A Note from the Director
This spring, in Jewish Studies, our attention was on new developments in Israel and world politics, on doing the 8thannual MSU Israeli Film Festival March 17-18, 2013, and on hosting a special Symposium on Modern Hebrew and Israeli Literature April 9-10, 2013. The Symposium highlighted the opening of the Irwin T. and Shirley Holtzman Israeli Literature Collection in the MSU Library. Our special guests were Israeli novelist Meir Shalev and noted American scholar Robert Alter. Other scholars participating included Rachel S. Harris (U, Illinois), Miryam Segal (CUNY-Queens), Arieh Saposnick (UCLA), Ranan- Omer-Sherman (U. Miami), Daniel Statman (Haifa U.), and others. Professor Marc Bernstein convened the Symposium.
We also hosted a Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist, Guy Meirson, a prominent Israeli screenwriter and novelist, at MSU this spring. Guy Meirson taught screenwriting in the Department of English and participated in our Israeli Literature Symposium. Guy Meirson’s film, Rock the Casbah, was nominated for an Ophir award, Israel’s academy award, and we saw it at the 8th Annual MSU Israeli Film Festival. Other films at the festival included The Matchmaker (2010), Dolphin Boy (2011), and Ballad of the Weeping Spring (2012). Judith Manassen-Ramon, director of Dolphin Boy, was with us. Ellen Rothfield coordinated the Israeli Film Committee.
In late January, Natasha Mozgovaya, the former young bureau chief of Haaretz, spoke on “The Israeli Elections and American-Israel Relations” for the 7th Annual Michael and Elaine Serling Modern Israel lecture. We also co-hosted Feb. 20 with James Madison College a visit by David Fishman of the Jewish Theological Seminary, who offered our annual Yiddiskeit lecture titled “Between Determination and Despair: The Dynamics of Jewish Life in 1930s Vilna.”
Finally, connected with annual Holocaust programming at MSU in spring, we hosted the Michigan premier on April 4 of a new documentary film, a work in progress, “Rumbula’s Echo” by Mitchell Lieber on the Holocaust in Latvia . We sponsored the showing at the Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival at the JCC in West Bloomfield, on April 7 of Kinderblock 66. And last, for the annual Rabin Lecture on the Holocaust, April 18, we hosted historian Barbara Epstein from UC-Santa Cruz, on “The Minsk Ghetto: Jewish and Belorussian Alliance in Resistance.”
As a postscript, we are happy to announce a new Schusterman Visiting Israeli Scholar to MSU in 2013-14. Chen Bram, who this year was at the University of Florida, will be here next year teaching in James Madison College. Professor Bram is an anthropologist interested in Israeli cultures and society and in Jewish-Muslim relations. He has done important fieldwork on Israeli immigrant groups in Israel and in Muslim areas in the Caucasus.
Professor and Director
SAVE THE DATE
Sunday, September 8, 2013
MSU PRESIDENT LOU ANNA SIMON will host a brunch at her home on campus for a
celebration of the special partnership between Michigan State University and the Jewish
community. The brunch will be followed by a private tour of the new Broad Art Museum.
• Bus transportation will be available from the West Bloomfield Jewish Community Center
• Invitations will be mailed during the summer
This signature event is a collaboration of Michigan State University, MSU Jewish
Studies, MSU Hillel, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and the Detroit