Author: Pamela Weathers

Jewish Hartford: European Roots

Jewish HartfordThe Jewish Hartford: European Roots project hosted by UConn Global Affairs explores, documents and shares the rich diversity of European Jewish life before the Holocaust and its enduring legacy in our region.

With broad participation from the Greater Hartford Jewish community, the project supports lectures, field trips, adult learning, youth education, and other programming about Jewish life in Europe, discovering and connecting with this unique heritage.

The Jewish Hartford: European Roots project is generously funded by the Konover Coppa Family Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford and is housed at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut.

Learn more on the Jewish Hartford: European Roots website

 

Image credit: Reconstructed vault and bimah in the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw. Photo shared by Magdalena Starowieyska, Dariusz Golik - Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Licensed under Creative Commons 3.0 Share-alike - Poland (CC BY-SA 3.0 PL)

UConn Brain and Behavior in Tel Aviv, Israel, Summer 2019

UConn Brain and Behavior in Tel Aviv is a summer study abroad program that provides students the opportunity to pursue their studies in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, PreMed, or PNB in Israel. The program is led by Dr. Etan Markus (UConn Psychology) together with colleagues at Tel Aviv University. Participants will take a UConn psychology class supplemented with a second, Tel Aviv University, course focused on regional history and/or culture as well as organized activities, tours, and an Israeli dinner/cooking class.

All coursework and activities will be conducted in English.  

There will be an information session on Thursday, November 15, 5:00-6:00 pm in Bousfield 162. 

Learn more at the program website: https://tausummerneuroscience.uconn.edu/

 

UConn TAU Class Summer 19

Joint Statement from the Directors of the Center for Judaic Studies, Human Rights Institute, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

A Message from the Directors of
the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life,
the Human Rights Institute,
and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

We are deeply saddened by the murder of eleven congregants at the Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and we condemn the antisemitism, racism, and hatred of refugees and migrants that motivated this and similar acts of terror.  We are also appalled and outraged by the recent surge of politically motivated violence aimed at prominent critics of President Donald Trump. As scholars of human rights and directors of programs with ties to some of the individuals and communities under attack, we express our solidarity with those targeted and reaffirm our commitment to building a more just, equitable, inclusive, and peaceful society.

These acts of violence are the responsibility of the individuals who conceived, planned, and perpetrated them.  In the days and weeks to come, we will undoubtedly learn more about the attacks on the Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Synagogue and on George Soros, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and others.  We recognize, however, that, like last year’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and the more recent racially-motivated murders of two African Americans at a grocery store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, these events occur in the context of a pervasive environment of incendiary and hateful rhetoric.  Such rhetoric has often been amplified by, and sometimes originated with, the President, who has openly and proudly declared himself and those around him nationalist. We call on our leaders to reject unequivocally the path of political demonization and racial demagoguery and to join with others in building a shared culture of mutual respect and dignity.

If we want such a call to be heeded, we need substantive pressure from our elected officials and the broader society. 

The Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the Human Rights Institute, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center see it as part of their mission to understand the nature and impact of antisemitism, racism, hatred of migrants and refugees, sexism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry; to educate for tolerance and mutual respect; and to foster a more inclusive democratic culture here at UConn and beyond.  We will continue to work with our partners on campus and beyond to support and defend those targeted with hateful rhetoric or deeds, among them our prominent partner George Soros, communities and organizations like the Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Synagogue and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), and our weary neighbors walking toward the southern border.

On Wednesday, November 7, the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life will commemorate the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, with a lecture on “Antisemitism in Contemporary America” by Dr. Tom W. Smith of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.   Next semester, on April 4-5, the Human Rights Institute will hold a conference on “Human Rights and the Politics of Solidarity” in partnership with the Open Society Foundations.  We invite you to join us in this and other work, and we express our steadfast solidarity with all our partners, friends, and neighbors as we work together toward a more just future for all.

