University of Minnesota
Center for Jewish Studies

Center for Jewish Studies

Center for Jewish Studies

About Us

At the Center for Jewish Studies, we are dedicated to exploring the important questions about Jewish history and culture from antiquity to the modern age. Our acclaimed faculty, path-breaking research, expanding undergraduate program, and focus on deepening ties within the University attest to the success and ongoing promise of our mission: to foster a new understanding of Jewish culture and history.

We support the academic study of the historical, cultural, linguistic, ethnic, geographic, and religious diversity of the full range of peoples who identify themselves as Jewish, while fulfilling the educational mission of the liberal arts to promote critical thought, reflection on values, and analysis of sources.


  • The Aleph-bet as an Ontological Basis of Ethics? - Steven B. Katz

    A Conversation with Steven B. Katz

    October 22, 2014
    Nolte Center 125
    11:30 am - 1:00 pm

    Lunch will follow this special event. Please RSVP to Kate
    Gobel (


    (Continue Reading)09/24/14
  • Community Lecture - "The Consuming Temple: Jews, Department Stores and the Consumer Revolution in Germany, 1880-1940"


    A lecture by Paul Lerner

    Sunday, October 26, 2014 @ 7:30 P.M.
    Mount Zion Temple
    1300 Summit Avenue
    Saint Paul, MN 55105

    This event is free and open to the public.

    For many Germans, the phrase "Jewish department store" would have sounded redundant during the late 19th through mid-20th centuries. This phrase triggered a whole range of responses from excitement through a collective unease that expressed itself in morbid, supernatural imagery and (fantasized and real) acts of violence. Drawing on contemporary fiction and drama, political writings, and commercial records, this talk
    links the history of department stores to major themes in European Jewish history. It takes the notion of the department store as a secular temple or a "cathedral of commerce," and ties it into the "Jewishness" of the stores, and broader themes around German experiences with early mass consumption.

    Paul Lerner is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies at USC. He teaches a wide range of courses in European history and specializes in German-Jewish history, the history of the human sciences, and the history and theory of consumer culture. Lerner is the author of Hysterical Men: War, Psychiatry and the Politics of Trauma in Germany, 1880-1930 and co-editor of Traumatic Pasts: History, Psychiatry and Trauma in the Modern Age. The current talk comes from a book that will be published by Cornell in Spring 2015.

    This series is made possible by a generous gift in memory of Julia K. & Harold Segall.

    Co-sponsored by the Department of History; Center for German and European Studies; the Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch; Mount Zion Temple.


    (Continue Reading)09/22/14
  • Community Lecture - Israel and the Palestinians: a Post-Arab Spring Overview of Complicated Relationships

    ido zelkovitz (2)-thumb-612x612-193469-thumb-200x200-193470.jpg

    A lecture by Ido Zelkovitz, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany.

    Wednesday, October 22, 2014 @ 7:30 P.M.
    Temple of Aaron
    616 S Mississippi River Blvd
    St Paul, MN 55116
    This event is free and open to the public

    This lecture will analyze the path that led Israel into the "Protective Edge" operation as a "defensive reaction to Hamas terror," and will shed light on the ramifications of the latest clash for Middle Eastern politics. It will analyze the threats and opportunities to Israel from Palestinian unity and its impact on a peace process.

    Ido Zelkovitz is a research fellow at the Ezri Centre for Iran and the Persian Gulf Studies. He also teaches in the Department of Middle Eastern History at the University of Haifa. Dr. Zelkovitz was a postdoc research fellow in The Institute of Sociology at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany. Dr. Zelkovtiz is also a Member of Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies: an independent think tank that envisions a fresh start for Israel among the nations. His work focuses on cross-disciplinary analysis of Palestinian History and Politics and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Israel's geopolitical situation in the Middle East and the role of High Education and Students in Building National Identities in the Middle East. He is the author of two books and has been published in many respected peer reviewed academic journals such as
    Middle Eastern Studies, History of Education, Israel Affairs, and Ha-Mizrah Ha-Hadash.

    This series is made possible by a generous gift in memory of Julia K. & Harold Segall.

    Co-sponsored by Schusterman Family Foundation; Temple of Aaron


    (Continue Reading)09/10/14


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