Saturday, October 29 at 3PM
(The Emperor and The Golem),1951. Directed by Martin Fric
In two parts, with refreshments served at the intermission. Czech with English subtitles.

A film comedy based on the Prague Golem legend about a man-made clay “robot” that almost toppled the Prague court of Rudolph II in the late 16th century. The beloved Czech actor and writer Jan Werich, an icon of the Czech intellectual humor, stars in the double title roles of Emperor Rudolf II and his imperial baker Matthew. The two men decide to switch identities to search for Golem, and have a wonderful time indulging in their respective new lifestyles. Costume design by famed Czech animator Jiri­ Trnka.

Fun for the whole family! (recommended for children 7 and older)
Come in your Halloween costume, ideally period dress from the time of Rudolf II.
Intro by Chris Harwood (Columbia University). Organized in cooperation with the Czech Center.


Director MARTIN FRIC Read More …

How Did Cities Evolve?

an illustrated lecture by SVU member

Edward A. Toran

THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2011 @ 6:30 PM

6th Floor, Mid-Manhattan Library,
40th Street and 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Edward Toran’s illustrated presentation points out the many intertwined influences where changes in production, business dealings, technology, warfare, communication and information could lead from minor inventions to major changes in urban landscapes. In all these obervations, recognizing present life procedures helps to clarify historic events; and knowing history always can help to understand future developments.


A Special Performance at SVU Conference
(June 3-5) at the Bohemian National Hall


The Petrifying Puppet Comedye.
Starring 100-year old Czech puppets speaking English.

SUNDAY, JUNE 5 at 3 pm

Bohemian National Hall
321 E 73rd Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues)

The story of the learned Johannes Faust, who sold his soul to the devil for ultimate knowledge.

The staging incorporates age-old technical tricks, fire and thunder, hellish gargoyles and underwater creatures.

With marionette theater, the Czechs brought commedia to the Faustian canon. They introduced the jester, Pimprle (Kasparek), into the story (his appearance in about half of Czech marionette plays gave the name “Pimprle Theater”) as well as three other clown characters: Faust’s comic guards, Dumpling and Bigcheeze, and his German valet, Wagner.

The Whys and Hows of Neo Historic Architecture

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Schwarzmann Building of the
an illustrated lecture of SVU member

Edward A. Toran

THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2011 @ 6:30 PM

6th Floor, Mid-Manhattan Library,
40th Street and 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Edward Toran’s presentation contemplates the logic, social and psychological requirements behind creating neo historic styles when the new building opportunities turned to borrowing and re-creating older historic architectural elements.

Tough Nuts to Crack: Challenges in Czech to English Literary Translation

May 2, 2011


A panel discussion with renowned translators:
Peter Kussi (Milan Kundera, Jiri Grusa),
Paul Wilson (Vaclav Havel, Bohumil Hrabal, Ivan Klima, Josef Skvorecky),
Alex Zucker (Jachym Topol, Petra Hulova, Patrik Ourednik),
and with Robert Wechsler from Catbird Press.

Moderated by Chris Harwood (Columbia U.), Produced by Suzanna Halsey (NYU)

překladatelské oříšky


You can use the above player, or you can download the audio file here (length: 83 minutes, download size: 38 MB)


Audio CD copies are available. Donation $10 + $2 S+H (USA). S+H varies according to destination. Write to order at

LECTURE SERIES on Nationalism in the Lands of the Habsburg Monarchy: The Challenge to Jewish Identity 3

Presented by Society for History of Czechoslovak Jews

Wednesday, APRIL 27, 2011 at 7.00 pm – Lecture 3

Anna Cichopek-Gajraj“Being Jewish in Slovakia and Poland after the Second World War”
Anna Cichopek-Gajraj, University of Western Ontario

After the Second World War, the Czechoslovak and Polish state redefined the boundaries around its national/ethnic community, defining anew who belonged and who did not. The process primarily involved the redefinition of criteria for citizenship. Of all the people negotiating recognition as citizens, few faced more challenges than the Jewish returnees and their communal leaders.

