Large Crowd Attends CURA Conference on the Jewish Left

CURA Director Jeremy Menchik

On Friday, May 3rd, a large audience gathered at Boston University for a daylong conference on the Jewish Left, hosted by the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies’ Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs (CURA).

CURA Director Jeremy Menchik opened the event by emphasizing the institute’s commitment to fostering open dialogue and education on a variety of topics. He acknowledged the significance of the Jewish Left for many and stressed the welcoming nature of the event for all viewpoints.

Menchik offered his gratitude to the organizers and staff, particularly CURA’s Assistant Director Jennifer Hunter, whose efforts secured a larger venue due to unexpected high attendance. The originally planned space couldn’t accommodate the over 400 attendees.

The conference explored various perspectives surrounding the Jewish Left. Menchik mentioned the human cost of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the importance of democratic ideals in the region. He also acknowledged the use of antisemitism accusations within the discussion.

Menchik further highlighted recent activism related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He pointed to student movements advocating for Palestinian rights and the growth of organizations like IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace.

To guide the conversation, Menchik presented four key questions:

    • What are the most pressing concerns facing the Jewish Left today?

    • How can the movement build collaboration and structures during this critical time?

    • How can different generations learn from and empower each other?

    • What concrete actions can the Jewish Left undertake?

Following the opening remarks, Shaul Magid took the stage as the keynote speaker.

Acknowledging the complexity of the issues, Menchik expressed his hope that this event would be the first of many. He emphasized CURA’s commitment to open discourse and fostering a more inclusive movement. Encouraging attendees to engage in conversation, he invited them to share their ideas for the future.

 A post-event survey indicated significant interest in a follow-up conference in 2025.