Jill Culiner has talked about the Romanian Jewish Fusgeyers and the farming colonies in Western Canada at the Centre for Jewish History, New York, the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada, the Wandering Jew Seminar in Tel Aviv, the Romanian Interest Group at Harvard University, and at Jewish Genealogical and Historical Societies in Boston, Toronto, Oregon, Montreal, Fairfield County, Berkeley, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Oklahoma, Marin County, Ottawa, Calgary, and Edmonton.
Selected lecture and presentation Topics
All subjects can be tailored to suit the audience and the venue.
To hear her storytelling podcast, go to:
Please contact Jill at jill (at) jillculiner-writer (dot) com if you are interested in having talk to your group.
Artist Web site: http://www.jill-culiner.com
Storytelling Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/j-arlene-culiner
Toronto Workmen's Circle
Sunday, Jan 23rd, 2:00 pm (EST)
The Old Country, how did it smell? Sound? Was village life as cosy as popular myth would have us believe? Was there really a strong sense of community? Perhaps it was another place altogether.
In nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, Jewish life was ruled by Hasidic rebbes or the traditional Misnagedim, and religious law dictated every aspect of daily life. Secular books were forbidden; independent thinkers were threatened with moral rebuke, magical retribution, and expulsion. But the Maskilim, proponents of the Haskalah or Jewish Enlightenment, were determined to create a modern Jew, to found schools where children could learn science, geography, languages and history.
Velvel Zbarzher, rebel, glittering star of fusty inns, spent his life singing his Haskalah poems to loyal audiences of poor workers and craftsmen in Romania, Galicia, Vienna and Constantinople, but he was also a friend of leading intellectuals: Hebrew writer and school director Moshe Orenstein, writer and journalist, Peretz Smolenskin, Rabbi Dr Moses Fried, actor Berl Broder, and the famous father of Yiddish theatre, Avrom Goldfaden.
By the time Velvel died in Constantinople in 1883, the Haskalah was over. The modern Jew had been created, yet assimilation hadn’t brought an end to anti-Semitism, and disillusion gave birth to new movements: Zionism with its promise of a homeland free of exclusion, Socialism, Marxism, Leninism, and Bundism.