Join me for a conversation with Jonathan Brent, Executive Director of Yivo about how things were done in Odessa on Wednesday May 20, 2015 at noon Chicago time with replay shortly thereafter. [Click here to go to interview or replay.] “A Rumor of Empathy in Odessa” is a reference
to the celebrated story by Isaac Babel, “How Things Were Done in Odessa,” a humorous and tragic tale of the Yiddish mafia [try getting your head around that!]. In 1925, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research was founded in Vilna (Wilno, Poland; now Vilnius, Lithuania), by key European intellectuals, including Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, to record the history and pioneer in the critical study of the language, literature and culture of the Jews of Eastern Europe. From its inception, YIVO was deeply concerned that the language and culture of East European Jewry were undergoing radical change in a rapidly modernizing world. YIVO’s founders were tireless in collecting the documents and archival records of Jewish communities across Eastern Europe, years before anyone could have predicted the devastation that would befall them. In 1940, YIVO moved its permanent headquarters to New York City, becoming the only pre-Holocaust institution to transfer its mission to the United States from Europe.
Jonathan Brent is the Executive Director of The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City. From 1991 to 2009 he was Editorial Director and Associate Director of Yale Press. He is the founder of the world acclaimed Annals of Communism series, which he established at Yale Press in 1991. Brent is the co-author of Stalin’s Last Crime: The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, 1948-1953 (Harper-Collins, 2003) and Inside the Stalin Archives (Atlas Books, 2008). He is now working on a biography of the Soviet-Jewish writer Isaac Babel. And thereby hangs a tale – of how things were done in Odessa…
Find out about the amazing work Yivo and Jonathan Brent are performing. Not to be missed!