Special Event Announcements

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.

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 (robin.greeley@uconn.edu), or visit: http://symbolicreparations.org/
UCHI Poster for James E. Young lecture

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

Professor Samuel D. Kassow to Present “Time Capsules in the Rubble: The Secret Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto” for the Academic Convocation of the Holocaust

Sam KassowOn Monday, April 24, at 7:00 pm, please join us for the annual Academic Convocation on the Holocaust when Trinity College Professor Samuel D. Kassow will present "Time Capsules in the Rubble: the Secret Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto." The Convocation will be held in the Doris and Simon Konover Auditorium in the Dodd Research Center on the Storrs campus and is sponsored by the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life Fierberg Lecture in Judaic Studies, the Human Rights Institute, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. A reception will immediately follow. Attending this event counts toward sophomore honors credit.

For additional information, please call 860-486-2271, or email program assistant Aaron Rosman at aaron.rosman@uconn.edu.


About the Presentation

During World War II, Jews resisted not only with guns but also with pen and paper. Even in the face of death they left "time capsules" full of documents that they buried under the rubble of ghettos and death camps. They were determined that posterity would remember them on the basis of Jewish and not German sources. Thousands of documents were buried in the Ringelblum Archive in the Warsaw Ghetto. Of the 60 people who worked on this national mission, only three survived. This will be their story.

What began as a collection of documents and attestations clandestinely obtained in order to record testimony of Jewish life in Poland under occupying Nazi forces became, when word of mass killings reached Warsaw, the courageous pursuit of Warsaw ghetto prisoners to bear witness to the Holocaust.

Jewish historian Emanuel Ringelblum established the underground group Oyneg Shabes in 1940, its secret mission to archive Jewish life in Poland by conducting interviews and collecting documentation that included photos, letters, diaries, official government notices, flyers, and posters–all of which served to document and describe life in the Jewish ghetto as well as the destruction of Jewish communities in Poland.

Milk can used to store documents in Warsaw Ghetto
Milk can used to hide documents in Warsaw Ghetto

Dr. Ringelblum and all but three members of the Oyneg Shabes group perished in the Holocaust, but their testimony remains an incomparable resource for Holocaust study. Before the Warsaw uprising, the documents were buried in milk cans and tin boxes in three locations in the Ghetto. Unearthed in 1946 and 1950, two-thirds of the archive has been found and preserved by the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, Poland, and researchers have cataloged and digitized the archive throughout the last two decades.

Trinity College historian Samuel D. Kassow, expert on the Ringelblum collection, is the author of Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archives in which he documents the efforts taken by Dr. Ringelblum and Oyneg Shabes to preserve Jewish history and resist Nazi oppression.

Professor Kassow served as a consultant for the documentary film project Who Will Write Our History, set to release in 2017 and directed by award-winning director Roberta Grossman with Nancy Spielberg as executive producer. The film is based on Professor Kassow's study. For the full story, see Jewish Ledger article "On Location in Poland." 

Samuel D. Kassow is the Charles Northam Professor of History at Trinity College. He is author of Students, Professors, and the State in Tsarist Russia, 1884–1917 and editor (with Edith W. Clowes) of Between Tsar and People: The Search for a Public Identity in Tsarist Russia. He lives in Hartford, Connecticut.

For more details on the Ringelblum Archive, visit the Jewish Historical Institute. 

We hope you will also join us earlier in the day when the UConn Humanities Institute will be hosting a talk 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."  Click here for full details.


Parking is available in the North and South garages on campus. Garage rates are $1/hr after 5pm. Did you know that after 5:00 pm, visitors may park in any on-campus space not designated as reserved, restricted or limited? 

