YIVO Jewish Culture Series



The Yivo Jewish Culture Series programs focus on Yiddish literature, culture, history, language and Jewish heritage. They are presented several times across the course of the year on Sunday afternoons at 2PM and take place in Riverdale Temple's sanctuary. Their speakers and subject matter experts draw a large audience for this popular event.

The faculty for the series draws on the extensive network of scholars affiliated with the YIVO Institute. The events are open to the broader community.

“We are delighted with the success of YIVO’s Jewish Culture Series at Riverdale Temple over these last four years. The overwhelming response to these lectures and events demonstrates the great need for substantive programming about Jewish history and culture for the public.” —Jonathan Brent, YIVO Executive Director

The 2016-2017 program year:
November 13, January 29,  April 2 and June11 

Admission is FREE to all.

YIVO Jewish Culture Series Presents

The Book Smugglers, Sunday, April 2, 2017  -- 2pm in the Temple -   FREE admission

David Fishman (Professor of Jewish History, Jewish Theological Seminary) has recently written a dramatic account, The Book Smugglers, of the true story of a group of ghetto inmates who rescued Jewish books and cultural treasures from the Nazis during World War 2. We will learn from this gifted story teller how a group of intellectuals known as “the paper brigade” risked their lives daily to hide the materials in a year-long operation and how they were rescued again after Vilna’s liberation.


To remind those of you NOT familiar with The YIVO Jewish Culture Series at Riverdale Temple, it is an educational outreach program designed to introduce various aspects of Eastern European Jewish culture and history to the public The faculty for the series draws on the extensive network of scholars affiliated with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Riverdale Temple in partnership with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research created the YIVO’s first outreach program in 2011. From that time this program has enabled many more people in the Bronx and adjacent communities to have the benefit of attending lectures and dramatic or musical presentations to learn about aspects of Jewish culture and literature from experts that they might not otherwise have had a chance to meet.

Founded in 1925, the YIVO Institute is headquartered in New York City in the Chelsea area of lower Manhattan. It is the world’s premier academic Institute devoted to teaching and the study of East European Jewish History, language and culture and its influence in America. Riverdale Temple as host to the partnership conducts the YIVO Jewish Culture to the public four times a year. The next event will take place on June 11. 

SAVE THE DATE- Sunday, June 11, 2pm- Alicia Svigals and Lauren Brody- KLEZMER music comes to Riverdale Temple

Composer/musician Alicia Svigals is the world's leading klezmer violinist and a founder of the Grammy winnng Klezmatics .Lauren Brody has toured extensively as an accordinist and singer. She is a pioneer of the klezmer revival in the United States and a founding member of the groundbreaking band "Kapelye".

 2016 1113 Shane Yvette Marrin and Eleanor at Riverdale Temple

Yvette Marrin, Chair Adult Education Committee, with Shane Baker and Elenor Reissa at the November 13 event where they did dramatic readings from the works of Sholem Aleichem in remembrance of his 100th yortzeit.