April 29, 2005


Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) celebrates Jewish Heritage Month with a series of cultural programs at the Central Library including informative lectures, compelling author talks and an evening of poetry led by noted authors, academics and poets. People of all ages will enjoy the array of programs, all focused on the Jewish experience, ranging from an inspiring lecture on preserving Yiddish books to poems reflecting "The Voices of Genesis: Family Feuds and Tortured Love." Events run throughout the month of May.

"Brooklyn Public Library is proud to continue its traditional month-long celebration of Jewish Heritage with prominent Jewish figures and noted experts on Jewish heritage from Brooklyn and beyond," says Ginnie Cooper, Executive Director, Brooklyn Public Library. "Our series of unique cultural programs honors the Jewish experience and many contributions to society."

Several author talks explore different aspects of Jewish heritage. Aaron Lansky, author of Outwitting History: How One Man Rescued A Million Books and Saved A Civilization, shares inspiring and hilarious tales about his travels across the country on a quest to save Yiddish books from attics, basements and dumpsters. Author of Jewish American Literature: A Guide to Reading Interests, Rosalind Reisner, discusses literature that captures the remarkable stories of Jewish immigrants who recreated themselves in the American image, and in the process, played an integral role in shaping American culture.

Movie icon Eli Wallach shares excerpts from his memoir, The Good, The Bad, and Me. The Tony Award winner chronicles his career in the footlights and on camera from his beginnings in Brooklyn to his days as one of the first members of the famed Actors Studio.

"The Voices of Genesis: Family Feuds and Tortured Love," an evening of poetry, features readings by poets Lois Adams, Patricia Markert and Brooklyn natives Barbara Elovic and Constance Norgren, collaborative authors of To Genesis: Poems. Critics have deemed the series of persona poems "witty retellings" of the classic stories in the voices of familiar Genesis characters, such as Eve, Cain and Esau, as well as lesser known characters such as Tamar.

Morris Dickstein, Distinguished Professor of English at CUNY's Graduate Center, presents a fascinating lecture, "Shadows: I.B. Singer and the Holocaust", on the response of prolific Yiddish novelist I.B. Singer to the Holocaust. He explores the theory that Singer experienced guilt over his own escape of the Holocaust.

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