It is with great pleasure that I write to welcome students, faculty, community members, and friends near and far to a new academic year in the Program in Jewish Studies. As the new Director of PJS, I wish to extend to you the kind of warm welcome and support I have received from our amazing faculty, students, and staff, who have demonstrated an unprecedented level of intellectual engagement, willingness to participate, and generosity of spirit in my first two months on the job.
The warmth of this welcome is, we trust, matched by the breadth of our embrace. The Program in Jewish Studies continues to maintain and expand a wealth of programs that we hope will serve as ports of entry for everyone in our community. We are offering a wide array of courses at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as a full schedule of talks, seminars, and colloquia throughout the year. In September, we are hosting the noted Israeli-Palestinian writer, Sayed Kashua, whose public lecture will serve as the inaugural event of our Israel/Palestine Endowed Professorship. In November, we are bringing together a number of noted speakers and social justice activists for our biennial Embodied Judaism event, which is inspired by and pays homage to the famous civil rights Freedom Seder of 1969. In the spring, we are excited to welcome both Professor Marc Baer, who will conduct a public lecture on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2016, and Professor Naomi Seidman, our 2017 Sondra D. Bender Visiting Scholar.
PJS continues to expand learning opportunities for our students, develop teaching and research resources for our faculty and community, and build our ranks of exceptional faculty members. We are fielding student interns in the community and are just now initiating plans to take another group of students to study Jews and Muslims in Istanbul this coming summer. We are adding to our internationally renown archives in Post-Holocaust Judaism and are delighted to announce that Assistant Professor Liora Halperin will hold the new position of Israel/Palestine Endowed Professor. We also welcome three new faculty to our ranks: Professor Beverly Weber, who works on gender, Muslims, and Jews in German culture, Professor Yonatan Malin, who comes to us from the Music School and works on the German lied and Jewish liturgical music, and, finally, the University of Colorado’s first ever Bible scholar, Professor Sam Boyd, who works on Biblical socio-linguistics. Three new staff members have also joined us. Meghan Zibby, who has worked in the office as our Outreach and Administrative Coordinator and so is a familiar name and face to many, is serving as our interim Executive Manager, and Tyler Lehrer, an MA student in Religious Studies, is taking over as our new Outreach and Administrative Coordinator on a part-time basis. We also welcome Michael Lynn as our new major/minor advisor in Jewish Studies.
We are also looking forward. We are undergoing a unit review this year -- our first-- and we in Jewish Studies plan to take advantage of the opportunity to think about where we would like to be three to five years down the road. We very much hope that all of our community members from students to faculty to friends will join our year-long discussion as we take stock of our present and imagine our future.
Finally, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the support of our generous donors who make all the things we do here in Jewish Studies possible. This support ensures that every student who wants a global experience can afford it, that our program attracts and retains outstanding faculty through faculty support, and that we reach Jewish Studies students of all ages!
Please click the link below for more information about how to make a contribution and direct your money to specific initiatives in Jewish Studies.
Thanks to all of you for all you do.