Dinner and Breakout Sessions
Dietary laws observed • Business attire
Jewish Immigrant Entrepreneurs Who Reshaped America
presented by Rebecca Kobrin
Jews and the Modern Economy
presented by Adam Teller
Making Money in the
presented by Jessica Goldberg
University of Pennsylvania
Jewish Businessmen in
presented by Josh Lambert
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
DANIEL L. DOCTOROFF is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of Bloomberg L.P., the leading provider of financial information. Mr. Doctoroff joined Bloomberg L.P. in January 2008 as President of the Company and was appointed CEO in August 2011. Prior to joining Bloomberg, he was Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding for the City of New York. With Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, he led one of the city’s most dramatic economic resurgences, spearheading the effort to reverse New York’s fiscal crisis after the attacks of 9/11 through a five-borough economic development strategy. Mr. Doctoroff also led the creation of PlaNYC, a 127-point plan designed to create the first environmentally sustainable 21st century city. Before joining the Bloomberg administration, he was Managing Partner of Oak Hill Capital Partners, a major private equity investment firm. During his fourteen-year association with Oak Hill, he led the purchases of companies in a wide variety of industries including information services, insurance, thrifts, cable television, hotels and leasing. While at Oak Hill, Mr. Doctoroff founded NYC2012, the organization dedicated to bringing the Olympic Games to New York. Prior to joining Oak Hill, he was an investment banker at Lehman Brothers. He received a B.A. from Harvard and a J.D. from the University of Chicago and serves on the boards of the University of Chicago and World Resources Institute.
THE CENTER FOR JEWISH HISTORY is one of the foremost Jewish research and cultural institutions in the world, having served over 1 million people in more than 150 countries. It is home to five partner organizations whose collections total more than 500,000 volumes and 100 million documents, comprising the largest repository of the modern Jewish experience outside of Israel. At the Center, the history of the Jewish people comes alive through scholarship and cultural programming, exhibitions and symposia, lectures and performances.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
William A. Ackman, Co-Chairman
Joseph S. Steinberg, Co-Chairman
Amy P. Goldman, Vice Chairman
Bruce Slovin, Chairman Emeritus & Founder
Michael A. Bamberger
Kenneth J. Bialkin
Eva B. Cohn
David E.R. Dangoor
Ira H. Jolles
Daniel R. Kaplan
Steven J. Kumble
Joel R. Marcus
Theodore N. Mirvis
Robert S. Rifkind
Michele Cohn Tocci
Michael S. Glickman, Chief Operating Officer
Rebecca Kobrin, Columbia University
Rebecca Kobrin, Russell and Bettina Knapp Assistant Professor of American Jewish History, works in the field of American Jewish History. She received her B.A. from Yale (1994), and her M.Phil. (1995), and Ph.D. (2002) from the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Kobrin served as the Hilda Blaustein Post-Doctoral Fellow at Yale University (2002-2004) and the AmericanAcademy of Jewish Research Post-Doctoral Fellow at New York University (2004-2006). Her area of specialty is Jewish immigration history, which she approaches through a transnational lens. Her research interests span from the fields of urban history to American religion and diaspora studies.
Adam Teller, Brown University
Adam Teller is an early modern historian, specializing in the history of the Jews in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He focuses on the ways in which they became an integral part of society there and the tensions this aroused. He has written two monographs (in Hebrew), one on living conditions in the Jewish quarter of Poznan, the other on the roles played by Jews in Lithuania's eighteenth century magnate economy, as well as numerous articles (in English) on social and cultural issues.
Jessica Goldberg, University of Pennsylvania
Jessica Goldberg is Assistant Professor of Medieval History. She studies and teaches the history of the Mediterranean basin, Christian Europe, and the Islamic world, specializing in economic and legal institutions and cultures. She joined the Penn faculty in the fall of 2006 after completing her PhD in History at Columbia University. She also holds an MA in education from the Bankstreet School of Education, and was a math teacher at Stuyvesant High School for several years before returning to graduate work in history. Professor Goldberg has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, a post-doctoral fellow in the Stanford Humanities Fellows Program, and a fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a 2012 Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies.
