Jewish Studies Events

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, October 24, 2019

    Jacob Neusner Memorial Lecture in Jewish and Religious StudiesProfessor Moshe Halbertal
    NYU & Hebrew University

    Thursday, October 24th at 4:45pm in Olin 102

    "The Biblical Book of Samuel and the Birth of Politics: Two Faces of Political Violence"
    The Book of Samuel is universally acknowledged as one of the supreme achievements of biblical literature. Yet the book's anonymous author was more than an inspired storyteller. The author was also an uncannily astute observer of political life and the moral compromises and contradictions that the struggle for power inevitably entails. The lecture will explore the ways in which the book of Samuel understands political violence political violence unleashed by the sovereign on his own subjects as it is rooted in the paranoia of the isolated ruler and the deniability fostered by hierarchical action through proxies.


    Sunday, October 27th at 7PM
    The Sixth Street Community Synagogue
    325 E. Sixth Street
    New York, NY

    "Confronting Loss: The Meaning and Experience of Mourning form the Talmud to Maimonides"
    The experience of loss and mourning is a painful and ultimately inescapable feature of human life. Jewish law established practices of mourning that prescribe a rather detailed structure of the mourner’s conduct as well as the response of the community to the mourner and its obligation to provide consolation. Maimonides codified this body of regulations in his great code of Jewish Law, the Mishneh Torah, in the section titled “The Laws of Mourning.” This lecture will focus on the attempt to understand the meaning and practice of mourning in the Talmudic tradition and in Maimonides’ thought. It will explore the relationship of the concept of mourning in the Jewish tradition to other understandings of the dynamics of mourning such as Freud’s seminal essay “Mourning and Melancholia.
    Location: at 4:45pm in Olin 102 & Sunday, October 27th at 7PM at The Sixth Street Community Synagogue
  • Tuesday, November 5, 2019

    A Screening and Discussion with Filmmaker Donna Kanter6:00pm Reception
    6:30pm Screening and Discussion

    THE PRESENCE OF THEIR ABSENCE is the amazing story of a Los Angeles man seeking his roots in the ashes of the Holocaust. 
    The film encourages discussion on the new oral tradition that belongs uniquely to adult children of Shoah survivors.  Few of their stories have ever been told.  
     
    We follow Fred Zaidman on his journey to trace his inherited trauma.  Armed with only scant clues from his late parents who had survived concentration camps in Poland and Germany, Fred ventures into the unknown to tell his story for this first time. 
     
    With helpers in Poland, at Yad Vashem in Israel, at Bergen-Belsen, Germany - and with an unlikely source – a Baptist minister in Atlanta who guides us through a cemetery in Poland - Fred finds his roots, unshackles his pain and reconstructs his future.

    We feature a Death March survivor from Fred’s ancestral town, Fred’s brother Martin – one of 1000 children born in the Bergen-Belsen DP camp – and discover living relatives in Israel among findings of those who perished in Poland.

    Yad Vashem has called The Presence of Their Absence “a film for the ages."  It’s an honor to be at the forefront of this groundbreaking tradition and look forward to sharing Fred’s courageous story.
    Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
    Location: Campus Center, Weis Cinema
  • Thursday, November 7, 2019

    Israel’s Occupation at 50: Territory and Demography in the West Bank
     Yinon Cohen
    Yosef H. Yerushalmi Professor of Israeli and Jewish Studies; Columbia University

    Yinon Cohen is Yosef H. Yerushalmi Professor of Israeli and Jewish Studies in the department of sociology at Columbia University.  Before moving to Columbia in 2007, he was a professor of sociology and labor studies at Tel Aviv University. His research focuses on labor markets, social demography, ethnic inequality, and immigration. His most recent publications are on Israel’s territorial and demographic politics (Public Culture, 2018), Ashkenazi-Mizrahi education gap among third-generation Israelis (Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 2018), and rising inequality in fringe benefits in the US (Sociological Science 2018).
     
    Time: 4:45 pm – 6:00 pm
    Location: Olin, Room 102

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


Hebrew Table, October 8, 2018–December 21, 2018
Kline, President's Room  6:00 pm – 7:00 pm


Hebrew Table, January 28, 2019–May 21, 2019
Kline, President's Room  6:00 pm – 7:00 pm


2019

  Thursday, November 7, 2019
Israel’s Occupation at 50: Territory and Demography in the West Bank
 
Yinon Cohen
Yosef H. Yerushalmi Professor of Israeli and Jewish Studies; Columbia University

Olin, Room 102  4:45 pm – 6:00 pm
Yinon Cohen is Yosef H. Yerushalmi Professor of Israeli and Jewish Studies in the department of sociology at Columbia University.  Before moving to Columbia in 2007, he was a professor of sociology and labor studies at Tel Aviv University. His research focuses on labor markets, social demography, ethnic inequality, and immigration. His most recent publications are on Israel’s territorial and demographic politics (Public Culture, 2018), Ashkenazi-Mizrahi education gap among third-generation Israelis (Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 2018), and rising inequality in fringe benefits in the US (Sociological Science 2018).
 

Joel Perlmann  845-758-7667  perlmann@levy.org
  Tuesday, November 5, 2019
A Screening and Discussion with Filmmaker Donna Kanter
6:00pm Reception
6:30pm Screening and Discussion

Campus Center, Weis Cinema  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
THE PRESENCE OF THEIR ABSENCE is the amazing story of a Los Angeles man seeking his roots in the ashes of the Holocaust. 
The film encourages discussion on the new oral tradition that belongs uniquely to adult children of Shoah survivors.  Few of their stories have ever been told.  
 
We follow Fred Zaidman on his journey to trace his inherited trauma.  Armed with only scant clues from his late parents who had survived concentration camps in Poland and Germany, Fred ventures into the unknown to tell his story for this first time. 
 
With helpers in Poland, at Yad Vashem in Israel, at Bergen-Belsen, Germany - and with an unlikely source – a Baptist minister in Atlanta who guides us through a cemetery in Poland - Fred finds his roots, unshackles his pain and reconstructs his future.

We feature a Death March survivor from Fred’s ancestral town, Fred’s brother Martin – one of 1000 children born in the Bergen-Belsen DP camp – and discover living relatives in Israel among findings of those who perished in Poland.

Yad Vashem has called The Presence of Their Absence “a film for the ages."  It’s an honor to be at the forefront of this groundbreaking tradition and look forward to sharing Fred’s courageous story.

Sponsored by: Institute of Advanced Theology; Jewish Studies Program; The Rhinebeck Reformed Church, and The Jewish Federation of Dutchess County
Bruce Chilton  845-758-7335  chilton@bard.edu
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Jacob Neusner Memorial Lecture in Jewish and Religious Studies
Professor Moshe Halbertal
NYU & Hebrew University

at 4:45pm in Olin 102 & Sunday, October 27th at 7PM at The Sixth Street Community Synagogue  Thursday, October 24th at 4:45pm in Olin 102

"The Biblical Book of Samuel and the Birth of Politics: Two Faces of Political Violence"
The Book of Samuel is universally acknowledged as one of the supreme achievements of biblical literature. Yet the book's anonymous author was more than an inspired storyteller. The author was also an uncannily astute observer of political life and the moral compromises and contradictions that the struggle for power inevitably entails. The lecture will explore the ways in which the book of Samuel understands political violence political violence unleashed by the sovereign on his own subjects as it is rooted in the paranoia of the isolated ruler and the deniability fostered by hierarchical action through proxies.


Sunday, October 27th at 7PM
The Sixth Street Community Synagogue
325 E. Sixth Street
New York, NY

"Confronting Loss: The Meaning and Experience of Mourning form the Talmud to Maimonides"
The experience of loss and mourning is a painful and ultimately inescapable feature of human life. Jewish law established practices of mourning that prescribe a rather detailed structure of the mourner’s conduct as well as the response of the community to the mourner and its obligation to provide consolation. Maimonides codified this body of regulations in his great code of Jewish Law, the Mishneh Torah, in the section titled “The Laws of Mourning.” This lecture will focus on the attempt to understand the meaning and practice of mourning in the Talmudic tradition and in Maimonides’ thought. It will explore the relationship of the concept of mourning in the Jewish tradition to other understandings of the dynamics of mourning such as Freud’s seminal essay “Mourning and Melancholia.

Sponsored by: Jewish Studies Program; Political Studies Program; Religion Program
Shai Secunda  845-758-6822  secunda@bard.edu
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Film: Who Will Write Our History
Featuring the voices of three-time Academy Award nominee Joan Allen and Academy Award winner Adrien Brody
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium  6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars, and community leaders decided to fight back. Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, this clandestine group vowed to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda not with guns or fists but with pen and paper. Now, for the first time, their story is told as a feature documentary. Written, produced, and directed by Roberta Grossman and executive produced by Nancy Spielberg, Who Will Write Our History mixes the writings of the Oyneg Shabes archive with new interviews, rarely seen footage, and stunning dramatizations to transport us inside the Ghetto and the lives of these courageous resistance fighters. They defied their murderous enemy with the ultimate weapon—the truth—and risked everything so that their archive would survive the war, even if they did not.