In her talk, Anna Cichopek-Gajdar will discuss how Jewish survivors in postwar Slovakia and Poland struggled to get citizenship through dialogue and conflict between their representatives, local administration and the central governments. By focusing on the daily efforts of Polish and Slovak Jews to rebuild their lives, she investigates the limits of belonging to national/ethnic communities in Central Eastern Europe after the Holocaust.

Anna Cichopek-Gajraj is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario (until spring 2011) and an Assistant Professor at the Arizona State University. She earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and has an M.A. in History from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. Her M.A. thesis on the anti-Jewish pogrom in Cracow in August 1945 was published as a book in 2000 in Poland. She also contributed to Contested Memories: Poles and Jews during the Holocaust and its Aftermath (Zimmerman, 2003).

The event takes place at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, New York, NY.

Remembering George Karnet – March 1, 2011 at 7 pm

Jiří Kárnet, Paris 1952A slide show and readings by family and friends.

George Karnet, Czech exile since 1948, was a journalist, poet, playwright and translator. He died on February 1, 2011 at age of 91 in New York City. Karnet was a friend and collaborator with prominent personalities of Czech theater and literature such as George­ Voskovec, Jan Werich, Emil F. Burian, Alfred and Emil Radok, Jan Grossman, Egon Hostovsky, Ferdinand Peroutka, and Pavel Tigrid. While in exile in Paris, he co-founded an influencial exile periodical Svedectvi­. In 1952, he relocated to New York where he also conributed to Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.

From the Program in Brief:

Sue Karnet…………… slides
Frantisek Listopad….. video message
Viktor Debnar………… audio message
Katerina Kyselica……. reading
Eduardo Arrocha…….. video message (1)
Andy Bragen…………. a tribute
Marek Seckar ………… video message (2)

Created by Sue Karnet.

Many thanks to our friends in Prague:

Viktor Debnar, editor of George Karnet’s book Posmrtny deni­k, and to Simon Pellar and Graeme Dibble, for their English translation.

listen to audio (in Czech):

Viktor Debnar’s interview on Czech Radio 3 – Vltava



LECTURE SERIES on Nationalism in the Lands of the Habsburg Monarchy: The Challenge to Jewish Identity 2

Presented by Society for History of Czechoslovak Jews

Thursday, FEBRUARY 24, 2011 at 7.00 pm – Lecture 2

Rebekah Klein-PejÅ¡ová“The Emergence of Slovak Jewish Identity in Interwar Czechoslovakia”
Rebekah Klein-Pejšová, Purdue University

Before the Interwar period, there was no “Slovak” Jewry. This talk considers the emergence of a distinctive Slovak Jewish collective identity among the Jews of the territory of Slovakia, formerly northern Hungary, as they reoriented themselves in the new state of Czechoslovakia after the First World War. This process took place through Jewish national politics, communal architectural enterprise, and how they did – and did not – commemorate their war dead.

Rebekah Klein-Pejsova is Jewish Studies Assistant Professor of History at Purdue University. After completing her M.A. degree at the Central European University in Budapest she earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2007. She is currently working on a book manuscript concerning the dynamics of Jewish nationality and citizenship in Interwar East Central Europe. Her article, “Abandon Your Role as Exponents of the Magyars’: Contested Jewish Loyalty in Interwar (Czecho) Slovakia,” was published in the November 2009 issue of the journal Association of Jewish Studies Review.

The event takes place at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, New York, NY.

Events of 2010

NEW YORK Chapter events, which took place in 2010

December 20, 2010, at 7 PM
Pardon Me! Signing a newly-published book of cartoons by Gabriel A. Levický

December 10, 2010, at 7 PM
Evening Reading from Books of Eda Kriseová

December 6, 2010, at 6 PM
Election of the SVU NY Executive Board and Council for 2010-2012

December 6, 2010, at 7 PM
Christmas Concert with the distinguished Opera Singer Dodo Ivaška

Monday, November 8, 2010, at 7 PM
Křeslo pro hosta: Petr Fejk
Večer povídání a vzpomínek s bývalým ředitelem pražské zoo
at Bohemian National Hall, 3rd floor, 321 E 73rd St.
Event only in Czech

