Harriet Rochlin has been lecturing nationwide on Jewish roots in the West for over 40 years. She's led scholar-in-residence weekends, week-long elder-hostels and daylong teacher training programs; presented at Jewish and Western book fairs, and keynoted at conferences, dedications of new archives and other milestone celebrations. Because she especially values meeting her readers, she discounts her books for reading groups and frequently leads discussions.

To receive a lecture kit or schedule a lecture, contact us at:


From Pariah to Pardner:
Jewish Life on the Western Frontier

40-minute, 150-image powerpoint

Drawn from the Rochlins' groundbreaking social history, Pioneer Jews: A New Life in the Far West, this presentation:

  • Documents Western Jewish pioneering under Spanish, Mexican and American rule. 
  • Depicts in lively stories and vivid images a wide sampling of these diverse settlers.
  • Uncovers Jewish roots in early Far Western cities, supply towns and mining camps.
  • Demonstrates the speed with which these Jewish firstcomers initiated religious, fraternal and philanthropic organizations and institutions throughout the region.


A Mixed Chorus:
Jewish Women in the American West, 1849-1924

40-minute slide narrative

Visually and verbally, Rochlin previews her fifth book on the Jewish West. Wherever she looked she found fresh accounts and startling images of Jewish women of every stripe - the renowned and obscure, stalwarts and suicides, homemakers and homebreakers, community leaders and renegades, moguls and madams, traditionalists and reformers. Each voice and image is real and distinctive. Together they create an oratorio of Jewish women breaking ground in a burgeoning region and a new age.


Jewish Kids in the Wild West
30-minute, 80-image slide narrative

Several years ago, Rochlin was asked to do a presentation on Western Jewish history for schoolchildren eight to eighteen. Drawing on her vast collection of photographs, biographies, diaries, memoirs, letters and histories, she portrays in vivid images and lively anecdotes the experiences of actual Jewish children. The colorful, fast-paced segments, "Getting There Was Hard," "Ten Frontier Plagues," "Working Boys and Girls," "Schooldays," "Western Pleasures," "Free to Choose" and "The West and the Kids Grow Up," offer rare glimpses of all kinds of Jewish kids growing up in the West between 1849 and 1924.


Why Western Jewish History:
A New History, A New Outlook
A Talk by the Author

Harriet SpeakingHarriet SpeakingDrawing on forty years of research, field interviews, writing Pioneer Jews and related articles, speaking to groups, and her own western family lore, Rochlin reflects on the timeliness of recent interest in Jewish pioneering on the far western frontier. These settlers suffered the worst persecution and the most complete acceptance Jews have known in the Western Hemisphere. Their experiences are rife with lessons in adaptation: the extension of tradition in response to new circumstances, the acquisition of new occupationals skills, the organization of general and Jewish community facilities and the nurturing of dual identity. In short, how to live fully where you are as who you are. What could be more pertinent to Jewish life in the pluralistic twenty-first century?