Author: Pamela Weathers

Professor Stuart Miller Speaks at the 125th Anniversary of the New England Hebrew Farmers of the Emanuel Society

Professors Nicholas Bellantoni and Stuart Miller examine the mikveh at Chesterfield, CT

Professor Stuart Miller, the Center’s academic director, spoke at the 125th anniversary celebration of the New England Hebrew Farmers of the Emanuel Society on Sunday, June 11. The society, formed in 1892, served the Russian Jewish farming community that settled in Chesterfield, CT.

Today, the Society works to preserve the site of that historic Jewish community. An expert in ritual baths in ancient Israel, Professor Miller helped lead an excavation in Chesterfield, in 2012, where a rare mikveh was discovered as well as the remains of a synagogue and creamery. The site is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For more information on the anniversary celebration, visit the New England Hebrew Farmers of the Emanuel Society at http://newenglandhebrewfarmers.org/nehfes-125th-anniversary-celebration/

You can also read about the excavation at Chesterfield in UConn Today.

MODI to Perform Comedy Show at Mandell JCC September 18

Modi Rosenfeld, voted one of the top 10 comedians in New York City by the Hollywood Reporter and BackStage, will be performing on Monday, September 18, 7:30 pm, at the Gilman Theater, Mandell Jewish Community Center (335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT).

One of the comedy circuit’s most sought-after performers, Modi has been featured on HBO, CBS, NBC, ABC, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, and E! Entertainment and has received rave reviews in The New York TimesTime Out NY, and the New York Post.

Tickets are $10. Attendance is free for students. For reservations, contact the Mandell Jewish Community Center Box Office, 860.231.6316.

This event is sponsored by the Lillian Margulies Singer Jewish Humor Fund, the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, the Mandell Jewish Community Center, and the UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life.  

About MODI

Born in Israel, MODI moved to the United States when he was seven. After college, MODI worked as an investment banker and had no plans to become a stand up comedian. But one open mic changed everything.

Amelia David of BackStage raves, “MODI has a young Sid Caesar-esque talent for creating accents and characters, making him appeal to a diverse market.” According to the Los Angeles Times, MODI is “versatile and quick on his feet. He can read an audience in a beat and improvise so nimbly that he keeps any audience, regardless of age, race and gender, laughing.”

MODI has appeared in several feature films and played leading roles in two: Waiting for Woody Allen, which won the LA Film Festival, and Stand Up, a feature-length film. According to Variety, MODI delivers a “naturally funny performance with a tremendous amount of energy on screen.”

MODI is a regular performer at the New York and Los Angeles comedy clubs and headlines around the country. He has also gone on tour in the United Kingdom, Holland and Israel and performs in comedy festivals and special venues, including Montreal’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

2017 Israel Academic Travel Award Winners Announced

Jerusalem at sunset

The Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 Israel Academic Travel Awards. The awards are sponsored by the Center for Judaic Studies, Global Affairs, and the Middle East Studies program.  Each student was awarded $1500 to defray the cost of their summer academic travel to Israel.

Miriam Katz will be working at Tel Aviv University in the lab of Dr. Yossi Shiloh. Dr. Shiloh’s lab examines the neurogenetics of aging in hopes of one day being able to prevent or reverse the mental changes that come with old age. The internship is part of the Career Israel program in partnership with Onward Israel.

Nathan Schachter will be interning with The Jewish Agency’s Israel Shilchut (Israeli Emissaries) program through Onward Israel. Nathan will be assisting in the emissaries’ training to help prepare them for their time abroad.

Shelly Silver will be interning at Zeekit, an Israeli startup that reinvents the way consumers browse, share, and shop from their mobile devices. Shelly’s internship will focus on marketing and communications within the company. The internship is in partnership with Onward Israel.
 

Congratulations to our awardees!

Professor Arnold Dashefsky Interviewed by Connecticut Jewish Ledger

Founding director of the Center for Judaic Studies, Professor Arnold Dashefsky, was recently interviewed by the Connecticut Jewish Ledger. Professor Dashefsky spoke about the recent release of the American Jewish Year Book, which he co-edits along with Professor Ira Sheskin of the University of Miami. He discussed the Pew Research Center’s findings on Orthodox Jewry, which were reprinted in the Year Book, as well as the current trends in North American Jewish life.  Visit the Ledger’s website to read the article in full.  

May 7: Writer-in-Residence Joan Seliger Sidney Participates in Poetry Rocks

Sun. May 7, 2:00 pm: Center for Judaic Studies Writer-in-Residence Joan Seliger Sidney will be participating in Poetry Rocks!, a quarterly poetry series at Arts Center East in Vernon (709 Hartford Turnpike). For more information, visit Arts Center East


Joan Seliger SidneyJoan Seliger Sidney is the author of Bereft and Blessed, Body of Diminishing Motion: Poems and a Memoir (an Eric Hoffer Finalist, 2015) and The Way the Past Comes Back. She has received individual artist’s poetry fellowships from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and a Visiting Faculty Fellowship from Yale.  She’s writer-in-residence at the University of Connecticut’s Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life.  In addition, she facilitates “Writing for Your Life,” an adult workshop.

Academic Convocation on the Holocaust: Time Capsules in the Rubble

Convocation on the Holocaust, April 24, 2017. Photo credit: Akshara Thejaswi, The Daily Campus

On Monday, April 24, the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the Human Rights Institute, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center sponsored the Fierberg Lecture in Judaic Studies annual Academic Convocation on the Holocaust with guest speaker Professor Samuel Kassow, history professor at Trinity College.

Professor Kassow presented on a secret archive of materials collected and hidden by prisoners in the Warsaw Ghetto. All but three members of the group, Oyneg Shabes, led by historian Dr. Ringelblum perished. The collected documents and writings they produced recording Jewish life in Poland before and during the war bore witness to the Holocaust, and the archive now serves as the cultural legacy of Polish Jewry.

For more, read The Daily Campus article featuring the event. 

May 3: Professor Roden to Discuss Latest Book for English Department’s Book Talk

Recovering JewishnessJudaic Studies affiliated faculty member Professor Frederick Roden will be discussing his latest book, Recovering Jewishness: Modern Identities Reclaimed (Praeger 2016) at a Book Talk sponsored by the UConn English Department.  The event takes place on May 3, at 1:30 pm, in the Stern Room, Austin Hall.

Also presenting at the Book Talk will be Professor Patrick Hogan who will discuss his latest work, Imagining Kashmir: Emplotment and Colonialism (University of Nebraska 2016).

Refreshments will be served.