2016–2017 Events

May 4, 2017

A vibrant slate of independent films and classic cinematic treasures from around the world.

An Interactive Talk with Professor Shosh Leshem

April 27, 2017

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

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

April 24, 2017

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

A NEJS Talk before the Brandeis Chamber Singers Concert? How clef-er!

April 23, 2017

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.

Unmasked! Consequences of Emotional Attachment to Things from the Holy Land

April 20, 2017

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.

Taking the Talmud to Town: Judaism in the Public Square

March 30, 2017

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.

Hebrew Language and Arts Week

March 21, 2017

An interactive week that emphasized the Experiential Learning Method

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

March 20, 2017

  • Kristen Lucken (Lecture in International and Global Studies, Religious Studies, and Sociology)


  • 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)

Come and See: The Call to Sacred Relationships - Faith, Leaderships, and Chronic Homelessness

March 13, 2017

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.

European Cultural Studies: Lemon Cake Lecture

March 13, 2017

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.

Religious and Cultural Perspectives on Immigration in the United States: A Panel Event

March 9, 2017

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.

Rule of Law, Politics, Equality, and the Media: Neil Gorsuch and the Dawn of the Trump Era Court - A Panel Event

March 9, 2017


  • Jill Greenlee


  • Anita Hill

  • Jeffrey Lenowitz

  • Eileen McNamara

  • Susan Parish

  • Michael Willrich

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

March 6, 2017

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!

Adorno and Existence: Critical Theory and the Memory of Kierkegaard

February 16, 2017

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.

A Lecture by Haim Watzman

February 13, 2017

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

Modern Orthodoxy on the Spectrum of Contemporary Jewish Life

February 11, 2017

Shabbat Shiur with Professor Sylvia Fishman

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

February 10, 2017

A talk by Professor Sylvia Fishman

Lecture by Piotr Steinkeller

December 7, 2016

Early Mesopotamian Divine System: Some Fundamental Concerns

An Afternoon with Israeli Author Sarit Yishai-Levy

November 14, 2016

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.

Walking Tour of Historic Jewish Boston

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 shul...now a vibrant cultural and spiritual center for Boston Jewish life.

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

October 6, 2016

Guest Lecture with Professor Seth Sanders

The Real Housewives of Ancient Israel

September 28, 2016

A Lunch and Learn with Professor Jacqueline Vayntrub

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

Guest Lecture with Daniel Weidner

September 28, 2016

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

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

September 15, 2016

NEJS Graduate Student Picnic

September 15, 2016