September 16, Thursday, 2010, at 6:30 PM
“The Path to Post-Marxism in Central and East-Central Europe,”. A lecure by Dr. Bradley Abrams

 Dr.Abrams is the former Associate Director of the Harriman Institute, Columbia University. His contribution takes 1968 as a departure point, as I view the events of that year in Europe as the historical moment at which left-wing intellectuals in Central Europe – the two Germanies, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary – became disillusioned with Marxism. The failures of the Polish “March Days,” the West German student movement (and its French counterpart) and, most importantly, the Prague Spring signaled for many the end of attempts at radical social change the relied upon Marxism as their primary tool. There was no linear movement from Marxism to something discrete that can be termed post-Marxism, however. Intellectuals East and West adopted different strategies from the late 1960s until the turning point of the Helsinki Accords was reached in 1975. What emerged in its wake in the late 1970s was less a metanarrative than a shared belief in the importance of several issues, among them human rights, the environment, peace and disarmament and the critique of mass, consumer society. These issues brought Central European organizations, such as the Green parties, KOR and Charter 77 together in a dialogue across the Iron Curtain, and helped give renewed energy to the notion of a Central Europe itself.

Friday, June 4, 2010 , at 7:30 PM
A solo performance of a soprano
Isabella Mederi

The award-winning soprano Isabella Mederi will sing arias by Richard Strauss, Leoš Janáček
and Antonín Dvořák. The arias will be taken from the following operas:
Arabella, Ariadne auf Naxos, Capriccio, Jenufa, and Rusalka. Pianist: Dan Smith.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010, at 7:30 PM
The New Mixed Bag: Spoken Word Series – Poetry Reading

Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at 7:30 PM
The New Mixed Bag: Spoken Word Series – Poetry Reading

Wednesday, May 12, 2010, at 7 PM
Reading of The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare
The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre and The Czechoslovak Society for Arts and Sciences present a reading of “The Winter’s Tale” by William Shakespeare. (“The Winter’s Tale” will be presented in Central Park’s Delacorte Theatre by the New York Shakespeare Festival from June 9-August 1.)  Come join us on the ancient shores of Bohemia!  The listeners are encouraged to bring their own text of the play to follow the reading.

Wednesday, May 19,  2010, at 7 PM
The Most Remarkable Book of the Most Remarkable Decade in Postwar Czech Literature
A lecture by Christopher Harwood

In this lecture Dr. Harwood challenges the all but universal conclusion that the 1960s were the most vibrant and exceptional decade in the history of Czech literature since World War II.  While acknowledging the significance and unrepeatability of the 1960s in the Czech cultural experience, Dr. Harwood’s essay attempts to reevaluate the legacy of the 1980s as a period of paradoxical fecundity and diversity in Czech literature.
It then turns to an analysis of Jiří Kratochvil’s Bear Novel (Medvědí roman/Urmedvěd, written 1979-1983) as a singularly ambitious, successful, but, alas, probably untranslatable work of literary art.

Thursdays, March 18 & 25, 2010, at 7:30 PM
Two Lectures on Georg Mendel by Dr. Eva Derman

Lecure 1: The Legacy of Georg Mendel, the Long-Forgotten Augustine Monk
Lecure 2: Gregor Mendel: How his discoveries of genes led to biotechnology, and how biotechnology  is affecting our lives.

Gregor Mendel can be considered the father of modern biology. This lecture will discuss how Mendel’s scientific contributions led to the acceptance of Darwins’ theory of evolution, our understanding of heredity, the concept of a gene and isolation of genes through gene cloning, and ultimately the unraveling of the mysteries of the human genome. Mendel’s discoveries will be presented within a historical context, with an emphasis on the ethical questions raised by these discoveries.

