March 16, 2023 7:00 PM to 8:00 PMUptown Campus
Livestreaming for the event will be available. Please register via this link: https://vimeo.com/webinars/events/b104569b-a92b-4271-a7da-a9af5f53e2ba
In The Art of the Jewish Family, Laura Arnold Leibman examines five objects owned by a diverse group of Jewish women who all lived in New York in the years between 1750 and 1850: a letter from impoverished Hannah Louzada seeking assistance; a set of silver cups owned by Reyna Levy Moses; an ivory miniature owned by Sarah Brandon Moses, who was born enslaved and became one of the wealthiest Jewish women in New York; a book created by Sarah Ann Hays Mordecai; and a family silhouette owned by Rebbetzin Jane Symons Isaacs. These objects offer intimate and tangible views into the lives of Jewish American women from a range of statuses, beliefs, and lifestyles--both rich and poor, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, slaves and slaveowner.
Laura Arnold Leibman is Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College. Her work focuses on how material culture changes our understanding of the role of women, children, and Jews of color in the early Atlantic World. Leibman is the author of The Art of the Jewish Family: A History of Women in Early New York in Five Objects (Bard Graduate Center, 2020) which won three National Jewish Book Awards, and Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism: A New Interpretation of Early American Jewish Life (2012), which won a Jordan Schnitzer Book Award and a National Jewish Book Award. Her latest book Once We Were Slaves (Oxford University Press, 2021) about an early multiracial Jewish family who began their lives enslaved in the Caribbean and became some of the wealthiest Jews in New York was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. She has written several other books and numerous academic articles, one of which won the 2015 Wasserman Essay Prize from the journal American Jewish History. She has been a Fulbright scholar, a visiting fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew an Jewish Studies at University of Oxford, and the Leon Levy Foundation Professor of Jewish Material Culture at Bard Graduate Center. She is also known for her scholarship in Digital Humanities.
Event sponsored by the Grant Center for the American Jewish Experience