Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society

Please join us for a launch reception for the Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society


The Future of Our Heritage: The Exponential Impact of Memory

Barry Shrage in Conversation with Professor Jonathan D. Sarna

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts

Schedule of Events

6:00 p.m. Reception

7:00 p.m. Presentation

Dietary laws will be observed.

Event Co-Chairs and Platinum Benefactors

Lionel and Vivian Spiro

Justin and Genevieve Wyner

Silver Benefactors

Carol Lobron

Suzanne Priebatsch


Judi Garner

Pam Kohlberg and Curt Green

Eric and Teddy Roiter

Lia Poorvu

The JEWISH HERITAGE CENTER at New England Historic Genealogical Society is a resource for exploring and preserving the histories of Jewish families and institutions in New England and beyond.

In 2010, the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) launched a collaboration designed to enhance Jewish historical and genealogical research and the continued collection and preservation of Jewish history. In 2015, the collaboration was further strengthened when the New England Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society were permanently deposited at New England Historic Genealogical Society.

The Jewish Heritage Center, with the American Jewish Historical Society – New England Archives as its cornerstone, engages historians, genealogists, youth, and the general public in programming and research to advance the study of the history, culture, and institutional legacies of Jewish families in New England and beyond by educating, inspiring, and connecting people through scholarship, collections, and expertise while serving as an archival and educational resource for other Jewish organizations and institutions.


BARRY SHRAGE has served as President of CJP—Boston’s Jewish Federation—since 1987. Under Barry’s leadership, CJP is focused on three priorities: Jewish education and engaging future generations, strengthening our connection to Israel through community-to-community and people-to-people partnerships, and creating a caring community. He champions true partnerships between CJP, donors and recipient organizations—inspiring the Jewish community to contribute more than $55 million to CJP’s 2015 Annual Campaign.

Barry has been instrumental in the creation of several cutting-edge programs designed to engage the next generation in meaningful Jewish life, and create a welcoming, inclusive Jewish community. Projects include Me’ah, an intensive Jewish adult education curriculum; and Ikkarim, a Jewish learning program for parents of young children as well as significant efforts to engage interfaith families, Jews with disabilities and the LGBTQ community.

After graduating from City College of New York, Barry earned a master’s degree in social work from Boston University. He worked at JCCs from 1969 to 1977 and at the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland from 1978 to 1987. He and his wife Ellie live in Newton, where they raised their two children. They have five grandchildren.


JONATHAN D. SARNA is University Professor and the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History as well as Chair of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University. He is also Past President of the Association for Jewish Studies, and Chief Historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

Dubbed by the Forward newspaper in 2004 as one of America’s fifty most influential American Jews, he was Chief Historian for the 350th commemoration of the American Jewish community, and is recognized as a leading commentator on American Jewish history, religion and life. He is the only American Jewish historian ever elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Born in Philadelphia, and raised in New York and Boston, Dr. Sarna attended Brandeis University, the Boston Hebrew College, Merkaz HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, and Yale University, where he obtained his doctorate.

He has taught and lectured on four continents, has appeared in half-a-dozen documentary films, and is regularly quoted in newspapers across the world.

Sarna is among the field’s most prolific scholars. He has published hundreds of articles, writes an occasional column in the Forward, and has written, edited or coedited more than thirty books, including, most recently, Lincoln and the Jews: A History (with Benjamin Shapell). He is probably best known for his acclaimed American Judaism: A History, winner of the Jewish Book Council’s “Jewish Book of the Year Award.” It has been praised as being “the single best description of American Judaism during its 350 years on American soil.”

Sponsorship Opportunities

To become a Benefactor or learn about sponsorship opportunities for this special event, please contact Jenna LaRiviere, Development Coordinator, at or at 617-226-1215.