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Blogcast: Shaul Kelner on Jewish Travel Education

Dec. 18, 2015—In December 2015, Prof. Shaul Kelner participated in the blogcast, “Encounters and Journeys: Cultivating Jewish Peoplehood,” sponsored by the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education. The blogcast focused on travel as a form of Jewish education, ethical engagement and...

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2/17/2016 Shaul Kelner in West Bloomfield, Michigan

Dec. 1, 2015—Prof. Shaul Kelner will speak on “Freedom Seders and Matzohs of Hope: Ritual and Politics in the American Movement for Soviet Jews,” at 7:00 PM on February 17, 2016, at the JCC of Metro Detroit. The talk is part of...

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Annual Reports

May. 15, 2015—View our annual reports here: 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2015 (triennial)  

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Shaul Kelner receives NEH support for research on Soviet Jewry movement

Apr. 21, 2015—Prof. Shaul Kelner was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for summer research to study cultural dimensions of the Cold War-era American movement for Soviet Jews.

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Philosophers honor Lenn Goodman’s research in new book

Apr. 19, 2015—Longtime colleagues of Philosophy professor Lenn Goodman have edited a new book about his highly regarded research.

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4/19/2015 Shaul Kelner at NYU

Apr. 18, 2015—Prof. Shaul Kelner will speak at New York University’s Taub Center for Israel Studies conference, “American Jews and Israel: A Relationship in Transition,” Sunday, April 19, 2015. The conference will last from 10:00 AM to 8:30 PM. Prof. Kelner will...

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3/30 Condemning Hate, Reaffirming VU's Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Mar. 30, 2015—Vanderbilt’s Program in Jewish Studies will join with the Office of the Dean of Students, Vanderbilt Student Government, the Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life, the Office of Greek Life and Vanderbilt’s Hillel, Chabad, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council,...

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3/15-16/2015: Two Lectures on Holocaust Memory, with Michael Bernard-Donals

Mar. 16, 2015—Michael Bernard-Donals, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff, and the Nancy Hoefs Professor of English and affiliate member of the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will present two lectures on Holocaust memory.   Sunday 3/15: Public...

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2/24/2015: DRINK. PREY. LUST. Sexual Violence & the Book of Esther. Teach-in.

Feb. 24, 2015—DRINK. PREY. LUST. SEXUAL VIOLENCE & THE BOOK OF ESTHER A TEACH-IN Tuesday, February 24 12:15-4:15 in Sarratt 189 (lunch served) 7:00 in Divinity 122   AFTERNOON PROGRAM 12:15 “NUDITY, DRUNKENNESS AND THE DEATH OF QUEEN VASHTI” Nicholas Schaser,  Ph.D....

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Introduction to Judaism (RLST 1200)

Feb. 1, 2015—Comprehensive overview of the Jewish religion, beliefs and practices, holidays and sacred texts. Next Offered: AXLE Category: Writing Course: Also Eligible for Credit in: Taught by: Fall 2015 HCA No Religious Studies Register now on YES    

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Themes in the Hebrew Bible (RLST 1208)

Feb. 1, 2015—Catalog Description: A thematic introduction to the Hebrew Scripture/Old Testament. Selected themes-such as creation, revelation, covenant, law, suffering, messianic expectation – are traced through the diverse parts of the Bible (Pentateuch, Prophetic Writings, and Wisdom Literature) as well as in...

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Israeli Culture Through Film (JS 2220)

Jan. 22, 2015—  From the Syllabus: Cinematic representations of modern Israeli culture. Historical, social and political aspects. Constructions of national identity. Treatments of war and conflict, ethnicity, gender, Zionism, and more. One weekly required screening on Wednesday at 7pm. This course is...

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Coming of Age in Jewish Literature and Film (JS 2260)

Jan. 15, 2015—Catalog Description: The transition of young Jewish protagonists into adulthood as portrayed in literary works and films from Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Syllabus Description: This course examines coming-of-age novels, stories, memoirs, and films from multiple Jewish cultural perspectives. What...

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Jews and Greeks (JS 2640)

Jan. 8, 2015—Catalog Description: From the seventh century BCE to ca. 1500 CE. Sites of interaction, languages, cultural ties, religious tensions, political conflicts, and competing philosophies. Works by Elephantine, Alexander the Great, the Maccabees, the Septuagint, Aristeas, Josephus. Next Offered: AXLE Category:...

