Gale Collaborative on Jewish Life in the Americas: Overview

Since the founding in 2007 of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, one of its central missions has been the study of Jewish life in Latin America, the United States, and Canada, populations that collectively comprise almost forty-seven percent of today’s Jewish world. We have formalized that commitment with the creation of the Gale Collaborative on Jewish Life in the Americas, bringing to a new level what has already been a rich part of the Schusterman Center’s contribution to the study of Jewish life and one that has received national and international recognition. 

Over the past ten years, we have developed courses, supported research, and sponsored local public programs and panels at professional organizations on Jewish society, culture, and history in the Western Hemisphere. Distinguished scholars, journalists, writers, and artists from all regions have examined the history, literature and other cultural forms, and dynamic presence of Jews from the time of European exploration, conquest, and settlement to the present. In addition, we have already hosted two major conferences focused on the topic. Our largest single event was the 16th International Research Conference of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association (LAJSA), hosted by the Schusterman Center June 9-11, 2013, which attracted over a hundred participants. In late 2015, we brought together specialists on Jewish history, sociology, anthropology, and cultural production for an exploratory meeting on Jewish Life in the Americas that led to the formation of a working group to shape future research and institutional cooperation.

For information on our upcoming events, please see the Events page of the Schusterman Center website  (https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/scjs/events/index.php).

The Collaborative’s new website, currently under construction, will feature details of future meetings and opportunities as well as a more detailed history of the Schusterman Center’s commitments in this area. It will be announced on the Center website (https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/scjs/).

Director: Naomi Lindstrom (lindstrom@austin.utexas.edu), Gale Family Foundation Professor in Jewish Arts and Culture