From Maccabees to Lenny Bruce: Student Project in Jewish and Israel Studies

On May 4, 2010, Wesleyan students will present their projects in Jewish and Israel Studies.

Three seniors will present their senior thesis research projects:  Peter Gilchrist, Arielle Golden, and Kalen Flynn, their topics range from the history and memory of the Maccabean uprising, the identity of Spanish conversos, and history and memory of the Holocaust.

And five students currently enrolled in the capstone seminar on methods, theories, and models of Jewish Studies (RELI 396)–Emily Evnen’10, Ben Fitzelle’12, Jared Gimbel’11, Ross Shenker’11, and Paul Silverman’13–will showcase their semester-long project that range from masculinity and Zionism, Jewish comedy and humor in the US, Arthur Miller and Jewish identity, and Jewish folklore.

Please join us, refreshments will be served.  May 4, 2010, 4:15 Allbritton 103.

Samuel & Dorothy Frankel Memorial Lecture

On April 22, Darcy Buerkle will be the speaker for the Samuel and Dorothy Frankel Memorial Lecture.  Her talk, “Charlotte Salomon’s Intervention,” is on Charlotte Salomon,  a German-Jewish artist who, between 1941-43, produced an extraordinary series of 769 paintings dealing with her tragic, conflicted family life and her obsessive love life.

Professor Darcy Buerkle teaches in the Department of History at Smith College. Her research focuses on modern European women and gender history with an emphasis on German Jewish visual, intellectual and cultural history.

Usdan 108 (Taylor Meeting Room) at 8pm

Upcoming Events: Talks and Presentation of Student Projects in Jewish Studies

On April 8, 2010, Jewish and Israel Studies program will host two speakers:

Hilit Surowitz: Blood and Identity: Picart’s La Circoncision des Juifs Portugais 4:15 pm, PAC 004

and in conjunction with the Middle Eastern Studies Initiative Speaker Series:

Daniel Monk, THE JEW AND THE TANK: Habit and Habitus in the Historiography of Israel’s Era of Euphoria
8:00 p.m. PAC 001

On Tuesday, May 4, 2010, students will present their research and creative projects in Jewish Studies.
Among presenters will be three COL seniors who will have completed their senior theses, and students currently enrolled in the seminar “Performing Jewish Studies: Methods, Theories, and Models.”
4:15 pm 103 Allbritton Center for Public Life

Please check back in for a full program, but in the meantime mark your calendars:  April 8, 2010 4:15pm and 8pm; and May 4, 2010, 4:15 pm

Middle Eastern Studies Speakers Series

Wesleyan’s new Middle Eastern Studies initiative will bring to campus a number of speakers beginning Tuesday March 23.  Jewish and Israel Studies Program is proud to join this initiative:

Peter Cole
Lecture: Tuesday, March 23, 8:00 p.m. “Translating the Middle East: Where Art and Ethics Meet”
Location: Russell House

Robert Malley
Lecture: Wednesday, March 31, 8:00 p.m. Israel and Palestine: Impasse or New Start?
Location: Chapel

Daniel Monk
Lecture: Thursday, April 8, 8:00 p.m. “THE JEW AND THE TANK: Habit and Habitus in the Historiography of Israel’s Era of Euphoria”
Location: PAC 001

Gary Sick
Lecture: Thursday, April 15, 8:00 p.m. “America and Iran”
Location: Shanklin 107

Stephen Walt
Lecture: Wednesday, April 21, 8:00 p.m. “Continuity You Can Believe In: The Obama Administration’s Foreign Policy after One Year”
Location: ESC 150 – Tishler Hall

Elisheva Carlebach to Lecture on Jewish Time/Christian Time

On Thursday, March 4, Elisheva Carlebach will speak on “Jewish Time/Christian Time: Calendar and Polemic in Early Modern Europe”

Elisheva Carlebach is the Salo Baron Professor of Jewish history at Columbia University.  She is the author of an award-winning book The Pursuit of Heresy: Rabbi Moses Hagiz and the Sabbatian Controversies (Columbia University Press, 1990; 1994) and Divided Souls: Converts from Judaism in Germany, 1500-1750 (Yale University Press, 2001) which was the finalist for the 2001-02 National Jewish Book Award.

