Max Weinreich and America

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Israel & Jewish Studies at Columbia University and Bard College with support from the Center for Cultural Judaism

Max Weinreich (1894–1969) was the foremost twentieth-century scholar of the Yiddish language and the founding director of the YIVO Institute. Best known for his magisterial History of the Yiddish Language, Weinreich devoted his life to promoting and studying the Yiddish language, applying the latest advances in anthropology, linguistics, and psychology to the problems facing the Jewish people, and encouraging and mentoring other scholars. Weinreich oversaw YIVO’s move from Vilna to New York in 1940 and spent the remainder of his life in the United States. This day-long conference will feature leading experts on Weinreich focusing on his career in, and relationship with, America. Part of the conference’s goal is to draw attention to aspects of Weinreich’s life and work that have heretofore not been at the center of scholarly attention.

9:00AM - 10:00AM: Registration, coffee, viewing exhibition

10:00AM - 10:30AM: Welcome (Jonathan Brent); inauguration of exhibition (Krysia Fisher)

10:30AM - 11:15AM: Keynote: Robert King

11:15AM - 1:00PM: Panel 1: Weinreich's Career

Moderator: Cecile Kuznitz

Kalman Weiser: Max Weinreich after World War II
Gennady Estraikh: Max Weinreich as a Journalist
Mark L. Smith: Max Weinreich at UCLA

1:00PM - 2:00PM: Lunch Break

2:00PM - 3:45PM: Panel 2: Works of Max Weinreich

Moderator: Andrew Koss

Paul Glasser: History of the Yiddish Language
David Engel: Hitler's Professors
Justin Cammy: Max Weinreich's Youth Research

3:45PM - 4:15PM: Coffee Break

4:15PM - 6:00PM: Panel 3: Reminiscences

Joshua Fishman (by video)
Chava Lapin
Gabi Weinreich

6:00PM - 6:15PM: Closing Remarks

4 December 2011