"Memory and Yir'ah: On Reclaiming a Sense of Awe in Skeptical Times"
Monday, Septemeber 14, 2009, Brandeis University.
"Memory and Mitzvah: How We Can Reclaim the Commanding Force of the Jewish Past"
Wednesday, April 29, 2009, Brandeis University.
YEHUDA KURTZER is Visiting Assistant Professor and the inaugural Chair of Jewish Communal Innovation at Brandeis University. His current project, "The Sacred Task of Rebuilding Jewish Memory," uses the lenses of ‘history’ and ‘memory’ to map out the deep challenges to Jewishness raised by modernity, and offers theological and historical models of what a new particularism might look like. While at Brandeis he is teaching courses in Jewish Studies for the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership and DeLeT programs.
Yehuda completed his doctorate in Jewish Studies at Harvard University, where he wrote his dissertation on the Jews of the Mediterranean Diaspora and their relationship to the rise of rabbinic piety. Yehuda's doctoral work focused on transformations in Jewish identity in the changing ancient world, and is interested in similar questions in the changing modern Jewish world. An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowships and Bronfman Youth Fellowships, Yehuda has previously served as a teaching fellow at Harvard and as an Instructor in History at Hebrew College in Newton, MA. Yehuda has worked as a Research Fellow for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum helping to bridge the worlds of Jewish Studies and Holocaust Studies, and as a consultant on rabbinic texts for Facing History and Ourselves. He has lectured and taught widely in adult education settings, including The Curriculum Initiative, the Brandeis Initiative on Bridging Scholarship and Pedagogy, NYU's Center for Online Judaic Studies, and the American Jewish Committee's Commission on Contemporary Jewish Life. Yehuda also helped co-found and remains active in Brookline's Washington Square Minyan, and co-organized the first two Independent Minyan Conferences. He lives in Brookline, MA with his wife Stephanie Ives and their sons Noah and Jesse.