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The Preservation of Jewish Monuments in Eastern Europe: Part Two

Hosted By: Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program ("CSP")

Join for a three-part series with Dr. Julia Wagner, live from the UK, as we examine the evolution of the “Jewish American Princess” character-type in film and television, from its misogynistic origins to unlikely heroines. Dr. Wagner will draw together the themes of the three lectures outlined below to ask how Jewish women on screen can assert their independence and effect social change. How do the characters portray female power, money and privilege, duty and loyalty, personal responsibility, and social conscience? By analyzing representative movies and television series from a feminist perspective, we will see how and why Jewish American Princess heroines might challenge negative stereotypes and provide positive images of Jewish women.

April 18 – Preserving Cemeteries  – For Jews, cemeteries are inviolable sacred sites, but Nazi and Communist regimes carried out policies that ruined Jewish cemeteries and often stripped them entirely of their gravestones and even despoiled graves. For decades, the only Jewish cemetery in Eastern Europe that was well known was the Old Cemetery in Prague. Since 1990 enormous strides have been taken in the identification and documentation of thousands Jewish cemeteries in Central and Eastern Europe. Some of these have often stunningly beautiful remaining matzevot (gravestones), but many have been stripped of their stones and have even been paved or built over. Beginning in 1991, as Research Director the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Aboard, Dr. Gruber was a leader in the identification and documentation of thousands of these sites. Since then efforts to protect and preserve these sites have been erratic, but there have been hundreds of successful interventions – ranging from simple cleaning of sites by local school and church groups, to full-scale restorations of walls and re-erection of gravestones and mausolea by Jewish communities, government agencies and private foundations. Today several organizations are carrying out extensive mapping, fencing and conservation projects.

April 25 – Commemorating Holocaust Sites

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Dr. Julia Wagner

Julia studied in Berlin and London and holds a PhD in History.
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Dr. Samuel Gruber

Dr. Samuel Gruber has been active in the documentation, protection, and preservation of this historic since 1990, when he organized the first countrywide surveys of Jewish heritage sites for the World Monuments Fund and the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, and organized the first international conference on the Future of Jewish Monuments.  That wok led to the restoration of many synagogues and cemeteries and the creation of new memorials at Holocaust-related sites. More recently, most such projects have been organized locally.  Dr. Gruber presently directs Gruber Heritage Global, a cultural resource consulting firm and is president of the not-for-profit International Survey of Jewish Monuments.  He lives in Syracuse, New York, where since 1994, he has taught art history and Jewish Studies at Syracuse University and is also Visiting Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Cornell University.
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Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program ("CSP")

The Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program (“CSP”) is a program offering adult Jewish education and family Jewish celebrations.
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