Sunday S Anti-Semitism Through the Lens of Material Culture Dr. Brigitte Sion 10:00am–2:00pm | Apr 27
French anti-Semitic postcard from the 1890s, personal collection
Anti-Semitism is constantly propagated through new channels and media: from literature, films, music, and caricatures to objects found in everyday life. Explore anti-Semitic imagery in popular culture from three different time periods: the Dreyfus Affair of the late 19th century, the Nazi era, and contemporary times. Examine numerous items such as postcards, posters, games, children’s literature and toys, photos, and videos. Learn how objects of the most surprising kind can help us understand the development of modern anti-Semitism. NOTE: This course will take place at our Skirball satellite Temple Israel, located at 112 E 75th St, NYC.
The American Jew and Cinema Dr. Eric Goldman 10:00am–2:00pm | May 4
In an industry strongly influenced by Jewish filmmakers, the evolving nature of the American Jewish condition has had a considerable impact on American cinema and, in particular, on how Jews are reflected on the screen. As American Jewish screenwriters, directors, and producers have become increasingly comfortable with their heritage, an unprecedented number of movies spotlight Jewish protagonists, experiences, and challenges. Watch and analyze film clips to learn how cinema can give us a better understanding of the social, political, and cultural realities of Jewish life in America.
Skirball 2014 | 3
Seminars Noah and Jonah: Biblical Perspectives on Human Transformation Judy Klitsner 10:00am–2:00pm | May 18
Palermo — Baroque relief of the prophet Jonah, Sedmak
Can human beings change? Although we make resolutions annually on the soul-searching day of Yom Kippur, do we really believe that self-transformation is possible? Explore the Bible’s complex treatment of this question, while examining the narratives of Noah and Jonah: two stories that share a remarkable number of themes, words, and details. Learn how despite their similarities, these two ancient stories actually present opposing views on the question of a human being’s ability to change. Discover the surprising ways in which both views remain relevant to the modern reader in search of authentic and lasting inner transformation.
A Hebrew “Marathon” Michal Nachmany 10:00am–2:00pm | June 8
Want to feel more comfortable in the prayer service but feel inhibited because you can’t read Hebrew? Have you been meaning to learn the language but somehow never seemed to have the time? This unique seminar is perfect for you. Come for an intensive Hebrew marathon that will leave you wanting more. Learn the letters and vowels, and by the end of the day you will be reading Hebrew.
NOTE: Lunch will be provided at all Sunday Seminars.
= SATELLITE COURSE
= THREE-WEEK MINI-SEMESTER COURSE (New for Spring 2014)
4 | Spring Courses
How We Got Here: Judaism in America, 1654–2014 Yitzchak Schwartz The William Rosenwald and Ruth Israels Rosenwald Course in Contemporary Jewish History
Monday | 6:30–8:00pm | Apr 28 May 5, 12, 19 Jun 2, 9
“A Polish Trading Post in New York,” A. Berghaus
The 23 Jews that settled in New York in 1654 could never have predicted the rise of present day Hasidic Boro Park. Learn how Jewish religion developed in the United States over the last four centuries from Dutch New Amsterdam to New Age Kabbalists and Hasidic Rabbis. Explore the historical and cultural development of Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Judaism, as well as their major offshoots. Discover how these movements evolved and how everyday American Jews came to think about and experience religion in completely new ways through the centuries.
Skirball 2014 | 5
Jewish Acculturation and Assimilation Through the Ages Dr. David Kraemer Tuesday | 6:30–8:00pm | Apr 29 May 6, 13, 20, 27 Jun 10
Reception of the Jews in Poland in 1096
Leaders of the Jewish community often react with alarm at reports of “assimilation” among contemporary Jews. But there is little that is new to the story of assimilation. Jews throughout history have lived within and adopted significant elements of their local cultural environments. Study earlier examples of Jewish acculturation in places like ancient Babylonia, medieval Spain and France, early modern Poland, and even in the traditional “old country” of Eastern Europe. Discover how Jews have “made themselves at home” in local cultures, and how this process has enriched and strengthened Judaism through the ages. NOTE: This course will take place at our Skirball satellite SAJ (Society for the Advancement of Judaism), located at 15 W 86th St, NYC.
Parshat HaShavua – The Weekly Torah Portion Dr. Regina Stein
Year-l o Cours ng e!
The Harrison S. Kravis Course in Jewish Studies
Wednesday | 12:30–2:00pm | Apr 23, 30 May 7, 14, 21, 28
Jews mark each week of the year by referring to the Torah portion read in the synagogue that week. In the course of one full year, explore excerpts from each week’s Torah reading, using both traditional and contemporary methodologies. Raise questions and seek explanations from a wide variety of sources: from the 1st-century allegory of Philo in Alexandria, to the critical works of contemporary American and Israeli scholars; from medieval rabbinic commentaries, to the light shed by archaeological discoveries and other modern disciplines. “The Torah has seventy faces,” said the rabbis, speaking of the diversity of interpretations. Strive to appreciate the beauty in each face we encounter. NOTE: This is a year-long course; each semester may be taken independently.
From Ancient Synagogues to Marc Chagall: Jewish Art Across Time Yitzchak Schwartz Thursday | 6:30–8:00pm | Apr 24 May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Mosaic of David Playing the Harp from the Ancient Synagogue of Gaza, 508 CE
Millennia before the invention of writing, people used images and objects to express ideas. Study Jewish art from ancient Israel to modern times, and discover the many ways Jewish people and their ancestors used various artistic creations to express who they were and what they thought about the world around them. From Bronze Age pottery to abstract expressionism, uncover an essential aspect of Jewish heritage while learning about the evolution of Jewish selfexpression through material culture. NOTE: This course will take place at our Skirball satellite Temple Israel, located at 112 E 75th St, NYC.
6 | Spring Courses
Words from Our Partners The Conservative Synagogue of Fifth Avenue is a small, traditional, egalitarian synagogue in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. We offer weekly Friday evening and Shabbat morning services, as well as services on the holidays, festivals, and at other scheduled times. Reflecting our strong belief in Jewish learning and community, we offer classes and activities throughout the year that celebrate the vitality and creativity of Jewish life. Our community reflects, and celebrates, the rich diversity of our Greenwich Village neighborhood and the entire city: couples and singles, old and young, observant and secular, professors and students. www.csfanyc.org • For courses running at The Conservative Synagogue of Fifth Avenue satellite, see page 9.
At the Society for the Advancement of Judaism (SAJ), we’re a community that believes it’s possible to lead a 21st-century life that is deeply rooted in both Jewish tradition and contemporary civilization. Judaism helps us find meaning and inspiration as we seek to lead lives committed to spiritual growth, social justice, and building community. We welcome the richness that diversity brings to this community, where we learn about, struggle with, and even question our Judaism as we continue to “reconstruct” it for our times. www.thesaj.org • For courses running at the SAJ satellite, see pages 5 and 9.
Temple Israel of the City of New York is an inclusive, egalitarian synagogue. We are warm to tradition and offer a full range of religious, educational, and cultural programs for all ages. Our sacred community knows no bounds when it comes to lifelong learning. Through education, spirituality, and personal relationships, we strive to create a kehillah kedoshah (holy community), affirming that every individual is created Betzelem Elohim (in the image of God). As a family of families, we seek to not only study Torah in the broadest sense, but to be Torah as individuals and as a community. www.templeisraelnyc.org • For courses running at the Temple Israel satellite, see pages 2, 5, and 11.
The Jewish Publication Society (JPS) is the preeminent publisher of books at the heart of Jewish culture in the English reading world. For 125 years, our mission has been to enhance Jewish literacy through the publication of great books. The acclaimed JPS TANAKH is the most widely read English translation of the Hebrew Bible. www.jps.org • For more information about JPS lectures, see page 14.
Jewish Spirituality Through Water: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition
Rabbi Sara Luria 12:30–2:00pm | Apr 28 May 5, 12
Water is a basic, yet powerful, element in our world and in Jewish tradition. Water is referenced in many biblical texts including the creation story in Genesis, the purifying waters in Leviticus, and the emotional waves experienced by the psalmist in the Book of Psalms. In modern times, the mikveh (Jewish ritual bath) is used for conversion and a monthly immersion by traditional women after menstruation. Learn more about traditional and modern uses for mikveh, and discover water’s potential for leading us towards unexpected rituals and spiritual growth. Reflect on both the life-giving and destructive capacity of water in our lives and experiences.
“Victory at the Red Sea,” Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld
Nachmanides: On the Book of Exodus Martin Kaufman The Leon Finley Course in Jewish Studies
6:30–8:00pm | Apr 28 May 5, 12, 19 Jun 2, 9
Nachmanides’ Commentary on the Torah is generally considered to be the greatest and most influential single work of biblical scholarship ever produced. For centuries, Talmudic masters, Kabbalists, philosophers, biblical exegetes, and linguistic scholars have been challenged and inspired by this seminal work. As we focus our close textual analysis on the Book of Exodus, discover how Nachmanides dissects the analysis of previous masters (Rashi, Ibn Ezra, and Maimonides), and witness him revealing the Kabbalah, which altered the course of subsequent Jewish intellectual history. NOTE: This is a continuation of a course taught in Winter 2014. New and returning students are welcome.
How We Got Here: Judaism in America, 1654–2014 Yitzchak Schwartz The William Rosenwald and Ruth Israels Rosenwald Course in Contemporary Jewish History
6:30–8:00pm | Apr 28 May 5, 12, 19 Jun 2, 9
See page 4 for course description.
Searching for the History of Early Israel: The Conquest through the Biblical Kings Dr. Mark W. Weisstuch The Jane Moyse Gilder Course in Jewish History
6:30–8:00pm | Apr 28 May 5, 12, 19 Jun 2, 9
The books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings recount the history of biblical Israel from the conquest of the Holy Land to the crisis of the Babylonian Exile. Examine the historical trajectory of the chronicle of national self-identity described in these books and their theological significance. How were the books composed? Can we learn the history of the period from the biblical account, and what does archeology tell us? Examine the origins of the Israelites and the evolution of monotheism, monarchy, prophecy, the Jerusalem Temple, and the cult of sacrifice. WINTER 2014: Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel | SPRING 2014: 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings NOTE: This course is a continuation of a Winter 2014 course; either semester may be taken independently.
“King David and Young Solomon,” Viacheslav Belyaev
Skirball 2014 | 7
8 | Spring Courses
Artists’ Beit Midrash Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses and Tobi Kahn 7:00–9:00pm | Apr 28 May 5, 12, 19 Jun 2, 9
Apply your artistic talents to the theme “Crossing Over: The Importance of Be(com)ing Hebrew,” as you explore Jewish sources, inspiring you to create new visual commentaries on the ancient texts of our tradition. Now in its twelfth year, the Artists’ Beit Midrash is cofacilitated by a rabbi and a renowned artist whose own work blends modern art with the life of the spirit.
Writers’ Beit Midrash Shelly R. Fredman 7:00–9:00pm | Apr 28 May 5, 12, 19 Jun 2, 9
Join a group of creative non-fiction and memoir writers to explore texts that inspire and amaze us, encourage us to wrestle with meaning, and stimulate the connections between our writing and our lives. Engage in discussions that will spur creativity and spark imaginative exchange on the theme “Crossing Over: The Importance of Be(com)ing Hebrew.”
Transformations: The word “Hebrew” (ivri) means to cross over. Biblical characters are often transformational figures, going from one state of being to another and, in so doing, ushering in new stages of history. These characters take significant risks, often leaving behind a way of life for the sake of a calling, love, or unfulfilled desire. Explore their stories, imagine these characters; what did it take for them to risk everything and reach for something higher?
NOTE: No professional writing experience is required.
The Jews of Egypt: Exiled and Witnesses
Dr. Brigitte Sion 12:30–2:00pm | Apr 29 May 6, 13
Jews have lived in Egypt from Pharaonic times to the present day, without interruption, but their fascinating relationship to Egypt is not well known. Explore three seminal moments in recent history: the “second Exodus,” from the 1940s through the 1950s, which brought nostalgia, bitterness, and idealized memories; the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, which allowed Jews to “return” to Egypt as tourists and pilgrims; and the recent Arab Spring, which Jews witness with passion, but from a distance. Delve into this complex historical and sociological relationship through the study of literature, video, and personal testimonies. Tahrir Square in 1941
Skirball 2014 | 9
Jewish Acculturation and Assimilation Through the Ages Dr. David Kraemer 6:30–8:00pm | Apr 29 May 6, 13, 20, 27 Jun 10
See page 5 for course description. NOTE: This course will take place at our Skirball satellite SAJ, (Society for the Advancement of Judaism), located at 15 W 86th St, NYC.
David Hartman: From Living Covenant to the God Who Hates Lies
“A religious world view that grows only from a discussion among its own in-group members, and that does not participate in nor is exposed to broader frameworks of discussion, runs the danger of perpetuating its own weaknesses, mistakes, and prejudices.”
Dr. Daniel Rynhold 6:30–8:00pm | Apr 29 May 6, 13, 20, 27 Jun 10
“He was a public philosopher for the Jewish people.” So said Harvard professor Michael Sandel after the recent passing of David Hartman, the US-born rabbi and philosopher, who founded the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and whose liberal strand of Orthodox Judaism placed him among the more original and outspoken Orthodox thinkers in Israeli public life. Find out what Hartman meant by his “Living Covenant” and how his attempts to forge an alliance between liberalism and Orthodoxy both united and divided his fellow Jews.
Parshat HaShavua – The Weekly Torah Portion Dr. Regina Stein The Harrison S. Kravis Course in Jewish Studies
12:30–2:00pm | Apr 23, 30 May 7, 14, 21, 28
See page 5 for course description.
Year-l on Cours g e!
NOTE: This is a year-long course; each semester may be taken independently.
Jews Without God? Dr. Alvin Kass The Hortense Jordan Course in Ethics
6:30–8:00pm | Apr 23, 30 May 7, 14, 21, 28
The recent Pew Research Center poll reveals that more Jews than ever have rejected religion as part of their self-definition. What does it mean to be a Jew without Judaism? Can an ethnic identity have significance if it excludes God? Is it possible to formulate a theology that is viable and relevant to Jews in the 21st century? Discuss theological issues such as the role of science in religion, the implications for moral decision-making, the meaning of prayer, and the existence of evil. Explore answers to these complicated issues and learn about the evolving landscape of Judaism in America.
NOTE: This course will take place at our Skirball satellite, The Conservative Synagogue of Fifth Avenue, located at 11 East 11th Street, NYC.
10 | Spring Courses
The Evolution of the God of Israel: Myths and Epics of the Ancient Near East Dr. Diane M. Sharon 6:30–8:00pm | Apr 23, 30 May 7, 14, 21, 28
r-lon The theological ideas expressed in the Hebrew Cours g e! Bible arose in dialectical relationship to the rich culture of the ancient Near East, its pantheons of gods and goddesses, its liturgical and ritual practices. These ancient precursors were adapted, transformed, or contradicted in the complex biblical portrait of God and God’s relationship to Israel. In this year-long course, examine myths and epics of the ancient Near East, along with appropriate biblical material, in order to identify some of these antecedents to the God of Israel. Delve into the development of central Jewish ideas about monotheism, theodicy, nature, fertility, and destiny, and discover where the God of Israel really comes from. FALL 2013: Ancient Sumer [2500 B.C.E.] WINTER 2014: Assyria and Babylonia [1600 B.C.E.] SPRING 2014: Canaanite gods [pre-1200 B.C.E.] NOTE: This is a year-long course; each semester may be taken independently.
Ba’al with raised arm, 14th-12th Century BC, found at Ras Shamra
Kabbalah: The Mystery of Mysticism Dr. Jonathan Dauber The Pincus Family Course in Jewish Studies
6:30–8:00pm | Apr 23, 30 May 7, 14, 21, 28
Despite its contemporary resurgence, Kabbalah remains one of the least understood facets of Judaism. Explore the history and major concepts of Kabbalah through a close examination of its central texts, including Sefer ha-Bahir and Sefer ha-Zohar. Study the history of Kabbalah and Kabbalah’s approach to themes such as mystical experience, theology, the reasons for the commandments, and the mystical meaning of the Torah. Uncover this esoteric dimension of Judaism that has been so influential in shaping Jewish thought and experience for centuries. The Tree of Life
Early Morning Talmud Rabbi Ysoscher Katz The Hans A. Vogelstein Course in Jewish Studies
7:15–8:45am | Apr 24 May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
The biblical Sotah rite is prescribed for a woman suspected of infidelity. While the Bible only devotes a few verses to the subject, the sages dedicate an entire tractate to expound upon this ritual and the circumstances surrounding it. In tractate Sotah, the rabbis expand the conversation beyond its narrow biblical scope, exploring issues of gender, marriage, and sexuality. Join us as we study this Talmudic text, focusing in particular on how this ritual and related legal issues evolved during the Rabbinic period. NOTE: This is a continuation of a course taught in Winter 2014. New and returning students are welcome.
Skirball 2014 | 11
Murder and Mayhem: A New Look at the Book of Judges Dr. Diane M. Sharon 12:30–2:00pm | Apr 24 May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
The Book of Judges bursts with tales that seem to echo today’s tabloids, among them an illegitimate son of a leader going down in flames, and a dangerous liaison between an anonymous concubine and a high-powered demagogue. Uncover the theological messages encoded in these and other scandalous narratives from the Book of Judges. Analyze this ancient biblical book and discover how literary devices such as satire, hyperbole, humor, and poetry are used to highlight divine will and human perversity in these troubling tales of war, murder, rape, and other mayhem. “The Death of Samson,” Gustave Dore, 1866
Post-War Jewish American Literature m
Dr. Ann Schwarz The Robert S. and Kimberly R. Kravis Course in Jewish Studies
12:30–2:00pm | Apr 24 May 1, 8
By the mid-twentieth-century, newly accepted JewishAmerican writers were able to include their own stories, including those with Jewish themes, as a legitimate part of the rich tapestry of American literature. Bernard Malamud, Arthur Miller, and J.D. Salinger, deeply affected by the war, the Depression, and the Holocaust, write about a variety of concerns including: the immigrant Jewish experience, tension between secular society versus Jewish tradition, alienation, anti-Semitism, and assimilation. Analyze selected short stories by these post-war Jewish titans and explore the ways they react to and reflect upon the new post-war landscape of America. NOTE: Please read Salinger’s A Perfect Day for Bananafish for the first class (from Salinger’s short story compilation, Nine Stories). Willingness to read 1–2 short stories in preparation for each class is a pre-requisite for this course.
“...there were three suicides on the little block where I lived. They couldn’t cope. The impact was incalculable. Those people were profound believers in the American Dream. The day the money stopped, their identity gone....America is hope, even when it doesn’t work...America is promises...I don’t think America ever got over the Depression.” (Qtd. in Cambridge Companion to Arthur Miller, Ed. Christopher Bigsby, Cambridge UP, 1997, p. 1)
From Ancient Synagogues to Marc Chagall: Jewish Art Across Time Yitzchak Schwartz 6:30–8:00pm | Apr 24 May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
See page 5 for course description. NOTE: This course will take place at our Skirball satellite Temple Israel, located at 112 E 75th St, NYC. “The Fiddler,” Marc Chagall, 1912–13
12 | Spring Courses
Faculty Pictured left to right, beginning with top row
RABBI DIANNE COHLER-ESSES is the first woman from the Syrian Jewish community to be ordained. Ordained by JTS, she has been an educator and administrator for multiple pluralist institutions including CLAL, the Bronfman Youth Fellowship, The Curriculum Initiative, and UJA Federation. In 2007 she was named one of the fifty top rabbis by the Washington Post online. Currently she teaches, consults, and lectures widely as well as writing regularly on Jewish values and family life, Jewish ethnicity, and Judaism and disabilities. DR. JONATHAN DAUBER is an Associate Professor of Jewish Mysticism at Yeshiva University. Previously, he was the David and Gloria Furman Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia. Jonathan writes and lectures on various aspects of Jewish mysticism. He is the author of Knowledge of God and the Development of Early Kabbalah (2012), and is currently completing a translation of the early work of Jewish esotericism, Sefer ha-Bahir. SHELLY R. FREDMAN teaches writing at Barnard College. She received an MFA from Washington University and has taught at the University of Missouri–St. Louis Honors College. Her work has appeared in Best Jewish Writing 2002, First Harvest, the Chicago Tribune Magazine, Lilith, and a number of anthologies and literary magazines. DR. ERIC GOLDMAN is an adjunct professor of cinema at Yeshiva University, and founder and president of Ergo Media, a distributor of Jewish film. He is also film reviewer for New Jersey’s The Jewish Standard. Dr. Goldman is a noted film educator and scholar of Yiddish, Israeli, and Jewish film. He is the former director of the Jewish Media Service and past curator of film for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. His latest book, The American Jewish Story through the Cinema, was published in spring 2013. TOBI KAHN is an internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor whose work has been shown in over 40 solo exhibitions, and more than 60 museum and group shows. He is the cofounder of Avoda Arts and has taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York since 1985. DR. ALVIN KASS is a rabbi and Chief Chaplain of the New York City Police Department. Past president of the New York Board of Rabbis, he is currently the spiritual leader of the East Midwood Jewish Center in Brooklyn. Rabbi Kass
studied at Columbia University, and received a PhD from New York University. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he received his rabbinic ordination. Rabbi Kass is a popular author and lecturer who has taught at many colleges and universities including Long Island University, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, St. Francis College, and the New York Institute of Technology. RABBI YSOSCHER KATZ is the Director of the Beit Midrash Program at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and the Director of Judaic Studies at the Luria Academy. He received ordination in 1986 from Rabbi Roth, dayan of UTA Satmer. Rabbi Katz studied at Brisk and at Yeshivat Beis Yosef, Navaradok, and is a graduate of the HaSha’ar Program for Jewish Educators. He lectures widely and teaches adult education classes in numerous venues. He was a leading teacher of a daf yomi class in Borough Park for over eight years. MARTIN KAUFMAN was educated at Yeshiva University and New York University’s Graduate School of Business Administration. He was Chairman and CEO of Philipp Brothers, formerly one of the world’s largest commodity trading companies, and is currently a global consultant to entities in the financial and natural resource sectors all over the world. Mr. Kaufman has lectured extensively in numerous adult education programs in the New York area. JUDY KLITSNER is a senior lecturer at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, where she has been teaching Bible and biblical exegesis for more than two decades. A disciple of the great Nechama Leibowitz, Judy weaves together traditional exegesis, modern scholarship, and her own original interpretations that are informed by close readings of biblical text. She lectures internationally at synagogues, campuses, and adult education programs that span the denominational spectrum. She is the author of Subversive Sequels in the Bible: How Biblical Stories Mine and Undermine Each Other (Jewish Publication Society, paperback by Koren Publishers), which received a 2009 National Jewish book award. DR. DAVID KRAEMER is Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS, where he is also Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian, overseeing the greatest collection of Judaica in the Western world. Among his many publications is Jewish Eating and Identity Through the Ages (Routledge, 2008).
Skirball 2014 | 13
RABBI SARA LURIA is a trained community organizer, birth doula, and chaplain. Sara incorporates a passion for justice, belief in the centrality of relationships, and a dedication to marking transformative, sacred experiences, into her rabbinate. Sara founded ImmerseNYC: A Community Mikveh Project while completing her rabbinical studies at Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute for Religion, New York campus. Previously, she worked as a Jewish educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sara is an alumna of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and the JOIN for Justice year-long fellowship, training young Jewish leaders in community organizing. MICHAL NACHMANY is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Michal has taught liturgical, biblical, and modern Hebrew for more than 20 years at synagogues and other institutions throughout New York City. DR. DANIEL RYNHOLD serves as Associate Professor of Modern Jewish Philosophy at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Yeshiva University, having previously held a post at King’s College London since 2001. Educated at the universities of Cambridge and London, Daniel was a fixture on the adult education circuit in the United Kingdom, and is the author of Two Models of Jewish Philosophy: Justifying One’s Practices and An Introduction to Medieval Jewish Philosophy (2009). YITZCHAK SCHWARTZ is a graduate student in history and art history in New York City, whose research focuses on Jewish religion and how it has been understood on a popular level in the modern period. He is especially interested in popular ideas about religion and their relationship to religious change and religious art, and has worked on various museum exhibitions focusing on Jewish and Samaritan art from the ancient to modern periods. He is currently a lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters, where he gives gallery talks and tours about the art of Medieval Europe. DR. ANN SCHWARZ specializes in teaching adult education courses in American Literature at various New York City institutions including The New School University, Marymount Manhattan College, The 92nd Street Y, and The Manhattan JCC. Her area of expertise is 19/20th-century American literature, and she has lectured on an array of Jewish-American writers in her most recent courses. Ann received her doctorate and advanced master’s in Education from
Columbia University, Teacher’s College, as well as two additional Master’s degrees in American Literature and Cultural Studies from Keele University in England. DR. DIANE M. SHARON is a scholar and teacher in Hebrew Bible, Comparative Religion, and Ancient Near Eastern Literature. She teaches regularly at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning, as well as the Academy for Jewish Religion, and the General Theological Seminary (Episcopal). Dr. Sharon has published on the Hebrew Bible in its ancient Near Eastern context, comparative religion, literary analysis, and women’s studies. She has served as a scholar-inresidence in congregations nationwide, and has lectured and taught extensively. DR. BRIGITTE SION holds a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University. She is an expert on memorials, commemorations, and transitional justice after the Holocaust and other genocides. Her expertise also includes Sephardic Jewry, modern anti-Semitism, and new Jewish rituals. She is the author of six books and numerous articles, and the editor of the forthcoming Death Tourism: Disaster Sites as Recreational Landscape (Seagull Books). DR. REGINA STEIN is the Scholar-in-Residence at the Museum at Eldridge St. She has taught for the Wexner Heritage Foundation, CLAL, and the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, as well as the Academy for Jewish Religion, JTS, Temple University, and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Dr. Stein is formerly the National Director of the Hadassah Leadership Academy. DR. MARK W. WEISSTUCH is The Skirball Center’s Interim Executive Director. Mark has been on the faculty of The Skirball Center since its inception. He has taught courses on general Jewish history, the history of the Jews in Poland and Eastern Europe, and various subjects related to the Holocaust. Over the last several years he has focused on the Second Temple period, leading classes on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Jewish origins of Christianity, the early roots of Jewish mysticism, and the composition of the Bible. He received his doctorate in Theater History from the City University of New York. Mark serves as Administrative Vice President of Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York.
14 | Spring Courses
l kirbal S / S P J e Th
THURSDAY | 7pm | March 27 Judaism’s Great Debates: Timeless Controversies from Abraham to Herzl Barry L. Schwartz
THURSDAY | 7pm | April 24 The Bible’s Many Voices Michael Carasik
TUESDAY | 7pm | May 27 A Bride for One Night: Talmudic Tales Ruth Calderon
Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz is the director of The Jewish Publication Society in Philadelphia and the spiritual leader of Congregation Adas Emuno in Leonia, New Jersey. He is the author of the acclaimed textbook, Jewish Heroes, Jewish Values and several other works. Judaism’s Great Debates is also being published in a student edition by Behrman House, Inc.
Dr. Michael Carasik is the author/translator of The Commentator’s Bible: The JPS Miqra’ot Gedolot: Exodus and The Commentators’ Bible: The JPS Miqra’ot Gedolot Leviticus. He teaches Biblical Hebrew at the University of Pennsylvania and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College as well as Bible for the Me’ah program of adult Jewish learning. He is the author of Theologies of the Mind in Biblical Israel.
Ruth Calderon, M.K., an Israeli with a PhD in Talmud, was elected to Knesset in January 2013. She quickly rose to celebrity status for her passion to bring Talmud and Jewish texts to all Jews, regardless of religious observance or affiliation. She is the founder of two institutions devoted to the study of sacred texts: Alma, Home for Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv, and Elul Beit Midrash in Jerusalem.
NOTE: All events in the JPS/Skirball Author Series will take place at The Skirball Center— One East 65th Street, NYC. Admission is free.
Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues that Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims THURSDAY | 7pm | JUNE 10 | FREE Rabbi Marc Schneier (pictured right) is the founder and president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (where he works with Russell Simmons), and founding rabbi of the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton, New York. He has served at the helms of the World Jewish Congress and the New York Board of Rabbis, and has been honored by the U.S. Congress and the State of Israel as an advocate for human and civil rights, and religious and ethnic tolerance. Imam Shamsi Ali (pictured left) is the spiritual leader of Jamaica Muslim Center, New York City’s largest Islamic center, and former imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York. Imam Ali also serves on the boards of the Tanenbaum Center, the Federation for Middle East Peace, the Asean Muslim Federation of North America, and the Muslim Foundation of America, among others.
How We Pray is Who We Are: This is Your Life, American Jews Dr. Lawrence A. Hoffman
THURSDAY | 7pm | MAY 1 | FREE
ore than what we say to God, prayer is what we say to each other. It is the prime symbolic vehicle by which we play out the changing nature of Jewish identity. The Conservative movement, reflecting the Jewish ethos of Eastern Europe, reached fruition only with its prayer book, following World War II. In the Reform movement, the Union Prayer Book already had provided a standard around which Reform Jews, mostly from Western Europe, could rally. But the message of prayer is more complex than just a book. The book is a script for worship, the symbolic act by which we stake out who we are. Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, but never dull and always fascinating, the story of America’s worship is the story of American Judaism in the making.
Dr. Lawrence A. Hoffman was ordained as a rabbi in 1969, received his PhD in 1973, and has taught since then at the Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. From 1984 to 1987, he directed its School of Sacred Music as well. In 2003, he was named the first Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship, and Ritual.
“Sing–Now!–to God:” Miriam and Moses Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg THURSDAY | 8pm | MAY 8 | $30
The history of Miriam, the prophetess who speaks enviously of her brother Moses, offers an intimate glimpse into the tensions between brother and sister— both leaders, both prophets. Study Midrashic material that will illuminate this mysterious relationship. r. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, D an internationally renowned Bible interpreter and teacher, draws extensively on classical commentaries, Midrash, and modern insights from literature and philosophy. Her widely read and studied books, Genesis: The Beginning of Desire (Jewish Publication Society), The Particulars of Rapture (Doubleday), and The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious (Schocken), have become classics among readers of all religions.
A pre-l hour of te ecture xt study by
DR. DIA NE M SHARON .
begins a t 7pm
“Discovery of Moses,” Paul Delaroche
16 | Spring Courses
Letter from the Interim Executive Director
Jewish Journeys “The Wandering Jew.” “My father was a wandering Aramean.” “A man found him [Joseph] wandering in the fields and asked him, ‘What are you looking for?’” It seems like Jews have always been roaming and searching. In the last several years, it has become commonplace in Jewish parlance to talk about the personal Jewish journey as a metaphor for Jewish engagement. Each of us searches through the avenues and byways of Jewish thought, values, ritual practice, and modes of observance to determine the swatches of meaning that resonate for us individually. Journey as search is itself a hallmark of Jewish tradition. It affirms the continuing obligation we each have to wrestle with the challenges of our collective history and the tenets of our faith, so that we can enter into the covenant of our heritage with understanding and commitment. As good as journey is, it also has its pitfalls. Erica Brown, in a recent essay in The Jewish Week, observed that in its current manifestation, “A journey is inherently safe and respectful. It helps us engage others with an attitude of discovery. Get people curious, the thinking goes, and the beauty of our tradition will be enough to turn tourists into genuine seekers.” But the search for personal meaning often devolves into aimless meandering, with detours and diversions that produce more confusion than clarity. Ms. Brown suggests that our journeys need destinations, a sense of purpose. When we embark on our Jewish journeys, we need to see ourselves not as casual tourists, but as pilgrims focused on a particular destination and route. What happens along the way and how we negotiate the challenges we encounter become more meaningful because they are viewed through the lens of the beacon that draws us. For us, the destination is commitment to a Jewish-filled life, expressed through the precepts of Torah and the ethics of the prophets, shaped by purposeful rituals and spiritual language. Every successful journeyer is guided by a compass, and for those undertaking their Jewish journey, that compass is study. This semester’s course guide cover depicts an open passageway in Old Jerusalem. We hope it serves as an invitation to you to enter the world of study at the Skirball Center and to use our course offerings as a compass in your pilgrimage towards a transformative Jewish life. Dr. Mark W. Weisstuch Interim Executive Director
DR. MARK W. WEISSTUCH, Interim Executive Director RACHEL DULITZ, Program Director JENNIFER KNOBE, Operations Manager MICHELE DAVISON, Office Manager/Registrar KEMI ALLSTON, Interim Registrar
Skirball 2014 | 17
General Information How to Register You may register by phone, mail, or on our website. Please mail registration forms and payment to: The Skirball Center One East 65th Street New York, NY 10065 We accept all major credit cards. Checks should be made payable to “The Skirball Center.”
Scholarships Limited scholarships are available. Please note as of March 2014, all applicants seeking financial assistance must complete a scholarship application (available on our website) and submit it to The Skirball Center’s Registrar office. In order to be considered for assistance, the application must be submitted two weeks prior to the start of classes. All inquiries remain strictly confidential.
How to Get Here By Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4, M18, M66, M72 By Subway: N/R/Q 4/5/6 F
5th Ave./59th St. 59th St. or 68th St./Hunter College Lexington Ave./63rd St.
Most courses take place at 10 East 66th Street, with the exception of Sunday Seminars, special lectures, and “Early Morning Talmud,” which take place at One East 65th Street. Some courses take place at our satellite locations— please see page 6 for more information.
If you would like to contribute to our scholarship fund, please indicate so when you register.
Refund Policy For six-week classes, a full refund may be requested after the first class meeting. After the second class, a credit of 75% will be given that may be used toward any course and is good for one year. No credit will be given after the third class. For three-week classes, a 75% refund will be given after the first class, with no refund or credit available thereafter. No refunds will be given for Sunday Seminars.
Cancellation Policy and Missed Classes The Skirball Center reserves the right to cancel courses for insufficient enrollment. Tuition cannot be pro-rated if you cannot attend all class sessions. The Skirball Center is unable to record class sessions that you miss. Please arrange to borrow notes or have a classmate record the class for you. Photocopies of hand-outs from missed classes will be provided in person or via mail, upon request, and without charge.
Library Privileges All students enrolled in a Skirball Center course have borrowing privileges for one year at the Ivan M. Stettenheim Library, Congregation Emanu-El’s own extensive collection. For information including hours, call 212.744.1400, ext. 361, or visit www.emanuelnyc.org/library.
Advisory Council Dr. Steven Bayme Roger Bennett Dr. David Gordis Dr. Frances Gottfried Dr. Lisa Grant Dr. Michelle Lynn-Sachs Dr. Kerry Olitzky Dr. David M. Posner Fred Rosenbaum Dr. Robert Seltzer Barry Shrage Dr. Ronald B. Sobel Leah Strigler Marcia Waxman
Leadership Circle Sonia Simon Cummings Rabbi Joshua Davidson Dr. Neil Gillman Tamie Goldstine Martin Kaufman Edward Kerson Robert Schwalbe Andrew D. Stone Marcia Waxman Dr. Mark W. Weisstuch
To Contact Us 212.507.9580 email@example.com adultjewishlearning.org www.facebook.com/jewishlearning
PLEASE FILL OUT THE INFORMATION BELOW:
Registration Discounted early registration fees are highlighted below. Early registration must be received BY APRIL 11. page class title faculty tuition
Anti-Semitism Through the Lens of Material Culture (satellite – Temple Israel)
The American Jew and Cinema
Noah and Jonah: Biblical Perspectives on Human Transformation Klitsner
A Hebrew “Marathon”
PAYMENT METHOD Check off payment method. Send form to: The Skirball Center One East 65th Street New York, NY 10065
Check made payable to The Skirball Center Credit Card: MasterCard VISA American Express Discover card number
Jewish Spirituality Through Water: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition
NO DISCOUNTS APPLY
S102 S103 S104
BY AFTER Apr 11 Apr 11 $110
Nachmanides: On the Book of Exodus Kaufman
How We Got Here: Judaism in America, 1654-2014
Searching for the History of Early Israel: The Conquest through the Biblical Kings
8 Artists’ Beit Midrash
Writers’ Beit Midrash
DISCOUNTS Tuition reductions may not be combined. Discounts do not apply to one-day events. Please indicate which discount, if any, applies. An individual registering for more than one full-semester course: take 20% off each additional course Members of Temple Emanu-El, SAJ and Temple Israel of the City of New York: take 15% off each course Senior Citizen (age 65 and older): take 10% off each course Young Professionals < 40: take 15% off each course
TOTAL COST OF COURSES:
The Jews of Egypt: Exiled and Witnesses
Jewish Acculturation and Assimilation Kraemer Through the Ages (satellite – SAJ)
David Hartman: From Living Covenant to the God Who Hates Lies (satellite – The Conservative Synagogue of Fifth Avenue)
WEDNESDAY 5, 9
Parshat HaShavua—The Weekly Torah Portion
Jews Without God?