Getting Here:

View an interactive map of the Storrs campus and even download the app version to your phone: http://maps.uconn.edu/map/


Warsaw Ghetto
Warsaw Ghetto

Emanuel Ringelblum
Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum

Fourth Annual Interfaith Film Series Sponsored by the Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding

The Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding, Inc. (CCIU) invites you to attend the Fourth Annual Interfaith Film Series to be held at the Wadsworth Atheneum on two Sunday afternoons in March and on the first Sunday afternoon in April, 2017. Learn more by visiting their website: http://www.ccfiu.org/4th-annual-film-festival.html

Fourth Annual Interfaith Film Series Poster

Adrianne Greenbaum and Klezmer Ensemble FleytMuzik to Perform on March 23, 2017

The Center for Judaic Studies has forged a partnership with Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford to collaborate on cultural and educational events, extending our capacity to support, sustain, and foster Jewish culture and the arts beyond the campus. We are excited to continue that partnership this spring by bringing Connecticut native Adrianne Greenbaum and her klezmer ensemble FleytMuzik to perform “Farewell to the Homeland: Polyn” at Charter Oak Cultural Center (21 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT) on March 23 at 7:00 pm. Visit Charter Oak's website for detailed information on directions and parking.

Register for tickets for this free event!

A highly acclaimed musician with degrees from Yale School of Music and Oberlin College Conservatory, Professor Greenbaum is a sought after flutist who has performed worldwide and is the leading pioneer revivalist of the klezmer flute tradition.  Klezmer music, the traditional music of eastern European Jewry, is known for the beautiful, soulful, and joyous sounds of flute, violin, cimbalom, and bass.  FleytMuzik is a unique and charismatic ensemble that has brought klezmer music to the world stage; and their concerts, performed on the historic instruments of the 19th century, bring to life the music of eastern European Jewry and its shtetl bands.

FleytMuzik is comprised of leading musicians of traditional klezmer. Led by internationally renowned pioneering klezmer flutist, Adrianne Greenbaum, with Michael Alpert, vocals and violin (National Heritage Fellowship award, 2015), Pete Rushefsky, tsimbl (tsimbalist with Itzhak Perlman's “In the Fiddler’s House”), Jake Shulman-Ment, fiddle, Brian Glassman, bass, and guest, UConn adjunct woodwind specialist, Walter “Zev” Mamlok. 

collage fleytmuzik resize




Klezmer ensemble FleytMuzik performs

Professor Greenbaum was recently featured in Lilith Magazine, where she described her efforts to revitalize the music created by Polish Jews, so much of which was lost in the devastating wake of the Nazis.

“Farewell to the Homeland: Poyln” Concert


The Geshikhte/Story: A tiny shtetl in Dubiecko, Poland; three generations of a family klezmer band; post Shabbos torchlight parade to Belzer rebbe; 1934 Bar Mitzvah on a boat to America; family members live or die in Holocaust; Jewish music manuscripts found in family violin case.  Fast forward to 2009, Adrianne Greenbaum and Sharon Frant Brooks make a miraculous shidduk/shidduch, Greenbaum transcribes the many scribbled pages of music, travels to Poland and performs a few of the tunes at the cemetery, and finally, “FleytMuzik’s” musicians perform these works that were alive in early 19th century. Poland, with the full musical story coming to fruition today.

About Adrianne Greenbaum


Professor of Music at Mount Holyoke College, Adrianne Greenbaum  is sought after as a performer and teacher for diverse audiences and enjoys teaching children as well as adults, most recently joining the faculty at New Horizons in Chattauqua, NY, and the adult session at New England Music Camp in Maine. Adrianne is the leading pioneer revivalist of the klezmer flute tradition, performing on vintage European and American wood flutes from the late nineteenth centuries. She enjoys touring with her klezmer ensemble “FleytMuzik” having recently completed a seven concert tour of Scotland and presented her klezmer and early music blend at the prestigious Pittsburgh Renaissance and Baroque series in 2016.

In addition to many universities and colleges throughout the US, she has performed and given master classes in Dusseldorf, Paris, Vienna, and Krakow. Her albums "FleytMuzik" and "Family Portrait" have won awards and acclaim for her entertaining and historically informed performances, the most recent being the release of "Farewell to the Homeland: Poyln."  For many years running, Adrianne has been invited to perform and give workshops for the National and the British Flute Society Societies and for the prestigious New York Flute Club, focusing on baroque and klezmer ornamentation, and exploring commonalities between these two genres.

