Dalit Katz, Director of the Center for Jewish Studies, served as a juror in the documentary category at the Lighthouse International Film Festival at Long Beach Island in New Jersey. The opening night film was the feature film Skin, directed by the Israeli film maker Guy Nativ who won the Oscar for a short by the same title. After the screening Guy Nativ conducted a Q/A session with the audience. The film festival’s executive director this year is Amir Bogen, the Scholar in Residence at the Center for Jewish Studies in spring 2019.
Ethan Kleinberg, Professor of History and Professor of Letters, received the Class of 1958 Distinguished Professorship, established in 2008.
Ethan Kleinberg joined the Department of History and the College of Letters in 2001 after completing his B.A. at University of California, Berkeley, a Fulbright scholarship in France, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include European intellectual history, critical theory, educational structures, and the philosophy of history. Kleinberg has published three books, most recently Haunting History: For a Deconstructive Approach to the Past (Stanford University Press, 2017). In 2018, he was Professeur Invité at Université Bordeaux Montaigne, and in Summer 2020 he will be the Reinhart Koselleck Guest Professor at Bielefeld University’s Zentrum für Theorien in der historischen Forschung.
The Center for Jewish Studies continues to offer new and innovative courses. Last spring, Yaniv Feller, Assistant Professor of Religion and the Jeremy Zwelling Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies, taught a new student-centered course in which students produced radio discussions podcasts about Religion in the Diaspora. Check out the post below, written by Noa Street-Sachs
On behalf of the Center for Jewish Studies, I am delighted to announce that a committee consisting of Jewish Studies faculty members has chosen Sivan Basha Piatigorsky-Roth’s paper “Need More Love: On Unlikable Self-Representation in The Jewish American Female Autobiographical Comics of Aline Kominsky-Crumb” as the winner of the Best Student Paper in Jewish Studies Award. Members of the committee were impressed by the “nuanced reading of a complex, sensitive, timely matter”.
The award will be presented to Sivan at the Annual Samuel and Dorothy Frankel Memorial lecture on Thursday, April 11 at 8pm at Daniels Family Commons. At that time, a lecture entitled “The Rise and Fall of Salonica, the Jerusalem of the Balkans” will be presented by Professor Devin Naar, the Isaac Alhadeff Professor of Sephardic Studies at the University of Washington.
Rachel Harris, Associate Professor of Israeli Literature and Culture at the University of Illinois and the first scholar in the series Contemporary Israeli Voices, 2019, was recently featured in an interview with the Jewish Ledger regarding her upcoming Wesleyan presentation. Professor Harris’ talk is scheduled for Monday, November 5, 2018 at 8 PM at Russell House. Professor Harris will talk about her recent book Warriors, Witches, Whores: Women in Israeli Cinema.Below please find the link to the interview: http://www.jewishledger.com/2018/09/conversation-rachel-s-harris/
On Thursday, April 12, The Center for Jewish studies hosted author Ruby Namdar as a guest speaker for the Annual Samuel And Dorothy Frankel Memorial lecture. Ruby Namdar’s multi- media presentation entitled The Holy Temple in Jerusalem: A Symbol of Gruesome Glory was based upon his novel The Ruined House which won the Sapir Prize, Israel’s most prestigious literary award and was recently translated into English . The audience consists of the Wesleyan community, guests from the general community, The Book Club at Adath Israel in Middletown, and guests from Wesfest. The Q/A session was especially remarkable as it brought life various point of views from an educated audience. The event was featured at The Jewish Ledger with an interview of Ruby Namdar. You can find this interview at http://www.jewishledger.com/2018/04/conversation-ruby-namdar/
This was the last cultural event of the year and at that time, Director Dalit Katz officially announced Talia Cohen as the winner of the Best Jewish Studies Paper award. The next cultural series Contemporary Israeli Voices will be inaugurated in Fall 2018. Stay tuned: exciting events are coming!
On behalf of the Center for Jewish Studies, I am delighted to announce that a committee consisting of Jewish Studies faculty members has chosen Talia Cohen’s Paper, “She Walks in Beauty Like the…Sabbath? A Musical Message of Jewish Pride,” as the winner of the Best Student Paper in Jewish Studies Award. Members of the committee were impressed by the through research, the textual analysis of Byron’s lyrics and Nathan’s music, as well as the originality of the work. Mazal Tov, Talia!
A certificate of achievement will be presented to Talia during the annual Samuel and Dorothy Frankel Memorial lecture on Thursday, April 12 at 8PM at Russell House.
The 11th Annual Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival was concluded on Thursday, March 8 with the screening of the Women’s Balcony directed by Emil Ben Shimon. The screening coincided with the International Women Day and was dedicated to all women in general and one woman in particular, my mother, Margalit Yehezkeli, Z’l, who exemplified the spirit of love, dedication and wit. The film festival this year featured three Connecticut Premieres. It opened with the Connecticut Premier of The Cakemaker, which was introduced and commented upon by its director, Ofir Raul-Graizer. The festival also featured the film of an Israeli Arab director, Shady Srour, Holy Air which was just featured in the Jerusalem International Film Festival this July. Another powerful film which was screened at the Jerusalem International Film Festival was Scaffolding by director Matan Yair. The other two feature movies screened at this festival were, Past Life by Avi Nesher and A Quiet Heart by Eitan Anner. The film festival was organized, curated and excuted by Dalit Katz, Director of the Center for Jewish Studies. Many thanks to all Hebrew students who worked so hard by integrating all language skills into the Hebrew curriculum and to our loyal audience who come from near and far. I will see you next year at our 12th Annual Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival.
Dalit Katz, Director of CJS at Wesleyan University and Chair of the Film Committee of the Association for Jewish Studies, was featured in the AJS Conference Issue with an article reporting about the AJS Film Committee’s work. The article can be found at
On October 27, The Center for Jewish Studies at Wesleyan University hosted best-selling Israeli writer, Eshkol Nevo, as part of the 15th Annual Series Contemporary Israeli Voices, 2017. During his presentation Three Floors Up: A Tel Aviv Story, Eshkol Nevo read to the audience excerpts from his most recent novel Three Floors Up. The novel was just translated into English and Wesleyan University was the first stop in Nevo’s tour. The audience was surprised to find out that Middletown and one of his fictitious characters, a university professor, was part of the story. All copies were sold and signed by the author. Audience members inquired regarding the author’s successful creative writing workshops in Israel and abroad. The following day, Eshkol Nevo visited Hebrew classes and answered creatively students’ creative questions. The successful visit, the second one (the first one was in 2011), left the audience waiting impatiently to his next visit.