Each year, CJS organizes an impressive array of in-depth Judaic Studies programs, including learning opportunities with visiting artists, scholars, and speakers from around the globe.
These programs benefit students and the community at large by providing multiple ways to engage in Jewish thought and culture, as well as fostering interfaith bridge building and inclusive excellence efforts on campus.
Our Scrapbook lets you look back on some of our programming since 2009, and provides perspective on the types of programming we look forward to continuing with your support.
A look back at past events at the Center for Judaic Studies
RMJHS Annual Meeting: Tour of Anderson Academic Commons and Colorado Jewish History Exhibits
On November 24, 2013, DU and RMJHS hosted the premiere showing of a series of 15 beautiful and thought-provoking panels From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America with a reception and Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society. First created in 2004 for the 350th Anniversary of the American Jewish Community, and originally shared city-wide as a special exhibit at the Denver Public Library, these panels have now become an official part of the Beck Archives and DU University Libraries through a partnership with the American Jewish Historical Society, and it will reside here when it is not traveling. These amazing panels were desplayed at DU through the month of December at DU before they headed out on what is expected to be many traveling tours around the U.S.
Writing and Spirituality Panel and Workshop
When is writing a spiritual practice? Is poetry more spiritual than prose? How have different religious and cultural traditions viewed the connection between writing, memory, and identity? On Nov. 4, 2013, over 60 students, community members, staff and faculty joined us for a writing workshop and panel conversation about these and related themes featuring renowned founder of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg in dialogue with DU and Iliff faculty experts: Amy Erickson, Cathie Kelsey, Billy Stratton, Greg Robbins, Selah Saterstrom, M.E. Warlick, Nicole Willock. The panel was followed by a unique writing workshop led by Selah Saterstrom, Director of the University of Denver's Creative Writing Program.
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg visited DU as part of the MACC at the JCC's JAAMMFest Scholar in Residence series, sponsored by the Denver Jewish Learning Collaborative, of which the Center for Judaic Studies is a member.
11th Annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture
Over 250 attendees enjoyed this fascinating lecture featuring Dr. Stephen Smith, executive Director of the Shoah Foundation. Dr. Smith spoke about the enormous amount of information the Shoah Foundation has archived with its 55,000 testimonies and they was in which students, teachers, researchers and community members may locate almost any piece of information related to testimony. Additionally, Dr. Smith exhibited an amazing technology, New Dimensions in Testimony, in which a 3D image of a survivor can interact with a live person! CJS/HAI was proud to partner with the MACC at the JCC to have this lecture as part of the annual JAAMMfest, on Oct. 27, 2013.
Writing as Creation: From Human Being to Divine Desire in Ibn Gabirol
On October 23, 2013, Dr. Sarah Pessin (Philosophy and Judaic Studies, University of Denver) spoke about the unique theology of 11th century Jewish poet and philosopher, Solomon Ibn Gabirol to an engaged audience of 25 at the Kabbalah Experience. Based on her new book, Ibn Gabirol's Theology of Desire (Cambridge University Press, 2013), Sarah helped students consider the link between writing and divinity, and the connection between writing, divinity, and philosophical questions about ethics and existence in Ibn Gabirol's thought. As part of their journey, they learned about Jewish philosophical conceptions of self, the nature of divine love and creativity, and the complex theological interplay of language and silence in the human effort to draw closer to God, the author of cosmic meaning writ large. Dr. Pessin was featured as part of MACC at the JCC's JAAMMFest Author Talks.
Lillian Butler Hoffman: Denver's Pioneer of the Soviet Jewry Movement
On October 21, 2013, more than 40 people came to the special event created by Sheila Hoffman Bialek about her mother Lillian, and an informative exhibit about the CCCSJ from the Beck Archives. This event was presented by Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society and Beck Archives, Special Collections, University Libraries, and Center for Judaic Studies.
Between 1967 and 1991, over two million Jews left for freedom to Israel, the United States, and other western countries. Lillian Hoffman was one of the pioneers of the grass-roots effort that crossed all party lines in America to free Jews to practice their religion without State persecution. She was the longtime chair of the Colorado Committee of Concern for Soviet Jewry (CCCSJ). The campaign for freedom from tyranny, which culminated in the Jackson Vanik Act, became a model for effective activism. The event highlighted daughter Sheila Hoffman Bialek's film, speech and books which present Lillian's vital work as well as other primary sources from the Beck Archives.
