The Program in Jewish Studies and the University of Colorado's Libraries Special Collections and Archives welcomes the 2017 Jim and Diane Shneer Fellow in Post-Holocaust American Judaism, Professor Amy Milligan, Batten Endowed Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Women's Studies and Director of the Institute of Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding at Old Dominion University. Professor Milligan will be in residence October 9-13, 2017 conducting research in the Post-Holocaust American Judaism Collections and will present a faculty and student colloquium on Thursday, October 12 titled "Renewing Her Body: The Body as a Feminist Ritual Text in the Jewish Renewal Movement, 1970-2015."
Open to CU faculty, staff, and students.
One of the ways Jewish women have navigated a patriarchal religious system is through their engagement with what folklorists identify as "symbol sets." Within Judaism, there exist a number of significant symbols that are utilized within religious life and practice. These significant symbols are steeped in maleness, particularly when the symbols are utilized on the physical body (for example, yarmulkes, tallisim, tefillin, beards).
In this study, consideration is given to the Jewish feminist reclamation of the literal physical body in the Renewal Movement and synagogue life, questioning how women can articulate their intersecting identities through embodying of their Yiddishkeit, and how Jewish feminists use their bodies as subversive canvases to claim space. These actions reflect a nuanced navigation of Jewish law, allowing women to amplify their voices in a context that might otherwise silence them.
Thursday, October 12 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
RSVP to CUJewishStudies@colorado.edu for location and pre-circulated reading.
Professor Milligan is the Batten Endowed Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Women's Studies and Director of the Institute of Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding at Old Dominion University. She is the author of Hair, Headwear, and Orthodox Jewish Women: Kallah's Choice (Lexington, 2014), and her research explores the intersections of hair, body, gender, sexuality, and religion. She has published in Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, Journal of Lesbian Studies, Children's Folklore Review, and Littman's Jewish Cultural Series. She also has received the Raphael Patai Prize in Jewish Folklore and Ethnology from the American Folklore Society (2011) and the Duke University Rubenstein Fellowship for Jewish Studies (2017).
Professor Milligan's research in the Post-Holocaust American Judaism Collections will be an expansion of her current work on the Jewish body's potential as a subversive feminist text. She will use the PHAJ Collections to aid in her investigation of how women's voices and bodies, particularly in the Renewal Movement, can represent a reactionary change to the outside cultural pressures, both from secular and Jewish Culture.
Professor Milligan's visit is part of the Community Talks Series, made possible by support from Rose Community Foundation. A subscription series, Community Talks features nationally and international renowned scholars, authors, artists, and performers for themed public events with the goal of enriching community learning and expanding access to academic programming on Jewish culture and history. Learn more and subscribe today.
Sunday, October 15, 2017 @ 4:00 PM
Elaine Wolf Theatre, MACC @ the JCC | 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, CO 80246
Purchase Tickets Online | Free tickets available for students, educators & Holocaust survivors by calling 303-316-6360.
The University of Denver Center for Judaic Studies, the University of Colorado Boulder Program in Jewish Studies, and the University of Colorado Boulder Religious Studies are pleased to present Elizabeth Rynecki as the 15th Annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecturer. She is the author of Chasing Portraits: A Great-Granddaughter's Quest for Her Lost Art Legacy, a memoir that shows one woman's emotional quest to find the art of her Polish-Jewish great-grandfather lost during World War II.
Join us to learn more about the Holocaust from the perspective of looted art as Rynecki shares her compelling story about hunting for lost pieces of her great-grandfather's legacy for over two decades, setting upon a journey to seek out what had been lost but never forgotten. This event will take place on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 4:00 PM. Free tickets and transportation are avaliable for CU Boulder students, faculty, and staff. If you need transportation, you must RSVP to CUJewishStudies@colorado.edu so we can have an accurate head count.
"In recent years, there has been an increase in the awareness of the problem of looted and stolen art, and Chasing Portraits makes an important contribution to the field. But it's much more than just a tale of detective work. Elizabeth Rynecki's story is transcendent, presenting the reader with an elevated level of passion and duty. For this reason, it sets itself apart from the rest of the field."
—Anthony M. Amore, Author of Stealing Rembrandts and The Art of the Con
Elizabeth is the great-granddaughter of Moshe Rynecki, an artist born near Warsaw in 1881. Moshe began drawing at an early age. According to family lore, he used chalk, or sometimes paint when available, to draw on the floor and walls of his home. According to a report published in 1907, Moshe attended the Warsaw Academy of Art. He went on to paint that which he knew best – the Polish-Jewish community. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Moshe became concerned about preserving his life's work. He made the decision to divide his body of work, which reached close to 800 paintings and sculptures, into bundles and hide them in and around Warsaw. Moshe died in Majdanek and his daughter was murdered in the Warsaw Ghetto. His wife and son, along with his son's family, survived the war.
For many years the Rynecki family believed that just a single bundle survived. Fortunately, that was not the case, and Elizabeth has found a substantial number of previously "lost" works over the last several years. There are known to be 54 pieces in two museums in Warsaw. There are also privately held pieces in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, Israel, and Poland. Elizabeth continues to update rynecki.org with academic research, educational resources and tracking lost Rynecki paintings.
This event is presented by the University of Denver Center for Judaic Studies and cosponsored by the University of Colorado Boulder Program in Jewish Studies and Religious Studies, Holocaust Awareness Institute, and Mizel Arts and Cultural Center. It is in partnership with the 10th Annual Neustadt JAAMM Festival.
Who is She? The Shekhinah, which derives from the Hebrew word for "dwell or settle," is a feminine divine presence, guiding and protecting men and women everywhere. She is power, wisdom, and compassion and has influenced Jews from the ancient world through Second and Third Wave feminism and into the transgender and environmental concerns of the present day. Who is She, how has She empowered us, and how does She appear to us today?
