Eastern European Jewish History Is Alive and Well
Thanks to YIVO Educational Program (EPYC)
International Educators to Attend EPYC Training Seminar
(June 7, 2006 - New York) The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research will sponsor a unique three-day educational training program in Eastern European Jewish history and Yiddish culture (EPYC), beginning Tuesday, June 27 through Thursday June 29, 2006, at the Center for Jewish History (15 West 16th St., New York City). The EPYC Educators Seminar will introduce lead educators to YIVO's wealth of cultural treasures and educational resources. Thanks to major funding by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc., a broad group of educators from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Lithuania and Israel will participate in a series of lectures and workshops presented by renowned scholars. Lecturers include, among others, Professor Michael Stanislawski of Columbia University, Dr. Samuel Kassow of Trinity College, Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett of New York University, and Zalman Mlotek, director of the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater, whose actors will present a sampler of Yiddish music and theater. The chairman of the EPYC Seminar is Dr. Robert M. Shapiro of Brooklyn College.
The EPYC program was developed over a five-year period to familiarize educators, students and laypeople with over 1,000 years of Jewish history and culture in Eastern Europe which was destroyed by the Nazis in World War II. Ideally suited for secondary schools, university and adult learning programs, the EPYC curriculum can be used as a stand-alone Jewish history course or as an extraordinary resource for Jewish and Holocaust studies. Describing this in-depth academic program, Professor Robert M. Shapiro, a specialist in Eastern European Jewish life, says that, "Comparatively speaking, the EPYC curriculum is unique because it was created from the vast archive and library collections of the YIVO Institute which contain over 360,000 volumes and over 23 million documents and artifacts on Eastern European Jewish Life including recordings, books, songs, photographs, rare motion pictures, manuscripts, and audio clips of music."
The three-day seminar will gather 35 global participants ranging from secondary schoolteachers, college professors and teacher trainers, to historians, Holocaust education directors, and a filmmaker. Institutions represented will include Stuyvesant High School, Hebrew Union College, Lehrhaus Judaica: The Adult School for Jewish Studies and the Collegio Israelitica de Mexico. Daily pedagogical workshops led by seminar co-chairs Cynthia Peterman, chair of the Jewish History Department of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (Baltimore, MD.), and by NYU doctoral candidate Leah Strigler, will complement lectures by leading scholars. Popular culture and entertainment are important components of Yiddish culture that will be explored and enjoyed at the end of each seminar day. Evening presentations include Joanna Borts and Moshe Bear of the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre and a presentation of the award-winning YIVO documentary film, "Image Before My Eyes", newly reissued on DVD (New Video - 2006).
The EPYC curriculum can be downloaded free of charge from http://epyc.yivo.org (the EPYC web site) in the 'For Teachers' section. Funding for YIVO's 2006 EPYC Educators Seminar has been made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. - The Rabbi Israel Miller Fund for Shoah Research, Education and Documentation, the U.S. Department of Education and friends of YIVO.
About the YIVO INSTITUTE FOR JEWISH RESEARCH: Founded in Vilna, Poland, in 1925 and based in New York City since 1940, YIVO is the preeminent resource center for the study of East European Jewish history and culture; Yiddish language, literature and folklore; and the American Jewish immigrant experience. The YIVO Library holds 360,000 volumes; the Archives contain 23 million manuscripts, documents, photographs, and other artifacts. YIVO offers a series of cultural events, adult education and Yiddish language classes, various scholarly publications, research opportunities and fellowships.
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