Beyond her private studio she has taught at many adult programs, including KlezKamp, KlezKanada, KlezmerQuerque, Boxwood Festival (Nova Scotia) and Santa Fe Flute Immersion and has led master classes and workshops in England, France, Austria, and across the US. This summer marked the third annual hosting of her popular World Music and Improv Camp in CT. Additionally she has created a new concert series on period instruments, connecting klezmer and baroque music. Ms. Greenbaum is Solo Flutist of the Wall Street Chamber Players, Principal Flute Emeritus of Orchestra New England and the New Haven Symphony and resides in Fairfield, CT.


Professor Dov Waxman to Present “Trouble in the Tribe” on March 9, 2017

On March 9 at 7:00 pm, in the Konover Auditorium at the Dodd Research Center, Dov Waxman, professor of political science, international affairs, and Israel studies at Northeastern University will present “Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel.” Professor Waxman will describe how the conflict over Israel within the American Jewish communities has developed and what it means for the future of American Jewish politics. The event, sponsored by the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, UConn’s Middle East Studies Program, and the Department of Political Science, is free and open to the public. Attendance at the event counts toward sophomore honors credit.

Professor Waxman’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A as well as a book signing of Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel. Books will be available for purchase through Barnes and Noble at the Dodd Center from 6:30-8:30 pm.

What people are saying:

Trouble in the TribeA meticulous, precise, well-organized survey that takes into account the many different views and will certainly facilitate the heated conversation.”–Kirkus

“This is an extremely important book that will have profound consequences. When puzzled friends ask me why the American Jewish community is now so divided over Israel, this is the book I will recommend.“–Kenneth D. Wald, coauthor of Religion and Politics in the United States

From the back cover:

Drawing on a wealth of in-depth interviews with American Jewish leaders and activists, Waxman shows why Israel has become such a divisive issue among American Jews. He delves into the American Jewish debate about Israel, examining the impact that the conflict over Israel is having on Jewish communities. Waxman sets this conflict in the context of broader cultural, political, institutional, and demographic changes.

Dov Waxman is the author of The Pursuit of Peace and the Crisis of Israeli Identity and the coauthor of Israel’s Palestinians: The Conflict Within.


Parking is available in the North and South garages on campus. Garage rates are $1/hr after 5pm. Did you know that after 5:00 pm, visitors may park in any on-campus space not designated as reserved, restricted or limited? 

Gili Getz to Perform the Forbidden Conversation on April 4, 2017

Actor and photographer Gili Getz will perform The Forbidden Conversation, an autobiographical one-man performance exploring the difficulty of having a conversation about Israel in the American Jewish community. The event, postponed due to February’s winter storm, now takes place on Tuesday, April 4, at 7:00 pm in Laurel Hall, room 101, and is made possible by the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life and UConn’s Middle East Studies Program. The performance is free and open to the public. Attendance at the event counts toward Sophomore Honors credit.

In The Forbidden Conversation, Gili Getz presents a deeply personal one-man performance that is based on his own journey.  The play will be followed by an open discussion about the challenging conversations we have with family, friends, and our community concerning the future of Israel, the American Jewish community, and ways to process fundamental differences and disagreements.

What people are saying:

“At a time when, for American Jews, talking about Israel is so fraught and contentious Gili Getz’s Forbidden Conversation actually facilitates the conversation. His deft, rich and gripping portrayal of the difficulties in discussing Israel promises to make such discussions more likely, more civil and more productive.”

