Past Events




2011-12 Events

A Taste of NEJS

Open House with Kosher Chinese Food
Thursday, October 25
12-1 pm
Lown 315

Preview Spring 2013 Courses
Meet our professors and UDRs


Arabic Movie Night

"The Yacoubian Building", presented by the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies program, with English subtitles

Thursday, October 11

This controversial film is based on the best-selling 2002 novel by Alaa Al Aswany. The Yacoubian—an old luxury apartment in Cairo—stands as a metaphor for modern Egyptian society since the Revolution of 1951. Its flats are inhabited by corrupt or frivolous aristocrats, while its roof has been converted into a makeshift slum for lower-class families. The film traces the interconnected stories of its flawed characters, including: Zaki, an elderly western-educated engineer who spends most of his time chasing women; Taha, a disaffected young man who joins a militant Islamist group after his chosen career path is blocked; and Hagg Muhammad, a wealthy businessman and community leader whose public show of piety conflicts with his private behavior.

A Special Screening of "See You Soon Again"

Meet the director Benadette Wegenstein
Thursday, October 4, 7 pm
Wasserman Cinematheque


Brides and Blemishes:  Queering Women's Disability in the Babylonian Talmud

A guest lecture with Julia Watts Belser, Assistant Professor of Judaism at Missouri State University.

Thursday, October 4
5-6:20 pm
Mandel Humanities Center
Room G12

Julia Watts Belser is Assistant Professor of Judaism in the Religious Studies Department at Missouri State University. She earned her PhD in the Joint Program in Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union. She received her rabbinic ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion, California.  She recently completed her manuscript, Narrative Dialectics: Rabinic Theology and Ecology in Bavli Taanit, and is now working on a new book project: Fashioning Catastrophe: Gender, Sexuality, and Ecology in Talmudic Disaster Tales.  A strong advocate for disability rights and women's health, she co-authored A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities, published by the Hesperian Foundation and distributed to grassroots groups and health workers around the world.

The lecture will be held in Professors Brooten's course NEJS 148b

Click here to access the flyer for this event.


Intentionality and Irony:
The Missed Encounter of Quentin Skinner and Hayden White

Guest Lecture:  Professor Martin Jay (History, UC Berkeley)

Thursday, September 20, 2:00-4:00PM
International Lounge of Usdan

This event is co-sponsored by the History of Ideas Program, the Departments of History and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, the Mandel Center for the Humanities, and the Martin Weiner Fund.


Tauber Colloqium

Tuesday, September 11, 12 - 2 pm
Lown 315 Conference Room


A special screening of "Orchestra of Exiles"

Meet the director Josh Aronson
Thursday, September 20, 7 pm
Wasserman Cinematheque


Brandeis Commencement 2012


The National Center for Jewish Film's 15th Annual Film Festival

Jewish Film 2012

April 18-29
Musuem of Fine Arts, Boston
The Institute of Contemporary Art/BostonWest Newton Cinema

Click here for full details and a complete list of showings.


Stranded:  Soviet Jews' Long Journey into the Free World

With Award-winning writer and filmmaker David Bezmozgis

April 24, 2012
Rapaporte Treasure Hall (Goldfarb Library)

Presented by The Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry

Cosponsored by The Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program, The Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, Russian Studies, Creative Writing, and the Brandeis Russian Club

Supported by the Genesis Philanthropy Group

What Do Men Want? Orthodox Men in an Egalitarian World

 Monday, April 16, 2012
Liberman-Miller Lecture Hall, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

Family, Memory, and Story: Faye Moskowitz's "And the Bridge is Love"

Faye Moskowitz reads from a new HBI/Feminist Press republication of "And the Bridge is Love" and reflects on the link between life and literature.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
 Liberman-Miller Lecture Hall, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Please

Holocaust and History: Making Meaning from Jewish Catastrophe

A conversation with Yehuda Kurtzer, author of "Shuva: The Future of the Jewish Past"

Thursday, April 19, 2012  

Yiddish Song Party Zingeray & Chometz-Freseray!

Wednesday, April 4

Special guests: members of 'Deistkeit, Brandeis' hottest klezmer band

A Taste of NEJS : Open House

Thursday, March 29th

Preview Fall 2012 Courses!

Meet the Professors and UDRs

Kosher Chinese Food! (Taam China)

View the event flyer (pdf).


