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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: https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/covid-19-pandemic-stis-personal-responsibility “COVID-19 and sexually transmitted infections both teach us that an all-or-nothing approach…

Student Testimonials

Madeleine Davis, Classics & Political Science Ezra Howe, Divinity School   Christina Karageorgou-Bastea, Associate Professor of Spanish at Vanderbilt

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

Women praying at the Islamic Center of Nashville Bellevue Mosque, Friday, April 19, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee; Courtney Pedroza/The Tennesseean David J. Wasserstein, Professor of History and Jewish Studies, and Philip Lieberman, Professor of Jewish Studies and Law, and Religious…

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

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…

New online piece for “The Conversation” by Paul Liebermann

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” and “The Miriam Halachmi Prize for Excellence in Modern Hebrew”

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”…

4/13 “Jewish and Israeli Poetry in Time of Crisis” with Mazalit Haim, Assistant Professor Jewish Studies

We had a great turn out at our poetry workshop with Prof. Mazalit Haim and poet Linda Ravenswood. It was well attended by students, faculty and community members who have written some great poems concerning our unique present moment.

JS 2555: Creative Writing from Jewish Perspectives

JS 2555: Creative Writing from Jewish Perspectives Catalog description: Creative writing course with readings as broad how-to guides. How Jewish and non-Jewish writers engage with or distance themselves from their their socio-ethnic/religious identity. Reading and writing in multiple genres including short…

Workshop with Prof. Adam Meyer: Storytelling as Community-Bridging – Martin Luther King Jr. and the Book of Exodus

As a part of Vanderbilt’s MLK Day commemoration on January 20, Professor Meyer will be hosting a teach-in session from 3:30-4:45pm in Sarratt 325/327. We hope to see you there! For more info: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/mlk/schedule-of-events/ Presenter: Adam Meyer, associate professor of…

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Judeo-Spanish Workshops this past Fall!

This fall, the Program in Jewish Studies sponsored two all-day Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) workshops, organized by Vanderbilt Professor Julia Phillips Cohen, and led by two world renowned scholars in Judeo-Spanish linguistics and literature. The first workshop, held on October 20th, was…

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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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Join Professor Mazalit Haim for discussions on Israeli Culture and the unique history of the Hebrew language

On Wednesday, 11.6.19, Prof. Mazalit Haim gave a talk on the history of modern Hebrew language, which was followed by a documentary by the Israeli-French artist Nurith Aviv. She also lectured on various cinematic representations of native Israelis, which was…

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“That Obnoxious Order” – Lunch Talk with Professor Jonathan Sarna

This lecture is part of the Association for Jewish Studies Distinguished Lectureship Program. The Vanderbilt Programs in Jewish Studies and American Studies, the Department of History and the Alexander Heard Libraries are pleased to sponsor Dr. Jonathan Sarna of Brandeis…

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But is it art? Jews, photography, and photojournalism in Britain, 1860-2016 Presented on October 6th by Michael Berkowitz

In a critical period for both journalism and the popularization of the fine arts in Britain, a disproportionate share of press photographers, as well as editors, art-editors, and picture-agency heads were of Jewish origins from 1918 to 1951.  Britain’s foundational…

SJAS Conference to be held at Vanderbilt University

The 17th International Conference of the Society for Judaeo-Arabic Studies will be held at Vanderbilt from 15-18 August. The conference will feature world-renowned scholars speaking on all issues of Judaeo-Arabic language, literature, philosophy, society, and culture. The conference will begin…

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…

Dr. Adam Gregerman to Speak 3/14

To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the groundbreaking 1965 Roman Catholic declaration on the relation between the Church and Judaism, both Jews and Catholics have released major theological statements on Jewish-Christian relations. Dr. Gregerman will critically analyze these…

Professor Julia Cohen to present at the 3rd annual International Ladino Day celebration at the University of Washington

Sephardi Lives in Living Color Two editors, seven years, fifteen languages, and hundreds of documents. These are the elements of Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History. The impressive new volume out from Stanford University Press was co-edited by Prof. Julia Phillips Cohen of…

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10/12/15- Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields Presented by Holocaust Lecture Series

Now in its 38th year, Vanderbilt’s annual Holocaust lecture series is the longest-running program of its kind at any university in the U.S. This year’s theme is gender and genocide which will explore how the multifaceted entanglements of gender and…

Holocaust Lecture Series Sponsors Screening of Ida 10/21/15

Now in its 38th year, Vanderbilt’s annual Holocaust lecture series is the longest-running program of its kind at any university in the U.S. This year’s theme is gender and genocide which will explore how the multifaceted entanglements of gender and genocide,…

Genocide and Sexual Violence, A Panel Discussion 11/3/15

Shame-filled and stigma-fearing silences, sexism, and the nonrecognition of sexual violence as more and other than violent sex have contributed to the marginalization if not outright omission of the occurrences and functions of sexual violence in genocides from Nazi-occupied Europe…

Annual Reports

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)  

Michael Bess, Interim Director

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

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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