Colloquia Announcements

4/1/16 – Colloquium – Einstein’s Legacy: Studying Gravity in War and Peace

EinsteinWe’re very pleased to be co-sponsoring a colloquium with the Physics Department.

Friday, April 1st, 2016

04:00 PM – 05:00 PM

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, Physics Building, Room P038

Professor David Kaiser, from the Department of Physics and Program in Science Technology, and Society at MIT, will present:

“Joint Physics/Judaic Studies Center Colloquium
Einstein’s Legacy: Studying Gravity in War and Peace”

Refreshments will be prior to the talk, at 3:30 p.m., in the Gant Complex,
Physics Library, Room P-103.

A popular image persists of Albert Einstein as a loner, someone who
avoided the hustle and bustle of everyday life in favor of quiet
contemplation. Yet Einstein was deeply engaged with politics throughout
his life; indeed, he was so active politically that the U.S. government
kept him under surveillance for decades, compiling a 2000-page secret file
on his political activities. His most enduring scientific legacy, the
general theory of relativity — physicists’ reigning explanation for
gravity and the basis for nearly all our thinking about the cosmos — has
likewise been cast as an austere temple standing aloof from the
all-too-human dramas of political history. But was it so? This lecture
examines ways in which research on general relativity was embedded in, and
at times engulfed by, the tumult of world politics over the course of the
twentieth century.

11/12/15 – Making Meditation Jewish by Emily Sigalow

Emily SigalowOn November 12th, Emily Sigalow will be presenting a faculty colloquium entitled “Making Meditation Jewish: The Construction of a New Contemplative Jewish Practice.”

Emily Sigalow is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Brandeis University. Her research and teaching interests focus on the sociological study of contemporary Jewish life, particularly as related to questions about culture, gender, and health. She is working on a book project about the historical and contemporary encounter between Judaism and Buddhism in America. This book project, American JUBU, explains how Judaism and Buddhism met, combined, and changed in relation to each other in America since 1893. She holds a Ph.D in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Sociology (joint degree) from Brandeis University, a M.A. from Ben Gurion.

Date: November 12, 2015

Location: BUS302 at 1:00 PM

Open to faculty, staff, students – Please join us!

Faculty Colloquium – “The Ark, Gone But Not Forgotten: Cultural Memory and Material Culture in the Hebrew Bible” presented by Daniel Fisher of U.California-Berkeley

Daniel Fisher


Daniel Fisher
Department of Near Eastern Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Daniel Fisher is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His research explores social, historical, and literary questions in the Hebrew Bible and early Jewish biblical interpretation. He is currently completing a dissertation entitled, “Memories of the Ark: Cultural Memory, Material Culture, and the Construction of the Past in Biblical Societies.” This project develops a cultural biography of the Ark of the Covenant, exploring its use and reuse as a site of memory, both before and after its loss.  It examines the central role that objects play in the Hebrew Bible, considering the ways that biblical writers and early biblical interpreters engaged with objects—at times claiming, reimagining, and contesting them, but almost always remembering with them.

Daniel has held a number of fellowships, including fellowships at the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem, at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, and he most recently served as a curatorial fellow at the Bancroft Library’s Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. He holds a C.Phil. from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in Hebrew Bible and Jewish studies from Vanderbilt University, and a B.A. (Honors) in religious studies from McGill University.

Please RSVP to

Download flyer here for additional promotion / distribution.

Ark Narrative from Dura Europos

Maimonidean Controversies in Egypt – Faculty Colloquium featuring Elisha Russ-Fishbane on March 30, 2015 at 1:15pm

Moses Maimonides monument, CordobaElisha-pic-smallMARCH 30, 2015, 1:15pm Class of ’47 Room – Library

Faculty Colloquium

“Maimonidean Controversies in Egypt”

Elisha Russ-Fishbane is a historian of Jewish life and culture in the Islamic world, specializing in the religious and intellectual intersections of medieval Judaism and Islam. Elisha’s book on the Jewish-Sufi movement of thirteenth-century Egypt, entitled Judaism, Sufism, and the Pietists of Medieval Egypt: A Study of Abraham Maimonides and His Circle, will be published by Oxford University Press in July, 2015. His current work explores the image of non-Muslims in Sufi thought and literature and on the legacy of Maimonidean philosophy in the Jewish communities of the Near East and Western Europe.

Event is open to all faculty, staff, and students interested in learning more about Elisha’s research.  Please RSVP if you wish to attend.  Beverages and snacks will be served.

“Connected Histories: Sephardic and Ashkenazi Responses to Blood Libels in Pre-modern Europe” – Magda Teter, 4/15/15 at 12:30pm



Professor of History, Jeremy Zwelling Professor of Jewish Studies

Wesleyan University

Please join us on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 12:30pm in Dodd 162 for our next Faculty Colloquium.  Magda Teter, Professor of History and the Jeremy Zwelling Professor of Jewish Studies from Wesleyan University will be presenting “Connected Histories: Sephardic and Ashkenazi Responses to Blood Libels in Pre-modern Europe.”.

Magda Teter is scholar of Jewish history, eastern European history, and of early modern religious and cultural history, with a specialty in Jewish-Christian relations.

Download poster here:

It Will Not Be Said That Our Youth Marched Like Sheep to the Slaughter – Faculty Colloquium – Avinoam Patt – 2/3/2015 at 12:30pm

Tosia Altman diary cover page

 Writing about Resistance in the Immediate Aftermath of the Holocaust.P

FACULTY COLLOQUIUM – February 3rd, 2015 at 12:30pm, Class of ’47 Room – Library

Avinoam J. Patt is the Philip D. Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies and the Director of the Museum of Jewish Civilization at the University of Hartford.  He received his Ph.D. in Modern European History and Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University.   Patt teaches courses on Modern Jewish History, American Jewish History, Responses to the Holocaust, the History of Zionism and the State of Israel, Jewish film, and Modern Jewish Literature, among others.  RSVP to attend.  If you’d like to share with your colleagues, please download flyer here.

“Converts and Proselytes to Judaism: 19th-21st Century Perspectives” by Fred Roden – 3/26/14 12:15pm

Fred RodenFACULTY FORUM LUNCHEON LECTURE by Fred Roden, Associate Professor of English at UConn-Stamford.

Presenting:  Converts and Proselytes to Judaism: 19th-21st Century Perspectives”

On Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 12:15 p.m. in Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, Room 162

 A complimentary lunch will be provided.  To RSVP for the complimentary lunch or for additional information, call (860) 486-2271 or e-mail The lecture will begin approximately 12:30 p.m. and last about 30-40 minutes. Those who wish may remain longer for questions.

Sponsored by the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life and the Konover Chair of Judaic Studies

For further information or if you have not received our mailings and would like to be informed of future events, please contact us at 860-486-2271 or by Email: