Lost Archives, Sacrosanct Wastebins and the Jewish Communities of the Medieval Islamicate World (Cosponsored Event)

Marina Rustow (Princeton University)   Averroës Lecture Series   Sponsored by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies Cosponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies

Anatomy of a Genocide: A Case Study in Mass Murder

For more than four hundred years, the Eastern European border town of Buczacz – today part of Ukraine – was home to a highly diverse citizenry. It was here that Poles, Ukrainian, and Jews all lived side by side in relative harmony. Then came World War II, and three years later the entire Jewish population […]

Does Jewish Biblical Scholarship Exist: A Historical Perspective

How and when did Jewish scholars enter into the mainstream of biblical scholarship? What religious and other constraints prevented them from entering the mainstream until the second half of the twentieth century? And once they entered, did they produce a body of distinctive Jewish biblical scholarship? Marc Brettler is the Bernice and Morton Lerner Professor […]

Through the Female Gaze: Men in the Book of Genesis

While the bulk of biblical scholarship on the book of Genesis had been conducted by men and about men, more recent works have used feminist approaches to center the female characters in Genesis from numerous perspectives, enhancing our understanding of how the women in Genesis function. In light of these new works, this talk will […]

Modernity in the Eastern Sephardi Diaspora: The Jews of Late Ottoman Izmir

This lecture will tell the story of a long overlooked Ottoman Jewish community in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Drawing extensively on a rich body of previously untapped Ladino archival material, the lecture will also offer a new read on Jewish modernity. Across Europe, Jews were often confronted with the notion that their […]

From Enoch to Daniel: Reimagining the Past in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls

Since the late 1940s, the approximately 1,000 manuscripts discovered in caves alongside the Dead Sea – popularly called the Dead Sea Scrolls – have been reshaping in significant ways study of the Bible and ancient Judaism. Often left out of discussions about the scrolls are the approximately 30 Jewish literary works written in Aramaic. This […]

Wanderings: Music Crossing Boundaries (Cosponsored Event)

Join us for a unique Jewish music festival exploring cross-cultural interactions in the United States and around the world. Attendees will be taken on a musical journey that includes the UCLA Marching Band, the renowned Jewish bluegrass ensemble Nefesh Mountain, and the LA based Jewish music ensembles of Chloé Pourmorady (New Persian Jewish Music) and […]

The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators

When it comes to historical violence and contemporary inequality, none of us are completely innocent. We may not be direct agents of harm, but we may still contribute to, inhabit, or benefit from regimes of domination that we neither set up nor control. Arguing that the familiar categories of victim, perpetrator, and bystander do not […]

The Italian Executioners: Italy and the Holocaust, 1943-45

Almost 8,000 Jews were deported from Italy during the Holocaust and killed in Auschwitz. About half of them were arrested by Italians: members of the fascist party, police and military forces. Informing was widespread, often motivated by greed and turning in next-door neigbours. In the postwar period the role of Italians in the genocide fell […]

“I grow old… I grow old…”: Yankev Glatshteyn, T.S. Eliot, and the Yiddish Poetics of Old Age

The following presentation asks: What does it mean to grow old in Yiddish literature? To answer the question, I turn my attention to the work of the American Yiddish modernist Yankev Glatshteyn. Senescence functions across his early work as both a literary topos and aesthetic tool. Writing “long sheets of gray hair and deep wrinkles,” […]

Ottoman Legacies, Émigré Culture, and Linguistic Crossroads (Cosponsored Event)

The ucLADINO symposium features Sephardic literature, language, community, and music. Ladino, also known as Judeo-Spanish, is the native tongue of Jews with roots in medieval Iberia. Because programs like this symposia are few and far between, UcLadino is happy to cultivate a time and space devoted to this overlooked area of study. ucLADINO 9th Annual […]

Jerusalem: City of the Book

What might it look like to see Jerusalem, with its cross-hatched encounters between people of diverse faiths and cultures, as a city of the book? Is it possible to use libraries and texts to catch the city’s tragedy and its magnificence, to tell the story of a place where some of the world’s most far-reaching […]

Israel through a Colored Lens: African-American Perspectives on Mizrahi Israelis

This talk explores African-American interactions with Middle Eastern Jewish Israelis in the 1950s and 1960s. The focus will be on how African-Americans navigated racial constructs in Israeli society as well as an exploration of their observations on racial dynamics in Israel. I center the travel writings of scholar and social worker Ida B. Jiggetts, who […]

The Blood Libel in Modern Eastern Europe: A Social History

Through new archival research and a close reading of the Yiddish press, this talk will explore the metamorphosis of the centuries-old false allegation that Jews murder children for ritual purposes in modern Eastern Europe. Ritual murder accusations in modern society (which involved the intervention of local and central authorities, police investigations and trials) can be […]

‘If I Embarrass You, Tell Your Friends’: Jews Making Trouble, Jews Making Comedy

American Jewish historian Tony Michels joins in conversation with practitioners and critics of comedy, including Jessica Chaffin, Jena Friedman, Michaela Watkins, to discuss the outsized role that Jewish women have played as path-breaking writers and performers. Together, the group will reflect on how comedy has changed in recent years, and what labels such as “Jewish […]

The Finger of the Scribe: How Scribes Learned to Write the Bible

One of the enduring problems in biblical studies is how the Bible came to be written. Clearly, scribes were involved. But our knowledge of scribal training in ancient Israel is limited. William Schniedewind explores the unexpected cache of inscriptions discovered at a remote, Iron Age military post called Kuntillet ‘Ajrud to reconstruct how scribes were […]

The Question Concerning Perpetrators

The term perpetrator is an ‘essentially contested concept;’ the field of its contestation is perpetrator studies. The recent turn to the perpetrator poses fundamental challenges to the adjacent field of memory studies, which has been largely informed by the figures of the victim and the witness. In this talk I will explore how thinking about […]

Now Is Always the Time

For this seminar, I will use Now!, the 1965 short film by Cuban filmmaker Santiago Álvarez, as a prompt to imagine new Jewish political and cultural alliances in the 21st century. Álvarez’s film consists of photographs and newsreel footage related to the African-American freedom struggle, all set to Lena Horne’s recording of “Now!,” a song […]

Jewish Listening: A Reckoning

In his public lecture, “Jewish Listening: A Reckoning,” Professor Kun explores what it means to listen “as a Jew” in the context of contemporary debates across Israel and Palestine, reflecting on his own life as a listener and his earlier writings on the history of Jewish-American music. Josh Kun is Director of the USC Annenberg […]

To Tell the Truth: Jewishness and the Documentary Art

Join leading documentarians Roberta Goldman, Judith Helfand, and Amy Ziering in public dialogue with curator, producer, and strategist Caroline Libresco. Our panelists will discuss the role of Jewish culture, politics, and identity as engines and subject of documentary films. Together, we will ask; to what extend does a Jewish vision, Jewish values, and/or Jewish identify […]

Israel and the American Jewish Community: The State of the Relationship

Isaac Herzog, Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel, will present the inaugural Harry C. Sigman Distinguished Lecture in Israel Studies, followed by a conversation with Professor Dov Waxman, Director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies.