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.
The Center for Jewish Studies congratulates its students for their academic excellence. Zachary Mauer is the recipient of the Needler Prize for excellence in Judaic Studies and Hebrew. Zach will be graduating this year with the Certificate for Jewish and Israel Studies. He has completed numerous courses in Jewish Studies taught by Wesleyan faculty as well as scholars in residence. In addition, Zachary has completed the Hebrew program and took the additional Advanced Hebrew Tutorial.
Two other seniors have won the Scott Prize for excellence in Hebrew: Isabel Fattal and Jared Fineberg. Both Isabel and Jared have successfully completed the Hebrew program.
On behalf of the Center for Jewish Studies and the Hebrew program, I would like to wish our graduating seniors BEHATZLACHA, good luck, in their new path in life. We will miss their enthusiasm, creativity and commitment but know that they will be as successful in their new chapter in life as much as they were successful in their academic life.
On September 20, the Center for Jewish Studies at Wesleyan University will host an evening with the internationally renowned writer Etgar Keret, a past Visiting Distinguished Professor and a frequent guest of Wesleyan University. The event will take place at the Goldsmith Family Cinema at Wesleyan University (301 Washington Terrace, Middletown, CT) at 8 P.M. The evening will start with a screening of the movie Etgar Keret: What Kind of Animal Are You. The movie will be introduced by Etgar Keret. In addition, Etgar Keret will read from his latest memoir The Seven Good Years. Audience will have the opportunity to engage in conversation with Etgar Keret during the question/answer session. The event is free and open to the public and is part of the annual series Contemporary Israeli Voices organized by Professor Katz, Director of the Center for Jewish Studies.
Please check out Etgar Keret’s interview with Terry Gross regarding The Seven Good Years on Fresh air:
Wesleyan University Israel and Jewish Studies grant recipient student, Joy Feinberg ’19, along with Jamie Marvin ’19 and Sarah McCully ’16 and their professor Kate Birney, assistant professor of classical studies, archaeology and art history and CJST faculty member, contributed to the groundbreaking discovery of the first Philistine cemetery during their excavation in Ashkelon in Israel. The Philistines are known as the archenemy of ancient Israel from the Hebrew Bible and the discovery of the first Philistine cemetery might support the claim that the Philistines were migrants who arrived to the shores of ancient Israel from to lands to the West around the 12th century BCE.
To learn more about this discovery, please check the following link:
The Center for Jewish Studies invites you to the join us for the 2016 Samuel and Dorothy Frankel Memorial Lecture. Deborah Dash Moore, Huetwell Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan and a leading scholar in American Jewish history, will talk about the “The Liberating Lens: Jewish American Photographers Picture the Modern World”. This presentation will take place on Wednesday, March 30th, 8 p.m., Daniel Family Commons, Usdan University Center. Admission is free and all are welcome.