University of Minnesota
Center for Jewish Studies
jwst@umn.edu
612-624-4914


Department of Jewish Studies' home page.

News & Events

Engaging the minds and hearts of the broader community

At the Center for Jewish Studies, we believe that dialogue and the exchange of ideas are essential to expanding the appreciation and understanding of Jewish history and culture. Through a variety of events—including seminars, lectures, and celebrations—we act as a hub for University and community discourse and learning.

Upcoming Events

View all events

 

Recent News

  • 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 (kdgobel@umn.edu.)

    Katz.jpg

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

    035984.jpg

    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.

    PaulLerner_LectureFlyer.pdf

    (Continue Reading)09/22/14
  • Community Lecture - "We're No Angels:" Perfectionism in Rabbinic Judaism

    ChristineHayes.jpg

    A lecture by Christine Hayes, Yale University.

    Thursday, September 18th, 2014 @ 7:30PM
    Beth El Synagogue
    5224 W 26th St,
    Minneapolis, Minnesota 55416
    This event is free and open to the public

    What is the perfection to which humans should aspire? Beginning with the talmudic phrase "The Torah was not given to Ministering Angels" this lecture explores radically diverse ancient Jewish conceptions of the nature of human perfection and whether or not humans can be, or should aspire to be, like angels.

    Christine Hayes is the Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale. A specialist in talmudic-midrashic studies, Hayes offers courses on the literature and history of the biblical and talmudic periods. She is the author of three scholarly books: Between the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds, recipient of the 1997 Salo Baron prize for a first book in Jewish thought and literature; Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities, a 2003 National Jewish Book Award finalist; and a new book on divine law forthcoming from Princeton University Press. She has also authored two introductory volumes (The Emergence of Judaism and Introduction to the Bible) as well as numerous journal articles. Hayes is active in professional and academic organizations, and currently serves as co-editor of the Association for Jewish Studies Review.

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

    Co-sponsored by the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies; the Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World; the Center for Medieval Studies, the Program in Religious Studies; Beth El Synagogue.

    (Continue Reading)09/11/14
  • Campus Colloquium - Divine Law: A Tale of Two Concepts (and three responses)

    ChristineHayes.jpg

    A lecture by Christine Hayes, Yale University.

    Thursday, September 18th, 2014 @ 12:00PM
    201 Nicholson Hall
    216 Pillsbury Drive SE
    Minneapolis, MN 55455

    On what basis is divine law said to be divine? Is it divine because it possesses certain attributes -- universality, truth and static perfection -- that mark it as divine, or because of its origin in a divine will, regardless of its attributes? In late antiquity, two radically distinct conceptions of divine law -- Greek natural law grounded in reason and biblical law grounded in revelation -- confronted one another with a force that reverberates to the present. This lecture explores three ancient Jewish responses to these dueling conceptions of divine law -- responses that would shape western civilization in profound ways.

    Christine Hayes is the Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale. A specialist in talmudic-midrashic studies, Hayes offers courses on the literature and history of the biblical and talmudic periods. She is the author of three scholarly books: Between the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds, recipient of the 1997 Salo Baron prize for a first book in Jewish thought and literature; Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities, a 2003 National Jewish Book Award finalist; and a new book on divine law forthcoming from Princeton University Press. She has also authored two introductory volumes (The Emergence of Judaism and Introduction to the Bible) as well as numerous journal articles. Hayes is active in professional and academic organizations, and currently serves as co-editor of the Association for Jewish Studies Review.

    Co-sponsored by the Department of Classical & Near Eastern Studies, Religious Studies, The Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World, and the Center for Medieval Studies.

    (Continue Reading)09/11/14
  • 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

    IdoZelkovitz_LectureFlyer.pdf

    (Continue Reading)09/10/14

View all news