2020-2021 Past Events


Performing Disability in Israel

April 22, 2021

In the Kingdom of Fever: Tradition, Tuberculosis, and the Creation of Yiddish Poetry

2:00 - 3:00 PM EST via Zoom

Sunny Yudkoff is an assistant professor at The University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is the author of Tubercular Capital: Illness and the Conditions of Modern Jewish Writing, winner of the 2018 Salo Wittmayer Baron Book Prize (Stanford University Press, 2018). 

America and the Crypto Jewish Presence: Reclaiming the Legacy of Sepharad

March 11, 2021

HBI Project on Latin American Jewish & Gender Studies

Zoom links will be sent at least 24 hours prior to the event via email.

Ron Duncan Hart, anthropologist and author of Crypto-Jews: The Long Journey (2020), and Mary Morris, author of Gateway to the Moon (2018), will engage contemporary cultural and political ramifications of the historic crypto-Jewish presence in the Americas. The event will also feature a complimentary private link to the movie A Long Journey by Isaac Artenstein for those registered.


  • Ron Duncan Hart, Ph.D. is a cultural anthropologist, author and filmmaker. He is the author of numerous books, most recently Crypto-Jews: The Long Journey (2020).
  • Mary Morris, author of author of Gateway to the Moon (2019), was awarded the Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters for Vanishing Animals & Other Stories. Her many novels and story collections have been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Swedish and Japanese. 

Co-sponsors: Brandeis Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, Hispanic Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies

Performing Disability in Israel

March 11, 2021

Disability On and Off-Stage in Israel and the US: Blind Women’s Gender Performance and Integrated Dance

2:00 - 3:00 PM EST via Zoom

Gili Hammer is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Program in Cultural Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the author of "Blindness through the Looking Glass: The Performance of Blindness, Gender, and the Sensory Body" (University of Michigan Press, 2019).

The End of Iberian Jewry and The Beginnings of a Sephardi Diaspora: Through the Eyes of Women

February 22, 2021

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm, EDT

HBI Project on Latin American Jewish & Gender Studies

Please register for this event. Zoom links will be sent at least 24 hours prior to the event via email.

Join LAJGS for a mediated conversation between Edith Scott Saavedra, author of The Lamps of Albarracín (2019), and Spanish historians Lucía Conte Aguilar and Miguel Angel Motis, as they discuss the feminist experience of the Inquisition and end of Iberian Jewry, as well as the revival of Spain’s Jewish heritage in the present day. 

Moderated by Dalia Wassner, Ph.D. Director, HBI Project in Latin American Jewish & Gender Studies


  • Edith Scott Saavedra, author of the historical novel The Lamps of Albarracin/Los Candiles de Albarracin (2019).
  • Lucía Conte Aguilar, Ph.D., lecturer at the Humanities Department and the Hispanic and European Studies Program at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. 
  • Miguel Ángel Motis Dolader, Ph.D. Professor of Communications and Social Sciences, University of San Jorge de Zaragoza and author of Vivencias, emociones y perfiles femeninos. Judeoconversas e inquisición en Aragón en el siglo XV (2020). 

Co-sponsors: Brandeis Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, Hispanic Studies, and Latin American and Latino Studies

Israel Opportunities Fair

February 17, 2021

6-7:30pm on Zoom

This fair will be a time for all Brandeis students to learn about how they can get involved with Israel at Brandeis. We will have representatives from various trips to Israel, campus departments and centers, all different Israel clubs on campus and fellowships/ internships! You will hear from students about how their experiences were and how you can get involved. You will learn about various opportunities to learn about the different cultures, politics, geography, activism themes in Israel. This fair is open to all undergraduate students on campus, regardless of religious affiliations. Brandeis Hillel hopes to see you there!
All students who attend get a FREE Israeli themed goodie bag!
Sexing American Jewish History

February 12, 2021

Friday, February 12th at 1 p.m.-2 p.m.


Kathy Peiss, University of Pennsylvania


Gill Frank, University of Virgina

Rachel Kranson, Univeristy of Pittsburgh

Jonathan Krasner, Brandeis University

The latest issue of American Jewish History asks: What differences have Jews and Judaism made in the history of American sexuality? How has sexuality shaped the history of American Jews and Judaism?

Set the mood for your Valentine's Day weekend by joing us for a virtual conversation that will celebrate the publication of this special issue, and consider all that we stand to learn by sexing American Jewish history.

