Jewish Studies Program at Michigan State University

FROM THE DIRECTOR, YAEL ARONOFF

Yael Aronoff - Michigan State Jewish StudiesOur Jewish Studies Program had an exciting fall semester, hosting eight outside speakers and screening one film. This spring we are having 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.

We are looking forward to an intellectually engaging and celebratory spring. Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar Alon Tal will join us and teach two classes in James Madison College. We will also be celebrating Ken Waltzer’s contributions to MSU, James Madison College, and, of course, Jewish Studies. Please mark your calendars on March 27 and 28 for this celebration!

We’re happy to report that MSU has re-instated all six of the study abroad programs in Israel. Chen Bram, last year’s Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar, will lead the summer program at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2015.

UPCOMING EVENTS FOR SPRING SEMESTER 2015

FEBRUARY

Tuesday, February 3, 4:00–5:00 pm
Natural Resources Rm 225
Forestry Hanover Seminar Series
Title: “All the Trees of the Forest: The Extraordinary Story of Israel’s Woodlands”
Presenter: Alon Tal, Ben Gurion University
Co-sponsors: James Madison College; Science, Technology, Environment and Public Policy; and Department of Forestry

Tuesday, February 3, 7:00–8:30 pm
James Madison College Library, 322 South Case Hall
Jonathan Netanyahu Memorial Lecture
Title: “The EU and its Working Definition of Anti-Semitism”
Presenter: R. Amy Elman, Department of Political Science, Kalamazoo College
Co-sponsors: James Madison College, Peace and Justice Studies, and the Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

Wednesday, February 18, 7:00–8:30 pm
James Madison College Library, 322 South Case Hall
Michael Brill Memorial Lecture
Title: “Tracking Time in Auschwitz”
Presenter: Alan Rosen, International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem, and others
Co-sponsors: James Madison College and the Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.

Friday, February 20, 10:00–11:30 am
Wells Hall B-342
Jewish Studies Faculty and Student Research Seminar
Title: “Nobility and Monstrosity in Elye Levita’s 16th Century Yiddish Chivalric Romance, Bove-bukh”
Presenter: Margot B. Valles, Integrative Studies in Arts & Humanities, Michigan State University
Co-sponsor: Department of English

Friday, February 27, 10:00–11:30 am
Wells Hall C-742
Jewish Studies Faculty and Student Research Seminar
Title: “Anti–Zionism to Zionism: Reform Judaism and Temple Beth El of Detroit’s Alternate Course”
Presenter: Laura Williams, Jewish Studies Specialist at Michigan State University

MARCH

Friday, March 20, 10:00–11:30 am
Wells Hall B-342
Jewish Studies Faculty and Student Research Seminar
Title: “The Maurerschulen (Brick Mason Schools) at Auschwitz”
Presenter: Ken Waltzer, Professor Emeritus, James Madison College, Michigan State University
Co-sponsors: James Madison College and the Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

10th Annual Israeli Film Festival

Sunday, March 22, & Monday, March 23
Wells Hall B-122
Please note the new location for this year’s event.

Schedule: Sunday, March 22

2:30 pm
Garden of Eden (2012)
Director: Ran Tal
Runtime: 73 minutes. Hebrew, with English subtitles.
The documentary Garden of Eden is the story of Sakhne springs, one of the most popular national parks in Israel. The film documents the park’s transformations over the course of a year while telling the poignant stories of its denizens. Winner of Best Documentary at the 2012 Jerusalem Film Festival. Discussion to be led by Dr. Ronen Steinberg.

4:00 pm
Bethlehem (2013)
Director: Yuval Adler
Runtime: 99 minutes. Hebrew and Arabic, with English subtitles.
The drama Bethlehem is the story of the bond between Razi, an Israeli Shin Bet (secret service) officer, and his Palestinian informant, Sanfur, the younger brother of a Palestinian militant. Israel’s nominee for Best Foreign Film at the 2013 Academy Awards. Discussion to be led by Dr. Yael Aronoff.

6:00–7:00 pm Dinner break
Meals available for purchase onsite. Catered by Woody’s Oasis Mediterranean Deli. Prices: $7 meal, 50¢ drink.

