Jewish Studies Events

Upcoming Events

    There are no current or upcoming events scheduled.

Events Archive


Ongoing Events

Hebrew Language Table, February 8, 2016–May 20, 2016
Kline, President's Room  1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Hebrew Language Table, September 5, 2016–December 22, 2016
Kline, President's Room  1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Hebrew Language Table, February 6, 2017–May 15, 2017
Kline Commons  6:30 pm – 7:30 pm


  Tuesday, November 7, 2017
The Child is a Person:  Janusz Korczak’s Road to Radical Humanism
Marc Silverman
Olin, Room 202  6:15 pm
Janusz Korczak (1878, Warsaw; 1942, Treblinka) is known for the heroic stand of non-violent opposition he took in response to the Nazis’ decision to liquidate the Jewish ghetto of Warsaw (July-August, 1942) and to deport everybody there, including all children, to the death camp of Treblinka. Korczak refused numerous offers to escape into safety from the ghetto. He stayed with the children (over a hundred) and staff of the Jewish orphanage he had long headed, accompanying them through to death.

However, the exclusive focus on Korczak’s dramatic end is a disservice. He was one of the twentieth century's outstanding moral educators. This talk focuses on his child-centered humanism as well as his identification with Poles and Jews in the expression of this humanism.
American born and raised,  Marc Silverman received his BA, MA and doctorate at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and served for over 30 years as Senior Lecturer in the Hebrew University School of Education.  He has published in the fields of educational philosophy and Jewish culture and education.   He is the author of A Pedagogy of Humanist Moral Education: The Educational Thought of Janusz Korczak (2017), published by Palgrave Macmillan Press.    

Sponsored by: Historical Studies Program; Human Rights Program; Jewish Studies Program; Masters of Arts in Teaching; Philosophy Program
Joel Perlmann  845-758-7667
  Monday, October 23, 2017
"Other Worlds: An Evening with Poets Michael Ives and Yehoshua November"
Yehoshua November & Michael Ives
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium  5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Sponsored by: Jewish Studies Program; Religion Program; Written Arts Program
Shai Secunda  845-758-7667
  Friday, October 20, 2017
The 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution Symposium
Campus Center, Weis Cinema  9:00 am – 5:00 pm
A symposium commemorating the centennial of the Russian Revolution which will examine a wide range of topics related to the history, politics, and culture of this seminal event in modern Russian history. Bard President Leon Botstein will deliver the keynote address, and speakers include scholars from Bard, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University (Smolny College). The scholars will discuss, among other topics, the history and politics of the Revolution, literature in early Soviet Russia, visual culture of the two 1917 revolutions and the Russian Civil War, music of the Revolution, and the Russian Revolution and Eastern European ethnic cultures. The symposium is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by: Center for Civic Engagement; Center for Moving Image Arts; Experimental Humanities Program; German Studies Program; Russian Art of the Avant-Garde Project at Bard, and the Yeltsin Presidential Library and Russian National Library (St. Petersburg, Russia).; Russian/Eurasian Studies Program; Studio Arts Program
Oleg Minin  626-628-6557
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Till we have built Jerusalem: Architects of a New City
Adina Hoffman 
Olin, Room 102  6:00 pm
Award-winning essayist and biographer Adina Hoffman will discuss her book, Till We Have Built Jerusalem, which is a gripping and intimate journey into the lives of three very different architects who helped shape modern Jerusalem.  A powerfully written rumination on memory and forgetting, place and displacement, the book uncovers multiple layers of one great city's buried history as it asks what it means, in Jerusalem and everywhere, to be foreign and to belong. 
Adina Hoffman is the author of House of Windows: Portraits from a Jerusalem Neighborhood, My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness: A Poet's Life in the Palestinian Century, and, with Peter Cole, Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza, which won the American Library Association's prize for the best Jewish book of 2011. The Los Angeles Times called her most recent book, Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects of a New City, “brave and often beautiful,” and Haaretz described it as “a passionate, lyrical defense of a Jerusalem that could still be.” A Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and one of the inaugural winners of the Windham Campbell Literary Prizes, she divides her time between Jerusalem and New Haven.
Praise for Till We Have Built Jerusalem
“A fascinating synthesis that manages to distill biography, history, politics, aesthetics, religion and psychology into one illuminating, lively, witty text. This is one of the finest books I’ve ever read on the difficult, fragile arts of architecture and city-making.” - Phillip Lopate
“Adina Hoffman does for Jerusalem what great writers have done for Paris, London, and New York: with charm, skill, and originality, she weaves together a vivid social and architectural history of one of the fabled cities of the world.” - Vivian Gornick
“Adina Hoffman is that very rare writer who moves lightly across vast realms of knowledge, transmuting the most intransigent material into illuminating and affecting narratives. Here is a book about the making of a city that is as emotionally potent as it is intellectually bracing.” - Pankaj Mishra

