About the Program
The Major & Minor
Special Studies
Study Abroad
Summer Study
Awards & Prizes
News & Events
Jewish Studies

News & Events

Fall 2015


Friday, Sept 25, 3 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room,


Film screening and discussion with Academy Award-winning director Malcolm Clarke: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life,

winner of the 2013 Oscar for Best documentary (short subject), about concert pianist and Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer (1903-2014)


Wednesday, October 14, 12-1pm,
Lewis Global Studies Center

Dr. David Govrin, Ministry of Foreign of Affairs, State of Israel "The Arab Spring and Its Regional Implications: An Israeli Perspective"


Monday, November 2, Seelye 106, 4:30pm

Joel S. Kaminsky, "Would You Impugn My Justice?: Reflections on the Hebrew Bible's Understanding of Divine Reward and Punishment," Morningstar Professorship in Jewish Studies chaired professor lecture
Sponsored by the Office of the President

Tuesday, November 3, 2:45-4pm (Workshop part of the Otelia Cromwell Day Symposium; see schedule for location)

Susan C. Dessel, "Brick in a Soft Hat: Activist, Suffragist, Crusader Martha Gruening, Smith Class of 1909"
Dessel, an award-winning conceptual artist, will present an illustrated talk about Martha Gruening, a Jewish suffragist, lawyer, journalist, civil rights and peace activist. Gruening's widely-read article "Two Suffrage Movements" (NAACP Journal, The Crisis, Sept. 1912) linked the struggles for women's rights and for African-American rights, and her investigation of the 1917 East St. Louis race riots resulted in the article "Massacre in East St. Louis" (The Crisis, Sept. 1917) which provides readers today with an historical perspective on the recent unrest in Ferguson, just thirteen and a half miles from E. St. Louis. Co-sponsored by the Department of Religion, the Program in Jewish Studies, the Otelia Cromwell Day Committee, and and several other departments and programs. An exhibit of Dessel's drawings inspired by the activism of Martha Gruening will appear in the Nolan Art Lounge at the Campus Center.

Wednesday, November 11 Global Salon with Assaf Gavron

Lewis Global Center Lounge 12pm




Wednesday, November 11, Neilson Browsing Room, 7:00pm

Assaf Gavron, "The Wild West Bank: A Novelist's Exploration of the Most Burning Topic in the Israel-Palestine Conflict"


Gavron, an award winning Israeli novelist and literary translator, will deliver a public lecture on his new novel The Hilltop, set in the world of Israel's West Bank Settlements. Gavron will talk about the intersection of literature and politics, and especially the ways in which artists can help us better understand hot-button issues on the international agenda by moving beyond the political sloganeering. Co-sponsored by the Programs in Jewish Studies, Comparative Literature, Middle East Studies, and the Lewis Global Studies Center. For more information on Assaf Gavron, visit the author's webpage at www.assafgavron.com.

(Gavron will also offer a lunchtime talk sponsored at the Lewis Global Studies Center on the topic of "Midtown is Not the Center of Town: Challenges of Literary Translation." Gavron has translated, among others, J.D. Salinger, Philip Roth, Franz Kafka, Jonathan Safran Foer, and J.K. Rowling, into Hebrew.)



Smithies abroad!


Emily Bell '16 with Professor Justin Cammy on the campus of Tel Aviv University, summer 2015. Emily is studying Yiddish at the university's renowned international summer program for which Cammy a visiting professor in Yiddish literature.


Congratulations to the Balman Prize winners:

Dia Roth '15

Suri Roth-Katz '15J




Coming for The SPRING 2015


April 14
Sayed Kashua, Palestinian novelist and journalist
on the challenges of writing in Hebrew and negotiating identities. 

7pm in Neilson Browsing Room




Class visit in JUD 362: Punchline: The Jewish Comic Tradition

Open Seminar, Tuesday April 14, 1 -3pm
Poetry Center Public lecture




The Program in Jewish Studies and the

Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival present:




Kudos to our own Joel Kaminsky

The Abingdon Introduction to the Bible: Understanding Jewish and Christian Scriptures, co-authored by Joel Kaminsky, Morningstar Professor of Jewish Studies and professor of religion, has been selected by the American Library Association’s Choice magazine as a 2014 Outstanding Academic Title. Kaminsky’s book offers an accessible, scholarly perspective on the Bible, drawing on Jewish, Protestant and Catholic interpretations.




Monday, February 23

Dr. Marc Caplan on

"The Migrations and Transformations of Tevye: from Yiddish literary masterpiece to Fiddler on the Roof"

7pm in Graham Auditorium






Presentation of the Major in Minor


Thursday, October 23, 2014 at Noon

Dewey Common Room

Come meet the faculty and students and find out about our program!

JUD poster

Congratulations to Joel Kaminsky on having been named the Morningstar Family Professor of Jewish Studies.