Author: Pamela Weathers

Remembering Professor Bruce Stave

Bruce StaveIt is with great sadness that I share news of the passing of Dr. Bruce Stave, Emeritus Professor and a former Head of the History Department, who passed away Saturday morning, December 2, from complications of congestive heart failure. 

Bruce had been an active and distinguished member of our Judaic Studies community and a generous supporter of our Center. He served on the Center’s academic advisory and executive boards for many years and was a member of key university committees. A professor in the History Department, he was a leading scholar in American urban history, a path-breaking methodologist in oral history, and a leading historian of the development of the University of Connecticut. The Head of the History Department, Chris Clark, says that Bruce and his wife Sondra Stave “have been stalwart friends of the department, supporting graduate students through a generous scholarship fund, and attending numerous departmental and public events over the years. He was a warm personal friend to many.”

A memorial gathering will be organized on campus, probably in late March next year. Contributions may be made to the University of Connecticut Foundation for the Bruce M. and Sondra Astor Stave Prize in Recent American History or to a charity of your choice. 

May his memory be a blessing.

Sebastian

Jewish Humor Open Mic Night With Vicky Kuperman: 11/29/17

Vicky Kuperman

 

On Wednesday, November 29, at 7:00pm at the Konover Auditorium in the Dodd Research Center, students attending Jewish Humor classes this fall at UConn and at the University of Hartford will be performing their own stand-up routines at a Jewish Humor Open Mic Night sponsored by the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford and the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at UConn. Have your own comedy act to share? Contact Professor Avi Patt (patt@hartford.edu) to put your name on the list of the evening's performers!

Facilitating the event will be comedian Vicky Kuperman who was named “one of 12 new comedians to watch” by the Huffington Post. Vicky has been featured on The Maxim Comedy Showcase, on NickMom TV, Sirius Satellite Radio & Comcast, and was presented by comedy legend David Brenner on several shows as part of his tour “David Brenner Presents: Comedy Stars of Tomorrow.”

If you require an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact Pamela Weathers at 860-486-2271 or judaicstudies@uconn.edu.

 

A Celebration of Dr. Arnold Dashefsky’s Career and Contributions

Arnold DashefskyOn October 29, 2017, Professor Arnold Dashefsky was honored for his distinguished career and  contributions to the University of Connecticut at a ceremony followed by a lecture given by renowned historian Dr. Jonathan Sarna. Speakers at the ceremony included Interim Provost Jeremy Teitelbaum, Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Davita Glasberg, and Interim Vice Provost of Interdisciplinary Initiatives and former Director of the Center for Judaic Studies Jeffrey Shoulson. 

Professor Dashefsky, founder of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, served as the inaugural holder of the Doris and Simon Konover Chair of Judaic Studies. As director of the Center, he helped to bring nearly two million dollars in endowments to UConn and a similar sum in external grants. Though retired in 2012, Dr. Dashefsky continues to teach his popular course on the Sociology of Anti-Semitism.

Following the ceremony honoring Professor Dashefsky, Dr. Jonathan Sarna presented a lecture on “The American Jewish Community in an Era of Change.” Dr. Sarna is University Professor and the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and Chair of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University. 

Watch the full ceremony and lecture filmed by UCSPAN: 

 

 

Kristallnacht Commemoration Featured in the Daily Campus

On Wednesday, November 8, the Center for Judaic Studies hosted a film screening of Denial in remembrance of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. Guest speaker and Kristallnacht survivor Hans Laufer  provided remarks and answered questions prior to the screening, which was part of an institution-wide day of reflection and conversation on the theme, "Together: Confronting Racism."

Students in the audience were moved by the relaying of Mr. Laufer's experiences during the Holocaust and his immigration to the United States as well as by the film that followed, which told the true story of Professor Deborah E. Lipstadt’s fight against Holocaust denier David Irving over his falsification of history. 

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

11-8-17 Denial screening Hans Laufer photo credit Ryan Murace The Daily Campus
Hans Laufer speaking prior to the screening of Denial. Photo credit: Ryan Murace/The Daily Campus

Professor Stuart Miller Featured in CT Jewish Ledger

The Connecticut Jewish Ledger highlighted Professor Stuart Miller and the Judaic Studies Road Show presentation he provided on October 25 to nearly 100 participants at The Emanuel Synagogue.  The Road Show, entitled "Separating out the Facts: The Origins of Christianity and the History of Judaism,” focused on the beginnings of Christianity and its roots in Judaism as well as the reasons for the eventual parting of ways. Read the Ledger's article here.

