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Construction in Buttrick Hall

As we head into the 2022 Fall Semester, we would like to alert our students and community members of ongoing construction within Buttrick Hall. This construction will hopefully be completed soon, but while the work continues the Jewish Studies library…

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Professor Emerita Amy-Jill Levine honored with Seelisberg Prize by the International Council of Christians and Jews

From the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) – “On Sunday, June 26, 2022, the widely praised New Testament scholar, Prof. Amy-Jill Levine, will be awarded the first ever SEELISBERG PRIZE for the major role her scholarship and teaching…

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Prof Schachter presents at POLIN Book Talks

Allison Schachter will discuss her new book, “Women Writing Jewish Modernity, 1919–1939”, in conversation with Karolina Szymaniak and Anastasiya Lyubas. Host: Anita Norich, Collegiate Professor Emerita at the University of Michigan, specializes in Yiddish literature Speakers: Allison Schachter, Associate Professor…

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New Review – Yiddish Stories from the Ukrainian Provinces

Prof Allison Schatcher‘s recent book, a translation of selected stories by Fradl Shtok titled From the Jewish Provinces, has been reviewed by Tablet. Rokhl Kafrissen has this to say – “… right now, for those of us newly focused on…

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Allison Schachter interviewed for Arts & Sciences Website

Allison Schachter, Chair of Jewish Studies Department and Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, English, and Russian and East European Studies, is featured on the Vanderbilt College of Arts & Science’s Research web page. In this interview, Schachter discusses how her…

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Exhibition co-curated by David H. Price and HART 2775 students

Pressed for Time: Five Centuries of Prints from the Jack May Collection is curated by Cainie Brown, Chloe Davis, Peter Stidman, Sarah Treadway, and Professor David H. Price, with assistance from students in HART 2775, History of Prints: Harrison Denman, Christopher Elliott, Sophia Moak, Courtney Rehkamp, Daniel…

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Julia Phillips Cohen made an editor of Jewish Social Studies

Julia Phillips Cohen has been made a new editor of the journal Jewish Social Studies, published by Indiana University Press. The latest issue, and first under Cohen’s name, can be accessed here. Jewish Social Studies plays an important role in advancing…

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Amy-Jill Levine joins Luke Norsworthy podcast

Dr. Amy-Jill Levine returns to the the Luke Norsworthy podcast to help get ready for Advent by discussing how to read scripture, Biblical illiteracy, mangers, magi, and her book Light of the World. Luke Norsworthy is a pastor, author, and…

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Article by Rebecca Epstein-Levi, “Ill Will: The Problem With Individualizing COVID Risk”

Rebecca Epstein-Levi’s new article in Bitch Media on COVID risk, STIs, rabbinic purity, and why thinking about it in terms of individual responsibility is inadequate— is live. “COVID-19 and sexually transmitted infections both teach us that an all-or-nothing approach to…

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Opinion piece co-authored by David Wasserstein and Phil Lieberman for The Tennessean

David J. Wasserstein, Professor of History and Jewish Studies, and Philip Lieberman, Professor of Jewish Studies, Law, and Religious Studies, have co-authored an opinion piece for The Tennessean titled Avoid Fanning the Flames of Inter-Religious and Inter-Racial Hatred. This piece…

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Play published by Judy Klass, plus one staged and one to watch

Judy Klass, Senior Lecturer of Jewish Studies and English, recently published a play in Summer 2020’s Volume 12 of Qu, a contemporary literary magazine from Queens University of Charlotte. Klass’ short, humorous play The Emperor’s Interview riffs on the Hans…

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Article by David Price appears in the Jewish Quarterly Review

  David Price’s article “The Sincerity of Their Historians”: Jacques Basnage and the Reception of Jewish History” recently appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of the Jewish Quarterly Review. Price is a Professor of Religious Studies and Jewish Studies, specializing in the history…

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New online piece for “The Conversation” by Phil Lieberman

Phil Lieberman has written a new online piece for The Conversation entitled “When religion sided with science: Medieval lessons for surviving COVID-19.” Ackerman-Lieberman is an Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Law, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, and Affiliated Assistant Professor of Islamic…

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Shaul Kelner quoted in Judische Allgemeine; awarded travel grant from Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest

