"Taking the Lead": How the Fight Against Hate on Early Radio Impacted American Culture

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

March 14, 2008, New York, NY

Jeffrey Shandler, an authority on modern Jewish culture, will share fascinating audio excerpts aired during WWII and its aftermath at “Taking the Lead: Fighting for Democracy on American Radio, 1939–1955,” The Jewish Theological Seminary's Jack and Lewis Rudin Lecture. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, at JTS, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City.

The evening is being cosponsored with the American Jewish Committee Archives. Refreshments will follow the program.

Associate Professor in the Department of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University, Dr. Shandler will tell the story of how AJCommittee and JTS pioneered the use of radio, the first mass broadcast medium, at a strategic moment in media history to combat hatred, promote democratic values and champion inter-group relations. It’s an extraordinary story, told via intriguing radio recordings, that has special meaning in a world where the internet, society’s most recent mass broadcast medium, is often used to disseminate hate.

Dr. Shandler has written and lectured widely on American Jewish culture, modern Yiddish culture, responses to the Holocaust, and the role that broadcasting, photography, film, and other media play in modern Jewish life.

He is the co-author/co-editor of Entertaining America: Jews, Movies, and Broadcasting and author of While America Watches: Televising the Holocaust. His forthcoming book, Jews, God, and Videotape: New Media and Religion in Twentieth-Century America, examines the impact of new media technologies on the religious life of American Jews, with examples ranging from early recordings of cantorial music to Hasidic outreach on the internet. He holds a PhD in Yiddish Studies from Columbia University.

The Jack and Lewis Rudin Lectures provide the opportunity for eminent academics, religious leaders, intellectuals, and public figures to discuss topics of interest with the JTS community and the public at large.

Admission is free; reservations and photo ID are required. To register, or for further information, call (212) 280-6093 or email publicevents@jtsa.edu.