A Rumor of Empathy How Things Were Done in Odessa

A Rumor of Empathy

May 20 2015 • 41 mins


Join Lou for a conversation with Jonathan Brent, Executive Director of Yivo about how things were done in Odessa. This refers to a celebrated story by Isaac Babel. In 1925, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research was founded in Vilna (Wilno, Poland; now Vilnius, Lithuania), by key European intellectuals, including Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, to record the history and pioneer in the critical study of the language, literature and culture of the Jews of Eastern Europe. From its inception, YIVO was deeply concerned that the language and culture of East European Jewry were undergoing radical change in a rapidly modernizing world. YIVO's founders were tireless in collecting the documents and archival records of Jewish communities across Eastern Europe, years before anyone could have predicted the devastation that would befall them. Join Lou and Jonathan for an amazing conversation about the work being done at Yivo and about Jon's pending biography of Soviet-Jewish writer Isaac Babel.