Events | The Esther Scroll

Los Angeles | February 28, 2013 | 8:00 PM – 11:27 AM

Another Promised Land: The Book of Esther and the Ambiguities of Diaspora
by Dr. Sharon Gillerman

I Go Before the King... Tears Assist Me and Praise the Lord from Georg Friedrich Händel's Esther
performed by Jen Lee (soprano) and Aurelien Eulert (piano)

In the 1950s, Lion Feuchtwanger acquired a handwritten parchment scroll depicting a part of the Megillat Esther, or The Book of Esther. The book is an integral part of the Jewish celebration of Pirem and contains a firsthand account of the events of Pirem, written by the heroes themselves - Esther and Mordechai. Feuchtwanger's 18th century scroll is presumed to be Ashkenazic from Central Europe. At the time of the purchase Lion was working on his historic novel Raquel, also named The Jewess of Toledo inspired by the story of Esther, a topic he was intrigued by for decades.
Last year, the scroll was professionally restored by USC's Feuchtwanger Memorial Library and returns in new splendor to Villa Aurora.

Sharon Gillerman is Associate Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and at USC. Her publications focus on early twentieth-century Jewish history with particular emphasis on gender, the body, Jewish identity and popular culture in the interwar period. Presently, she is writing a book on the performances and reception of the popular Polish Jewish circus strongman and vaudeville star Zishe (Siegmund) Breitbart in eastern Europe, central Europe, and the United States.
In addition to teaching at HUC-JIR and USC, Professor Gillerman has also taught at Brandeis University, UCLA, the University of Hamburg, and Harvard University.

Jen Lee is a second year master's student of the Vocal Arts program at USC's Thornton School of Music. She recently performed the role of Ariel in the West Coast Premiere of Lee Hoiby's The Tempest with the USC Thornton Operaprogram. Ms. Lee made her debut with the Pacific Philharmonic under the baton of Dr. Bryce Seliger and was also the soprano soloist for Pacific University's Carmina Burana under the direction of Dr. Scott Tuomi. Ms. Lee has won many competitions and scholarships, such as the Encouragement Award by Metropolitan National Council Auditions. Ms. Lee's upcoming engagements include singing the part of Cunégonde in Candide with the Aspen Opera Theater.

Hailing from Alsace, France, pianist and vocal coach Aurelien Eulert performs frequently throughout Europe and the United States. He performs regularly with opera star Rod Gilfry, and has been musical director of the Chamber Opera of USC since 2008 and coach/rehearsal pianist with the USC Thornton School of Music Opera program since 2010. Aurelien has been on staff at the UCLA Alpert School of Music and on the faculty of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival since 2011. He has also performed in professional and university orchestras, under conductors such as James Conlon, Robert Spano, Carl St-Clair and John Williams.

This event is a collaboration between Villa Aurora and the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library at USC, and is co-sponsored by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.

RSVP required: Please call 310.573-3603 or write an email to

Admission: Members free, General $ 5

Location: 520 Paseo Miramar, Los Angeles, CA 90272

Street parking is available on Los Liones Drive. Shuttle service begins at 7 pm and will start from Los Liones Drive, off Sunset Boulevard two blocks North-East of Pacific Coast Highway.

Please do not park on the Topanga State Park Lot!

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