Remembering the 93: Sexual Violence, Ultra-Orthodox Memory, Performance

When and Where

Wednesday, October 04, 2023 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
120 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 1A5


Naomi Seidman


Join us for this year's Annual Jackman Lecture in the Humanities. This event is free and open to the public. The Annual Jackman Lecture in the Humanities was inaugurated in 2022-23 on the fifteenth anniversary of the founding of the Jackman Humanities Institute as a way to express our lasting gratitude for the support of the Honourable Henry N.R. Jackman for research in the humanities. This annual lecture features a leading humanist at the University of Toronto.

Remembering the 93: Sexual Violence, Ultra-Orthodox Memory, Performance will explore the story—fictional, as it turns out—of ninety-three Jewish girls that committed suicide rather than be taken as prostitutes by the Nazis, which is a staple of Bais Yaakov holocaust memory and performance culture. It follows on Professor Naomi Seidman's research into the girls’ school Bais Yaakov in Israel, which developed a lively and enduring culture of performance during the second half of the twentieth century. Seidman was a JHI 6-Month Faculty Research Fellow in 2022-23.

Naomi Seidman’s talk will be accompanied by Israeli vocalist and Bais Yaakov graduate Basya Schechter with two instrumental musicians.  Hear the songs of Bais Yaakov in the acoustically lovely space of the Thomas Fisher Library! Basya Schechter is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, cantor, and music teacher. She is the lead singer and founder of the world/folk rock band Pharaoh's Daughter and has released two solo albums. She has also collaborated with the groups Darshan and The Epichorus. Raised in the Hasidic Jewish community of Borough Park, Schechter left Orthodoxy after high school but maintained a love for the traditional Jewish music of her youth. Her own music often blends concepts from Jewish music with a variety of styles and sounds from Eastern Europe, the Arab world, and Africa, among others.

Naomi Seidman is a Chancellor Jackman Professor of the Arts at the University of Toronto, in the Department for the Study of Religion and the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow. Her fourth book, Sarah Schenirer and the Bais Yaakov Movement: A Revolution in the Name of Tradition, won a National Jewish Book Award in Women's Studies in 2019. Her fifth, In the Freud Closet: Psychoanalysis and Jewish Languages, is forthcoming from Stanford University Press. Her podcast on leaving the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world, Heretic in the House, was released by the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America in 2022.

Photo: Beis Yaakov students perform in a play called "Joseph and His Brothers." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives #49593. Courtesy of Esther Wagner. Copyright of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Tickets are free, but we do ask that you register.



Jackman Humanities Institute


120 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 1A5