Dr. Eva Derman is a molecular biologist whose research interests are gene structure and regulation, biomarkers of aging, identification of tissue-specific enhancers/promoters, chromatin structure of active and silent genes, molecular immunology and molecular endocrinology. In her most recent research Dr. Derman developed genetically- engineered mice, to be used as animal models of growth retardation in chronic inflammatory diseases.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010, at 6:30 PM
Czech Writers Under Siege and Czech Literary History. A lecture by Prof. Jiri Holy, DrSc

In his lecture “Czech Writers Under Siege and Czech Literary History,” Professor Holý will reflect on several problematic areas in recent Czech history—literary and otherwise—which he was forced to confront while writing his book for English-speaking readers.

Jiří Holý, professor at the Institute for Czech Literature and Literary Studies at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University in Prague, is one of the world’s leading experts on Czech literature of the twentieth century. 

Saturday, March  6, 2010, at 5 pm
Life and Film The Labyrinthine Biographies of Vojtech Jasny 

Prize-winning documentary on one of the most successful Czech filmmakers of the 60sDisscussion with Vojtech Jasny will follow after the screening. Organized in cooperation with Consulate General of the Czech Republic and BBLA.

Saturday, January 21, 2010, at 5 pm
“From Hollywood to the Gallows: The strange case of Otto Katz.” 

Professor Anson Rabinbach will deliver a lecture on the persecution and assassination of Otto Katz (also known as Andre Simone), an enigmatic Czech-German communist, hanged along with ten other victims of the Slansky Trial in Pankrac prison in Prague on December 3rd 1953.  

Anson Rabinbach is a specialist in modern European history with an emphasis on intellectual and cultural history. He has published extensively on Nazi Germany, Austria, and European thought in the nineteenth and twentieth century. In 1974 he co-founded the premier journal of German studies in the United States, New German Critique, which he continues to co-edit. In 1979 he published The Crisis of Austrian Socialism: From Red Vienna to Civil War 1927-1934, a study of Austrian culture and politics between the wars.The Human Motor, an investigation of the metaphor of work and energy that provided modern thinkers with a new scientific and cultural framework to understand the human body, appeared in 1991 and has since been translated into several languages. His current research is on the culture of Nazi Germany and on post-World War II exchanges between European and American intellectuals. He also writes and reviews widely for journals of opinion including The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, Dissent, and The Nation. He received the Viktor Adler State Prize in 1987. Professor Rabinbach has also been the recipient of Guggenheim, ACLS, and NEH fellowships.

Events of 2009

NEW YORK Chapter events, which took place in 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009, at 5 PM
How Christians should prepare for ChristmasWhat are we really waiting for?Lecture by Rev. Jan Czudek

Fr. Jan Czudek a priest of the diocese of Ostrava – Opava, Czech Republic. After eight years exacting work in Karviná and Bridlicná in Jeseníky bishop FrantiÅ¡ek Lobkowicz appointed him pastor for Czech people living in New York and in Washington, D.C. Saturday, December 5, at 6.30pmKotyza´s annual “Two Baritones”CHRISTMAS CONCERTStaring: Vladimír Chmelo, Stanislav Kotyza Pianist: Juraj FilasAfter the concert a traditional venison dinner will be served. The space in the BBLA Gallery is limited. Please R.S.V.P. by e-mail to
Jacket and tie preferred. Entry fee $ 25.

Thursday, November 12, 2009, at 7 pm
How Best To View Old Cities. A lecture by Dr. Edward Toran

Friday November 6, 2009, at 6 pm
Anti-Aging Prevention.  A lecture by Dr. Jitka Horejsova

Friday, October 9, 2009 , at 7 PM
Entering The Mayan WorldWhile traveling through Guatemala up into the northern Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and as far south as San Salvador Michael Veznik captured with his camera the beautiful landscape surrounded by majestic volcanos, picturesque crater-lakes and enigmatic Mayan ruins.  Michael also focused his camera on the native people,  many of whom are descendants of the once mighty Mayan civilization.

