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February 2020

In the Name of the Cross: Christianity and Anti-Semitic Propaganda in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

February 5, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art & Life, 2121 Allston Way
Berkeley , CA
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David Kertzer (Brown University) In the Name of the Cross: Christianity and Anti-Semitic Propaganda in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany Heated debate surrounds the question of the role Christianity and Christian churches played in the Nazi and Italian Fascist demonization of the Jews. This talk brings to light similarities and differences in the Nazi and Italian Fascist uses of Christianity in their efforts to turn their populations against the Jews through examination of two of their most influential popular anti-Semitic…

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January 2020

Diller Lecture: Neo-Hasidism and Neo-Kabbalah – Privatised Uses of Traditional Lore

January 30, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art & Life, 2121 Allston Way
Berkeley , CA
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Free

Tomer Persico (UC Berkeley Koret Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies; Tel-Aviv University) To what measure does contemporary popular Kabbalah display an extension of traditional Kabbalah? How much does Neo-Hasidism preserve the spirit of Hasidism? With an abundance of Kabbalistic and Hasidic movements and practices offered through Jewish Contemporary Spirituality, we shall try to discern the process through which major tenets from the Jewish mystical tradition go through modern interpretation, and examine the social forces shaping such interpretation, as well as…

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November 2019

Still Lives: Jewish Photography under Nazism (co-sponsored by The Center for Jewish Studies)

November 21, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
3205 Dwinelle Hall Berkeley, CA United States + Google Map
Free

Speaker: Ofer Ashkenazi 'The talk considers photographs that were taken by non-professional Jewish photographers under the National Socialist regime. By the early 1930s, most German-Jewish families had avidly used pocket-sized cameras to document their experiences, from domestic routines and family vacations to participation in political gatherings, youth movement ceremonies, sports and religious events. I argue that, gazing at a rapidly changing environment after January 1933, amateur Jewish photographers utilized their cameras to reflect on the new reality, to make sense…

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Jewish Disputes, Early Modern Courts, and Legal Pluralism

November 21, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
3401 Dwinelle Hall, Dwinelle Hall
Berkeley, 94720 United States
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How did early modern Jews settle disputes “between Jew and Jew”? Stemming from a reflection upon the functions of the early modern kehillah/communal corporate body, Evelyne Oliel-Grausz's current research questions the Jewish community as a legal resource/ forum for dispute resolution. If institution of the Bet Din is somewhat well known, and has the been the subject of several key publications of late, it was not the only available internal forum: in most Ashkenazi and Sephardi early modern communities, lay…

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The Invention of Religion: Jews in Babylon and the Evidence of Language and Literature

November 19, 2019 @ 5:15 pm - 7:00 pm
820 Barrows Hall, Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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At some time after end of the First Temple period, the religion of ancient Israel became independent of the nation. Language and texts are key to this change. Hebrew turned into a sacred language, not one learned from one's parents, but from the study of ancient texts. The process didn't come to full fruition until after the fall of the Second Temple. But its earliest effects can be traced already in writings of the exilic period. This linguistic development is…

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Remembering the Ephemeral: the Ritual Architecture of Sukkot in Contemporary Life

November 12, 2019 @ 5:15 pm - 7:00 pm
Gifford Room, Kroeber Hall, Kroeber Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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Free

How can an ancient religious ritual convey current social and political needs? This question emerged from eight years (2007-2015) of documentation of Sukkot, the Jewish festival that annually commemorates the Israelites’ Biblical journey through the Sinai Desert to the Promised Land. This talk explores the holiday’s central rite of building and “dwelling” in temporary structures—makeshift shelters that evoke the physical and metaphoric experience of wandering in the wild. The flexibility of this tradition is revealed by the rich material diversity…

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Unlikely Refuge: Survivors, Aid Organizations and Local Communities in WWII Uzbekistan and Iran

November 4, 2019 @ 5:15 pm - 7:00 pm
100 Berkeley Law, 225 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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Beginning in September 1941 and throughout the war, Central Asia and Iran became places of refuge to hundreds of thousand of Jewish and Catholic Polish citizens. Mikhal Dekel, whose father was a child refugee in Tehran, will recount the research and writing process of this epic yet relatively unknown Holocaust story, told in her new book Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey. She will discuss the circumstances that brought her father and hundreds of thousands of others from Poland to…

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Hate: The Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism in France and What It Means for Us.

November 1, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
370 Dwinelle Hall, Dwinelle Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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October 2019

Protectors of Pluralism: The Rescue of Jews in the Low Countries During the Holocaust

October 17, 2019 @ 5:15 pm - 7:15 pm
3335 Dwinelle Hall

Protectors of Pluralism: The Rescue of Jews in the Low Countries During the Holocaust This book argues that local religious minorities are more likely to save persecuted groups from purification campaigns. Robert Braun utilizes a geo-referenced dataset of Jewish evasion in the Netherlands and Belgium during the Holocaust to assess the minority hypothesis. Spatial statistics and archival work reveal that Protestants were more likely to rescue Jews in Catholic regions of the Low Countries, while Catholics facilitated evasion in Protestant…

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September 2019

Hatred Old and New: The Roots and Resurgence of Antisemitism (A Panel Discussion)

September 17, 2019 @ 5:15 pm - 7:00 pm
Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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Hatred against Jews has re-emerged today as a major problem on the Left and the Right-- in European and American politics, and frequently on college campuses. What accounts for this resurgence? What has been the historical evolution of antisemitism that helps explain the current moment? What forms is antisemitism taking today? How much is it connected to or distinct from the rise of other hateful ideologies? This panel of experts addresses these issues, with ample time for questions and discussion.…

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