The Bizarre Tales of Yiddishland: What the Yiddish Press Reveals About the Jews
An underground history of downwardly mobile Jews, Bad Rabbi: And Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press, exposes the seamy underbelly of pre-WWII New York and Warsaw, the two major centers of Yiddish culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With true stories of Jewish drunks, thieves, murderers, wrestlers, psychics, and beauty queens, all plucked from the pages of the Yiddish dailies, Eddy Portnoy introduces us to the Jews whose follies and foibles were fodder for urban gossip before winding up at the bottom of bird cages or as wrapping for dead fish.
Eddy Portnoy received his Ph.D. in Modern Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary and also holds an M.A. in Yiddish Studies from Columbia University. A specialist in Jewish popular culture, he has published in numerous academic journals and also in The Forward and in Tablet Magazine. He currently serves as Academic Advisor for the Max Weinreich Center and Exhibition Curator at the YIVOInstitute for Jewish Research.
Lecture preceded by a community brunch at 9AM.
Sponsor: Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program