The lecture will take place at 4:30 pm in PAC 004.Elisheva-poster

Ring Family Gift Brings Israeli Cinema to Wesleyan

For a number of years thanks to a gift from the Ring Family, contemporary Israeli film (cinema, television, documentaries) has been shown in our biannual  Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival.  The Ring Family’s continuous support and the most recent gift will bring the successful Israeli Film Festival to Wesleyan every year, starting spring 2011.

The support from the Ring Family allows for free admission to the movies for the Wesleyan University community as well as the local public. The mission of the Ring Family Wesleyan University Film Festival has been to explore the richness, diversity, and creativity of Israeli culture as witnessed through the flourishing of contemporary Israeli film.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Dalit Katz, the Ring Family Israeli Film festival brings to Wesleyan not only fascinating Israeli films but also prominent speakers, among them film critics, directors, screenplay writers, producers, and actors.

The film festival enriches not only the broader Wesleyan community but is tightly integrated into the Hebrew curriculum at Wesleyan University, as students have the opportunity to watch films and discuss them in their classes.

The Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival-Spring 2010

This year’s Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival will begin on January 28 with a 2006 film Souvenirs (please see the schedule below).  The festival will continue every Thursday through March 4.

All movies will be screened at the Center for Film Studies, the Goldsmith Family Cinema at 8pm.
Free Admission

(January 28) Souvenirs, 2006
English subtitles
Directors: Shahar Cohen & Halil Efrat
Winner of San Francisco International 2007, Winner of DocAviv 2006, Israeli Academy Award for Best Documentary 2006, Second Audience Choice Award of IDFA 2006.
Shahar, an unemployed film maker, starts a filmed journey in search of his father’s, an 82 years old Yemenite, “souvenirs”, left with local girls during his service in the Jewish Brigade while stationed in Amsterdam during the second War World.  During this charming and funny journey, which starts in Israel and continues through Italy, Germany and ending in Holland with an unexpected discovery, some myths of bravery are questioned with compassion and without the heart break.
Laura Blum, film critic, will talk about Military Affairs: Souvenirs and the Romance of the Jewish Brigade

(February 4) A Matter of Size, 2009
English Subtitles
Directors: Sharon Maymon and Erez Tadmor
entry in 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
A comedy about a “coming out” of overweight people who learn to accept themselves. When Herzl loses his job as a cook and starts working as a dishwasher in a Japanese restaurant, he discovers the world of Sumo wrestling where large people are honored and appreciated. The film is set in the blue-collar Israeli city Ramle.
Speaker: TBA

(February 11) Screening of Two Episodes of the Israeli TV Show Touch Away, 2007
English subtitles
Director: Ron Ninio
An engaging Israeli series which exposes the cultural and religious barriers which Rochele, an orthodox Israeli girl, and Zurik, a Russian secular immigrant, have to face. The cleverly scripted and well cast series has won 7 Israeli Academy Awards for 2007 and has captured the imagination of its audience.
Professor Olga Gershenson will talk about Aliya to the movies: Russian-Israelis on and off screens.

(February 18) My Father, My Lord, 2008
Winner of Tribeca Film Festival 2007 Top Award, Winner of Taormina Film Festival 2007 Best Director.
“God doesn’t watch over those who don’t observe the Torah”, declares Abraham Edelman, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi to his Yeshiva students. Who does God watches over become a test for the Rabbi and his wife during a summer vacation at the Dead Sea with their only son.
Michael Fox, a film  critic, will talk about “Can I Get a Minyan?” Israeli Cinema Finally Gives Religious Jews Their Close Up.

(February 25), Eli and Ben 2009
English Subtitles
Director: Ori Ravid
“ A coming of age drama with a social message, brilliantly made”, Mathan Shiram, Globes daily newspaper
The life of the Yassif family turns upside down when the father, Ben, who is the city architect of Herzelya, is charged with taking bribes. At stake is also the relationship between the father, Ben, and his son Eli who adores his father. The film examines their chaotic relations in light of those stormy days.
Laura Blum will talk about The End of Innocence: Unmasking Identities in Eli & Ben .