Kugel and Frijoles: Latinx Jews in the United States

February 10, 2021

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm, EDT

HBI Project on Latin American Jewish & Gender Studies

Please register for this event. Zoom links will be sent at least 24 hours prior to the event via email.

Join LAJGS for a conversation with Laura Limonic on her award-winning book, Kugel and Frijoles (2019), which offers new insights into the diversity of Jews and Latino/as in the United States. We will engage the context of Latinx Jews among contemporary immigrants in the United States today, and the effect of U.S. ethno-racial structures on immigrant assimilation.

Laura LimonicPh.D. Associate Professor of Sociology at the College of Old Westbury of the State University of New York is author of Kugel and Frijoles: Latino Jews in the United States, recipient of Latin American Studies Association Best Book Award (2020).  

Respondent: Raquel Magidin de Kramer, Ph.D. Associate Research Scientist at the Steinhardt Social Research Institute at Brandeis University.

Moderated by Dalia Wassner, Ph.D. Director, HBI Project in Latin American Jewish & Gender Studies

Co-sponsors: Brandeis International Business School Latin America Initiative, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, Brandeis Alumni Association

Virtual Tour of the Historical Jewish Press

January 27, 2021

2 PM

Join us for a virtual tour of the newly revitalized Historical Jewish Press web resource, a rich repository of digitized newspapers at National Library of Israel, in a wide variety of languages (Hebrew,Yiddish, Arabic, French, Spanish, English & more) and including many Palestinian newspapers from the first half of the 20th century. These records shed light on modern Jewry in its Middle Eastern and global contexts, providing rich resources for educators and scholars alike. Our guide for the hours is Eyal Miller, the site's project and technology manager.

Jointly sponsored by Brandeis Library and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

How to Revive a Dead Language in 100 Years

The Hebrew language was practically dead for 2000 years. It was revived almost single-handedly by one man: Eliezer Ben Yehuda, one of the founding fathers of Zionism.

Join us for a four part series of virtual conversations and lectures to explore the unprecedented story of this lingual miracle, that continues evolving and reinventing itself to this day. This series will be broadcast live via Zoom (requires registration) and on our Facebook page, Israel in Boston (does not require registration).

Registration link

This series is organized by the Consulate General of Israel to New England, and co-hosted by Brandeis University's Hebrew Program, The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, The Jewish Studies Program at Colby College, Middlebury Language Schools, Hebrew College, and Northeastern University Hillel.

Jewish Professionals Networking Night

January 19, 2021

5 PM - 6:30 PM

Calling all Brandeis students and alumni to schmooze with alumni and faculty working in the Jewish professional world.
In breakout rooms, meet Brandeis alumni working in these fields:
Education, Camping, and Youth Groups
Academia and Graduate School
Nonprofit Work
The Rabbinate & Cantorate
Young Adult Engagement
Co-sponsored by Brandeis Hillel, the Hiatt Career Center, the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program, the Mandel Center, and the Near Eastern & Judaic Studies Department.

January 11, 2021

4 PM - 6 PM

Tanenbaum Family Lecture

Professor Yehudah Misky (Brandeis University): "I, You, He, She, We: Reflections on Personhood and the Sacred in 20th Century Jewish Thought”

Course Selection: UDR 'Office Hours'

December 9, 2020

Need help with course selection for the Spring '21 semester?
Join NEJS UDR, Becky Marcus for "office hours" on Wednesday, December 9th @ 2:00 PM via Zoom (link below).  Becky will offer her advice and answer questions you may have about NEJS courses for the Spring '21 semester.  
Elkon Endowed Chair Virtual Celebration for ChaeRan Yoo Freeze

December 8, 2020

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020


Join Provost Lisa M. Lynch and colleagues in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies to celebrate the appointment of ChaeRan Yoo Freeze as the Frances and Max Elkon Professor of Modern Jewish History.

If you have any questions please contact Karen Springfield; specialevents@brandeis.edu.

December 6, 2020

12:30-1:30 PM EST

Do you have plans yet for summer 2021? What about your friends?

You are invited to attend a School of Hebrew webinar on December 6th, 2020 from 12:30 pm-1:30 pm EST to learn more about the Middlebury Language Schools and the application process for the School of Hebrew.

The Director, Vardit Ringvald, will give a brief overview of the immersion programs, followed by a Q&A session with SoH alumni.

December 5, 2020

December 5th-6th

The American Society of Islamic Philosophy and Theology in partnership with Harvard's Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Brandeis' Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and the Journal of Islamic Philosophy Present the 2nd annual Islamic Philosophy Conference.