As Seen on Israeli TV: Intercultural Encounter and Cultural Landscapes
CJS hosted visiting scholar Dr. Miri Talmon for a screening of Israeli television clips and a discussion of how Israeli culture is portrayed through media on October, 14, 2013. Over 50 students, community members, and faculty attended the screening and reception preceding the show. Here's what a few students had to say about the event: "The most important concept I learned from [Dr. Talmon] was the power of media. She depicted Israeli tv and movies which also portrayed Israeli culture. Media can be an insight to the culture." "[Dr. Talmon] has made me more excited about Hebrew class because the culture is so diverse. I am thinking of continuing the course longer than planned because of this." "Professor Talmon really emphasized the concept that Israeli culture is so misconceived and misunderstood; there isn't one culture present in Israel and that is something that is overlooked."
25 participants from all over the United States, Canada and Israel came to DU to learn the latest developments in teaching methodology and pedagogy, as well as advances in the application of technology to the teaching of language, in general, and of Hebrew, in particular. This year, October 2013, the sessions were offered by Miri Talmon, Israeli film Media Culture scholar and Head of the Communication and Film Studies Program at the Nazareth Academic Institute, Shmuel Bolozky, Associate Director of NMELRC and a Professor of Hebrew at the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and its Hebrew Program Coordinator, Vardit Ringvald, Director of the Hebrew Language Program at Brandeis University, Director of the Middlebury-Hebrew at the Center Institute for the Advancement of the Hebrew Language, and Yaakov Levy, Director of the CIS at the Talmud Torah of Minneapolis. Participants shared these thoughts with us: "the keynote talk was very valuable...and Prof. Ringvald raised relevant and valuable questions." "This is such a productive and important seminar!!"
Nora's Will/Cinco Dias Sin Nora
On October 10, 2013, CJS cosponsored a film screening of Nora's Will, a Mexican film from writer/director Mariana Chenillo, named Mexico's Best Film of 2009. When his ex-wife Nora dies right before Passover, José is forced to stay with her body until she can be properly put to rest. He soon realizes he is part of Nora's plan to bring her family back together for one last Passover feast, leading José to reexamine their relationship and rediscover their undying love for each other. This film screening was part of a larger series of events for Latino Heritage Month.This event marked the 4th consecutive year that the Center for Judaic Studies has worked with DULCCES (The University of Denver Latino Center for Community Engagement and Scholarship) on programming during Latino Heritage Month.
University Church Network Gathering at The Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site
On July 17, 2013, University Park Methodist Church hosted a three-day gathering of the University Church Network to explore ways for campuses and university ministries to work together to cultivate dialogue and learning. The event featured a special interfaith gathering on July 17, 2013 at the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site.
"The gathering of United Methodists from across the country for an evening service at the Holocaust Memorial Social Action site was truly a blessing. As we embraced each of the four elements sculptured into the site, we found that the symbols also spoke deeply to our Christian traditions: The chai – life; the eternal flame as embodied in living human beings; the Kristallnacht lattice of human pain and struggle; and the Hineni, a commitment to live as the hands and feet of the God of Life. Thank you for having a vision for such a place of gathering!" - Rev. Paul J. Kottke, United Methodist University Church Network
"When we gathered as a group of one particular faith denomination at the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site, I was deeply moved once again by the pain and suffering that people have endured throughout the ages simply because of religious background. People of all faiths must commit to dialogue with each other, build relationships, eliminate barriers, and increase understanding of one another. Finding sacred spaces such as the Holocaust Memorial to gather together in peace will be critical for all our futures as people of faith."- Rev. Anne Mundt
Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions Conference
CJS co-hosted another successful annual gathering of scholars of medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian Philosophy. Featuring scholars from around the world, this event was co-sponsored by CJS along with DU's Philosophy Department and the Marquette University Philosophy Department (with support from the Joint PhD. Program in Religious and Theological Studies and DU's Office of Graduate Studies).
Who is a Samaritan?
On May 2. 2013, Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor Dr. Menachem Mor, spoke to a crowd of 60 students and community members about the Samaritans. Graduate Students Amy Balogh and Stuart Gabel offered insights and historical perspective to Dr. Mor's talk, and Dr. Pamela Eisenbaum of Iliff School of Theology participated in the panel as well.
Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site Gathering
On April 28, over 100 survivors, students, faculty, and community leaders gathered together to honor survivors and to honor the memory of the Shoah through DU's Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site. The Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site was Dedicated in 2010 with the placing of the first stone over a time capsule with messages to future generations. In 2011, we commemorated the completion of Phase One of construction, and now, in Spring of 2013, the Site is complete and in use as a University of Denver space dedicated to inclusivity and diversity throguh learning, dialogue and bridge-building.
Award-winning author Nathan Englander joined CJS' Prof. Adam Rovner in a conversation on "Translation and the Art of Fiction" on February 27, 2013. 75 students, faculty and community members joined the conversation, which was also sponsored by the English and Languages and Literatures Committee for Comparative Literature and the Department of English Speakers Fund.
Music of Terezín
On January 15, 2013, a packed audience of 150 students, professors and community members came to see the documentary film "Music of Terezin" followed by a lively Q and A with Robert Elias, President of the OREL Foundation, which was founded by conductor James Conlon. The mission of the OREL Foundation is to encourage interest in and, especially, the performance of works by composers suppressed as a result of Nazi Policies from 1933 to 1945.Also in attendance were honored guests: survivors of the Shoah.
Middle East Round Table
On January 18, 2013, AHSS Assistant Professors Andrea Stanton (Religious Studies), Peter Hanson (Political Science), and Jonathan Sciarcon (History and Judaic Studies) discussed what to expect with regard to U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East during President Obama's second term.
"There Was A Fire: Jews, Music, and the American Dream"
The Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society hosted musician, journalist, and educator Ben Sidran at their Annual Meeting on Dec. 9, 2012. Mr. Sidran gave a special musical conversation to an nearly sold out audience at Hamilton Recital Hall at the Newman Center.
CJS sponsored the award winning film "So Long Stooge" at the Denver Starz Film Festival in November 2012, which was scored by the French-Jewish rock star and poet Charlélie Couture. Mr. Couture is a leading figure in the art world as an activist and in the music world where has scored 15 acclaimed films. His music is produced by the same producers for The Black Keys and Franz Ferdinand.
10th Annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture
On October 28. 2012, Pierre Sauvage presented "And Crown they Good: Varian Fry in Marseille,"his work-in-progress documentary about Varian Fry. Fry was a cu=ourageous American who set up an underground organization in France that rescued many Jews during WWII.
CJS, Gender and Women's Studies Department and the Department of Religious Studies cosponsored a visit to DU campus by Dr. Daniel Matt, one of the world's leading authorities on Kabbalah. On October 22, Dr. Matt led a text study seminar: "Shekhinah: The Feminine Half of God" to a sold out room.
Dr. Bernardo Kononovich visited the University of Denver in October as part of CJS's joint programming with DULCCES for Latino Heritage Month. Around 200 students and community members attended the film screening of "Kadish" with talkback by filmmaker Bernardo Kononovich.
On October 9, 2012, about 75 students came to hear Dr. Nancy Stockdale's lecture: "Fantasies in Florida: Invented Histories of the Middle East at Orlando's Holy Land Experience." Dr. Stockdale's presentation revealed the overarching historical narrative of the Holy Land Experience theme park, analyzed its representations of Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the Middle East, and explained how its portrayal of Middle Eastern history and politics fits in to a larger historical and contemporary tradition of American Orientalism and fantasy about the Holy Land.
Jonathan Sciarcon, debate lecture
Prof. Sciarcon's lecture "Israel and the U.S. Presidential Elections" was featured as a special DU Passport Event in connection with the 2012 Presidential Debate hosted by the University of Denver! Prof. Sciarcon spoke on the various historical and political contexts Israel brings to this year's U.S. Presidential Elections. A sold out crowd of students, faculty and community members attended this lecture followed by an engaging Q and A session.
