Spring '19 Update--Expanding by Leaps and Bounds!
Jewish Studies added 9 new courses to the minor this year: 1) Life in the Medieval World, 1095-1350; 2) History of Spain to 1492; 3) History of Ancient Near East; 4) Land Between Two Rivers: Art of Ancient Iraq and its Neighbors; 5) Literature of the Holocaust; 6) Problems in European History: The Black Death; 7) Conflicts in the Modern Middle East; 8) Coexistence and Conflict in the Middle East; 9) Dallas’ House of Worship, and we will be adding a tenth course next year, "Pilgrimage: Imagining Medieval Cultures." For the second time, I took students, faculty, some of their family members to Israel, this time focusing on Holy Land pilgrims. Although it sleeted the last day we were there (March 16!), the trip was magical and transformative.
Our community programs continued to draw students and life-long learners alike. The fall Nate and and Ann Levine Lecture welcomed co-authors Doron Ben-Atar (Professor of History, Fordham University) and Andrew Pessin (Professor of Philosophy, Connecticut College and antisemitism editor for the global Jewish newspaper algemeiner) who addressed the topic of their book, "Anti-Zionism on Campus." The spring Lecture at the fourth annual One Day Jewish University brought Lisa Gossels, director of the award-winning documentary film, My So Called Enemy, who discussed the process of filming and editing a seven-year longitudinal study of Israeli and Palestinian girls who attended a cross-cultural women’s leadership program called Building Bridges for Peace. The film was deeply poignant, and Ms. Gossel's stories were compelling and thought-provoking.
January's celebration of International Ladino Day included reflections by members of the Ladino community and an rousing concert by Michelle Alany and friends. Follow the links to hear talks by Rachel Amado Bortnick and Sarah Korman. Follow this link to watch the entire program, including the concert (which starts at 1:51:24; yes, that's me on the second fiddle). The coffee break included kosher Sephardic sweets from Brooklyn, NY.
Last, but most definitely not least, we graduated 5 minors this Spring and look forward to 1 more this Fall. See the newsletter for their profiles.
We look forward to continued success as we disperse for the summer and plan for next year.
--Shira Lander, PhD
SMU Jewish Studies in the News