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Professor Brettler, the Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies, has written extensively on the Bible, including The Jewish Annotated New Testament in 2011, How to Read the Jewish Bible in 2007 and The Jewish Study Bible in 2004. His latest co-authored book is The Bible and the Believer. To read more about the fellowship, visit Brandeis' NOW's website.
Professor Polonsky, Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies, has written extensively on the history of Poland and the Holocaust. His publications include "Politics in Independent Poland",The Little Dictators. A History of Eastern Europe since 1918 (Routledge, 1975, Japanese edition, 1993) and The Great Powers and the Polish Question 1941-1945 (LSE, 1976) and co-author of The History of Poland since 1863 (Cambridge, 1981, paperback, 1983, 1985) and The Beginnings of Communist Rule in Poland (Routledge, 1981).
NEJS is proud to congratulate Professor Polonsky and Professor Brettler!
Elizabeth Urban, the Madeleine Haas Russell Visiting Assistant Professor in the Islamic and Middle East Studies Program has accepted a two-year Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History Department at Williams College following her year here at Brandeis.
Professor ChaeRan Freeze received the Dean's Mentoring Award for Outstanding Mentoring of Students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. To read more about the award and Professor Freeze, visit the Brandeis NOW website.
Professor Eugene Sheppard has accepted the prestigious Starr Fellowship at Harvard University. For more information about the fellowship visit the Center for Jewish Studies website.
Ilana Szobel, assistant professor on the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Chair in Hebrew Literature, recently published her new book A Poetics of Trauma: The Work of Dahlia Ravikovitch.
The work of renowned Israeli poet, translator, peace activist, and 1998 Israel Prize laureate Dahlia Ravikovitch (1936–2005) portrays the emotional structure of a traumatized and victimized female character. Ilana Szobel’s book, the first full-length study of Ravikovitch in English, offers a theoretical discussion of the poetics of trauma and the politics of victimhood, as well as a rethinking of the notions of activity and passivity, strength and weakness. Analyzing the deep structure embodied in Ravikovitch’s work, Szobel unearths the interconnectedness of Ravikovitch’s private-poetic subjectivity and Israeli national identity, and shows how her unique poetics helps readers overcome cultural biases and sympathetically engage otherness.
NEJS Professor Antony Polonsky was awarded the "Pro Historia Polonorum" prize on September 12, 2012 by the Polish Historical Association. Professor Polonsky received this award for writing The Jews in Poland and Russia v.1 and v.2.
Professor Polonsky was given the award by Bogdan Borusewicz, Speaker of the Polish Senate, and by the chairman of the Selection Committee along with a statuette of the historian Gall Anonim.
WBUR Boston Interviews Professor Sarna
Radio Boston (WBUR) interviewed Professor Sarna about his new book “When General Grant Expelled the Jews”. Click here to access the interview.
Professor Antony Polonsky attended the State Awards Ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Lithuania this January where he was awarded the Officers Cross of Independence for his work on the Holocaust and according to a press release by the office of president, "promotion of Lithuania's name in the world."
Professor Troen, Stoll Family Professor of Israel Studies and Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, has co-edited Tel Aviv: The First Century with Maoz Azaryahu, Professor of Cultural Geography at the University of Haifa and author of Tel Aviv: Mythography of a City. The book "brings together a broad range of disciplinary approaches and cutting-edge research to trace the development and paradoxes of Tel-Aviv as an urban center and a national symbol. Through the lenses of history, literature, urban planning, gender studies, architecture, art, and other fields, these essays reveal the place of Tel-Aviv in the life and imagination of its diverse inhabitants. The careful and insightful tracing of the development of the city's urban landscape, the relationship of its varied architecture to its competing social cultures, and its evolving place in Israel's literary imagination come together to offer a vivid and complex picture of Tel-Aviv as a microcosm of Israeli life and a vibrant modern global city."
Click here to purchase the book.
Professor Sarna has co-edited Jewish Renaissance and Revival in America with Professor Eitan Fishbane of the Jewish Theological Seminar. Expanding upon the unfinished work of Leah Levitz Fishbane, this volume seeks to broaden our understanding of American Jewish life in the nineteenth century, which paved the way for new developments in American Jewish communal, cultural, and religious life. In the late 1870s, shaken by rapid socioeconomic change, internal crises, and the rise of antisemitism, young Jews assumed leadership, created dozens of organizations, and inspired masses of followers. These organizations helped define the nineteenth-century Jewish awakening: cultural and religious renewal, and the promotion of Jewish education.
Professor Marc Brettler has edited, along with Amy-Jill Levine of Vanderbilt University, and just published the Jewish Annotated New Testament (Oxford University Press). The editors have assembled an international team of scholars who introduce and annotate the Gospels, Acts, Letters, and Revelation from Jewish perspectives, in the New Revised Standard Version translation. They show how Jewish practices and writings, particularly the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, influenced the New Testament writers.
Professor Antony Polonsky was decorated with the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. Standing, Professors John Micgiel and Stanislaw Wiktor (middle).
The Jews in Poland and Russia, Vol. 1 and 2 (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization) will be awarded the Kulczycki Book Prize for Polish Studies for best book in any discipline, on any aspect of Polish affairs.
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry,Volume 24: Jews and their Neighbours in Eastern Europe since 1750, edited by Israel Bartal, Antony Polonsky, and Scott Ury is set to be released this month by the The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization. For more information on the publication, click here.
In recognition of Professor Sylvia Fishman's scholarly accomplishments, teaching, contributions to the Brandeis community and to her profession, she was appointed as the Joseph and Esther Foster Professor in Judaic Studies!
The Joseph and Esther Foster chair, one of the first fully endowed chairs at Brandeis, was established in 1961 by Mr. and Mrs. Foster to support a faculty member in the field of Judaic Studies. The Foster Chair's first incumbent was Dr. Ralph Cyrus Gordon, one of the world's great archaeologists. Louis V. Zabkar, who came to Brandeis in 1969 and retired in August 1985, also served as a Foster Professor.
Volumes I and II of The Jews in Poland and Russia have been published. In his three-volume history, Antony Polonsky provides a comprehensive survey---socio-political, economic, and religious---of the Jewish communities of eastern Europe from 1350 to the present. Until the Second World War, this was the heartland of the Jewish world."The Jews in Poland and Russia, Vol 1. and Vol. II 1881-1914,"
Avigdor Levy is Editor of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey material in "The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World" being published by Brill in March, 2010. This 4-volume encyclopedia covers an area of Jewish history, religion, and culture which until now has lacked its own cohesive/discreet reference work. It aims to fill the gap in academic reference literature on the Jews of Muslim lands particularly in the late medieval, early modern and modern periods.
For information on ordering, go to www.brill.nl.
Professor Joseph Lumbard published an article as part of the Crown Paper series.
Since its inception in 2006, the Common Word initiative has quickly become one of the most significant interfaith movements of the modern era. Tracing the evolution of this historic movement, Professor Joseph Lumbard assesses the forces that gave rise to the Common Word, the reactions from all quarters, and the movement it has spurred. With significant figures, such as King Abdullah II of Jordan, the Pope, Archbishops and Grand Muftis, the Common Word has become a geo-theological initiative with geo-political implications. It also examines the progress to date and areas in which the movement may continue to bear fruit.
For more information, click here.
A PDF of the Crown Paper can be accessed through the following link:
Professor Ellen Smith of the NEJS Department and co-author of the book, "The Jews of Boston," recently led a bus tour of Boston's historical synagogues organized by the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts. Some 30 people participated, curious about how the Jewish community evolved in Boston.She also led a walking tour of Jewish Boston in the North End on October 18 sponsored by The Jewish Learning Initiative at Brandeis University.
Professor ChaeRan Freeze lectured at Harvard University on "The Private Life of a Noble Jewish Woman in Tsarist Russia: Gender in the Diaries of Zinaida Poliakova (1862-1952)" on October 15, 2009.
An article, Reinventing American Judaism, by Jonathan Sarna, was published in the Fall 2009 issue of Reform Judaism magazine. He writes about how the recent financial crisis and demographic shifts are reshaping the Jewish community in ways unimaginable 20 years ago. He reflects on what history can teach us about Jewish revival in these uncertain times.
Brandeis University's "Catalyst" highlights the work of Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies Professor Joseph Lumbard in its RE:ACTION Department on page 5.
Professor Lumbard is part of a team of four editors who are working to translate and publish the first study guide to the Islamic Qur'an produced in western academia. They expect this very complex task to require four years to complete, with the first manuscript to be complete in 2010.
Professor Antony Polonsky, was quoted in a Los Angeles Times article on August 28, 2009 regarding the violence in Quentin Tarantino's new film, "Inglourious Basterds," a band of Jewish soldiers in a violent bid to avenge their people and halt the Holocaust. Professor Polonsky is Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies, an appointment held jointly at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Brandeis University. >more
Professor Ilan Troen, director of the The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University, led a delegation of American and Israeli scholars to China for an intensive two weeks of seminars for 125 academics, students, and government officials at Beijing and Shandong Universities. >more
Inventing God's Law: How the Covenant Code of the Bible Used and Revised the Laws of Hammurabi, written by David Wright is now available from Oxford University Press.
Professor Wright is the current Graduate Program Chair and professor of Bible and Ancient Near East. His research specialties are primarily Near Eastern and biblical ritual and law in comparative perspective.
This book argues that the biblical law collection in Exodus 20:23-23:19 was created as a response to Neo-Assyrian imperialism in Israel-Judah around 700 BCE and used Hammurabi's collection as a model for both its casuistic and apodictic laws.
Professor Sylvia Barack Fishman presented "Negotiating both sides of the Hyphen: Juggling American-Jewish Lives" at The Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture on May 31, 2009.
This was part of Vilna Shul's Making a Mark Series.
Jewish Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount: Who Will Build the Third Temple, written by Motti Inbari is now available in English through SUNY Press. Professor Inbari was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.
The Temple Mount, located in Jerusalem, is the most sacred site in Judaism and the third-most sacred site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.The sacred nature of the site for both religions has made it one of the focal points of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Jewish Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount is an original and provocative study of the theological roots and historical circumstances that have given rise to the movement of the Temple Builders.
Three Brandeis faculty members, including NEJS Professor Jonathan Sarna were among the 212 new Fellows and 19 Foreign Honorary Members elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAS) in late April 2009. The 2009 inductees who represent leaders in the sciences, the humanities and the arts, business, public affairs, and the nonprofit sector, join one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies and a center for independent policy research.
Read more about this prestigious honor and the three Brandeis faculty members who will be inducted at the October ceremony.
Vardit Ringvald, Director, Hebrew Program, was honored in May with a Keter Torah award from the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Boston in recognition of her outstanding contributions to Jewish Education.
Ellie Kellman, Assistant Professor of Yiddish, shared her research on "Educating 'Moyshe' or Entertaining Him?: Literature in the American Yiddish Press ca. 1910" at the NEJS Faculty Research Colloquium
The American Academy for Jewish Research (AAJR), the oldest organization of Judaica scholars in North America, has awarded its annual Salo Baron Prize for the best first book in Jewish studies (published in 2007) to Jonathan P. Decter, associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. Professor Decter's book, "Iberian Jewish Literature: Between al-Andalus and Christian Europe," was published by Indiana University Press.
In "Iberian Jewish Literature," Decter explores Hebrew prose and poetry in both its Islamic-Arabic context and its Christian-Romance context. His work draws on scholarship in Romance languages and literatures, medieval Hebrew literature, and Arabic studies and is in dialogue with contemporary literary theory and cultural studies. In speaking of the book at the award ceremony in Washington D.C. in December, professor Robert Chazan, a former president of the AAJR, praised the book for its willingness to encompass Hebrew literature from both the Muslim and Christian periods and for its methodological sophistication.
Decter's book grows out of his doctoral dissertation, which he wrote at the Jewish Theological Seminary under the supervision of Professor Raymond Scheindlin.
The Baron Prize honors the memory of the distinguished historian Salo W. Baron, a long-time president of the AAJR, who taught at Columbia University for many decades. It is, according to Professor Todd Endelman, the current president of the AAJR, one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a young scholar in Jewish studies in North America. Previous recipients have gone on to stellar careers at major research universities and liberal arts colleges.
Antony Polonsky, spoke at the 2009 Ina Levine Annual Lecture on "Coming to Terms with the Dark Past: Confronting the Holocaust in Poland and Lithuania. Professor Polonsky is Albert Abramson Chair of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University. A specialist on the history and culture of the Jews of East Central Europe and the history of the Holocaust, he has served for more than a decade as the series editor of "POLIN: Studies in Polish Jewry" and is the author or editor of numerous books. He is the recipient of the Joseph and Edith Sunlight Literary Prize, the Jewish Book Council of America Prize, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Rafael Scharf Award for Outstanding Achievement. As the Levine Scholar, he is working on a synthetic account of the history of the Jews of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1350 to the present.