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Yiddish Paris: Theater and Culture During the Interwar Years with Nick Underwood

  • Jewish Community Library 1835 Ellis Street San Francisco, CA, 94115 United States (map)

Free event at the Jewish Community Library / 1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco

Paris during the interwar years was an exciting hub of immigrant Yiddish culture. During the 1920s and 1930s, approximately 150,000 immigrant Jews from eastern and central Europe came to Paris, transforming themselves from a disparate group of immigrants unsure of their place in France to a community that coalesced around a new, transnational antifascist identity. Yiddish cultural institutions, such as the Yiddish theater and the Arbeter-Ring Pariz (Workmen’s Circle Paris), aided in the creation of this new type of community, while the Modern Jewish Culture Pavilion, constructed for the 1937 World's Fair, put Yiddish Paris on the world stage.

Nick Underwood will discuss how Yiddish culture in Paris balanced notions of what it was to be Jewish, as well as what it was to be French, during this period of communal and political upheaval in Europe.

Nick Underwood, currently teaching in Sonoma State University’s Jewish Studies program, is a PhD candidate in modern European and modern Jewish history at the University of Colorado Boulder. His dissertation is titled "Staging a New Community: Jewish Immigrant Culture and the Fight Against Fascism in Interwar France, 1920-1940."

Program made possible, in part, by Larry Burgheimer. Co-sponsored by the Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring of Northern California. Co-presented by Lehrhaus Judaica, KlezCalifornia, Alliance Francaise, and the Academic Consortium of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.

The Jewish Community Library is located on the campus of the Jewish Community High School. Free parking in the building's private garage. Enter garage on Pierce Street, between Ellis and Eddy; buzz intercom for entrance. Pedestrians use gate at Ellis Street and buzz intercom for entrance.