During the pandemic, I’ve been taking part in a number of online Zoom webinars, lectures, discussions, and round-table projects.
Here’s the most recent:
“Synagogues: The State of Preservation and Future Prospects – possible approaches and challenges in heritage protection” — December 7th 2021
A conversation with me; architect, artist and designer, Natalia Romik; the director of the Okopowa Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, Witold Wrzosiński; and the CEO of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, Piotr Puchta. This webinar was part of the Virtual Connections to Material Jewish Heritage in Poland project of FODZ (Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland) which features virtual tours of historic synagogues and other sites.
Here’s an example of the “Jewish Heritage Hard Talk” project I’ve been involved in, with Helise Lieberman of the Taube Foundation, and Victor Sorenssen of the AEPJ.
It’s a round-table discussion among the three of us, and always a fourth person (different each time) about Jewish heritage strategy, pegged to the provocative article “10 Commandments for the Care of Jewish Heritage“ by the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe CEO Sally Berkovic.
We’ve done a number of Hard Talks, hosted by different platforms and organizations, with different guests. This one took place in June 2021, hosted by the AEPJ — the guest was Jeremy Leigh, who teaches Israel Studies and Modern Jewish History at Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religions in Jerusalem.
I gave an illustrated lecture — via Zoom — on Nov. 12 as part of a program organized by the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow.
In it I looked back over my experience in Poland, dating back to 1980, when I was a correspondent for UPI covering Solidarnosc and martial law (including when I was jailed and expelled from the country because of my coverage) and discussed how throughout my career I’ve observed how people create lived experience via dreams and desires: whether it was Solidarnosc activists aiming for civil society, or emerging Jews and Jewish communities claiming, reclaiming — or creating — identities, or fans of the American frontier finding identity in country music and home-grown swinging door saloons. There was a lot more I would have wanted to say in response to questions in the very brief discussion afterward, but that can be for another time.
I took part in a conference on Jewish Heritage in Slovenia, held at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in September 2019.
My presentation was “Notes” from the survey of Jewish heritage in Slovenia that I carried out in 1996 — the first full survey of Jewish heritage in the country, and an endeavor that in many ways underlay the scholarship presented by the other participants in the conference.
That survey was carried out for the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, and was published in downloadable form. Click here to access it.
The conference was filmed — here is a video of my presentation.
At the conference Jewish Heritage Tourism in the Digital Age, held in Venice October 23-25, 2017, there was an event celebrating 25 years year the first edition of my book Jewish Heritage Travel was published — and 15 years since my book Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe.
The event was a conversation between me and Shaul Bassi, of Ca’ Foscari University and Beit Venezia, looking back on my involvement in Jewish heritage over the past nearly 30 years.
The Center for Urban History in Lviv has posted the full video of a lecture I presented in Lviv July 27, 2017 at the conclusion of the lecture series “Jewish Days in the City Hall: (Un)Displayed Past in East European Museums.” In the talk I reflected on the changes that have taken place in Jewish heritage tourism since the publication of the first edition of my book “Jewish Heritage Travel” in 1992.