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Monday, April 20

Film and Lecture; Above and Beyond

In 1948, a group of Jewish American pilots smuggled planes out of the United States. As members of Machal – "volunteers from abroad" – this ragtag band of brothers not only turned the tide of the war; they also embarked on personal journeys of discovery and renewed Jewish pride.



Tuesday, April 21

PhD Dissertation Defense - Bronson Brown-deVost

Bronson defended his dissertation entitled "Commentary and Authority in Mesopotamia and Qumran."


Tuesday, April 21

Professor Sidnie White Crawford, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, lectured on "The Text of the Torah as Found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.”



Tuesday, April 21

Farewell to Professor Marc Brettler!

After more than 3 decades, Marc Brettler, Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies, is leaving Brandeis University.  We celebrated his devoted service, prolific scholarship, and years of teaching excellence as he departs.


Wednesday, April 15

In honor of Pride Month and Yom HaShoah,  the documentary "Paragraph 175" will be shown tonite.  The title refers to the old German penal code concerning homosexuality, which was used to justify the prosecution of gay men during the war (the code ignored lesbians).  Over 100,000 were arrested and between 10,000 and 15,000 were sent to concentration camps.  For more information on the film, check out the New York Times review.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Shalem.


Wednesday, April 15

Open Office Hours with the NEJS UDRs.

Come talk to Sara Fried, Hannah Kober, Ellie Rosenthal or Ethan Stein about any questions about pre-registration or NEJS courses!


Wednesday, April 15

Emily Sigalow will be defending her dissertation entitled "The JUBUs:  The Encounter between Judaism and Buddhism in America"

All are welcome!


Thursday, April 14

NEJS Open House

Come meet our faculty and learn about Fall 2015 course offerings!


Thursday, April 2

Guest lecture with Dr. Karen R. McGinity speaking on "Married Out Yet Still Jewish:  Intermarriage, Gender, and American History."


Tuesday, March 31st

Reception for Antony Polonsky

A retirement reception to thank Professor Antony Polonsky for his many years of service to Brandeis University. Sponsored by the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

Monday, March 30th

What Isn't Jewish Comics?

Lecture by A. David Lewis, PhD

A. David Lewis is a national lecturer and writer on Comics Studies, a Faculty Associate at MCPHS University, and an award-winning graphic novelist. Learn more about his research and publications at


Thursday, March 12

The Jew in the Lotus?  A Panel Discussion about Jewish and Buddhist Meditation

Panelists Emily Sigalow, PhD Candidate, Sociology and NEJS

Sheila Katz, Co-founder, Nishmat Hayyim, Jewish Meditation Center

Dan Litrownik, Meditator, Insight Meditation


Friday, March 6
brown bag lunch-&-learn
Professor Jonathan D. Sarna in Conversation with Rabbi R. Karpov

A special conversation between Professor Jonathan Sarna and Rabbi Karpov about her literary rabbinic scholarship, Kabbalistic and ceremonial text translations, Native American Church experiences, Jewish mysticism, writing, literature, teaching, and much more!  All are welcome!

Tuesday, February 3

Lecture by Laura Jockusch
Martin Buber Society Fellow in Jewish History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Laura Jockusch is Martin Buber Society Fellow in Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and teaches in the International M.A. Program in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa. She is a historian specializing in the social, cultural, and political history of European Jews in the Holocaust and postwar periods. In 2007, she received her Ph.D. from New York University with a thesis on the beginnings of Holocaust research by Jews and from a Jewish perspective in the aftermath of World War II.


Tuesday, January 13

Lecture by Gavriel Rosenfeld Professor of History, Fairfield University
Probing the limits of Speculation: Counterfactualism and the Holocaust

Gavriel D. Rosenfeld is Professor of History and Director of the Undergraduate Program in Judaic Studies at Fairfield University. He received his B.A. in History and Judaic Studies from Brown University in 1989 and his Ph.D. in History from UCLA in 1996. His area of specialization is the history and memory of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust


Lecture by Professor Brettler: Jewish Life and Jewish Studies at Brandeis: Past, Present and Future (Marc Brettler's Deuteronom

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

8:30 pm
Mandel G12

Come hear Professor Brettler speak about Jewish Life and Jewish Studies over the course of his career at Brandeis as well as looking towards the future. Refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by Hillel at Brandeis



NEJS Open House and Spring Course Forecast

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
12:30 - 1:30 
Lown 315

Come preview the spring 2015 courses and meet our professors and UDRs. Kosher Chinese food will be served!

Sponsored by the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.



