The Louis and Mildred Resnick Institute for the Study of Modern Jewish Life

Past Presentations



1989: Israel in the World Community

  • Arthur Hertzberg, "The Origins and Contemporary Relevance of Zionism"
  • Lewis Brownstein, "A History of the Middle East Conflict"
  • Kenneth Stone, "Jewish Land Purchases in Palestine"
  • Arthur Klinghoffer, "Soviet Policy in the Middle East"
  • Don Peretz, "Jewish and Israeli-Arab Relations"
  • Ilan Peleg, "The Intifada"
  • Tzion Evrony, "Israel's Desire for Peace"
  • Ehud Sprinzak, "Israel's Divided Population"
  • Jeffrey Ross, "The Question of Anti-Zionism"
  • Robert Weiner, "Israel and the Diaspora Jew"

1990: Jewish Spirituality

  • Michael Fishbane, "Biblical Prophecy"
  • Judith Plaskow, "Feminist Jewish Spirituality"
  • Ira Eisenstein, "Spirituality: A Reconstructionist Approach"
  • Richard Rubenstein, "Post-Holocaust Theology"
  • Arthur Waskow, "Ancient Torah, Future World"
  • Lawrence Kushner, "Yourself and the Self of the Universe"
  • Arthur Green, "Hasidic Spirituality"
  • Don Well, "Spirituality and Halakah"
  • Martha Himmelfarb, "Apocalypse"
  • Edward Feld, "Spinoza and the Problem of Modernity"
  • Zalman Schechter, "Neo-Hasidism and the Jewish Renewal"

1991: Jewish Identity

  • Irving Levine, "The Future of Jewish Identity and the New American Pluralism"
  • Steven Cohen, "American Assimilation or Jewish Revival?"
  • Hannah Kliger, "Jewish Immigrant Associations in America"
  • Gerald Sorin, "Immigrant Radicalism and Jewish Identity"
  • Deborah Dash Moore, "Jewish Migration After World War II"
  • Rakhmiel Peltz, "Children of Jewish Immigrants Return to Yiddish"
  • Stephen Whitfield, "South Florida and the Future of Jewish Identity"
  • Paula Hyman, "Gender and the Definition of American Jewry"
  • Rachel Cowan, "The Spiritual Journey of a Jew by Choice"

1992: Jewish Literature Through the Ages

  • Lawrence Kushner, "A Mystical Introduction to the Alef-Bet
  • Tikva Frymer-Kensky, "Ancient Near-Eastern Mythology and the Bible"
  • Ivan Caine, "Who Wrote the Bible?"
  • William Strongin, "Erotic Theology: The Song of Songs"
  • Steven Fraade, "Midrash"
  • Lawrence Fishman, "Scholars and Scrolls"
  • Shaul Magid, "Hanukkah in the Talmud"
  • Ross Brann, "Profane and Sacred in Medieval Hebrew Literature"
  • Lawrence Fine, "Kabbalah"
  • Richard Fein, "The Discovery of Yiddish Literature"
  • Audrey Borenstein, "In the Field of Boaz: Writing Jewish Fiction"

1993: The Jewish Diaspora

  • Eli Evans, "Growing up Jewish in the American South"
  • Zvi Gittelman, "Jews in the Soviet Disunion"
  • Helene Kenvin, "Jews in the Caucasus and Central Asia"
  • Joan Roland, "The Jews of India"
  • Andrew Plaks, "The Jews of China"
  • Norman Stillman, "Jews in the World of Islam"
  • Judith Friedlander, "Jewish Intellectuals and the Idea of the French Nation-State"
  • Judith Elkin, "Latin American Jewry"
  • Todd Endelman, "British Jewry Since World War II"
  • Gerald Sorin, "Remnants of Jewish Life in Contemporary Europe: A Personal Journey"

1994: Arabs and Israelis: Perspectives on the Past, Prospects for the Future

  • Lewis Brownstein, "The Arab-Israeli Conflict in Historical Perspective"
  • Mitchell Cohen, "Nationalism and the Birth of the Arab-Israeli Conflict"
  • Anton Shammas, "The Morning After Revisited: The Palestinians of Israel and the Would-be Palestinian State"
  • Martin Edelman, "Equal Justice and the Palestinian Question"
  • Daniel Pipes, "Syria and the Peace Process in the Middle East"
  • Meron Benvenisti, "Settlement, Settlers, and the Palestinians on the West Bank"
  • Shlomo Avnieri, "Modern Zionism and the Peace Process in the Middle East"
  • Mervin Verbit, "Islam and Modern Arab Politics"

1995: Jews, Art, and Technology

  • Samuel Kurinsky, "Creativity and the Jews"
  • Eric Meyers, "Art and Architecture in Ancient Synagogues"
  • Samuel Kurinsky, "The Glassmakers"
  • Marc Epstein, "Dreams of Subversion: Religion, Art, and Politics in the Middle Ages"
  • Bill Vanaver, "Jewish Folk and Spiritual Music"
  • Eitan Weiner-Kaplow, "Jewish Scribal Arts"
  • Neil Gabler, "Jews and Hollywood"
  • Moshe Lazar, "Marc Chagall: Painter and Poet"
  • Lisa Epstein, "Jews and Medicine"

1996: Women and the Jewish Experience

  • Tikva Frymer-Kensky, "Women at Sinai"
  • Debra Schultz, "Northern Jewish Women and the Civil Rights Movement"
  • Carole Levin, "Jewish Women and Renaissance Drama"
  • Deborah Dash Moore, "Hadassah and the Romance of American Zionism"
  • Jenna W. Joselit, "Jewish Women, the Family, and Material Culture"
  • Pamela Nadell, "'Her Mouth is Full of Wisdom': The Movement for Women's Rabbinic Ordination"
  • Riv-Ellen Prell, "Jewish Men, Jewish Women: Gender and the Process of Americanization"
  • Leila Gal Berner, "The New Jewish Woman and Life Cycle Rituals"
  • Lynn Davidman, "Women and Orthodoxy"
  • Joyce Antler, "'Born Yelling': The Jewish Roots of Feminism"
  • Gerald Sorin, "'Two Cheers' for Jewish Mothers"

1997: Jewish Biography

  • William Strongin, "Profiles in Chutzpah: the Life of King David"
  • Tikva Frymer-Kensky, "Snippets of Lives: Views on Biblical Women"
  • Dorothy Bilik, "A Woman of Valor: The Life of Glückel of Hameln"
  • Jacob Staub, "A Tale of Two Thinkers: Maimonides and Gersonides"
  • Leilah Gal Berner, "Doņa Gracia and Her Sisters: Jewish Women in Medieval Spain"
  • Lawrence Schiffman, "Josephus: Loyal Historian or Traitor?"
  • David Teutsch, "An American Vision of Judaism: Mordecai Kaplan"
  • Richard Fein, "Third Fiddler: On Being a Jewish Poet"
  • Lewis Brownstein, "The Man Yitzhak Rabin"
  • Jim Challey, "The Relative Truth About Albert Einstein"

1998: Guide for the Perplexed

  • Tikva Frymer-Kensky, "Conceiving Creation"
  • Lawrence Schiffman, "Rabbinic Ethics and Philosophy in the Context of the Greco-Roman World"
  • David Shatz, "Science and Spirituality in the Thought of Maimonides"
  • Leilah Gal Berner, "Jewish Views of the Messiah: Second Temple to Third?"
  • Stephen Garfinkel, "Kohelet: The Philosophy of Biblical Skepticism"
  • Brian Schroeder, "Levinas's Metapaideia: Teaching the Eye to Listen"
  • Alan Udoff, "On Franz Rosenzweig and the Secret of the New Thinking"
  • Arthur Waskow, "Our Legs are Praying: Hasidic Foundations of the Social Philosophy of Buber and Heschel"

1999: Jewish American Fiction: Projections and Self-Images

  • Sanford Pinsker, "Is There Anything Left to Say About Jewish-American Literature?"
  • Nessa Rapoport, "A Taste of Text: A Jewish Writer Reflects on the Millennium"
  • Lev Raphael, "From Mysterious Jews to Jewish Mysteries: A Child of Survivors Reflects on Writing and Identity"
  • Richard Fein, "A Jewish Poet in America"
  • Jay Neugeboren, "Imagining Jewish Fiction"
  • Jonathan Rosen, "Between Tragedy and Hope: Writing as a Jew at the Turn of the Millennium"
  • Thane Rosenbaum, "Shattered Glass Fiction: Post-Holocaust Landscapes"
  • Derek Rubin, "Old Values in a New World: Marginality and Integrity in Saul Bellow's Herzog"
  • Johanna Kaplan, "What Makes This Jewish Writer Jewish?"
  • Morris Dickstein, "Three Generations of Jewish American Fiction Writing"

