Public Lecture Announcements

Local Synagogues Provide Online Programming

Several UConn Judaic Studies affiliated faculty members will be providing classes for local synagogues organizing online programs. You can find their full schedule below!

Beth David Synagogue, Beth El Temple, Temple Beth Hillel, Congregation Beth Israel, Temple Beth Torah, Congregation B'nai Tikvoh Sholom, The Emanuel Synagogue, Congregation Kol Haverim, Temple Sinai and Young Israel of West Hartford invite the entire community to a:

VIRTUAL ADULT EDUCATION ACADEMY
Beginning the week of April 20th, and running for 9 consecutive weeks, we are pleased to present each week a class by a member of our local academic community. We thank them for their participation in this program and hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to study with them.

All classes will be accessible on Zoom by clicking on the following link or using the call-in number below.

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Meeting ID: 934 142 286

Password: lectures

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Meeting ID: 934 142 286

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abehp2Kc8M

Questions? - E-mail Rabbi Howard Rosenbaum at hrosenbaum@cbict.org or leave a phone message at (860) 920-5686.

All classes will begin at 7:30 PM

Wednesday, April 22nd
Dr. Avinoam Patt, Doris and Simon Konover Chair of Judaic Studies and Director, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, University of Connecticut
"Yom Ha-Shoah Veha-Gevurah: On Jewish Heroism, Martyrdom, and Sacrifice"

Wednesday, April 29th
Dr. Jeremy Pressman, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Middle East Studies, University of Connecticut
"Camp David, 40+ Years Later: Strategy, Peace, Autonomy"

Monday, May 4th
Dr. Joshua Lambert, Academic Director, Yiddish Book Center and Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts
"Sholem Aleichem's Motl the Cantor's Son and How We Think about Immigrants"

Thursday, May 14th
Dr. Ron Kiener, Professor of Religious Studies, Trinity College
"Jewish Imagination in a Time of Pandemic: Apocalypse, Messianism, and Lament"

Wednesday, May 20th
Dr. Deena Grant, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, 
Hartford Seminary
"Divine Love and Punishment in Deuteronomy and Beyond"

Tuesday, May 26th
Dr. Sarah Willen, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Connecticut
""Love the stranger": Migrant Workers, Asylum Seekers, and Israeli
Activists in Tel Aviv"

Tuesday, June 2nd
Dr. Sara Johnson, Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, University of Connecticut
"Not Lost in Translation: The Greek Bible from Aristeas to the Rabbis"

Monday, June 8th
Dr. Sam Kassow, Charles H. Northam Professor of History, 
Trinity College
"David Ben Gurion and the Making of the Jewish State"

Thursday, June 18th
Dr. Stuart Miller, Professor of Hebrew, History, and Judaic Studies and Academic Director, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, University of Connecticut
"Separating out the Facts: The Origins of Christianity and the History of Judaism"

“At Home in America? Part 2: A Three-Rabbi Panel” | January 15, 2020

Rabbis Andi Fliegel, Tuvia Brander, and James Rosen

At Home in America? Part 2: A Three-Rabbi Panel

Wednesday, January 15, 6:30 pm
Mandell JCC Innovation Center

Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Ave. West Hartford, CT 06117

Join Rabbis Tuvia Brander, Andi Fliegel, and James Rosen for a lively discussion about the past, present and future of Jewish life in America. How have the different denominations engaged with America and changed as a result of the encounter with the Golden Land?

Join us for an evening of dialogue, personal reflections, and lively conversation. Moderated by Professor Avinoam Patt

FREE AND OPEN TO ALL
For more information contact Danielle Moghadam,
dmoghadam@mandelljcc.org, 860-231-6366 or visit the Mandell JCC website.

Sponsored by ALEPH: The Institute of Jewish Ideas, Mandell JCC, Jewish Community Foundation, UConn Center for Judaic Studies, Beth El Temple, Congregation Beth Israel, and Young Israel West Hartford

Dr. Marion Kaplan to lecture on Jewish Refugees in Portugal | Jan. 29, 2020 (Storrs)

Kaplan Book Cover

Please join us for a talk with NYU historian Dr. Marion Kaplan who will present the UConn Center for Judaic Studies Gene and Georgia Mittelman Lecture in Judaic Studies on Hitler's Jewish Refugees: Hope and Anxiety in Portugal. 

The event is free and open to the public. Attendance counts toward honors credit.

Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Time: 1:45 pm
Place: Class of '47 Room, Babbidge Library, UConn Storrs

Exhibition opening “Beyond Duty” and reception will follow the lecture at 3:00 pm in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center (across the courtyard from Class of 1947 Room, Babbidge Library).

