Past Lectures


David Ellenson delivers the 52nd Annual Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture

"Matchmaking and Medieval Family Dynamics: Did Parents Ever Have the Final Word?"
The Fifty-Fourth Annual Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture
Elisheva Baumgarten, Yitzchak Becker Professor of Jewish Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
October 30, 2017
(Watch the lecture

"Taking the Talmud to Town: Judaism in the Public Square"
The Fifty-Third Annual Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture
Charlotte Fonrobert, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Stanford University
March 30, 2017
(Watch the lecture

"France's Jewish Star: Rachel at the Comédie Française"
Maurice Samuels, Yale University
March 6, 2017

"Adorno and Existence: Critical Theory and the Memory of Kierkegaard"
Peter E. Gordon, Amabel B. James Professor of History, Harvard University
February 16, 2017

"Religion Beyond and in Between Confession(s): Syncretism and Essayistic Writing in The Journal Die Kreatur (1926-1930)"
Daniel Weidner, Humboldt-University Berlin
September 28, 2016 

"Race and Photography: Racial Photography as Scientific Evidence, 1876-1980"
Amos Morris-Reich, Director of the Bucerius Institute for Research of Contemporary German History and Society and Lecturer in the Department of Jewish History
University of Haifa
February 8, 2016

"To Reshape the World: Interpretation, Renewal, and Feminist Approaches to Jewish Law"
The Fifty-Second Annual Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture
David Ellenson, Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
November 3, 2015
(Watch the lecture

"States & Communities: Martin Buber's Paths in Utopia Revisited"
Michael Walzer, Professor Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
November 2, 2015

"The Joint Distribution Committee's Work in Russia and the USSR: The Challenges of Remote Management"
Michael Beizer, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Oct. 8, 2015

"Havurat Shalom: A Utopian Experiment"
The Fifty-First Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture
David G. Roskies, Jewish Theological Seminary and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Nov. 5, 2014
(Watch the lecture)

Writing a Biography: Text and Context
A seminar with Shulamit Volkov, Tel Aviv University 
April 7, 2014

Meet the Authors
Everyday Jewish Life in Imperial Russia
ChaeRan Y. Freeze, Brandeis University; Jay M. Harris, Harvard University
Introductory remarks by Olga Litvak, Clark University.
Presented with the support of the Valya and Robert Shapiro Endowment and with the cooperation of the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry
March 5, 2014

“The Solitude of the Engaged Philosopher: Andalus and Sefarad”
The Fiftieth Annual Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture
Sarah Stroumsa, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
April 17, 2013

Stranded: Soviet Jews’ Long Journey into the Free World
David Bezmozgis, Writer/Filmmaker
April 24, 2012

"Nahum N. Glatzer and the German-Jewish Tradition"
Film Screening; North American Premiere
Introduction by Director Judith Glatzer Wechsler
Panel Discussion with Wechsler and Prof. Jonathan Sarna
November 16, 2012

"Joseph in Egypt: Stories from the Bible and Thomas Mann"
Jan Assmann, University of Konstanz
April 3, 2012 

"The Organization of Sacred Time among Jews and Christians"
49th Annual Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture
Israel J. Yuval, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
March 28, 2012
(listen to lecture)

"Roads Taken: Jewish Peddlers and the Great Migration of the Modern Era"
Hasia Diner, New York University
February 27, 2012

"Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin"
Timothy Snyder, Yale University
October 3, 2011

"Women, Calendar and Jewish Ritual: Uncovering a Secret Source"
Simon Rawidowicz Annual Memorial Lecture
Elisheva Carlebach, Columbia University
In cooperation with NEJS and The Mandel Center for the Humanities
April 12, 2011

"Sexuality, Secularization, and the Rise of Modern Jewish Literature"
Naomi Seidman, Graduate Theological Union
March 30, 2011

"Religion and the Quest to Contain Violence: A Symposium"
Cosponsored with Ethics Center
March 14, 2011

"Faces of Babi Yar in Felix Lembersky’s Art: Presence and Absence"
Lee Gallery, Rose Art Museum
March 10, 2011

"Thinking the Center through the Margins: Jews and Homosexuals in Post-World War II"
Matti Bunzl, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
In cooperation of Women and Gender Studies Program
This event was CANCELLED
February 16, 2011

"On Jews and Other Nations: An Intellectual Biography of Hans Kohn, 1891-1971"
Adi Gordon, University of Cincinnati
In cooperation with Schusterman Center for Israel Studies
January 28, 2011

“Eastern European Karaites – A Case Study in Jewish Identity”
Daniel J. Lasker, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Boston College
October 15, 2010

"Jews Welcome Coffee in Early Modern Europe"
Robert Liberles, Harvard University
April 14, 2010

"The Ghetto"
Ben Ravid, Brandeis University
March 18, 2010

"Photographing the Jewish Nation Pictures from S. An-sky's Ethnographic Expeditions"
Eugene Avrutin and Harriet Murav, University of Illinois
March 9, 2010

