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Tracing the Remarkable Journey of a Multiracial Jewish Family
February 1, 7:30 p.m., on Zoom
Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multiracial Jewish Family
and Herbert Stolzer Annual Lecture
historian Laura Arnold Leibman shares the story of an early
American family of mixed Jewish and African descent--a story that
mirrors as much as ten percent of the Jewish communities of the time.
A descendant of one of the most prominent Jewish
families since the American Revolution, Blanche Moses firmly believed
that her maternal ancestors were members of the Sephardic elite. Yet,
she was unable to trace her grandmother’s maternal line. Professor
Leibman spent a decade unraveling the mystery, discovering that
Moses's grandmother and great-uncle began their lives poor,
Christian, and enslaved in Barbados. Leibman will discuss how they
transformed their lives, becoming free, wealthy, Jewish, and—at
Laura Arnold Leibman,
Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College, has published
widely. Her previous book, The Art of the Jewish Family: A History
of Women in Early New York in Five Objects, won three National
Jewish Book Awards.
Thanks to an endowed gift in 2002, The Toby
and Herbert Stolzer Annual Lecture has enabled the Bildner
Center to present timely and compelling programs each year. From the
inaugural talk, “The Social History of the Bagel," to today, we
are grateful for the support and generosity of the Stolzer family,
which has benefited the entire community.