: Consuming American Jewish Nostalgia”

In recent years, there has been a nostalgic resurgence of interest in Jewish delis. In the third lecture, “The Jewish Deli Revival: Consuming American Jewish Nostalgia,” Prof. Gross will examine how restaurateurs are making American Jewish food fit for the twenty-first century, emphasizing sustainability and local produce. We will explore how these revitalized delis use nostalgic longing for family and community histories to create communities in the present and pass on their values to future generations.

Please use code GROSS30-FM for 30% off and free shipping of Beyond the Synagogue directly from NYU Press.

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Fact Sheet
Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
$15.00 Per session
$36.00 Whole series

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