Dara Horn // The Past That Lives within the Present: Schechter's Time Capsule—And Ours


Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies

Dara Horn’s most recent novel, A Guide for the Perplexed, dramatizes Solomon Schechter’s astonishing discovery of a vast medieval archive, and juxtaposes it with today's high-tech ability to save absolutely everything about our lives. In this talk, Horn will discuss history’s rivalry with memory and how the two intertwine in the Jewish imagination, whether in the middle ages, in Schechter’s time, or in our own—and how only storytelling can give the past meaning.

Watch video of the event:

Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies



Dara Horn received her PhD in comparative literature from Harvard University in 2006, studying Hebrew and Yiddish. In 2007 she was chosen by Granta magazine as one of 20 “Best Young American Novelists.” Her first two novels--In the Image and The World to Come--won numerous awards including two National Jewish Book Awards, and her third novel, All Other Nights, was named Editors’ Choice in The New York Times Book Review and was one of Booklist’s 25 Best Books of the Decade. Her fourth novel, A Guide for the Perplexed, was published by W.W. Norton in September 2013, and was selected as one of Booklist‘s Best Books of 2013.

Horn has taught courses in Jewish literature and Israeli history at Sarah Lawrence College and City University of New York, and currently holds the Gerald Weinstock Visiting Professorship in Jewish Studies at Harvard, where she teaches Yiddish and Hebrew literature. She has lectured at over two hundred universities and cultural institutions throughout North America, in Israel and in Australia. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four children.


Monday, March 16, 2015 at 7:30 pm

National Museum of American Jewish History

101 S. Independence Mall East (5th and Market Streets), Philadelphia, PA 19106

Free and open to the public; pre-registration strongly recommended. Reserve your free tickets now at nmajh.org.


This lecture is an evening supplement to the afternoon symposium, Solomon Schechter's Life and Legacy: American Transformations.

Museum galleries, café, and bookstore will be open to attendees throughout the events of the day and evening.

More information about the symposium and Solomon Schechter himself at schechterlegacy.com.

Event Location: 

Following the Schechter symposium at the National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, PA

Event Date and Time: 
March 16, 2015 7:30pm