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Jewish Animals (JS 3890 Special Topics)

Jan. 5, 2015—Special Topics Course: Throughout the centuries verbal and visual images of animals (pigs, dogs, vermin, rodents, apes, etc.) have been used to debase and bestialize Jews. What then is going on when Jewish writers employ such animal figures in their...

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Secularism (JS 3890 Special Topics)

Jan. 3, 2015—Special Topics Course: Secularism is a cultural phenomenon commonly associated with the contemporary world, especially the modern Western world. Its precise character, though, is quite elusive, pointing to attitudes and cultural forms that vary widely from each other. Secularism poses...

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Advanced Hebrew Composition (HEBR 2302W)

Dec. 24, 2014—Catalog Description: Development of writing skills through the study of short stories, poems, articles, television, and web materials. Prerequisite: HEBR 2301 (waived for Fall 17) Next Offered: AXLE Category: Writing Course: Also Eligible for Credit in: Taught by: Fall 2017...

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Independent Study in Modern Hebrew (HEBR 3851)

Dec. 23, 2014—    Catalog Description: May be repeated for a total of 6 credits in HEBR 3851 and 3852 combined if there is no duplication in topic, but students may earn only up to 3 credits per semester of enrollment. [1-3;...

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Independent Study in Modern Hebrew (HEBR 3852)

Dec. 22, 2014—Catalog Description: May be repeated for a total of 6 credits in HEBR 3851 and 3852 combined if there is no duplication in topic, but students may earn only up to 3 credits per semester of enrollment. [1-3; maximum of...

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Goodman honored with volume in Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers

Dec. 8, 2014—The Brill publishing house has devoted a new volume in its Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers to the work of Lenn E. Goodman, Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Studies and Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University....

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Lenn E. Goodman: Judaism, Humanity, and Nature

Nov. 21, 2014—Lenn E. Goodman: Judaism, Humanity, and Nature. Volume 9 in the Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers. Edited by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes. With an Introduction by Alan Mittleman Jewish Theological Seminary. Brill 2015. From the publisher’s website: “Lenn...

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11/12/2014: Goodman & Geller on Lemkin & Genocide

Nov. 12, 2014—On Wednesday, November 12th, Vanderbilt’s Social and Political Thought Workshop will feature Prof. Lenn Goodman, presenting on “Raphael Lemkin – Framing the Concept of Genocide.” Prof. Jay Geller will serve as commentator. ROOM: Sarratt 189 TIME: Noon-1:30 Attendees of the...

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Listen and Learn: A-J Levine on Jesus's Jewish Roots (NPR's On Point)

Nov. 12, 2014—Prof. Amy-Jill Levine joins guest host John Harwood and author James Carroll on NPR’s On Point, for a discussion of why Jesus’s Jewish roots matter. The interview was broadcast on November 12, 2014. Click below to listen, and here for...

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12/14 AJS Annual Conference

Nov. 11, 2014—Shaul Kelner, Julia Cohen, Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman, and other faculty and graduate students from Vanderbilt’s Jewish Studies program will speak at this year’s Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland at the Hilton Baltimore. Speakers: Prof. Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman The...

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11/6/2014: Ari Joskowicz at Nashville Jewish Film Festival

Nov. 5, 2014—Prof. Ari Joskowicz will speak at the Nashville Jewish Film Festival on the evening of November 6, 2014. Prof. Joskowicz will speak following the film Aftermath, directed by Wladyslaw Pasikowski. Film synopsis: After living in the US, Franek returns to...

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11/4: Hebrew Table

Oct. 29, 2014—

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Shaul Kelner 11/17/14 at Colby College in Waterville, Maine

Oct. 26, 2014—Prof. Shaul Kelner will speak at Colby College on the evening of November 17, 2014. Title: “Pilgrimage in a Tourist Age: The Case of Birthright Israel” Monday, 17 November, 2014, 5:00 P.M. Contact: Prof. David Freidenreich at dfreiden@colby.edu Location: Parker...

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Jack Sasson 11/7/14 in Nashville, TN

Oct. 25, 2014—Prof. Jack Sasson speak on will speak on Abraham and Abimelech at Congregation Sherith Israel in Nashville, TN on the evening of November 7, 2014. RSVP for the dinner lecture at (615) 292-6614.