"A New Jewish Theology? Alexander Altmann in Weimar Republic and the Third Reich (1930-1938)"
Thomas Meyer, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich and Max-Weber-Kolleg, Erfurt
March 2, 2010

"Interpreting Judaism through Islam: Scholars, Travelers, and Converts in Modern Europe"
Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth University
February, 24, 2010

"Holocaust and Genocide: A Historian’s Viewpoint"
Holocaust Remembrance Day/Yom Hashoa
Professor Yehuda Bauer, Yad Vashem
April 21, 2009 

“Dominican Haven: The Jewish Refugee Settlement in Sosüa”
Marion Kaplan, Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History, New York University
Cosponsored by The Bernard G. and Rhoda G. Sarnat Center for the Study of Anti-Jewishness
March 10, 2009

 The 46th Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture
"Voice of the Victims: Challenges of An Integrated History of the Holocaust "

Saul Friedländer, UCLA
March 16th, 2009
(listen to lecture)

"Antisemitism: The European and Muslim Legacies"
Robert Wistrich, Neuberger Chair for Modern European and Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Director of the Vidal Sassoon
International Center for the Study of Antisemitism
November 5, 2009

“From Messianic Prophetess to Madwoman: The Displacement of Female Spirituality in the Post-Sabbatean Era”
Ada Rapoport-Albert
November 24, 2008

“The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Moslem and Christian Spain”
Peter Cole
November 18th, 2008

“Recovered Voices”
A Lecture by James Conlon
November 17th, 2008

"Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Lyady as an Educator"
Immanuel Etkes, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Harvard University
April 9, 2008

“Human Rights and the Battle Against Terror: The Israeli Case”
Justice Aharon Barak, Eighth President of the Supreme Court of Israel
March 25, 2007

“‘Whatever is, is in God’: Spinoza’ Alleged Pantheism”
Steven Nadler, University of Wisconsin-Madison
February 7, 2007

“Are the Haredim in Israel Becoming More Israeli?”
Kimmy Caplan, Bar Ilan University
November 9, 2006

Panel Discussion: “Antisemitism: The Challenges Today”
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
November 1, 2006

“We Shall Remember Them All: Commemoration of the Fallen Soldiers in Israel”
Maoz Azaryahu, University of Haifa
October 25, 2006

“Between History and Biography: Memoirs from Postwar Lodz”
Shimon Redlich, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
September 18, 2006

“The Future of French Jewry”
Shmuel Trigano, Paris University
September 14, 2006

How many Concepts of Liberty?”
Quentin Skinner, Cambridge University 
Martin Weiner Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Brandeis English Department, The Wellesley English Department, The History of Ideas, and The Tauber Institute
March 29, 2005

“From Text to Culture and Back Again: The Talmud and the Humanities”
Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert, Stanford University
March 21, 2005

“The New Antisemitism: First Religion, Then Race, Then What?”
Bernard Lewis, Princeton University
March 24, 2004

“Polish Society And The Holocaust: Reflections After Jedwabne”
Antony Polonsky, Brandeis University
Co-sponsor, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University
April 9, 2003

“On Interpretation in Jewish Mysticism”
The Thirty-Eighth Annual Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture
Moshe Idel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Co-Sponsor: The Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University March 10, 2002

“Revelation and Concealment in the Transmission of Intellectual Traditions”
Moshe Halbertal, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Co-sponsors: History of Ideas, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies,International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, and the Department of English, Brandeis University. With the support of: The Martin Weiner Fund, The Abba Eban Fund and The Safier-Jolles Fund
March 12, 2002

“Historical Consciousness in Times of Crisis: German-Jewish Historical Discourse Between Wars”
Dr. Guy Miron, Rutgers University
February 6, 2002

“Italian Racism and the Shoah in Northern Italy”
Dr. Renata Segre, Italian and Papal Archives Investigation Team, Diaspora Research Institute, Tel Aviv-Venice.
Co-sponsor, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University
April 1, 2003

“The Impact of the Holocaust on Jewish Religious Life in the Soviet Union”
Mordechai Altshuler, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Respondent: Gregory Freeze, Brandeis University
November 29, 2001

“Synagogues without Jews: A lecture and slide presentation”
Rivka and Dr. Ben-Zion Dorfman
March 6, 2001

“Bohemian and Moravian Jews: A Case Study in Assimilation”
Helen Epstein, Author
October 10, 2000

“Majesty of Holiness: 19th Century Liturgical Music from Berlin and Prague”
Joshua Jacobson
Conductor, Zamir Choral
November 2, 2000 

“Art and Jewish History: Maurycy Gottlieb's Jewish Pantheon”
Ezra Mendelsohn
November 30, 2000

“Truth on Trial: Perspectives from a British Courtroom”
Deborah E. Lipstadt, Emory University
December 3, 2000