Middle East Film Series All Screenings to be shown in Shiffman 219

All are welcome!  

Paradise Now
Thursday, March 29

A thriller that tells the story of two young Palestinian suicide bombers

Shown as part of Professor Kanan Makiya's courses:
IMES 105a War and Revolution in the Middle East
NEJS197b Political Cultures of the Middle East

Judaizing Aesthetics: Painting, Poetry, Politics

Professor David NirenbergNirenberg
Committee on Social Thought
Department of History, University of Chicago

March 19, 4 p.m.
Lecture One: "Art's Struggle with Judaism, from the Golden Calf to Varavaggio"
MCH G3, Mandel Auditorium

March 19, 6-7: 30 p.m.
Public Reception

March 20, 12:30-2 p.m.
Lunch Seminar

March 21, 4 p.m.
Lecture Two:
"Why 'Every Poet is a Jew"

March 22, 4 p.m.
Lecture Three:
"Sovereignty of the Spirit, or Sovereignty of the Flesh?"

View the event flyer (pdf).

Sponsored by a gift from the Mandel Foundation. 

49th Annual Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture

Rawidowicz image

With Professor Israeli Yuval of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem 

Wednesday, March 28

Sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, the Tauber Institute for the Study of the European Jewry, and the Mandel Center for the Humanities.

View the event flyer (pdf).

Disrupting the Script:
Raising to Legal Consciousness Sexual Assaults on Black Women

Convened by Anita F. Hill and Bernadette J. Brooten
Monday, March 19, 2012

Sponsored by the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project
Funded by the Ford Foundation

How Speaking Hebrew Helps You Get a JOB!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Click here to view a flyer from the event

Guest Lecturer:  Hasia Diner

Monday, February 27, 2012

 Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History at New York University

Lecture:  "Roads Taken:  Jewish Peddlers and the Great Jewish Migration of the Modern Era"

Sponsored by The Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry


'DEIS Impact
How We Work to Make the World Better and You Can Too

February 9, 2012 (Thursday)

Lisa Exler, Jordan Fruchtman, Nahma Nadich, Joy Sisisky, four amazing Brandeis alumni involved in cutting-edge, Jewish-sponsored social justice organizations join Professor Jonathan D. Sarna for a discussion of what they do and why they do it. Learn how Brandeis helped to shape these leaders, and how you can join them. Bring your curiosity and your questions!

Click here to view flyer.

Sponsored by the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program; International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life; Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department; and the Hiatt Career Center

"Two- Hundred Neo-Babylonian Legal Texts from Judeans in EMagdalenexile and What They Say about Biblical Law"

A lecture by F. Rachel Magdalene, M.Div., J.D., Ph.D. of Leipzig University and author of "On the Scales of Righteousness: Neo-Babylonian Trial Law and the Book of Job"

February 9, 2012 (Thursday)

  Click here to view flyer. 

'DEIS ImpactDEIS Impact
Exploring Social Justice on Campus and Around the World

February 5-10, 2012
Free and Open to the Public

Click here for full details and pictures of the week's events.

Dissertation Defense

David E. Bokovsky will defend his dissertation, entitled "Yahweh as Sexual Deity in J's Prehistory".

February 23, 2012  

Click here to view flyer.

Committee: David Wright, Marc Brettler, Tzvi Abusch and Michael Coogan (Stonehill College)

'DEIS Impact
The Pursuit of Justice in the Abrahamic Faiths

'DEIS Impact KimelmanFebruary 7, 2012 (Tuesday)

A Conversation Between:

NEJS Professors
Bernadette Brooten
Joseph Lumbard
Reuven Kimelman

Brandeis Interfaith Chaplaincy Spiritual Leaders
Father Walter Cuenin
Dr. Imam Talal Eid
Alex Levering Kern
Rabbi Elyse Winick

- What do the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scriptures say about social justice?
- How do those concepts play out in the contemporary world?
- Hear three NEJS professors and chaplains in conversation

Click here to view flyer.

