Weitzman Book Club: Jews, Lakota and an American Inheritance with Rebecca Clarren and Sarah Podemski

Tuesday, Dec 5, 2023

Tuesday, December 5
12:45 pm Virtual Doors | 1:00 pm Program 

Live on Zoom
Free with Suggested $12 Donation

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In honor of Native American Heritage Month, The Weitzman welcomes you to a virtual book talk featuring author Rebecca Clarren and her latest work, “The Cost of Free Land: Jews, Lakota and an American Inheritance.” This poignant narrative unravels the hidden complexities of immigrant roots intertwined with the devastating legacy of the loss of Indigenous land. The conversation will be moderated by Hey Alma’s Breakout TV Actress of The Best Jewish Television of 5782 and star of Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi’s critically acclaimed television dramedy, Reservation Dogs, Sarah Podemski.

We welcome you to explore these intertwined stories and gain new insights into our shared history. As we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Month, this program  invites you to reflect on the multifaceted layers of our past. 


Clarren’s ancestor’s quintessential American immigrant tale starts with the escape of anti-Semitism in Russia to establish a new life on a South Dakota homestead. However, beneath the surface lies an unspoken truth— their prosperity was built on land taken from the Lakota by the U.S. government. Through investigative reporting and the retelling of personal history, Clarren unveils the unfortunate connection between her family’s journey and the Indigenous experience in her new book “The Cost of Free Land: Jews, Lakota and an American Inheritance.”

Order your copy of the book now at ShopTheWeitzman.org!



Rebecca Clarren has been writing about the American West for more than twenty years. She is the winner of the 2021 Whiting Nonfiction Grant for her work on The Cost of Free Land. Her journalism, for which she has won the Hillman Prize, an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship, and ten grants from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, has appeared in such publications as MotherJones, High Country News, The Nation, and Indian Country Today. Her debut novel, Kickdown (Sky Horse Press, 2018), was shortlisted for the PEN/Bellwether Prize. She lives in Portland, Ore. with her husband and two kids.



Sarah Podemski is an Anishinaabe/Ashkenazi multidisciplinary artist from Toronto. From her first role in the German TV series Blue Hawk at the age of 11, to her award winning performance in the TIFF selection Mekko (directed by Sterlin Harjo), Sarah has been passionate about recreating the Indigenous narrative that has been misrepresented since the beginning of cinema. Sarah’s many credit’s include, CBC’s ‘The Coroner’, Syfy’s ‘Resident Alien’ and three seasons of the Peabody award winning series, ‘Reservation Dogs’ created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi. Most recently Sarah has ventured behind the camera, Writing, Producing and Directing, ‘Six Miles From the Grand’, a short Docu-Series Hosted by her and her husband James Gadon. With more projects in development, Sarah is excited to use her thirty years of experience in the industry to continue creating content that elevates Indigenous voices and marginalized communities.


Presented by the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History in Partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

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101 South Independence Mall East (Corner of 5th & Market)
Philadelphia, PA 19106