7:00 pm
Farewell Party (2014)
Directors: Sharon Maymon and Tal Granit
Runtime: 90 minutes. Hebrew, with English subtitles.
A compassionate, humor-softened handling of a difficult issue that all must someday confront. With a finely honed visual sense and superbly ironic comic timing and dialogue, the movie pits the ethics of assisted suicide against the right to die with dignity. Winner of many Israeli and world film festival prizes in 2014. Discussion to be led by Dr. Steven Weiland.

Schedule: Monday, March 23

7:00 pm
Shattered Rhymes (2014)
Director: Sami Shalom Chetrit
67 minutes. Hebrew and Arabic, with English subtitles.
This documentary film is a portrait of Israeli poet Erez Bitton, whose blindness has afforded him a unique window on to Israel’s society, culture, and politics. Shattered Rhymes is a celebration of beautiful cinematography, Moroccan music, and exciting poetry. The screening will feature an introduction and Q & A session with director Sami Shalom Chetrit, renowned Moroccan-born Israeli poet, author, and film maker.

Co-sponsors: Asian Studies Center, College of Arts and Letters, Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Department of English, Department of Linguistics & Languages, Greater Lansing Jewish Welfare Federation, Hadassah—the Women’s Zionist Organization of America (Lansing Chapter), Hillel Student Center, James Madison College, Kehillat Israel Congregation, and the Muslim Studies Program.

Wednesday, March 25, 7:00 pm
James Madison College Library, 322 South Case Hall
Guest Lecture
Title: “The Implications of the March 17th Israeli Elections”
Presenter: Yael Aronoff, James Madison College, Michigan State University

Friday, March 27, 2015, 5:00–8:00 pm
Ken Waltzer’s Big Bash Retirement Celebration: All-University Welcome Reception
MSU Kellogg Center, Red Cedar Room
Appetizers provided, cash bar, music, and good vibes. For more information, please contact Kim Allan at allank (@) msu.edu or 517-353-3381. For reservations, go online at jmc.msu.edu and click on the “Sat Mar 28 / Waltzer Celebration” link in the left margin.

Saturday, March 28, 9:00 am to 10:00 pm
Ken Waltzer’s Big Bash Retirement Celebration
MSU Kellogg Center
Ticket prices vary; see www.jmc.msu.edu for details and reservations.

9:00am to 10:00 am: Continental Breakfast
10:15am to 11:45 am: Panel #1
12:00 to 1:30 pm: Lunch – Keynote Speaker: Wallace Jefferson (Urban ’85), Attorney and Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas
1:45 to 3:00 pm: Panel #2
3:15 to 4:30 pm: Panel #3
6:30 to 10:00 pm: Reception (6:30-7:30), Dinner, and Roast & Toast Program

APRIL

Wednesday, April 1, 7:00 pm
James Madison College Library, 322 South Case Hall
Ada Finifter Memorial Lecture
Title: “Freedom and Death: The Holocaust and Greek Jewry”
Presenter: Steven B. Bowman, Department of History, University of Cincinnati
Co-sponsors: James Madison College and the Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

Wednesday, April 15, 7:00 pm
Kellogg Center, Lincoln Room
22nd Annual David and Sarah Rabin Lecture on the Holocaust / 2nd Michael Brill Memorial Lecture
Title: “Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century: An Illusion? Or Time to Start Worrying?”
Presenter: Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies, Emory University
Co-sponsor: Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

Friday, April 24, 10:00–11:30 am
Wells Hall B-342
Jewish Studies Faculty and Student Research Seminar
Title: “Living Beyond Terrorism: Israeli Stories of Hope and Healing”
Presenter: Zieva Konvisser, international board member of the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma

 

News

MSU has re-instated all of its study abroad programs to Israel. If you are interested in registering for the MSU Jewish Studies Study Abroad to the Rothberg School, Hebrew University in Jerusalem this summer, register online through the study abroad office. Israeli anthropologist, Chen Bram, will be leading the program this summer. The program fee this year is $2700 and Levy Scholarships, for students with a 3.0 or higher, are available for $2500. Contact Director of Jewish Studies, Yael Aronoff at aronoffy@msu.edu.

Events

The 10th Annual Israeli Film Festival is coming soon!

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