News and Events

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

The Annual Leo Trepp Lecture

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

On March 2, at our second annual Leo Trepp Lecture, Dr. Neil Gillman, Professor Emeritus of Jewish Philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York and a leading theologian of Conservative Judaism, reflected on his theological journey from 1950s Quebec to the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was the first North American scholar to hold a position in Jewish theology.  The lecture, which was held at the Florence and Chafetz Hillel House at BU, will be made available as a podcast and in print.

Focusing on Argentina and the Middle East

By Michael Zank
February 20th, 2015 in Uncategorized.

This Sunday (2/22), weather permitting, we are hosting two events, a rally for Justice in Argentina, with former ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, and a talk by Prof. Ken Stein (Emory) on Israel in the context of a changing Middle East. For more information, follow the links on our calendar or visit our Facebook page at

Yair Lior on Kabbalah and Neo-Confucianism

By shapiroa
January 26th, 2015 in News and Events.

At our first BUJS forum of 2015, Visiting Researcher Yair Lior (Religion) traced cross-cultural patterns in the development of Kabbalah and Neo-Confucianism. Both movements radically altered the canons of established traditions but were nevertheless able to achieve legitimacy. Dr. Lior will compared these two case studies and considered a broader question: how do religious traditions adapt to cultural change?

February 18, 2015 at 12:30 pm
Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies
147 Bay State Road, Second Floor

Italian Holocaust Remembrance Day

By shapiroa
December 16th, 2014 in News and Events.

Schedule of Events

12 pm – Refreshments and Jewish/Italian music

12:30 pm – Opening remarks from the Italian consul general, Israeli consul general, and AJC director

12:50 pm – Talk by Prof. Sergio Parussa (Wellesley College): “Film and Public Memory,” with introduction by Prof. Nancy Harrowitz (MLCL)

1:30 pm – Film: Carlo Lizzani’s “L’oro di Roma” (“The Gold of Rome,” 1961)

3:15 pm – Audience questions and roundtable discussion with Sergio Parussa and Nancy Harrowitz

This year’s commemoration will consist of a talk by Sergio Parussa, a specialist in Italian Jewish literature and culture under Fascism, and the screening of a newly restored and subtitled version of Carlo Lizzani’s “L’oro di Roma” (1961), the first film based on events leading to the final deportation of the Jews of Rome. On September 26, 1943, Nazi Colonel Herbert Kappler summoned representatives of the Jewish community of Rome and ordered them to collect fifty kilograms of gold within thirty-six hours. Their punishment, in case of failure or disobedience, was the detention of 200 people. Gold was collected, but on October 16, 1943, nothing could save 1,259 Jews from deportation: it was the beginning of the end for the Jewish community of the Roman Ghetto.

January 25, 2015 from 12-4 pm
GSU Conference Auditorium
775 Commonwealth Avenue, Second Floor

A Musical Salon

By shapiroa
December 1st, 2014 in News and Events.

Join us for an evening of Jewish art songs performed by Benjamin Harris (CFA ’15), baritone, and Victoria Nooe, piano. The program will include Yiddish songs by Lazar Weiner and Moses Milner, as well as Hebrew songs by Samuel Adler and Maurice Ravel. Wine and cheese will be served at 7:30 pm, with the program starting at 8 pm. Dessert will follow.

December 4, 2014 at 8 pm
Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies
147 Bay State Road, Second Floor

An Inspiration in Bronze

By shapiroa
December 1st, 2014 in News and Events.

Recommended from BU Today: an article and a video about the bust of Elie Wiesel donated by Pam (CAS ’98, MED ’03) and Jonathan Taub.


Japonica Brown-Saracino on Commerce and Gentrification

By shapiroa
November 17th, 2014 in News and Events.

“The Last Store Standing: Commerce as Force, Symbol and Casualty
in the Gentrifying American City”
Japonica Brown-Saracino

Drawing on her comparative ethnography of four gentrifying places—two Chicago neighborhoods and two small New England towns—Professor Brown-Saracino (Dept. of Sociology) will explore the role of commerce in gentrifying neighborhoods. She will highlight the complex position of commerce in these changing places, from efforts to preserve an “authentic” Swedish deli in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood to the celebration of new businesses that signal neighborhood transformation. Brown-Saracino will reveal how residents—new and old, wealthy and poor—use talk of local commercial establishments to promote, bemoan, and forestall gentrification and the myriad social, material, cultural, and political changes it advances.

November 20, 2014 at 7 pm
Florence and Chafetz Hillel House at Boston University
(213 Bay State Road, Fourth Floor)

Robert Margo on Race and Economic Inequality in the US

By shapiroa
November 10th, 2014 in News and Events.

“Obama, Katrina, and the Persistence of Racial Inequality”
Robert A. Margo

Professor Margo (Dept. of Economics) will survey what economic historians know about the evolution of racial (black/white) differences in economic status (income, wealth, education) from the end of the Civil War to the present. He will argue that, while there has been a narrowing of racial differences in the long run—what economists call “convergence”—the extent of convergence is considerably less than that predicted by the standard economic model of the transmission of inequality across generations. In addition, convergence has been episodic—occurring during specific periods of time—rather than continuous, as the standard model predicts. He will argue that the long-run evolution of racial economic differences is better described empirically by a model in which African-Americans constitute a separate economic “nation,” implying an important role for racial segregation and discrimination in the historical narrative.

November 13, 2014 at 7 pm
Florence and Chafetz Hillel House at Boston University
(213 Bay State Road, Fourth Floor)

Christoph Kreutzmüller on “Kristallnacht”

By shapiroa
November 4th, 2014 in News and Events.

“Kristallnacht and the Destruction of Jewish Commercial Activity in Germany”
Christoph Kreutzmüller

Despite increasing discrimination against Jewish businesses, Jewish entrepreneurs were able to find ways to push back against the Nazis. The impact of antisemitic measures was a certain consolidation. In Berlin, for example, the size of Jewish-owned businesses had shrunk, but not their number. Recognizing that legislation alone would not destroy the Jewish commercial presence in Germany, the Nazis resorted to violence on November 9, 1938. Despite the material destruction and psychological blow unleashed by the pogrom, some Jewish businesspeople managed to struggle on even after “Kristallnacht.” In fact, some businesses were liquidated only after the deportation of their owners during the war. In his lecture, Dr. Kreutzmüller will analyze events leading up to the pogrom and the pogrom itself, as well as the plundering of the remaining businesses owned by Jews in Germany after “Kristallnacht” and the destruction of Jewish entrepreneurship in Germany.

Learn more about our Economic Racism in Perspective series here.

November 9, 2014 at 5 pm
Florence and Chafetz Hillel House at Boston University
213 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215