JBuzz News July 2, 2014: Historian Jonathan Sarna leaves hospital, thanks supporters

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Historian Jonathan Sarna leaves hospital, thanks supporters

Jonathan Sarna, a leading scholar of American Jewish history, has returned home from the hospital two months after collapsing at his daughter’s college graduation…READ MORE

JBuzz May 21, 2014: Historian Jonathan Sarna Hospitalized, In Critical Condition

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Historian Jonathan Sarna Hospitalized, In Critical Condition

Source: The Jewish Week, 5-21-14

Sarna, 59, the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, fell ill at a May 17 graduation ceremony for his daughter at Yale University….READ MORE

JBuzz News April 14, 2014: Sylvia Barack Fishman earns national Jewish studies honor

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Fishman earns national Jewish studies honor

Source: Brandeis University, 4-14-14

Sylvia Barack Fishman, the chair of the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department, the Joseph and Esther Foster Professor of Contemporary Jewish Life, and co-director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University, is 2014 recipient of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry’s Marshall Sklare Award….READ MORE

JBuzz News February 20, 2014: Jewish Studies Chair Announced at UC Riverside

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Jewish Studies Chair Announced at UC Riverside

Source: UC Riverside, 2-20-14

“For nearly a decade the campus has worked toward the creation of an endowed chair in Jewish studies,” said Stephen Cullenberg, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Studies….READ MORE

JBuzz News February 13, 2014: Jennifer Hoyer: Professor Recognized for Work Establishing Jewish Studies Program

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Professor Recognized for Work Establishing Jewish Studies Program

Source: The Arkanas Traveller, 2-13-14

A UA German professor was recognized by the Jewish Federation of Arkansas for outstanding contributions to the Jewish community. Jennifer Hoyer, an associate German professor and acting head of the UA German department, received the Jane B. Mendel….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 20, 2013: AAU, Jewish Studies Group Condemn American Studies Association’s Academic Boycott

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AAU, Jewish Studies Group Condemn Academic Boycotts

Inside Higher Ed , 12-20-13

Leaders of the Association of American Universities and the Association for Jewish Studies on Friday condemned academic boycotts — a topic in the news due to the vote by the American Studies Association to boycott Israeli universities….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 10, 2013: Geza Vermes: Dead Sea Scrolls professor dies

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Dead Sea Scrolls professor dies

Source: Jewish Chronicle, 5-10-13

Dead Sea Scrolls professor Geza Vermes has died aged 88 of cancer.

Prof Vermes was the Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies at Oxford, best known for his work on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewishness of Jesus….READ MORE

JBuzz News April 30, 2013: Alvin Rosenfeld: Jewish Studies Program founder awarded Indiana University Bloomington Provost’s Medal

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Jewish Studies Program founder awarded IU Bloomington Provost’s Medal

Source: Indiana University, 4-30-13

Indiana University Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel has presented the Provost’s Medal to Alvin Rosenfeld, a distinguished scholar of literature and Holocaust studies who established the university’s Jewish Studies program and led it for decades.

Robel presented the medal at a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program at IU Bloomington. Rosenfeld is the Irving M. Glazer Chair of Jewish Studies and a professor of English and Jewish studies in the College of Arts and Sciences….READ MORE

JBuzz News March 1, 2013: Jill Fields: New Jewish Studies Certificate Program Established at California State University, Fresno Explores History, Culture, Religion

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Jewish studies explores history, culture, religion

Source: Collegian CSU Fresno, 3-1-13

Professor Jill Fields cherishes the rich roots of her Jewish culture. She wants students to have the opportunity to learn about it as well.

The Torah is the book central to the doctrine of the Jewish faith. Fresno State’s Jewish Studies Certificate program introduces students to such facets of Jewish history and culture. McClatchy-Tribune

The Torah is the book central to the doctrine of the Jewish faith. Fresno State’s Jewish Studies Certificate program introduces students to such facets of Jewish history and culture.
McClatchy-Tribune

With that wish comes the fulfillment of her goal – starting the Jewish Studies Certificate Program.

“This program is developed to provide students with opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Jewish people in the United States and around the world,” Fields said….READ MORE

JBuzz News February 10, 2013: Jewish scholar Rabbi David Hartman, founder of the Hartman Institute, dies at 81

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Jewish scholar Rabbi David Hartman dies

Source: JTA, 2-10-13

Rabbi David Hartman, a Jewish scholar who founded the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, has died….READ MORE

David Hartman, rabbi known for promoting pluralism in Jewish world, dies at 81

Source: WaPo, 2-10-13

Hartman Institute/Associated Press – This undated photograph provided by the Shalom Hartman Institute shows rabbi David Hartman, one of the world’s leading Jewish philosophers who promoted both Jewish pluralism and interfaith dialogue. The Shalom Hartman Institute, founded by the rabbi more than 30 years ago, said Hartman died Sunday Feb. 10, 2013, after a long illness.

Rabbi David Hartman, one of the world’s leading Jewish philosophers who promoted both Jewish pluralism and interfaith dialogue, has died. He was 81.

The Shalom Hartman Institute, founded by the rabbi more than 30 years ago, said Hartman died Sunday after a long illness.Hartman is survived by his wife and five children. His funeral was scheduled for Monday….READ MORE

JBuzz News January 17, 2013: Jeffrey Shoulson: Judaic Studies Expert Joins University of Connecticut Faculty

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Judaic Studies Expert Jeffrey Shoulson Joins UConn Faculty

Source: UConn Advance (blog), 1-17-13

That ambition is part of the overall approach to Judaic Studies at UConn, which grew last year not only with Shoulson’s appointment, but with the arrival of Professor Susan Einbinder from Hebrew Union College as well, joining Professor Stuart Miller…READ MORE

JBuzz News December 3, 2012: Baruch Halpern: Renowned scholar joins University of Georgia as Covenant Foundation Professor of Jewish Studies

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Renowned scholar Baruch Halpern joins UGA as Covenant Foundation Professor of Jewish Studies

Source: Online Athens, 12-3-12

An internationally recognized scholar whose work combines ancient history, archeology and religious studies has joined the University of Georgia as the inaugural holder of the Covenant Foundation Professor of Jewish Studies….READ MORE

JBuzz News November 23, 2012: Julien Bauer: Office of Canadian Pro-Israel Université du Québec à Montréal professor vandalized

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Office of Canadian Pro-Israel professor vandalized

Source: JTA, 11-23-12

A pro-Israel lecturer from Montreal found the words “Heil Israel” scrawled on his office door.

The paraphrased Nazi slogan was scrawled Tuesday on the door of the office of Julien Bauer, a political-science professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal, according to the Montreal Gazette….READ MORE

JBuzz News November 22, 2012: Julien Bauer: Canadian Montreal University Professor Target of anti-Semitic Vandalism

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Canadian Professor Target of anti-Semitic Vandalism

Source: Jewocity.com Blog (blog), 11-20-12

Canadian Professor Target of anti Semitic Vandalism Canadian Political Science Professor Julien Bauer was the target of anti-Semitic vandalism this week….READ MORE

JBuzz News November 20, 2012: Steven Windmueller: A communal ‘Tzedek’ who studies power

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A communal ‘Tzedek’ who studies power

Source: The Jewish Journal of Greater L.A., 11-20-12

Steven Windmueller. Photo courtesy HUC-JIR

Steven Windmueller. Photo courtesy HUC-JIR

In 2006, after leading the search for a new dean for the Los Angeles campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), Steven Windmueller was himself awarded the position, becoming the first non-rabbi dean of an HUC-JIR campus.

