Members of the Newmann Family aboard a ship of the Hamburg-America Line, undated.

  1. Date/Time

  2. Location

    Center for Jewish History

    15 W. 16th St.
    New York, NY 10011


  3. Video

    Watch streaming video of this event

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Leo Baeck Institute and The Jewish Studies Center at Baruch College will present a day-long conference on German-Jewish immigration and presence in New York City on May 5, 2011.

Panelists including distinguished scholars, authors of fiction and poetry, and filmmakers will discuss the impact that German-speaking Jews had on the intellectual, commercial, and cultural landscape of the city, from the first wave of immigration in the mid-19th century to the arrival of the refugee community in the 1930’s and beyond.

The discussions will include an exploration of lessons from the German-Jewish refugee experience that can be applied to today’s debate on immigration policy and efforts by museums and institutions to memorialize the German-Jewish community in New York.

Naturalization certificate for David Weil, a Brooklyn lithographer and engraver, dated November 11, 1857.

There will be a reception with light refreshments at Baruch College, in the Performing Arts Center, from 6-7 PM. This will be followed by a screening of the film We were so beloved: The German Jews of Washington Heights and a discussion with director Manfred Kirchheimer.

Attendance is free for the public. Please RSVP to (212) 744-6400.

The full program follows below:

Program: German-Speaking Jews in New York City: Their Immigration and Lasting Presence

Daytime Events:
Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011

Opening Comments
10:00 am
Jeffrey Peck, Dean, Baruch College Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, author of Being Jewish in the New Germany

Panel 1: The German-Speaking Jewish Presence in New York
10:15-11:45 am
Moderator: Jeffrey Peck
Hasia Diner, Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History, New York University
Erika Dreifus, Author, Quiet Americans: Stories
Janet Kirchheimer, Poet and author, How to Spot One of Us

Lunch Break

Panel 2: German-Jewish Troubles with Immigration in the 1930s: A Lesson for Today’s Immigration Debates?
1:30-3:00 pm
Moderator: Harriet Freidenreich, Professor of History, Temple University
Atina Grossmann, Professor of History, Cooper Union
Henry L. Feingold, Professor Emeritus of History, CUNY Graduate Center and Baruch College, Leo Baeck Institute Trustee
Alan Kraut, Professor of History, American University
Max Lerner, Viennese Refugee to New York during the 1930s
Commentator: Nancy Foner, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Panel 3 Roundtable Discussion: Memorializing and Representing German-Speaking Jews in New York City Museums and Institutions
3:15-4:45 pm
David G. Marwell, Director, Museum of Jewish Heritage
Annie Polland, Vice President of Education, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Author Landmark of the Spirit
Frank Mecklenburg, Director of Research, Leo Baeck Institute
Tom Freudenheim, Former Director, Jewish Museum Berlin
Commentator: Jeffrey Shandler, Professor of Jewish Studies, Rutgers University

Evening Program

Baruch Performing Arts Center, Engelman Recital Hall
55 Lexington Ave.
New York, New York 10010
6:00-7:00 Light Reception

Film Screening: We were so beloved: The German Jews of Washington Heights
7:00-10:30 pm
Followed by Discussion with Director Manfred Kirchheimer