Glenn Mitoma
Director
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

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

Stuart Miller
Academic Director
Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life

Kathy Libal
Director
Human Rights Institute

Molly Land
Associate Director
Human Rights Institute

Forms of Authoritarianism: A One-Day Conference, Sept. 20, 2018

Forms of AuthoritarianismOn Thursday, September 20, from 9:30-4:00 pm, the UConn American Studies program will host a one-day conference on "The Forms of Authoritarianism" with keynote speaker Ben Kiernan of Yale University. The conference will be held at UConn Hartford in the Hartford Club, 46 Prospect Street, Hartford.

This one-day conference brings together scholars and journalists at the University of Connecticut and across the region to discuss the various forms that authoritarianism is taking in the world today, from the Philippines to Turkey, to Argentina and Venezuela, to Europe and the United States. It also aims to place this authoritarianism in historical perspective, comparing it to the anti-democratic currents of yesterday, whether in fascist Europe or in the Cold War dictatorships of Latin America.
 
Panelists will address: What are the dynamics of authoritarianism in the site they study? What forms does its policies and political rhetoric take? What is the relationship between economic insecurity and anti-democratic currents? What politics and institutional structures of the old regime fuel the rise of authoritarianism? Is it genuinely populist, facilitated by elites, or both?

For details on panels and panelists, view the full program.

This program is made possible with generous support from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the UConn Humanities Institute, the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the Department of English, the Human Rights Institute, and the University of Connecticut-Hartford.

Dr. Tom W. Smith to Present “Antisemitism in Contemporary America” on Nov. 7, 2018

cemetery with graffiti

Please join us on Wednesday, November 7, when Dr. Tom W. Smith will present "Antisemitism in Contemporary America." The program will be held at 5:00 pm in the Konover Auditorium at the Dodd Research Center. A reception will follow. The evening is made possible by the Center for Judaic Studies Frances and Irving Seliger Memorial Endowment Fund and is co-sponsored by the American Studies Program, the Humanities Institute, the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. 

This lecture is held in remembrance of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, when the Nazis orchestrated a pogrom during which German Jews were humiliated, beaten, and murdered and Jewish homes, businesses, hospitals, synagogues, and schools were looted and destroyed.

If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Pamela Weathers at pamela.weathers@uconn.edu or 860-486-2271.

Earlier in the day, at 11:45 (Oak Hall 236), Dr. Smith will present "Current Issues in the Conduct of Survey Research," co-sponsored by the Departments of Political Science and Sociology. Lunch will be provided. Seating is limited. Please RSVP to pamela.weathers@uconn.edu.

About the Presentation

 

Antisemitism is one of the oldest and most deeply rooted of all forms of inter-group hatred. Prejudice and bigotry against Jews have many aspects, combining religious intolerance, economic stereotypes, suspicions of disloyalty, and other factors. But while antisemitism is a persistent and enduring societal blight, it is not static and immutable. Antisemitic beliefs do change over time and the level and nature of prejudicial attitudes and anti-Jewish behaviors do wax and wane. As a complex and dynamic societal feature, the state of antisemitism needs to be closely examined and its contemporary manifestations carefully investigated and assessed.

About the Speaker

 

Senior Fellow Tom W. Smith directs NORC at the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Politics and Society. Since 1980, he has served as Director of the General Social Survey (GSS), one of NORC's most visible projects and one of the nation's most heavily utilized datasets. He is also co-founder of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP), former Secretary General of the ISSP, and currently serving on the ISSP Standing and Methodology Committees.

He is frequently consulted and quoted by the news media on such diverse topics as American sexual behavior, intergroup relations, confidence in institutions, happiness, religion, guns, and voter behavior.

Smith is a prolific writer, analyzing and publishing the results of his studies in peer-reviewed journals and NORC-published reports aimed at students, scholars, and policy makers. He serves as a referee for several peer-reviewed journals, including American Journal of SociologyHealth Affairs, and Demography, and he is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Public Opinion Research. Smith was editor-in-chief of Public Opinion Quarterly from 2012 to 2016.

