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A lecture by Christine Hayes, Yale University.

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 @ 7:30PM
Beth El Synagogue
5224 W 26th St,
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55416
This event is free and open to the public

What is the perfection to which humans should aspire? Beginning with the talmudic phrase "The Torah was not given to Ministering Angels" this lecture explores radically diverse ancient Jewish conceptions of the nature of human perfection and whether or not humans can be, or should aspire to be, like angels.

Christine Hayes is the Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale. A specialist in talmudic-midrashic studies, Hayes offers courses on the literature and history of the biblical and talmudic periods. She is the author of three scholarly books: Between the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds, recipient of the 1997 Salo Baron prize for a first book in Jewish thought and literature; Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities, a 2003 National Jewish Book Award finalist; and a new book on divine law forthcoming from Princeton University Press. She has also authored two introductory volumes (The Emergence of Judaism and Introduction to the Bible) as well as numerous journal articles. Hayes is active in professional and academic organizations, and currently serves as co-editor of the Association for Jewish Studies Review.

This series is made possible by a generous gift in memory of Julia K. & Harold Segall.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies; the Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World; the Center for Medieval Studies, the Program in Religious Studies; Beth El Synagogue.

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A lecture by Christine Hayes, Yale University.

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 @ 12:00PM
201 Nicholson Hall
216 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

On what basis is divine law said to be divine? Is it divine because it possesses certain attributes -- universality, truth and static perfection -- that mark it as divine, or because of its origin in a divine will, regardless of its attributes? In late antiquity, two radically distinct conceptions of divine law -- Greek natural law grounded in reason and biblical law grounded in revelation -- confronted one another with a force that reverberates to the present. This lecture explores three ancient Jewish responses to these dueling conceptions of divine law -- responses that would shape western civilization in profound ways.

Christine Hayes is the Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale. A specialist in talmudic-midrashic studies, Hayes offers courses on the literature and history of the biblical and talmudic periods. She is the author of three scholarly books: Between the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds, recipient of the 1997 Salo Baron prize for a first book in Jewish thought and literature; Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities, a 2003 National Jewish Book Award finalist; and a new book on divine law forthcoming from Princeton University Press. She has also authored two introductory volumes (The Emergence of Judaism and Introduction to the Bible) as well as numerous journal articles. Hayes is active in professional and academic organizations, and currently serves as co-editor of the Association for Jewish Studies Review.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Classical & Near Eastern Studies, Religious Studies, The Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World, and the Center for Medieval Studies.

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The University of Minnesota received a grant from the Schusterman Foundation to invite
an Israeli scholar to spend the academic year 2014-2015 with us. Professor Ido Zelkovitz
is a Research Fellow with the Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at the
University of Haifa, and is a lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern History and the
Department of Multidisciplinary Studies. Dr. Zelkovitz was a postdoctoral research fellow inThe Institute of Sociology at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany. Dr. Zelkovtiz is also a Member of Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies: an independent think tank that envisions a fresh start for Israel among the nations. His research, academic courses, and public lectures reflect a focus on cross-disciplinary analysis of Palestinian history and politics and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Israel's geopolitical situation in the Middle East and the role of Higher Education and students in building national identities in the Middle East. He is the author of two books and has been published in many academic journals such as Middle Eastern Studies, Israel Affairs, and Ha-Mizrah Ha-Hadash.

While at the University of Minnesota, Prof. Zelkovitz will teach three courses, including a freshman seminar, "Wars, Memory, and Political Identity in Israel and the Middle East" in the Fall. He will also teach adult education courses at both the Minneapolis and St. Paul Jewish Community Centers, and will give CJS' second Community Lecture of the season at Temple of Aaron on October 22, 2014.

Steven Cohen's lecture now on Youtube

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On Monday, June 16, 2014, Professor Steven M. Cohen spoke to the community at Temple Israel, giving a talk entitled, "Reflections on the Most Important Study of American Jewry in the 21st Century: "Portrait of Jewish Americans" by the Pew Center for Religion and American Life." A video of that talk is now available to watch on the Center's Youtube channel.

One of the less known dimensions of the history of World War II was how Jews living under French colonial rule in North Africa were devastated by the fall of France and the establishment of the French collaborationist government of Vichy in 1940. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, DC has in recent years amassed a considerable archive related to the Jews of North Africa during the war and has encouraged scholars to research this subject.

In June 2010, Daniel Schroeter, the Amos S. Deinard Memorial Chair in Jewish History at the University of Minnesota, and former director of the Center for Jewish Studies, co-taught a research workshop at the USHMM and began studying their voluminous collection of documents. He will be returning to Washington, DC, having been awarded the Ina Levine Invitational Scholar Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the USHMM for the 2014-2015 academic year.

During Schroeter's residency at the USHMM, he will be conducting research for a book on the subject of Vichy and the Jews in the protectorate of Morocco. Jews under French colonial rule were legally classified as indigenous Moroccan subjects of the sultan, a ruler whose power was limited and controlled by the French administration. The anti-Jewish laws, instigated by the central Vichy government in France, and promulgated in Morocco by the French protectorate authorities as royal decrees signed by the sultan Mohammed Ben Youssef, revealed the racism and discrimination inherent in the colonial system and the ambivalent position of the Moroccan monarchy and the Muslim population towards the Jews.

Research conducted at the Center will focus on the legal, social, and economic impact of the Vichy regime on the Moroccan Jewish communities, the response of the Muslim leaders and population to the anti-Jewish measures implemented in different parts of the country, and the contested politics of remembrance of World War II in Morocco.

For more information on Daniel Schroeter, please click here.

Congratulations to our Outstanding Students

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The 2014 Goldenberg Prize for the best essay in Jewish Studies was awarded to three students: Daniela Goldfine (Spanish and Portuguese Studies), for her paper, "Acts of Memory in the Jewish Argentine Cinematic Present;" Shaun Williams-Wyche (Political Science), for his paper, "The Effects of the Direct Elections for Prime Minister on Party Campaigning and Perception in Israel;" and to Ian Nelson (Religious Studies, Biblical Studies, Classics), for his paper, "Hellenistic Judaism(s): The Epistle of Aristeas, Maccabean Literature, and Intrasectarian Apologetic."

The 2014 Theresa and Nathan Berman Graduate Fellowship in Jewish Studies and the Leo and Lillian Gross Scholarship in Jewish Studies were awarded to Adelia Chrysler, Moritz Meutzner, and Daniela Goldfine.

The Leo and Lillian Gross Undergraduate Scholarship in Jewish Studies was awarded to two students, Benjamin Portnoe and Shira Lavintman.

The Professor Jonathan Paradise Prize for Modern Hebrew Study was awarded to Blake Olsen.

The annual Professor Jonathan Paradise Fund for Modern Hebrew Language book prizes were awarded to Isabel Eisenstadt, Blake Olsen, Wendy Freund and Lisa Hoff.

Blake Olsen won the outstanding award in Biblical Hebrew.

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A lecture by Steven M. Cohen
Monday, June 16, 2014
7:30pm
Temple Israel
2324 Emerson Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Free and open to the public

The recently completed national survey of American Jews conducted by the Pew Research Forum revealed dramatic variations in population patterns. These results have created major debates among scholars and communal leaders, as the widely-cited study points to several challenges for American Jewry. While the Orthodox population is surging, other groups appear to be in decline. What does the future hold for the size and profile of American Jews? How can communal policies address some of these trends?

Carol Zemel's Community Lecture now on Youtube

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On Monday, April 28th, 2014, Professor Carol Zemel spoke to the community at Adath Jeshurun Congregation, giving a talk entitled, "Partial Visions: Art Today in Israel." A video of that talk is now available to watch on the Center's Youtube channel.

Spring 2014 scholarships announced

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The Center for Jewish Studies will once again be awarding several scholarships for University of Minnesota undergrads and graduate students. We are now accepting applications for the following awards and grants. The due date is Friday, April 4, 2014. Please contact us at jwst@umn.edu or 612-624-4914 with any questions.