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2016 - 2017 Events

The National Center for Jewish Film's 20th Annual Film Festival


Join us from May 4-21 for a vibrant slate of independent films and classic cinematic treasures from around the world.

"An Interactive Talk with Professor Shosh Leshem"

Professor Leshem, a visiting scholar at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, talked about teaching and learning a foreign language.

Thursday, April 27, 2017
12 - 12:50 pm

A/Verse to Meter"  A conference by the students of Biblical Poetry (NEJS 121b) with Professor Jacqueline Vayntrub

The following papers were presented and discussions were moderated by a student Chair over three days:

"Four Visions and a Narrative:  Poetry and Prose in Amos 7-8" by Carey Slaeker

"Ironic Reversal in Balaam's Prophetic Speeches in Numbers and Deir ˁAlla" by Jared Pfost

"Look and See the Rhetoric of Imperatives Addressed to YHWH in Lamentations and Lament Poetry" by Justin Huguenin

"The Role of the Song of Moses and its Frame within the Book of Deuteronomy" by Dana Brattlof

"Legal Revision and Poetic Formulation Towards Understanding the Arrangement and Function of Law in Leviticus 19" by Anthony Lipscomb

"Finding her Voice:  The Poetics of Zion's Speech in Prophetic Literature" by Sari Fein

"The 'Book' of Jashar as a Monumental Inscription" by Noam Cohen

"The Unparalleled Poetics of Hosea 1-2" by Dan Berman

April 24, 26, and May 1
2 - 3:20 pm

"A NEJS Talk beforthe Brandeis Chamber Singers Concert? How clef-er!"
NEJS Professor Jacqueline Vayntrub spoke on the topic of "Jephtah's Daughter: A Harrowing Coming of Age Tale" before the Brandeis Chamber Singers performed a concert that included Jephthe by Carissimi (oratorio with a Biblical text based on the Book of Judges), Trois Chansons by Debussy, Motets/Madrigals by Monteverdi, and African American spirituals. 

Sunday April 23, 2017
2:15pm - NEJS Talk with Professor Vayntrub
3:00pm, Chamber Singers Concert
Both took in the Recital Hall of the Slosberg Music Center
*Light refreshments were served after the concert*

"Unmasked! Consequences of Emotional Attachment to Things from the Holy Land"
The acquisition of things engenders both a complex set of emotions and a series of obligations for individuals and institutions. This lecture by Morag Kersel, Associate Professor of Anthropology at DePaul University, examined the differing strands of emotional attachment to objects and the rival obligations created by the desire to “own”, to display, and to interpret the material remains from the Holy Land. Kersel will address the politics of public display, the role of the museum, and the consequences of an attachment to things.

Thursday, April 20th, 2017
3:30pm, Lown 315

"Near Eastern & Judaic Studies Open House"
The NEJS Department invited all students to meet the NEJS majors. They enjoyed an Asian-fusion style lunch while browing our buffet of Fall course offerings!

Thursday, March 30, 2017
12-1:30pm, Lown 315

Open to all students, lunch was served

"Taking the Talmud to Town: Judaism in the Public Square"
The 53rd Annual Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture, given by Charlotte Fonrobert, Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Director of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford University

Thursday, March 30, 2017
7:30pm, Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

Free and open to the public, reception followed

Hebrew Language and Arts Week
An interactive week that emphasized the Experiential Learning Method

March 21-23, 2017

Rule of Law, Politics, Equality, and the Media: Neil Gorsuch and the Dawn of the Trump Era Court - A Panel Event
The panel was moderated by Jill Greenlee. Panel speakers included Anita Hill, Jeffrey Lenowitz, Eileen McNamara, Susan Parish, and Michael Willrich.

Thursday, March 9th, 2017
4:30-6pm, Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

Religious and Cultural Perspectives on Immigration in the United States:  A Panel Event
The panel was moderated by Kristen Lucken (Lecture in International and Global Studies, Religious Studies, and Sociology). Panel speakers included Bernadette Brooten (Myra and Robert Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies; Catholic and Protestant history and response), Xing Hang (Assistant Professor of History; Chinese history and response), Marci McPhee (Director of Campus Programs, International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life; Mormon history and response, and working with immigrants in Waltham), Maryam Sharrief (Brandeis Interim Muslim Chaplain; Muslim history and response), Mitra Shavarini (Lecturer for Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies; Iranian history and response), Ellen Smith (Associate Professor of the Practice and Director of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program; Jewish history and response), 

Thursday, March 9th,
3:30-5:30pm, Mandel Atrium

Come and See: The Call to Sacred Relationships - Faith, Leaderships, and Chronic Homelessness
A talk by Grace Killian and Mary Jane Eaton.
Killian spoke about changing understandings of Christian missions, especially in relation to her time serving as a Global Mission Fellow in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan.
Eaton shared how the church can become a toll for overcoming systemic disempowerment, bridging the gap between the housed and the unhoused, and holding hope in a broken world. 

Monday, March 13th, 2017,
3:30-4:50pm, Lown 315

"European Cultural Studies: Lemon Cake Lecture"
Featuring Elizabeth D. Samet, Professor of English at the US Military Academy. The lecture explored some of the difficulties faced by the combatants attempting to write about the American Civil War, with particular focus on Ulysses S. Grant. 

Monday, March 13th, 2017
3:30pm, in Golding Judaica Center, Room 103

How Women Invented Christianity: A lecture by Kathleen Corney, PhD

Corney's new work and lecture involved the role of women in the creation of nascent Christianity through funerary meals for the dead Jesus, visions of him inthe context of their great grief, and story telling about his life, and especially his Passion or death. 

Monday, March 20th 2017,
3:30-4:50pm, Lown 315

France's Jewish Star: Rachel at the Comédie Française - A Talk by Maurice Samuels

Maurice Samuels visited Brandeis to talk about his latest book, The Right to Difference - The Jews & French Universalism. This event is in connection with the IGS 110 course on Religion & Secularism in French & Francophone Culture but all were welcomed to attend!

Monday, March 6th, 2017
2:00pm, Mandel Reading Room (303)

Check Your (White? Jewish?) Privilege: Is denying distinctiveness a way of making Jewishness disappear?

A talk by Professor Sylvia Fishman

Friday February 10th, 2017

"Modern Orthodoxy on the Spectrum of Contemporary Jewish Life"
Shabbat Shiur with Professor Sylvia Fishman

Saturday, February 11th, 2017
3:15pm, in Usdan International Lounge


A Lecture by Haim Watzman
Haim Watzman discussed "Sin Offering," a story appearing in his forthcoming short story collection, Necessary Stories.

Monday, February 13th, 2017
11:00am-11:50am, Golding 103 - Lecture in English
12:00pm-12:50pm, Golding 103 - Lecture in English and Hebrew

"Adorno and Existence: Critical Theory and the Memory of Kierkegaard"

A presentation by Peter E. Gordon, Amabel B James Professor of History at Harvard University, on the occasion of the publication of his book, Adorno and Existence.

Thursday, February 16th, 2017
4pm, Mandel Center for the Humanities Room 303

Lecture by Piotr Steinkeller

Early Mesopotamian Divine System:  Some Fundamental Concerns

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
2 - 3 p.m.
Lown 315


An Afternoon with Israeli Author Sarit Yishai-Levy

The lecture was in Hebrew about her book, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem.
A powerful multi-generational family saga that brings to life the colorful culture of the Jerusalem Spaniol community in the 1920-1970s.

Monday, November 14, 2016
ASAC Room 209


Baklava, Turkish Coffee and NEJS

Hosted by the NEJS faculty and UDRs, Joey Barr and Emma Maier, for coffee and conversation.

Nov. 1, 2016
2:30 - 4 pm
Mandel Reading Room (3rd floor)



Walking Tour of Historic Jewish Boston

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Led by NEJS and Holocaust Professor Ellen Smith. We will walk and talk about the Boston Jewish experience, and how it overlaps other ethnic and immigrant histories in the city. We'll finish at the Vilna Shul on Beacon Hill, Boston's oldest surviving immigrant-era a vibrant cultural and spiritual center for Boston Jewish life.

Guest Lecture with Professor Seth Sanders

"Mesopotamia and the Bible:  What's at Stake in 2016?"

Thursday, October 6, 2016
12 - 2 pm
Lown 315


Lunch and Learn with Professor Jacqueline Vayntrub

"The Real Housewives of Ancient Israel"

Professor Vayntrub and fellow NEJS students in explored different images of gender, family, and relationships in biblical narratives.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Usdan Hiatt Career Center Conference Room 


Guest Lecture with Daniel Weidner

Professor for the Study of Culture and Religion 
Institut fur Kulturwissenschaft, Humbolt University, Berlin

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
2:00 - 3:20pm
Mandel G11
Guest Lecture for NEJS 159a: Modern Jewish Philosophy


Spect-actors Change the Script towards more Equality and Inclusion: A Forum Theater Event with Doris Sommer and Jennifer Cleary

Thursday 15 September 2016
2:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library (level 1)
Open to the Brandeis community
Light refreshments


NEJS Graduate Student Picnic

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Heller Zinner Forum
6:00-7:30 pm
Kosher Catering Provided