Welcome Reception/Orientation! 
Graduate Students & NEJS Faculty!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Lown 315

We welcome the new class of NEJS graduate students!  Refreshments will be served. 

Book Launch!

Thursday, May 1, 2014
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Mandel Center for the Humanities Atrium

Professor Yehuda Mirsky will be launching his new book:

Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution


Cooking in Hebrew

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
5:15 p.m.
Ridgewood C110

Come cook in Hebrew!
Space is limited, so please RSVP to Ethan Stein (

Sponsored by the Hebrew Program!


Yiddish Songs Composed in the
Łódź Ghetto

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall

Sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, The Center for German and European Studies, The Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, and The Office of the President. This program will be curated by Susanne Klingenstein with Sophie Michaux (mezzo soprano), Elias Rosemberg (tenor), Jeremiah Klarman (piano), Temple Emanuel Choir, and Eugenia Gerstein (conductor, piano).


NEJS Open House and Fall Course Forecast

Thursday, April 3, 2014
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Lown 315

Come preview the fall 2014 courses and meet our professors and UDRs. Kosher Chinese food will be served!



Goitein in Perspective
International Symposium

Monday, March 31, 2014 - Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Mandel Center for the Humanities, Room 303

This symposium seeks to understand the life and work of the towering figure S.D. Goitein-- scholar of Islamic Studies, Jewish Social History, the Cairo Geniza, and the medieval mediterranean--from intellectual and biographical perspectives. Conveners: Jonathan Decter, Brandeis University and Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College.

Sponsored in part by the Valya and Robert Shapiro Endowment.


Film Screening: The Last of the Unjust

New England Premiere

Sunday, March 30, 2014
3:30 p.m.West Newton Cinema
1296 Washington St. Newton, Ma

Click here for more information

Sponsored by the National Center for Jewish Film


Savyon Liebrecht

Award-Winning Israeli Author and Playwright

Thursday, March 27, 2014
7:00 p.m.
Laurie Theater, Spingold

Click here for more information


Jewish Marriage and Family in Nineteenth-Century Italy

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Lown 314

A Breakfast Colloquium with Carlotta Ferrara degli Uberti



Lecture By Adam Anderson

Monday, March 17, 2014
5:00 p.m. - 6:20 p.m.
Lown 315

Adam Anderson is currently a graduate student at Harvard University. He is currently working on his Ph.D. dissertation about Old Assyrian Social Networks. The lecture will discuss the usage of modern social networking tools (think Facebook and LinkedIn) on the corpus of Old Assyrian letters. He is working with about 8,000 letters and the corpus itself numbers over 15,000.


>Check out a short video about what Adam does!


PhD Dissertation Defense
Eric Fleisch

Monday, March 17, 2014
10:00 a.m.
Schusterman Center
Mandel Center For the Humanities

Eric will be defending his dissertation entitled "Israeli NGOs and American Jewish Donors: The Structures and Dynamics of Power Sharing in a New Philanthropic Era"

All are welcome!
NEJS Coffeehouse!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Feldberg Lounge
Hassenfeld Conference Center
Light refreshments will be served

Come here students, faculty and staff perform at the NEJS Coffeehouse! Brought to you by the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Judaic Studies UDRs.




Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the RoofLecture By Alisa Solomon

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall
Goldfarb Library

Theater critic and scholar Alisa Solomon discusses why a show about tradition has itself become a tradition, and shares reflections on the

Books will be available for purchase and signing.  
Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Please note that there is no parking adjacent to the event site. There is parking and a continuous shuttle from 3:30-6:30 from the Charles River Lot

Lecture By Professor Adele Reinhartz

Thursday, February 13, 2014
1:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.
Lown 203

Professor Adele Reinhartz of the University of Ottawa will be speaking in NEJS 128a, Introduction to Christianity with Professor Brooten of the NEJS department. Professor Reinhartz is the author of numerous articles and several books, including “Why Ask My Name?” Anonymity and Identity in Biblical Narrative (Oxford, 1998), Befriending the Beloved Disciple: A Jewish Reading of the Gospel of John (Continuum, 2001), and Scripture on the Silver Screen (Westminster John Knox, 2003). Her areas of expertise include: Early Christianity and Judaism, the Gospel of John, Bible and Film, Jewish-Christian Relations  and Feminist Biblical Criticism.



Toy Story 3 in Hebrew! (With English Subtitles)

Thursday, December 5, 2013
5:00 pm
Airplane Lounge, East Quad

The Hebrew Program and Beta Rho Hebrew Honors society present an end of the semester event -  A special screening of Toy Story 3 in Hebrew (with English subtitles)

Rami's kosher falafel dinner will be served

How the Priestly Sabbaths Work

Lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Stackert
The University of Chicago Divinity School

Thursday, November 21, 2013
11:00 - 12:30 pm
Lown 302

Dr. Stackert received his PhD from NEJS in 2006 and is the recipient of The John Templeton Award for Theological Promise for his book Rewriting the Torah:  Literary Revision in Deuteronomy and the Holiness Legislation (Tubingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2007).

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

The Black-Jew Dialogues

Thursday, November 14th, 2013
9:30 p.m.
Lown Auditorium
Free Admission!


New Findings from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Mandel Center for the Humanities, Reading Room, 3rd floor



Accordance Training Seminar

Sunday, October 27, 2013
1 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Location:  Heller/Schneider G1



Student Reflections:  Brandeis and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Thursday, October 24, 2013
4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Reception
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Presentations
Mandel Center for the Humanities, 2nd floor lobby

Students who were involved with the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition partnership between the Museum of Science and Brandeis University will reflect on the experience of being a part of this major collaboration. 

Presenters include NEJS PhD students Jamie Bryson and Eva Gurevich



Jewish Families in Medieval Egypt

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
2 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.
ASAC 209

Offered during NEJS 140a:  Under Crescent and Cross (Professor Decter) especially for undergraduate students.  All are welcome.  Sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and the Martin Weiner Fund.

Lecture by Eve Krakowski, Jacob & Hilda Blaustein Post-doctoral Associate in the Program of Judaic Studies at Yale University. 



Understanding Pornography Panel

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013
5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Shiffman 219

Panelists include:
Sarah L. Leonard, professor of history, Simmons College
Emily F. Rothman, professor of public health, Boston University
Burlin Barr, professor of English and cinema studies, Central Connecticut State University


Holy Botany: Plants of the Bible

Prof. Lytton John Musslman, Old Dominion University

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Lown 315



Dead Sea Scrolls: Life in Ancient Times Graduate Symposium

Graduate Students from throughout the Northeast presented on Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, and ancient Israel. The opening address was delivered by Professor Marc Brettler and the plenary address was given by Professor Lawrence H. Schiffman,Vice Provost of undergraduate education and professor of Judaic studies at Yeshiva University in New York.   

Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013
Brandeis University

Dead Sea Scrolls: Music of Eric Chasal0w,
Performed by Soprano Tony Arnold

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013
7:30 pm Discussion with Marc Brettler
8:00 pm Concert
Slosberg Music Center

The Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble performed the premiere of "Where it Finds Nothing But the Wind." Text from the Dead Sea Scrolls was assembled with the assistance of Professor Marc Brettler. Ticket information will be available soon. Sponsored by the Office of the Provost in conjunction with the Dead Sea Scrolls: Life in Ancient Times exhibition hosted by the Museum of Science, with Brandeis University.


The Boston Globe article


Verses of Longing Workshop

Desire and Gender in Modern Hebrew Literature

The Brandeis-BGU International Workshop for Scholars was held October 1 and 2, 2013 at the Schusterman Center at Brandeis University.  Organizers:  Ilana Szobel and Hamutal Tsamir.

The workshop explored the ways in which Hebrew literature represents, constructs and struggles with various forms of desire, addressing the juxtaposition of poetics and desire in the context of ideology, nationalism, Judaism, modernity, sexuality, passion, and power.


A Kraft-Hiatt Lecture:
The Self Beyond Itself: Rethinking How Individuals can Become Morally More Courageous and Societies More Humane

A Panel discussion with Heidi Ravven, Donald Katz, and Thandeka was
Monday, Sept. 23, 2013
5 - 6:30 p.m
Lown 315



The Governor's Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, Higher Education Working Group

More than 300 Massachusetts college and university administrators and faculty members gathered on the Brandeis campus Sept. 17 for a forum titled “Massachusetts Steps Up: Key Sexual and Domestic Violence Issues for College Administrators.”

Sponsored by the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual and Domestic Violence and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health — and developed by the council’s Higher Education Working Group on Sexual and Domestic Violence — the forum addressed critical campus issues regarding sexual and domestic violence. 

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sherman Function Hall


The Essene Hypothesis and Qumran: Insights from Religious Studies

Prof. Jonathan Klawans, Boston University
Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013
12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Lown 315


Mina Muraoka:  PhD Dissertation Defense

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Lown 213b

Jews and the Russo-Japanese War:  The Triangular Relationship between Jewish POWs, Japan, and Jacob H. Schiff


NEJS Graduate Student Welcome Reception

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Lown 315