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Upcoming Events

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  • Thursday, April 17, 2014 4:00pm
    Third Thursdays - An Experiment in Transdisciplinarity

    hemBeginning in April of 2014, the Center for Judaic Studies and the DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion[JDP] will co-sponsor a year long experiment in thirdspacing called Third Thursdays. Faculty and graduate students from the JDP will gather at 4 p.m. every third Thursday of the month at the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site to practice the transdisciplinary encounter imagined by Soja's thirdspace. Each month, light refreshments will be provided and we will suggest a simple theme or idea to stimulate open conversation and engagement. For example, we might explore the relationship between 'real' and 'imaginary' in the work people are currently doing or we could discuss the role of media and mediation in theoretical methodologies. Yet, these suggested topics will just be a catalyst for interaction and encounter that will challenge us to ask new questions and to continue talking to one another even beyond our academic ghettos.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Michael Hemenway at mhemenway@iliff.edu.

  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:30pm
    CJS Co-Sponsors visit with Author/Journalist Masha Gessen

    Pussy Riot Book CoverAuthor/Journalist Masha Gessen will be speaking about her new book, Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot . Her new book is about the imprisoned Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot (the first book on this subject in English). She's done a lot of reporting from the Pussy Riot trial in August 2011 and also from the penal colonies where two of the women are still held. Masha Gessen is a prominent Russian-American journalist who publishes predominantly in English. She is the author of, most recently, A Man Without a Face - an award-winning and decidedly unauthorized biography of Vladimir Putin. Her other books include a half dozen titles including a number of books and articles about the Russian Jewish Experience, particularly Ester and Ruzya: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler's War and Stalin's Peace and Blood Matters -- a book on BRCA1 gene and the attendant exploration of Ashkenazi Jewish genetics. Gessen is also Russia's most prominent LGBT activist who has written extensively on LGBT issues in Russia. Gessen immigrated to the US with her family in the early 1980s, started her journalism career in the late 80s covering the AIDS epidemic and ACT-UP activism, moved back to Russia in 1991 - reported from Chechnya and other challenging places, and just recently re-immigrated to the United States after Russia passed a slew of homophobic laws (some thought to be aimed specifically at her and her family). During this recent re-immigration, Gessen has compared her current experience of leaving Russia as a gay person to the experience of leaving the Soviet Union for the first time as a Jew.


    Sponsored by the Department of Languages and Literatures.
    Sturm Hall 454, University of Denver, 2000 E. Asbury Ave. Denver, CO 80208

  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:30pm
    City of Greeley Holocaust Memorial Observances
    Featured guest Speaker, Survivor Estelle Laughlin

    Greeley header 2014Only ten years old when Hitler invaded Poland, Estelle and her family soon found themselves amidst the hell that was the Warsaw Ghetto. Her frank, personal memoir of this harrowing experience is testament to her indomitable spirit and fierce determination to remain loving and compassionate even in the face of unimaginable evil.

    University of Northern Colorado, University Center (UC), Pikes Peak Ballroom
    Corner of 20th Street and 11th Avenue, Greeley, CO
    CoSponsored by Holocaust Awareness Institute

  • Thursday, April 24, 2014 6:30-8:30pm
    Exploring Jewish Views of Justice: Religious, Academic, Activist

    CJS cosponsors this panel conversation featuring three perspectives from a panel of leaders followed by small group conversations. Panelists: Stosh Cotler CEO of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, Sarah Pessin Director of the University of Denver's Center for Judaic Studies, Rabbi Steven Booth-Nadav Wisdom House Denver.
    This free event is made possible by a Limmud Jewish Learning Grant, an initiative of Rose Community Foundation.
    Co-sponsors: Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. DU's Center for Judaic Studies.

    Sturm Hall 286, University of Denver, 2000 E. Asbury Ave. Denver, CO 80208

  • Sunday, April 27, 2014 4:00-5:30pm
    62nd Annual Holocaust Survivor Memorial "Reflections of the Past and Present"

    Memorial CandleHolocaust Awareness Institute sponsors this annual community Memorial service in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year, featured guests are 1st generation survivor Julius Diczek-Reich, second generation survivor Dean Rotbart, third generation survivor Talia Zall and Cantor Zachary Kutner. The Keynote Speaker is Rabbi Moshe Heyman, The Denver Kollel Experience.

    Jewish Community Center, Phillips Social Hall, 350 S. Dahlia St. Denver, CO 80246

  • Monday, April 28, 2014 7:30pm
    City of Aurora Holocaust Awareness Week Proclamation

    AuroraHoward Bellowe and Jackie Stern-Bellowe will be representing the Holocaust Awareness Institute to receive on behalf of the City of Aurora the Holocaust Awareness Week Proclamation.

  • Sunday, May 4, 2014 4:00-6:00 pm
    A Conversation with Comedian Michel Boujenah

    Michel BoujenahCJS cosponsors with the Mizel Museum and Neal Sokol as they present a North American exclusive: A laugh-out-loud conversation with comedy legend and French screen idol Michel Boujenah!

