Events 2012 – 2013

Myriam Bienenstock April Lecture Series: Emmanuel Levinas in Context

April 10-24, 2013

Myriam Bienenstock (Université Francois Rabelais, Tours) introduced the thought of French-Jewish thinker Emmanuel Levinas in a series of three lectures, sponsored by the BU Center for the Humanities, the Institute for Philosophy and Religion, and the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies.

April 10 – Levinas: The French Connection:

Listen to the recording published on June 2, 2013 by BU World of Ideas.

April 17 – Levinas: The German Connection:

Listen to the recording published on June 9, 2013 by BU World of Ideas.

April 24 – Levinas: The Jewish Connection:

Listen to the recording published on June 16, 2013 by BU World of Ideas.

Global Judaism in Focus: Central Asia’s Bukharan Jews

March 6, 2013


Cultural anthropologist Alanna E. Cooper, discussed her new book, Bukharan Jews and the Dynamic of Global Judaism. Dr. Cooper, who received her doctorate from BU’s Anthropology department, shared stories from her work among Bukharan Jews in Central Asia, Israel and New York. She offered an intimate portrayal of Jewish experience, alongside a wide-angle lens on the maintenance of Jewish identity across the far reaches of the globe.

Free and open to the public/ Reception followed.

Trickster Tales and the Russian Revolution: Isaac Babel in Petrograd

January 23, 2013

On Wednesday January 23rd,  Sasha Senderovich an Aresty Visiting Scholar in Jewish Studies at Rutgers University gave the lecture: Trickster Tales and the Russian Revolution: Isaac Babel and Petrograd.

Dr. Senderovich is a finalist for the position of Assistant Professor of Russian Literature in MLCL.


Colloquium with Abigail Jacobson on the topicWallahi, al-Umma Matat

January 30, 2013

On Wednesday, January 30th from 5pm to 7pm at the EWCJS The Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies Presented a Colloquium with Abigail Jacobson on the topic Wallahi, al-Umma Matat: Ihsan Tourjman’s Diary as a source for the Study of Jerusalem during World War I. This talk focused on the diary of Ihsan Tourjman, a Muslim Arab resident of Jerusalem, a soldier in the Ottoman Army, written in Jerusalem during World War I. The talk will focus on the analysis of the diary and its significance, and will also address the question of a diary as a historical source.

To learn more about Abigail Jacobson go to\-faculty/.

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Israel and Palestine 101: The History of the Ongoing Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and its Solutions

December 6, 2012

A lecture with EWCJS visiting faculty,  Dr. Abigail Jacobson on December 6, 2012. This event was sponsored by the World Affairs Forum.

Israel and Palestin 101

Rabbis in Paradise: Law and Mysticism in Early Rabbinic Judaism – a Lecture by Nehemia Polen

December 4, 2012


Four Rabbis entered Paradise, and only one of them—Rabbi Akiva—came out unscathed.  What does this famous story, found in Tosefta Hagigah, mean?  Why does the Mishnah restrict study of Ezekiel’s chariot vision?   These questions have intrigued students of Talmud for millennia.   In exploring these questions, we shall suggest a new understanding of Jewish mysticism in the early Rabbinic period, and what the early rabbis believed about God, Torah, and themselves.

About Dr. Nehemia Polen:


Dr. Nehemia Polen is Professor of Jewish Thought at Hebrew College.  He is the author of The Holy Fire: The Teachings of Rabbi Kalonymus Shapira, the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto (Jason Aronson, 1994, 1999), and is a contributing commentator to My People’s Prayer Book, a multi-volume Siddur incorporating diverse perspectives on the liturgy (Jewish Lights).   He received his Ph.D. from Boston University, where he studied with and served as teaching fellow for  Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.   In  1994 he was Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow at Harvard University, and has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.   He is an ordained rabbi and served a congregation for twenty-three years.  In 1998-9 he was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, working on the writings of Malkah Shapiro (1894-1971), the daughter of a noted hasidic master, whose Hebrew memoirs focus on the spiritual lives of  women in the context of pre-war Hasidism in Poland.  The research culminated in his book, The Rebbe’s Daughter (Jewish Publication Society, 2002), recipient of a National Jewish Book Award.  His most recent book is Filling Words with Light: Hasidic and Mystical Reflections on Jewish Prayer (with Lawrence Kushner), Jewish Lights Publishing, 2004.  A member of the Association for Jewish Studies and the Society of Biblical Literature, his active research interests, in addition to Hasidism, include Bible (Book of Leviticus) and Rabbinics (Mishnah and Tosefta).

Bret Werb: Music Collection Curator of the Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC presents “We Will Never Die”

November 5, 2012



A presentation tracing the genesis and fate of We Will Never Die, a “propaganda pageant” created in 1943 by Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht, Broadway composer Kurt Weill and Zionist activist Peter Bergson


Supported by Jewish Cultural Endowment at Boston University and Massachusetts Cultural Council
This event is part of the 22nd Russian-American Festival
October 25th – November 5th
presented by the Educational Bridge Project

For the full schedule of the festival visit: