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Faculty Seminars 2012-13

Open to faculty and graduate students

The Henry Schwartzman Endowed Faculty Seminar
The Subversive Power of the Funeral March in the Meeting of Music and Politics
Ruth Hacohen, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The Bildner Center, 12 College Avenue


Searching for Faith in the Talmudic Corpus: A Response to the Spanish Expulsion
en Yaaqov book cover
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
The Bildner Center, 12 College Avenue

Dr. Marjorie Lehman, associate professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary, will discuss her book The En Yaaqov: Jacob Ibn Habib’s Search for Faith in the Talmudic Corpus (Wayne State University Press, 2011).

In her book, Dr. Lehman examines the tumultuous period surrounding the origins and development of the En Yaaqov, an early 16th-century collection of Talmudic Aggadah compiled by Ibn Habib, and the En Yaaqov’s journey to the present as one of Judaism’s most enduring texts. She argues that the experiences of Ibn Habib, a Jew exiled from Spain in 1492, prompted him to make decisions not only about how the Talmud should be studied in the name of spiritual restoration, but also about how Jews could survive future expulsions by cultivating a sustainable faithful relationship with God. A portion of her book appeared in Prooftexts (1999) under the title “The Ein Yaakov: A Collection of Aggadah in Transition.”


Reb Zelmele's Courtyard: Mock Ethnography and the Soviet Jewish Imagination
Kaplan cover
Sasha Senderovich, Aresty Visiting Scholar
Tuesday, March 5, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
The Bildner Center, 12 College Avenue

Respondent: Professor Carol J. Avins
Departments of Department of Germanic, Russian, and
East European Languages and Literatures

Soviet Yiddish writer Moyshe Kulbak's interwar novel TheZelmenyaners describes the travails of a Jewish family in Minsk that is torn asunder by the new Soviet reality. Four generations are depicted in riveting and often uproarious detail as they face the profound changes brought on by the demands of the Soviet regime. The resultant intergenerational showdowns, including disputes over the introduction of electricity, radio, and electric trolley, are rendered with humor, pathos, and a finely controlled satiric pen. The seminar will consider the novel in the context of its original serialization in 1929-1935 in the periodical press, and explore the novel's central setting - the courtyard - as a site subject to political, cultural, ethnographic, and literary negotiations of the period.

Messianic Jews and the Growing Challenge of Hybridity in Contemporary Jewish Identity and Culture
Yaakov Ariel, University of North Carolina
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The Bildner Center, 12 College Ave

Respondent: Professor Jeffrey Shandler
Department of Jewish Studies, Rutgers University

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