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Center for Judaic Studies

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Center for Judaic Studies

Advancing knowledge of Jewish history, thought and culture through learning, intercultural dialogue, and social action.

The 2016 call for proposals for the Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel is now live! Deadline: March 15, 2016. For more information, click here.

The Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) is a vibrant source of in-depth Jewish learning on campus and across Colorado.

Our faculty are research and teaching experts in a wide range of interdisciplinary areas of Judaic Studies. Their work is internationally recognized, and they offer an impressive annual lineup of undergraduate and graduate courses in fields of Jewish history, religion, language, literature, philosophy, film, and culture.

In addition to being home to our own faculty experts , CJS hosts annual visiting scholars, performing artists, authors, poets and filmmakers from around the world.

We offer a minor in Judaic Studies, and a number of joint MA and PhD degrees with programs across campus. We are home to the Holocaust Awareness Institute , the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site and The Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society . We also serve the broader community through many annual events and co-sponsored activities across Colorado.


We honor the memory of Sandy Vinnik, an inspiring leader, a committed volunteer, and a dedicated learner. Sandy was deeply involved with the Center for Judaic Studies (CJS), the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society (RMJHS), and the Holocaust Awareness Institute (HAI) for decades, bringing a profound blend of mind and heart to everything she did. Sandy was the thoughtful founder of and outspoken advocate for the Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel which she and her family founded in honor of the late Dr. Irwin Vinnik.

To make a donation in memory of Sandy Vinnik to the Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel:

  • Make your check out to 'Center for Judaic Studies'
  • Indicate 'Vinnik Fellowship' on the check memo line
  • Mail checks to:
Center for Judaic Studies
University of Denver
2000 E Asbury Ave., Suite 157
Denver, CO 80208-0911

Also to share: We are creating a special webpage with an alphabetical list of all the people who donate to the Vinnik fund in Sandy's memory over the coming months; if you want to donate, but do not want your name included on this special tribute page, please just let us know; otherwise, we will add your name to the special tribute page.

If you would like further help, please contact the Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) at 303.871.3021 or email


Winter Quarter 2016 Events at CJS!

Everding Lecture Series with Dr. Sarah Pessin (Jan-March, 2016) St. John's Cathedral

Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel (Deadline: March 15, 2016)

"Music & Hope: The Life of Alice Herz-Sommer" 14th Annual Marcus Lecture (Nov 13, 2016)

[For more information on these and other events, see our full calendar.]


Click on the text to read more about CJS events and happenings!

David Grossman
CJS to host special evening with Israeli author David Grossman on Nov. 2nd, 2016

On Nov. 2nd, 2016, CJS will host an evening with Israeli author, David Grossman. The event will take place at 7pm, in the new Reiman Theatre in Margery Reed Hall, and will feature a conversation between David Grossman and CJS's very own Adam Rovner, Associate Professor of English and Jewish Literature at DU. Grossman's visit is made possible by CJS's new Israel Cultures Initiative.

To learn more about David Grossman and his world-renowned work, click here











Prof. Sarah Pessin

Congratulations to CJS Director, Prof. Sarah Pessin, on receiving the Everding Lectureship!

Congratulations to CJS Director Prof. Sarah Pessin on being awarded the 2016 Everding Distinguished Lecturership. Established through a gift from Prof. H. Edward and Lee Palmer Everding, this endowed lectureship is a project of the Iliff School of Theology and Saint John's Cathedral aimed at enhancing interfaith dialogue and inter-religious learning throughout the community through annual lectures from outstanding visiting teachers.

As part of her Lectureship appointment, Prof. Pessin will be delivering six public lectures this Winter at St. John's Cathedral, including a four-week series on forgiveness.

Please check the CJS calendar for more details, or click here for a printable flier.







Lowenstein, Sound of Music

New Art Donated to the Lowenstein Collection of the Beck Archives.

The Beck Archives is proud to announce the expansion of the Lowenstein Collection through a donation of more than 15 pieces of artwork from the Lowenstein family. The highlights of this new acquisition include Henry's watercolor paintings for various set-designs at Denver's Lowenstein Theater, including the Sound of Music (pictured above; click here for a larger image).

The artwork of Henry's mother, Maria — who was an artist in her own right— is also featured. One of Maria's most significant pieces is a charcoal drawing of her daughter, drawn with the ashes of Berlin toward the end of WWII, before the family moved to the United States.




 Diversity Summit 2016
CJS Inclusive Excellence Fellow, Katie Nittmann, and Keelie Sorel, 2015 Vinnik Fellowship recipient, speak at DU's Diversity Summit!

Katie Nittmann, CJS's Inclusive Excellence Fellow, and Keelie Sorel, a 2015 Vinnik Fellowship recipient, spoke at DU's Diversity Summit on January 22nd! Here is what Katie has to say about the experience: 

""Keelie and I had a fantastic time presenting at the 2016 DU Diversity Summit and talking with a diverse group of students and professionals about the relevance and importance of interfaith work. We concentrated on examining how the media impacts public opinion with regards to faith and particular faith traditions. We concluded by discussing the relevance of interfaith work here on the DU campus and how we can with facilitate discussions around this topic with students and help our campus community realize that this is an important aspect of social diversity."

For more on Katie's and Keelie's work, click here.

Thank you, Katie and Keelie, for all your hard work on interfaith dialogue!


Click here for upcoming CJS events!

Click here for past CJS events!

PAT Video Conference

Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions Conference, July 8-10, 2015