Friday, September 25, 2009 , at 8 PM

Sunday, September 13, 2009, at 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

(Poetry, music, vision and beyond)
Sunday afternoon with Carmela Tal  Baron and poetic friends – guest singers: Margaret Humphreys and Daralyn Jay who joined Carmela Tal Baron in her newly released CD “Not A Crash Landing”.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009, at 7:30 PM

Tuesday, September 1, 2009, at 7:30 PM

Saturday, June 27, 2009, at 3 PM
Czech Presidency of the European Union
A lecture by Alice Marie Svobodova, Czech Consul

Tusday, June 9, 2009, at 8 PM
Mixed Bag – Poetry Reading

Sunday, June 7, 2009 , at 7:30 PM
A documentary film by Jan Novak and Pavel Palecek
A story of a Czech patriot, RAF pilot, holder of Order of the British Empire, and a prisoner in a concentration camp and a communist jail.

Sunday, May 31, 2009, at 11:00 AM
Read more in English on the FIELD TRIP TO BROOKLYN!
Read more – česky
In the Steps of Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk and Flower Communion
Living history, singing and lunch
First Unitarian Church, Pierrepont Street and Monroe Place, Brooklyn Heights

Friday, May 29, 2009 , at 7PM
A special presentation by Czech Tourism and Friends of Czech Greenways about greenways program, greenways trails and responsible sustainable tourism in Central Europe. Presented were PragueVienna Greenways, Amber Trail, Moravian Wine Trails and Green Bicycle Greenway.

Saturday, April 25, 2009, at 3 pm
A lecture by Jitka Horejsova, MD
How to keep body and mind sharp through exercise and nutrition.

Sunday, April 26, 2009 , at 7:30 pm
Terezin Diary
A film by Zuzana Justman
A documentary film by a survivor of the Theresienstadt Jewish Ghetto during the WWII set up by the Nazis. It was in fact a holding camp before the transposts to concentration camps. Many important Jewsih composers and cultural figures passed through before their cruel demise. Saturday, April 18 at 3PM

A welll known Czech publicist and globetrotter read from his amusing travel books and shared his adventures from his numerous jurneys around the globe. In Czech.

Friday, April 17, 2009, at 7 pm
An Opening of  Eugen Suchon Travelling Exhibition
Celebrating 100-year birth anniversary of this great Slovak composer.
In collaboration with Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association, Consulate General of the Slovak Republic, Slovak American Cultural Center, New York

Tuesday, April 14, 2009, at 8 pm
Open Mike 5.
Poetry reading

Monday, March 30, 2009, at 7:30 PM
A TRIAL IN PRAGUE (2000, 83 min)
Screening of a documentary film by Zuzana Justman about the trial and its circumstances of the communist Rudolf Slansky in 1951.

Saturday, March 21, 2009, at 3 PM
A lecture by Prof. Vlado Simko, MD

Saturday, March 14, 2009, at 8 pm
Is Peace in the Middle East Possible?
A lecture by Consul General of the Czech Republic Eliska Zigova, PhD

Friday, March 13, 2009, at 8 pm
Open Mike 4 – Poetry Reading

Saturday, February 28, 2009, at 3 PM
The Holy Spies [Cerní a cernejší]
A film directed by Jan Novak
Produced by Pavel Palecek
A shocking documentary about the systematic liquidation of the Roman-Catholic Church in the years 1945 – 1989 by means of agents of the Czechoslovakian State Security Service, who penetrated into the structure of the Church as clergymen at home and abroad: mainly in Vienna, Austria, and the Vatican.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009, at 8 PM
OPEN MIKE 3 – Poetry Reading

Saturday, February 14,2009, at 3 PM
A lecture by Prof. Josef Machac, MDThe emergence of the medical specialty of Nuclear Medicine parallels the Modern Age, beginning with the nearly concurrent discovery of radioactivity and of X-rays at the turn of the 20th century. The discovery and use of radioisotopes revolutionized the practice of medicine as diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Dr. Machac’s excellent presentation and lecture – upbeat and with touch of humor,followed the exciting path of discovery leading to today’s methods of diagnostic medical imaging that we all take for granted, such as PET/CT or SPECT/CT. Since it happened to be Valentine’s Day, the heart was the frequent subject for demonstrations of imaging technology. It was a lecture that made science fun!Josef Machac, since 1992 a director of Nuclear Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, is professor of radiology and medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University. His work combines diagnostic imaging, research, teaching and clinical medicine in the Department of Radiology and the Cardiovascular Institute. He has authored or co-authored numerous scientific papers and books. He is also a history buff, an avid life-long beekeeper, and a beer and wine maker.

