Jewish Studies Today

Jewish Studies Today | webinar series

Originating in the 1820s, the study of Judaism is a well-established academic discipline that transcends boundaries of the humanities of the social sciences (e.g., history, philosophy, religious studies, sociology, literature, political science, film and media, art and music, and more). Jewish studies scholars, who are not necessarily Jewish, investigate Jewish civilization from antiquity to the present and have transformed our understanding of Judaism and the Jews. These sessions will address the question “Why, how, and to whom is scholarship of Jewish Studies relevant today?,” and arranged chronologically, highlighting continuity and development over time.

Separate pre-registration required for each webinar via the links below.


April 6 | 7 p.m. | webinar
Jewish Studies Today: Antiquity

register for Jewish Studies Today: Antiquity

Antiquity (roughly from 1200 BCE to 500 CE) is the period during which the canonic sources of Judaism—the Bible, the Mishnah, the Talmud, and the Midrashim—were generated. Scholars of antiquity study how these texts have emerged, how Jews responded to Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman cultures, and how Jewish societies in the Land of Israel, Babylonia, Egypt and Persia related to the geopolitics of the ancient Middle East. This webinar explores how new scholarship on ancient archeology, literature, and social organization helps us to understand the treasures of the Jewish tradition.

moderator 
Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, Director of Jewish Studies

panelists
Joel Gereboff, Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Timothy Langille, Lecturer – Religious Studies
Francoise Mirguet, Jess Schwartz Memorial Professor/ Assoc. Professor of Hebrew


April 13 | 7 p.m. | webinar
Jewish Studies Today: Medieval/Early Modern

register for Jewish Studies Today: Medieval/Early Modern

During the middle ages (500-1500) and the early-modern period (1500-1800) Judaism greatly evolved to generate the masterpieces of biblical exegesis, jurisprudence, philosophy, mysticism, poetry, and liturgy. In the orbits of Islam and in Christendom Jewish life thrived despite legal inferiority of the Jewish minority and occasional persecutions. The Middle Ages was a period of intense creativity, often due to the cross- fertilization between Jews and non-Jews. This webinar explores how new studies of the interplay between Jews and non-Jews transformed our understanding of Jewish history and the history of Judaism. Special attention will be paid to new scholarship that sheds light on the dynamic of continuity and change, intellectual diversity within Jewish society, and the expansion of the Jewish Diaspora during the early-modern period.

moderator
Joel Gereboff, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

panelists
Stanley Mirvis, Harold and Jean Grossman Chair in Jewish Studies/Assistant Professor of History
Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, Director of Jewish Studies


April 20 | 7 p.m. | webinar
Jewish Studies Today: Modern/Contemporary

register for Jewish Studies Today: Modern/Contemporary

Since the French Revolution (1789) that granted Emancipation to the Jews of Western Europe, Jewish was profoundly transformed. Emancipation, acculturation, assimilation, urbanization, industrialization, mass migration, and secularization are the main forces that profoundly altered Jewish life in the modern period. Jews responded to these forces in numerous ways, including the reinterpretation of Judaism, thus resulting in religious pluralism and ideological diversity. Anti-Semitism, the backlash to Jewish integration into modern society, has resulted in the destruction of Jewish life in the Holocaust but also contributed to the rise of Zionism and the founding of the State of Israel. The webinar will reflect on new historical and sociological scholarship on the place of Jews in modern and contemporary societies with special attention to Post-Holocaust societies.

moderator
Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, Director of Jewish Studies

panelists
Volker Benkert, Assistant Professor of History
Anna Cichopek-Gajraj, Associate Professor of History
Stanley Mirvis, Harold and Jean Grossman Chair in Jewish Studies/Assistant Professor of History