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2004 Tenenbaum Lecture

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This, the eighth year of the Tenenbaum Family Lecture Series in Judaic Studies, explores 350 years of American Jewish history. In recognition of this anniversary, three speakers will be participating in the 2003-2004 lecture series:

Jonathan D. Sarna (11/18/03)Hasia R. Diner (2/10/04)

Stephen J. Whitfield (3/23/04)

 

All lectures are free and open to the public.

 

Professor Jonathan D. Sarna
"Strangers in a Strage Land: Jews Confront a New World"



November 18, 2003, 7:30 PM
Reception Hall of the Michael C. Carlos Museum

Jews arrived on American shores in several different waves, and each time found a different “America” to which they acculturated. From Colonial America to the migrations of the 19th and 20th centuries, the American reality Jews confronted was unique, and their responses to it were similarly adjusted to suit the times. Professor Sarna will offer a new look at American Jews in the interwar years, reconsidering how they confronted antisemitism, nativism, and Prohibition. This lecture is offered in conjunction with the Carlos Museum exhibit of Jewish papyri of Ancient Egypt, one of the earliest examples of Jews’ adjustment to their surroundings.

Professor Sarna will also be speaking at the University Chaplain’s Chapel Tea.

Jonathan Sarna is one of America’s foremost commentators on American Jewish history, religion and life. He holds the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professorship in American Jewish history in the Department of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. He served two terms as chair of that department, and now chairs the Academic Advisory and Editorial Board of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati. He also edits two series in American Jewish history.

Professor Sarna has written about every culture of American Jewish history and has treated topics ranging from immigration and Zionism to ethnicity and public policy. He is the author of more than twenty books, including The American Jewish Experience, The Americanization of Jewish Culture, Religion and State in the American Jewish Experience, American Judaism, and, with Ellen Smith, The Jews of Boston, an illustrated scholarly history of that community.

Arrangements for Jonathan Sarna made through the B’nai B’rith Lecture Bureau.

Professor Hasia R. Diner
"Wandering Jews: Peddlers in the American South

February 10, 2004, 7:30 PM
Reception Hall of the Michael C. Carlos Museum

For most of the 19th and early 20th centuries, peddling served as the primary occupation for new Jewish arrivals to the American South, just as it did for Jews in many other parts of the world. In fact, as pioneers who sought out new locations for making a living and for building a Jewish life, peddlers were often the engines that drove Jewish migration to new areas. How did the nature of this occupation shape the communities Jews created, and what was its impact on their integration into the larger society?

Professor Diner will also be giving a seminar for faculty and graduate students. Hasia Diner is the Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor in American Jewish History at New York University, where she holds a joint appointment in the Department of History and the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. One of the leading specialists in the history of American Jews, Professor Diner is also an accomplished historian of Irish Americans, African Americans, and Italian Americans, and has written about many of these groups in a comparative context.

She is the author of more than a dozen books, including In the Almost Promised Land: American Jews and Blacks, 1915-1935; A Time For Gathering: The Second Migration, 1820-1880; Erin's Daughters in America: Irish Immigrant Women in the Nineteenth Century; Hungering for America: Italian, Irish, and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration; and the forthcoming The Jews of the United States, 1654 to 2000.

 

 

Professor Stephen J. Whitfield
"The 'South' and its Jews: Shifting Meanings, Shifting Identities"



March 23, 2004, 7:30 PM
Reception Hall of the Michael C. Carlos Museum

The historical experience of Southern Jewry usually and rightly has been told in terms of regional distinctiveness, with the Southern way of life profoundly affecting the tradition and habits of a tiny minority living most strikingly in small towns and even isolated villages. That version of the past emphasizes the power of conformism, the momentum of assimilation, the influence of Reform Judaism, and the pervasiveness of mercantile values. Such an interpretation has made Southern Jewry seem almost exotic. But just as the South itself has been transformed in the last half century or so, a revision of the standard perspective on the Jews of the region merits consideration as well.

Professor Whitfield will also be giving a seminar for faculty and graduate students.

Stephen Whitfield holds the Max Richter Chair in American Civilization at Brandeis University. A specialist in twentieth-century American politics and culture, he is also one of the leading scholars of the culture and politics of American Jews. His publications in the field have dealt with topics as diverse as the Americanization of the Holocaust, Black-Jewish relations, Jews in the American South, and American Jews in the creative arts.

He is the author of eight books, including American Space, Jewish Time; Voices of Jacob, Hands of Esau: Jews in American Life and Thought; and In Search of American Jewish Culture; and the editor of the forthcoming A Companion to 20th-Century America.

 

 

This lecture series is sponsored by:

The Rabbi Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies

and The Hightower Fund


With generous co-sponsorship from:

Emory University:

Department of History
University Chaplains Office
Department of Religion
Southern Studies
Graduate Division of Religion
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
American Studies
Center for Humanistic Inquiry
Office of Multicultural Programs and Services
Institute for Comparative and International Studies

 

 

 

 

 


 



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