The word shtetl is often mythologized, spoken of as a nostalgic reminder of a “vanished world”, a metaphor for Yiddishkayt. What were the shtetls in reality, who lived there and how did they evolve? What effect did Hasidism, the Mithdagdim (the opponents of Hasidism) and the Haskalah (European Enlightenment) have on Jews in the shtetls? How and why did the shtetls disappear?
Dr. Joseph Gilbert is a retired physician, researcher, research administrator and hospital executive. As a lifelong fan of classical music, Dr. Gilbert has in recent years concentrated on studying the interface of Judaism and Jewish subjects with opera, music and history. He has lectured on these subjects in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Florida, in addition to his hometown of London, Ontario. Some of his lecture topics include The Music and Legacy of Felix Mendelssohn; French Opera and Anti-Semitism; The Dybbuk and The Golem, The Portrayal of Jews in Opera. Shostakovich, Stalin and Russian Jews. For the Miles Nadal JCC, Dr. Gilbert has spoken about Jewish Folk Tales that Have Become Operas, Entartete Musik – Degenerate Music and most recently the virtual lecture Salamone Rossi and Jewish Music in the Italian Renaissance. We are very pleased to welcome him back ‘virtually’ this winter. For more information about Joseph Gilbert, please visit https://www.josephgilbertmusic.com/about