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Jews, Money, Myth

March 2019 - October 2019

Jews, Money, Myth, a major exhibition developed jointly with Jewish Museum London, explored the role of money in Jewish life and its vexed place in relations between Jews and non-Jews, from the time of Jesus to the 21st century.

An accompanying publication, Jews, Money, Myth, co-edited by Marc Volovici and Joanne Rosenthal, expands on the exhibition’s key themes, with contributions from international scholars and artists, including the literary historian and author, Stephen Greenblatt and writer and filmmaker, Roee Rosen.

The Institute held a series of  public lectures and film screenings, as well as a workshop for scholars, which explored themes from the exhibition.

German Reparations and the Impact of Post War Jewish Politics

21st March, 2019

German Reparations and the Impact of Post War Jewish Politics

Professor Ron Zweig, New York University

In this lecture, Professor Zweig explores the difficult and controversial decisions that Jewish leaders and officeholders in Israel and the diaspora had to make before it was possible to even begin the pursuit of economic justice.

The Merchant of Venice

24th March, 2019

The Merchant of Venice

Professor Emma Smith, University of Oxford; Professor Filippo De Vivo, Birkbeck, University of London

Performances of The Merchant of Venice provoke strong emotions and heated debates on some of the most fraught questions in Jewish-Christian relations. Join us to watch the acclaimed 2004 cinematic adaptation of the play, directed by Michael Radford and for the panel discussion that follows.

Shidduchim – Deals Made in Heaven:  Romance, Politics and Economics

1st April, 2019

Shidduchim – Deals Made in Heaven: Romance, Politics and Economics

Professor Mirjam Zadoff, Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism

In this lecture Professor Zadoff asks ‘in what ways have these historical experiences influenced Jewish life throughout modernity and up until today?’

The City Without Jews

14th April, 2019

The City Without Jews

Professor Erica Carter, King’s College London; Dr Marc Volovici, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London

Based on the novel of the same title by Jewish writer Hugo Bettauer, this silent film, premiered in 1924, satirises the rising antisemitism in Austrian society in the wake of the First World War. The film ridicules the hollow promises of nationalist utopias and the pernicious nature of antisemitic demagoguery.

Fiddler on the Roof

19th May, 2019

Fiddler on the Roof

Professor Helen Beer, University College London; Dr Devorah Baum, University of Southampton

This critically acclaimed  musical (Norman Jewison, 1971) is based on stories written by the canonical Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem. With wit and exuberence, Fiddler on the Roof, remembered most for the song ‘If I were a rich man’, captures an imagined world of the shtetl.

Jews, Money, Myth – Round Table

20th May, 2019

Jews, Money, Myth – Round Table

Professor Anthony Bale, Birkbeck University of London; Ms Joanne Rosenthal, Curator for Jews, Money Myth; Dr Marc Volovici, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism

How can museums best confront the stereotypes that feed antisemitism?  Join our panel to explore the challenges of exhibiting difficult histories and shaping the stories objects tell.

From Amsterdam to Istanbul: Fundraising and Jewish Refugee Relief in the Seventeenth Century

This lecture examines the ways in which Jews across Europe and Asia co-operated in helping the tens of thousands of their co-religionists displaced by the mid-seventeenth century wars in eastern Europe.  A broad economic network coalesced which took money raised in communities as far distant as Amsterdam and channelled it to where it was needed most.

Jews, Money, Myth: International Workshop

17th June, 2019

Jews, Money, Myth: International Workshop

Dr Christine Achinger, University of Warwick; Professor Bernard Cooperman, University of Maryland; Professor Jonathan Karp, SUNY, Binghamton

Associations between Jews and money have informed the history of Jewish men and women for millennia and have also given rise to some of the most deeply entrenched Jewish stereotypes. In this workshop we aim to explore the connections – real and imagined – between Jews and money.

On the Road: Jewish Peddling and the Shaping of Jewish History

17th June, 2019

On the Road: Jewish Peddling and the Shaping of Jewish History

Professor Hasia Diner, New York University

In the long history of Jews and business, few phenomena have been more formative than Jewish peddling. In this lecture Hasia Diner explores the contours of this history. She reveals how the practice of peddling changed over centuries, and what its impact has been on the great Jewish migrations out of Europe.

Jewish Money and the Image of the Jewish Body in the Middle Ages

3rd July, 2019

Jewish Money and the Image of the Jewish Body in the Middle Ages

Professor Sara Lipton, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Through such vivid literary characters as Shylock, Fagin, and the notorious Jud Süß, the stereotype of the swarthy, hook-nosed, grasping Jewish moneylender has become a staple of western antisemitic discourse. In this talk Professor Lipton traces the slowly evolving image of Jews in medieval art, depicted first as worldly and materialistic, and, ultimately, dangerous and demonic.

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