Spring Schedule 2013

Thurs., Jan. 17, 2013:      Visit by David Mendelsson of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

4:30 pm                              Speaking at James Madison Library, Case Hall 3rd floor – free, open to public

“Hawks v. Doves, Left v. Right: What’s on the Agenda of The Israeli Elections?

                                           (Co-sponsored by MSU Hillel Student Center)

 David Mendelsson is a British-born Israeli historian who teaches on the making of the modern Israeli state and society at Hebrew University and on Israel Studies at Hebrew Union College.  He was a Schusterman Israeli Fellow at the University of Southern California during 2011-12. His doctorate is from the Hebrew University’s Department of Contemporary Jewry.


Thurs., Jan. 31, 2013        Visit by Natasha Mozgovaya,  Chief U.S. Correspondent for Haaretz

Seventh Annual Michael and Elaine Serling Lecture on Modern Israel

  “The Israeli Elections and Israeli-American Relations”

4:00 pm in the Spartan Club Room, James Madison College, Case Hall, 3rd Floor; free/open to public

Natasha Mozgovaya was born in the former Soviet Union and emigrated with her parents who were Russian journalists, to Israel in 1990. After writing for Russian newspapers in Israel, she has worked since 2001 for Yedioth Ahronoth and for Haaretz, and has been head of Haaretz’ Washington bureau since 2008.  She has undergraduate and MA degrees from Tel Aviv University. She has also appeared prominently on Israeli television as an anchor and a commentator.


 Wed., Feb 13, 2013    A Special Event with Guy Meirson, Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist at MSU

7:00 pm, B117 Wells, “The Israeli Soldier in Contemporary Israeli Films,”

 Guy Meirson is an Israeli screenwriter and writer who was won numerous awards in Israel and elsewhere, and whose film, Rock the Casbah, recently contended for an Israeli academy award (2012) in the best feature film category and is an official selection of the Panorama section in the current Berlin Film Festival 2013.  Guy Meirson is teaching Screenwriting in the Department of English this semester and also participating in the activities of the Jewish Studies Program.


Wed., Feb 20, 2013:         Visit by David E. Fishman of Jewish Theological Seminary

“Between Determination and Despair: The Dynamics of Jewish Life in 1930s Vilna

5:00 pm, in James Madison College Library, 3rd Floor, Case Hall

(Co-sponsored by James Madison College)

 David E. Fishman is professor of Modern Jewish History at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He is also director of Project Judaica, a Jewish-studies program in Moscow sponsored jointly by JTS and Russian State University for the Humanities.

Dr. Fishman’s books include Russia’s First Modern Jews and The Rise of Modern Yiddish Culture. For 15 years, Dr. Fishman edited YIVO-Bleter, the Yiddish-language scholarly journal of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. He is on the editorial boards of Jewish Social Studies, Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe, and Polin.


Sun.-Mon., March 17-18, 2013:  MSU Jewish Studies Presents the 8th Annual Israeli Film Festival

All films to be shown in 147 Communication Arts and Sciences Building, MSU — Free

Sun., 1:00-3:15   The Ballad of the Weeping Spring (2012), winner of 4 Ophir Awards

Sun., 3:30-5:45   The Matchmaker (2010), winner of 4 Ophir Awards

Sun., 6:00 pm     Dinner Catered by Woody’s Oasis Mediterranean Deli

Sun., 7:00-9:00  Special Event with Guy Meirson, Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist, Spring 2013

Mon., 7:00 pm    Dolphin Boy (2011), best documentary, World Festival for Underwater Pictures….

               Special Guest, Director and Producer Judith Manassen-Ramon


 MSU Symposium on Modern Hebrew and Israeli Literature

April 9 & 10, 2013

Celebrating the Irwin T. & Shirley Holtzman Israeli Literature Collection at the MSU Libraries

Free and Open to the Public


Meri Shalev                                          Robert Alter

 Tuesday, April 9

7:30 pm           Meir Shalev, ” Jacob-The Lover Who Lost His Patience,” MSU Library, 4 West, North Conference

Wednesday, April 10 [Morning and afternoon sessions to be held in Wells Hall B-342]

9:00–9:50      Welcome Breakfast (Provided)

10:00-10:20   Dean Karin Wurst, Kenneth Waltzer, Marc Bernstein

10:20 a.m.–12 noon On Meir Shalev’s Oeuvre
Robert Alter: “The Innovative Turn of Meir Shalev’s Fiction”
Arieh Saposnik: “Out of a Russian Novel, into a Novel Hebrew: Hebrew Culture and the Remaking of Jewish Language, Land and Self”
Respondent: Meir Shalev

