JBuzz News February 26, 2014: So What is Post Holocaust American Judaism?

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So What is Post Holocaust American Judaism?

Source: Boulder Jewish News, 2-26-14

The Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder together with the Department of Religious Studies and Naropa University are beginning a series of events that will examine Post Holocaust American Judaism, which is quickly becoming….READ MORE

JBuzz Musings January 7, 2014: Historian Jonathan Sarna elected president of the Association for Jewish Studies

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Historian Jonathan Sarna elected president of the Association for Jewish Studies

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Brandeis University Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History Jonathan Sarna was elected President of the Association for Jewish Studies at their annual meeting this past December as was reported by Brandeis University on Monday, Jan…READ MORE

JBuzz News December 17, 2013: Jewish Studies scholars rue ‘misguided’ boycott of Israeli academia

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Jewish Studies scholars rue ‘misguided’ boycott of Israeli academia

Source: Haaretz (blog), 12-17-13

As the American Studies Association endorsed a boycott of Israeli universities and academic institutions Monday, colleagues at the Association for Jewish Studies gathered in Boston for their annual conference where several called the boycott “misguided”…READ MORE

JBuzz News May 19, 2013: Baruch College Jewish Studies Center: Jewish Presence in Contemporary Art

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Jewish Presence in Contemporary Art

Source: Algemeiner, 5-19-13

A sculpture by Audrey Flack. Photo: Audreyflack.com

The Jewish presence and identity in the contemporary world of art is one truly worth noting. At the 3rd annual conference of “Jewish Arts & Identity in the contemporary world” in Baruch College’s Jewish Studies Center, at a panel entitled “Jewish Ways of Seeing: The Visual Arts and the Jewish Tradition”, the Jewish impact on the creative world is exemplified through the discussion of artist Audrey Flack and her various works….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 5, 2013: Nationalists Protest World Jewish Congress in Hungary

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Nationalists Protest Jewish Congress in Hungary

Source: New York Times, Reuters, 5-5-13

Leaders of a far-right Hungarian political party accused Israelis of plotting to buy up large parts of Hungary as several hundred nationalists protested on Saturday before a meeting of the World Jewish Congress in Budapest….READ MORE

JBuzz News December 6, 2012: Rabbi Elijah Schochet: Humility vs. humiliation

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Humility vs. humiliation

Source: The Jewish Journal of Greater L.A., 12-6-12

“Humility is a quality that Judaism emphasizes to an extraordinary degree,” said Schochet, a professor of Talmud at the Academy of Jewish Religion, California (AJRCA), speaking during the panel discussion “Humility and Humiliation,” at AJRCA on Nov. 26….READ MORE

JBuzz News November 5, 2012: Samuel Edelman: California State University Professor hosts Jewish Studies event on perceptions of Israel in universities

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CSU Professor hosts Jewish Studies event on perceptions of Israel in universities

Samuel Edelman, an emeritus professor of Jewish and Holocaust Studies at California State University, Chico, presented his research during an event hosted by the UA Center for Judaic Studies….READ MORE

JBuzz News April 23, 2012: Todd Endelman: Holocaust victims remembered through music, reflection

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ANN ARBOR: Holocaust victims remembered through music, reflection

Source: Ann Arbor Journal, 4-23-12

Holocaust survivor Henry Brysk shares a photo of his family and the story of an aunt who was killed during World War II. Photo by Chris Nelson.

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Victims of the Holocaust were remembered through prayer, reflection and music on April 19 at the Jewish Community Center in Ann Arbor.

The memorial service, the first of its kind in the Ann Arbor area, was created by a group of Holocaust survivors as a way to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive.

University of Michigan Professor of Judaic Studies, Todd Endelman, gave a keynote address about how the Holocaust is remembered and its effects, so far, on Jewish culture.

Endelman said there are two factions of thought behind Holocaust remembrance. The first is that it is not talked about enough and the second is that it’s talked about too much and has morphed Jewish identity and definition into one of suffering.

The effect of the Holocaust, Endelman said, might be unknown still.

“We don’t know the impact of the Holocaust,” he said. “Maybe because not enough time has passed. Sometimes things are so large, are so horrific, are so transcendent of existing categories of thinking, are so out of the ordinary that it takes a long time for the whole impact to be made.”

Regardless, Endelman said, the important thing for people to do is to be aware.

“I want us to remain, particularly those of my generation and younger, attentive, listening to whatever new themes or emphasis arise,” he said. “Because we want to hear them clearly when they make their appearance and we want to absorb what they have to say to us.”…READ MORE

JBuzz Quotes April 20, 2012: Deborah Lipstadt: New Jersey Holocaust Commemoration Serves as Reminder to ‘Never Forget’

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Holocaust Commemoration Serves as Reminder to ‘Never Forget’

Annual event at Teaneck High School featured author, professor and historian Deborah Lipstadt

Source: Patch.com, 4-20-12

At Thursday’s 32nd Annual Holocaust Commemoration, family, friends and members of the community repeated a promise to the Holocaust survivors in attendance that they would never let the world forget about the murder of 6 million Jews.

The Teaneck Holocaust Commemoration Committee, a division of the Jewish Community Council of Teaneck, hosted the event, which featured a candle-lighting ceremony with survivors, their children and grandchildren, and the reading of the names of those who perished in the Holocaust.

Committee officials describe their event as the largest in Bergen County because it attracts about 1,000 people….

MASTERMIND BEHIND THE DEPORTATIONS

The main speaker for the night was internationally recognized author, professor and historian Deborah Lipstadt, who is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University and author of “The Eichmann Trial,” and other books that focus on the topic of Holocaust denial.

Lipstadt said she attends many Holocaust Commemoration events across the U.S. “But I know of no other community that does it as well and has such a response and such a turnout and a cross-community representation as you do here in Teaneck,” she said.

Lipstadt spoke about the captivating trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann, whom she described as the chief operating officer in charge of the deportation of Jews from all of Western Europe.

“And then in the final year of the war when it was clear that the Germans had lost, he personally oversees the decimation, the destruction, the murder of much of Hungarian Jewry, and in approximately 7 to 8 weeks time, the murder of 400,000 Jews at Auschwitz,” Lipstadt explained. “He is in charge of organizing the deportations, getting them out of their homes, moving them into the camps, distributing their possessions; he is the mastermind.”

Sometime after the war, Eichmann eventually ends up in Argentina. He is later found, transported to Israel, charged with “crimes against the Jews and crimes against humanity,” and is found guilty and executed in 1962.

Lipstadt said the most striking thing about the trial was that Holocaust survivors were allowed to be witnesses.

“They told the story of the “Final Solution” in its entirety,” she said. “These people speaking in the first person singular told their story one after another after another.”…READ MORE

JBuzz News March 1, 2012: Lila Corwin Berman: Collaboration enriches professor’s exploration of the American Jewish experience at Temple’s Feinstein Center for American Jewish History

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Collaboration enriches professor’s exploration of the American Jewish experience

Lila Corwin Berman, shown at the 227-year-old Congregation Rodeph Shalom on North Broad Street, examines the American Jewish experience from a historical perspective, bridging religion, politics and questions about identity.

Lila Corwin Berman always has her eyes on bridges, both constructing and deconstructing them. But she’s not an engineer — she’s an historian.

As the new director of Temple’s Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, Berman explores the bridges between academics and practitioners, the past and present, history and politics, religion and identity, and the city and suburbs.

“At the center, we strive to make academic work meaningful by not only serving the scholarly community but also engaging with the public,” said Berman.

Founded in 1990, the Feinstein Center brings together scholars and lay people interested in the American Jewish experience. To that end, the center collaborates regularly with external institutions, such as the Gershman Y and the National Museum of Jewish American History. It also sponsors conferences, fellowships and public events all devoted to new approaches to understanding the many dimensions of Jewish experience in the United States….READ MORE

Arriving at Temple just three years ago from Penn State, Berman spent her first year getting acclimated, but an upcoming symposium titled “The Art of Being Jewish in the City: Aesthetics, Politics and Power” will be the grand finale of a full two years of conferences, events and even a performance focused on Jews and urbanism.

“Temple’s Department of History is an ideal place to locate this type of exploration,” said Berman. “It is full of top-notch urban historians, and a lot of forces in the department intersect around urban questions.”

According to Berman, as Jews were leaving American cities during the post-war period, they were also grappling with being middle class and suburban, and there was a part of them that was staying behind.

“Many of them never left cities in their minds,” she said.

“Through these two-years of programming and upcoming conference, we are asking, ‘How did Jews retain their investment in cities both as part of their identity but also materially, politically and economically?'”

The Art of Being Jewish in the City

How are Jews imagining, funding and creating urban arts and culture for the future?

As the culmination of two years of programming, Temple’s Feinstein Center for American Jewish History is hosting “The Art of Being Jewish in the City,” a day-long symposium exploring arts-led urban development and the role that Jews play in envisioning new forms of urban life.

The symposium invites the public to join in conversation with some of today’s most important urban thinkers.

Thursday, March 15, 9 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
The Edward H. Rosen Hillel Center for Jewish Life
1441 Norris St. (at corner of N. 15th St.), Philadelphia

The conference is free, but registration is required. Visit www.temple.edu/feinsteinctr/symposium, email feinsteincenter@temple.edu or call 215-204-9553.

JBuzz News February 27, 2012: State of American Jewish belief symposium March 4 Hosted by the Center for Jewish Studies of the University of Chicago & Spertus Institute

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State of American Jewish belief

Source: JUF News, 2-27-12

The Center for Jewish Studies of the University of Chicago (in cooperation with Spertus Institute) will hold a one-day symposium on the topic “The State of American Jewish Belief Revisited: At the Edge of a Crisis or at a New Threshhold?” on Sunday, March 4 at Spertus Institute, 610 S. Michigan Ave.

Speakers will include:

Rachel Adler, Professor of Modern Jewish Thought and Judaism and Gender, Hebrew Union College-Los Angeles

Saul Berman, Professor, Yeshiva University; Founder, Edah

Arnold Eisen, Chancellor and Professor of Jewish Thought, Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, Stanford University

David Ellenson, President and Grancell Professor of Jewish Religious Thought, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Arthur Green, Rector of the Rabbinical School and Irving Brudnick Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Hebrew College, Boston; Professor Emeritus, Brandeis University; and formerly Dean and President, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (1984-1993)

Riv-Ellen Prell, Professor of American Studies, University of Minnesota

Recent studies have pointed to declining synagogue membership and denominational identification as signs of a crisis in contemporary American Judaism, a situation usually interpreted as sociological in nature. This symposium will focus on the theological dimensions of the perceived crisis. Six leading thinkers from all streams of American Judaism will come together to share their unique vantage points on the question, put it somewhat provocatively:

Is American Judaism theologically bankrupt?  The symposium will address both the possible causes of this perceived crisis and constructive proposals to counter it. What possibilities exist in, and are specific to, the American Jewish experience that may enable us to re-think Jewish theology?  How can American Judaism best understand, employ, and capitalize on resources within traditional Jewish theological thought in order to address challenges specific to the American Jewish experience at this time?

This conference is the second in a series that the University of Chicago Center for Jewish Studies is holding as part of its mission to engage the Chicago community – and the wider American Jewish community – in intellectually challenging discussions addressing questions of urgent importance to American Judaism and the Jewish people. The first in the series, held in March 2011, addressed themes in the thought of Eliezer Berkovits, an Orthodox Jewish Theologian.

The program will conclude with a reception and is open to the community at no charge. To register, e-mail uofcconference@spertus.edu. or call (312) 322-1773.

Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies is a partner in serving our community, supported by the JUF/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.