Ruth Ellen Gruber, author of Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe, appears in conversation with Dr Emily Finer from the School of Modern Languages.
Ruth Ellen Gruber is an American author and journalist who has chronicled Jewish developments in Europe for more than 25 years and writes frequently on Jewish heritage, revival and tourism in post-communist Europe. A former correspondent for UPI in Poland and elsewhere in communist Europe, Ruth is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and Poland’s Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit. She coordinates the web site www.jewish-heritage-europe.eu, a project of the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe. The year 2017 marks the 15th anniversary of the publication of Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe – an exploration of non-Jewish interest in Jewish heritage and culture and of the development of Jewish culture in post-Holocaust, post-Communist Europe. It also marks the 25th anniversary of Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe, which put hundreds of long-neglected synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and other Jewish heritage sites on the map and drew attention to a rich patrimony that was largely destroyed, forgotten, ruined, or ignored.