Author: Pamela Weathers

Annual Award for Excellence in Judaic Studies Announced

Congratulations to Corey Frate who received the Sylvia and Leo Dashefsky Prize for Excellence in Judaic Studies in recognition of his academic achievements in Judaic Studies as well as the exemplary engagement he has shown in the classroom.  The award was presented at the annual Literatures, Cultures, and Languages Achievement Awards ceremony. Mazel Tov!

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.

April 24, 2017: “The Stages of Memory: Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between”

The UConn Humanities Institute will be hosting a talk on Monday, April 24, at 4:00 pm with guest speaker Dr. James E. Young entitled "The Stages of Memory: Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between."  
The lecture takes place in the UCHI Conference Room (room 153), fourth floor, Homer Babbidge Library, Storrs Campus. 
Dr. James E. Young is the Founding Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, UMass Amherst, and jury member for the Berlin Holocaust Memorial and the 9/11 Memorial. 
The talk is supported by the Symbolic Reparations Research Project, Humanities Institute, UCHI Public Discourse Project, Human Rights Institute, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, and the Department of Art and Art History. For more information contact Associate Professor of Art History Robin Greeley (, or visit:
UCHI Poster for James E. Young lecture

Daily Campus Describes “The Forbidden Conversation” as Artful and Moving

Gili Getz at UConn April 4 2017 photo credit Owen BonaventuraThe Daily Campus
Gili Getz performing at UConn April 4, 2017. Photo credit: Owen Bonaventura, The Daily Campus

On Tuesday, April 4, the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life and UConn’s Middle East Studies Program sponsored a performance by Gili Getz entitled The Forbidden Conversation. The autobiographical one-man play depicted the actor’s life in Israel and was followed by a presentation on how open conversations about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be conducted constructively despite disagreements in the Jewish community. Read the Daily Campus article featuring the event which describes the performance as artful and moving. 


The Power of Poetry: April 15, 2017

Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life Writer-in-Residence Joan Seliger Sidney will be participating in a poetry reading on April 15, 2017, at 4:30 pm at Metro Cafe in Hartford. The reading supports multiple sclerosis patients, and funds raised at the event will support the Mandell Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford.

Please visit the St. Francis Foundation for more details