Author: Pamela Weathers

Professor Avinoam Patt Presents on Jewish Heroes of Warsaw

University of Hartford Professor Avinoam Patt presented “The Jewish Heroes of Warsaw: The Afterlife of the Warsaw Ghetto” for the Center for Judaic Studies Faculty Colloquium series on February 6, 2018. Over forty people attended the talk which was made possible by the Irving Seliger Memorial Endowment Fund. The talk was co-sponsored by the Humanities Institute and the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. 

Professor Patt is the Philip D. Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford where he is also director of the Museum of Jewish Civilization.


Jewish Plays Project at Charter Oak Cultural Center February 22

February 22: Charter Oak Cultural Center to Host "The Jewish Play Writing Contest: Hartford"

Be part of the international search for the best unpublished Jewish plays by attending "The Jewish Play Writing Contest: Hartford" on Thursday, February 22 at 7:00 p.m. at Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford. During this free program, you'll enjoy selections from this year's top three plays and use your cell phone to vote for the winner. This program is produced in collaboration with the UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, as part of the 13th Annual Celebration of Jewish Arts and Culture. Click here to learn more.


Professor Susan Einbinder Appointed Visiting Professor at Brown University, Hebrew University, and the University of Haifa

Susan EinbinderProfessor Susan Einbinder (Literatures, Cultures and Languages / Hebrew and Judaic Studies) will be Hirschfeld Visiting Professor at Brown University during the spring semester 2019 and Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, during the fall semester 2019. Professor Einbinder will also be a visiting scholar at Haifa University's Center for Mediterranean History for a month in the winter 2018/19.

Congratulations on being awarded these prestigious visiting faculty fellowships!

Joint Statement of UConn Centers, Institutes, and Programs

As leaders of centers, institutes, and programs at the University of Connecticut dedicated to advancing critical understanding of social justice and human rights, we are fully committed to the aim, outlined in the university’s mission, of helping students grow intellectually and become contributing members of society. We pursue this work with full consciousness that many of our programs were created in the wake of social justice movements that sought recognition not only of the rights of marginalized peoples, but also of the obligation on the part of higher education to embrace diversity, cultivate civic responsibility, and promote equity and justice. Our centers, institutes, and programs support research and teaching in fields of knowledge that would not exist but for hard won protections of First Amendment values and academic freedom, and we strive to create robust, rigorous, and responsible intellectual communities among faculty and students of different backgrounds, opinions, and orientations. Critical and productive scholarly inquiry requires environments that foster diverse viewpoints and free and responsible exchange, even – and especially – when those contributions challenge orthodox thinking, wherever on the political spectrum it may be situated.

The invitation to author and media personality Ben Shapiro has provided us an opportunity to reflect on these histories and current objectives of our centers, institutes, and programs, and to reaffirm our essential roles in promoting the university’s core mission of enhancing the social, economic, and cultural well-being of our students and the wider community. We reject the claims of Mr. Shapiro, and those of like-minded individuals and organizations, that our programs are illegitimate or unnecessary university endeavors, and that challenging systemic oppression and seeking more just societies constitutes “brainwashing.” Freedom of expression and academic freedom are essential to promoting diversity of thought and opinion of all members of the community and enable us to engage productively in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. Broad participation in these pursuits, however, requires not only speaking but also listening – not only “free speech” but also responsible efforts to understand the speech of others. We urge all members of the community to demonstrate our commitment to these values both in this week and beyond.

The following links showcase our centers, institutes, and programs, and indicate some of the ways in which we are working to promote – through efforts such as the Initiative on Campus Dialogues ( and the metanoia Together: Confronting Racism ( – open and mutually respectful exchange on the burning issues of today. Only through such sustained, painstaking, at times uncomfortable work can we hope to advance our collective understanding of ourselves, each other, and the world around us.

Africana Studies Institute

American Studies Program

Asian and Asian American Studies Institute

Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life

El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies

Humanities Institute

Human Rights Institute

Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program


Sebastian Wogenstein, Interim Director, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life

Samuel Martinez, Interim Director, El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean and Latin American Studies

Glenn Mitoma, Director, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Melina Pappademos, Interim Director, Africana Studies Institute

Michael P. Lynch, Director, Humanities Institute

Alexis L. Boylan, Associate Director, Humanities Institute

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Director, Asian and Asian American Studies Institute

Kathryn Libal, Director, Human Rights Institute

Molly Land, Associate Director, Human Rights Institute

Micki McElya, Director, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program

Christopher R. Vials, Director, American Studies Program

Colloquium with Professor Avinoam Patt: The Jewish Heroes of Warsaw: The Afterlife of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

On Tuesday, February 6, at 12:30 pm, Professor Avinoam Patt will present "The Jewish Heroes of Warsaw: The Afterlife of the Warsaw Ghetto" for the Center for Judaic Studies Faculty Colloquium series. The talk will be held in the Humanities Institute conference room located on level 4 of the Babbidge Library.

