The North and the South: Jewish Life and the War that Changed America

11:00am-1:00pm Sun, Mar 10 - Mon, Mar 11, 2013

Venue: The Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture

18 Phillips Street, Boston, MA 02114


Jessica Antoline


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In a sea of opinions, beliefs and actions, what do we know about Jewish individuals who lived during one of the defining conflicts in American history? Join us at the Vilna Shul in Beacon Hill for an afternoon luncheon and talk on Jewish life and the Civil War with lifelong historian and Vilna Shul board member Leon Aronson. Aronson will explore what we know about America's Jewish citizens, living in both the north and the south, and their connections to the eventual acceptance of Jews into mainstream life in America. From George Washington to Lincoln, General Grant and the soldiers and their families who fought on both sides, we will look at the people and events that shaped a nation and the Jewish communities within it. During the talk Aronson will highlight the lives of two of the era's well-known figures, Confederate Secretary of State Judah Benjamin and Jonas Strauss, brother of businessman Levi Strauss. On display will be Civil War era currency and patriotic images. After the discussion all attendees are welcome on a special guided tour of the Shul highlighting the Vilna's Civil War connections, including the very seats that fill the historic synagogue's sanctuary. -- The Vilna Shul is easily accessible by public transportation. We are just a 4 minute walk from the MBTA Redline Charles/MGH stop and a 8 minute walk from the Green Line Government Center Stop. We highly encourage using public transportation when visiting the Shul.

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