07ViterbiAndrewThe Viterbi Family Program in Mediterranean Jewish Studies

The Viterbi Family Program in Mediterranean Jewish Studies is the first of its kind at a university.  Endowed by Erna and Andrew Viterbi and their children, the program builds on a trend in historical studies to look beyond traditional political boundaries in order to understand transnational commercial and intellectual connections between different groups of people.  The Viterbi program brings an emerging or a distinguished scholar to campus for one or more quarters of instruction.  The endowment also funds quarterly seminars on Jewish communities in Italy, France, Spain, the Balkans, North Africa, Egypt or Israel. We are grateful to the Viterbi family for their vision in establishing The Viterbi Family Program in Mediterranean Jewish Studies and are deeply honored that they chose the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies as the Program’s home.

Viterbi Visiting Professorship in Mediterranean Jewish Studies

Viterbi Visiting Professors

2018-2019: Liran Yadgar

2016-2017: Daniel Stein Kokin

2013-2014: Guri Schwarz

2011-2012: Andrew Berns

2009-2010: Sergio DellaPergola

2008-2009: Federica Francesconi

2007-2008: Robert Bonfil

2006-2007: Fabrizio Lelli

Viterbi Program in Mediterranean Jewish Studies Event 2019-2020

Peter Cole

Back to the Future of al-Andalus: A Poetry Reading and Conversation

Peter Cole (Yale)

October 29, 2019

MacArthur-winning poet and translator Peter Cole will read from his work and talk about the origins and legacy of the hybrid Hebrew poetry of Muslim Spain. Moving between eleventh-century Iberia and twenty-first century Jerusalem and America, Cole will take us into the heart of one of the most vital periods of Jewish literary history, as he discusses its relevance for writers and readers today. Cole has been called “an inspired writer” (the Nation) and “one of the most vital poets of his generation” (Harold Bloom). He is the author of five books of poems—most recently Hymns & Qualms: New and Selected Poems and Translations (FSG, 2017)—and many volumes of translation from Hebrew and Arabic, medieval and modern. His many honors include an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Jewish National Book Award, and the PEN Prize in Translation. He divides his time between Jerusalem and New Haven, where he teaches at Yale each spring.

Simon Levis Sullam

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

Simon Levis Sullam (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)

March 10, 2020

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 mostly into oblivion.