Sponsored by the Brandeis Interfaith Chaplaincy; International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life; Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department

Tauber Colloqium
Jewish Biblical Scholarship, 1750-Present

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012
A light lunch will be served

Marc Brettler, Brandeis University
Edward Breuer, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

This colloquium provides a critical forum for graduate students and faculty to present and discuss works-in-progress, thereby fostering an interdisciplinary intellectual community in all areas of modern Jewish studies. In each session participants will discuss a paper presented by faculty or graduate students from Brandeis and other institutions. The presenter will begin with a brief overview (5-10 minutes) of the work, and the rest of the session will be open to questions and answers.
Download paper and background material for the lecture.

For more information on the Jewish Studies Colloquia, click here.

"The Jewish Annotated New Testament" Discussion and Book Signing


Brettler faceMarc Brettler
Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University

Amy-Jill Levine
University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School

Thursday, December 8, 2011 

Click here to view a slideshow of the event.

"It is not often that a bunch of professors’ scholarly work on an ancient religious text shoots past the thrillers, diet fads and self-improvement books that dominate the rapidly changing best-sellers list ... The book peaked at number 31 of Amazon’s top 100 in all categories, and while it then settled back a bit it was still number one yesterday in both the “Bible and Other Sacred Texts” and “Christian Reference” categories. It also was the subject of a feature story last weekend in the New York Times."  

-Brandeis Now <more>

"This volume is thus for anybody interested in a Bible more attuned to Jewish sources. But it is of special interest to Jews who 'may believe that any annotated New Testament is aimed at persuasion, if not conversion,' Drs. Levine and Brettler write in their preface. 'This volume, edited and written by Jewish scholars, should not raise that suspicion.'"

-New York Times <more>


Sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Program in Religious Studies, Graduate Programs in Coexistence and Conflict at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and the Slifka Foundation, Interfaith Chaplaincy at Brandeis University, Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College, Adult Learning program of Hebrew College and Combined Jewish Philanthropies' Commission on Jewish Life and Learning.

The History of Yiddish and its Dialects

December 1, 2011

This lecture was given by David Braun, a Yiddish linguist who has taught Yiddish language and linguistics at Harvard University, Hebrew University and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

The lecturer spoke to students inYiddish 10, but the talk was open to all.

Revisiting Sexuality and Traditional Jewish Observancekabakov book

Monday, Nov. 28, 2011

  Given in NEJS 156b
A Philosophical Introduction to Judaism with Professor Jon Levisohn


Sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies with the support of the Martin Weiner Fund

Nahum N. Glatzer and the German-Jewish TraditionGlatzer Flyer

Film Screening
Free and open to the public
North American Premiere

Introduction:  Director Judith Glatzer Wechsler

Panel Discussion with Wechsler and Brandeis Professor Jonathan Sarna

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

<flyer (pdf)

(Sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, with the support of the Martin Weiner Fund, The National Center for Jewish Film, and the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry.)

Art of Klezmer and Yiddish Song

A Concert, Lecture and Dance, Featuring Hankus Netsky, Michael Alpert, members of the Klezmer Conservatory Band and students from the New England Conservatory.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 

<flyer (pdf)

(Co-Sponsored by The Department of Music at Brandeis University, The Tauber Institut for the Study of European Jewry
The Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies,
The National Center for Jewish Film, The Goethe Institut Boston
The Yiddish Committee of Boston Workmen's Circle The German Embassy in Washington, D.C.)

Biegansky: The Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture with Danusha Goska

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011

  Click here to read Dr. Goska's description of the event.

(Sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies with the support of the Martin Weiner Fund)

Govrin and Szobel

Transmission on Memory and Fiction
Michal Govrin, Israeli author

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011

(Co-sponsored by The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, the Hadassah Brandeis Institute, the Hebrew Language program, the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies with the support of the Martin Weiner Fund.)

NEJS Undergrad Open House and 2012 Spring Course Forecast

Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011

 Meet NEJS faculty!
Refreshments from Taam China !

Click here to view pictures from the open house.

Love Outside the Fold:
A History of Intermarried Jewish Men

Lecture by Dr. Keren R. McGinity
Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

Oct. 6, 2011

Held in Professor Sarna's NEJS 164a, Judaism Confronts America

"Measure Their History"

Antony Polonsky's
The Jews in Poland and Russia

Sept. 19, 2011

Symposium at Brandeis University

3:00 - 5:00 pm Panel Discussion
5:30 - 6:30 pm Dinner Break
6:45 pm Keynote by Ruth Franklin

Click here for pictures from the Bible and Ancient Near East (BANE) picnic this past Summer.