On Israel Independence Day, April 26, 2012, Professor Sari Havis brought in Israeli actor Roy Horovitz, who performed My First Sony, a one-man show about coming of age in Israel.The performance was part of our annual reception honoring the Vinnik Fellowship recipients and was co-sponsored by the Department of Theatre, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and Rose Community Foundation.
The CJS worked with the AJC, Denver Film Society and Rose Community Foundation to bring in acclaimed filmmaker Ari Folman to screen his first film, St. Clara, in April 2012. Folman is best known for his Academy Award-nominated film, Waltz with Bashir.
"Journey of Vaan Nguyen"
CJS hosted Israeli filmmaker Duki Dror on campus in March 2012 for a screening of his film Journey of Vaan Nguyen and a talk back by the director. The film tells the story of Vietnamese refugees who arrived by boats to Israel in the late '70s. These "boat people" built a temporary home for themselves in Israel and now when they want to return to Vietnam, their children face an identity conflict.
2012 Winter Colloquium in Judaic Studies
This winter, CJS faculty, students and community members joined in a weekly colloquium on various Judaic Studies topics. CJS brought in several guest speakers for the series, including: January 24- Rabbi Jordan Friedman who spoke with Dr. Sarah Pessin on "Jewish Morality: From Maimonidean Virtue to Applied Business Ethics", February 7-Haim Watzman who spoke on "Translating Avraham Halfi: A Personal View of the Underground Poet of the Yeshiva World", and February 21- Amir Peleg spoke on "Holocaust, Politics and Memory in Israel: The Case of the Jewish Military Union". Attendees were treated to an intimate conversation on the topics.
The Thirteenth Annual Professor John C. Livingston Memorial Lecture in American Jewish History
On January 31, 2012, almost 100 people attended Dr. David Luchins' well received lecture: "Election 2012 and The American Jewish Community: Is the Tea Party Kosher?"Dr. Luchins served as the Senior Advisor to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York for 20 years. As part of his Senate duties, Professor Luchins met with most prominent American political figures, visited Israel numerous times,and has kept up an active role in politics.
"Two Men Talking"
Johannesburg 1974: A teacher asks two rival schoolboys to tell each other a story. Decades later, they meet by chance in New York as Oscar®-nominated filmmaker and psychiatrist and set out to transform the world through their real life storytelling. "Two Men Talking" is a live unscripted performance in which two men weave their life stories into a production that captivates audiences. "Two Men Talking" tries to make sense of growing up white, Jewish, gay and privileged under apartheid in South Africa. CJS cosponsored this show presented by Newman Center Presents, along with DU's Center for Multi-Cultural Excellence, DU's Student Life, and Iliff School of Theology, on January 19, 2012.
Dr. Menachem Mor Lecture
On January 17, 2012, Dr. Menachem Mor, Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor, gave a talk at the Colloquium in Judaic Studies entitled "What has Tel Shalem to do with the Bar Kokhba Revolt?" This well attended talk investigated a debate between Dr. Mor and Dr. Werner Eck about a recent archaeological discovery, its meaning, and its connection (if any!) to the Bar Kokhba Revolt, and also engaged us in historiographical questions about how we tell history.
RMJHS Annual Meeting
The RMJHS Annual Meeting held on Sunday, December 4th was a resounding success. Despite cold weather and snow, approximately 150 people were treated to a highly informative and entertaining program by Dr. Mick Moloney, Professor of Irish and Ethnic Studies at NYU. Moloney's multi-media presentation, "If It Wasn't for the Irish and the Jews," mesmerized the audience. Using photographs, movie clips, and song, Moloney traced the connection between Irish and Jewish composers and performers on Tin Pan Alley and early Broadway. The program was preceded by a short business meeting and election of RMJHS officers and board members.
The Elusive Interval: an evening of video installation artworks
CJS cosponsored an advanced digital video art class in the Electronic Media Arts and Design (eMAD) program. Prof. Laleh Mehran's class developed their final project as consciousness-raising video artworks which were temporarily installed at the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site on Nov. 11, 2011. Project contributors were: Kate Drazner, Andrew Elijah Edwards, Jieliang Luo (Rodger), Philippe Moore, EJ Posselius, and Cordelia Taylor.
