News and Events

Leo Baeck Essay Award Winner

By Erin Shibley
June 26th, 2015 in News and Events.

We are pleased to announce Jonathan Catlin as the winner of our 2015 Leo Baeck Essay Award with his essay entitled “Anti-Semitism” and “Judaism” in Dialectic of Enlightenment: A Jewish Answer to the Jewish Question. 

Mr. Catlin is a graduating senior at the University of Chicago, where he received honors in Jewish Studies and the Great Books program, Fundamentals: Issues & Texts. His work examines the concept of “catastrophe” in modern Jewish thought, drawing upon Holocaust studies, psychoanalysis, and the Frankfurt School of critical theory. He has served as an editor of Makom, a journal of Jewish studies, and editor-in-chief of The Midway Review, a journal of politics and culture, and published numerous essays on the Holocaust in contemporary thought and literature. After completing an MA in continental philosophy at KU Leuven, Belgium next year, he plans to pursue a PhD in modern European intellectual history to study German-Jewish intellectuals’ responses to the Holocaust.

Honorable Mention was awarded to Mary C. Andino, a sophomore at the College of William and Mary, for her essay entitled Navigating Gender, Morality, and Economy: Glückel of Hameln’s Wide Window into the Complex World of German Jewry, 1670-1720.

Congratulations Jonathan and Mary for your excellent work, and thank you to all of the students who participated in the contest.

Book Reviews

By Erin Shibley
June 12th, 2015 in Uncategorized.

Elie Wiesel: Jewish, Literary and Moral Perspectives reviews:

Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews (10/1/13) 

Jewish Book World Winter (2013/14) 

Jewish Book Council cover of the week 

Indiana University Jewish Studies Program (page 7)

NY Journal of Books

Toledo Holocaust Examiner 

Click here for more information about the book Elie Wiesel: Jewish, Literary and Moral Perspectives.

Just Published

By Erin Shibley
May 22nd, 2015 in News.

The Value of the Particular: Lessons from Judaism and the Modern Jewish Experience: Festschrift for Steven T. Katz on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday
In this tribute to Steven T. Katz on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, Michael Zank and Ingrid Anderson present sixteen original essays written by senior and junior scholars in comparative religion, philosophy of religion, modern Judaism, and theology after the Holocaust, fields of inquiry where Steven Katz made major contributions over the course of his distinguished scholarly career.

The authors of this volume, specialists in Jewish history, especially the modern experience, and Jewish thought from the Bible to Buber, offer theoretical and practical observations on the value of the particular. Contributions range from Tim Knepper’s reevaluation of the ineffability discourse to the particulars of the Settlement Cookbook, examined by Nora Rubel as an American classic.
Buy this book

Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-1955 edited by Seán Hand and Steven T. Katz
Despite an outpouring of scholarship on the Holocaust, little work has focused on what happened to Europe’s Jewish communities after the war ended. And unlike many other European nations in which the majority of the Jewish population perished, France had a significant post‑war Jewish community that numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945–1955 offers new insight on key aspects of French Jewish life in the decades following the end of World War II.

How Jews had been treated during the war continued to influence both Jewish and non-Jewish society in the post-war years. The volume examines the ways in which moral and political issues of responsibility combined with the urgent problems and practicalities of restoration, and it illustrates how national imperatives, international dynamics, and a changed self-perception all profoundly helped to shape the fortunes of postwar French Judaism.Comprehensive and informed, this volume offers a rich variety of perspectives on Jewish studies, modern and contemporary history, literary and cultural analysis, philosophy, sociology, and theology.

With contributions from leading scholars, including Edward Kaplan, Susan Rubin Suleiman, and Jay Winter, the book establishes multiple connections between such different areas of concern as the running of orphanages, the establishment of new social and political organisations, the restoration of teaching and religious facilities, and the development of intellectual responses to the Holocaust. Comprehensive and informed, this volume will be invaluable to readers working in Jewish studies, modern and contemporary history, literary and cultural analysis, philosophy, sociology, and theology.
Buy this book

Mazal Tov 2015 Graduates!

By Erin Shibley
May 14th, 2015 in News and Events.

Congratulations to our graduating Jewish Studies minors:

Samantha Cohen (COM ’15)

Andrea Firestone (Questrom ’15)

Benjamin Harris (CFA ’15)

Robyn Klitzky (COM ’15)

The Gentile as “Other”

By shapiroa
April 22nd, 2015 in Uncategorized.

“Gentile Troubles: Saint Paul, the Rabbis, and Us”
Adi Ophir (Brown University/Tel Aviv University)

Professor Ophir considered the history of the gentile or “goy,” as the Jew’s “other.” Although quite famous, among Jews and Christians at least, this figure has received little scholarly attention. Professor Ophir spoke about two moments in this history, the most ancient and the most recent. Exploring the origins of the concept of the gentile, he asked what makes this “other” so different from many others.