2000: Antisemitism

  • Lawrence Shiffman, "Antisemitism Before Christianity: The Origins of Judeophobia"
  • Marc R. Cohen, "Antisemitism Under Crescent and Cross"
  • Ursula Duba, "Tales from a Child of the Enemy"
  • Richard Levy, "I Define Who is an Antisemite: The History and Meaning of a Word"
  • Leonard Dinnerstein, "Antisemitism in America"
  • Lewis Brownstein, "Semite Versus Semite: Jewish and Palestinian Images of one Another"
  • Alan Udoff, "No Longer at Home in the World: Nazi Evil Through theEyes of Jean Amery"

2001: The Search for Jewish American Culture

  • Ilan Stavans, "The Star and the Crucifix: Jewish Literature in Latin America"
  • Stephen Whitfield, "'Fiddler on the Roof' as a Popular Phenomenon"
  • Phil Brown, "A Summer Eden: The Jewish Experience in the Catskills"
  • Andrea Most, "Assimilation in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!"
  • Allen Guttmann, "'Hitting One Against Hitler': Jewish Athletes and Racial Stereotypes"
  • Donald Weber, "The Limits of Empathy: Hollywood's Imagination of Jews in 'Crossfire' and 'Gentleman's Agreement'"
  • Jack Kugelmass, "You Too Can Be a Jew: 'How to' Books as Contemporary Etiquette Books"
  • Henry Sapoznik, "The Stations That Spoke Your Language: Yiddish-American Radio, 1925-1955"

2002: Reimagining the Holocaust

  • Berel Lang, "Undoing Certain Mischievous Questions About the Holocaust"
  • Deborah Dash Moore, "Liberating Europe: Jewish GIs Discover the Holocaust"
  • Yaffa Eliach, "The Tower of Life at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum: An Album of Humankind"
  • James E. Young, "After- images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture"
  • Alan Mintz, "The Past and Future of Holocaust Memory in America"
  • Jeffrey Shandler, "Living Room Witnesses: the Holocaust on American Television"
  • Brana Gurewitsch, "Jewish Women in the Holocaust"
  • Joyce Apsel, "Anne Frank: Identity, History, and Myth"
  • Daniel Asa Rose, "The Making of Hiding Places: Our Ancestors and Ourselves"

2003: The Pre-Holocaust Jewish World

  • Jeffrey Shandler, "Autobiographies Of Jewish Youth In Poland Before The Holocaust"
  • Michael Stanislawski, "Jewish Life In Russia Before The Holocaust: Myth And Reality"
  • Eugene Sheppard, "'Squirming On The Pin-Point Of 'Why'?'": Weimar Jewish Intellectuals Between Conversion And Renaissance"
  • Paula Hyman, "Being A Jew In France Between The World Wars"
  • Lewis Brownstein, "Jewish Life In Palestine From The Balfour Declaration To The 1939 White Paper"
  • Deborah Dash Moore, "Jews In America Between The Wars"

2004: New Jewish-American Fiction

  • Rachel Kadish, Jewish Writing: The Argument
  • Joan Leegant, The Writing of Jewish Stories and Their Sources
  • Dara Horn, How to be a Jewish Novelist Without Really Trying
  • Paul Zakrzewski, Jewish American Fiction from the Edge
  • Melvin Bukiet, Familiarity and Surprise
  • Derek Rubin, Being Jewish and a Writer in America

2005: The World of Jewish Music

  • Marcia Edelman, Discovering Jewish Music
  • David Krakauer, The Klezmer World
  • Robert Gluck, The Infusion and Reinterpretation of Elements from Host Cultures in Jewish Music
  • Jeffrey Melnick, The Black-Jewish Century of American Music
  • Hankus Netsky, Klezmer: Roots and Revival
  • Carole Cowan, Contemporary Jewish Composers in America (post-1950s)
  • Stanley Walden, Fiddlers on My Roof: On Being a Jewish Composer in the United States and Germany
  • Austin Clarkson, Quest for a New Voice: Stefan Wolpe and the Modern Hebrew Art Song
  • Carole Cowan, Women in Jewish Music
  • Philip Ehrensaft, Why So Many Jews?

