A Rumor of Empathy in Odessa – and at Yivo

Join me for a conversation with Jonathan Brent, Executive Director of Yivo, the Yiddish Archives and Research Center. “How things were done in Odessa” is a comic – tragic account of small time swindling by the Yiddish Mafia in Odessa prior to World War II. If you have ever heard Leonard Nemoy (the late Mr Spock) read this narrative aloud as part of the KCRW series on “Jewish Stories: From the Old World to the New,” then you know it is a hilarious piece of black humor – as were many of Isaac Babel’s stories of comedy in the face of suffering. Jon 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…You will not be bored!

Empathy Lessons

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

Jonathan Brent, Executive Director, Yivo Jonathan Brent, Executive Director, Yivo, Institute for Jewish Research

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…

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Categories: Empathy, empathy consulting, historical empathy, Jonathan Brent, narrative empathy, Odessa, Yiddish Mafia, Yivo

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