Part of the BUJS Forum series.

Sunday April 28, 2015 at 12:30 pm
Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies
147 Bay State Road, Second Floor Library

Apocalyptic Hatred

By shapiroa
April 17th, 2015 in Uncategorized.

“Apocalyptic and Gratuitous Hatreds: The Revival of Jew-Hatred in the 21st Century”
Richard Landes (Dept. of History)

Professor Landes discussed the historical phenomenon of “Jew hatred,” including the recent revival of medieval conspiracy theories and blood libels. He focused on the shift of animosity from Jews to Israel, which in the most extreme cases has become an apocalyptic enemy: for Jihadis, the “Dajjal”; for Western anti-Zionists, a secular antichrist. This talk, which attracted more than sixty guests to our library, explored the apocalyptic dimensions of these surprisingly resilient hatreds and suggest some ways to disarm them.

Sunday April 26, 2015 at 5 pm
Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies
147 Bay State Road, Second Floor Library

A Postwar Renaissance

By shapiroa
April 8th, 2015 in Uncategorized.

“School of Prophets: The Renaissance of Judaism in Postwar Paris”
Sarah Hammerschlag (University of Chicago)

At our next BUJS Forum, Professor Sarah Hammerschlag will trace a trajectory between the wartime Jewish youth movement of Les Eclaireurs Israelite de France and the Jewish intellectual renewal in Paris of the 1950s and 1960s. Lunch will be served from 12 pm.

Monday, April 13, 2015 at 12:30 pm
Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, Second Floor Library
147 Bay State Road

Secrets of Dawn

By shapiroa
April 8th, 2015 in Uncategorized.

Secrets of Dawn: A Multimedia Installation
Part of the Floating Tower Series
Directed by Matti Kovler
Composer in Residence at the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies

Join us for a multimedia installation exploring common threads in the cultures of the Middle East. Curated by Matti Kovler, composer in residence at the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, this performance will bring together Jewish, Persian, Greek, and Indian music and texts on a universal theme: the celebration of dawn. The culminating event in the residency of Persian, Indian and Jewish musicians at Boston University, our installation will include a student choir, dancers, a drumming circle, original poetry, and video art. View the event on Facebook here.

Soloists: Parham Haghighi (Iran), Deepti Navaratna (India), Tutti Druyan (Israel). Video art by Oleg Bolotov. Lighting display by John Powell. Costumes by Laura Mandel. Featuring original dawn poetry from the Norfolk Men’s Prison collected by Prof. Andre de Quadros, and from BU poets Zachary Bos and Prof. Sassan Tabatabai.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 7:30 pm
BU Ellipse (100 Bay State Road)
First Floor, Lobby

In Praise of Intransigence

By shapiroa
March 24th, 2015 in Uncategorized.

“Some Intransigent Heroes of the Holocaust and a Theological and Historical Basis for Admiring Inflexibility”

Richard Weisberg (Cardozo School of Law)

Professor Weisberg presented a case study from his latest book, “In Praise of Intransigence: The Perils of Flexibility” (Oxford University Press, 2014). The book argues that a willingness to embrace intransigence allows us to recognize the value of our beliefs, which are always at risk of being compromised or equivocated. Reception to follow.

Monday, March 30, 2015 at 5 pm
Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, Second Floor Library
147 Bay State Road

A New Musical and More

By shapiroa
March 3rd, 2015 in News and Events.

On Thursday and Friday March 5 & 6, 20015, the Elie Wiesel Center transformed into an enchanted forest for Matti Kovler’s “Ami and Tami,” a modern take on the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, originally written in Hebrew and here performed in English for the first time. On Thursday, doors opened at 5 pm for music, food, and a forest-creature fashion show.

Part of the Floating Tower series. See the full calendar of events here.

Ami and Tami are two imaginative siblings living in a strict and ambitious family. Their parents object to the children’s foolish ideas and see time management, wealth, and success as the primary goals in life. The children are thus forbidden from playing in the dark forest outside their house.

One night the children decide to disobey their parents’ orders and run off into the forest. Guided by a talkative troll named Imf and a cabaret of Singing Lice, they discover a wonder-world of adventures and magical creatures.

But the forest has its monsters too. After falling into the clutches of Yaga the Witch and the Evil Ogre Humm, Ami and Tami narrowly escape with the help of their new friends. Back at home, the frightened parents reconsider their ways. The ending scene shows the whole family joining in an imaginary game.

Thursday, March 5 at 6 pm and 8 pm
Matinée: Friday, March 6 at 2:30 pm
Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies
147 Bay State Road