Two years later, when the national economy nosedived and the L.A. campus was slated to be shuttered, Windmueller might have regretted taking the reins. But instead, as the man in charge, he organized a robust — and ultimately successful — campaign to save it….READ MORE

JBuzz News October 23, 2012: Posen Foundation launching new Jewish studies fellowships

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Posen Foundation launching new Jewish studies fellowships

Source: The Jewish Journal of Greater L.A., 10-23-12

“This new program underscores our commitment to providing crucial early career support to academics in Jewish Studies and Jewish fiction writers, and building bridges between scholars, writers and the general public around the world,” Jesse Tisch….READ MORE

JBuzz News October 22, 2012: Jewish studies not just for Jews

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Jewish studies not just for Jews

In order for the academic pursuit of Jewish studies to continue, it must appeal to a broader audience outside the Jewish community, said Judith Baskin, a Jewish scholar, author and professor….READ MORE

JBuzz News September 14, 2012: Yosef Yerushalmi: Remembrance of Jews’ Past Yosef Yerushalmi’s ‘Zakhor’ Remains as Relevant as Ever

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Remembrance of Jews’ Past

Yosef Yerushalmi’s ‘Zakhor’ Remains as Relevant as Ever

Source: Robert Zaretsky, Forward, 9-14-12

Speak, Memory: One of our most prolific and profound writers on Jewish history, Yosef Yerushalmi died in 2009.

Courtesy The Jewish Museum
Speak, Memory:One of our most prolific and profound writers on Jewish history, Yosef Yerushalmi died in 2009.It was 30 years ago that Yosef Yerushalmi’s” Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory” was first published. The shortest book by Yerushalmi, a prolific professor of Jewish history at Columbia University until his death in 2009, it has had the longest reach. The issues raised in the book, Yerushalmi suggested, are not “necessarily confined to Jewish history.”He was right. With the new school year beginning, teachers and parents should recall the reason that a book devoted to “zakhor,” or the Jewish injunction to remember, resonates in fields far beyond Yerushalmi’s original subject.

Yerushalmi’s reflections begin with a paradox: For a people so preoccupied by the past, Jews were remarkably indifferent to history….READ MORE

JBuzz News September 13, 2012: Cesare Colafemmina Expert on Jewish history and culture in southern Italy, dies

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Cesare Colafemmina, expert on Jewish history and culture in southern Italy, dies

Source: JTA, 9-13-12
Italian scholar Cesare Colafemmina, an internationally known pioneer in the study of Jewish history and culture in southern Italy, has died….READ MORE

JBuzz News August 2, 2012: Eugene R. Sheppard, Samuel Moyn & Sylvia Fuks Fried: New Brandeis Book Series Bringing US, Mideast into Jewish Canon

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Book series bringing US, Mideast into Jewish canon

Project is opening doors to a new generation of scholars

Source: Brandeis Now, 8-2-12

Photo/Charles A. Radin

Eugene Sheppard, associate professor of modern Jewish history and thought, and Sylvia Fuks Fried, executive director of the Tauber Institute.

From the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and LifeSection of a painting by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim of an imagined meeting of Moses Mendelssohn (seated left), Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Swiss theologian Johann Kaspar Lavater at Mendelssohn’s Berlin residence.

With remarkably little fanfare, the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry and Brandeis University Press have launched a new book series that promises to alter profoundly the canon of modern Jewish thought.

Two volumes – one featuring the writings of Moses Mendelssohn, the other recapturing Jewish thinking on race – have already been published. Two more volumes, dealing with diaspora nationalism and Middle Eastern Jewish thought, are due out in the coming academic year. A half dozen more are in the pipeline. And this may be just the beginning for the Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought.

“The idea was born out of frustration,” says Eugene R. Sheppard, associate professor of modern Jewish history and thought, who is co-editing the library with Samuel Moyn, a Columbia University professor of history. “Sam and I were working in these areas of intellectual history in which we could have conversations about texts, but we could only introduce them to our students in a second-hand way” because of a lack of translations.

The two editors collaborated with Sylvia Fuks Fried, executive director of the Tauber Institute and associate editor  of the Tauber Institute Series with Brandeis University Press, to conceive an ambitious set of goals for the project –  introducing new elements to the canon with volumes such as “Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought” and “Jews and Race,” reintroducing canonical figures, like Mendelssohn with new texts and perspectives, and opening participation in the library to a new generation of scholars in the field….READ MORE

JBuzz Profiles May 16, 2012: Michail Kitsos: Gratz College Goes Greek

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Gratz Goes Greek

Source: The Jewish Exponent, 5-16-12
Michail Kitsos is the first student to travel all the way from Greece to take classes at Gratz College’s Melrose Park campus.

He’s also the first Greek Orthodox Christian to become valedictorian.

And the 32-year-old is the first graduate whom Gratz administrators immediately hired to create a brand new certificate program, in Jewish-Christian Studies.

Rabbinics scholar Michail Kitsos

On Sunday, the college will recognize Kitsos and 294 fellow graduates at commencement ceremonies. Halfway across the world, Kitsos’ 72-year-old mother will lean in to her computer to watch as her son receives his master’s degree in Jewish Studies with a specialization in rabbinics.

Unlike Kitsos, the vast majority — 252 to be exact — will receive their master’s degrees in education, a secular program started in the late ’90s primarily for existing school teachers. That, along with other new general market programs, has helped fund the Judaic initiatives the college was founded to serve in 1895.

The other 43 studied Jewish subjects: 18 earned master’s degrees; one a bachelor’s degree and others, certificates in topics such as Jewish Early Childhood Education, Holocaust Studies and Jewish Non-Profit Leadership, administrators said.

So how did a devout Christian from Greece end up among such a small, niche group of rabbinics students at a Jewish college in Philadelphia? Curiosity, patience and the Internet, according to Kitsos.

Ever since he first learned biblical Hebrew as part of his undergraduate course work in Christian Theology in Greece, “I felt an attraction to Judaism and to the texts,” said Kitsos….READ MORE

JBuzz News, May 10, 2012: University of Colorado Boulder Jewish Studies Program Grants First Degrees

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CU Jewish Studies Program Grants First Degrees

Source: Boulder Jewish News, 5-10-12
If you will it, it is no dream.”  Theodore Herzl

Professor David Shneer, Director and Jamie Polliard, Assistant Director.

Professor David Shneer, Director of the Program in Jewish Studies, invoked Herzl’s famous quote as he presided over the Program’s inaugural degree granting ceremony in the Board Room of Old Main on the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus today.

He recounted the four-year journey of the program from certificate to major, and thanked everyone who had made it possible, from the students to the faculty to the family and community that supported him and the program over the years….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 3, 2012: Jay H. Geller: Professorship sparks expanded Jewish studies at Case Western Reserve University

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Professorship sparks expanded Jewish studies at CWRU

Source: Cleveland Jewish News, 5-3-12

Geller

Geller

“As the Jewish studies program grows, it will become a magnet for Jewish students interested in Jewish studies.” Jay H. Geller, CWRU professor

For Case Western Reserve University professor Jay H. Geller, a passion for history was cultivated as a young child in Houston.

His maternal great-grandfather was a cantor who immigrated to the United States in 1910, Geller had been told, and his paternal great-great-grandfather was a rabbi and Talmudic scholar who arrived in the United States in 1892. Both settled in Galveston, Texas. As he was growing up, Geller remembers hearing fascinating stories of their voyages and adventures. While enjoying the folklore, he initially aimed to reconstruct the details surrounding his own ancestry. His interest in delving into the past eventually expanded to world history, particularly German Jewish history.

In January 2011, Geller became the first Samuel Rosenthal Professor of Judaic Studies within the history department at Cleveland’s CWRU. The appointment followed the repurposing of funds from the Samuel Rosenthal Center of Judaic Studies to a professorship in the College of Arts and Sciences. Peter J. Haas, the Abba Hillel Silver Professor of Jewish Studies and chair of the religious studies department, was on the search team….READ MORE