2006: The Jewish World in Documentary Film

  • Love Story, Distinguished Professor Peter D.G. Brown
  • Zuflucht in Shanghai, The Port of Last Resort, Associate Professor Kristine Harris, Director of the Asian Studies Program
  • Encounter in Ramallah, Professor Lewis Brownstein, former Chain, department of Political Science and International Relations
  • Present Memory, Rabbi Daniel Polish, Director, Hillel at SUNY New Paltz
  • Jews and Buddhism, Rabbi William Strongin, Jewish Studies Program
  • Gender at the Grass Roots: Women in Nazi Germany, Professor Marion Kaplan, NYU
  • Undying Love, Professor Jan Schmidt, former Chair, Department of English
  • Mamadrama, Distinguished Professor Gerald Sorin, Director, Jewish Studies Program

2007: Promised Lands: New Jewish-American Writing

  • Derek Rubin, Writing from Home
  • Jonathan Wilson, Goals
  • Elisa Albert, Beshert.com
  • Rivka Bernstein, Unto Each Lucky Bastard, His Own Lilac Tree
  • Adam Wilson, The Porchies
  • Aaron Hamburger, Lyudmila in the New World
  • Yael Goldstein, Lonely, Lonely, Lonely Is the Lord of Hosts
  • Lauren Grodstein, Homewrecker
  • Jonathan Rosen, The True World

2008: The State of Israel at Sixty

  • Rabbi Rena Blumenthal, Varieties of Liberal Judaism in Modern Israel
  • Lewis Brownstein, Israel, and the Nature, Quality, and Consequences of ongoing Existential Threat
  • Yoav Kaddar, Israel and the Arts: A “Siege Mentality”? and the Cultural Imagination (with a focus on dance)
  • Barbara Mann 7 Simon H. Fabian, Tel Aviv, 1909-2009: The Creation of Jewish Urban Space
  • Rakefet Zalashik, 60 years of Immigration: Ideology and the dynamics of becoming Israeli
  • Tova Weitzman, No. Seventeen Was Anonymous

2010 The Changing Face(s) of Antisemitism

  • Hasia Diner: Fitting Memorials: Postwar American Jews, the Holocaust, and the Shadow of Antisemitism
  • Lewis Brownstein: Jews in the Mind of Modern Islam
  • Eric Alterman: American Jews and Israel: The Burdens of Irresponsibility
  • Peter Antelyes: Appropriating Anti-Semitism: How Jews Became Jewish-Americans Through Popular Culture
  • William Strongin: Jews with Horns: the Ancient and Medieval Roots of Antisemitism
  • Lawrence Bush: The Pride and AMBIVALENCE of Progressive Jews

2011: Jewish Americans and Popular Culture

  • Jody Rosen: Yonkle Doodle Dandy: Tin Pan Alley's "Hebrew" Hits
  • Lawrence Bush: Who Is a Jew? The Halakha of Lenny Bruce.”
  • Jeffrey Shandler: Looking Back at "The Goldbergs": American Jewish Life on the Small Screen
  • Natalie Friedman: Early Jewish American Literature: Anzia Yezierska
  • Peter Antelyes: “Jews and Comix”
  • Mark Kligman: Popular Jewish Music of Today: Hassidim,
  • Klezmer and Debbie Friedman - What do they have in Common
  • Yale Strom, "In the Memory of..." an original composition

2012: Jews and Modernism

  • Carole Bell Ford: Children in the Holocaust and in their
    Later Years
  • Natalie Friedman: Isaac Bashevis Singer and Modern American Jewish Writers
  • Michelle Woods: Kafka in Amerika
  • Peter Antelyes: George Gershwin and Modern Music
  • Kenneth Silver: The Circle of Montparnasse: Jewish Artists in Paris 1905-1945
  • Susan Goodman: Marc Chagall: Over the Rooftops of the World 1907-1917.
  • Marilyn Reizbaum: James Joyce’s Judaic Other
  • Linda Scherzer: “Through the Eyes of Enemies: Is the Middle East Ready for Peace?”
  • Joel Mowbray: Israel’s Realities: Political and on-the-ground dynamics from the view of an American who’s in Israel every few months and What Will Bloom Following the Arab Spring?

2012: 25th Annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture

  • "Fiction's Archive": John Hersey, The Wall, and the American Image of Jewish Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto: Dr. Nancy Sinkoff, Jewish Studies Department, Rutgers University
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Photograph of Louis and Mildred Resnick
The Louis and MIldred Resnick Institute for the Study of Modern Jewish Life