In addition to his extensive publication and public speaking record, Smith has been the recipient of the following awards: Worcester Prize, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 1994; AAPOR Innovators Award, 2000 and 2003; AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement, 2002; Eastern Sociological Society Award for Distinguished Contributions to Sociology, 2003; Demographic Diamond Designate, American Demographics, 2003; American Sociological Association Travel Award for World Congress of Sociology, 2010; Best Publication by an International Scholar, American Sociological Association Section on Global and Transnational Sociology, 2010; the Warren E. Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences, ICPSR/The University of Michigan, 2011; and the AAPOR Book Award, 2013. 

Smith was appointed to serve on the Panel on the Review and Evaluation of the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation Content and Design of the National Academy of Sciences. In August 2014, Tom was elected to the Sociological Research Association (SRA), an honor society of leading sociological scholars.

Tom W. Smith is the first recipient of NORC at the University of Chicago’s Norman Bradburn Career Achievement Award. The award was established to recognize individuals who, through the course of working for NORC, have made a significant contribution to the field of social science research or methodology. 

Dr. Joy Ladin to Present “The Soul of the Stranger: A Special Lecture for Election Night” Nov. 6, 2018

Please join us at the UConn Stamford Campus Art Gallery on Tuesday, November 6, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm when Dr. Joy Ladin will present "The Soul of the Stranger: A Special Lecture for Election Night." The evening will launch her latest book, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective (Brandeis University Press, 2018).

The program is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Stamford Coordinator for Judaic Studies Professor Frederick Roden at frederick.roden@uconn.edu or 203-251-8559.

About the Presentation

 

Dr. Ladin's talk will explore how the experiences of transgender people and other “hyper-minorities” – people who are different in ways that set them apart from most members of their communities – can help us understand the difficult relations between God and humanity portrayed in much of the Hebrew Bible. Drawing on her personal experience of being both a hyper-minority – the only openly transgender person at her Orthodox Jewish university – and someone who lived for decades as a middle-class white male, Dr. Ladin will discuss how the ways we relate to those we see as strangers affects the way we relate to the ultimate stranger, God.

About the Speaker

 

Joy Ladin, Gottesman Professor of English at Yeshiva University, is the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. She is the author of National Jewish Book Award finalist Through the Door of Life: a Jewish Journey Between Genders and nine books of poetry. Her work has been recognized with a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship, among other honors.

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.

 

The Strawberry Girl – A Theatrical Presentation by Israeli Stage – October 22, 2018

The Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at UConn will be hosting a performance of Savyon Liebrecht's play, The Strawberry Girl, followed by a conversation led by the play's director, Guy Ben-Aharon. The show will take place on Monday, October 22 at 6PM in the Konover Auditorium at the Dodd Research Center on the Storrs campus. The program is free and open to the public. A reception will immediately follow.

Founder of Israeli Stage and director of the play, Guy Ben-Aharon, brings Savyon Liebrecht's heart-wrenching story, The Strawberry Girl, to life on the stage. The one-woman show, presented in English, tells the haunting Holocaust story of a German woman and her son Ludwig who live in Poland, where her husband works at a “factory.” Their lives change after she meets a Jewish girl who grows strawberries, as big as a man’s fist. The play deals with the confrontation of blissful ignorance and a tragic personal intimacy.

The Strawberry Girl has toured to Boston College (sponsored by the Laura and Lorenz Reibling Foundation, German Consulate of Boston), Brandeis University (Center for German and European Studies, Hadassah Brandeis Institute), Goethe Zentrum Atlanta, Lesley University (Lesley Hillel, CJP), NewBridge on the Charles, Temple Emmanuel of Newton, Temple Isaiah of Lexington, Trinity College (Trinity Hillel), Wellesley College (German Studies Department, Jewish Studies Department, English Department, Theatre Department).

If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Pamela Weathers at pamela.weathers@uconn.edu or 860-486-2271.

Professor James Loeffler to Present “Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century” on Oct. 9, 2018

James Loeffler

On Tuesday, October 9, Professor James Loeffler will discuss his recently published book Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press).

