Previous Events

12 January 2021

History Lessons: Working with Original Manuscripts in the Contemporary Classroom

The Shapell Manuscript Foundation is proud to present, “History Lessons: Working with Original Manuscripts in the Contemporary Classroom,” a conversation with Gil Troy, Sara Willen, Jonathan D. Sarna, and Nathan Sleeter. Leading scholars will discuss how we take the treasures of the past and turn them into relevant lesson plans that teach middle and high school social studies students how to think like historians. The four lesson plans are based on primary sources from the Shapell Manuscript Collection, and provide teachers and students the opportunity to explore meaningful, and sometimes lesser-known, scenes from history. Each lesson plan fits within state and national educational standards and includes ideas for differentiation, assessment form, and document-based questions.
6PM EST on Zoom
11 June 2020

Webinar: The Hebrew Union Veterans Association and The Shapell Roster, Part I

The National Museum of American Jewish Military History and the Shapell Manuscript Foundation invite you to explore the Hebrew Union Veterans Association. We will discuss the origins of the organization, talk in detail about the lives of some of their members, and explain how the Shapell Roster research team has discovered the service history for several of the soldiers. Have your questions and comments ready for the Q&A at the end!
3:00pm, EST
22 March 2020

Jewish Genealogical Society of Georgia: Union and Confederate Jews

Since 2009, Shapell Manuscript Foundation researchers have unearthed a treasure trove of information on Union and Confederate Jews during the Civil War era, bringing to light a buried record of the Jewish-immigrant experience and American patriotism. The records include detailed military history, photographs, letters, newspaper clippings, diaries and more. The body of research is amassed from hundreds of primary and secondary sources, along with contributions from descendants, historians, and genealogists. The result is the first-ever comprehensive data archive on this topic and, once released, will impact the scholarship on Jews in America in the 19th Century. Join Shapell Roster Director, Adrienne Usher, in an exploration of this digital history project on Sunday, March 22 at 2PM. Adrienne will discuss the project’s history and future, as well as research methodology related specifically to the Confederacy.
1:00pm - 3:30pm
24 October 2019
Exhibition Opening Event

Mark Twain and the Holy Land: A New Look

Grand luxury tours of the Holy Land from the U.S. began in earnest in 1867. On board the steamer Quaker City, charged with chronicling the voyage for the press, was a young writer named Mark Twain. His memorable and irreverent accounts, appearing first in newspapers and later in his bestselling book Innocents Abroad (1869), did much to set the stage for what would become a major tourism industry. Marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Innocents Abroad, discover the story and impact of Twain’s remarkable journey. Join us for an interview with Jonathan Sarna, University Professor and Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University. He has written, edited, or co-edited more than thirty books, including Lincoln and the Jews: A History, which he co-authored with Benjamin Shapell. Gil Troy (moderator) is Professor of History at McGill University.
17 September 2019
Speakers Series

Director of Roster Research, Adrienne Usher, Presents: Mining Civil War Pension Records for Jewish Soldiers

Meet Adrienne Usher, Director of Research for the Shapell Roster Project, as she shares some of the beautiful, unique and exciting genealogical treasures her team has discovered within the Civil War Union Pension Records, including dates and locations for births, marriages, and deaths; addresses, occupations, photographs, maps, drawings, letters, certificates and physical descriptions. Learn how to access these rich resources, find out more about the Shapell Manuscript Foundation's endeavors, and discover how you can participate in the project.
1:00pm - 3:00pm
25 March 2017 -
12 November 2017

High Hopes: The Journey of John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy’s short presidency was marked by great hope and promise but also tension and conflict. How he arrived in his position, the youngest president in history and the only Catholic to hold the office, is a story of both determination and privilege. With the high hopes of the country behind him, John F. Kennedy made a commitment to changing the world for the better and in his legacy he continues to live on. This exhibition explores Kennedy’s early life, his road to the presidency, and the changes he effected during his time in office. On display through November 12, 2017.
30 November 2016
Book Launch

Lincoln and the Jews: A History – Hebrew Edition Book Launch, Jerusalem

A conversation with Professor Jonathan D. Sarna, author of "American Judaism: A History" and Mr. Leon Wieseltier, author of "Kaddish." Moderated by Dr. Ruth Calderon, Israeli academic and politician.
10 April 2016

Breakfast with Jonathan Sarna

Join us for prayer services at 9:00 am, breakfast at 10:00 am. Dr. Jonatham Sarna to speak at 11:00 am
06 April 2016
Presentation and Book Signing

