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Images of the Past: Jews and the American Civil War

Sunday, June 11, 2023, 02:00pm - 04:00pm
Form, Bruce as Capt Asch b.jpg

Speakers: Bruce Form and Mira Katz Form

Bruce (shown above as Capt. Asch) and Mira Form (see below) are Civil War historians, re-enactors and living historians.   Their many years of researching Jewish Civil War veterans and the Jewish community during the Civil War led them to discover two Philadelphians: Myer J. Asch, Captain of the 1st New Jersey Cavalry and Miss Rebecca Moss, Secretary of the Ladies Hebrew Association for the Relief of Sick and Wounded Soldiers. Bruce Form's article, "Captain Myer Asch, 1st New Jersey Cavalry and the Quest for His Grave," appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of Dorot; the Journal of the Jewish Genealogical Society.

The Forms, who dress in period attire, bring their characters to life in their program which is designed to educate and entertain audiences of diverse interests. Their talks include projected images of people and documents from the time of the Civil War, as well as a living history display of original artifacts and reproductions of the period. Each program is specially tailored to help enlighten their audience to the many roles played by Jews during the war, both in the Union and the Confederacy. 

Form. Mira as Miss Moss b
Mira Form as Miss Moss

Bruce and Mira Form have spoken throughout the country on Jews in the Civil War. They have had the opportunity to speak to numerous Jewish organizations, including the Gomez Foundation for Mill House in New York, several Hadassah groups, Women’s American ORT and the Jewish War Veterans. They have been the featured speakers at a variety of congregations, as well as a wide range of both public and private schools. They have also been well received by many Civil War groups, such as the GAR Civil War Museum and Library and the Union League Civil War Round Table, both of Philadelphia; the Pittsburgh Civil War Round Table; the Chamberlain Civil War Round Table in Brunswick, Maine and numerous other Civil War groups throughout New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Bruce received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Athens State University in Alabama and a Master of Arts degree in Behavioral Science from Kean University in New Jersey. Mira graduated cum laude from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian Studies and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Both Bruce and Mira are charter members of Officers for the Union and Ladies for the Union, an elite living history organization, based in Gettysburg, PA. where they now reside.


Location : Center for Jewish History + Zoom

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