In Other Words: An International Symposium on Translation
Nearly 50 students, faculty, and community members attended "In Other Words: An International Symposium on Translation" held at the University of Denver on Tuesday October 25th 2011. Following an introduction by AHSS Dean Anne McCall, author-translators Peter Wortsman and Evan Fallenberg spoke about the art of translation in relation to their own creative writing. Wortsman, a critically acclaimed translator from the German, and Fallenberg, an award winning translator from the Hebrew, also participated in a roundtable discussion with DU faculty translators Laird Hunt (English), Jessica Munns (English), and Adam Rovner (English and CJS). "In Other Words" was sponsored by the Center for Judaic Studies (CJS), the Department of English, and the English and Languages and Literatures Committee (ELL).
Jewish art and poetry from Latin America
A collection of fourteen "artist's books," featuring poems and artwork from Jewish communities in Latin America, was brought to DU in celebration of Latino Heritage Month on October 18, 2011. Previously shown at the Jewish Museum of Buenos Aires, the collection was introduced by Professor Stephen Sadow(Northeastern University) who was the driving force behind the project.
"With My Own Two Wheels" Film Screening
About thirty DU students and community members attended a special screening of director Jacob Seigel-Boettner's moving documentary film "With My Own Two Wheels." Seigel-Boettner attended the screening and spoke with students about his experiences making the movie and traveling to promote "bicycles as a vehicle for change." The director came to DU just a week after showing his film to a 1000 person audience in Sao Paolo, and only two weeks before the film's London premier at the Barbican. "With My Own Two Wheels" traces the story of five individuals who use bicycles to change their lives, and the lives of their communities, for the better. The film was shot on location in Ghana, Guatemala, India, Zambia and the United States. For more information, please go to www.withmyowntwowheels.org
Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site "Phase 1" Completion Ceremony
On September 18, 2011, community members, Holocaust Survivors and students gathered to commemorate the completion of "Phase 1" of the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site. The Site is already an active space on the Univeristy of Denver campus, hosting events related to the theme of social justice initiatives.
Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions
In June 2011 Co-sponsored by CJS and the Departments of Philosophy at DU and Marquette University, 'Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions' is an annual gathering of scholars of medieval Jewish, Islamic and Christian philosophy that rotates between DU and Marquette University (and that is organized at DU by Prof. Sarah Pessin). In June, scholars from around the world gathered for 3 days of learning and conversation.
Jewish Philosophy scholars in May
In the month of May, we hosted 3 visiting scholars in Jewish Philosophy: Dr. Claire Katz (Texas A&M) delivered our Jewish Perspectives on Social Justice lecture on Levinasian notions of forgiveness; Dr. Leora Batnitzky (Princeton University) spoke with us about Rosenzweigian conceptions of Jewish identity; and Dr. Tzvi Langermann (Bar ilan University) spoke on themes of Jewish piety as part of our bi-annual Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions conference.
Israeli film expert visits
CJS hosted two visits with Israeli film expert Dr. Miri Talmon-Bohm; Dr. Talmon-Bohm led students and community members in a number of exciting conversations about Israeli Culture through a cinematic lens, including visiting Prof. Sari Havis' film class Israeli Culture Through Film, and participating in the Judaic Studies Colloquium.
"Killing Kasztner" film screening and talk-back
The Holocaust Awareness Institute, in anticipation of Holocaust Awareness Week, presented an evening of film and conversation at the Denver Film Society Colfax Theater with Director Gaylen Ross in-person for a post-film talk back on April 27, 2011. The film, 'Killing Kasztner', is an award-winning documentary about a Jew who saved 1700 Jews from Nazi Germany by negotiating very closely (some charge: too closely) with the Nazis, and who was assassinated by an Israeli man in the 1950s - an incident which sparked a very controversial Israeli court case.
2nd Annual Hamantasch/Latke Debate!
On March 20, 2011, we held the 2nd annual Hamantasch Latke debate at the Buntport Theater. Team Latke tried to hold their title from last year, but in the end, Team Hamantasch was the winner!
9th Annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture
We hosted our annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture with visiting expert Dr. James Young, followed by a 7-person expert panel on the theme of memory and memorials on March 13, 2011. We also worked with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Facing History and Ourselves to host a successful Fred Marcus Teacher Training event with over 50 teachers in attendance.