(March 4), Noodle, 2007
English Subtitles
Director: Ayelet Menahemi
Montreal World Film Festival Grand Prize of Jury, 10 Nominations for the Israeli Film Academy Award.
The life of Miri, a flight attendant, is totally changed by an abandoned Chinese boy whose migrant-worker mother has been deported from Israel.
Speaker: Isaac Zablocki

Faculty News

On December 10, 2010 at a conference “Jews in Polish Society: Insiders, Outsiders”organized by the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies and the Polish Cultural Institute and held at the Polish Embassy in London, UK, the 22nd volume of the series “Polin” dedicated to the study of Jews in Poland was launched.

The volume, entitled Social and Cultural Boundaries in Pre-Modern Poland, was co-edited by Professors Magda Teter (Wesleyan), Adam Teller (University of Haifa), and Antony Polonsky (Brandeis University).  The section on pre-modern Poland, edited by Teter and Teller, includes twelve essays by prominent scholars of Jewish history, among them Elisheva Carlebach and Moshe Rosman, and also an essay by Professor Teter “‘There should be no love between us and them’: Social Life and the Bounds of Jewish and Canon Law in Early Modern Poland.”

Polin 22The book is now available for sale where books are sold.

Preview of Upcoming Events in the Spring Semester 2010

Jewish and Israel Studies Certificate Program will sponsor a series of events in the Spring Semester, lectures, films, and readings.

The Israeli Film Festival will screen new Israeli films on five consecutive Thursdays between  January 28 and February 25. Among films shown will be: A Matter of Sizel; Touch Away (TV series); My Father, My Lord; Eli and Ben.  All films will be screened at 8pm, Goldsmith Family Cinema.
We are delighted to announce several upcoming lectures:

On February 2, Moshe Rosman will speak on “What’s New in the Study of Hasidism”

Moshe Rosman is the author of a number of groundbreaking books, including Lords’ Jews: Magnate-Jewish Relations in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the 18th Century (Harvard, 1990); The Founder of Hasidism (California UP, 1996); and most recently How Jewish is Jewish History? (Littman, 2007).

On March 4, Elisheva Carlebach will speak on “Jewish Time/Christian Time: Calendar and Polemic in Early Modern Europe”

Elisheva-posterElisheva Carlebach is the Salo Baron Professor of Jewish history at Columbia University.  She is the author of an award-winning book The Pursuit of Heresy :Rabbi Moses Hagiz and the Sabbatian Controversies (Columbia University Press, 1990; 1994) and Divided Souls: Converts from Judaism in Germany, 1500-1750 (Yale University Press, 2001) which was the finalist for the 2001-02 National Jewish Book Award; please check for time and place.

On April 12, Hilit Surowitz will speak on “Blood and Identity: Picart’s La Circoncision des Juifs Portugais,” time and place will be announced.

April 22, Frankel Memorial Lecture.

Other speakers will include Israeli writers and film-makers.  Please check back for details.

Upcoming Films from the Middle East

On behalf of the Committee for Middle Eastern Studies at Wesleyan University, we would like to invite you to the Middle Eastern Film Series, which includes the following films:

Wednesday, November 4, The Band’s Visit, a film from Israel
Wednesday, November 11, The Extras, a film from Syria
Wednesday, November 18, Dunya, a film from Egypt.

All films will be screened at PAC 001 at 7pm. Admission is free.

The first film from Israel, “The Band’s Visit,” is about an Egyptian band that came to Israel to play at the opening of an Arab Cultural Center in a major Israeli city, but by mistake the band arrives at an isolated village where as one of the villagers informs them, “there is no Arab culture, no Israeli culture, no culture at all.”
The film won the official Cannes Festival selection as well as 8 Israeli academy awards. It is 90 minutes with English subtitles.

Next semester the Jewish and Israel Studies Certificate Program will present the Israeli Film Festival, please check for updates here or on the Jewish and Israel Studies Certificate Program’s website for updates.