Sam Gruber is available for public lectures and presentations as well as private tours and consulting. To learn more click here. In the fall of 2020 Dr. Gruber will be available for online lectures via Zoom or other meeting platforms.
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JUNE 2, 2021, 7:00 PM EDT
Jews have had synagogues in Greek-speaking lands and within the modern boundaries of the Hellenic Republic for two thousand years. The art and architecture of these buildings tells the story of identity, tenacity, adaption, and influence as Greek Jews developed and sustained language, liturgy, and distinctive culture through Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman rule. Ancient Romaniote traditions were supplemented by the culture of Sephardi Jews who found refuge in Ottoman lands after 1492. In the 20th century this mixed Romaniote-Sephardi Jewish heritage was transported in a new Greek-Jewish diaspora in the United States, and after the Holocaust, in Israel. Only a small Jewish population survived the Holocaust in Greece. Many synagogues of the destroyed communities have been demolished. Those that remain – and the small but vibrant Kehila Keodsha Janina Congregation in New York – bear witness. This talk, building on the work of several researchers and utilizing the photography of Vincent Giordano, focuses on the architecture of the synagogues in Ioannina, Greece and in New York, placing these surviving buildings in the context of a longer history.
APRIL 11, 18, 25, 2021
3-Part Master-Class: The Preservation of Jewish Monuments in Eastern Europe
Part 1: Synagogues
Part 2: Jewish Cemeteries
Part 3: Holocaust Sites
Learn more here and register
FEBRUARY 11, 2021, 5:00 p.m.
VIRTUAL OPENING OF “Romaniote Memories, a Jewish Journey from Ioannina, Greece to Manhattan: Photographs by Vincent Giordano” Learn more and to register go here https://qc-cuny.libcal.com/event/7496075
MARCH 11, 2021, 7:00 p.m.
Zoom lecture “Warding off the Virus: A Virtual Tour of Ward Wellington Ward’s Syracuse Houses,” sponsored by the Onondaga Free Library, the Strathmore Speaker Series, and the Arts & Crafts Society of Central New York. Watch the video here:
MARCH 21, 2021 3-5 p.m.
Zoom workshop for Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina, “How to Document Your Synagogue (and Other Buildings) for Planning, Protection, and Posterity,” Priority to JHSSC members.
THREE LECTURES (& a BONUS) ABOUT SYNAGOGUE ARCHITECTURE
Now on YouTube
Topic: The Art and Architecture of the Synagogue part 1: Great Synagogues of the World
Topic: The Art and Architecture of the Synagogue part 2: Great Synagogues of the World
Topic: BONUS – Arise and Build: American Synagogues Part 2
Topic: The Art and Architecture of the Synagogue part 3: Great Synagogues of the World
Thursday, November 28, 2019
“Synagogue Wall Painting: Loss and Forgetting; Rediscovery and Conservation.”
At Art of The Lost Conference at Canterbury Cathedral: discussing the Future of the Past (November 27-29, 2019)
Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, England
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
“Romaniote Memories: The Photographs of Vincent Giordano a Greek-Jewish culture in New York and Ioannina (lecture)
Embassy of Greece, Washington D.C.
Thursday, October 31, 2019
“Marc Chagall in Paris, Russia and Israel,” (lecture)
Temple Isaiah, Great Neck, NY
Sunday, October 13, 2019
Discussant at screening of Sacred Spaces, a new film by Celia Lowenstein
Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, National Museum of Jewish History
101 S. Independence Hall East
Philadelphia, PA, 19106
September 19, 2019
“Romaniote Memories: A Jewish Journey from Ioannina, Greece to Manhattan: Photographs by Vincent Giordano (Samuel Gruber, curator)
Opening of photo exhibit at the Consulate of Greece in New York
69 East 79th Street, New York, NY
September 15, 2019
“Chelsea’s Walnut Street Shul and the Jewish Tradition of Synagogue Wall Painting”
Walnut Street Synagogue, 145 Walnut Street, Chelsea, Massachusetts
July 12-July 25
Life and Art in Medieval Assisi & its Environs (at Art Workshop International, Assisi, Italy) July 12 – July 25
“Arnold W. Brunner (1857-1925) and the First Generation of American-born Jewish Architects.,” paper to presented at International Congress “Jewish Architects – Jewish Architecture”, Hamburg, Germany (November 6-8, 2018)
“Architecture Walking Tour: Arts & Crafts Houses in the Berkeley Park Neighborhood,” Arts and Crafts Society of Central New York (Oct. 13, 2018)
“Tent, Tabernacle, Synagogues: A Modern take on an Ancient Form,” European Association of Jewish Studies, Krakow, Poland (July 18, 2018)
“Arts & Crafts Architecture Walking Tour: Houses in the Salt Springs and Scottholm Neighborhoods,” Arts and Crafts Society of Central New York (June 3, 2018)
“American Synagogue Wall Painting 1860-1960: A Bridge Between Two Worlds,” invited lecture, The Harry Friedman Society, The Jewish Museum, NY (May 27, 2018)
“The Art of Jewish Symbols: Tablets / Ten Commandments,” Community Class at Temple Concord, 910 Madison St., Syracuse, NY (Dec. 5, 2017)
The Art of Jewish Symbols: Tent, Tabernacle & Temple,” Community Class at Temple Concord, 910 Madison St., Syracuse, NY (Nov. 28, 2017)
“The Art of Jewish Symbols: The Menorah,” Community Class at Temple Concord, 910 Madison St., Syracuse, NY (Nov. 7, 2017)
Scholar-in-Residence, Temple Beth-El, San Antonio, Texas (October 19-21, 2017).
- Thursday October 19: They Shall Make Me a Sanctuary: An Illustrated History of Synagogue Architecture
- Friday October 20: Torah and Sacred Space: The Bible as Building Manual
- Saturday October 21: Arise and Build: Temple Beth El and American Synagogue Design
Presenter, M-Power-U, Menorah Park (Syracuse Jewish Family Service) (October 9, 2017)
“The Stone Shall be a Witness: Strategies for the Preservation and Presentation of Destroyed Structures,” Presentation at International Conference “How to Commemorate the Great Synagogue of Vilna Site?,” Vilnius, Lithuania Sept 4-5, 2017.
“Westcott Neighborhood Ward Wellington Ward House Tour“ Syracuse, New York. Wednesday, July 26th, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
“Building Memory: How European Cities Confront (or Avoid) the Holocaust.” Seymour Siegel Memorial Lecture, Saint Lawrence University (April 18, 2017)
“Beyond the Second Commandment: Jewish Sculptors and Modern Art” Temple Adath Yeshurun, Kimber Rd, Syracuse, NY, March 19, 2017
Session chair and respondent, Synagogue and Museum Conference, Braunschweig, Germany (Nov. 21-23, 2016)
“The Chai Adam Shul Mural in Burlington, Vermont, as Link Between Old World and New,” at International Workshop “Synagogue Wall Paintings: Research, Preservation, Presentation,” Jerusalem, Israel (September 13-14, 2016)
“Jews, Masons, and Cornerstone Laying Ceremonies for synagogues of the South.,” at Annual Meeting, Southern Jewish Historical Society, Natchez, Mississippi (USA) (November 4-6, 2016)
The Architecture of Greek Synagogues: Near & Far, Then & Now