Panel Conversation with Dr. Daniel Goldhagen
On February 23, 2011, CJS cosponsored a panel conversation with renowned author and Holocaust scholar Daniel Goldhagen-including his thoughts on his recent project on genocide prevention, Worse Than War. Prof. Adam Rovner participated in the panel. See event flier here.
The Twelfth Annual Professor John C. Livingston Memorial Lecture in American Jewish History
The Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society and Beck Archives hosted Dr. Alan Kraut who presented a lecture entitled: Forget Your Past: Advising Jewish Immigrants on Becoming American in the Early Twentieth Century on February 16, 2011. Dr. Kraut's presentation, part of a broader study of the Americanization of immigrants in earlier eras, examines the efforts of voluntary groups to advise Jewish immigrants in the early 20th century about what they needed to do to succeed in their new home.
From Beijing to Jerusalem: The Global Impact of Israel-China Relations.
On January 5, 2011, CJS co-sponsored a lecture by Professor Xu Xin from Nanjing University, China. Professor Xu Xin is director of the Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies at Nanjing University, and is recipient of an honorary doctorate from Bar Ilan University in Israel. See event flier here.
NMELRC Hebrew Conference
As part of our dedication to ensuring a vibrant future for the study and teaching of Hebrew in the region, we organized a Hebrew conference with the National Middle East Language Resource Center on October 29-31, 2011. Under the direction of Prof. Sari Havis, we hosted 45 attendees, including visiting Hebrew teachers from around the country and from local Denver Jewish day schools, as well as language teachers from surrounding universities.
Spaces of Memory:Texts & Contexts of Argentina's Dirty War
In December, 2010, CJS Affiliated Faculty taught this Judaic Studies travel course in Buenos Aires which explored the construction of memory in both texts and physical spaces touched by the violence, repression and disappearance in Argentina during the "Dirty War" from 1976-1983. It further examined anti-Semitism during the military dictatorship. "This course changed my life. It was not the articles we read or the testimonies we heard, but the accumulation of emotions... This type of course is what makes colleges stand out from one another. It is courses like 'Spaces of Memory: Texts and Contexts of the Dirty War' that make students better world citizens."-Sara Snyder See Course flier here.
CJS Dedicates Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site!
The Center for Judaic Studies gathered friends, donors and community members from across campus and Colorado to dedicate the on-campus Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site on Oct. 10, 2010 with the setting of the memorial's first stone near Buchtel Tower. Read the entire DU Today story
Ruth Behar: CJS partners with DULCCES on Latino Heritage month
CJS and DULCCES formed a first-time partnership during Latino Heritage Month October 7, 2010 to bring acclaimed filmmaker and anthropologistRuth Behar to campus. Inspired from Behar's exploration of her Jewish-Cuban roots, CJS and DULCCES were excited to build this bridge and bring their respective communities together for a screening of Adio Kerida, Behar's award-winning 2002 documentary that follows her trip back to Cuba, as she searches for memories from her past and investigates the dwindling Jewish community that remains.
HAI Remembrance and Hope Annual Fundraiser
HAI partnered with the DCPA this year to feature An Afternoon with Fiddler on the Roof, where guests enjoyed a special performance by Harvey Fierstein and a talk back with the cast after the show. Prior to the play, HAI held a silent auction to raise funds for its important work advancing education about the Holocaust in the state of Colorado.
Dr. Carol Newsom: Discussing the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Book of Job
CJS was thrilled to be able to host Dr. Carol Newsom on the DU campus in May for three days of special events showcasing her expertise on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the book of Job, and more! Dr. Newsom was part of the international team that edited and translated the Dead Sea Scrolls in the 1980s. She spoke about this work in a public lecture, and lead a 3-day Seminar on the book of Job.
Schusterman Visiting Artist Alex Epstein
Alex Epstein, an acclaimed Israeli writer of 'Flash Fiction' who has also published works of poetry and translations, was the artist-in-residence at CJS and the Department of English for Spring 2010. This residency was made possible by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Epstein kicked off his term at DU with a reading on April 1, where he shared excerpts from his most recent publication, the English version of 'Blue Has No South,' a collection of short stories (Clockroot Books). In addition to team-teaching a literature course with CJS's own Prof. Adam Rovner, Epstein attended events across the country, including the prestigious 2010 PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature in New York City, and several in the Denver-Metro region.