Sunday, February 1, 2009 , at 7:30pm
A documentary film by Zuzana Justman
Screening was followed by a lively discussion on situation of Czech women and their view of feminism.

Saturday, January 24, 2009 , at 3PM
A lecture by Prof. Andrew Mazzone
The crisis has provided an opening.  Does it portend a German/Russian rapprochement, and a consequent new economic Drang nach Osten?
Andrew Mazzone teaches Economics at the Henry George School of Social Science. He was trained in neoclassical economics at Babson College and Marxist Political Economy at the New School of Social Research. Mr. Mazzone is a former CEO of the Perkin Elmer Corp., a fortune 500 company in the 1990’s, and is now a President of Xiom Corp., a public company active in plastic technology.

Tuesday, January 17, 2009, at 8 pm
Open Mike 2 / Poetry Reading

Sunday, January 11, 2009, at 7:30 pm
A Film by Zuzana Justman

Saturday, January 10, 2009, at 3 pm
AMERICKE LISTY: the Past, Present, and Future
A talk by Peter Bisek, publisher
Americke Listy is a bi-weekly published in New York since 1964 for the Czech and Slovak community in the USA and distributed all over the world. Petr Bisek presented a brief overview of the Czech emigrant press in the USA and shared the story of how he and his wife Vera decided to continue in the work of the previous husband-wife team, the Svehlas, who published Americke Listy for 25 years since 1964. He talked about what it takes to publish an ethnic newspaper and raise a family at the same time. What are the sacrificies and satisfactions? What are the plans for future?

Aj lucka, lucka v Brooklynu, NY (May 31, 2009)

Je krasne nedelni­ rano. Pred kostelem First Unitarian Universalist Congregation na Pierrepont Street v Brooklyn Heights v newyorskem Brooklynu uz cekaji­ lide s kvetinami v ruce. Je mezi nimi take nase skupinka uceastnici se vyletu poradaneho SVU-NY. Dnes se zde totiz kona tzv. Kvetinova slavnost (Flower Communion), kterou poprve zavedl cesky unitar Norbert Capek v Praze. Kvetiny maji­ symbolizovat jedinecnost kazdeho cloveka. Tento kostel, jeden z 80 tisic v Brooklynu, ma historicke napojeni­ na predvalecne Ceskoslovensko. Do kongregace tohoto kostela totiz patrila Prvni dama Ceskoslovenska, Charlotte Garrique Masarykova, ktera se take v Brooklynu narodila.

Na poÅ™adu bohoslužby bylo kromÄ› skvÄ›lého hraní 16-leté varhanice Amalie Rinehartové, (J.S. Bach, A. Dvořák a Béla Bartók) take zpívání. Sopranistka Karen Geerová zazpívala česky Dvořákův žalm Hospodin je můj pastýř, a bÄ›hem kvÄ›tinového obÅ™adu kongregace s naší pomocí a za rytmického tleskání zpívala českou lidovou “Aj lúčka, lúčka Å¡iroká..” V čestinÄ›! Ačkoliv vÅ¡ichni z naší skupiny umíme česky, trochu jsme zadrhávali. Text písničky byl totiž v programu  pÅ™epsán foneticky a my mÄ›li problém rychle rozluÅ¡tit například: Te-che vo-daz ho-ra/ Chis-ta ye ya-ko-ya…

Rev. Patrick O’Neil představil naši skupinu a hlavně významného hosta rev. Josepha Ben-Davida, který se k nám přidal se svojí ženou Allison, přestože se předcházejícího dne vrátil z nemocnice. Jeho účast dodala celé akci zvláštní význam. Norbert Čapek byl totiž v Praze jeho mentorem. Přinesl s sebou fotografie z květinové slavnosti z roku 1930, jíž se jako mladík zúčastnil.

Po bohosluzbe nam historicka kostela ukazala fotografie s Charolottou Garrigue Masarykovou a Janem Masarykem, ktery zde promluvil v roce 1946.

Náš příjemný a  ducha obohacující výlet skončil procházkou po Brooklyn Promenade s uchvacujícím pohledem na Manhattan a chutným brunchem v populární restauraci Heights Café na Montague Street. Kam se vydá SVU-NY na výlet příště? Plánujeme turistický výšlap kolem řeky Hudsonu oslavijící své 400. výročí. Uvítáme vaše další nápady. Napište nám na

Zuzana Halsey

Vi­ce informaci­ o Flower Communion najdete na webstrankach:


We visited the historic First Unitarian Church on Monroe Place in Brooklyn Heights, where Brooklyn-born Charlotte Garrigue (1850-1923), later the First Lady of new Czechoslovakia, was a very active member of the congregation.Her Unitarian faith and character had a singular influence on her adopted country. She was instrumental in developing close ties with the Czechoslovak Unitaria and cooperation with Norbert Capek, the founder of Czech Unitaria in Prague. Both her husband Tomas Masaryk and her son Jan spoke from this church’s pulpit. Her daughter Alice planned a stained glass window there in her memory. After World War II interrupted that plan, the women of the First Church in 1957 gave a clerestory window picturing Bohemian Reformer Jan Hus in memory of Charlotte Masaryk and in honor of John Howland Lathrop. Lathrop, the ninth minister of the First Church, headed a relief program in Czechoslovakia following World War II, which gave rise to the Unitarian Service Committee.

more about the Flower communion

We participated the Flower Communion which is held here every May in memory of Norbert Capek, who designed this flower ceremony for children before he perished in a concentration camp. Flowers and a CZECH folk song play a major role in this ceremony. We joined the congregation in singing “Aj lucka, lucka siroka…” IN CZECH! Later, we walked on the Brooklyn Promenade offering a stunning view of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge, and had lunch at the HeightCafe on Montague Str. It was a good day.

Events of 2008

NEW YORK Chapter events, which took place in 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008 , at 3 pm
A lecture by Rev. Josef Ben-David
The humanistic approach that emerged in the 1950’s has its roots in the existentialist thought of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre and Buber.
The lecture, followed by a discussion, focused on the history of humanistic psychology and today’s state of spiritual life in the Czech Republic. It will present an overview of the historical roots and ideas of the early Czech pioneers in the field of psychology, including the little-known contributions of two Bohemian philosophers and scientists Jan Amos Comenius (16th Century), and Jan Evangelista Purkyne (19th Century). It also examined the psychological research and ideas of President Thomas Garrigue Masaryk, and provide an overview of the contemporary scene of psychology in the Czech lands.

Czech-born, Rev Joseph Ben-David is a founder of the Church of Humanism in New York City, the only humanist religious organization that affirms God as a fusion of naturalism and realism. Its philosophy of life is based on a deep faith in the values of reason, love, and intuition and a call to conscience that relates particularly to issues of justice, freedom, and peace.

Sunday, November 23, 2008, at 2 pm
Memorial for a long time SVU memberNovember 20, 2008 -Thu at 7 pm
Mixed Bag-Open Mike – Poetry Reading I

Saturday, November 8, 2008, at 3 pm
A lecture by Pavel Illner, MD
Dr. Pavel Illner shared his observations of cardiac surgery as practiced in New York in the years 1982-2006 when he practiced cardiovascular anesthesiology.

Saturday, October 18, 2008 , at 3 pm
A lecture by Prof. Igor Lukeš, Boston University

Rudolf Slansky was a lifelong Stalinist, general secretary of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia (1945-1951), and one of the main strategists of the February 1948 coup d’état in Prague. His arrest in November 1951 and execution in December 1952 caused a sensation in the history of the Cold War. In seeking to expose the roots of the Slansky affair, the lecture focused on the hitherto uncharted terrain defined by the lives of Rudolf Slansky, Noel and Hermann Field, and Major (later Colonel) Frantisek Zdenek Ostry.
The main objective of the presentation was to expose the role played by OKAPI, an intelligence organization of Czechoslovak émigrés operating out of the American zone in Germany, and its attempt to arrange Slansky’s escape to the west. The overall argument was that the impetus for a show trial in Prague came from Moscow while OKAPI’s operation aimed at Slansky provided the trigger for his destruction. Lukes saw the affair a Cold War episode in which the competing forces of east and west worked together in an entirely unintended, yet harmonious manner to cause Slansky’s downfall and death.

