ŠVEJKathon 2021

Thursday, APRIL 29, 2021,
2:00 pm until midnight EDT

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the publication of the first part of Jaroslav Hašek’s classic The Good Soldier Švejk(Osudy dobrého vojáka Švejka za svetové války) in 1921, the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) in New York invites you to its nonstop online reading in English.

Did you know that The Good Soldier Švejk is the most translated Czech novel? Joseph Heller said that if he had not read it, he would never have written Catch-22.

Readers across the globe will take turns reading. They will include actors, translators, scholars, students, and other friends of Czech culture. At 2 pm EDT, Václav Paris, Professor of Comparative Literature at City College, will provide a brief introduction. Christopher Harwood, Lecturer in Czech at Columbia University, will moderate the event. The reading will continue until the end of Part One, whenever that may be.

Reading locations will include New York, Prague, London, Rome, Istanbul, Upsala, Oman’s Salalah, Los Angeles, Chicago, and others.

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The event is organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU NY) with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA) in New York.
Media partner is Czech Center NY.


Wednesday, April 7 at 7 pm (EST)

Antonin Raymond, a Czech-American architect who helped rebuild Japan after WWII
A Book Talk by Helena Capkova, PhD

Dr. Capkova will present her new book about Antonin Raymond (1888 – 1976), a Czech-American architect who helped rebuild Japan after WWII, as seen through the lens of his friends and collaborators, his way of working, and reasons for his success in post-war Japan.

REGISTER on Eventbrite to receive the Zoom link.

Suggested donation $5 or more.

ANTONIN RAYMOND (Reimann) was born in Kladno, Czechoslovakia, as one of the Jewish merchant’s six children. He came to the USA in 1910. He lived and worked in New York City, Tokyo, Japan, and New Hope, PA, from the 1910s through the mid-1970s. During the First World War, Raymond worked as an intelligence officer with the Masaryk Group. In the 1920s, he served as the Honorary Consul of Czechoslovakia in Japan. In 1928, he was awarded the White Lion IV Order for his excellent help to compatriots. As a young architect, he worked on some of the most extraordinary buildings of the first quarter of that century, including Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building in New York City and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Antonin and his wife and creative partner Noémi Pernessin introduced modern architecture and design to Japan and India, creating over 300 built works over their 50-year practice. By 1938, with war looming both in Europe and in Asia, the Raymonds returned to the United States, first in New York, and then to a farm in New Hope, Pennsylvania. The farm and studio became a working/teaching atelier, where apprentices would work in the studio and on the farm. You can visit the Raymond Farm Center in New Hope, PA

In 1945, Raymond opened a studio in New York City with his compatriot architect Ladislav Leland Rado (1909–1993). The Raymonds returned to Japan in 1948 where Antonin was a member of General MacArthur’s staff during the post-war reconstruction of Japan. In 1956 he was awarded an honorary medal by the American Institute of Architects, and in 1964 he received the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese government. An architectural firm bearing his name still operates in Japan.

HELENA CAPKOVÁ, PhD, is a Czech Tokyo/Kyoto-based curator, researcher, and art history professor at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto. She studied transnational visual culture and Japanese studies in Prague and London. As a PhD candidate, she collaborated on international and interdisciplinary research projects such as Forgotten Japonisme (2007-2010) and later Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, Modernism, and the Arts, c.1875-1960 (2013-2015). Since 2010, she has published and lectured extensively about the specific nature of Japanese modernism and avant-garde that she considers as an inherent part of art history, traditionally perceived as Western. Her publications on this topic include “Believe in socialism … “: Architect Bedrich Feuerstein and His Perspective on Modern Japan and Architecture (2016) and “Careless Shell”– Transnational exploration of Czechoslovak and Japanese Surrealisme (2015). In 2017, she designed a series about architect Antonin Raymond at the Tokyo Czech Center. The successful series lead to the book Antonín Raymond in Japan (1948–1976), which she edited with architect K. Kitazawa, and published in October 2019 in Japanese/ Czech edition. The English version will be published in fall 2021.
This event is organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter, with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).


A popular online mini-series presenting three-minute videos of Czech and Slovak artists and professionals based in New York and their reflections on how the challenging Covid reality affected their work and projects. This third edition will feature three accomplished creative New Yorkers: Tom Kotik, Maria Haršániová and Anna Rathkopf.

Live Q&A will follow the screening of three 3-minute videos.

Moderated by Christopher Harwood and Suzanna Halsey

REGISTER HERE to receive the Zoom link.

Free and open to the public.
Suggested donation $5 or more. Tax-deductible.

This event is organized by Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter, in collaboration with the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic, and with the support of Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).


TOM KOTIK, born in Prague to an artistic family, is a Brooklyn-based artist, curator and musician. He has exhibited at Lesley Heller Workspace (NYC), Fundacio Juan Miro (Barcelona), Kostka Gallery (Prague) and The House of Arts (Brno). Since 2013, Tom has been a Curator at Large for Arts Brookfield in New York organizing exhibitions of emerging artists in New York and Los Angeles. He received his MFA from Hunter College in 2004 and has been a resident artist at Meet Factory (Prague), Art OMI, Yaddo, LMCC Workspace Program and the AIM Program at the Bronx Museum of Art. He uses silence as the starting position of his artworks. Many of his works deal with both the physical aspects of silence and materials from which non-functional replicas of audio equipment generate, as well as socio-political implications of silence itself. Both a practicing sculptor and (rock!) musician, he prefers making silent works that allow the viewers to compose as they observe. Thus sound, silence and form can find true harmony.

MÁRIA HARŠÁNIOVÁ, a writer under the pseudonym Maya Reyes, comes from the small town of Modrá in Slovakia. She earned her Masters of Social Work at St. Elizabeth College in Bratislava. Maria is currently finishing a master’s degree at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College to obtain her SW license in the USA. She enjoys psychology and is interning as a group facilitator and therapist. Before settling in New York in 2016, she lived in England, Spain, The Netherlands and Cuba. Maria’s novel Exit Havana was published in 2016 by the Motý? publishing house in Slovakia. The story is based on her experience as a breast cancer patient. Maria also enjoys photography and blogging.

ANNA RATHKOPF lived in Prague until 2005 when she met her American husband and moved to New York City. She received her MA in Jewish Studies from Charles University in Prague. Her love for reading and photography led her naturally to blogging. In her Czech blog Mama za vodou, she wittingly describes her expat life in her Brooklyn bilingual household. With her photographer husband, she formed a photography company. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 37, they decided to create a photo project called HER2 to raise awareness about the possibility of cancer in people under 40 and the importance of relationships and love during adversity. The photos documenting Anna’s journey to her recovery were published in several publications and are part of the Susan G. Komen rebranding campaign. In 2020, the Covid 19 pandemic became a new subject for the team and a new photography project. Community Heroes captures quiet heroes, mostly women, who volunteer to run food distribution centers in their neighborhood for people in need. Photos appeared in several articles and will be part of an exhibition. One of her photos was included in the ICPs exhibition ICP Concerned: Global Images for Global Crisis. Anna is also proud of her new role as a home teacher to her 1st grader, mastering songs about months or days and improving her math skills, as well.

REFUGE IN HELL: The Story of the Berlin Jewish Hospital and The Jews’ Hospital-Mount Sinai Hospital of New York

Tuesday, JANUARY 19 at 7pm (EST)
A talk by Josef Machac, MD


Based both on personal experience and researched material.
When soldiers of the Red Army took Berlin in April 1945, they came upon a hospital compound with 800 living patients and staff, all Jews, having survived the Nazi era right in the heart of the Third Reich. This is part of the remarkable story of the origins and two-hundred-year history of the Berlin Jewish Hospital, and an institution modelled after it – The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

The event was presented live online on ZOOM.

Q&A was moderated by Christopher Harwood, PhD, Columbia University.

Josef Machac
Josef Machac, MD, was born in Prerov, Czechoslovakia and lived in Olomouc until 1964, when his family emigrated and settled in the town of Bohemia on Long Island, NY. He received his bachelor and MD degrees in 1975 and 1978, respectively, at Brown University, and received postgraduate training at the Mount Sinai Hospital in NY. From 1986 until 1995, he headed the stress ECG and nuclear cardiology laboratory at Mount Sinai. In 1992, he became Director of Nuclear Medicine, and in 2003, Professor of Radiology and Medicine. Dr. Macha? has authored or co-authored 120 scientific papers in peer-reviewed publications, and 18 book chapters, and has trained numerous residents and fellows. He retired in July 2016. For the last 7 years, he has been volunteering part-time as a general internist and cardiologist at the Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI) clinic in Hackensack, NJ for working people who cannot afford health insurance, where he initiated an obesity treatment program, which now continues with funded support. He has been an active member of the Czechoslovak Society for Arts and Sciences (SVU) since 1980. Dr. Machac also engages in beekeeping, brewing beer, travel and reading, folk dancing, Yoga, Tai Chi and other martial arts.


This event is organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter, with the support of Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).