Professor Lee Shai Weissbach of the University of Louisville (Kentucky) will speak on September 21, 2008 about small town Jewish communities in a lecture at the Spertus Institute in Chicago. Dr. Weissbach is author of Jewish Life in Small Town America (Yale University Press, 2005). He also wrote the excellent (but poorly titled) The Synagogues of Kentucky (University Press of Kentucky, 1995). I say "poorly titled"since the book is about so much more - it presents the history of American synagogue architecture in the context of community building - illustrated with a detailed cataloging of the synagogues in one relatively small state. It's one of my favorite "unknown" books to pass on to others.
His more recent book addresses some of the same issues, but from a national perspective. It is a required antidote for those whose ideas about American Jewish history have been shaped by reading only Irving Howe's The World of Our Fathers. Weissbach writes that by the 1920s, at there were around 500 small
Tickets are $20 | $15 for Spertus members | $10 for students Call 312.322.1773.The lecture is at 2 pm. There will be a book signing following Dr. Weissbach's lecture.