Discovering the Meaning of Life for $9.99 with Etgar Keret
CJS and the Denver Film Society partnered to bring the award-winning Israeli writer and filmmaker Etgar Keret to Denver, for a special screening of the animated feature film "$9.99." Based on several of Keret's stories, the film marries the tradition of Jewish humor with absurdity. "$9.99" features the voice work of Anthony LaPaglia and Geoffrey Rush, and won awards and garnered prize nominations at several international film festivals (2008-09). Keret was introduced by our Schusterman Visiting Artist, Alex Epstein, and after the film, gave a talk-back to the audience, emceed by our very own Prof. Adam Rovner.
The 1st Annual Colorado Hamantasch-Latke Debate
On February 28th, CJS and Buntport Theater teamed up to attempt to answer the age-old question: "which is better, the hamantash or the latke?" Concerned citizens listened carefully to each side, and in the end, the Latke was named the winner!
Pioneering Holocaust Education
In February, we teamed up with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to organize a day-long Holocaust Awareness Institute Teacher Training for local middle and high school teachers on the theme 'Using Images to Teach the Holocaust.' We had over 100 teachers in attendance!
Pioneering Hebrew Rebel Poetry
In January 2010, CJS hosted visiting scholar and poet, Dr. Shahar Bram as part of our "Pioneering Jews" lineup. Dr. Bram led us in a series of memorable learning sessions on "Hebrew Rebel Poetry!" including his own original works of poetry inspired by paintings and photographs, as well his translations of the works of Israel Prize winning poet, Tuvia Rübner.
Pioneering Jewish Food
In early December 2009, visiting scholar Dr. Jenna Joselit helped us to celebrate pioneering adventures in Jewish food (from matzoh balls to delis!) by leading us in two separate days of captivating conversation (one at the East Side Kosher Deli, and one at Temple Emanuel).
The plan for a Jewish homeland in Tasmania
Prof. Adam Rovner made his television debut in December 2009 on Australian prime time! While doing research this winter on what almost became a Jewish homeland in Tasmania during WWII, Adam and author Richard Flanagan (who is writing a book on the topic) were interviewed by the ABC's weekly television news magazine. Read the transcript online.
Blazing the Trail: Denver's Jewish Pioneers
In September 2009, CJS's RMJHS and Beck Archives worked with Rose Community Foundation, Allied Jewish Federation, Singer Gallery at MACC at the JCC, Mizel Museum and others to launch Blazing the Trail: Denver's Jewish Pioneers, a rich and interactive exhibit curated by Prof. Jeanne Abrams celebrating the 150th anniversary of Jewish life in Denver. This exhibit will travel, and is currently on display at DU's Penrose Library. Launching the 'Blazing the Trail' exhibit this Fall to a crowd of over 500 people, we worked with the Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado to host a day of learning with Arthur Kurzweil, "Father of Jewish Genealogy" including his keynote presentation "From Generation to Generation: How to Trace your Jewish Genealogy and Family History."
Bus Tour of Jewish Denver
In August 2009, CJS and RMJHS worked with Rose Community Foundation and E-3 Events to host a Bus Tour of Jewish Denver for local 20-30somethings. With the expert guidance of Prof. Jeanne Abrams, participants learned about everything from the notorious Bugsy Siegel's Denver hangout, to the old Jewish Consumptive Relief Society campus, to Golda Meir's Denver digs!
Holocaust Awareness Education
In June 2009, CJS's HAI proudly hosted 'Belfer Next Steps,' a regional Holocaust educational program run through the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
In June 2009, the Center's Holocaust Awareness Institute proudly honored Paula Burger, local Holocaust Survivor and artist whose willingness to talk about her experiences through the HAI's Speakers' Bureau touches the lives of local middle and high school students in classrooms across the region.
Western /Midwestern Jewish Studies Association Conference
In April of 2009, Prof. Sander Gilman of Emory University gave the keynote address at the Western /Midwestern Jewish Studies Association Conference, held at DU that year. His speech was titled "Why the H*** is That Funny? A New Debate about the Limits of Representation after 9/11 or an Older Question?