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Preeminent Jewish Studies Scholar Jonathan Sarna Joins the B’nai B’rith International Podcast to Discuss a Heretofore Unknown Jewish Novelist
(Washington, D.C., Nov. 1, 2019)—For more than 150 years, Jewish author Cora Wilburn’s work went largely unnoticed. Jewish Studies scholar Jonathan Sarna published her coming-of-age novel “Cosella Wayne: Or, Will and Destiny” after re-discovering the novelist in the course of his research. The book explores the lives of American Jews in the 19th century.
Sarna joined B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin on the B’nai B’rith Podcast to talk about the unique significance of Wilburn’s work. “Cosella Wayne: Or, Will and Destiny” is “a very early American Jewish novel full of interest and it teaches us about poor Jews; we often hear about rich Jews…Cora Wilburn teaches us about the other side of the economic spectrum.” The book is an “early novel dealing with Central European Jews,” as opposed to later novels that dealt primarily with Eastern European Jews. “And of course, this is a novel by a woman about a woman, and those are few and far between in the middle of the 19th century, and that makes this novel especially interesting and important.”
Listen to the podcast here.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit