The Distinguished Scholar Series Archive

7:30 to 9 pm
(202) 408-3100


Winter/Spring 2010

Judaism: It’s All About Love: The Wisdom of Love: Men, Women & God in The Bible
At and cosponsored by 6th & I Synagogue
600 I street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Metro accessible from the Red Line (Gallery Place/Chinatown)
202-403-3100

January 21, 2010

Professor Naftali Rothenberg
Rabbi Professor Rothenberg is a senior research fellow and Jewish Culture and Identity chair at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute who also serves as the town Rabbi of Har Adar, Israel.

Most people are familiar with two possible approaches to love: the puritanical, which they ascribe to religion, Scripture and “spirituality”; and the permissive – generally considered materialistic and anti-spiritual. According to the Rabbis, love exists within the harmony of spirit and matter, mind and body. The Jewish sources promote just such a relationship between man and woman - on the cognitive-intellectual, spiritual-emotional and physical planes.


The Life of Death: What Our Rabbis Tell Us About The World To Come
At and cosponsored by B’nai Israel Congregation
In cooperation with Adas Israel Congregation
6301 Montrose Road
Rockville, MD 20852-4120
301-881-6550

March 11, 2010

Professor David Kraemer
Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary
Professor Kraemer is the Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Olam Haba – The world to come. What is it? Judaism’s beliefs regarding these matters affect how Jews understand life, death, and everything in between. This lecture we will explore past Jewish beliefs about what comes after this life, correcting many misconceptions and asking what differences changes in these beliefs might make.


Are the Holidays Late This Year? Judaism and the Lessons of Modern Biblical Scholarship
At and cosponsored by Temple Shalom
8401 Grubb Road
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301-587-2273

March 18, 2010

Professor James Kugel
Professor James Kugel is the Director of the Institute for the History of the Jewish Bible, Bar Ilan University

Some of the most familiar holidays in the Jewish calendar look very different in the light of biblical research. What is more, the Dead Sea Scrolls have revealed that, compared with the "Jewish calendar" we use today, Jews in late biblical times used an entirely different calendar -- one in which the holidays were never "late this year". What are Jews today to make of these findings?


Renaissance England’s Chief Rabbi: John Selden
At and cosponsored by the Washington DCJCC
1529 16th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
202-518-9400

April 22, 2010

Professor Jason Rosenblatt
Professor Jason Rosenblatt is a Professor of English at Georgetown University

John Selden; a non-Jew, was an English jurist, legal antiquarian, politician, and a leading figure of English historical research during the 17th century. He was also considered an expert scholar on Jewish law.

In the midst of an age of prejudice when all Jews had been expelled from England, Selden wrote his most immense work, containing magnificent Hebrew scholarship that reflects — to an extent remarkable for the times — a respectful understanding of Judaism. The history of the religious toleration of Jews in England is incomplete without acknowledgment of the impact of this non-Jew’s uncommonly generous Hebrew scholarship.

In memory of Frank Schick
Endowed by Renee Schick


The People And The Book: The Invention of Printing And The Transformation of Jewish Culture
At and cosponsored by the JCC of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Road
Rockville, MD 20852
301-881-0100

May 13, 2010

Professor David Ruderman
Professor David B. Ruderman is the Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History and the Ella Darivoff Director of the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

The development of the printing press resulted in the emergence of a unique Jewish culture in the 16th century, an age when the Talmud and the Bible where printed and when Jews discovered a new world of medicine, science, and philosophy. It was a time in which books of a less formal and intellectual nature emerged: in Yiddish and Ladino, as well as for women. This new technology transformed the way Jews thought and processed information about the world, as the internet and technology transformed the way we think and live.

In honor of Dorothy G. and Robert H. Rumizen.
Endowed by Dr. Bruce and Joy Ammerman through the Ammerman Foundation.


Arab And Islamic Anti-Semitism Today
At and cosponsored by 6th & I Synagogue
600 I street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Metro accessible from the Red Line
(Gallery Place/Chinatown)
202-403-3100

May 27, 2010

Professor Menahem Milson
Professor Menahem Milson is a professor of Arabic Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a co-founder of The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). MEMRI explores the Middle East through the region’s media, providing translations of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu and Pashtu media, as well as original analysis of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends in the Middle East.

Antisemitism has become a pervasive feature of public discourse in the Arab and Islamic world. The lecture will explore the various components of present day Islamic and Arab antisemitism, both indigenous (of Islamic provenance) and imported. The special role played by the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” will be assessed and attention will be drawn to the upsurge in the use of Islamic religious traditions in the antisemitic propaganda, a phenomenon concurrent with the rise of Islamism.


Fall 2009

The State of Jews in Europe and Israel
At and cosponsored by:
Temple Shalom
8401 Grubb Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
7:30-9:00 pm

Professor Walter Laqueur
In Conversation with
Rabbi Joshua Haberman

Professor Laqueur and Rabbi Haberman will discuss:

  • The New Germany and Its Jews
  • The Rise of anti-Semitism
  • Israel and the Jewish Future

Dr. Laqueur was the Director of the Institute of Contemporary History and the Wiener Library in London from 1965-1994. He was founder and editor with George Mosse, of the Journal of Contemporary History and of Survey 1956-1964. He was founding editor of the The Washington Papers. He was Chairman of the International Research Council CSIS Washington. He was Professor of History of Ideas at Brandeis University 1968-1972, University. Professor at Georgetown University 1976-1988. Dr. Laqueur’s main works deal with European history in the 19th and 20th century, especially Russian, German, and Middle East history. Dr. Laqueur is the author of numerous books, including Out of the Ruins of Europe, New York: Library Press. Germany Today: A Personal Report, Boston: Little, Brown, 1985. A World of Secrets: the Uses and Limits of Intelligence, New York: Basic Books. The Age of Terrorism, Boston; Toronto: Little, Brown, 1987. Europe In Our Time: A History, 1945-1992, New York: Viking, 1992. Fascism: Past, Present, Future, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind, Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1998. The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction, New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. No End to War: Terrorism in the Twenty-first Century, New York: Continuum. Voices of Terror: Manifestos, Writings and Manuals of Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Other Terrorists from Around the World and Throughout the Ages, Sourcebooks, Inc, 2004. The Changing Face of Antisemitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, Oxford University Press, 2006.


How Twentieth Century Rabbinic Figures Use and Misuse Maimonides
At and cosponsored by:
Ohr Kodesh Congregation
8300 Meadowbrook Lane
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Wednesday, October 7, 2009
7:30-9:00 pm

Professor Menachem Kellner
Professor of Jewish Thought at the University of Haifa

Dr. Kellner will discuss the use, misuse, and possible abuse of this famed Jewish philosopher by such people as Rav Soloveitchik, Yeshayahu and Nechama Leibowitz, R. Abraham Joshua Heschel, R. Kotler, and R. Yizhak Hunter.

Dr. Kellner taught philosophy at Washington University, religious studies at the College of William and Mary and at the University of Virginia, and medieval and modern Jewish philosophy at the University of Haifa.

In 1980, Dr. Kellner moved to Israel with his wife and two children where he teaches at the University of Haifa. In addition to his teaching and research responsibilities in Haifa University's Department of Jewish History and Thought, Dr. Kellner has served as Chair of the University's Department of Maritime Civilizations, a unique inter-disciplinary graduate program in maritime archeology and history (1988-91), and as Dean of Students (1994-97). He was also editor of English-language publications of the University of Haifa Press and has authored several books, including Dogma in Medieval Jewish Thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986, Maimonides on Human Perfection. Atlanta: Scholars Press (Brown Judaic Studies), 1990, Maimonides on Judaism and the Jewish People. Albany: SUNY Press, 1991, Maimonides on the Decline of the Generations and the Nature of Rabbinic Authority. Albany: SUNY Press, 1996, Must a Jew Believe Anything? London: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1999, and Maimonides' Confrontation with Mysticism. London: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2006.

This program is made possible by the generosity of Gary and Bernice Lebbin as part of a series of programs on German- Jewish Cultural Heritage.


The Turbulent History of Jewish Life in Italy
At and cosponsored by:
Temple Shalom
8401 Grubb Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
7:30-9:00 pm

Rabbi Barbara Aiello
Director, Jewish Culture and Hebrew Language Institute (Calabria, Italy) and first woman Rabbi in Italy

Jewish life in Italy has a history that dates back to the time of the Maccabees when Jews settled in Southern Italy 300 years before the Common Era. Rabbi Barbara Aiello will share fascinating stories of Italy’s rich Jewish history; from ancient times through WW II.

Rabbi Aiello was the first Rabbi of Synagogue Lev Chadash, the first Reform Synagogue in Italy. Rabbi Aiello currently serves the Synagogue Ner Tamid del Sud, the first operational synagogue in Calabria in 500 years, since inquisition times. Rabbi Aiello is also the Director of the Italian Jewish Cultural Center of Calabria. She is also the creator of “The Kids on the Block” puppet program used to teach children and adults to accept and appreciate difference and diversity.

In addition she is director of the IJCCC (The Italian Jewish Cultural Center of Calabria) where she teaches classes on Italian Jewish culture, the Hebrew language, and helps Calabrians with Jewish roots to learn more about their past. Dedicated to the growth of progressive liberal Judaism in Italy, Rabbi Aiello regularly serves Congregation Or Chadash in Turin. There she works with members of the Steering Committee to bring modern liberal Judaism to Jewish and interfaith families. In 2006 Rabbi Aiello led the first ever Rosh HaShanah Progressive Jewish service in an Italian synagogue. The event took place in the Ivrea synagogue outside of Turin. Rabbi Aiello is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she received the Distinguished Alumni Award. She holds a MS from The George Washington University in Washington DC and received Smicha (rabbinic ordination) from The Rabbinical Seminary International and the Rabbinical Academy in New York City. In addition, Rabbi Aiello is a founding member and board member of the International Federation of Rabbis, and rabbinic advisor to Congregation Ner Tamid in Bradenton Florida where she visits regularly to perform B’nai Mitzvah ceremonies, Shabbat services and educational forums.


A Tale of Three Cities: Vienna, Prague and Budapest: The Place ofAustro-German Jewry in Central Europe
At and cosponsored by:
Temple Shalom
8401 Grubb Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
7:30-9:00 pm

Professor Marsha Rozenblit
Professor of Jewish History at the University of Maryland

What has life historically been like for Jews in these bastions of Jewish culture? Dr. Rozenblit will provide an understanding of Austro-German Jewry by exploring the place of Jews in these regions.

Dr. Rozenblit is the Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Jewish History at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she has been on the faculty since 1978. A social historian of the Jews of Central Europe, she is the author of two books, Reconstructing a National Identity: The Jews of Habsburg Austria during World War I. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001, and The Jews of Vienna, 1867-1914: Assimilation and Identity. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983 (1984).Dr. Rozenblit has also edited and written over twenty-five scholarly articles on the Jews of Habsburg Central Europe on such topics as religious reform in nineteenth century Vienna and Jews and other Germans in Moravia. She currently serves as the Vice President for Program of the Association for Jewish Studies and the professional organization of Jewish Studies scholars in North America.

This program is made possible by the generosity of K. Peter & Yvonne Wagner as part of a series of programs on German- Jewish Cultural Heritage.


The Myth of the “Authentic” Jewish Wedding
In cooperation with Adas Israel Congregation
At and cosponsored by:
Sixth & I Synagogue
600 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Metro accessible from the Red Line (Gallery Place/Chinatown)

Thursday, November 19, 2009
7:30-9:00 pm

Professor Vanessa Ochs
Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia

What is the origin of the chuppa, ketubah, seven blessings and the breaking of a glass? Some practices that we now consider iconic were contested when they were introduced. Considering the ways that Jewish wedding practices have changed allows us to see the current wedding rituals in a different light.

Dr. Ochs is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia where she teaches courses in Judaism, anthropology of religion, and spiritual writing. Dr. Ochs is the author of numerous publications including, Inventing Jewish Ritual (Jewish Publication Society: 2007) Winner of 2007 National Jewish Book Award. Sarah Laughed (McGraw Hill: 2004), The Jewish Dream Book (with Elizabeth Ochs) (Jewish Lights Publications: 2003), The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices (co-edited with Irwin Kula) (Jewish Lights Publications: 2001), Miriam’s Object Lesson: A Study of Objects Emerging in the New Rituals of Jewish Women. Safe and Sound: Protecting Children in an Unpredictable World (Penguin: 1995), Words on Fire: One Woman's Journey into the Sacred, (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: 1990.

