Public Lecture Announcements

“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

Berel Lang to Present “Against the Lachrymose View of Jewish History—Again” | March 11, 2020

Please join us for the Gene and Georgia Mittelman Lecture in Judaic Studies, presented by Professor Berel Lang on "Against the Lachrymose View of Jewish HistoryAgain."

Details

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 | 1:30-3:30 pm
Place: Babbidge Library, Class of '47 Room, UConn Storrs

This event is free and open to the public. A kosher lunch will be served.

About the Talk:

The historian Salo Baron attacked the "lachrymose view of Jewish history" as mistakenly focused on events or practices of persecution and violence in that history--at the same time providing strong evidence that still more basic factors shaped the history of Jewish flourishing and survival.  But the same lachrymose view still dominates current popular Jewish understanding, and this has severe, even dangerous practical consequences.

About the Speaker:

Berel LangDr. Berel Lang, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the State University of New York, Albany, is the author of twelve books, including Writing and the Moral Self, Act and Idea in the Nazi Genocide, The Anatomy of Philosophical Style, Writing and the Holocaust, and Primo Levi:  The Matter of a Life. He has been visiting Professor at the Hebrew University, the University of Connecticut, and Wesleyan University.

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

Esteemed Holocaust Scholar Christopher Browning to Speak at UConn April 20, 2020

Hall of Names Holocaust Memorial

 

On Monday, April 20, 2020, at 5:00 pm, world-renowned Holocaust expert Professor Emeritus Christopher Browning will present "Holocaust History and Survivor Testimony 75 Years After Liberation" for the UConn Center for Judaic Studies annual Academic Convocation on the Holocaust. The annual Holocaust remembrance lecture is made possible in part by the Center for Judaic Studies I. Martin and Janet M. Fierberg Fund. The program is co-sponsored by UConn Hillel, the Human Rights Institute, the Humanities Institute, the Neag School of Education, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

The lecture will be held in the Student Union Theater on the Storrs campus and is free and open to the public. Preceding the event, a reception will be held at 4:00 pm at the UConn Foundation (2390 Alumni Dr, Storrs). 

On this evening, we will also mark the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life and recognize the many accomplishments of the Center over the past four decades, building on our past to prepare a bright future for students at UConn.

About the Speaker:

Christopher Browning is UNC-Chapel Hill Frank Porter Graham Professor Emeritus. The author of many books on the history of the Holocaust, he is most well known for Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, which has become a required text for any class dealing with the history of the Holocaust. Browning’s research focuses on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. He has written extensively about three issues: first, Nazi decision- and policy-making in regard to the origins of the Final Solution; second, the behavior and motives of various middle- and lower-echelon personnel involved in implementing Nazi Jewish policy; and thirdly, the use of survivor testimony to explore Jewish responses and survival strategies.

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.