Choreographing Identity: Modern Dance and American Jewish Life

Monday, May 3, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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With Rabbi Gil Steinlauf Josh Perelman, Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Collections at National Museum of American Jewish History

This program will explore a remarkable group of American Jewish modern dancers living and working in New York City during the first half of the twentieth century. It is a story about the ways children established of immigrants envisioned themselves as Americans during a period marked by intense political and economic tensions, the physical and spiritual loss of world Jewry’s center, and profound transformations in Jewish culture. It takes us from the Lower East Side, to Brooklyn, to Union Square, to the Martha Graham Dance Company, and major performance venues around the country. And it explores the intersection Jewish lives and a medium that empowered practitioners to communicate with authority about politics, identity, and sexuality – unconstrained by existing gender conventions.

Dr. Josh Perelman, Chief Curator & Director of Exhibitions and Interpretation, is a member of the Museum’s senior team and oversees NMAJH’s exhibitions and education departments as well as its artifact collection. With over two decades in museums, education, and public history, Josh dedicated himself to presenting history, culture, and art in meaningful and unexpected ways. He has curated award-winning special exhibitions for NMAJH, launched the Museum’s national curriculum, and served as chief curator for the landmark core exhibition that inaugurated NMAJH’s new building on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall. Recent curatorial projects include 1917: How One Year Changed the WorldRichard Avedon: Family Affairs, and To Bigotry No Sanction: George Washington & Religious Freedom; co-curator for Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American and Sara Berman’s Closet with Maira and Alex Kalman. Josh holds a dual PhD in Jewish Studies and American History from NYU.

Program Fees:
Kol Shalom members: $18.00 – per participant
Non members: $22.00 – per participant

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Registered participants will receive the Zoom Link via email the of day of the event.