28 2022

Women's History Month Guest Lecture with Judy Batalion

6:00PM - 8:00PM  

Virtual & In-Person Event @ Russell Sage College, Troy Livestream via YouTube

Contact Linda Pollack Kessler
(518) 783-7800

The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos


March is Women's History Month and Women's Philanthropy is proud to collaborate with The Women's Institute of Russell Sage College for a guest lecture with author Judy Batalion on her highly acclaimed book The Light of Days.
One of the most important stories of World War II, already optioned by Steven Spielberg for a major motion picture: a spectacular, searing history that brings to light the extraordinary accomplishments of brave Jewish women who became resistance fighters—a group of unknown heroes whose exploits have never been chronicled in full, until now. 

Arrangements for the appearance of Judy Batalion made through Russell Sage College and HarperCollins Speakers Bureau, NY, NY.



Judy was born and raised in Montreal, where she grew up speaking English, French, Yiddish and Hebrew, and trying to stay warm. She studied the history of science at Harvard then moved to London to pursue a PhD in art history. All the while, she worked as a curator, researcher, editor, lecturer, comic, MC, script-reader, dramaturge, performer, actor, producer, translator, muffins server, and a temp – at a temp agency. Eventually, Judy transformed these experiences into material, and wrote essays and articles for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vogue, the Forward, Salon, the Jerusalem Post and many other publications. Her stories about family relationships, the generational transmission of trauma, pathological hoarding and militant minimalism came together in her book White Walls: A Memoir About Motherhood, Daughterhood, and the Mess in Between (NAL/Penguin, 2016). White Walls was optioned by Warner Brothers for whom Judy is currently developing the TV series “Cluttered.”

Back in 2007, during her phase of career promiscuity, Judy was doing research on strong Jewish women at the British Library when she happened to come across a dusty, old Yiddish book. Freuen in di Ghettos (Women in the Ghettos), a Yiddish thriller about “ghetto girls” who hid revolvers in teddy bears, bribed Nazis with whiskey and pastry, and blew up German supply trains, became the inspiration for The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2021). The Light of Days will be translated into twenty languages, and was optioned by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, for whom Judy is co-writing the screenplay. (Gey veys… Who knew that Yiddish would become her cash cow?)

Judy lives with her husband and three children in New York City.


Sponsor: Women's Philanthropy of Jewish Federation of NENY & Russell Sage College