NMAJH Curator to Deliver 2011 Naamani Lecture

Dr. Josh Perelman, Deputy Director for Exhibitions, Programs and Collections at the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) in Philadelphia has been selected to deliver the Israel T. Naamani Memorial Lecture On Wednesday, March 30, at 5:30 p.m. in the Shumaker Research Building on the University of Louisville Campus. Dr. Perelman will lecture on “Building History: The New National Museum of American Jewish History.”

This lecture is presented by the Naamani Memorial Lecture program, in cooperation with the U of L History Department’s Gottschalk Lecture Series. The program is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception.

Dr. Perelman has over a decade of experience working in museums and historical institutions, as well as 16 years of leadership and programming experience with various Jewish organizations.

He earned his doctorate in both Hebrew and Judaic Studies and in American History at New York University, and has been a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Perelman has lectured and written widely about history museums, as well as about the intersection of politics, performative culture, and ethnic identity.

This past November, the NMAJH inaugurated its spectacular new building on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, directly across from the Liberty Bell and within sight of Independence Hall.

The NMAJH is the only museum in the country devoted specifically to the history of Jews in the United States, and Dr. Perelman served as chief curator for its landmark core exhibition. His visit to Louisville is timed to coincide with the recent inauguration of a Public History master’s degree program within the U of L History Department.

The Gottschalk Lecture Series is named in honor of Professor Louis Gottschalk, a distinguished biographer of Lafayette and historian of the French Revolution, who taught at the University of Louisville in the 1920s. After he left Louisville, Gottschalk went on to many years of teaching at the University of Chicago and to the presidency of the American Historical Association in 1953. The Naamani Memorial Lecture Series is named in memory of Professor Israel Naamani, for many years a respected and beloved member of U of L’s Political Science Department. Naamani arrived in Louisville around 1949 and remained active in both communal and university affairs until his untimely death in 1979.

More information about the National Museum of American Jewish History is available on the Internet at www.nmajh.org. More information about the joint Gottschalk and Naamani Lecture on March 30 can be obtained by calling the U of L History Department at 852-6817.

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