The first conference in the series (Fall, 2020) will include themed panels exploring Epistemology, treating both the epistemological foundations of Islamic theology and philosophy (rational, empirical, and Divine revelation) and foundational “big questions” that arise from faith commitments in conversation with the broader philosophical tradition (e.g., existence, God, the nature of knowledge, etc.).  

Let's Speak Yiddish

November 18, 2020

Organized by the Undergraduate Departmental Representatives (UDRs)
Come join and get to know one another and speak in Yiddish!

November 17, 2020

Jillian Stinchcomb, "Riddling Materiality: The Queen of Sheba and Solomon in Ninth Century Texts"

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

The colloquium provides a critical forum for graduate students and faculty to present and discuss works-in-progress, thereby fostering an interdisciplinary intellectual community in all areas of modern Jewish studies. In each session participants will discuss a paper presented by faculty or graduate students from Brandeis and other institutions. The presenter will begin with a brief overview (5-10 minutes) of the work, and the rest of the session will be open to questions and answers. The paper will be made available two weeks in advance of the event.

Free and open to the public.

A Contemporary Perspective on 2000 Years of Jewish Law

November 17, 2020

6 p.m.
Hosted by Brandeis University Alumni Association

A conversation on the philosophy and history of Jewish law and its effect on law in the present day with the Hon. Sheila Prell Sonenshine, retired Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Alexander Kaye, Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Assistant Professor of Israel Studies and Lynn Kaye, Associate Professor of Rabbinic Literature and Thought at Brandeis.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, the Legal Studies Program, and the Brandeis Alumni Lawyers Network.

For more information, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at alumnievents@brandeis.edu or 781-736-4041.

Israeli photographer Adi Nes, virtual presentation and discussion in Hebrew & English

November 16, 2020

Monday, November 16th at 2:00-3:20 pm

Adi Nes is an Israeli photographer. He is notable for the series “Soldiers” in which he mixes masculinity and homoerotic sexuality, depicting Israeli soldiers in a fragile way.

Nes creates cinematic images that reference war, sexuality, life, and death with the kind of stylized polish you might expect from a photographer whose images have appeared in the pages of Vogue Hommes. His partially autobiographical work is deliberate and staged in an attempt to raise questions about sexuality, masculinity and identity in Israeli culture. “The beginning point of my art is who I am," he says. "Since I’m a man and I’m an Israeli, I deal with issues of identitywith ‘Israeliness’ and masculinity, but my photographs are multi-layered.

In 2005, Nes was chosen as an outstanding artist of theprestigious Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation. Nes lives and works in Tel Aviv.

For more information or for the link to this program, please contact Naomi Kielar at naomikielar@brandeis.edu

Playwrights Daniel Botzer, Noa Shechter, Roey Maliach-Reshef, Shay Shabtay and Ido Setter

November 15, 2020

10 - 11:10 a.m.close up images of the playrights
Room: Mandel G11 for HBRW 164

“The Playwrights in Tzavta” is an experimental project for promoting new Israeli playwriting which expresses original, new and young creativity.

Hebrew Talk and Walk

November 14, 2020

Meet at 1 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. next to the Sherman Function Hall. Number of people is limited due to Covd-19. Fill out the Google form to register or email Roe Keshet at Rkeshet@brandeis.edu.

Registration closes on Friday, November 13th. More details will be sent out to participants ahead of time.

Meet NEJS Professors and UDRs

November 13, 2020

11 - 12 noon

Are you considering a Major or Minor in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies?

You are invited to: Meet the Professors
Meet our UDR Becky Marcus and NEJS Faculty to talk about Spring 2021 courses.

'Person' and 'Thing': Women Enslaved to Early Christian Women with Bernadette Brooten

November 12, 2020

5 - 6:30 p.m.

Legally classified as both 'person' (persona) and 'thing' (res), women enslaved to other women in early Christianity lived precarious lives, as represented in literature and an ancient source of canon law. 

November 11, 2020

7 - 8:30 p.m.

Sarah Abrevaya Stein, the Viterbi Family Endowed Professor in Mediterranean Jewish Studies, & Sady and Ludwig Kahn Director of the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, will deliver the 57th Annual Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture, "A Sephardic Family’s Journey Through the Twentieth Century," on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 at 7:00pm. The event is free and open to the public. 

Let's Speak Arabic!

November 11, 2020

7 - 8 p.m.
Golding 109
Join the Arabic Program for a chance to practice Arabic, get to know your peers, and learn about Arab culture.
A Personal and Musical Journey through Klezmer Music with David Krakauer

November 10, 2020

12 - 1:30 p.m. 

