Second Annual Eva and Martin Libitzky Memorial Lecture at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Tuesday, March 26th 2024, 5:30pm to 7:30pm
2121 Allston Way Berkeley, CA 94720

Second Annual Eva and Martin Libitzky Memorial Lecture

Please join us for a special event featuring UC Berkeley Professor John Efron for the Second Annual Eva and Martin Libitzky Memorial Lecture.

Registration Link


5:30pm - Reception

6pm - Lecture & Discussion: "From Lodz to Tel Aviv: The Satirical World of Dzigan and Schumacher, the Most Famous Yiddish Comedy Duo of the 20th Century"

From the late 1920s to the outbreak of WWII, the comedy duo of Szymon Dzigan and Yisroel Shumacher enjoyed unparalleled popularity in Poland's world of Yiddish entertainment. Household names and highly paid superstars, their satirical monologues and political skits represented an unprecedented development in the nature of Jewish entertainment—modernist humor. Key to their material was language—the Yiddish of their native Lodz and their characters, a Chaucerian parade of world-weary and world-wise Jews. After the Holocaust and their emigration to Israel, they trained their satirical observations on the contemporary political situation in that country—a genre yet to exist in Hebrew entertainment. This talk seeks to account for the pathbreaking work of these beloved comic geniuses.



John Efron is the Koret Professor of Jewish History at UC Berkeley, where he is a specialist in the cultural and social history of German Jewry. A native of Melbourne, Australia, he has a B.A. from Monash University, has studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, took his M.A. at New York University, and earned a Ph.D. at Columbia University. In addition to his work on German Jewry, his scholarship focuses on Yiddish popular culture, Jewish historiography after the Holocaust, the role of sport in the modern Jewish experience, and most recently on Jewish food history.




This event is in hosted by collaboration with the Taube Philanthropies, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at UC Berkeley and the UC Berkeley Center for Jewish Studies. Other co-sponsors include the Magnes Museum Foundation, Riva and David Berelson, the San Francisco-Krakow Sister Cities Association, New Lehrhaus, the East Bay JCC, the Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Klez California, and the UCB Polish Club.