Professor Patt is the Philip D. Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford where he is also director of the Museum of Jewish Civilization.

A complimentary kosher lunch will be served. This event is free, open to the public, and attendance qualifies for honors credit. It is made possible by the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life Frances and Irving Seliger Memorial Endowment Fund, the Humanities Institute and the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. Please RSVP to

About the Talk

On April 19, 1943, Jewish resisters of the Warsaw Ghetto rose up against the Nazi soldiers guarding them. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was transformed into a symbol of Jewish resistance, Jewish sacrifice, and Jewish martyrdom during and after World War II. Professor Patt will examine how and why this watershed event quickly became the prism through which Jews around the world understood and interpreted the murder of European Jewry during the Holocaust and the ways in which memory of the uprising was mobilized by diverse Jewish communities in the service of varied political ideologies after the war.

About the Speaker

Professor Patt received his PhD in Modern European History and Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University. His first book, Finding Home and Homeland: Jewish Youth and Zionism in the Aftermath of the Holocaust (published by Wayne State University Press, May 2009) examines the appeal of Zionism for young survivors in Europe in the aftermath of the Holocaust and their role in the creation of the state of Israel. He is the co-editor (with Michael Berkowitz) of a collected volume on Jewish Displaced Persons, titled We are Here: New Approaches to the Study of Jewish Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany (Wayne State University Press, February 2010). He is a contributor to several projects at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and is a co-author of the source volume, entitled Jewish Responses to Persecution, 1938-1940 (USHMM/Alta Mira Press, September 2011). Professor Patt has also published numerous articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia articles on various topics related to Jewish life and culture before, during, and after the Holocaust and is director of the In Our Words Interview Project with the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors.

If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Pamela Weathers at 860-486-2271 or

Filmmaker Roland Tec to Visit Center for Judaic Studies UConn Stamford

Roland TecOn Tuesday, February 6, at 5:30 pm, please join Dr. Joel Blatt and Dr. Fred Roden in conversation with filmmaker Roland Tec, son of Professor Emerita Nechama Tec, as he discusses her Holocaust memoir, Dry Tears, recounts his work on the film adaptation of her resistance classic “Defiance,” and reflects on legacies in families of survivors. The program, "From Generation to Generation," will be held in the Stamford Campus Multi-Purpose Room 108.

Filmmaker and producer Roland Tec is an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program in Playwriting at Hollins University and is a Dramatists Guild Institute faculty member. His film producer credits include Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding and Edward Zwick's Defiance. He wrote, directed, and produced feature films All the Rage and We Pedal Uphill.  Professor Tec has taught at Harvard and Brandeis and was a fellow at the Byrdcliffe Artists Colony and at the MacDowell Colony.

If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact or 203-251-9525.

Directions to UConn Stamford

The UConn Stamford campus is on Broad Street between Washington Boulevard and Franklin Street; officially 1 University Place, Stamford, CT.

When using GPS, please use the address 1 University Place, Stamford, CT 06901. The nearest parking garages are the Target and Bell Street, garages. Please click here for a map of these parking garages.

Professor Stuart Miller Appointed Leon Charney Visiting Scholar at Yeshiva University

Academic Director for the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish life, Professor Stuart Miller, was recently appointed the first Leon Charney Visiting Scholar at Yeshiva University's Center for Israel Studies (CIS). 

Dr. Steven Fine, Dean Pinkhos Churgin Professor of Jewish History and director of CIS noted “Stuart Miller is a leading historian of the Rabbis, world-renowned for his careful and meticulous analysis of both rabbinic literature and archaeology with the goal of really understanding the lives and words of the sages in Talmudic Israel.” 

Professor Miller, visiting scholar for the spring of 2018, will be conducting research for a new book with the working title, From Temple, to Home, To Community: The Survival and Transformation of Jewish Life in Roman Palestine in the Wake of Catastrophe.

Visit Yeshiva University's website to read their posting on the topic.  

Farewell Wishes to Dr. Nehama Aschkenasy

The Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at UConn extends warm wishes to Dr. Nehama Aschkenasy on her retirement.  We offer her heartfelt thanks for her invaluable work in establishing the Center for Judaic and Middle Eastern Studies at UConn-Stamford! 

