Interview with Danny Luzon
Danny Luzon is a PhD student in the Department of Comparative Literature with a Designated Emphasis in Jewish Studies. The Academic Consortium of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund recently awarded him a research grant for summer study. I sat down with Danny to congratulate him on his award and to discuss how he intends to use it. Interview by Hannah Levy, Senior Rhetoric Student, CJS Office... read more »
Interview with Sheer Ganor
Sheer Ganor is finishing her second year at Berkeley, where she is pursuing a PhD in History with a Designated Emphasis in Jewish Studies through the Center for Jewish Studies. Ganor, also from Tel Aviv University, focuses on dispersed communities of German Jews from 1933 all the way to the 1960's. Sheer was among the recent recipients of a summer research grant awarded by the Academic Consortium of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. I sat down with Sheer to congratulate her on the recent award and to discus her upcoming research plans. Interview by Hannah Levy, Senior Rhetoric Student, CJS Office... read more »
Contact:4401 Dwinelle Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
Wednesday April 29, 201512:00 - 1:00 p.m.
PopUp Lunchtime Exhibitions: Rabbi David Kasher on Filling in the Gaps: Reading the Bible With Commentaries
The Mikraot Gedolot are an edition of the Biblical text that juxtaposes the fully vocalized Hebrew text of the Bible with the commentaries of various Jewish exegetes, such as Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (Rashi) and Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra, published in Venice by Daniel Bomberg (1524-25). Editions of the Mikraot Gedolot continue to be published to this day. The Magnes Collection includes an edition of the Pentateuch in five volumes, printed in Warsaw in 1909, which includes a number of Yiddish commentaries that capture the some of the unique religious attitudes of Jews in the Pale of Settlement before WW1.
David Kasher is the Senior Rabbinic Educator at Kevah.
Location: The Magnes Auditorium, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94720
Tuesday May 5, 20156:00 p.m.
Celebrate Robert Atler
Location: Congregation Netivot Shalom
Wednesday May 6, 201512:00 - 1:00 p.m.
PopUp Lunchtime Exhibitions: Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan on Helen Burke, the Artistry of Memory, and the Impermanence of Memorials
Helen Burke (1916-1997) was the artist-in-residence at the Swig Camp Institute, a sleep-away camp for teenagers operated by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (now known as the Union for Reform Judaism) in Saratoga, California. Ms. Burke taught generations of campers the art of metal sculpturing and welding. She inspired them to create a Holocaust Memorial onsite, whose ark contained representations of Jewish holidays and California fauna and flora. Fragments of the Memorial are now on permanent display at The Magnes. Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan (Lehrhaus Judaica), one of Helen’s former students, will discuss the significance of Helen’s work and its lasting impact, while also reflecting on the narrative of abandoned memorials and the message of intentional forgetfulness.
Location: The Magnes Auditorium, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94720
The Center for Jewish Studies is delighted to announce that Robert Alter, Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature, and founding Director of the Center for Jewish Studies, has been awarded two degrees of Doctor Philsophiae Honoris Causa; one from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and one from the University of Haifa, for his work as "a leading scholar in the field of comparative literature, who combines in his work a passion for language with tireless intellectual curiosity." The Honorary Degree Ceremonies will take place in Spring 2015 in Jerusalem and Haifa.
In discussing this monumental achievement with Professor Alter, he told me in his very gracious manner, that beyond any personal tribute, these awards represent an important confirmation of the University of California, Berkeley, as a prominent world center for Jewish Studies, and underscores a vital, ongoing connection between UCB and these prestigious Israeli institutions.
In the award letter, Hebrew University President, Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson and Rector, Professor Asher Cohen write, "...the Senate wishes to acknowledge your innovative and far-reaching contributions to the fields of literary studies, primarily modern European literature and Hebrew literature, and to the field of biblical studies and biblical translation. Two 'bookends' of a career of inducting readers into the intricacies and magic of literary production and the pleasures of literary consumption are Partial Magic: The Novel as a Self-Conscious Genre (1975) and The Pleasures of Reading in an Ideological Age (1990). Between those is a whole shelf of books on modern Hebrew and Jewish literature, including The Invention of Hebrew Prose and Necessary Angels, and beyond those are the literary readings of the Hebrew Bible - The Art of Biblical Narrative, The Art of Biblical Poetry and the World of Biblical Literature. Those groundbreaking books helped establish an entire field of biblical poetics... Finally, we wish to acknowledge your superb translations of the Hebrew Bible. To date you have translated the Five Books of Moses, Psalms, Samuel I and II, the Wisdom Books and several of the Prophets and will soon complete the translation of the Bible as a whole. This is a monumental accomplishment that has reignited the literary beauty of the Hebrew Bible, breathing new life into these ancient texts. Your translations have become the canonical English translations of our time and crown a uniquely distinguished career."
Congratulations to Professor Alter on this recognition of his outstanding contributions to Jewish scholarship!
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer has just announced the inauguration of the Center for Jewish Studies on the Berkeley campus. He and the Chancellor expressed their commitment to the Center and all of its aspirations, and invites the campus community to a lecture by the Center's Founding Director, Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature Robert Alter on Wednesday, October 30.
Today I am pleased to announce the inauguration of a new Center for Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
The Center will coordinate both a new “Designated Emphasis in Jewish Studies” for graduate students from a wide range of academic disciplines, and a robust Jewish Studies undergraduate minor. More broadly, it will gather faculty, students and visiting academics for research and debate across the broad scholarly landscape of Jewish Studies, and will provide an extraordinary opportunity for fruitful exchanges with the Bay Area Jewish community.
I have asked Robert Alter, Emeritus Professor and world-renowned scholar and translator of Hebrew Literature and the Bible, to serve as the Center’s Founding Director; Professor of Architecture Jill Stoner will be the Center’s first chair and chair of Graduate Programs; and Law Professor Kenneth A. Bamberger will serve as its co-chair, and chair of undergraduate Jewish Studies.
The Center builds upon Berkeley’s long tradition of leadership in the study of Jewish literature, history, and rabbinics, providing institutional capacity to deepen these strengths programmatically and to expand our offerings. It offers a model for national leadership in Jewish Studies through its disciplinary breadth; the faculty of the Center comprises professors from departments and schools that include comparative literature, Near Eastern Studies, history, sociology, music, German, journalism, architecture, law and theater, dance and performance studies.
In addition to coordinating its academic programs, the Center will sponsor an annual series of endowed lectures, and host visiting scholars and faculty who will teach both undergraduate and graduate courses in Jewish Studies. In the context of these programs, students can take advantage of a wealth of resources from across campus, including the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law; Economy and Society’s constituent programs in Israel Studies and in Jewish law and thought; the vast Jewish cultural resources of the University’s Magnes Collection for Jewish Art and Life; and the campus library’s renowned Jewish Studies, Yiddish, and Hebrew-language holdings. The Center will also serve as an important locus for and convener of programs and collaborations with other institutions and with the community.
Chancellor Dirks and I share in the belief that the Center will enhance and augment the already strong tradition of Jewish Studies scholarship at Berkeley. We have committed funding to administer the Center through its first three years, and look forward to collaborating with the Bay Area Jewish community as the Center and the vision for its future take shape.
Please join us in celebrating this exciting addition to our campus. The first such opportunity comes already in 2 weeks. Founding Director Robert Alter will give an inaugural lecture for the Center on October 30th on the subject of "The Untranslatable Poetry of Yehuda Amichai.” The lecture will be at 6:00 pm at the Graduate School of Journalism, Northgate Hall. We hope to see many of you there.
George W. Breslauer
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Information about the October 30 event may be found in the Calendar section of the Center's web site: http://jewishstudies.berkeley.edu