Foundation for Jewish Studies Speakers

David Stern and Kathryn Hellerstein

David Stern is the Moritz and Josephine Berg Professor of Classical Hebrew Literature at the University of Pennsylvania where he served for many years as Director of the Jewish Studies Program. Educated at Columbia College and Harvard University (Ph.D. 1980), Stern has received numerous awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and others. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research.  

Professor Stern's fields of specialization are classical Jewish literature and religion and the history of the Jewish book. He has written widely on midrash (the Biblical commentaries of the Rabbis), and is the author of eight books as well as a variety of essays and reviews on modern Jewish literature and culture. Dr. Stern is currently working on a book entitled The Jewish Library: Four Jewish Classics and the Jewish Experience which traces the history of the physical forms of the Talmud, the Hebrew Bible, the Prayerbook, and the Passover Haggadah, and the ways in which these forms have shaped the meaning and significance of these classic Jewish books.

Kathryn Hellerstein is Associate Professor of Yiddish at the University of Pennsylvania. Educated at Wellesley and Brandeis (BA), and Stanford (M.A., PhD), she is a poet, literary translator, and scholar of Yiddish poetry and Jewish American literature. Her books include translations of Yiddish poetry: In New York: A Selection of poems by Moyshe-Leyb Halpern, and Paper Bridges: Selected Poems of Kadya Molodowsky. Hellerstein co-edited Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology. Her new books are A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish 1586-1987, and Women Yiddish Poets: An Anthology, both forthcoming from Stanford University Press. Her own poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Poetry, Tikkun, Bridges, Kerem, Gastronomica, The Drunken Boat, and in anthologies—Without a Single Answer, Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality, Reading Ruth, and Common Wealth: Poets on Pennsylvania. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review and The New York Review of Books

Hellerstein has received grants from the NEA, the NEH, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and is currently working on literary history, China Through Yiddish Eyes. She is poetry editor of Kerem and Nashim, and a member of the Authors Guild. 




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