Professor Miller's next Road Show presentation will be held at Temple Bnai Israel in Willimantic on November 12.  For more details, visit the event page.

 

Dr. Jeff Kaimowitz with Stuart Miller
At The Emanuel Synagogue: Dr. Jeff Kaimowitz, former rare books librarian at Trinity College (left) with Professor Stuart Miller. Photo credit: CT Jewish Ledger

Denial: Film Screening and Discussion on November 8, 2017

Please join us on Wednesday, November 8, at 4:00 pm when the Center for Judaic Studies will present a film screening of Denial in remembrance of Kristallnacht. Guest speaker and Kristallnacht survivor Hans Laufer will provide remarks and answer questions prior to the screening.

The event takes place in Video Theater 2 at the Homer Babbidge Library on Storrs campus and is part of an institution-wide day of reflection and conversation on the theme, "Together: Confronting Racism." Since 1970, the University of Connecticut has designated special days of engaged and transformative learning on campus. For more information on the day's events visit: https://together.uconn.edu/

If you require an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact Pamela Weathers at 860-486-2271 or judaicstudies@uconn.edu.

 

About the Film

Starring Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz, the film Denial is based on the acclaimed book, Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, which tells the true story of Professor Deborah E. Lipstadt’s fight against Holocaust denier David Irving over his falsification of history. Faced with a libel lawsuit in a British court, Lipstadt and her attorneys must prove that the Holocaust really happened.

"Denial is a siren call for truth" - Andrea Mandell, USA Today

"Essential Viewing. Rachel Weisz is a knockout" - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

November 12, 2017, “Separating out the Facts: The Origins of Christianity and the History of Judaism”

Stuart MillerProfessor Stuart S. Miller will present “Separating out the Facts: The Origins of Christianity and the History of Judaism” for the Center for Judaic Studies Road Show program.

The presentation focuses on what both Jews and Christians need to know about the beginnings of Christianity and its roots in Judaism. The reasons for the eventual “parting of the ways” are explored in-depth.

SUNDAY, November 12, 2017, at 7:00pm
Temple Bnai Israel, 383 Jackson Street, Willimantic

RSVP TO office@templebnaiisrael.org
Light Refreshments will be served.

Stuart S. Miller is Professor of Hebrew, History, and Judaic Studies and chair of the Hebrew and Judaic Studies Section (“HEJS”) in the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. He also serves as the Academic Director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life and is responsible for the direction of academic offerings in Judaic Studies at UConn.

He also serves as the Academic Director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life and is responsible for the direction of academic offerings in Judaic Studies at UConn.

 

Writer-in-Residence Joan Seliger Sidney Featured in the Hartford Courant and The Whole Megillah

By Jillian Chambers

Joan Seliger Sidney
photo credit: John Woike, Hartford Courant

The Center for Judaic Studies Writer-in-Residence Joan Seliger Sidney was not always the prolific poet we know today. It was not until she audited a poetry class at the University of Connecticut that she began to write. As someone who lost so much through the Holocaust and has spent years living with multiple sclerosis, she brings a unique perspective to the printed page. The Hartford Courant’s Connecticut Poet’s Corner and The Whole Megillah recently highlighted Sidney and her work. 

The Connecticut Poet’s Corner posted a series of Sidney’s poems focusing on her family and their hometown of Zurawno, Poland. “Inheritance” describes her mother’s memories of growing up in Zurawno so vividly that you feel at home in the one she depicts.

In “Pantoum for my Grandparents,” there is a sense of helplessness as her grandparents say “Germans, so cultured, won’t hurt us Old Jews” and refuse to flee, knowing the ultimate outcome of their choice. Despite never having the opportunity to meet them, poetry is a way for Sidney to connect to her maternal grandparents.

“On Approaching Seventy” is a piece that intertwines three generations of Sidney’s family through the making of challah. As stated in The Whole Megillah, she is particularly proud of this poem.

It is no surprise then that when asked what inspires her poetry, Sidney says “for many years my mother’s stories of growing up in Zurawno, then her three months of adventures escaping the Holocaust, became my serious topics: she really was my muse as well as helping me bear witness.” Additionally, living with multiple sclerosis has been an important topic for her to write about, as well as her family.

You can read Joan’s curated poems in the Hartford Courant here: http://www.courant.com/entertainment/arts-theater/hc-poet-joan-seliger-sidney-ct-poets-corner-20170923-story.html

Read her full interview with The Whole Megillah here: https://thewholemegillah.wordpress.com/2017/10/03/poets-notebook-joan-seliger-sidney/