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WHC’s EmptyNesters Present: Richard Rabinowitz

author of Objects of Love and Regret

Friday March 24, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm


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WHC’s EmptyNesters are pleased to welcome author Richard Rabinowitz via Zoom to discuss his book Objects of Love and Regret.

Friday, March 24 at 11:00 am on Zoom.

This program is free and open to everyone, but RSVP is required.


Click here to purchase this book through WHC’s Mitzvah Mall.

About the Book:

At a push­cart stall in East New York, Brook­lyn, in the spring of 1934, eigh­teen-year-old Sarah Schwartz bought her moth­er, Shen­ka, a green, wood­en-han­dled bot­tle open­er. Decades lat­er, Sarah would tear up telling her son Richard, ​Your bubbe always worked so hard. Twen­ty cents, it cost me.” How could that unre­mark­able item, and oth­ers like it, reveal the untold his­to­ry of a Jew­ish immi­grant fam­i­ly, their chances and their choic­es over the course of an event­ful cen­tu­ry? By unearthing the per­son­al mean­ing and his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of sim­ple every­day objects, Richard Rabi­nowitz offers an inti­mate por­trait con­nect­ing Sarah, Shen­ka, and the rest of his fam­i­ly to the twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry trans­for­ma­tions of Amer­i­can life. Dur­ing the Depres­sion, Sarah — born on a Pol­ish bat­tle­field in World War I, scarred by pogroms, pressed too ear­ly into adult respon­si­bil­i­ties — receives a gift of French per­fume, her fiancé Dave’s response to the stig­ma of pover­ty. Lat­er we watch Dave load fold­ing chairs into his car for a state-park out­ing, sig­nal­ing both the post­war detach­ment from city life and his own escape from fail­ures to be a good ​provider” for those he loves. Beau­ti­ful­ly writ­ten, absorb­ing, and emo­tion­al­ly vivid, this is a mem­oir that brings us back to the striv­ing, the dreams, the suc­cess­es, and the tragedies that are part of every family’s story.

About the Author:

Richard Rabi­nowitz, a not­ed his­to­ri­an and muse­um cura­tor, is the pres­i­dent of Amer­i­can His­to­ry Work­shop. For decades, he has been instru­men­tal in devel­op­ing new muse­ums and cre­at­ing live­ly exhi­bi­tions across the nation, includ­ing the Low­er East Side Ten­e­ment Muse­um, the Birm­ing­ham Civ­il Rights Insti­tute, the Nation­al Under­ground Rail­road Free­dom Cen­ter, and the New-York His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety. He is the author of The Spir­i­tu­al Self in Every­day Life: The Trans­for­ma­tion of Per­son­al Reli­gious Expe­ri­ence in Nine­teenth-Cen­tu­ry New Eng­land and Curat­ing Amer­i­ca: Jour­neys through Sto­ryscapes of the Amer­i­can Past. Among his many hon­ors are a Guggen­heim Fel­low­ship and the Amer­i­can His­tor­i­cal Association’s Her­bert Feis Award for dis­tin­guished con­tri­bu­tions to pub­lic history.



Friday, March 24


11:00 am - 12:30 pm




Adult Ed, Lecture


Marsha Humphries