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Welcome to The Rabbi Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies

welcome imageThe establishment of Emory University’s Institute for Jewish Studies in February 1999 gave institutional recognition to the university’s strength in the study of Jewish life and culture, and signaled Emory’s intention to become the premier site for Jewish Studies in the southeastern United States.

Dedicated to fostering the continued development of Jewish studies on the Emory campus, the Institute for Jewish Studies is the natural outgrowth of carefully laid groundwork. In recent years, Jewish Studies has flourished, as evidenced by new faculty appointments, including endowed chairs, new graduate and undergraduate degree programs, endowed lecture series, and enrichment funds to support student and faculty travel and study.

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Dr. Oded Borowski is again leading a team working at the archaeological site of Tell Halif, Israel. This year, the major tasks are sorting and cataloging items from previous years' digs, consulting experts on some of the finds, and readying materials for eventual publication. You may follow this summer’s progress through the blog by clicking here.

Deborah Lipstadt’s op-ed “Assad: As Bad as Hitler? Worse than Hitler?...Don’t Ask” has just been published in The Atlantic. Click here to read the article!

Congratulations to the 2017 graduates!

On May 8th, 2017, the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies commended the newest alumni of Emory University for reaching a milestone in their education.

Greeted with bagels, coffee and other light snacks, the families of the graduates involved with TIJS celebrated in the Candler Library Seminar Room with the TIJS faculty and staff on Monday before Emory’s 172nd Commencement Ceremony took place.

Click here to read more.


TIJS celebrates students achievements

Students, faculty and staff of TIJS all gathered on April 20 to celebrate the 2016–2017 academic school year and acknowledge students who have won awards and grants. For a full report of the reception, click here.



Congratulations to Miriam Udel upon winning the National Jewish Book Award for Modern Jewish Thought and Experience for her book, Never Better! The Modern Jewish Picaresque (2016, University of Michigan Press). Presented annually since 1950 by the Jewish Book Council, the National Jewish Book Awards are among the most distinguished prizes given each year for outstanding books on Jewish topics. For more information about the prize, click here, and to view local coverage of the award, click here.



TIJS welcomes visiting faculty

Ralph Buchenhorst, visiting associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, has been appointed to a multi-year term as DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Professor at Emory. During his time here, he is part of TIJS’s affiliated faculty, cross-listing two courses per year with Jewish Studies. His research specialties include Holocaust memory and its impact on philosophy and the arts, continental philosophy (19th/20th century), and critical theory. Click here for more information.


Nitzan Gilady is a visiting scholar in the Department of Film and Media Studies for spring 2017, teaching the course FILM 395R, “Constructing Reality in Israeli Documentary Films.” An active filmmaker, he has directed and produced four award-winning documentaries and a feature film, “Wedding Doll.” See the TIJS events listings for the schedule of screenings of a selection of his films on campus.


TIJS welcomes Adam Zachary Newton as the Bill and Carol Fox Center’s Distinguished Visiting Professor during the Spring Semester 2017, with an appointment in the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies. Professor Newton is teaching the senior seminar “Jews and Other ‘Others’,” as well as presenting the keynote lecture for “Looking Outward: Reframing Jewish Studies,” a scholarly conference bringing together Emory faculty and visiting scholars to assess recent trends in Jewish Studies, being planned for late March 2017. Click here for a full bio of Professor Newton.

Shlomo Pill, a recent graduate of the School of Law, joins the TIJS teaching faculty as an instructor for spring 2017, teaching the course JS/MES/REL 370, “Introduction to Jewish Law and Practice.”.



Community of Scholars Showcase

            We were very gratified with the attendance and enthusiasm generated by “Community of Scholars Showcase,” the celebration of 40 years of Jewish studies at Emory in December! More than a hundred people, representing current and former faculty, students, alumni, and members of the Atlanta community, came together  to celebrate 40 years of Jewish studies at Emory.  Click here for a full report, and view the new video on TIJS here.

Dr. Perry Brickman, longtime friend of TIJS, was honored recently with the Emory Medal. Read more here.

Samira Mehta, alumna of the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies and Graduate Division of Religion - and current Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Albright College - was recently awarded a fellowship from the Library of Congress to "research the connections between contraception, especially the birth control pill, and American religion." Her latest article, Interfaith Kids Are Still Being Raised Jewish. Here’s How., is published in the Forward.

toronto‘Denial’ Premieres October 7 in Atlanta

‘Denial,’ a film about Emory professor Deborah Lipstadt’s 1996 libel trial against Holocaust denier David Irving, opens Friday night, October 7. The film, based on Lipstadt's acclaimed 2005 memoir, History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, stars Rachel Weisz as Lipstadt, Tom Wilkinson as her British barrister, and Timothy Spall as Irving. The film crew was on campus back in February, capturing scenes and using Emory students as extras.

Read more about the film, the trial, and Professor’s Lipstadt’s experiences with each here.


Emory's Holocaust Denial on Trial website gets redesign and relaunch.

We are proud to hear that TIJS affiliated faculty member Joseph Skibell's book A Blessing on the Moon has been selected as one of the 100 must-read works of Jewish fiction. See here for the full list.

Holocaust American UnderstandingCongratulations to Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, on the publication of her latest book, Holocaust: An American Understanding, volume 7 of the Rutgers University Press series Keywords in Jewish Studies.

The movie trailer has been released for "Denial," a feature film due out this Fall that recounts TIJS professor Deborah Lipstadt's internationally publicized legal battle against a British Holocaust denier.

Read the Emory Report article

View the trailer


Actor Rachel Weisz and Emory professor Deborah Lipstadt on the set of "Denial."
Photo by Liam Daniel/Bleecker Street.

Watch the March 28 discussion of "After Paris: Antisemitism, Jewish-Muslim Relations, and the Future of French Jews" with Maud Mandel (Brown University) and Samuel Ghiles-Meilhac (University of Paris VIII, Saint-Deni).

If you are considering studying Jewish studies at Emory, please contact the faculty or staff members listed below.


Director of Undergraduate Studies: Professor Catherine Dana
Undergraduate Program Coordinator: Malory Mibab


Director of Graduate Studies: Professor Miriam Udel
Graduate Program Coordinator: Malory Mibab


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The Tam Institute for Jewish Studies | 204 Candler Library | 550 Asbury Circle | Emory University | Atlanta, GA 30322 | Campus Mail Stop 1580-002-2AD | Phone: 404-727-6301 | Fax: 404-727-3297

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Last updated: September 20, 2017


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