12:00 noon–1:20 p.m. Lunch (Provided for all attendees; no RSVP required)

1:30–3:00 p.m. 1920 to 2020—Formation and Transformation of the Hebrew Literary Canon
Miryam Segal: “One Thousand Arms and the Small Group of Women (How Labor Expedited the Rise of Women’s Poetry)”
Rachel Harris: “Is There Still a Canon?: Eshkol Nevo’s Neuland
Ranen Omer-Sherman: “Jewish and Muslim Interdependencies in a New Generation of Israeli Writers”

3:00–3:20 p.m. Refreshments

3:30–5:00 p.m. The New Hebrew a Century Later: Ethics, and Ideology and the Limits of Power
Daniel Statman: “‘The Spirit of the IDF’: The Moral Challenges of War”
Guy Meirson: “Rock The Casbah: The First ‘First Intifada’ Film”
Ya’akov Herskovitz:  “Colonizing Ideologies: The Settlements Between Amos Oz and Asaf Gavron”

 MSU Main Library, 4th Floor West, North Conference Room

7:30 PM     Robert Alter, “Hebrew Poetry Rewriting Job”    MSU Library, 4 West, North Conference                               

Sponsored by MSU Jewish Studies and by the MSU Libraries.  Made possible by a special gift from Ritta Rosenbaum.


Thurs., April 4, 7:00-9:00 pm, B-119 Wells Hall, Michigan State University, free/open to the public….

“Rumbula’s Echo,”  a work-in progress film showing by director Mitchell Lieber

This is a work-in-progress screening of a new Holocaust documentary, “Rumbula’s Echo,” by Director Mitchell Lieber, who will introduce and show the film and answer questions.  The Holocaust in Latvia is a little known part of the larger catastrophe in Europe. The second major event in the Holocaust in the former Soviet territory, after Babi Yar in the Ukraine, was the massacre of 25,000 Jews in the Rumbula Forest, outside Riga, in late November-early December 1941.


Sun., April 7, 5:00 pm,  at the Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival, the Berman Center for the Performing Arts, at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield, MI.

““Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald,” a film by Big Foot Productions, directed by Rob Cohen, presented by Kenneth Waltzer

Four Buchenwald boys return to Buchenwald for the 65th commemoration ceremonies of the liberation of the Nazi camp.  The film tells the story of rescue inside the concentration camp by the German Communist-led international clandestine resistance and highlights the role especially of the blockelder of Kinderblock 66, a Chzech Communist named Antonin Kalina.  The four boys, now elderly men, Alex Moskovic, Naftali Furst, Pavel Kohn, and israel laszlo Lazar, tell of their experiences and explore the meanings and the duty of memory.   As a consequence of an affidavit writing campaign, Antonin Kalina was designated as a Righteous Among the Nations in July 2012, at the same time as the film played at the Jerusalem Film Festival.


Thurs., April 11, 2013  Yom Hashoah Commemoration at the Michigan State Capitol followed by lunch with survivors at Lester and Jewell Morris Hillel Student Center

The Official State of Michigan Holocaust Commemoration takes place on Thursday, April 11th at 12 noon in the Capitol Rotunda. We would be delighted to have MSU students join us at the commemoration and the luncheon following the ceremony at Hillel. The luncheon will take place at around 1:30PM.

I would appreciate if you would put this on the Jewish Studies calendar and let your students know. I will forward flyers within the month. Cindy Hughey, Directorlogo new1



Thurs. April 18, 7:00-9:00 pm, Lincoln Room, Kellogg Center, Michigan State University

21st David and Sarah Rabin Lecture of the Holocaust

Barbara Epstein, University of California-Santa Cruz, “The Minsk Ghetto:  Jews and Byelorussians as Allies in Resistance”


Barbara Epstein is an historian and member of the Jewish Studies Program at UC-Santa Cruz. Her work focuses on the history of social movements.  Her most recent book, The Minsk Ghetto: 1941-1943:  Jewish Resistance and Soviet Internationalism (2008), explores the little known but significant cooperation among some Jews and some Byelorussians in and around Minsk. How extensive was such cooperation, and what difference did it make for targeted Jewish victims under Nazi rule?  Why did cooperation against the Germans exist in Minsk and not also in the Nazi ghettos of Poland and Lithuania?