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A Tragedy Revisited: The Iași Pogrom

Updated: Feb 14

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Iași, June 29, 1941

About the Event

Like every year, we mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a special event that highlights and examines painful moments related to the history of the Shoah in Romanian context. This year, when it is perhaps more relevant than ever in recent years to talk about the devastating consequences of anti-Semitism, we are remembering the Iași Pogrom, one of the greatest tragedies of Romanian Jews. We will revisit this painful episode through a documentary exhibition complemented by a panel discussion and a book launch, all based on "Ten Stories. The Iași Pogrom", a literary account of the terrible tragedy written by prominent Romanian writers who took their inspiration from archival footage of the Wiesel Institute now on display at the Museum of the Iași Pogrom. Guests: writer Alina Nelega and researchers Dirk Moses, Spitzer Professor of International Relations at the City College of New York CUNY, and Iulian Pruteanu of The National Museum of Romanian Literature in IașiGuest of honor: Romanian-American thespian and Holocaust survivor Moshe Yassur. Special guests: actors Ava Eisenson and Matthew Boston.

A project created by the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York in partnership with The National Museum of Romanian Literature in Iași with the support of Heritage for the Community Association and Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Bucharest.

Time & Location

Friday, January 26 @ 7 PM | RCI New York | RSVP

Graphic concept of the exhibition by Loredana-Ioana ILIE.


Moshe YASSUR is a theater director, born in Iasi, Romania in 1934. Grew up speaking Yiddish and Romanian. 1947- 49: first theater experiences in Iasi as child actor at the Pomul Verde, the original Yiddish theater founded by A. Goldfadn, and at the Vasile Alecsandri National Theatre. 1950: Immigration to Israel where he worked in the Hebrew-language theater. 1962/63: theater studies in Paris, working with director Jean-Marie Serreau on plays by Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco. 1971: movs to NYC where he directed off-Broadway shows (New Federal Theatre, Soho Rep, Open Space Theatre Experiment, Third Step Theatre Co., Castillo Theater). In Romania he directed at Teatrul Evreiesc de Stat, Bucharest. Romanian-language premieres: Teatrul Mic, Bucharest (Joe Orton); National Theatre V. Alecsandri, Iasi (Howard Barker); Maria Filotti Theatre, Braila; plays by Eugene Ionesco: the National Theatre Iasi, the Eugene Ionesco Theater, Kishinev. In NYC: Yiddish premieres of Waiting for Godot (toured N. Ireland, Paris, Stockholm), Rhinoceros, and Death of a Salesman (NYR), his adaptation of I. Bashevis Singer’s Gimpl Tam (Folksbiene).


Alina NELEGA is one of Romania’s finest playwrights and authors. Her work has been translated, published and performed in Romania and internationally. Among other distinctions, she has won the prestigious UNITER award Best Play of the Year twice (in 2001 and in 2014). She holds the „European Author” accolade (Heidelberg Stueckemarkt, 2007), and since 2008 she has been Honorary Fellow in Writing of the Iowa University. She founded the first new playwright’s festival in Romania, Dramafest, that ran between 1997-2000, also working extensively with independent companies. Between 2010-2012 she was a columnist of the theatre magazine, developing her own column, Adverse Reactions. She is a professor of the University of Arts in Targu-Mureș, and the tutor of the Playwriting MA, a course which most of today’s most accomplished young playwrights have graduated from. As a fiction writer, she won the best novel award of the prestigious cultural review Observator Cultural for her novel Like Nothing Happened. A Cloud in the Shape of a Camel, her next book, won the "Sofia Nadejde" award for best novel, the Radio Romania fiction award, and the "most beloved book" prize, awarded by the college students of Iasi, within the International Literature and Translation Festival (FILIT).

Dirk MOSES is the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Professor of International Relations at the City College of New York CUNY. He is the author and editor of many books on genocide in global history, most recently The Problems of Genocide: Permanent Security and the Language of Transgression (Cambridge University Press, 2021). He edits the Journal of Genocide Research.

Iulian PRUTEANU-ISĂCESCU is a historian and museographer, graduate of the Faculty of History of "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University of Iasi, with a Master's degree in Jewish History and Judaism. Head of the Cultural Programmes Office at the National Museum of Romanian Literature Iasi, editor-in-chief of the "Yearbook of the National Museum of Romanian Literature Iasi" and general secretary of the editorial staff of the magazine "Dacia literară", expert certified by the Ministry of Culture in archaeological and historical-documentary / memoirs, programme coordinator of the International Festival of Literature and Translation Iasi - FILIT. Author of five volumes in the collection "Restitutio" - the history of the memorial houses in the network of the National Museum of Romanian Literature Iasi -, as well as of several studies and specialized and popularization articles published in various magazines in the country and abroad.


Ava EISENSON is a New York City based actor (and sometimes a few other things like voiceover artist, coach and content contributor/editor). She holds her BFA from Boston University. For more info about her and current projects, check out

Matthew BOSTON has over 35 years of professional experience, working in theatres spanning from New York City to top regional theatres across the country.  His TV/Film credits include: City on a Hill, For Life, ElementaryThe Blacklist, Mysteries of Laura, Blue Bloods, Law & OrderThe KitchenIn the Family, Out and About, and Ghost Ship.



PHOTO GALLERY | Friday, January 26, 2024, RCI New York



Feb 07

Просто неймовірна стаття, дякую вам за такий поглиблений екскурс в історію, це неаби як важливо на сьогодняшній день, пам'ятати та знати свою історію. Можу сказати, що наразі завдяки якісному новинному порталу, ми можемо тримати себе в курсі подій. Таким чином, я завдяки новинному порталу зараз почав читати новини Чухії , котрі стали для мене відвертістю, бо я навіть і подумати не міг, що саме так у них будується соціальна та політична інституції. Загалом, я кожного разу відкриваю для себе щось нове завдяки новинами, але ці свіжі новини Чехії, взагалі не залишають мене байдужим, саме тому треба читати новини, щоб завжди бути в інформаційному ресурсі.


lekor adams
lekor adams
Jan 23

Revisiting the tragedy of the Iași Pogrom is a somber reflection on the darkest chapters of history. In moments like these, one may yearn for the solace that a sanctuary like WheelofBliss provides—a retreat center designed for individuals to reconnect with themselves, others, nature, and spirit. The Iași Pogrom serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of intolerance, underscoring the importance of acknowledging historical wounds. Like a wheel of bliss, the process of remembrance becomes a collective endeavor, allowing communities to step away momentarily from the harsh realities, affirm their connections through acknowledgment and education, and return with a strengthened resolve to foster understanding and prevent such tragedies in the future.

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