For more info please contact

Sponsored by: Classical Studies Program; Division of Languages and Literature; Jewish Studies Program; Middle Eastern Studies Program; Religion Program; Written Arts Program

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Hymns & Qualms
A reading by poet and translator Peter Cole (Yale University)

Weis Cinema  5:00 pm
MacArthur winner Peter Cole reads from his new book, Hymns & Qualms: New and Selected Poems and Translations. Praised for his “prosodic mastery” and “keen moral intelligence” (American Poets), and for the “rigor, vigor, joy, and wit” of his poetry (The Paris Review), Cole has created a vital, unclassifiable body of work. His poetry, writes Ben Lerner, “is remarkable for its combination of intellectual rigor with delight in surface, for how its prosody returns each abstraction to the body, linking thought and breath, metaphysics and musicality. Religious, erotic, elegiac, pissed off – the affective range is wide and the forms restless.”
Hymns & Qualms is a majestic work, a chronicle of the imaginative life of a profoundly spiritual consciousness.”
—Harold Bloom
For more info please contact

Sponsored by: Classical Studies Program; Jewish Studies Program; Middle Eastern Studies Program; Religion Program; Written Arts Program

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Middle Eastern Studies 
Open House 
Kline, Faculty Dining Room  5:00 pm
Come celebrate the end of the year with fellow MESers. Meet faculty, hear about exciting new courses, study abroad programs, senior projects, and a number of incredible iniatives MES students are working on. Snacks will be served. All are welcome.

Sponsored by: Middle Eastern Studies Program
Dina Ramadan  845-758-7506
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
"Make it New": New Possibilities for Classical Jewish Texts in Scholarship and Culture
Yellow Room in the campus center and RKC 103  1:15 pm – 7:30 pm
I. New Connections: The Talmud and the Contemporary Humanities - a Workshop
Location: The Yellow Room in the Campus Center (1:15-4:45pm)

Featuring leading scholars of Jewish studies in dialogue with Bard students and faculty.

II. "Make it New": Classical Jewish Texts and Artistic Imagination
Location: RKC 103 (4:45-6:15pm)

Nicole Krass: Novelist, author of The History of Love (2005) and Great House (2010)
Adam Kirsh: Poet and critic
Galit-Hasan-Rokem: Scholar, poet, and translator.

III. Jewish Studies and the Liberal Arts: Institutional Possibilities
Location: RKC 103 (6:30-7:30pm)

Featuring President Leon Botstein, Bruce Chilton, and Alan Avery-Peck.

Sponsored by: Anthropology Program; Bard Theater Program; Hebrew and Theater program with the generous support of the World Union of Jewish Studies; Historical Studies Program; Jewish Studies Program; Literature Program; Religion Program; Written Arts Program
Shai Secunda  845-758-6822
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Ruth Gilligan, Professor of Creative Writing, University of Birmingham (UK)
Reading from Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan, a novel based around the history of the Jewish community in Ireland
RKC 103  5:00 pm
Ruth Gilligan is an Irish-born novelist and professor of creative writing at the University of Birmingham (UK). Her fourth novel, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan is based around the history of the Jewish community in Ireland, and was recently published by Atlantic Books and Tin House to much acclaim.

At the start of the twentieth century, a young girl and her family emigrate from Europe in search of a better life in America, only to pitch up in Ireland by mistake. In 1958, a mute boy locked away in a mental institution outside Dublin forms an unlikely friendship with a man consumed by the story of the love he lost nearly two decades earlier. And in present-day London, an Irish journalist is forced to confront her conflicting notions of identity and family when her Jewish boyfriend asks her to make a true leap of faith. Spanning generations and braiding together three unforgettable voices, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan shows us what it means to belong, and how storytelling can redeem us all.

Sponsored by: Irish and Celtic Studies (ICS) Program; Jewish Studies Program; Literature Program
Michael Staunton  845-758-7571
  Monday, February 20, 2017
"Divinely Created: Judaism through a transgender lens"
Olin Language Center, Room 115  7:30 pm
Sponsored by: Chaplaincy; Gender and Sexuality Studies Program; JSO; Jewish Studies Program; Religion Program
David Nelson  845-758-7438
  Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Running the from the Literary Past: The Case of Hebrew Literature
A conversation with Israeli-American Author, Ruby Namdar ("The Ruined House" - Winner of 2015 Sapir Prize, English translation due out in 2017) and Professor of Hebrew Literature Haim Weiss (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)
Olin LC 115  4:45 pm – 6:00 pm
This conversation, with a prize-winning Israeli-American novelist and a scholar of Hebrew literature, moderated by Shai Secunda (Bard, Religion and Jewish Studies) will consider universal literary themes of canon and breach, and reflect on the experience of trying to write a contemporary novel in a top-heavy literary tradition like Hebrew literature.

Sponsored by: Jewish Studies Program; Middle Eastern Studies Program; Religion Program; Written Arts Program
Shai Secunda  845-758-7389