In Boston with “Lincoln and the Jews” Co-author, Jonathan Sarna

Join Prof. Jonathan Sarna to learn more about this previously unknown feature of Abraham Lincoln's life - one that broadened him, and, as a result, broadened America. Reception and book signing to follow. Presented by the American Jewish Historical Society - New England Archives and New England Historic Genealogical Society Reservations for the event can be made at the link below, or by calling 617-226-1226.
02 March 2016
Speaker Series

The Jewish Book Council’s Sami Rohr Prize Speaker Series

The Jewish Book Council's Sami Rohr Prize Speakers Series is an opportunity for Jewish communities throughout the globe to become familiar with emerging Jewish authors and their stories of the vast Jewish experience. With Jonathan D. Sarna, Ayelet Tsabari, and Gal Beckerman.
10 February 2016
Public Interview

The Lincoln Group of New York: A Conversation with Lincoln and the Jews Co-author Jonathan D. Sarna

A Conversation with Co-Author Jonathan D. Sarna, interviewed by Distinguished Lincoln Scholar Harold Holzer. Dinner meeting will be held in conjunction with the Civil War Round Table of New York. Not only has Lincoln and the Jews (both the book and exhibition) by Jonathan D. Sarna and Benjamin Shapell been selected as a co-winner of the annual Award of Achievement but also the Round Table's Barondess Award. Come join us and learn how Lincoln was the first president to truly interact with Jews and welcome them into the public forum. Find out how the extraordinary relationship between Lincoln and Jewish Americans impacted him on his road to the presidency as well as his policy decisions as president, and how that affected the Jewish experience during the Civil War and beyond.
29 October 2015

A Symposium: Lincoln and the Jews

With Professor Jonathan D. Sarna in conversation with author and scholar Harold Holzer. The symposium will be followed by a dessert reception and book signing. The event is free - reservations recommended.
26 October 2015
Lecture and Book Signing

Lincoln and the Jews: A History – Illustrated Talk with Jonathan Sarna

Professor Jonathan Sarna will give an illustrated talk on his book titled Lincoln and the Jews: A History. A book signing will follow with books provided by New England Mobile Book Fair.
15 October 2015
Book Signing

Dr. Jonathan Sarna “Lincoln and the Jews” Book Signing and Discussion

Dr. Jonathan Sarna, co-author of "Lincoln and the Jews: A History," will sign and discuss his book. Museum will open at 6:00pm, Book signing at 6:00pm and Talk at 6:30. Tickets are free but you must reserve tickets.
03 August 2015 -
15 November 2015

Exhibition Opening: Lincoln and the Jews

Through never-before displayed original documents, artifacts, photographs, Lincoln's own writings, and first person accounts primarily from the Shapell Manuscript Collection, the exhibition will trace events in Lincoln’s life through the lens of his Jewish contemporaries and will explore Lincoln’s profound interest in and connection to the Old Testament. Through November 15th, 2015.
02 July 2015
Gala Event

The Past and Future of American Jews

An evening in honor of the 4th of July. Guest speakers: Prof. Jonathan Sarna, Shmuel Rosner, Prof. Steven M. Cohen, Prof. Yehuda Mirsky, and R. Shira Koch Epstein. A capella music performed by "B4."​ Event will be held in English. Entrance is free of charge – pre-registration is required.
National Library of Israel, Jerusalem
02 June 2015
Public Interview

Jonathan D. Sarna on “Lincoln and the Jews”

Celebrated historian Jonathan D. Sarna, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, discuss Lincoln’s remarkable relationship with American Jews and how it impacted his presidency, his policy decisions and, as a result, broadened America. Moderated by Harold Holzer.
07 May 2015
Public Interview

Dr. Jonathan Sarna & Steven Roberts Discuss “Lincoln and the Jews: A History” at the U.S. National Archives

The National Archives welcomes Dr. Jonathan D. Sarna to discuss his new book, Lincoln and the Jews: A History. Joining Dr. Sarna will be journalist and author Steven V. Roberts. The event will also take place on YouTube. Presented in partnership with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.
20 March 2015 -
07 June 2015

Lincoln and the Jews: Exhibition Public Opening

Through never-before displayed original documents, artifacts, photographs, Lincoln's own writings, and first person accounts primarily from the Shapell Manuscript Collection, the exhibition will trace events in Lincoln’s life through the lens of his Jewish contemporaries and will explore Lincoln’s profound interest in and connection to the Old Testament. Through June 7th, 2015.
17 March 2015
Book Launch

“Lincoln and the Jews: A History” Book Release

Lincoln and the Jews: A History illustrates how President Abraham Lincoln - perhaps best known for his efforts in abolishing slavery - intended to secure equality and freedom for all Americans, including another growing minority group in Civil War-era America: the Jews.