The talk will be held from 11:00 am - 12:15 pm, in the Visualization Studio (room 1101) located on level 1 of the Babbidge Library on the UConn Storrs campus. If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Pamela Weathers at 860-486-2271 or pamela.weathers@uconn.edu.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It is made possible by the UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the University of Hartford Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, and the UConn Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

We will also co-sponsor his talk on Monday, October 8, from 7:00-9:00 pm at the University of Hartford (200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford) in the Millie and Irving Bercowetz Research Library at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies located in the Harry Jack Gray Center. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Please contact Susan Gottlieb at mgcjs@hartford.edu or 860-768-5018.

About the Speaker

James Loeffler is associate professor of history and Jewish studies at the University of Virginia and former Robert A. Savitt Fellow at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He received his AB from Harvard and his MA and PhD from Columbia University. A specialist in Jewish and European history, and the history of human rights, his publications include The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire (Yale University Press, 2010) which was recognized for several awards, including the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies 2011 USC Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies for outstanding monograph published on Russia, Eastern Europe or Eurasia in the fields of literary and cultural studies and the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) 2011 Deems Taylor-Béla Bartók Award for Outstanding Ethnomusicology Book.

From the Publisher

Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century

A stunningly original look at the forgotten Jewish political roots of contemporary international human rights, told through the moving stories of five key activists

The year 2018 marks the seventieth anniversary of two momentous events in twentieth-century history: the birth of the State of Israel and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Both remain tied together in the ongoing debates about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, global antisemitism, and American foreign policy. Yet the surprising connections between Zionism and the origins of international human rights are completely unknown today. In this riveting account, James Loeffler explores this controversial history through the stories of five remarkable Jewish founders of international human rights, following them from the prewar shtetls of eastern Europe to the postwar United Nations, a journey that includes the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials, the founding of Amnesty International, and the UN resolution of 1975 labeling Zionism as racism. The result is a book that challenges long-held assumptions about the history of human rights and offers a startlingly new perspective on the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

For more, visit: https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300217247/rooted-cosmopolitans

Professor James Loeffler to Present “Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century” on Oct. 8, 2018

James Loeffler

Professor James Loeffler will discuss his recently published book Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press).

The talk will be held on Monday, October 8, from 7:00-9:00 pm at the University of Hartford (200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford) in the Millie and Irving Bercowetz Research Library at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies located in the Harry Jack Gray Center. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Please contact Susan Gottlieb at mgcjs@hartford.edu or 860-768-5018.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It is made possible by the UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the University of Hartford Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, and the UConn Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

About the Speaker

James Loeffler is associate professor of history and Jewish studies at the University of Virginia and former Robert A. Savitt Fellow at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He received his AB from Harvard and his MA and PhD from Columbia University. A specialist in Jewish and European history, and the history of human rights, his publications include The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire (Yale University Press, 2010) which was recognized for several awards, including the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies 2011 USC Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies for outstanding monograph published on Russia, Eastern Europe or Eurasia in the fields of literary and cultural studies and the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) 2011 Deems Taylor-Béla Bartók Award for Outstanding Ethnomusicology Book.

From the Publisher

Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century

A stunningly original look at the forgotten Jewish political roots of contemporary international human rights, told through the moving stories of five key activists

The year 2018 marks the seventieth anniversary of two momentous events in twentieth-century history: the birth of the State of Israel and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Both remain tied together in the ongoing debates about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, global antisemitism, and American foreign policy. Yet the surprising connections between Zionism and the origins of international human rights are completely unknown today. In this riveting account, James Loeffler explores this controversial history through the stories of five remarkable Jewish founders of international human rights, following them from the prewar shtetls of eastern Europe to the postwar United Nations, a journey that includes the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials, the founding of Amnesty International, and the UN resolution of 1975 labeling Zionism as racism. The result is a book that challenges long-held assumptions about the history of human rights and offers a startlingly new perspective on the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

For more, visit: https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300217247/rooted-cosmopolitans