Josh Lambert, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Josh Lambert holds a BA from Harvard and a PhD from the University of Michigan in English literature. His teaching and research focus on American Jewish literature and culture, in English and Yiddish. He is the author of American Jewish Fiction: A JPS Guide and a contributing editor to Tablet, and his work has appeared in The Jewish Graphic Novel and Sleepaway: Writings on Summer Camp, and other books. Lambert also writes reviews and essays for publications including the Forward, the Los Angeles Times, and the Globe and Mail. Lambert is the Academic Director of the Yiddish Book Center and Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Marina Rustow, Johns Hopkins University
Marina Rustow is the Charlotte Bloomberg Associate Professor in the Humanities at The Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on the Jewish communities of the medieval Mediterranean. Marina is also interested in the Jews of Sicily, where the community continued to speak, read and write Arabic long after the defeat of Muslim rule on the island ca. 1060 and the expulsion of the Muslims in 1246. Prior to her workat Johns Hopkins, she taught for seven years at Emory University, where she held a joint appointment in the Department of Middle East and South Asian Studies. Marina received her doctorate from the History Department at Columbia University in 2004, and also received an MA in Religion there in 1998.
Commodity Traders: Jews and the Diamond Industry
presented by Francesca Trivellato, Yale University
Expelled from Spain in 1492 and persecuted by the Catholic Inquisition, Sephardic Jews in Europe began to play a growing role in the diamond industry - in the import of rough diamonds from India (and later Brazil), in the process of cutting and polishing of diamonds in Antwerp and Amsterdam, and in the retail of small and large stones. What explains this specialization? And how did it evolve from 1500 to 1800?
Exiled Sons of Sephardic Salonica
presented by Devin Naar, University of Washington
Once the largest Sephardic community in the world, the Jews of Salonica dispersed across the globe in unprecedented numbers during the early twentieth century. Whether in New York, Paris or Tel Aviv, “exiled sons” of Salonica harnessed their entrepreneurial skills to fund Jewish institutions back in their “mother city.” This session will explore a unique case of transnational Jewish philanthropy and advocacy. On the eve of the Holocaust, what was the meaning of Jewish solidarity in the Sephardic world?
Precious Real Estate: Jews in Medieval Islamic Lands
presented by Jessica Goldberg, University of Pennsylvania
How the Civil War Changed the “Jewish Peddler”
presented by Adam Mendelsohn, College of Charleston
The Civil War has rarely been thought of as a turning point in the economic history of American Jews. And yet between 1861 and 1865 scores of Jewish businessmen, many of whom had only given up the aching peddlers pack a handful of years before, set to stitching and sewing blue uniforms for the Union army in quantities unprecedented in American history. Jewish dry goods merchants, clothing dealers, wholesalers, and clothiers found themselves fortuitously positioned. They were in the right industry with the right skills at the right moment, a phalanx of foot-soldiers mustered into service by the Union's war economy. The drumbeat of war pushed Jewish firms into the front ranks of clothing manufacturing in the United States. Indeed it is impossible to properly understand the origins of American Jewish economic success without appreciating this legacy of the Civil War.
Merchants of the Mediterranean
presented by Marina Rustow, Johns Hopkins University
Jews played a central role in Mediterranean trade at the time of the Crusades. Thousands of their letters have survived in an extraordinary cache of documents from a medieval synagogue, the Cairo Genizah—the richest evidence there is for a remarkable world of commerce that stretched from Spain to India. But were Jews specialized in high-profit items such as gemstones and fine silks, as some of these letters suggest, or was the backbone of medieval trade humbler fare such as flax and grain? The answer says as much about modern expectations of the Jewish past as it does about the world of the medieval Jewish commodity trader.