Shaul Kelner, Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies was quoted last week in Judische Allgemeine, a German Jewish newspaper, in an article on the shuttering of American Jewish summer camps due to COVID-19. Kelner has also been awarded a travel grant…

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2020 Contest Winners

The Best Undergraduate Paper in Jewish Studies 1st place: Jake Nicastro, “The Changing Southern Jewish Lifestyle in Virginia” (submission from JS 2230W, “American Jews in Southern Life and Literature,” taught by Adam S. Meyer) Honorable mention: Carly Stewart, “Anzia Yezireska and the Hollywood Ending”…

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Professor AJ Levine recognized for multiple scholarly works

Professor Levine has recently been recommended by The Christian Century for her book, Light of the World. She has also been selected for the United Methodist Women 2020 Reading Program for her book co-authored with Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Who is My Neighbor? For…

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Our Professors Doing Awesome Things – Dr. Rebecca Epstein-Levi

Dr. Epstein-Levi has recently published an op-ed on Rewire News, called “How Ancient Rabbis Can Help Combat STI Stigma.” “The sages, or rabbis, whose teachings were collected in the Mishnah, had a concept they called tumah, or ritual impurity. This term,…

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Ari Joskowicz named a 2019 Chancellor Faculty Fellow

As Vanderbilt News reported: “Eleven outstanding faculty members from across the university have been selected for the 2019 cohort of Chancellor Faculty Fellows. This group is composed of highly accomplished, recently tenured faculty from a wide variety of disciplines and…

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6th Annual Essay Contest winner: Maya Sandel

Maya Sandel has been named the winner of this year’s sixth annual Jewish Studies Essay Competition for her paper “The Credibility of Jewish Activists in the Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter Movements.”  This essay was originally composed for Prof….

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Phil Lieberman awarded NEH grant for summer research

Phillip I. Lieberman has been awarded a competitive NEH grant for the summer of 2019 to complete his book manuscript on the urbanization of the Jews of Iraq and their migration to the communities of North Africa. It will be called…

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Amy-Jill Levine presents her book “The Jewish Annotated New Testament” to Pope Francis

Amy-Jill Levine and her co-author Marc Zvi Brettler presented a copy of their book The Jewish Annotated New Testament to Pope Francis. See below for their statement to an Italian newspaper:   The Jewish Annotated New Testament Comes to Rome by Marc…

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Shaul Kelner to Speak at “Persona Non Grata” Screening at the Belcourt

  Shaul Kelner will be speaking at a screening of “Persona Non Grata” at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville. Sponsored by the Japanese Consulate, “Persona Non Grata” is a dramatization of the true story of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat…

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New Flexible Requirements for Major & Minor

Jewish Studies has updated its requirements to allow for more flexible opportunities for students interested in the broad subject. Take classes in over 17 departments all over Vanderbilt and shape the direction of your own studies. For more information, visit…

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Shaul Kelner to Lecture at “Stay the Night” in New York City

Shaul Kelner will be a guest lecturer at Stay the Night (Tikkun Leil Shavuot) at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan on May 19. His talk is titled “Tinker Tailor Tourist Spy.” Read more about the event here. 

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5th Annual Essay Contest Winner: Jessica Goldberg

Jessica Goldberg has been named the winner of this year’s fifth annual Jewish Studies Essay Competition for her paper “From Sholem-Aleichem’s Tevye to Fiddler on the Roof.”  This essay, originally composed for Prof. Judy Klass’s “American Jewish Songwriters” course, details…

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Joshua Lipsey named 2018 recipient of the Miriam Halachmi Prize in Modern Hebrew

Joshua Lipsey has been named the recipient of this year’s Miriam Halachmi Prize for Excellence in Modern Hebrew, presented by the Program in Jewish Studies.  Yifat Crouvi, Lecturer in Modern Hebrew, singled out Joshua’s motivation and strong sense of responsibility…

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Robert Barsky Receives Rockefeller Bellagio Writing Residency

Robert Barsky has received the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center writing residency, which takes place in Bellagio, Italy, from March-April. According the foundation: For nearly 60 years, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center has enabled the world’s brightest minds and most ambitious…

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Allison Schachter Named as 2018 Chancellor Faculty Fellow

