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Holocaust Remembrance Program On The Jews Of Italy 




This program is free and open to the public, however, registration for security purposes is required.  To register, please fill in the form below. Names of ALL persons in your party must be provided as seating is limited to 250, so register early! REGISTRATION WILL CLOSE MIDNIGHT ON THURSDAY THE 13TH.

This form closed on 2023-04-13 00:00:00.

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ— East Brunswick Public Library Foundation and the East Brunswick Jewish Center have partnered with the family of Dr. Michael Kesler, to present the annual Holocaust Remembrance Program series.  This year’s presentation, "The Jews of Italy Before the Holocaust," will take place on Sunday, April 16 at 2:00 PM at the EBJC (511 Ryders Lane). 

This event is part of the legacy of the late Dr. Michael Kesler, who began this program series in 2013. "The intent is to bring to light the legacy of my Jewish ancestors, prior to their annihilation during the Shoah," he said during an interview in 2018.  After his retirement in 2006, Dr. Kesler wrote three books detailing his experiences with his sister and his first wife during and after World War II. His last book, “The Remnant,” was published in April 2021. 

This year’s program focuses on the Jewish populations of Italy before the Holocaust. The keynote speaker is Dr. Francesca Bregoli. Dr. Bregoli is an Associate Professor of History at Queens College and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research focuses on early modern Italian and Sephardic Jewish history.  

"My talk will highlight some notable features of Italian-Jewish social and cultural life over the centuries, including Jewish participation in the Renaissance, the establishment of the Ghettos and their repercussions, and the journey toward Emancipation," she said.  "Our tour of Italian Jewry will shine a light on the communities of Rome, Venice, Mantua, and Livorno and the most salient moments in their history.” 

Following the presentation, a concert will feature classical Italian-Jewish compositions performed by TOPPs (Tales of Past Promoters), an ensemble of local musicians and vocalists. They will be under the direction of David Schlossberg, an accomplished pianist, who was awarded a Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement from the Global Music Awards in 2021. May Kesler, the founder of the contemporary dance company Keslerdances, will lead a choreographed performance of traditional and contemporary Jewish-Italian dances, accompanied by the ensemble. 

Tue, April 16 2024 8 Nisan 5784