    Michel Boujenah is one of France's funniest and most talented comedic performing artists. For over 40 years, Boujenah, a Sephardic Jew originally from Tunisia, has delighted standing room only audiences around the world with his powerful and hilarious story-telling. Boujenah is best known to American audiences for his roles in the hit films Les Misérables (1995), Three Men and a Baby (1985) and his poignant award-winning directorial debut Father and Sons (2003).
 This exclusive one-night-only appearance was arranged with the help of the acclaimed entertainment impresario and writer Charley Marouani.
    $10/person, reserve your tickets online here.

    Mizel Museum, 400 S. Kearney St., Denver, CO 80224

  • Monday, May 5, 2014 5:30-8:30
    The Real Monuments Men and Women: Art Restitution Successes and Challenges
    Presented by Prof. Elizabeth Karlsgodt

    Beth KarlsgodtCJS affiliated faculty Beth Karlsgodt is this year's AHSS Livingston Lecturer. Who were the curators, architects and other art experts who joined Allied forces during World War II and rescued art that had been looted by the Nazis? Professor Elizabeth Campbell Karlsgodt will shed light on the men and women who inspired George Clooney's recent film, The Monuments Men. The film portrays the key role played by American art experts in the recovery of works that had been stolen by the Nazis across Europe, mainly from Jewish collectors, or sold by owners under duress. The dramatization, however, fails to address a few key aspects of this history: the importance of looting in the broader Nazi effort to eliminate Jews from European society; the crucial contribution of western allies to the art recovery program; and the role played by remarkable women. Come away with a better understanding of these courageous individuals and their work, while gaining a broader perspective of restitution successes in the early postwar years, and the ongoing challenge of returning Nazi-era art to rightful owners.

    5:30pm: AHSS alumni reception (Hors d'oeucres and open bar)
    6:30pm: Presentation of the second annual AHSS Alumni Achievement Awards
    6:45pm: Lecture: The Real Monuments Men and Women: Art Restitution Successes and Challenges, presented by Porfessor Elizabeth Karlsgodt
    RSVP's required, REGISTER HERE!
    Davis Auditorium, Sturm Hall, University of Denver, 2000 E. Asbury Ave. Denver, CO 80208

  • Monday, May 12, 2014 5:30pm-8:30pm
    RMJHS Twentieth Annual Heritage Award Dinner

    Cohen GroceryThe Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society is hosting the 20th Annual Heritage Award Dinner saluting Colorado Jews who grew up in small towns. Honorees are Mrs. Sandra Vinnik and Mr. Alan Gass, and will feature the Premiere Screening of "Small Time Jews: Creating Colorado Communities." This event is ticketed, for more information, please contact Jeanne Abrams at 303-871-3016.

  • Thursday, May 15, 2014 4:00pm
    Third Thursdays - An Experiment in Transdisciplinarity

    The Center for Judaic Studies and the DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion[JDP] will co-sponsor a year long experiment in thirdspacing called Third Thursdays. Faculty and graduate students from the JDP will gather at 4 p.m. every third Thursday of the month at the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site to practice the transdisciplinary encounter imagined by Soja's thirdspace. Each month, light refreshments will be provided and we will suggest a simple theme or idea to stimulate open conversation and engagement.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Michael Hemenway at mhemenway@iliff.edu.

  • May 20-May 22, 2014
    Week of Jewish Philosophy

    The Week of Jewish Philosophy is a 3-day intensive series of lectures, seminars, and salons on themes of Jewish philosophy, religion, and theology, featuring visiting scholars, Dr. Leora Batnitzky (University of Princeton, Department of Religion) and Dr. Paul Franks (Yale University, Department of Philosophy), in conversation with three local scholars of Jewish Philosophy, Dr. Sarah Pessin (DU, Philosophy), Dr. Karin Nisenbaum (University of Toronto, Philosophy; 2013-14 CJS Visiting Scholar at DU), and Dr. Elias Sacks (CU Boulder, Religious Studies).

    Helping us work through difficult concepts in classical Jewish texts of philosophy, and engaging us with original performance art, the Week of Jewish Philosophy offers a series of unique intercultural and diversity-enhancing learning opportunities for those interested in philosophy, religious studies, and inter-religious dialogue. The intensive series of events addresses core questions about Judaism, including questions related to Theology, Ethics, Covenant, Religion, Law, History, Methodology, and Praxis.

    Schedule:
    Tues. May 20
    (6:30-8; Sturm Hall 286): German Idealism and Jewish Mysticism (public lecture by Paul Franks)
    Wed. May 21 (12-3; Sturm Hall 286): Method in Jewish Philosophy: Transcendental Reasoning (3-hour seminar led by Paul Franks)
    Wed. May 21 (4-5): Memory, Trauma, Life: Evolving Doors Dance Performance at Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site (Project of Creative Writing program and Center for Judaic Studies)
    Wed. May 21 (6:30-9; AAC Loft (340)): Roundtable on Methodology in Philosophical and Religious Thinking, featuring three 20-30 minute talks by: Dr. Karin Nisenbaum, Dr. Eli Sacks, and Dr. Sarah Pessin. Panelists include: Dr. Leora Batnitzky, Dr. Paul Franks, Dr. Carl Raschke, Dr. Jere Surber, and Dr. Ted Vial.
    Thurs. May 22 (12-3; Sturm Hall 286): Jewish Text Study (3-hour seminar/text study led by Dr. Leora Batnitzky)
    Thurs. May 22 (6:30-8; MACC at the JCC): How Judaism Became a Religion (public lecture by Dr. Leora Batnitzky)

    The Week of Jewish Philosophy is CoSponsored by: Department of Philosophy, DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion, and the Department of Jewish Life and Learning at the JCC.
    The Evolving Doors Dance Performance is a project of the Creative Writing Program and the Center for Judaic Studies, in partnership with the Departments of Philosophy, Theater, and Psychology, DU's Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning, and co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and Gender and Women's Studies.