A Message from Nehama Aschkenasy

Nehama AschkenazyProfessor (Em.) of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, UConn
Founding Director (Em.), Center for Judaic and Middle Eastern Studies, UConn Stamford

Dear Friends, Supporters, and Students,

I’m now officially retired from my position as Professor and Director. This is a bitter-sweet moment; it’s tough to build from the ground up, but it is tougher to let go. The Talmud says that “the baker should not attest to the quality of his own dough.” I am the proverbial “baker” in this case, but, as I’m writing not only for myself but for all our loyal friends, and especially the founders of our Center, I’ll take this opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments.

Over thirty-seven years ago a group of visionary community leaders embarked on a collaborative effort with the local campus of the University of Connecticut, and founded the Center for Judaic and Middle Eastern Studies. Since its inception, our Center has had a dual mission: to develop and expand credit courses in all areas of Judaic Studies within the undergraduate curriculum and establish a forum for public discourse, in courses, seminars, and conferences, where both our regular students and community members would learn and discuss topics of current issues or of Jewish scholarship with the best and the brightest of today’s scholars, writers, and policy analysts.

On a personal note, I have had the privilege of working with some of the best individuals who advocated for us and made it financially possible for the Center to accomplish our phenomenal success. Reviewing the breadth of our offerings through the years and the caliber of guest speakers who addressed our groups, I am proud and also awed! Some of these speakers were already well known at the time, such as the late CHAIM POTOK and DR. IRVING HOWE, but I dare say that we also “discovered” junior scholars who then went on to brilliant careers, such as Political Scientist DR. SHIBLEY TELHAMI, (now the Anwar Sadaat chair at the University of Maryland, but then a young scholar only beginning to make his mark in the academic community), DR. FAWAZ GERGES (currently at the London School of Economics, who recently published a study of ISIS), and RON CHERNOW, the prominent, best-selling biographer (currently of “Hamilton” fame, who discussed at the time his book on the Jewish banking family, the Warburgs). We were fortunate to study with the brilliant orator, historian DR. HOWARD SACHAR, who was our guest speaker several times; we had the pleasure of learning from the internationally-acclaimed Israeli writer AMOS OZ, the renowned theologian DR. SUSANNAH HESCHEL of Dartmouth College, and, recently, DR. BRUCE HOFFMAN of Georgetown University, one of the foremost experts on contemporary terrorism. We also hosted twice the MOST REV. DR. DAVID JAEGER, member of the Roman Rota, the Vatican’s Supreme Court, who shared with us his vast knowledge as a theologian and unparalleled experience as peace maker. AMB. DR. DANIEL KURTZER, currently Professor of Middle East Policy at Princeton University and former U.S. Ambassador to both Israel and Egypt, addressed our audiences twice in recent years. And in our 2017 Annual Kuriansky Conference, we all enjoyed tremendously the knowledge and oratory of the renowned legal scholar, Dr. Jeffrey Rosen.  Our topics have been varied and fascinating, from interfaith dialogues on women in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, or on the meaning of “A Just War” in the three Abrahamic religions, to various issues related to the Middle East and contemporary Israel, to discussions of “Jews and Capitalism,” Jewish mysticism, and a variety of themes in history, from Jewish revolts in ancient Palestine to life in the East European Shtetl, to episodes of resistance and heroism during the Holocaust.

Our credit courses introduced the wealth of the Judaic texts and history to students who came from a diversity of ethnic and religious backgrounds, focusing on the great contribution of Judaism to Western civilization and the meaning of studying a religion, a culture, and a people’s history in the context of secular academia. Our college-age students learned of the ethics of social justice advocated in the Judaic masterworks, of the tolerance and respect for other views and creeds enfolded in Judaic teachings, and of the highs and lows of the Jewish historical experience. We have been pioneers in introducing courses in Holocaust, the Bible as literature, and the Bible’s impact on the literary history of Western civilization, on women in Judaic literary tradition and in Jewish religion, and of contemporary Israeli literature with a special angle, studying these contemporary works in the context of Middle Eastern literature, society, and politics.  

In one of Amos Oz’s stories, the protagonist reflects back on his life’s ambitions, and concludes that all he would leave are “footprints on the water.” I hope and pray that my life’s work, and the tireless efforts of our friends through the years, will amount to real footprints on solid ground, and that our Center will continue to flourish in future years.

Warm regards to all,