Our Featured Lecture Series

"Sabbath Days and Extinguished Stars: The Life and Work of Chaim Grade" with Justin Cammy, David Fishman, and Joseph Berger

Sabbath Days and Extinguished Stars:
The Life and Work of Chaim Grade
with Justin Cammy, David Fishman, and Joseph Berger

Chaim Grade (1910-1982) was one of the most influential and celebrated Yiddish writers of post-Holocaust Europe and America. An author of poetry, fiction, and memoir, Grade explored the world of traditional and ordinary Jews in his hometown of Vilna, a city which, upon observing its destruction during the Holocaust, he left for America in 1948. After Grade’s death in 1982, his wife Inna Hecker Grade became protective of her late husband’s writings and reputation, effectively closing the door on public discussion about him or updated translations into English. This lecture series, filmed at the Center in 2012, explores Grade’s life and work from the perspective of three speakers: Joseph Berger, the New York Times reporter who covered the death of Grade’s wife in 2010 and the ensuing controversy over rights to newly-discovered manuscripts; Justin Cammy, a literature scholar at Smith College; and David Fishman, a historian at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and a friend of the late Grade.

This series features four lectures:

  • Lecture 1 - “Rediscovering Chaim Grade” with Joseph Berger
  • Lecture 2 - “Grade and Young Vilna” with Justin Cammy
  • Lecture 3 - “Grade and the World of the Yeshiva” with David Fishman
  • Lecture 4 - “Grade and the World of Memory” with Justin Cammy and David Fishman

View a list of suggested reading here

Stream or download this series now on Internet Archive, free of charge.

This is part of our Yiddish & Jewish Culture: Online Lecture Series. To browse our collection of lecture series, click here.