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Shaul Kelner 10/27/14 at the University of Kentucky

Oct. 24, 2014—Prof. Shaul Kelner will speak at the University of Kentucky on the evening of October 27, 2014. Title: “Pilgrimage in a Tourist Age: The Case of Birthright Israel and the Shaping of Jewish Identity” Monday, 27 October, 2014, 7:00 P.M....

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Shaul Kelner 10/23/14 at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario

Oct. 15, 2014—Prof. Shaul Kelner will deliver the 2014 Lillian and Marvin Goldblatt Lecture in Jewish Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario on the evening of October 23, 2014.

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10/7 to 11/4: Holocaust Lecture Series

Oct. 2, 2014—Holocaust Lecture Series Brochure Info

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Vanderbilt Hustler on Jewish Studies

Sep. 28, 2014—Features editor Maddie Hughes profiles Jewish life on campus in the 9/24/14 issue of the Hustler. As for the Program in Jewish Studies, read on. Aside from campus organizations, both Jewish and non-Jewish students are able to learn about Judaism...

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Listen and Learn: Lenn Goodman on "The Soul and Its Body"

Sep. 19, 2014—Listen to Prof. Lenn Goodman discuss his book Coming to Mind: The Soul and Its Body, co-authored with D. Gregory Caramenico. Prof. Goodman was interviewed by Christopher Benda for the podcast series, Authorial Intentions, on September 19, 2014. Click here to...

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Listen and Learn: Ari Joskowicz on Jewish Anti-Catholicism in Germany and France

Jul. 15, 2014—Listen to Prof. Ari Joskowicz discuss his book, The Modernity of Others: Jewish Anti-Catholicism in Germany and France. Prof. Joskowicz was interviewed by Todd Weir for the podcast series, New Books in Intellectual History, on July 15, 2014. Click here to listen...

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Grad Student Anne Grant's T-Shirt Talk Featured in Jewish Daily Forward

Apr. 25, 2014—Graduate student Anne Grant’s project, “T-Shirt Talk: The Art of Reimagining Cultural Jewish Identity” is featured on the Forward’s blog, The Schmooze. The exhibition-cum-research-project is built around a collection of almost 100 Jewish-themed t-shirts. Grant explains the project in the Forward:...

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Listen and Learn: Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman on Jews, Muslims, and Economic Life in Medieval Egypt

Apr. 4, 2014—Listen to Prof. Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman discuss his book The Business of Identity: Jews, Muslims, and Economic Life in Medieval Egypt Prof. Lieberman was interviewed by Christopher Benda for the podcast series, Authorial Intentions, on April 4, 2014. Click here to listen...

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Listen and Learn: Lenn Goodman on "Religious Pluralism and Values"

Mar. 6, 2014—Listen to Prof. Lenn Goodman discuss his book Religious Pluralism and Values in the Public Sphere. Prof. Goodman was interviewed by Christopher Benda for the podcast series Authoral Intentions, on March 6, 2014. Click here to listen to the interview.

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Watch and Learn: Shaul Kelner 3/6/14 on the Soviet Jewry Movement

Mar. 6, 2014—Watch Shaul Kelner’s lecture on “Soviet Jewry Activists & Civic Engagement” at the National Museum of American Jewish History, March 6, 2014, in Philadelphia. Delivered for the Murray Friedman Memorial Lecture, a symposium sponsored by Temple University’s Feinstein Center for American...

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Lieberman Publishes New Book on Medieval Jewish and Islamic Economic History

Jan. 14, 2014—The Business of Identity: Jews, Muslims, and Economic Life in Medieval Egypt By Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman Stanford University Press, 2014 From the publisher’s website: The Cairo Geniza is the largest and richest store of documentary evidence for the medieval Islamic...

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Graduate Student Anne Grant weighs in on Pew debate in Haaretz Op-Ed

Oct. 23, 2013—The October 2013 release of the Pew Research Center’s Portrait of American Jews, the first major survey of the American Jewish population in more than a decade, has generated intense debate about its implications for the American Jewish future. Anne...

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Listen and Learn: Jack Sasson on the Book of Judges

Oct. 21, 2013—Listen to Prof. Jack Sasson discuss his book Judges 1-12: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Prof. Sasson was interviewed by Christopher Benda for the podcast series, Authorial Intentions, on October 21, 2013. Click here to listen to the interview.

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10/3: GWU's Joselit on Ten Commandments Controversy in US

Aug. 8, 2013—Historian Jenna Weissman Joselit (GWU) speaks at Vanderbilt on October 4th: "The Great Ten Commandments Controversy of 1850," 4:00 P.M., 100 Alumni Hall. Her lecture is free and open to the public.

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Michael Bess, Interim Director

Jul. 29, 2013—Interim Director, Program in Jewish Studies (effective August 1, 2015) Chancellor’s Professor of History Professor of European Studies B.A.(Reed College,, 1979) M.A., Ph.D. (University of California, Berkeley, 1983, 1989) 615.322.3340 m.bess@vanderbilt.edu 208 Benson Michael Bess is a specialist in 20th-...

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Major in Jewish Studies

Jul. 22, 2013—The major in Jewish Studies requires a minimum of 30 credit hours: Foundational Course (3), Language (6), Focus Courses from 3 of 4 subfields (12), Senior Capstone (3), Electives (6)

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Lenn Goodman

Jul. 21, 2013—Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Studies Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities B.A. (Harvard University 1965) D.Phil (Oxford University, 1968) (615) 343-3158 lenn.e.goodman@vanderbilt.edu 117 Furman Hall Lenn E. Goodman is a Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Studies, and Andrew...

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Jewish American Literature (ENGL 3664)

Jun. 7, 2013—Catalog Description: Nineteenth century to the present. Issues of race, gender, ethnicity, immigration, and diaspora. Offered on a graded basis only. From the syllabus: This course surveys the major questions and themes of twentieth-century Jewish American literature and situates this...

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Culture, Philosophy & Literature Courses from Other Departments

Jun. 2, 2013—English: 3664, Jewish American Literature. French: 4430, The Struggle of Encounter: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in Literature. German: 3344, Women at the Margins: German-Jewish Women Writers; 2445, Nazi Cinema: The Manipulation of Mass Culture. History of Art: 2765, Art Since 1945....

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Rakefet Zalashik

Apr. 8, 2013—Fall 2014 AICE Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Medicine, Health and Society Rakefet Zalashik was the AICE Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University for the Fall 2014 semester. Her work...

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Miriam Halachmi (1944-2015)

Mar. 2, 2012—Lecturer in Modern Hebrew from 1982 through 2013   Specialization in Education of the Gifted (Kansas University 1977) B.A. in Psychology (State University of New York, Buffalo 1973) B.A. in Education and Counseling (Hebrew University of Jerusalem 1968) Certificate in...

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The Jewish Annotated New Testament

Jul. 26, 2011—Edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler. (Oxford University Press, 2011). Although major New Testament figures were Jews, living in a culture steeped in Jewish history, beliefs, and practices, there has never been an edition of the New Testament that addresses its Jewish background and the culture from which it grew--until now. In The Jewish Annotated New Testament, eminent experts put these writings back into the context of their original authors and audiences, and explain how these writings have affected the relations of Jews and Christians over the past two thousand years.

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Listen and Learn: Lenn Goodman and Richard McGregor on "The Case of Animals vs Man"

Oct. 26, 2010—Listen to Professors Lenn Goodman and Richard McGregor  discuss their book The Case of the Animals versus Man Before the King of the Jinn. Professors Goodman and McGregor were interviewed by Christopher Benda for the podcast series, Authorial Intentions, on October...

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Listen and Learn: Shaul Kelner on "Tours That Bind"

Aug. 13, 2010—Listen to Prof. Kelner discuss his book Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage, and Israeli Birthright Tourism. Prof. Kelner was interviewed by Christopher Benda for the podcast series, Authorial Intentions, on August 13, 2010. Click here for the interview.

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Listen and Learn: Lenn Goodman on "Creation and Evolution"

Jun. 14, 2010—Listen to Lenn Goodman discuss his book Creation and Evolution. Prof. Goodman was interviewed by Christopher Benda for the podcast series, Authorial Intentions, on June 14, 2010. Click here to listen to the interview.  

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Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage and Israeli Birthright Tourism

Apr. 26, 2010—By Shaul Kelner. (New York University Press, 2010). Since 1999 hundreds of thousands of young American Jews have visited Israel on an all-expense-paid 10-day pilgrimage-tour known as Birthright Israel. This ethnographic analysis provides an on-the-ground look at this hotly debated and widely emulated use of tourism to forge transnational ties.

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