Center’s Road Show Inspires Judaic Studies Outreach Across the Nation

By Jillian Chambers

In a time of uncertainty for Judaic studies initiatives across the country, the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life’s Road Show program allows us to share with the community current scholarship Jewish history, culture, and literature. The Center’s world-class faculty present on a wide variety of topics such as Jewish culture in other regions, the Holocaust, Arab-Israeli politics, and representations of Jews in the works of Shakespeare. The Road Show has been so successful that it has inspired a similar program in Colorado.

The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) debuted its Peak to Peak lecture series this year, sponsored in part by CU Boulder’s Program in Jewish Studies and the Office for Outreach and Engagement’s Arts and Humanities Initiative. While Connecticut’s population density enables the Center to bring the Road Show to the surrounding community more easily, the Peak to Peak program brings Jewish outreach to places hundreds of miles from CU Boulder’s campus. You can learn more about the Peak to Peak program on CU Boulder’s website here.

Nan Goodman, Director of CU Boulder’s Program in Jewish Studies and founder of the Peak to Peak program, presented “False Jewish Messiah or Puritan Hero?” in Trinidad, Colorado, almost 225 miles from the Boulder campus. This presentation was the final event for Colorado’s oldest synagogue, Temple Aaron. Built in 1883, it was sold because of Trinidad’s dwindling Jewish population and an inability to maintain the aging building. While the doors of Temple Aaron may be closing, the Peak to Peak program is opening the doors to Judaic studies all around Colorado.

Both of these programs have proved successful in providing their respective communities with educational opportunities in Judaic studies that they might not otherwise get to experience. For more information about the presenters and topics of the Center’s Road Show programming, please visit our wesbite page or contact the Center’s program assistant, Aaron Rosman at aaron.rosman@uconn.edu or 860-486-2271.


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