    For more information, or to RSVP, please contact cjs@du.edu

  • Thursday, June 19, 2014 4:00pm
    Third Thursdays - An Experiment in Transdisciplinarity

    The Center for Judaic Studies and the DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion[JDP] will co-sponsor a year long experiment in thirdspacing called Third Thursdays. Faculty and graduate students from the JDP will gather at 4 p.m. every third Thursday of the month at the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site to practice the transdisciplinary encounter imagined by Soja's thirdspace. Each month, light refreshments will be provided and we will suggest a simple theme or idea to stimulate open conversation and engagement.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Michael Hemenway at mhemenway@iliff.edu.

  • Thursday, September 18, 2014 4:00pm
    Third Thursdays - An Experiment in Transdisciplinarity

    The Center for Judaic Studies and the DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion[JDP] will co-sponsor a year long experiment in thirdspacing called Third Thursdays. Faculty and graduate students from the JDP will gather at 4 p.m. every third Thursday of the month at the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site to practice the transdisciplinary encounter imagined by Soja's thirdspace. Each month, light refreshments will be provided and we will suggest a simple theme or idea to stimulate open conversation and engagement.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Michael Hemenway at mhemenway@iliff.edu.

RECENT EVENTS

CJS Scrapbook
See pictures from a sampling of other CJS events here

  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 4:30-6:30pm
    "Rwanda 20 Years Ago Today: A New Model for Victims in Mass Atrocity Prosecutions"

    rwanda eventThe Holocaust Awareness Institute co-sponsored Rwanda Twenty Years Ago Today, an interdisciplinary endeavor of the Sturm College of Law International Programs, the Department of Anthropology, and the University Libraries on April 2nd in the Anderson Academic Commons for a presentation by Fergal Gaynor, entitled: "A New Model for Victims in Mass Atrocity Prosecutions."
    Fergal Gaynor, an ICC victim's representative, represents 25,000 victims of the election violence in Kenya. Distinct from the prosecutors or defense attornies, Gaynor posits a new model where the victims' representative is able to advance the interests of the victims as a third and independent participant in the proceedings. Mr. Gaynor discussed this new and exciting innovation at the International Criminal Court and shared the challenges that are inherent in this new role. How would the Rwanda Tribunal have been different had the victims' had their own attorney? What are the disadvantages of this model? Is this a workable model in other types of criminal proceedings?

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 2:00-3:30pm
    Looking Beyond Christianity in Colorado

    Jeanne Abrams

    Prof. Jeanne Abrams participated in DU panel on religion as part of the University of Denver's Religious Studies/Religious Life Speaker Series "Colorado's Diverse Religious Legacy: 1864-2014." This Faculty Panel featured Jeanne Abrams-University Libraries/CJS, Bonnie Clark-Anthropology and Christine Sheikh-Sociology, and was a featured event in the University's Sesquicentennial event schedule.

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 12:00-1:00pm
    Revolutionary Medicine: America's Founder in Sickness and in Health

    revolutionary medicine book cover

    Prof. Jeanne Abrams, Director the the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society, gave a talk about the lives of George and Martha Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John and Abigail Adams, and Dolley Madison. In contrast to the usual lens of politics, their stories are told from the unique perspective of sickness, health, and disease in their era, opening a window into the practice of medicine in the 18th century. This talk was sponsored by The Center for Bioethics and Medicine at UCD, Anschutz Medical Campus.

  • Thursday, March 13, 2014 5:00pm
    Sarah Pessin on Divine Love at The Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS)

    Sarah PessinProf. Sarah Pessin presented "Divine Love in a Neoplatonic Key: Rethinking God (and the History of Ideas) from Greek, Islamic and Jewish Points of View" at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In the history of ideas, there have arisen a number of overly calcified assumptions about monotheisms vs. 'paganisms,' and about the theological distance between the proverbial Jerusalem and Athens. In this presentation, Prof. Sarah Pessin examined a case in point of how these sorts of underlying assumptions have led to centuries of misreadings of divine will and love in a particular Jewish medieval thinker, viz. 11th century Neoplatonist Solomon Ibn Gabirol. More broadly, she used the case of Ibn Gabirol to push us on what we think divine love is, and to push us on the extent to which the history of philosophy—perhaps under the tacit influence of a Christian lens—has presented us with unfairly weak and impious versions of Greek, Islamic, and Jewish Neoplatonic theologies.