April 16, 2009 (REVISED April 22, 2009) Library of Congress to Celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Peggy Pearlstein (202) 707-3779

Jewish American Heritage Month will be celebrated by the Library of Congress during the month of May with several lectures and a web presentation.

Sponsored by the Hebraic Section of the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division, the lectures are free and open to the public. Unless noted, reservations are not required.

At noon on Tuesday, May 5, Aviva Kempner will discuss her forthcoming documentary “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the James Madison Building at 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. Through clips from the film, Kempner will explore how American radio and television personality Gertrude Berg drew on her cultural heritage to pioneer a new medium. The program is sponsored jointly by the Hebraic Section and the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.

At 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13, Gershon Greenberg will deliver the 10th Annual Myron M. Weinstein Memorial Lecture on the Hebraic Book in the Whittall Pavilion of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The lecture is titled “Breaking the Holocaust Silence: A Hidden Hasidic Text of 1947--and Elie Wiesel.” Gershon is a professor of philosophy and religion at American University. The lecture series honors Myron M. Weinstein (1927-1998), whose 29-year tenure at the Library was spent in the Hebraic Section. Reservations are required at (202) 707-3779.

At noon on Tuesday, May 19, Laura Cohen Apelbaum and Wendy Turman of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington will discuss the historical society’s new exhibition and companion book catalog titled “Jewish Life in Mr. Lincoln's City.” The exhibition, on display Feb. 13 through May 31 at Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, D.C., and at Beth El Hebrew Congregation Sept. 11 through Dec. 31, explores the Jewish community in Washington and Alexandria during the Civil War. The discussion will take place in the African and Middle Eastern Reading Room, Room 220 of the Thomas Jefferson Building.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized website at myLOC.gov.

The Library’s extensive holdings include numerous items pertaining to Jewish history and Jewish Americans. Some of these items were featured in a Library of Congress exhibition titled “From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America,” which is accessible online at www.loc.gov/exhibits/haventohome/ and in a companion publication that can be ordered at www.loc.gov/shop/.

A Jewish American History Month web site will be accessible throughout the month of May at www.jewishheritagemonth.gov. This web portal is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


PR 09-078
ISSN 0731-3527