8th International conference JEWS IN A CHANGING WORLD

June 30 – July 4, 2011
Riga, Latvia
Conference is devoted to the 450th anniversary of the Jewish community in Latvia and commemorates 70 years from the beginning of Holocaust

Conference venue: Riga Jewish community center, Skolas 6
• Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Latvia
• Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia
• Museum “Jews in Latvia”
• Riga Jewish Youth Center
Co-Chairmen of the Conference:
Prof. Herman Branover (Israel), Prof. Ruvin Ferber (Latvia)
Financial supporters:
• Henry and Marcia Blumberg
• Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Latvia
• Genesis Foundation within the CAF Russia programme “Jewish communities”
June 30, Thursday
15:00 – 19:00
Opening of the 6th World Reunion of Latvian Jewry
Opening of the 8th International conference “Jews in a Changing World”
Plenary session
Co-Chairmen: Henry Blumberg (Canada), Ruvin Ferber (Latvia)
(Simultaneous interpretation Latvian-English-Russian)
Ilya Lensky (Riga, Latvia)
Notes on image and self-representation of Courland Jews
Short work-in-progress excerpt from the forthcoming documentary feature film “Rumbula’s Echo” about the Holocaust in Latvia. Producer/writer Mitchell Lieber (Chicago, USA)
Dr. Alan Rosen (Jerusalem, Israel)
David Boder and the 1946 Holocaust interviews project: Reflections on Latvian origins
Dr. Batia Valdman (Beersheba, Israel)
The Emigrants from Latvia in the „Tidhar 's encyclopaedia”
July 1, Friday
(Simultaneous interpretation Latvian-English-Russian)
9:00 – 11:00
Session: Personalities of Jews of Latvia and genealogical research
1. Samuel Kliger (New York, USA)
Russian Jews in America: status, identity, and the future
2. Dr. Nicholas J. Evans (Hull, UK)
Latvian Jewry and the formation of the South African Jewish community, 1880-1930
3. Henry Blumberg (Toronto, Canada)
Latvian Jewish family research: in and outside Latvia
4. Dr. Svetlana Kovalchuk (Riga, Latvia)
Max Lazerson: the history of the correspondence with Pitirim Sorokin (Latvia–Palestine–USA)
5. Eva Sinkevicha (Riga, Latvia)
Mordechai Nurok – rabbi, religious Zionist, politician
6. Alexander Frenkel (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Faivish Arones (1897-1982) – actor, director, man of letters, public figure. The moments of life
14:00 –16:00
Session: Jews in Latvia in XVIII-XIX centuries
1. Dr. Tatjana Aleksejeva (Riga, Latvia)
On the border of two worlds: Jewish elite of Duchy of Courland in XVIII century (case study of particular representatives)
2. Dr. Ilya Barkusskiy (Moscow, Russia)
The Jewish school of Riga in the context of the Uvarov's reform of the Jewish education
in the 1840s
3. Svetlana Amosova (Moscow, Russia)
The blood libel: Latvia in the context of the history and geography of the story
4. Kseniya Gatalskaya (Minsk, Belarus)
Suicides among Jews of Latgale in late XIX – early XX century
5. Vladimir Liubchenko (Kiev, Ukraine)
Jews and Latvian national brand “Riga Black Balsam”: the apocrypha and the historical evidences
16:30 – 19:00
Session: Jews in Latvia in XX century
1. Felix Heinert (Cologne, Germany)
Imagined community of Riga Jews? Mendel Bobe, Wulf Luntz and the “kosher revolution” of 1905
2. Dr. Arthur Klempert (Moscow, Russia)
Riga – one of the centers of Russian-Jewish emigration (1920-30)
3. Prof. Aivars Stranga (Riga, Latvia)
Politics, trade and the fate of the newspaper “Segodna”: 1932
4. Dr. Elina Vasiljeva (Daugavpils, Latvia)
Jewish text in the newspapers of Daugavpils: 1933
5. Meyer Meler (Riga, Latvia)
The synagogue of Bulduri: from its foundation to destruction
6. Margers Vestermanis (Riga, Latvia)
The Church during the Holocaust in Nazi-Occupied Latvia
7. Olga Aleksejeva (Riga, Latvia)
Forms of radical resistance to the USSR regime in Latvian Jewish society in the beginning of 1970s: the prism of Leningrad – Riga trials
July 4, Monday
14:00 – 19:00
Session devoted to the Day of Commemoration of Victims of Genocide Against the Jews in Latvia
14:00 – 15:30 Presentation of A. Bergman’s book “Notes of an Untermensch”
Alexander Bergman is a prominent Latvian lawyer and public figure, in 1941-1945 a prisoner of Riga ghetto, Kaiserwald and Buchenwald concentration camps. This autobiographical book is an eyewitness account of the fate of Riga's Jews during the Holocaust. A. Bergman will be present at the event. In cooperation with Latvian society “Friends of the Jewish People” and the Embassy of Germany in Latvia.
