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Jewish Refugees in Shanghai Exhibit Opening in March

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ellen-wiss-family.jpgJewish Refugees in Shanghai (1933-1941) is a collaborative community effort to share information about the unique experiences of Jewish refugees during World War II.The cornerstone of this project is a historical exhibit curated by the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. The exhibit has been enhanced with additional stories from four "Shanghailanders" with deep Minnesota connections. The exhibit runs from March 19-May 7, 2015 at the Sabes JCC, 4330 S. Cedar Lake Road, Minneapolis, MN 55416. For more information, go to the Confucius Institute website:

"Can One Laugh at Everything?" Audio Available

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Our friends at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies have downloaded audio of the recent Charlie Hebdo symposium "Can One Laugh at Everything? Satire and Free Speech After Charlie." The post also contains informative visuals provided by two of the speakers. The symposium continues to resonate on and off campus, and we encourage you to check out the CHGS site.

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A lecture by Josh Lambert, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Monday, March 2, 2015 @ 7:30 P.M.
Shir Tikvah Congregation
1360 W. Minnehaha Pkwy.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
This event is free and open to the public

The turn of the millennium saw a remarkable boom in the production of Jewish literature in the United States. A generation of young writers including Nathan Englander, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Safran Foer, Dara Horn, Gary Shteyngart, and Nicole Krauss quickly achieved a level of national celebrity and critical acclaim in a way that seemed to echo a similar development in the mid-20th century, when Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Grace Paley, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Cynthia Ozick collectively rose to national prominence. Why did this sort of fiction attract so much attention, once again, particularly at the dawn of the 21st century? What do these writers' works tell us about Jewish life in our time?

Josh Lambert is the Academic Director of the Yiddish Book Center and Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the author of American Jewish Fiction: A JPS Guide, and Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture, which won a Canadian Jewish Book Award in Jewish Thought and Culture. Lambert serves as contributing editor to Tablet, as well as contributing book reviews and essays to the Los Angeles Times, Haaretz, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Globe & Mail, and the Forward.

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

Co-sponsored by the Department of English; Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, and Shir Tikvah Congregation.


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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.

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
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 or 612-624-4914 with any questions.

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