Saturday, September 13, 2008 , at 3 pm
A lecture by Jaroslav E. Sýkora, ThD

The Czech-Canadian poet Pavel Javor (1916-1981; whose real name was Jiří Škvor) was a leading literary figure of Czech Exile after the 2nd World War. When he left the former Czechoslovakia after the Communist putsch in 1948, he settled in Canada, and for many years he was appointed as a Professor of Slavic studies at the University of Montreal. Before his emigration Javor/Škvor had published five poetry collections and won fame for sensitive lyrics and honest patriotism. These features are also present in all twelve of his poetry collections which came out in the exile years, 1951-1981. The lecture focused on those aspects of Javor’s poetry that relate to biblical themes, images, and names. Javor was not a spiritual poet like Jan Zahradníček or Otokar Březina. However, Javor‘s religious language, and expressions of faith, hope and love are essential components of his poetry, revealing the poet’s existential rootedness in God and Christian belief.

Dr. Sýkora, is the SVU chairman and former Professor of Biblical Studies at the Theology Department of the South-Bohemian University in České Budějovice.

Saturday, June 14, 2008 , at 3 pm
A lecture by Alice M. Svobodová, Consul of the Czech Republic
Before the implementation of the Schengen II Agreement, citizens of western Europe could travel to neighbouring countries by showing their national ID card or passport at the border. Nationals of some countries were required to have separate visas for every country in Europe; thus, a vast network of border posts existed around the continent which disrupted traffic and trade—causing delays and costs to both businesses and visitors. Since the implementation of the Schengen rules, border posts have been closed. Svobodová presented an insightful analysis into the pros and cons of the Schengen Agreement, with a special focus on the place of the CzechRepublic within a borderless region among the countries of the European Union.

Saturday, May 10, 2008, at 3 pm
A talk by Franta Nedved, artist
A native of Prague, Franta Nedved now lives in New York City. Franta’s formal education began in film production, and he holds a degree in fine arts from the Film Institute of Technology, Czechoslovakia. He continued his education in painting and sculpture at The Ringes Atelier of Prague. Franta also studied art restoration in the Vatican. Awarded the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant that recognizes artists withoutstanding talent, Franta has also worked to renovate the great murals of Radio City Mussic Hall in New York City along with churches and national monuments. Franta has exhibited widely since then in New York City’s studios and galleries.

Saturday, April 12, 2008 , at 3 pm
A presentation by Dr. Jitka Horejsova:
After more than 30 years of clinical experience and treatment of patients with severe back-pain, Richard Smíšek, MD myosceletal medicine specialist in Prague discovered that the key to a healthy posture is in the “spiral muscle chains”. He developed an effective method to correct imbalances in these muscles. The Smisek Method is now available in the USA thanks to Dr. Jitka Horejsova, who is offering certification courses, and the textbook by Dr. Richard Smisek, SpiralStabilization and Regeneration of the Spine in the USA, to Occupational Therapists. Chiropractors, Personal Trainers and other Rehabilitation Professionals intending to become certified and trained “SM Professionals”.

Saturday, March 1, 2008 , at 3 pm
A lecture by Martin Palous

Martin Palous, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, presented a talk about the outstanding Czech philosopher Jan Patocka and his thoughts about Czechs and their place both in Europe and in the world. Mr. Palous’ long-lasting passion for the philosophical giant has been proved in many ways, in academic milieux as in active politics, and the lecture offered a unique opportunity to hear not only Mr. Palous’ interpretation of Jan Patocka but also his own account of his experience as a politician in practical life, too.