Monthly Programs

Most months a member will give a presentation, discussing a current work in progress, the research and writing process, or an area of personal interest and expertise. A collegial Q&A ensues, and the speaker can, if they wish, ask for suggestions for improvement in case they will be giving the talk at other venues. These programs are usually held at 2:00 PM on the third Sunday of the month, except for December; exceptions can be made as necessary. A digital projector and screen are available. Another member volunteers to take notes and write a report for the newsletter, or the speaker may provide a synopsis instead.

We try to have a speaker each month, though this is not always possible. Ideally, we schedule the programs as far in advance as possible. Members who are interested in giving a talk or other program (such as a film or exhibit tour) should email


Next Monthly Program

Sunday, December 20, 2:00 pm, Monthly Program  via Zoom.
Oliver Pollak: The Arc of Our Own History, 1980-2020
B.Y.O. Holiday/anniversary party snacks & beverages
Amid 2020's procession of enormous events,the Institute commemorates and celebrates the 40th anniversary of our founding. Our own Oliver Pollak surfaces from immersion in the organization's newsletter archive, mountains of board minutes, and members’ reminiscences. His presentation illuminates our development from a small circle of young women scholars confronted by a desolate academic employment market, into the enduring forum, research and writing resource, and social hub that we know now. It’s a story of belonging, camaraderie, utility, and collaboration. Please join us in taking advantage of this opportunity to glance back and appreciate those who started the organization, why and how they did it, and how it has evolved along with its world.     Oliver B. Pollak was born to German and Austrian refugees in England in 1943. The family emigrated to the U.S. in 1952. He earned a B.A. from California State University, Los Angeles; a history at UCLA; and a law degree from Creighton University, in Omaha, Neb. Oliver taught at the University of Zimbabwe in the early 1970s, was a history professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha from 1974 to 2012, and practiced law until 2016. He has written 11 books and hundreds of articles.He co-founded the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society and belongs to the Institute for Historical Study. His interests include print culture, higher education, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, and legal, food and Jewish history. Oliver and his wife, Karen, retired to Richmond in 2016.