As Vanderbilt News reported: “Twelve outstanding faculty members from across the university have been named to the 2018 class of Chancellor Faculty Fellows. The class comprises highly accomplished, recently tenured faculty from all corners of campus.” “Our world-class faculty are…

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Amy-Jill Levine Featured in Modern Twist on Classic Bible Stories

In this newly published book, classic Bible stories have been written to focus on aspects not typically highlighted in previous children’s versions. Adjunct faculty member Elizabeth F. Caldwell recently published Growing in God’s Love: A Story Bible with clarity, diversity, and accuracy in…

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Jay Geller’s “Bestiarium Judaicum” Featured in New Yorker

Jay Geller’s new book “Bestiarium Judaicum: The Unnatural Histories of the Jews” has been featured in a New Yorker article by Paul Reitter entitled, “The Unlikely Kinship of “Bambi” and Kafka’s “Metamorphosis.”   Excerpt: “In his thoughtful and deeply researched…

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Archaeological Dig in Caesarea, Israel — New Maymester Opportunity

The Program in Jewish Studies is pleased to announce that we have partnered with Classical and Mediterranean Studies and the Israel Antiquities Authority to create a new Maymester program of an archaeological dig in Caesarea, Israel. Email Professor Phil Lieberman…

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Allison Schachter named 2017 Yiddish Translation Fellow

Allison Schachter has been awarded a 2017 Translation Fellowship from the Yiddish Book Center. In collaboration with Jordan Finkin, Schachter will translate a collection of modernist short stories by Fradel Shtok. Learn more about the fellowship here.

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Miriam Halachmi Prize for Excellence in Modern Hebrew Winner: Rachel Hechler

The 2016-17 winner of the Miriam Halachmi Prize is Rachel Hechler. Rachel is a rising Sophomore from Tenafly, New Jersey. She is a student in Peabody College, majoring in Human and Organizational Development following a Health and Human Services Track….

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4th Annual Essay Contest Winner: Kayley Romick

Kayley Romick’s essay “Angles on Angels” has been chosen as the winner of the 2017 Jewish Studies Essay Contest for Best Undergraduate Paper. Set in New York City in the 1990’s, Angels In America follows characters through the throes of illness, infidelity,…

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Statement on Immigration Executive Order

The following statement reflects only the views of the individual signees. February 3, 2017 As teachers and researchers in Islamic Studies and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University, we stand together to oppose President Trump’s executive order to suspend the admittance…

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Authorial Intentions Interview with Robert Alter

Robert Alter, class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, sat for an interview with the Vanderbilt Library about “scholarly trajectories, disciplinary identities, and translation” for their ongoing series Authorial Intentions. Visit the Authorial Intentions catalog…

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Professor Shaul Kelner in Actualité Juive

This week, Professor Shaul Kelner was interviewed in the French Press on the Trump Presidency and American Jews. What impact will the Trump Presidency have on the American Jewish world? Read the full interview with Professor Kelner here.

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What Are We Reading and Writing?

Robert Barsky is a professor in both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Law School at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of three books on Noam Chomsky. His most recent books are Undocumented Immigrants in an Era of Arbitrary Law…

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Blanchard wins Jewish Studies Essay Contest

Alyssa Blanchard’s essay “’Let’s End this Charade’:  Performance and Jewish Identity” has been named the winner of the 2016 Jewish Studies Essay Contest.  Focusing on Dara Horn’s 2009 novel All Other Nights, set during the Civil War era, Blanchard discusses…

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Lucas Wilson, MTS, MA

Reflecting the strength of our Program in Jewish Studies, student Lucas Wilson, MTS, MA received the Zaglembier Society Scholarship from The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies. This award recognizes students who “have a passion for keeping the…

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Judy Klass Receives Act One: One Act Publishing Offer

Judy Klass’s short play Ismene’s Press Conference, a re-imagining of Antigone by Sophocles, is in press at Brooklyn Publishers, which has already published two of her short plays as stand-alone scripts. Her short play Performance Art recently made the finals in the…

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Robert Barsky’s Undocumented Immigrants in an Era of Arbitrary Law has been shortlisted for the Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize

Undocumented Immigrants in an Era of Arbitrary Law; The Flight and the Plight of People Deemed Illegal by Robert F. Barsky has been shortlisted for the Socio-Legal Studies Association’s Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize for 2016 This book describes the experiences of…

