Laughing All the Way to Freedom: Social Functions of Jewish Humor
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
New York, NY
RSVP required. Please note that clicking for a ticket on this site does not give you a spot at the event. You need to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and contact information (phone number and e-mail address) in order to get a spot. Registration will close on June 11.
The presentation: Drawing on his book, Taking Penguins to the Movies: Ethnic Humor in Russia, Dr. Emil Draitser will discuss the crucial social role of Jewish humor during the modern-day exodus of Jews from Russia. Due to the absence of formal Jewish organizations in the Soviet Union, Jewish jokelore was instrumental in creating a virtual community. The continuous exchange of humorous bits on shared predicaments reinforced the group’s boundaries and boosted its morale, helping overcome the fear of making the life-altering decision to emigrate and start life anew. After the talk, there will be a book signing.
The speaker: Originally a freelance journalist in the Soviet Union, Emil Draitser immigrated to the U.S. in 1975. Since 1986, he has taught Russian at Hunter College. With scholarly and artistic prose, he has authored ten books, including From Here to Wherever on emigration from Russia and his memoir Shush! Growing up Jewish under Stalin, both imbued with Jewish humor.
This event is part of Seminar on Jewish Identity, History, and Genealogy, and is organized by the Russian Division of the AJC, JCRC, the United Association of East-European Jewry, and the Jewish Channel Institute.