The Evolution of the God of Israel: Myths and Epics of the Ancient Near East
Kabbalah: The Mystery of Mysticism Dauber
$ (discounts do not apply to one-day events)
Early Morning Talmud
Murder and Mayhem: A New Look at the Book of Judges
Post-War Jewish American Literature Schwarz
I want to support Jewish learning at The Skirball Center. Enclosed is my tax-deductible contribution in the amount of
$ TOTAL ENCLOSED Cost of classes (above) PLUS contribution:
5, 11 From Ancient Synagogues to Marc Chagall: Jewish Art Across Time (satellite – Temple Israel)
I want to make it possible for students with financial need to attend The Skirball Center. Enclosed is my contribution to the Scholarship Fund in the amount of $ _____________. My gift is in memory/in honor of _____________________________________________ Please notify _____________________________________________________________ name _____________________________________________________________ address
These friends and students have made generous contributions to The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning. Endowment for Our Future
Annual Support for Our Program
Michael R. Bloomberg
Contributions made between February 1, 2013 and January 31, 2014
Thomas Epstein** Leon Finley** For the Leon Finley Course in Jewish Studies Richard Gilder For the Jane Moyse Gilder Course in Jewish History Charles** and Carol Grossman Family Fund Josephine C.S. Jordan** For the Hortense Jordan Course in Ethics Henry Kravis For the Robert S. and Kimberly R. Kravis Course in Jewish Studies; and the Harrison S. Kravis Course in Jewish Studies Lionel I. Pincus** For the Pincus Family Course in Jewish Studies William Rosenwald** For the William Rosenwald and Ruth Israels Rosenwald Course in Contemporary History The Skirball Foundation John Vogelstein For the Hans A. Vogelstein Course in Jewish Studies The Women’s Auxiliary of Temple Emanu-El In honor of Dr. Ronald B. Sobel
**OF BLESSED MEMORY
Leaders ($50,000–$100,000) Michael R. Bloomberg The Skirball Foundation Benefactors ($10,000–$49,999) Sonia Simon Cummings The Charles** and Carol Grossman Family Fund The Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation Sustainers ($1,000–$9,999) Stephen and Joanna Chaleff Philanthropic Fund Neil and Juliet Cooper The Nathan Cummings Foundation Bettijane Eisenpreis Elisa Schindler Frankel and Larry Frankel Bob and Sheila Friedland Foundation Tamie Laurance Goldstine Karel L. Greenberg Mrs. Charles Grossman Irwin Hochberg Paul J. Isaac Edward W. Kerson Ted and Carol Levy Michael and Anita Malina Maytex Mills, Inc. Ethel Romm The Julius Stulman Foundation Robert and Marcia Waxman Supporters ($500–$999) Jerome Bender Frances Hess Adele and Mel Ilberman Dr. Ralph S. and Jessica Kaslick
Friends ($100–$499) Rabbi Isidoro and Prof. Edna Aizenberg Rabbi Judith Bardack Gil Bashe Kayla Bashe Sylvia Bashkow Linde J. Bernstein Michael Blumenstein Murray D. Brochin Phyllis P. Cohen Beth Flusser Deborah Fogarty Sheila Foster Susan Grotenstein Cronish Ellen French Judith Hannan Susan Kaplow Susan and Stephen Kippur Barak Klein Gail Koster The Leigh Foundation Myra Lipman Patrick Moriarty David and Ruth Musher Philanthropic Fund National Contact Industries, Ltd. Deon Nossel Jane Oppenheim Arthur and Marilyn Penn Charitable Trust Rosalind Pretzfelder Judith Princz David Rheingold Dr. Lee R. Robbins Paula Roga David and Charlotte Rozensweig Elliot Rudnicki Viviane Sallay Alan R. Samuels Dr. Gustav Seliger Joseph and Renee Septimus Ellie Silk Sara Stein Ronnie Steinkoler Rachel Strauber Dr. Nellie Szlachter Rona Weinstein Alvin Weiss Rosalyn Weiss Edith Wulach
Because ideas can transform us. Because Jewish texts belong to each and every one of us. Because we need not take our texts literally in order to take them seriously. We need your support. Please use this form to send a contribution to The Skirball Center. One East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065 | Or donate online at adultjewishlearning.org.
Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York One East 65th Street | New York, NY 10065
Visit adultjewishlearning.org for additional information. Cover: Photo of an alley in the Old City of Jerusalem
Printed on 100% recycled paper | Design: Masters Group Design, Philadelphia, PA
Who studies at Skirball? Women and men.
“I’m just a Jew” Jews.
Non-Jews. Secular Jews. Twenty-five
year olds, eighty-five year olds. Forty year olds and
sixty year olds. Straight Jews and gay Jews. Atheists, theists, agnostics.
Manhattanites and Brooklynites.
“I’m from Queens.” “The Bronx.” “Long Island.” “Jersey.”
Canadians, Germans, Brits. Hebrew-speaking Jews, Russian-speaking Jews, Yiddish-speaking Jews. Seasoned
learners. “I haven’t…since my Bar Mitzvah!”
Jews who say: “I want to learn.”