David Krakauer has made his musical career as an innovator in klezmer (Jewish roots) music. During his visit on Tuesday, November 10, he will tell us about doing Jewish roots music (first as a member of the Klezmatics and then as a bandleader of his own multi-genre projects mixing klezmer with hip-hop, rap, jazz and samples). He will also speak about his experiences in Europe in the late 1980s at the moment when the Berlin Wall was falling, Eastern Europe was opening up and Jewish consciousness was rising all over the world. He will talk about his ever-evolving quest to create bridges and cross genre and cultural boundaries (referencing his ten-piece klezmer-hip-hop-funk band Abraham Inc., which celebrates a coming-together of Jewish and African American music), and other projects. He will share some recorded and live musical examples with us, and there will be time for questions at the end.

American Jews and the State of Israel: As One or Divided? Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy in conversation with Jonathan Sarna and Shirley Idelson, based on the book "Never Alone"

November 9, 2020

12 - 1 p.m.

Presented by Brandeis University's Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. Hear Natan Sharansky, hero of the Soviet Jewry movement and former chair of Israel's Jewish Agency, along with his "Never Alone: Prison, Politics, and My People" co-author, historian Gil Troy. They will discuss Israel's relationship with American Jewry, antisemitism on college campuses, the failed compromise aimed at opening the Western Wall for non-Orthodox prayer services and more with Schusterman Center Director, University Professor Jonathan D. Sarna, and Leon A. Jick. Director of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University, Rabbi Shirley Idelson.
Co-hosted by the Office of the President. Free and open to all.
Arabic Movie Night

November 4, 2020

7 - 8 p.m.
Golding 109
Email spechet@brandeis.edu to register and specify if you plan to attend virtually or in person. 

October 19, 2020

The Hebrew Language and Arts Week will be held the week of October 19, 2020 and a final event occuring on November 15, 2020.

Each guest's event is being held via Zoom at day/time noted and requires a link to participate.  To get a link, email the name of the guest artist you wish to see to Naomi Kielar (naomikielar@brandeis.edu) at least 1 day prior to the event.

Let's Speak Arabic!

October 14, 2020

Oct. 14, 28, Nov. 11
Join the Arabic Program every Wednesday for a chance to practice Arabic, get to know your peers, and learn about Arab culture.
Golding, Rm 109
The First American Jewish Woman Novelist: Uncovering the Story of Cora Wilburn and her Spiritualist Novel, Cosella Wayne (1860)

October 14, 2020


The Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society presents an online talk by Professor Jonathan Sarna of Brandeis about Cora Wilburn, the first American Jewish woman novelist, and her serial novel, Cosella Wayne. Sarna discovered the novel in 2016 and set out to learn more about Wilburn and her fascinating life and career. His discovery, and his publication of Cosella Wayne in book form for the first time, has restored this previously unheralded Jewish woman writer to her rightful place in American Jewish history and literature.

September 30, 2020

12:00 - 1:30 PM (Boston); 19:00 - 20:30 (Israel)

Welcome: Jonathan D. Sarna
(Brandeis University) Director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies
Greetings: Shmuel Feiner
(Bar-Ilan University) Chairman of The Historical Society of Israel
Introduction: Joshua Teplitsky
(Stony Brook University)
Debra Kaplan
(Bar-Ilan University)
Communal Etrogim, Social Status, and Social Discipline in Early Modern European Jewish Communities
Zev Eleff
(Touro College)
The Etrog Trade in the New World
Alexander Kaye
(Brandeis University)
The Etrog Exception: Balancing Halakha and Socialism on the Religious Kibbutz
Commentator: Christine Hayes (Yale University)
Discussion and Q&A

September 23, 2020

We invite you to a panel discussion hosted by Brandeis University President Ron Liebowitz on the "Abraham Accords Peace Agreement" between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. This program will examine the historic normalization of relations between Israel and UAE from multiple scholarly perspectives.

Eva Bellin, Myra and Robert Kraft Professor of Arab Politics at the Crown Center
Yehudah Mirsky, Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies

Gary Samore, Crown Family Director of the Crown Center
Khalil Shikaki, Founding Senior Fellow at the Crown Center
Tamara Cofman Wittes, Senior Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution

Moderated by University Professor Jonathan Sarna, Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies 

August 24, 2020

Webinar, 7:30pm

"Living Through American Jewish History: A Conversation with Jonathan Sarna,"

Please direct any questions to editors@jewishreviewofbooks.com