The Little-Known Story of Jewish Refugee Professors at Historically Black Colleges & Universities with Lillie J. Edwards and Nadine Epstein

When German Jewish scholars were expelled from universities after the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s, many hoped to flee to the United States. But it wasn’t easy to find educational institutions to sponsor them due to rampant antisemitism in academia. Some of the lucky ones found homes at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Join Dr. Lillie J. Edwards, Professor Emerita of History and African American studies at Drew University, for a conversation about why HBCUs offered Jewish scholars positions, the influence these teachers had on their students and the impact the students and schools had on the lives of these refugees. In conversation with Moment editor-in-chief Nadine Epstein.

This conversation is part of a Moment series on antisemitism supported by the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation. The program is also a part of The Wide River Project, a yearlong, joint initiative of Western States Center and Moment Magazine, that takes a deep dive—and fresh look—into the art, history and issues that both unite and divide the Black and Jewish communities.

Continue reading

Nadine Epstein, Clarence Page, and Eric K. Ward to discuss Black and Jewish issues

The Black Jewish Relationship: Triumphs and Tensions with Eric K. Ward, Nadine Epstein and Clarence Page

Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page is a longtime observer of the Black and Jewish relationship in America. Nadine Epstein, Moment editor-in-chief and Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Center, host him for a wide-ranging conversation covering pivotal moments of that relationship, exploring the shared history, and triumphs and tensions. Topics include the civil rights partnership, Black Panthers, Norman Podhoretz’s 1963 essay “My Negro Problem-And Ours” essay, the rise of Louis Farrakhan and much more. *Please note special day.

This program is part of The Wide River Project, a joint initiative of Western States Center and Moment that takes a deep dive—and fresh look—into the art, history and issues that both unite and divide the Black and Jewish communities.

Continue reading

Blacks, Jews, Jazz & Blues with Loren Schoenberg, Eric K. Ward and Nadine Epstein

In the 19th century Black spirituals were inspired by biblical stories in the Old Testament, especially those we remember during Passover. In the early decades of the 20th century, Black and Jewish musicians, often living side by side in the same impoverished neighborhoods, connected through legacies of oppression. With the music industry one of the few fields open to them both, it’s no surprise that blues and jazz became rich, crossover genres. Join Loren Schoenberg, senior scholar at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Center and Nadine Epstein, Moment editor-in-chief, for a conversation about these musical connections, the bonds and tensions, and a taste of the music itself including Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho and Go Down Moses to Bei Mir Bist Du Shein.

Continue reading

Black and Jewish views on Critical Race Theory with Janet Dewart Bell, Mia Brett, Eric K. Ward and Nadine Epstein

Nothing shines a light on the political divide in the United States more than three words – critical race theory. What is CRT and why has it become a lightning rod issue at school board meetings, state capitols and around dinner tables across the country? Is systemic racism something we should be worried about, even in the Jewish community? What are memory laws and are they a threat to our democracy? And shouldn’t we all feel uncomfortable when learning about uncomfortable issues? Dr. Janet Dewart Bell, author of Race, Rights, and Redemption: The Derrick Bell Lectures on Law and Critical Race Theory and writer Dr. Mia Brett, joins Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Center and Moment editor-in-chief Nadine Epstein to discuss how intellectual conversations about the intersection of race and law developed in the 1970s have been misunderstood and led to this latest buzzword tearing communities apart. Our thinkers also discuss how CRT fits into the Black – Jewish conversation.

This program is part of The Wide River Project, a yearlong, joint initiative of Western States Center and Moment that will take a deep dive—and fresh look—into the art, history and issues that both unite and divide the Black and Jewish communities.

Continue reading

Head shots of Nadine Eptein and Eric K. Ward

The Holocaust Through the Lens of Black-Jewish Relations with Eric K. Ward and Nadine Epstein

Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Center and senior fellow with the Southern Poverty Law Center and Nadine Epstein, Moment editor-in-chief, grapple with the complicated conversations taking place around the Holocaust today and lay out some of the many “channels” of the complex relationship between Blacks and Jews in the U.S., starting in the early 20th century through today. Ward and Epstein introduce The Wide River Project, a yearlong, joint initiative of Western States Center and Moment that will take a deep dive—and fresh look—into the art, history and issues that both unite and divide the Black and Jewish communities.

Continue reading