We're Ready To Launch! Jews In Space: Members Of The Tribe In Orbit New Exhibition At The Center For Jewish History

We're Ready To Launch! Jews In Space: Members Of The Tribe In Orbit New Exhibition At The Center For Jewish History

We're Ready To Launch! Jews In Space: Members Of The Tribe In Orbit New Exhibition At The Center For Jewish HistoryGoing boldly where no Jewish museums have gone before, the Center for Jewish History and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research are pleased to announce the launch of their joint exhibition, "Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit." Featuring a stellar array of rare artifacts, from 18th-century Hebrew astronomy texts to a collection of Judaica that went into orbit on the space shuttle, the exhibit explores the age-old Jewish quest to understand the heavens. Designed to appeal to the general public and scholars alike, the exhibit has inspired a wide variety of public programs starting with an opening night of curator tours, kosher space treats, and a cosmic cocktail reception. The celestial celebration continues throughout the spring with family and sensory-friendly programming, a starry night for singles, and an evening with NASA's first American Jewish male astronaut, Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman along with Dr. Valerie Neal, Curator and Chair of the Space History Department at the Smithsonian Institution.

"Just as Jewish history spans a huge span of time, so too does it range across a vast expanse of space," said Professor David N. Myers, President and CEO of the Center for Jewish History. "And it turns out that Jews have been preoccupied with space for thousands of years. This wonderful new show, co-sponsored by the Center and YIVO, brings alive the Jewish preoccupation with space--from elaborate rabbinic texts about the heavens to an astronaut's effort to live a Jewish life while in outer space. The show demonstrates how universal, literally, the Jewish historical experience is--and thus should be of interest to everyone."

Thanks to the Hebrew lunar calendar, astronomy has figured prominently in Jewish traditional life. Rabbis and scholars from the ancient and medieval periods looked to the night skies to set the Jewish calendar and wrote extensively on medicine and other sciences, as well. The modern period not only saw Jews active in the field of astronomy, but also in the creation of modern science fiction and groundbreaking entertainment, including the television show, Star Trek and beloved movies like Spaceballs by Mel Brooks. The field of space exploration also has seen Jewish participation and more than a dozen Jewish astronauts have orbited the earth.

"Jewish culture of Eastern Europe and Russia produced some of the most dynamic and future-oriented thinkers, writers, artists, and musicians in the world. From rare rabbinical works on astronomy and Yiddish science fiction to the other worlds of Jewish folklore and stars of the Yiddish stage, YIVO's archives contain the universe of this great flowering of Jewish civilization," said Dr. Jonathan Brent, Executive Director and CEO of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

Spanning several hundred years, "Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit" features material from YIVO's and the Partners' collections that includes:

· Rare 18th- and 19th-century rabbinic tomes on astronomy in Hebrew and German

· Judaica taken into space aboard the space shuttle by astronaut Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman

· Yiddish, English, Polish, and Russian works of science fiction

· Rare science fiction periodicals

· Other ephemera from literature and popular culture

In addition to the opening on February 26th, the Center for Jewish History and YIVO will also host a variety of public programs including family programming, a sensory-friendly family program, a singles event, and Jews in Orbit: an evening with Jeffrey Hoffman (NASA's first American Jewish male astronaut) and Dr. Valerie Neal (Chair of the Space History Department, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum).

"Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit" and related programming is financially supported by the generosity of Lisa and Joshua Greer, Kepco, Inc. & the Kupferberg Foundation.

Exhibition hours:

Sunday, 11:00am - 5:00pm

Monday and Wednesday, 9:30am - 8:00pm

Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Friday, 9:30am - 4:00pm

Link: https://www.cjh.org/jewsinspace/

EVENT LISTINGS

Monday, February 26

7:00 pm

Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit: Exhibition Opening

Presented by the Center for Jewish History and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Exhibition Opening

Explore the Jewish quest to understand the heavens from 18th-century rabbinical texts to the origins of popular science fiction, to Jewish astronauts celebrating Shabbat in orbit. Reserve your spot today for an opening night of curator tours, space-themed fun, and a first look at this stellar exhibition.

The Center for Jewish History is located at 15 West 16th Street in Manhattan.

Tickets: Free; reservations required at www.smarttix.com or 212-868-4444

Link: http://events.cjh.org/event/jews-in-space-2018-02-26

Sunday, April 15

10am-12pm

Jews in Space: Family Program

Presented by the Center for Jewish History and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Family Program

Our stellar exhibition opens one hour early for families! Join us for a scavenger hunt, arts and crafts, curator tours for adults and out of this world fun for all!

Tickets: Free; reservations required at www.smarttix.com or 212-868-4444

Link: https://programs.cjh.org/event/jews-in-space-2018-04-15

Sunday, May 6

10am-12pm

Jews in Space: Sensory-Friendly Family Program

Presented by the Center for Jewish History and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

CJH will open one hour early for families to come and view this fun exhibition! There will be arts and crafts for children, curator tours for adults, and space themed fun for all. People of all ages and ability levels welcome!

Tickets: Free; reservations required at www.smarttix.com or 212-868-4444

Link: https://programs.cjh.org/event/jews-in-space-2018-05-06

Monday, May 7

6:30pm

Jews in Orbit: Meet an Astronaut

Presented by the Center for Jewish History and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

What's it like to spin a dreidel in zero gravity? Find out when five-time space shuttle astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman discusses his experiences as a Jew in orbit who brought a Torah, a tallis, a dreidel, and other Judaica on his trips into space. Dr. Valerie Neal, curator of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, will provide an overview of the history of Jewish Astronauts and their achievements in space.

Tickets: $15, CJH/YIVO members $10

Link: https://yivo.org/Jews-in-Orbit

And coming up in June - a starry night for singles!

About the Center for Jewish History
The Center for Jewish History in New York City illuminates history, culture, and heritage. The Center provides a collaborative home for five partner organizations: American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

The partners' archives comprise the world's largest and most comprehensive archive of the modern Jewish experience outside of Israel. The collections span a thousand years, with more than 5 miles of archival documents (in dozens of languages and alphabet systems), more than 500,000 volumes, as well as thousands of artworks, textiles, ritual objects, recordings, films, and photographs.

The Center's experts are leaders in unlocking archival material for a wide audience through the latest practices in digitization, library science, and public education. As one of the world's foremost research institutions, the Center offers fellowships, a wide array of exhibitions, symposia, conferences and lectures. The Center is a Smithsonian Affiliate, and is a partner of the Google Cultural Institute.

The Center for Jewish History is home to the Lillian Goldman Reading Room, Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute, the David Berg Rare Book Room and the Collection Management & Conservation Wing. Public programs create opportunities for diverse audiences to explore the rich historical and cultural material that lives within the Center's walls.

About YIVO

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is dedicated to the preservation and study of the history and culture of East European Jewry worldwide. For nearly a century, YIVO has pioneered new forms of Jewish scholarship, research, education, and cultural expression. Our public programs and exhibitions, as well as online and on-site courses, extend our global outreach and enable us to share our vast resources. The YIVO Archives contains more than 23 million original items and YIVO's Library has over 400,000 volumes-the single largest resource for such study in the world. www.yivo.org

Photo: Courtesy of Center for Jewish History and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research; Amazing Stories, Vol. 1, No. 7, October 1926

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