Susan Weinberg
  Studio 409






      Talks and Workshops         




















I do many talks and workshops on  both artwork and Jewish genealogy and often incorporate videos from an oral history project on Jewish Identity and Legacy.  More recently I have been doing many talks on my book We Spoke Jewish that incorporates artwork, history and story. You can get a flavor for the range of talks at the We Spoke Jewish website.

Jewish Identity and Legacy

-incorporating artwork and oral history

My series on Jewish Identity and Legacy gives a flavor for the Jewish community and the diverse strands that compose it.  Included in the interviews are stories of those who lived in early Jewish immigrant communities in Minnesota, those who were survivors and immigrated after the war and Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union who came in the 1980s and 1990s.

I include 2 minute clips of the interviews and talk about how the paintings grew out of their stories.  This is a talk that also addresses themes of how we honor the legacy of elders through story.

The book, We Spoke Jewish, is based on this series of oral histories and incorporates history, artwork and story.

Immigration Laws, Documents and the Stories Within
-genealogy and oral history

This talk explores the relationship between the changing immigration laws and the genealogy documents that evolved out of those laws. I incorporate video excerpts of oral histories from the Jewish Identity and Legacy Project that explore the immigration experiences  throughout the 1900s. This presentation addresses the dimensions of immigration as shaped by the laws, reflected in the documents and told through the stories to paint a fuller picture of immigrant experiences.

Crossing the Ocean

Using case studies based on Lithuania Latvia, Poland, and Belarus, we explore how to connect a wide variety of records and make use of many search engines. With these tools we cross the ocean from US records to locate ancestral towns and family within them. This talk addresses how to create finding tools to decipher records in Russian handwritten Cyrillic.

Mining the Manifest

After 1906, immigration manifests offer a wealth of information, but what do you do if your family came over prior to that time? And how did they get from New York to Minnesota?  We will take a look at derivative naturalization documents, trace contacts they were going to through the NY vital records and follow immigrants who found their route through Canada. Once in New York, we will explore how you can follow their journey to the Midwest. 

Telling Your Family Story
With Collage
–storytelling through art

I do a talk that explores the creation of collages. It addresses materials, basic design concepts, developing a theme, deciding on a background as well as central image and supporting images. I take collages that I have created and deconstruct them so you can see the steps I considered in their creation. This can be done as either a talk or a hands-on collage workshops to help participants create a collage that tells their family story. 


Jewish Genealogy
–art and genealogy

My journey started with a series of artwork on family history titled Putting a Face on Family History.  As part of that exhibition I explored the stories behind my personal family history.  As I frequently do talks on family history, I incorporated the artwork and stories which makes it engaging as well as informative as a broad introduction to Jewish genealogy.

Holocaust Topics
– as told through artwork

Much of my work relates to the Holocaust and I do a number of talks that make use of different elements in my work.

The Silence Speaks Loudly, my work on Lithuania addresses how Lithuania deals with their Holocaust history today and the traces that remain of the former Jewish community. I address the stories contained within this series of paintings.  These are by their nature serious stories that address the death of the Jews of Lithuania, the story that was buried for many years, quite literally in the ground, and the stories behind what is now a restaurant in Lithuania.  In this talk I explore the traces of the Jews that remain in Vilnius and surrounding areas  I use my artwork as a storytelling vehicle. 

The Jewish Identity and Legacy series also involved interviews with a number of survivors.  I have video of many of them telling their story and share excerpts with groups along with the paintings that evolved out of the video interviews.  I often use
video excerpts and you can find some of them on the Identity/Legacy tab.  Go to Postcard from New Ulm for an example of both text and video that is incorporated into telling the survivor's story.

I have worked on a series of paintings based on Holocaust stories from a friend who is a survivor from the same town as my family. I sometimes speak in conjunction with my friend. We have often exhibited my artwork together with her family photos that were hidden in family members' shoes in the camps.  You can see some of the paintings in this series at Dvora's Story.













Site designed by Susan Weinberg
�Susan Weinberg 2012