31 2023

Early American Jews Pt. 2: Family Stories About Colonial-Era Jews

10:45AM - 11:45AM  

This Federation event takes place at Knesset Israel 16 Colt Road
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Contact Rabbi Daveen Litwin

Join Fitchburg State Professor Michael Hoberman for a two-part series on the present-day legacy of early Jewish American history. The second session on August 31 will focus on recent research on the colonial era and the "first Jewish families." How do present-day descendants tell their families' stories and why are their stories important today?

Genealogical research is an extremely popular form of "public history," and Jews in America have been enthusiastic and innovative practitioners of the pastime for generations. In this presentation, Professor Hoberman will highlight some of the interviews he has conducted with living descendants of Jews who settled in the US in the 1700s, including a man whose bar-mitzvah, in the bicentennial year of 1776, marked the eighth generation of his family's existence in North America (his great, great, great, great-grandfather, Gershom Mendes Seixas, had attended George Washington's inauguration in 1789). 

This free program is part of the Federation’s Connecting with Community Series and will be followed by a kosher hot lunch. Lunch is a $3 suggested donation for adults over 60 years of age or $7 for all others. Advance reservations are required for lunch and can be made by calling (413) 442-2200 before 9 a.m. on the day of the program.

Masks are optional.