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Cohen Wins Multiple Book Prizes For Her Recent Monograph

Julia Phillips Cohen’s Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014) has been awarded multiple prizes including the 2015 Jordan Schnitzer Award in Modern Jewish History, the 2015 Barbara Jelavich Prize…

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Cohen Receives Chancellor’s Award

Chancellor Zeppos presented Julia Cohen with a Chancellor’s Award for Research at the August 27th Faculty Assembly.  He cited the two award-winning publications Julia produced in the past year: Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era,…

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Dultz, Sheppard Win Jewish Studies Student Prizes

ELIZABETH DULTZ has been named the winner of the 2015 Jewish Studies Essay Contest.  Her entry, “Nashville, Zion, and Mortimer May,” tells the history of a second-generation Nashvillian who led the fight to save refugees from Nazi Europe and became…

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Julia Phillips Cohen Wins Two 2014 National Jewish Book Awards

Two 2014 National Jewish Book Awards to Julia Phillips Cohen Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman Honored as Finalist Julia Phillips Cohen has won the 2014 National Jewish Book Award for each of her two new books.  Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History, 1700–1950 (Stanford…

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Joskowicz's "Antisemitism, Anti-Catholicism, and Anticlericalism" featured on Religion and Culture Web Forum

Chapter One of Professor Ari Joskowicz’s monograph, The Modernity of Others: Jewish Anti-Catholicism in Germany and France, is featured this month on the Religion and Culture Web Forum of the Martin Marty Center of University of Chicago. Two scholars, Gil…

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Vanderbilt Hustler on Jewish Studies

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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Cohen's New Book Traces 250 Years of Sephardi Life

Stanford University Press runs series of blog posts about and excerpted from Julia Phillips Cohen and Sarah Abrevaya Stein’s new co-edited volume, Sephardi Lives. To read each of the five entries, follow the links listed below. How Does One Invent…

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Dan King Receives Award for Best Undergraduate Paper in Jewish Studies

Dan King’s essay, “Fear and Trembling in ‘A Bitter Farce,’” provides an interpretation of a 1946 short story by the Jewish-American writer Delmore Schwartz through the lens of ideas propounded by the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard.  The story, based on…

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

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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Tamber-Rosenau's "Lethal Women" Takes Silver in 3MT Competition

Ph.D. student in Hebrew Bible, Caryn Tamber-Rosenau, placed second in the Vanderbilt Graduate Student Councils’ 3MT (3-Mintue-Thesis) competition. 3MT is a campus-wide competition in which students from across departments vie to see who can best present their dissertation research to…

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Graduate Student Anne Grant Presents "T-Shirt Talk" at Slifka Center at Yale

Anne Grant, a Vanderbilt graduate student studying the Sociology of American Jews, presented “T-Shirt Talk: The Art of Reimagining Cultural Jewish Identity” art exhibit at the Yale University Slifka Center which opened on Tuesday, March 4. Grant and Slifka Arts Curator,…

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Lieberman Publishes New Book on Medieval Jewish and Islamic Economic History

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

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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Joskowicz Wins German Studies Association Prize for Heine Article

The North American office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) awarded Ari Joskowicz, Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and European Studies, the Article Prize of the German Studies Association for his piece “Heinrich Heine’s Transparent Masks: Denominational Politics and the…

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Meyer Hosts Session at Southern Festival of Books

Adam Meyer, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, hosted a session entitled “I Witness: Seeking Justice in the Jim Crow South” at the Southern Festival of Books on Sunday, October 13. The session featured Chet Bush, author of Called to the Fire:…

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Zellig Harris: From American Linguistics to Socialist Zionism

By Robert F. Barksky. (The MIT Press, 2011)

In this meticulously-researched biography, Robert Barsky casts a great deal more light upon Harris’s story. Exploring his involvement in the Avukah student group in the 1930s and 40s, Barsky shows how Harris not only strove to advance the cause of socialist Zionism, but also shaped the destinies of several influential thinkers. He also traces the course of the revolutionary programme of linguistic enquiry that Harris laid out, inspired by the example of theoretical physics, and how this ongoing work came to be regarded as eccentric by practitioners of the dominant contemporary research trends.

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