On 5 July, 2017, at 2.00 pm
Dr. Rachael Rosner and Dr. Nancy Sinkoff were given a lecture on "Enlightenment Migrations: Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, Paris, Podolia (Ukraine), and Providence."
What do Aaron Beck (b. 1921), the founder of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mendel Lefin of Satanow (1749-1826), an enlightened Jew who was supported by the Polish Czartoryski family, and Benjamin Franklin, an American founding father, natural scientist, and freemason have in common?
This talk was explored unusual connections between Franklin and the world of East European Jewry and American psychology. All three figures innovated methods for treating the "soul" or "psyche" through a daily regiment of cognitive and behavioral scrutiny. Their weekly grids, published in French, Hebrew, and English, bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. Could it be that all three thinkers were influenced by psychological, moral, and ethical ideas originating in eighteenth-century Poland and Ukraine?
Lecture was held in English.
Dr. Rachael Rosner
is a Boston-based historian and psychologist. Earning her Ph.D. in Psychology from York University, Canada, she also completed a 3-year National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. A specialist in the the history of 20th century American psychotherapy, she is currently writing the first comprehensive biography of Aaron T. Beck, the founder of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, tentatively titled *In Beck’s Basement: Aaron T. Beck and the Emergence of Cognitive Therapy* (under contract with Oxford University Press).
Dr. Nancy Sinkoff
is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Rutgers University-the State University of New Jersey. Holding a Ph.D. from Columbia University, she is a specialist in the history of the Jews of Poland and author of *Out of the Shtetl: Making Jews Modern in the Polish Borderlands* (Brown Judaic Studies, 2004). Dr. Sinkoff consulted for the "Encounters with Modernity" gallery in *Polin: Museum of the History of Polish Jews*. As the Elizabeth and J. Richardson Dilworth Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (2016-2017), she is completing *From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History* (under contract with Wayne State University Press).
Illustration: Painting by David Martin; 1757; Oil on canvas on panel, 50 x 40 inches. Public Domain.