— Professor Steven M. Cohen – Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

“Powerful play! A well-constructed experience for opening up the ‘forbidden conversation’”

— Rabbi Reuven Greenvald, Director of Israel Engagement at the Union for Reform Judaism

“As Israel becomes an increasingly divisive issue among American Jews, conversations about Israel now frequently degenerate into bitter arguments and angry accusations. In his powerful and poignant play ‘The Forbidden Conversation’ Gili Getz addresses this issue head-on, with candor, wit, and passion. Anyone who has argued about Israel, or simply struggled to talk about it, will surely relate to and be moved by Gili’s experience”

— Professor Dov Waxman – Northeastern University – the author of Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel

The Forbidden Conversation trailer:

From Gili’s website:

About the play

While visiting Israel during the last Gaza war in 2014, Gili experienced difficulty talking about the path Israel is on with his father for the first time in his life. Finding himself in a forbidden conversation with his dad, and worried that it might strain their relationship, Gili embarked on a journey to understand the most complex, sensitive and contentious topic in the Jewish community — Israel. Having come of age politically while serving as a military photographer during the turbulent Oslo accords and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Gili turned to photography, hoping it would help him once again make sense of a painful political argument. The result is The Forbidden Conversation, developed during the artist fellowship LABA (Laboratory for Jewish culture) at the 14th Street Y, where it premiered in the spring of 2015.


Gili Getz graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NY), where he received the Kirk Douglas Scholarship and was a member of the Academy Company. He has performed in New York and Los Angeles in: Off-Off Broadway R.U.R. (as Gall), Off Broadway Retzach (as Flushed), Skin & Teeth (as Orion), for which he was nominated for Best Actor in a Drama (Artistic Director’s Award), Astroglide/That’s What (as Man), which he also wrote, The Broadway Play (as Lieutenant), Garbo’s Cuban Lover (as Thalberg), and in the New York premiere of Steel Tower. Gili performed at the Roxy Regional Theatre (TN) in Of Mice and Men (as George), Hamlet and the Bea[u]tiful in the Extreme. He has directed and acted in the critically acclaimed production of The Forgotten Carols for the past eight years.

Gili’s career as a photographer began as a photojournalist in the Israeli military. His photos covering Jewish-American politics have been published in Yedioth Ahronoth, Haaretz, The Jewish Week, The Jewish Daily Forward, Times of Israel, JTA, and Tikkun Magazine. His work is published by Princeton University Press in the new book “Trouble in the Tribe” by Professor Dov Waxman. Gili was the editor of the Israeli news site Ynet US.

For more information visit Gili’s website:



Parking is available in the North and South garages on campus. Garage rates are $1/hr after 5pm. Did you know that after 5:00 pm, visitors may park in any on-campus space not designated as reserved, restricted or limited? 

Getting Here:

View an interactive map of the Storrs campus and even download the app version to your phone: http://maps.uconn.edu/map/

Panel Discussion on Defending Space: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights in Uncertain Times

What will be the future of interdisciplinary spaces in a Trump administration? Will they come under direct attack from federal authorities, and if so, how? How has the knowledge produced in such spaces prepared us for the political turn that we are now seeing? What kinds of solidarity can our students and faculty expect to find in this moment of danger? And what is our strategy going forward?

A panel discussion entitled “Defending Space: Race/Ethnic Studies, Gender/Sexuality Studies, and Human Rights in Uncertain Times” will be held in the Dodd Research Center’s Konover Auditorium on December 5 from 3:00-5:00pm.  

The panel will bring together leaders and faculty of interdisciplinary units devoted to social justice at UConn to address these questions, and to engage the audience in dialogue.

The panelists include:

Debanuj DasGupta, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies

David Embrick, Africana Studies

Kathryn Libel, Director, Human Rights Institute

Glenn Mitoma, Director, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Mark Overmyer-Velàzquez, Director, El Instituto

Cathy Schlund-Vials, Director, Asian and Asian American Studies

Jeffrey Shoulson, Director, Center for Judaic Studies

Chris Vials, Director, American Studies


This event is co-sponsored by the UConn Humanities Institute, American Studies, Institute for Asian and Asian American Studies, El Instituto, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Africana Studies, Judaic Studies, the Dodd Center, and the Human Rights Institute.