JBuzz Musings November 24, 2013: Rare 18th century illuminated Haggadah sold at auction

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JEWISH ACADEMIC & UNIVERSITY NEWS

Rare 18th century illuminated Haggadah sold at auction

By Bonnie K. Goodman

A rare illustrated manuscript, a Passover Haggadah dated from 1726, named the Manchester Haggadah, because of the location where it was found, was sold on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 at Adam Partridge Auction House in Macclesfield in their Cheshire Saleroom…READ MORE
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JBuzz News May 19, 2013: Baruch College Jewish Studies Center: Jewish Presence in Contemporary Art

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JEWISH ACADEMIC & UNIVERSITY NEWS

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 April 29, 2013: Israel Museum & the Metropolitan Museum of Art buy Maimonides medieval Jewish manuscript

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JEWISH ACADEMIC & UNIVERSITY NEWS

Museums buy Steinhardts’ medieval Jewish manuscript

Source: JTA, 4-29-13

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York jointly bought a medieval religious text by Rabbi Moshe Maimonides….READ MORE

JBuzz News April 30, 2012: Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization: A Ten-Volume Look at Jewish Culture

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JEWISH ACADEMIC & UNIVERSITY NEWS

A Ten-Volume Look at Jewish Culture

Source: NYT, 4-30-12

Yale University Press and the Posen Foundation are embarking on a 10-volume anthology that covers more than 3,000 years of Jewish cultural artifacts, texts and paintings. “This monumental project includes the best of Jewish culture in its historical and global entirety,” the editor in chief, James E. Young, a professor of English and Judaic Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said in a news release. “It will provide future generations with a working legacy by which to recover and comprehend Jewish culture and civilization.”

The series, called the Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, is starting at the end, with Volume 10, a collection of works that date from 1973 through 2005 and include cultural figures like the writers Saul Bellow and Judy Blume, the architect Frank Gehry, the sculptor Louise Nevelson, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Harvard law professor Alan M Dershowitz. (Volume 1 will begin in the second millennium B.C.) More than 120 scholars are expected to work on the project, according to John Donatich, director of Yale University Press.

Volume 10 is scheduled for publication in November, as is a companion book titled “Jews and Words” by the Israeli author Amos Oz and his daughter, Fania Oz-Salzberger, a history professor.

Mark Kligman: Matisyahu, Shaves Beard, Leaves Orthodox Judaism?

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JEWISH ACADEMIC & UNIVERSITY NEWS

Has Matisyahu left Judaism?

Source: WaPo, 12-13-11
…Matisyahu, 32, who grew up Matthew Paul Miller in a Jewish family but not an Orthodox one, has created a certain cognitive dissonance for Jews, said Mark Kligman, a professor of Jewish music at Hebrew Union College in New York.

“It’s the paradox of an outwardly Orthodox Jew singing in a tradition that has absolutely nothing to do with Judaism,” Kligman said. He speculated that Matisyahu felt some of that dissonance himself.

“It could be that this is his own processing of that experience,” said Kligman, who added that it doesn’t appear that the singer is shedding his religion.

Matisyahu: “No More Chassidic Reggae Superstar”

matisyahu no beard

Jewish megastar Matisyahu, a poster child for the Chassidic community, shocked fans and followers alike when he revealed pictures of himself on Twitter on Tuesday with a clean shaven face. In addition to removing his trademark beard, the tweet was accompanied with the statement: “At the break of day I look for you at sunrise When the tide comes in I lose my disguise.

Shortly after, Matisyahu posted a blog, explaining his decision to chop off his facial hair in which he wrote, “No more Chassidic reggae superstar.

He went on to say:

“Sorry folks, all you get is me … no alias. When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process. It was my choice. My journey to discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality–not through books but through real life. At a certain point I felt the need to submit to a higher level of religiosity…to move away from my intuition and to accept an ultimate truth. I felt that in order to become a good person I needed rules — lots of them — or else I would somehow fall apart. I am reclaiming myself. Trusting my goodness and my divine mission. Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth. And for those concerned with my naked face, don’t worry…you haven’t seen the last of my facial hair.”

matisyahu no beard

Connie Wolf: Jewish Museum director to head Cantor center — will join Stanford museum’s staff Jan. 1, 2012

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APPOINTMENTS — MUSEUM NEWS

Source: Palto Alto Online, 7-21-11

Connie Wolf, who heads San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum as its director and CEO, will return to her college roots on Jan. 1. She’s becoming the new director of the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies in 1981.

Wolf, who has worked at the Jewish Museum since 1999, has shepherded the institution through major change. The small museum grew from a 2,500-square-foot building to a dramatic 63,000-square-foot space near Yerba Buena Gardens, where it moved in 2008. During that time, Wolf raised $85 million and worked with architect Daniel Libeskind to develop the facility plans, according to a Cantor center press release.

The Cantor’s current director, Thomas K. Seligman, is retiring after heading the museum since 1991. He plans to continue teaching and doing research at Stanford, where one of his major focuses has been African art.

Nancy Troy, who chairs Stanford’s art and art history department, said in a press release that choosing Wolf is an innovative move.

“Hiring someone whose background is not squarely in the history of art is a move that is unexpected and daring for Stanford — and yet this is the moment for this, to think differently and be open to new directions, building upon the firm foundation that Tom Seligman and his staff have built over the last 20 years,” she said.

Previously, Wolf served as associate director for public programs and curator of education at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. For the Jewish Museum’s current exhibition “Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories,” she also connected with her Stanford background: The lead guest curator was Wanda Corn, emeritus Stanford art professor.