Institute News

Former Institute Fellow Jeffrey Shandler to Give Talk at YIVO Institute

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is hosting former USC Shoah Foundation Institute Fellow Jeffrey Shandler for its annual Naomi Prawer Kadar Memorial Lecture Thursday, Nov. 19 in New York City.

The talk will be held at the YIVO Institute, 15 West 16th St, New York City, with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the talk at 7 p.m. Admission is free. The evening is sponsored by the Naomi Prawer Kadar Foundation, Inc.

Shandler’s talk will focus on Yiddish performances of Holocaust survivors in the Visual History Archive of USC Shoah Foundation. During dozens of testimonies, survivors sing songs or recite poems in Yiddish. Shandler will present excerpts of these performances and discuss why these survivors choose to demonstrate their creativity in Yiddish while recalling widespread destruction.

Shandler, professor of Jewish studies at Rutgers University, researches Holocaust remembrance, American Jewish culture and media and Yiddish language and culture. He is the president of the Association for Jewish Studies. He was the USC Shoah Foundation Institute Scholar in 2012-2013, and was on the steering committee for USC Shoah Foundation’s 2014 international conference, “Memory, Media and Technology: Exploring the Trajectories of Schindler’s List.”

In January 2014, Shandler published a multimedia article on the Scalar online publishing platform titled Survivors on Schindler’s List. Through testimony of Holocaust survivors in the Visual History Archive, Shandler examines the various effects that Schindler’s List and other Holocaust narratives have on survivors’ personal histories. As a case study, the article also demonstrates how the testimonies are affected by different forms of mediation, from the interviewers’ questions to the Visual History Archive’s indexing system.