Sponsored by: Jewish Student Organization; Jewish Studies Program
Cecile Kuznitz  845-758-6822 x7543  kuznitz@bard.edu
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Fake News! The View from Israel’s Military Occupation
Rebecca L. Stein
Duke University Department of Anthropology

Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
This paper studies the impact of new photographic technologies and image-sharing
platforms on the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories. Taking its cue
from Trumpian political discourse, I focus on the right-wing Jewish Israeli reckoning with
the growing visual archive of Palestinian injury at Israeli state or settler hands – a
reckoning that occurs through the discourse of “fake news,” or the charge that such images
are fraudulent or manipulated in some regard to produce the damning portrait of Israel. I
will trace the long colonial history of repudiation in the Israeli context, its modification in
the digital age, and consider the ways it has become an increasingly standard right-wing
response to images of state violence believed to damage Israel’s global standing. I will
argue that the fraudulence charge is marshalled as a solution to the viral visibility of Israeli
state violence -- a charge that works to bring these damning images back in line with
dominant Israeli ideology by shifting the narrative from Palestinian injury to Israeli
victimhood. The story of the “fake” image of Palestinian injury endeavors to strip the visual
field of its Israeli perpetrators and Palestinian victims, thereby exonerating the state. Or
such is the fantasy.

Sponsored by: Anthropology Program; Center for Civic Engagement; Experimental Humanities Program; Human Rights Project; Jewish Studies Program; Middle Eastern Studies Program
Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins  845-758-7201  sstamato@bard.edu
Monday, April 15, 2019
Text Unbound: (Re-)Imagining the Talmud
Multiple Locations, See Poster  11:45 am – 6:00 pm
Judaism is often thought of as a religion of the book, and the most influential book in the Jewish canon is the Talmud—a famously complex, genre-defying text that has been at the center of Jewish life and learning since the Middle Ages. Nowadays, the Talmud is most often encountered in book form, typically in large tomes whose pages are imprinted with an iconic, typeset design. And yet the Talmud is considered to be the culmination of Judaism’s Oral Torah, and it was produced and originally transmitted orally by rabbis living in late antique Iraq. This workshop will gather scholars, artists, a printer, a digitalist, and a performer to consider the many manifestations of this classical work and related Jewish textualities, from late antique graffiti and lament; to contemporary fiction, illustration, and printing; to the virtual universes of digitization and the internet, and experimental voice art. These explorations bear relevance not only for Jewish Studies, but also for broader matters such as the study of writing and orality, and the future of the book in the digital age.
 
Participants
Zachary Braiterman is professor of religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University.

Jessica Tamar Deutsch is a New York based artist. In 2017, she published The Illustrated Pirkei Avot: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Ethics.

Victoria Hanna is a Jerusalem based composer, creator, performer, researcher, and teacher of voice and language.

Galit Hasan-Rokem is a poet, translator, and Grunwald Professor of Folklore and Professor of Hebrew Literature (emerita) at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Scott-Martin Kosofsky is an award-winning printer, book designer, and typography expert based in Rhinebeck.

Ruby Namdar is an Israeli novelist based in New York City. His novel The Ruined House (Harper, 2018) won the Sapir Prize, Israel’s most prestigious prize in Hebrew literature.

Jonathan Rosen is a writer and essayist, and wrote The Talmud and the Internet (Picador, 2000). He is the editorial director of Nextbook Press.

Karen B. Stern is associate professor of history at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. 

Shai Secunda holds the Jacob Neusner chair in Jewish Studies at Bard College.

Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld is the director of education at Sefaria.org.

Sponsored by: Experimental Humanities Program; Jewish Studies Program; Middle Eastern Studies Program; Religion Program; Translation and Translatability Initiative
Shai Secunda  845-758-7389  ssecunda@bard.edu
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Jewish Humor from
Tevye the Dairyman to Lenny Bruce
Ken Frieden, B. G. Rudolph Professor of Judaic Studies, Syracuse University
Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
This talk follows Jewish humor from Sholem Aleichem’s monologues to American Jewish fiction and standup comedy. At the core of this story is an oral-style voice that began in Yiddish and moved to American writing in works by authors like Yezierska, Rosten, Paley, and Roth. Echoes of Yiddish continue as a prominent part of Jewish humor in performances by Lenny Bruce and in current television series. The evening will feature film clips and live performance.

Ken Frieden, the B. G. Rudolph Professor of Judaic Studies at Syracuse University, published Travels in Translation: Sea Tales at the Source of Jewish Fiction in 2016. Prior books include Classic Yiddish Fiction (1995) and anthologies of Yiddish literature in translation, such as Tales of Mendele the Book Peddler (1996) and Classic Yiddish Stories (2004). At Syracuse University Press, Frieden edits the series Judaic Traditions in Literature, Music, and Art.

Sponsored by: Jewish Studies Program; Literature Program
Cecile Kuznitz  845-758-7543  kuznitz@bard.edu