As the director of the Center for Jewish Studies, it is my pleasure to welcome Nitzan Gilady, 2018 Silverberg Distinguished Scholar in Residence. Nitzan’s beautiful film Wedding Doll, inaugurated last year’s 10th Annual Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival and was introduced by Professor Jeanine Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies. Professor Gilady will teach an exciting new course CJST 248: Designing Reality in Israeli Documentary which will count towards the Certificate in Jewish and Israel Studies as well as the minor in the Film Department. In addition, he will introduce the recent Israeli Film Scaffolding, the fifth film in this year’s Israeli Film Festival. Please check our website for more information about the Film Festival at http://iff.site.wesleyan.edu/. Professor Gilady will meet with students of the Center for Jewish Studies as well as students in Hebrew classes. He plans to deliver a WESeminar during graduation weekend. The cold weather has not dampened our Israeli visitor’s enthusiasm towards Wesleyan and he looks forwards to meeting our students. Baruch Haba (welcome)!
Mazal Tov to Ruth Nisse, a faculty member in the Center for Jewish Studies, who was promoted to Professor of English. Professor Nisse is a scholar of medieval literature. Her recent book, Jacob’s Shipwreck: Diaspora and Translation in Jewish-Christian Relations in Medieval England (Cornell University Press, 2017), introduces a new approach to ideas of Jewish Diaspora in medieval Western Europe based on an examination of the transmission and reception of Hebrew and Latin post-biblical literature.
Sarah Wildman ’88, an award-winning writer and regular contributor to the New York Times, presented the 36th Annual Samuel and Dorothy Frankel Memorial Lecture on April 5, in the Daniel Family Common at Usdan University Center. The event was sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies and organized by Dalit Katz, director of the center.
Wildman spoke on what she’d learned about the Holocaust in writing Paper Love: Searching for the Girl my Grandfather Left Behind (Riverhead Penguin, 2014).
Our Ninth Annual Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival, which featured five of the best contemporary Israeli films and one hit TV show , has concluded for this year. We had record attendance, stimulating conversations with the audiences, and enjoyed expert guest commentators including the film director and Wesleyan Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Aner Preminger. The films explored important themes such as secularism versus religion, women in the Israeli army, the political situation and aging with dignity. Hebrew students wrote papers in Hebrew and met to converse with speakers in Hebrew. Interaction between the town and gown as well as the experience of watching together and learning from each other contributed to richness and the educational quality of this festival. The general mood is waiting with excitement for next year’s Israeli Film Festival.