(Interpretation Latvian-German)
16:00 – 17:30 Presentation of E. Anders’s book “Among Latvians during the Holocaust”
Astrophysicist Dr. Edward Anders is a long-time professor at the University of Chicago, member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and an active public figure. This memoir tells the story of him and his mother managing to survive in Nazi-occupied Liepaja, and reflects the ambivalence of Latvian-Jewish relations of the era. In cooperation with the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia.
(Interpretation Latvian-English)
17:30 – 19:00 Work-in-progress excerpts from the film “Rumbula’s Echo” about the Holocaust in Latvia. Most of this is being seen for the first time. Project of Luminescence Media Group NFP. Producer/writer Mitchell Lieber (Chicago, USA)
Everyone is welcome to attend the conference
List of participants in alphabetical order
Olga Aleksejeva, MA hist. University of Latvia (Riga, Latvia)
Tatjana Aleksejeva, Dr. hist. Research assistant of the museum “Jews in Latvia” (Riga, Latvia)
Svetlana Amosova, Leading researcher at State Republic Center of Russian Folklore (Moscow, Russia)
Ilya Barkusskiy, Dr. hist. Vice-dean of the Philology Faculty of Maimonides State Classical Academy
(Moscow, Russia)
Henry Blumberg, Barrister, Past President of JewishGen–Latvia SIG (Toronto, Canada)
Nicholas J. Evans, PhD. RCUK Fellow/Lecturer in Diaspora History, Department of History &
Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull (Hull, UK)
Alexander Frenkel, Director of Jewish Community Center of St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Felix Heinert, Associate Professor at Eastern European History Department of History Institute at
Faculty of Philosophy of University of Cologne (Cologne, Germany)
Kseniya Gatalskaya, PhD student at the Academy of Sciences of Poland (Minsk, Belarus)
Arthur Klempert, Dr. philol. Assistant Professor at the Department of History and Jewish Studies of
the International Jewish Institute of Economy, Finances and Law (Moscow, Russia)
Samuel Kliger, Director of Russian Affairs of the American Jewish Committee (New York, USA)
Svetlana Kovalchuk, Dr.phil. Leading researcher of Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of
University of Latvia (Riga, Latvia)
Ilya Lensky, Director of the museum “Jews in Latvia” (Riga, Latvia)
Mitchell Lieber, Director, www.rumbula.org Educational Web Site, Producer/writer of the film
“Rumbula's Echo” (Chicago, USA)
Vladimir Liubchenko, Research assistant of Institute of History of Ukraine of National Academy of
Science of Ukraine (Kiev, Ukraine)
Meyer Meler, Assistant of the museum “Jews in Latvia” (Riga, Latvia)
Alan Rosen, PhD. Lecturer at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem
(Jerusalem, Israel)
Eva Sinkevicha, researcher at the Center for Judaic studies of University of Latvia (Riga, Latvia)
Aivars Stranga, Dr. habil.hist., Prof. Head of Department of modern and contemporary Latvian and
Eastern European history, History and Philosophy faculty, University of Latvia, Member of the
Commission of the Historians of Latvia (Riga, Latvia)
Batia Valdman, PhD. Lecturer at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Beersheba, Israel)
Elina Vasiljeva, Dr. philol. Associated Professor of the Institute of comparative studies, University of
Daugavpils (Daugavpils, Latvia)
Margers Vestermanis, Dr. hist.h.c. Curator of the museum “Jews in Latvia”, Member of the
Commission of the Historians of Latvia (Riga, Latvia)