Jewish Studies Program at Michigan State University


Yael Aronoff - Michigan State Jewish Studies


Our Jewish Studies Program had an exciting fall and spring semesters, hosting eight outside speakers and screening one film. This past spring we had fourteen speakers in addition to our 10th Annual Israeli Film Festival. We are co-sponsoring events with a dozen units and programs across the university throughout the year, and continuing our monthly Jewish Studies research seminars with faculty and students.


Friday, September 18, 10:00-11:30 am
Wells Hall B-342
Jewish Studies Faculty and Student Research Seminar
“Latin American Jewish Immigrants in the US”
Presenter: Steven Gold, Department of Sociology, MSU
Co-sponsored with the Department of Sociology.


Matthew Kaufman MSUFriday, October 9, 10:00-11:30 am
Wells Hall B-342
Jewish Studies Faculty and Student Research Seminar
“Deploying Race Against Assimilation: Horace Kallen Confronts Jews and America”
Presenter: Matthew Kaufman, Department of Religious Studies, MSU.


Yuval BenzimanSunday, October 18, 10:00 am–12:00 pm
University Club of MSU, 3435 Forest Road, Lansing, MI
Fall Jewish Studies / Hadassah Brunch
“Israel and the Two-Level Game: Internal Changes, External Challenges”
Presenter: Yuval Benziman, Israel Institute and Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar
Brunch is $22 per person in advance; $27 at the door. Checks made out to Hadassah should be sent to Sandy Goodman, 1441 Roxburgh Ave., East Lansing, MI 48823 by October 13, 2015. Your cancelled check is your receipt.


Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday, October 1820
Wells Hall B-122
11th Annual Israeli Film Festival
Normally run in the spring, this year’s Israeli Film Festival will be held in the fall. Film line-up and cosponsors to be announced.


Dennis Ross at Michigan State UniversityThursday, November 5, 7:00 pm
Kellogg Center Auditorium
Guest Lecture
“Doomed to Succeed: The US–Israeli Relationship from Truman to Obama”
Presenter: Dennis Ross, William Davidson Distinguished Fellow and counselor, Washington Institute
Co-sponsored by MSU Hillel Center, Asian Studies Center, James Madison College, and College of Arts and Letters.


Attention MSU students:
Interested in taking course with a Jewish Studies content? Or wondering what upcoming courses to take that will fulfill the Jewish Studies minor and specialization? Click here to download the latest Jewish Studies Courses 2015–16 listings at MSU for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters.

For example, in Fall 2015, we have JS 390 “Special Topics in Jewish Studies: Israeli Cinema,” taught by Marc Bernstein (our first JS-coded course!). For Spring 2016, we have HST 317 “American Jewish History,” IAH 211C “Area Studies America: Jewish-American Cultures,” and REL 413 “Jewish Philosophy.” Visiting Serling Israeli scholar Yuzal Benziman (from the Israeli Institute) will be teaching two courses in Spring 2016: MC 390 “Studying Conflict via Cultural Texts: The Israeli Case,” and MC 492 “Senior Seminar in International Relations: Israel’s Foreign Policy.” Hebrew language courses for both semesters will be taught by Yore Kedem, a native Hebrew speaker and Israeli scholar. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Yael Aronoff, the director and adviser for the Jewish Studies Program.


Study Abroad in Israel: Chen Bram, last year’s Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar, will lead the summer program at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2015. For details about Study Abroad, contact Yael Aronoff at




The Jewish Studies Program has raised $2 million toward a $3 million Farber Family Endowed Chair in Holocaust Studies and European Jewish History. The search for the first teacher/scholar to hold the position has commenced and applications are due October 1, 2015. The position will be sited in James Madison College and shared with the History Department. It will be a core position in the Jewish Studies Program.


Ken Waltzer’s Big Retirement Bash Celebration during the weekend of March 27-28, 2015 was a huge success.

Watch the Ken Waltzer tribute video below:


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