Dr.Ochs is also the author of several works of fiction including, People Suspect She Is Either On Drugs Or A Member of A Cult, Sun Dog: The Southeast Review, Fall 1987.Chanuka Clock, Woman's Day, December 3, 1985. Panama Hat, Woman's Day, September 1985. The Mothers' Goose, Woman's Day, May 1985. Talking Book Magazine of the Month (Library of Congress). Naming, Wooster Review, Fall 1984.Birds: Life After College, Classes (Sarah Lawrence Alumni Publication) Spring 1983. Epistle from Sister Deirdre, Croton Review, Spring 1982. Get me to a Nunnery, Moment, December 1981. Brothers Musser, Face of the Sage, Fall 1980.

This program is the annual Abraham S. Kay lecture made possible by the generosity of Jack Kay.


Spring 2009

Part I
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
What the Dead Sea Scrolls Really Say, Part I: A Visit to Qumran, Were They Essene? Elucidating the Bible and Judaism

Part one will begin by exploring the ruins of Qumran near the 11 caves in the Judean Desert where more than 900 scrolls were found, comprising what has been called the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century. This lecture will consider whether the people living at Qumran were a strange sect of Jews called Essenes and what the scrolls tell us about the development of the Hebrew Bible. The scrolls also elucidate Judaism in the crucial period before the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.

Herschel Shanks, Founder & Editor of Biblical Archaeology Review
Hershel Shanks is the founding editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, the world’s largest circulation magazine devoted to Biblical archaeology. He is perhaps best known for his role in freeing the Dead Sea Scrolls from a coterie of scholars who kept them secret for nearly forty years. He is also the former editor of Bible Review, Archaeology Odyssey and Moment, the largest independent Jewish magazine in the country. His numerous books include The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Random House 1998), Jerusalem: An Archaeological Biography (Random House 1995) and Judaism in Stone: The Archaeology of Ancient Synagogues(Harper & Row 1979).

This program is dedicated to the memory of Frank Schick z”l by Renee Schick.

Washington DCJCC
1529 Sixteenth Street, NW at Q Street
Washington, DC 20036

 

Part II
Thursday, March 19, 2009
What the Dead Sea Scrolls Really Say, Part II: The Jewish Roots of Christianity; Gabriel’s Revelation; the Copper Scroll, and the Temple Treasure
Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls important for understanding the origins of Christianity as a Jewish movement? What does “Son of God” mean in Judaism? In Christianity? To what extent is Christian doctrine anticipated in the scrolls? Part two will also examine the so-called “Dead Sea Scroll in Stone” and whether it relates to a messiah. Finally, this lecture will explore the mysterious Copper Scroll which describes 64 sites with buried treasure, probably from the Jerusalem Temple.

Herschel Shanks, Founder & Editor of Biblical Archaeology Review

Washington DCJCC
1529 Sixteenth Street, NW at Q Street
Washington, DC 20036


Tuesday, March 24, 2009
How Assimilated Were German Jews Prior to the Holocaust?
“Tumultuous” is an understatement in describing the historic relationship between Jews and the rest of the German state. Jews have been in Germany since the early fourth century, and German-Jewish relations have gone back and forth between tolerance and violence. This lecture will treat the topic of assimilation and enrich our understanding of how woven into (or excluded from) the fabric of the nation Jews in Germany were before the Holocaust.

Dr. Steven Lowenstein, Isadore Levine Professor of Jewish History, American University
Dr. Steven Lowenstein earned his master’s and doctorate from Princeton University before beginning his teaching career. In addition to teaching Eastern European Jewish Culture at Columbia University, he has worked at Monmouth College, Stern College for Women, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and the Leo Baeck Institute, before arriving at American Jewish University (AJU, formerly University of Judaism) in 1979. He has also served as a visiting professor at UCLA and Hebrew Union College.

In the nearly three decades that Dr. Lowenstein has been teaching at AJU, he has developed classes on World, Western, and Jewish civilizations, examining each in historical and modern contexts. Dr. Lowenstein has authored numerous publications, including The Jewish Cultural Tapestry: International Jewish Folk Traditions (2000) (Winner of National Jewish Book Award in Ashkenazic-Sephardic Studies) and The Berlin Jewish Community: Enlightenment, Family and Crisis, 1770-1830 (1994) (National Jewish Book Council Honor Book 1994).

