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Now displaying: Category: haberman distinguished scholar series

Welcome to The Foundation for Jewish Studies' Podcast. Please visit our website to learn about upcoming events and donate to support our programs and this podcast. We invite you to join our mailing list and subscribe to our blog. Enjoy the lectures!

 
May 3, 2011

Speaker: Douglas J. Feith, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, where he heads the Center for National Security Strategies

Location: B'nai Israel Congregation; Rockville, MD

There are few men or women who are remembered, let alone honored, 70 years after they’ve died. But we do remember Vladimir “Ze’ev” Jabotinsky – and for good reason. Or, I should say, for good reasons. First, he played an instrumental role in the success of a great cause -- the reconstitution of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. Second, in addition to his remarkable accomplishments, he was a man of remarkable character and ideas. And third, Jabotinsky’s thoughts on the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine are not merely of historical interest; they contain insights applicable today.

Also cosponsored by Ohr Kodesh Congregation as part of its Pledge 30 program

Apr 12, 2011

Speaker: Prof. Faye Moskowtiz, Professor of English at The George Washington University in Washington, DC

Location: Washington Hebrew Congregation; Washington, DC

Professor Faye Moskowitz as discussed the state of contemporary Jewish American Literature. What is happening to the narrative now that the last of the Holocaust witnesses are dying and divisive opinions on the state of Israel rock Jewish and American societies? Why are so many Jewish writers reaching back to a history they never experienced personally? Should writers like Jonathan Franzen and Peter Manseau who appropriate the Jewish experience be called "Jewish writers," and conversely, why do so many Jewish American writers disdain the label? Can anyone replace the generation of giants that includes Bellow, Roth, Malamud, Ozick, and Salinger?

Apr 5, 2011

Speaker: Prof. Fred Lazin, Professor of Local Government at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at American University

Location: B'nai Israel Congregation; Rockville, MD

This session began with an examination of the social vision for Israel as first laid out by David Ben Gurion and then compared it with what Israeli society looks like today. Dr. Lazin examined many identity forces, with special emphasis on the role of religion, religious political parties, and the quest for religious pluralism.

Also co-sponsored by American Associates Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Mar 29, 2011

Speaker: Prof. Fred Lazin, Professor of Local Government at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at American University

Location: B'nai Israel Congregation; Rockville, MD

President Harry Truman famously became the first head of state to recognize the new State of Israel in 1948, but the attitude of subsequent administrations to Israel was far from clear cut. This session examined the causes of changes in the relationship over time, up to and including the elections of President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu. It also explored the impact of groups like AIPAC, both from the American and Israeli perspectives.

Also co-sponsored by American Associates Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Mar 22, 2011

Speaker: Prof. Fred Lazin, Professor of Local Government at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at American University

Location: B'nai Israel Congregation; Rockville, MD

This session explored the major conflicts that ignite passions in the Middle East, only one of which is the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Others include the interests of the great powers for influence and hegemony, conflicts both within and between the major religions, and issues of national identity and pride.

Also co-sponsored by American Associates Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Mar 15, 2011

Speaker: Dr. Samuel Heilman, Harold Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies at the Graduate Center and is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Queens College of the City University of New York

Location: Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue; Washington, DC

This lecture discussed a worldwide movement of Jewish Outreach and the Rebbe who sent them on their mission. It is a story of personal change and an effort to make sense out of history, a story of transformation and how a sect of Hasidim could make themselves and their leader into a force that could make claims about their ability to control history and Jewish destiny.

Also cosponsored by the Georgetown University Program for Jewish Civilization

Mar 1, 2011

Speaker: Prof. Calvin Goldscheider, Ungerleider Professor Emeritus of Judaic Studies and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Location: Sixth & I Historic Synagogue; Washington, DC

The Mishnah is a third century set of Jewish texts consisting of 63 volumes organized around an imagined and constructed community. It is sub-divided into several themes that form the basis of understanding Rabbinic Judaism. Assuming that we have only the Mishnaic text as our source of evidence, we ask, what emerges inductively from the text that informs us about the Mishnaic notion of community? It is a social science question asked not of contemporary societies but of canonized texts in the Judaic tradition for a world that is past. By studying the Mishnah, we are able to clarify how society is conceptualized in the Mishnah and in the process gain some new insights into the Mishnah itself.

In this lecture Professor Goldscheider illustrated this approach by highlighting several critical social themes portrayed in the Mishnah: (1) Inequality and exclusion--Does the Mishnah have a utopian ideal of a classless Jewish society? How does the Mishnah characterize the relationship to Non-Jews? (2) Family and gender--What types of family relationships emerge in the Mishnah and how are family transitions described? How are the roles of men and women, boys and girls, differentiated in the Mishnah? (3) Holidays and rituals--How do holidays and religious rituals convey the meanings of Judaism in the Mishnah?

Also cosponsored by the Georgetown University Program for Jewish Civilization

Nov 30, 2010

Speaker: Dr. Jacques Berlinerblau, Associate Professor and Director of the Program for Jewish Civilization at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University

Location: Adas Israel Congregation; Washington, DC

What is "Secular Judaism?" The term "secular Jew" is used by those who claim to be secular Jews and those who see secular Jews as part of a malaise afflicting Judaism. But what is it and why does there seem to be an affinity between secularism and the deeply held beliefs of the American Jewish community? Dr. Berlinerblau will look at the history of Judaism with an eye towards understanding the factors which may predispose Jews to become the secular people par excellence.

Oct 26, 2010

Speaker: Rabbi Arthur Green, Professor and Rector of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College

Location: Temple Shalom; Chevy Chase, MD

Rabbi Green will seek to ask how one who accepts the evidence of Darwinism, in its broadest sense, may still speak in religious terms about the natural universe and its evolution.

Oct 12, 2010

Speaker: Dr. Michael Brenner, Chair of Jewish History and Culture at the University of Munich in Germany

Location: Georgetown University; Washington, DC

Professor Michael Brenner examines in depth how modern Jewish historians have interpreted Jewish history, beginning with nineteenth-century Germany. History proved to be a uniquely powerful weapon for modern Jewish scholars during a period when they had no nation or army to fight for their ideological and political objectives, whether the goal was Jewish emancipation, diasporic autonomy or the creation of a Jewish state.

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