The exhibition, curated by the Consulate General of Israel to New England and timed for the United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, is co-sponsored by UConn Global Affairs and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. It will run through March 1. Center Director Avinoam Patt will provide introductory remarks.

About the Talk: Hitler's Jewish Refugees: Hope and Anxiety in Portugal depicts the travails of refugees escaping Nazi Europe and awaiting their fate in Portugal. Drawing attention not only to the social and physical upheavals of refugee existence, it also highlights their feelings as they fled their homes and histories while begging strangers for kindness. Portugal’s dictator, António de Oliveira Salazar, admitted tens of thousands of Jews fleeing westward but set his secret police on those who did not move on quickly. Yet Portugal’s people left a lasting impression on refugees as caring and generous.

An emotional history of fleeing, the book probes how specific locations touched refugees’ inner lives, including the borders they nervously crossed, the consulate lines they fretfully waited on, the smoky cafés they uneasily inhabited, or the overcrowded transatlantic ships that signaled their liberation. These sites induced feelings of frustration or relief – often both.

Life in limbo has at its core anxiety and fear, but also courage and resilience. Most refugees in Portugal showed strength and stamina as they faced unimagined challenges. For them, Lisbon emerged as a site of temporality and transition, a “no-man’s-land” between a painful past and a hopeful future. Paying careful attention to the words of refugees in Portugal may help us to understand Jewish heartbreak and perseverance in the 1940s and also to listen compassionately to refugees’ stories in our own times.

About the Speaker: Marion Kaplan is the Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at NYU. She is a three-time National Jewish Book Award winner for The Making of the Jewish Middle Class: Women, Family and Identity in Imperial Germany (1991), Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany (1998), and Gender and Jewish History (with Deborah Dash Moore, 2011) as well as a finalist for Dominican Haven: The Jewish Refugee Settlement in Sosua (2008). Her other publications include: The Jewish Feminist Movement in Germany, Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945 (ed.), and Jüdische Welten: Juden in Deutschland vom 18. Jahrhundert bis in die Gegenwart (with Beate Meyer, 2005). She has edited several other books on German-Jewish and women’s history and has taught courses on German-Jewish history, European women’s history, German and European history, as well as European Jewish history, and Jewish women’s history. Her newest book, Hitler’s Jewish Refugees: Hope and Anxiety in Portugal, 1940-45 (Yale University Press) will be released in January, 2020. 

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

Dr. Marion Kaplan to lecture on Jewish Refugees in Portugal | Jan. 28, 2020 (UConn Stamford)

Kaplan Book CoverPlease join us for a talk with NYU historian Dr. Marion Kaplan who will present the UConn Center for Judaic Studies Maria and Ishier Jacobson Lecture on Hitler's Jewish Refugees: Hope and Anxiety in Portugal. At this lecture, clothing donations will be accepted for UConn Stamford's biannual Professional Clothing Drive, which benefits UConn students in need of attire for interviews, work, and internships.

Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Time: Reception 5:00 pm, Talk 6:00 pm
Place: Main Auditorium (A1), UConn Stamford

Dr. Kaplan will also present this program at UConn Storrs the following day, Wednesday 1/29

About the Talk: Hitler's Jewish Refugees: Hope and Anxiety in Portugal depicts the travails of refugees escaping Nazi Europe and awaiting their fate in Portugal. Drawing attention not only to the social and physical upheavals of refugee existence, it also highlights their feelings as they fled their homes and histories while begging strangers for kindness. Portugal’s dictator, António de Oliveira Salazar, admitted tens of thousands of Jews fleeing westward but set his secret police on those who did not move on quickly. Yet Portugal’s people left a lasting impression on refugees as caring and generous.

An emotional history of fleeing, the book probes how specific locations touched refugees’ inner lives, including the borders they nervously crossed, the consulate lines they fretfully waited on, the smoky cafés they uneasily inhabited, or the overcrowded transatlantic ships that signaled their liberation. These sites induced feelings of frustration or relief – often both.
Life in limbo has at its core anxiety and fear, but also courage and resilience. Most refugees in Portugal showed strength and stamina as they faced unimagined challenges. For them, Lisbon emerged as a site of temporality and transition, a “no-man’s-land” between a painful past and a hopeful future. Paying careful attention to the words of refugees in Portugal may help us to understand Jewish heartbreak and perseverance in the 1940s and also to listen compassionately to refugees’ stories in our own times.
About the Speaker: Marion Kaplan is the Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at NYU. She is a three-time National Jewish Book Award winner for The Making of the Jewish Middle Class: Women, Family and Identity in Imperial Germany (1991), Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany (1998), and Gender and Jewish History (with Deborah Dash Moore, 2011) as well as a finalist for Dominican Haven: The Jewish Refugee Settlement in Sosua (2008). Her other publications include: The Jewish Feminist Movement in Germany, Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945 (ed.), and Jüdische Welten: Juden in Deutschland vom 18. Jahrhundert bis in die Gegenwart (with Beate Meyer, 2005). She has edited several other books on German-Jewish and women’s history and has taught courses on German-Jewish history, European women’s history, German and European history, as well as European Jewish history, and Jewish women’s history. Her newest book, Hitler’s Jewish Refugees: Hope and Anxiety in Portugal, 1940-45 (Yale University Press) will be released in January, 2020. 

The lecture is free and open to the public. If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Stamford Coordinator for Judaic Studies Prof. Fred Roden at frederick.roden@uconn.edu or 203-251-8559.

Matam high-tech park Haifa By Zvi Roger Haifa Municipality 2010

The Paradox of the Start-Up Nation

A leadership briefing with Suzanne Patt Benvenisti
Director General of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel

Thursday, December 12 | 8 to 9 a.m.
BlumShapiro | 29 S. Main Street, West Hartford

What's the secret to the high-tech sector’s success... and what’s stopping the rest of the economy from joining in?  Israel’s innovative high-tech sector is seen around the world as the crown jewel of the Israeli economy. Yet, productivity and wages in Israel are low, income inequality is high, and the poverty rate is among the highest in the western world.

Free by invitation | Light kosher breakfast | Validated parking available

RSVP by December 10 to Karen Nichols
knichols@jewishhartford.org | 860.727.6130

Suzanne Patt Benvenisti profile

 

Suzanne Patt Benvenisti is Director General of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel. She has provided management, strategy and operations consulting to a range of NGOs in the United States, Israel and Rwanda.

JFED of Greater Hartford, Jewish Community Relations Council, UConn Judaic Studies

Photo: Matam high-tech park, Haifa. By Zvi Roger/Haifa Municipality, 2010.

 

Johannes Heil (Heidelberg) on pre-Rabbinic Western Jewish Textual Tradition

Headshot Heil

Talk by Prof. Johannes Heil: Patrologia Judaica? Exploring the pre-Rabbinic Western Jewish Textual Tradition

Wednesday, November 20, 1:15-2:15 pm
Humanitites Institute Conference Room
4th-Floor Babbidge Library

This event is free and open to the public. Kosher lunch will be provided.

About the talk:
Professor Johannes Heil, President of the Hochschule für jüdische Studien Heidelberg (Academy for Jewish Studies), presents a lecture which challenges the assumption of the widespread decline of Jewish diasporic culture after 70 C.E., which is based on limited archaeological and epigraphic evidence. This lecture focuses instead on the textual culture of Western diasporic Judaism during the centuries before the reception of Rabbinic Judaism, roughly from the 4th to the 9th century, and paints a different picture of a vibrant Jewish culture in Western Europe.

An event of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, co-sponsored by the UConn Humanities Institute, the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, and the Medieval Studies Program. If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Pamela Weathers at 860-486-2271 or pamela.weathers@uconn.edu.

Shelter from the Holocaust: German Jewish Refugees in Iran and India – Atina Grossmann, November 7, Storrs

Shelter from the Holocaust: German Jewish Refugees in Iran and India

Dr. Atina Grossmann
Thursday, November 7, 2019
12:30 pm
Dodd Center Konover Auditorium, Storrs

About the Talk:

This lecture examines the intensely ambivalent and paradoxical experiences, sensibilities, and emotions of bourgeois Jews who found refuge in the “Orient” of India and Iran after 1933. Always shadowed by the emerging European catastrophe, these uprooted Jews navigated complex and unfamiliar terrain; homeless, stateless, having lost their livelihoods and professions, and with only an inchoate anxious sense of their families’ fate or what their future held, they were also oddly privileged as adventurous Europeans in exotic non-western, colonial or semi-colonial societies. On the margins of their collapsing and devastated Jewish European world, they lived as hybrids, themselves on the margins, emigré and refugee, caught uneasily, more or less comfortably, between colonizer and colonized. In flight from homelands that had condemned them as racially inferior, they carried with them a fraught sense of cultural superiority. Expelled from the “West” they never really left it behind, remaining, for variable but sometimes considerable lengths of time, in “global transit.”

Drawing on archival sources, memoirs and letters, fiction, and an extensive collection of family correspondence and memorabilia from both Iran and India (1935-1947), the talk probes refugees’ understanding of their own unstable position, the changing geopolitical situation, and their efforts to come to terms with emerging revelations about the destruction of European Jewry.