SHE, the third biannual Embodied Judaism Symposium, will explore the concept of Shekhinah, drawing on materials in the Post-Holocaust American Judaism Collections held at the University of Coloraod Boulder. The symposium will feature insight and embodied presentations by Rabbi Dr. Tirzah Firestone, Professor Joy Ladin, and Professor Samuel Boyd as well as an original performance from dancer and choreographer Robert Sher-Machherndl. The symposium will be accompanied by an exhibit exploring the concept of Shekhinah, which will be on display in CU Boulder's Norlin Library.
The 2017 symposium and exhibit are hosted by the Program in Jewish Studies and the Univeristy Libraries' Special Collections and Archives and made possible by support from Rose Community Foundation, a Research and Innovative Seed Grant, and university cosponsors.
The Embodied Judaism Series, held biannually on the University of Colorado Boulder campus, draws on materials housed in the Post-Holocaust American Judaism Collections to explore the role of the body in Jewish life through public symposiums featuring academic scholars, prominent practitioners, and artistic performers, and multimedia exhibits aimed at academic and non-academic audiences. It is a partnership between the Program in Jewish Studies, University Libraries' Special Collections and Archives, and cosponsors.
SHE: Embodied Judaism Symposium is part of the Community Talks Series, made possible by support from Rose Community Foundation. A subscription series, Community Talks features nationally and international renowned scholars, authors, artists, and performers for themed public events with the goal of enriching community learning and expanding access to academic programming on Jewish culture and history. Learn more and subscribe today.
December 7, 2017 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
Mysticism has become increasingly central to American Judaism and increasingly accessible to American Jews. The Jewish Mysticism Working Group Roundtable aims to involve students, faculty, and community members in a discussion about various trends in and concerns of Jewish mysticism over time up to today. The Roundtable represents the inaugural session of the Program in Jewish Studies’ Working Group on Jewish Mysticism and will feature presentations by notable scholars and practitioners of Jewish mysticism followed by audience discussion.
This year's Round Table will include discussions with David Sanders, Founder and Executive Director of Kabbalah Experience, Sarah Pessin, Director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Professor of Philosophy at Denver University, and Zvi Ish-Shalom, Associate Professor at Naropa University. The discussion will be moderated by Nan Goodman, Director of the Program in Jewish Studies and Professor of English and Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.
The Jewish Mysticism Working Group Round Table is part of the Community Talks Series, made possible by support from Rose Community Foundation. A subscription series, Community Talks features nationally and international renowned scholars, authors, artists, and performers for themed public events with the goal of enriching community learning and expanding access to academic programming on Jewish culture and history. Learn more and subscribe today.
In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27
Thursday, January 25, 2018 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
Old Main Theater | CU Boulder campus
Free and open to the public. RSVP to CUJewishStudies@colorado.edu.
How should we think about the transmission of Holocaust memory more than seventy years after the defeat of Nazi Germany? What lessons do the events of the Shoah bear for a moment in which far-right political movements are once again on the rise? In order to address such questions, Professor Michael Rothberg considers immigrants’ engagement with the Holocaust in contemporary Germany. The works of art, literature, and performance that he will discuss model alternative ways of remembering the Nazi genocide in the twenty-first century and suggest possibilities for an ethically and politically engaged memory work.
Professor Rothberg's lecture is presented in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27.
Michael Rothberg is the 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. His latest book is Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (2009), published by Stanford University Press in their “Cultural Memory in the Present” series. He is also the author of Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation (2000), and has co-edited The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings (2003) and special issues of the journals Criticism, Interventions, Occasion, and Yale French Studies. He is currently completing The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators and Inheritance Trouble: Migrant Archives of Holocaust Remembrance (with Yasemin Yildiz).
Thursday, February 8, 2018 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
Old Main Theater | CU Boulder campus
Free and open to the public. RSVP to CUJewishStudies@colorado.edu.
Growing up in materialistic 1980s Los Angeles, Ariel Sabar wanted nothing to do with his father. Yona Sabar was a distinguished professor at UCLA and one of the world’s foremost experts on Aramaic, the 3,000-year-old language of the Jewish Talmud — and of Jesus. But Ariel saw his father as a stone-age relic, a walking fashion tragedy who couldn’t get his clothes to match and refused to see a barber about his out-of-control, Einstein-like hair. Yona had been born in an ancient village of Aramaic-speaking Jews in the mountains of Kurdish Iraq—the oldest corner of the Jewish diaspora — but for Ariel, his father might well have been born on the moon. Then Ariel had his own son, and everything changed.
In his talk, Ariel weaves together the remarkable story of the Kurdish Jews and their Aramaic tongue with the moving tale of how a consummate California kid came to write a book about his family’s Kurdish roots. The book, My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for his Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, one of the highest honors in American letters.
Ariel Sabar won the National Book Critics Circle Award for his debut book, My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for his Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq (2008). His second book, Heart of the City (2011), was called a "beguiling romp" (New York Times) and an "engaging, moving and lively read" (Toronto Star). His Kindle Single, The Outsider: The Life and Times of Roger Barker (2014), was a best-selling nonfiction short.
Sabar is also an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper's, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Mother Jones, and This American Life, among many other places. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University. Learn more on his website, arielsabar.com.
Ariel Sabar's visit is part of the Community Talks Series, made possible by support from Rose Community Foundation. A subscription series, Community Talks features nationally and international renowned scholars, authors, artists, and performers for themed public events with the goal of enriching community learning and expanding access to academic programming on Jewish culture and history. Learn more and subscribe today.