This program is made possible by the generosity of K. Peter & Yvonne Wagner as a part of a series of programs on German-Jewish Cultural Heritage.

B’nai Israel Congregation
6301 Montrose Road
Rockville, MD 20852


 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
7:30 – 9:00 pm
The Tortuous Path of Lithuanian Jewish Relations
Charges of Nazi collaboration, accusations regarding complicity, defensiveness and mutual mistrust appear to be the hallmarks of Lithuanian Jewish relations, but has it always been this way? What are roots of anti-Semitism in Lithuania and how has anti-Semitism waxed, waned and evolved? What is the state of this relationship today and its outlook for the future? These questions and many others will be addressed in the discussion of the progression of Lithuanian Jewish relations.

Dr. Marc N. Ozer, author of The Litvak Legacy

This program is made possible by a generous donation by the Ammerman Foundation in honor of Dorothy G. and Robert H. Rumizen.

Kehilat Shalom Congregation
9915 Apple Ridge Road 
Gaithersburg, MD


Thursday, May 14, 2009
7:30 – 9:00 pm
The Challenge of Translating the Bible
Prof. Robert Alter, Hebrew and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley
Robert Alter is Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at theUniversity of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1967. He is a member of theAmerican Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Council of Scholars of the Library of Congress, and is past president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics. He has twice been a Guggenheim Fellow, has been a Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, and Old Dominion Fellow at Princeton University. He has written widely on the European novel from the eighteenth century to the present, on contemporary American fiction, and on modern Hebrew literature. He has also written extensively on literary aspects of the Bible. His twenty-two published books include two prize-winning volumes on biblical narrative and poetry and award-winning translations of Genesis and of the Five Books of Moses. He has devoted book-length studies to Fielding, Stendhal, and the self-reflexive tradition in the novel. Books by him have been translated into eight different languages. Among his publications over the past fifteen years are Necessary Angels: Tradition and Modernity in Kafka, Benjamin, and Scholem (1991), Genesis: Translation and Commentary (1996), The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel (1999), Canon and Creativity: Modern Writing and the Authority of Scripture (2000). and The Five Book of Moses: A Translation with Commentary (2004), Imagined Cites (2005), and The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary (2007).

Washington DC JCC
16th and Q Street, NW
202-518-9400

This lecture is co-sponsored by Adas Israel Congregation, Washington, DC.


Fall 2008

November 6, 2008
Violence, Peace and the Ethics of Judaism: Ancient Texts and Modern Dilemmas
Prof. Robert Eisen, Director of Judaic Studies, George Washington University
Sixth & I Street Synagogue
600 I Street, NW
November 13, 2008
Yehudah Amichai: Love’s Melancholy and the Poetry of History
Dr. (and Rabbi) William Cutter, Director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism And Health, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles
Sixth & I Street Synagogue
600 I Street, NW
November 20, 2008
War and the Jewish Tradition
Prof. Michael Walzer, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University
Ohr Kodesh Congregation
8300 Meadowbrook Lane
Chevy Chase, Maryland

 


Spring 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Prof. Glenn Dynner, Department of Religion, Sarah Lawrence College
Men of Silk: The Hasidic Conquest of Polish Jewry: The Rise and Evolution of Hasidism

How did Hasidism, an eighteenth century kabbalah-based movement founded on the ideas of R. Israel Ba’al Shem Tov (The Besht), spread so successfully throughout Eastern Europe? Hasidism used to be thought of as a social rebellion that emerged from within the Jewish masses. But new evidence reveals Hasidic leaders as masterful populists who cultivated elites and the common folk alike.

Dr. Dynner received his doctorate in the Department of Near East Studies at Brandeis University. His work has focused on studying and reporting on the Hasidic movement in Europe and around the world. His book Men of Silk: The Hasidic Conquest of Polish Jewry was a finalist for the 2007 National Jewish Book award and won the Koret Foundation Jewish Publication Prize. He has also written a number of entries on Hasidism for the upcoming “Jews in Eastern Europe: The Yivo Encyclopedia,” as well as numerous articles and essays about the rise and influence of Hassidism for such publications as POLIN, A Journal of Polish Jewish Studies, and Jewish Social Studies.

For more information about Dr. Dynner, refer to:
http://pages.slc.edu/~gdynner/curriculum_vitae.pdf.


Thursday, April 3, 2008
Prof. David Ruderman, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania
The Mystical Messiah: Shabbtai Zevi and the Crises of Rabbinic Authority

Shabbtai Zevi was perhaps the most notorious messianic figure in Jewish history. Announcing himself as the savior of the Jewish people in 1665-6, he sent shock waves through the Jewish and non-Jewish worlds with his unexpected conversion to Islam and his apparent repudiation of his Jewish faith.

Dr. Ruderman was educated at the City College of New York, the Teacher’s Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and Columbia University. He received his rabbinical degree from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and his Ph.D. in Jewish History from Hebrew University inJerusalem. Prior to coming to the University of Pennsylvania, he held the Frederick P. Rose Chair of Jewish History at Yale University (1983-94) and the Louis L. Kaplan Chair of Jewish Historical Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park (1974-83), where he was instrumental in establishing both institutions’ Judaic studies programs.

For more information about Dr. Ruderman, refer to:
http://www.history.upenn.edu/faculty/ruderman.shtml.


Thursday, May 15th, 2008
Prof. Lindsay Kaplan, Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University
The Merchant of Venice: Shakespeare's Jews and their Cultural Context

In reading or viewing Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice from our post-Holocaust perspective, the anti-Semitic elements of the play seem blatantly obvious to us. The fact that the play was performed fifty times between 1933 and 1939 in Nazi Germany would seem to settle the question of the play’s view of Jews, but the play is radically out of sync with the contemporary consensus of 15th and 16th century England, indicating that it may be questioning the negative views of Jews it articulates, rather than confirming them.

Dr. Kaplan received her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and her Ph.D. from the University of Californiaat Berkeley. She has taught at Georgetown University since 1993.

Books Dr. Kaplan has written include: Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture: Emerging Subject; The Culture Slander in Early Modern England; and The Merchant of Venice, edited volume.

For more information about Dr. Kaplan, refer to:
http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/kaplanl/.


Thursday, May 22, 2008
Rabbi Michael Berenbaum, Professor of Jewish Studies at the American Jewish University
Has Modern Jewish Thought Recovered From the Shock of the Holocaust?

Dr. Berenbaum’s name is practically synonymous with Holocaust scholarship because of the voluminous amount of scholarly writing, filming and lecturing he has done about the topic. Dr. Berenbaum has also held a number of pivotal positions in organizations designed to perpetuate the memory of the Holocaust and to teach its implications, such as serving asthe President and CEO of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and the Project Director for the creation of the United States Holocaust Museum. He wrote the “guidebook” to the exhibit, The World Must Know.

Dr. Berenbaum is the author and editor of seventeen books, scores of scholarly articles and hundreds of journalistic pieces. He holds a doctorate degree from Florida State University. He has also studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Boston College and Hebrew University.

For more information about Dr. Berenbaum, refer to:
http://www.holocaustmmb.org/Special/MichaelBerenbaumBio.html.


Thursday, May 29, 2008
Professor Naomi Gale, Schusterman Visiting Professor, Center for Israel Studies, AmericanUniversity

The Forgotten Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands

During the upheaval in the Middle East, more than one million Jews from Arab lands became refugees. Unfortunately, those Jews who were expelled were forgotten by the world. Many came to the newly established State of Israel and eventually became integrated into Israeli society. Of the 101 UN resolutions that dealt with refugees in the Middle East, not one mentioned the plight of these communities.

Dr. Gale was born in Baghdad, and she and her family were among the many Jews that left Iraq to go toIsrael, even though her family had lived in Iraq for hundreds of years. Dr. Gale received her doctorate degree in anthropology from the University of Sydney and a law degree from The Inter-Disciplinary Center, Herzliya. She has taught internationally, including courses on Israeli society, history, political behavior, ethnicity, and gender studies. Dr. Gale is the author of Violence against Women: A Normal or Deviant Behavior? and The Sephardim of Sydney: Coping with Political and Social Pressures.

Dr. Gale’s presentation is co-sponsored by the Center for Israel Studies at American University.