About the Speaker:

Atina Grossmann is Professor of History in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Cooper Union in New York City. She co-edited Shelter from the Holocaust: Rethinking Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union (with M.Edele and S. Fitzpatrick). Further publications include Jews, Germans, and Allies: Close Encounters in Occupied Germany (2007, German 2012), and Wege in der Fremde: Deutsch-jüdische Begegnungsgeschichte zwischen New York, Berlin und Teheran (2012). Prof. Grossmann was a fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University in the spring semester of 2015 and the Walter Benjamin Visiting Professor in Jewish Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin in 2014. [Read more about her research and biography.]

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Attendance counts toward honors credit.

This program is held in remembrance of Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass, and is made possible in part by the Center for Judaic Studies Frances and Irving Seliger Memorial Endowment Fund. In expression of our solidarity with the Jewish community in Halle, Germany, which suffered a terrorist attack on Yom Kippur, it is a partner event of the Jewish Culture Days in Halle.

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

Partner of the 7th Halle Jewish Culture Days 2019

Intermarriage and Antisemitism in the 21st Century – Talk by Bruce Phillips, October 17

Speaker PhillipsDo Americans Love or Hate the Jews?
Intermarriage and Antisemitism in the 21st Century

Dr. Bruce A. Phillips
Thursday, October 17, 2019
5:30 pm
Class of '47 Room, Babbidge Library

About the talk: A variety of opinion polls show that Jews are widely accepted and even admired, a trend underscored by Jewish intermarriage rates. At the same time, we are seeing unprecedented violence against Jews in the United States. How do we reconcile these two opposing sets of evidence?

About the speaker: Dr. Bruce A. Phillips is Professor of Sociology & Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, California. He is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southern California Center for Religion and Civic Culture where he is conducting research on religion in California. Phillips has been among the leading researchers in the sociology of American Jewry for over three decades. He served on the National Technical Advisory Committees for the 1990 and 2000 National Jewish Population Surveys and advised the recent Pew study. He has conducted local Jewish population surveys in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Phoenix, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Houston.

This program is free and open to the public and is made possible by the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life. Attendance counts toward Honors credit. Light refreshments will be served.

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

Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe – Talk by Rebecca Erbelding, October 29

"Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America's Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe" -  presentation by Washington Holocaust Memorial Museum Historian Rebecca Erbelding

Join us for this talk on October 29, 12:30 - 1:45pm, at the Class of '47 Room, Babbidge Library, Storrs Campus. The program is free and open to the public. Attendance counts toward honors credit. Lunch will be served.

About the Book: America has long been criticized for refusing to give harbor to the Jews during World War II as Hitler and the Nazis closed in. In her book Rescue Board, Rebecca Erbelding tells the extraordinary unknown story of the War Refugee Board, a US government effort late in the war to save the remaining Jews. In January 1944, a young Treasury Department lawyer named John Pehle went to a meeting with the president to argue for the relief funds needed to help Jews escape Nazi ter­ri­to­ry. Pehle prevailed, and within days, FDR created the War Refugee Board, empowering it to rescue the victims of Nazi persecution, and put Pehle in charge. Over the next twenty months, Pehle pulled together D.C. pencil pushers, international relief workers, smugglers, diplomats, millionaires, and rabble-rousers to run operations across four continents and a dozen countries. This is the story of how the War Refugee Board saved tens of thousands of lives. [Read more about the book.]

About the Speaker: Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America's Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe won the JDC-Herbert Katzki National Jewish Book Award in 2018. Erbelding holds a PhD in American history from George Mason University. She worked as an archivist and curator at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum from 2003-2015, and since 2015, has been a historian for the Museum's newest exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust, which opened in April 2018. Her work has previously been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and on the History Channel and National Geographic.

The event is sponsored by the UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life. If you require an accommodation, please contact Pamela Weathers at pamela.weathers@uconn.edu or 860-486-2271.

“Fighting for Dignity: Migrant Lives at Israel’s Margins” – Panel Discussion and Book Launch with Sarah Willen, October 17

Fighting for Dignity book cover

About the Book
In Fighting for Dignity: Migrant Lives at Israel's Margins (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), Sarah S. Willen, Associate Professor of Anthropology at UConn, examines the impact of a mass deportation campaign targeting migrant workers in Israel. Drawing on nearly two decades of ethnographic engagement with migrants and human rights activists in Tel Aviv, the book explores migrants' struggles to craft meaningful, flourishing lives despite the exclusions and vulnerabilities they endure. [Read more]

About the Panel
Join us for a panel discussion followed by a response from the author with migration studies scholars Tally Amir, PhD, LLB (Harvard University); Heide Castañeda, PhD, MPH (University of South Florida); and Jennifer S. Hirsch, PhD (Columbia University). Light refreshments will be served.
The event is sponsored by the UConn Human Rights Institute, the Humanities Institute, the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, and the Middle East Studies Program. If you require an accommodation, please contact Pamela Weathers at pamela.weathers@uconn.edu or 860-486-2271.