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Albanian-Jewish Relations and the Contributions of U.S. Ambassador to Albania, Herman Bernstein (1876-1935)
December 14, 2014


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14 | 1:00pm
RUTH GAY SEMINAR IN JEWISH STUDIES

Herman Bernstein, 1929.
Ambassador Mal Berisha, Ambassador of the Republic of Albania to the United Kingdom and Ireland

Admission: Free
RSVP Required: yivo.org/reservations | (212) 294-8301 x5167

How did Albania save its Jews during World War II? By the end of the war, Albania had tripled its Jewish population, sheltering Jews from Austria, Germany, and Yugoslavia. Since then, many U.S. organizations, as well as Albanian politicians, scholars, and ordinary individuals, have made efforts to disclose this history to the world. In this talk, Ambassador Mal Berisha focuses on a small part of this fascinating story: the life and work of U.S. Ambassador Herman Bernstein (1930-1933), his work championing positive Albanian-Jewish relations, and the implications of his efforts for Albanian Jews during WWII.

The Ruth Gay Seminar in Jewish Studies was established in 2008 in honor of Ruth Gay (1922-2006), the noted American Jewish historian and writer, with a generous gift from the family of Ruth Gay. The seminar series is given by scholars who have conducted research in the YIVO Archives and wish to share their work with the public. For inquires related to Ruth Gay Seminars, please contact Senior Archivist, Fruma Mohrer, at fmohrer@yivo.cjh.org or (212) 294-6143.

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Ambassador Mal Berisha is Ambassador of the Republic of Albania to the United Kingdom and presented his letters of credence to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II on June 27, 2013; he is also Ambassador non-resident to Ireland. Ambassador Berisha previously served as a General Consul at the General Consulate of Albania in Istanbul and as General Director of the Consular Department and then of the Department of Regional Affairs and Initiatives at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tirana. Before working for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Ambassador Berisha joined the Pan Albanian Federation of America, Vatra in 1998, contributing to the extensive efforts of Albanian Americans to resolve the Kosovo question. Ambassador Berisha is also a history scholar and has published many books and articles on Albanian history and culture. His latest publication, Charles Telford Erickson, A Life Dedicated to Albania (2012), in Albanian, is an extensive monograph on the life and work of the early 20th century American missionary, Charles Telford Erickson. He has also published articles and given talks on Jewish life in Albania and Jewish Albanian relations internationally.
Venue: YIVO Institute at the Center for Jewish History  |  15 West 16th Street - NYC   view map

For directions and parking information, click here.

All public programs are wheelchair accessible. A limited number of assistive listening devices are available for deaf and hard of hearing individuals upon request.