IVO scholar Eddy Portnoy reads from Bad Rabbi. The book exposes the seamy underbelly of pre-WWII New York and Warsaw, the two major centers of Yiddish culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Meet drunks, thieves, murderers, wrestlers, poets, and beauty queens whose misadventures were plucked from the pages of the Yiddish papers. Portnoy’s tales of seedy Yiddish culture mirror the surprising outsider take of Archie Rand’s interpretations of the 613.
Book sales and author signing will follow the gallery chat.
Presented in conjunction with Litquake Literary Festival. Promotional partnership by KlezCalifornia.
Gallery chats are short talks exploring the art and ideas in an exhibition. These twenty-minute talks take place in the galleries during lunchtime and are free with Museum admission.
Edward Portnoy received his PhD from the Jewish Theological Seminary. His dissertation was on cartoons of the Yiddish press. He also holds an MA in Yiddish Studies from Columbia, having written on artists/writers Zuni Maud and Yosl Cutler. His articles on Jewish popular culture phenomena have appeared in The Drama Review, Polin, and The International Journal of Comic Art. In addition to speaking on Jewish popular culture throughout Europe and North America, he has consulted on museum exhibits at the Museum of the City of New York, Musée d'art et d'histoire du judaïsme in Paris, and the Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam.
Cover image for Bad Rabbi, courtesy of Stanford University Press.