Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus engraving courtesy Columbia University


Emma Lazarus: The Powerful Words that Reshaped a Nation

We often say that America is a “nation of immigrants,” but its historical experience is more complicated.

How did America begin to think of itself in this way? This program explores the question through the life and writings of Emma Lazarus, to offer new perspectives on the role Jews, and in particular one Jewish woman played in crafting this image.

Emma Lazarus has much to teach us about the intersection of American history, Jewish history, and women’s history, as she shows the ways in which the powerful words crafted by a member of a small minority group could reshape a national debate and how this vast nation saw its mission in the world.

Presented by the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University.  

The words of Emma Lazarus are a good way to start your July 4th festivities.