Year in Review: 2011–2012

Wed, May 16, 2012
Year in Review: 2011–2012

The Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies had a banner year in 2011–2012. With the appointment of Associate Director Naomi Lindstrom, the launch of our new Israel Studies Collaborative, and myriad events and speakers, we were busy upholding our mission to bring the richness of Jewish histories, cultures, and traditions to the university and the larger community. Check out our highlights below.

Professor Naomi Lindstrom was named associate director of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies in the fall of 2011. Dr. Lindstrom, who has taught J S 363: Latin American Jewish Writers since 1982, was instrumental in securing the center as host for the XVI International Research Conference of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association (June 9–11, 2013). (Dr. Lindstrom also maintains the LAJSA Web site, which is hosted by the College of Liberal Arts.) With a specialty in Latin American Jewish Studies, Dr. Lindstrom enhances the center’s commitment to the comparative study of Jewish life in the Americas.

The center launched its new Israel Studies Collaborative, which cultivates serious academic research and advances a rigorous, multi-disciplinary approach to Israel Studies in undergraduate education and public programming. Professor Ami Pedahzur is leading this exciting initiative.

The center welcomed Visiting Professor Gideon Greif, an Israeli historian and Holocaust scholar. Dr. Greif taught four courses over the academic year: The Holocaust in Israeli Culture (J S 364), Prime Ministers of Israel (J S 364), Jewish Civilization: 1492–Present (J S 304N), and Palestine During the British Mandate (J S 364).

Photographer and SCJS friend Loli Kantor debuted her latest exhibit, And If a Voice was Heard, and participated in a panel discussion with center director Robert Abzug and Rabbi Neil Blumofe of Congregation Agudas Achim.

The center offered free screenings of Austin Jewish Film Festival movies for the fifth year in a row.

Texas Hillel hosted their first Mexican-Jewish Seder, which SCJS co-sponsored.

Batsheva Dance Company delivered an electrifying performance of the gaga dance piece Max.

Texas Hillel hosted their fourteenth annual Israel Block Party.

The center also sponsored or co-sponsored the following lectures, all free and open to the public:

  • Kristallnacht and Herschel Grynspan: Hero or Anti-Hero?
  • Heaven and its Discontents: Spritual Dramas of the Talmud
  • How Jewish is German Sexuality? From the Third Reich to Sexual Revolution
  • The Land: The Shaping of the Modern State of Israel and its Lasting Impact on the Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • Can Israel Be Both Jewish and Democratic?
  • Hellenes, Nazarenes, and Other Jews: Heine the Fool
  • The Question of Eloquence in the King James Version

For a more comprehensive look at the spring semester, take a look at our spring 2012 wrap-up.

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