Judaic Studies by yaofenjin

VIEWS: 12 PAGES: 12

									    FRANK ELY
    SPEAKING                             October 2009
Jean & Samuel Frankel Center for

Juda ic Stud ies
From the Director                   2
Frankel Institute New Year          3




                                                        “Charged Forces.” Joel Janowitz, Watercolor. Detail from Greenhouse series. Full piece on display at The Frankel Center.
2009-2010 Institute Colloquia       6
Jenna Weissman Joselit              7
Deborah Ugoretz’s Papercuts         8
Upcoming Center Events              9
Writer’s Block: Jonathan Freedman   10

Save the Date                       12




  Jean & Samuel
  Frankel
  Center for Judaic Studies
        www.lsa.umich.edu/judaic
                                                 fax
From the Director: Food & Consequences
Food fights—not the messy, funny,                    Writers on Jewish food,
                                            especially cookbook authors, are
                                                                                            under the sign of a nasty boar’s head
                                                                                            carry a different valence than bagels
physical ones of old movies but the
                                            well aware that there is nothing                in Brooklyn enjoyed with a shmear
ethical ones over choices of what to eat
                                            essentially Jewish about Jewish food.           of cream cheese. The process of
and what not to eat, and the grounds                                                        food exchange never stops. Kosher
for making those decisions—often            Yes, there are laws of kashrut to
                                                                                            caterers continually revise their
resemble arguments over Judaic studies.     observe, but, as Mathew Goodman
                                                                                            menus; most recently they have
Sources, higher authority, collective       notes, were we to limit ourselves to            made sushi into standard Jewish
responsibility, methods of production       foods historically invented by Jews             banquet fare. Food moves into and
all figure in these discussions. Perhaps,   “the menu would be a very short one             out of Jewish cultural memories,
then, Jewish food might be worth            indeed, scarcely sufficient for a single        sometimes so much so that it comes
                                            meal.” Goodman’s list includes “foods           as a surprise that the iconic British
contemplating for what it might teach us
                                            created to address religious needs              working-class meal of fish and chips
about the rest of Jewish culture.
                                            common to Jews everywhere, among                actually represents an intermarriage
         Our consciousness of food’s                                                        of Sephardic Jewish fried fish with
significance, especially its power          them the overnight Sabbath stew . . .
                                                                                            Irish Catholic fried potatoes.
to shape identity and culture, has          charoset, . . . and finally, matzo, the
                                                                                                    What lessons can we
expanded enormously in the last half        bread of affliction (though not the             learn about Jewish studies from
century. Jewish food, such as bagels        many dishes made from the matzo).”              contemplating Jewish food? In brief,
in the United States, has attracted the     So, what happens, then, if we “head             to avoid seeking Jewish essences
attention of scholars, cookbook writers,    in the opposite direction and declare           or even structural similarities as
                                            Jewish food simply to be ‘food made             definitive, to steer clear of Jewish
afficionados, and businesses, not to
                                            by Jews’?” Goodman also rejects                 religious prescriptions as sufficient
mention all sorts of Jews. (Check out
                                            that alternative as too broad; it would         explanations for culture, to resist
the jcarrot.org website for example, or                                                     accepting everything Jews do as
Jessica Miller’s piece, “Exposed: The       include, after all, a gamut of pork and
                                                                                            part of Jewish culture, to reject
Jewcy Bacon Fetish.” Even the New           shellfish that many Jews eat, whether
                                                                                            style as an adequate alternative for
York Times stirred the pot, publishing      discreetly or with missionary zeal.             cultural distinctiveness, and to not
an interesting letter on “compulsive                Where does that leave us?               worry if much of what Jews produce
counterprejudice.”)                         If Jewish food cannot be “reduced               resembles what non-Jews are also
         Such thoughts occurred to me       to a set of dietary laws, a particular          creating. Instead, we should pay
                                            cooking style, or a combination of              attention to history and memory, to
as I stood in front of a bagel shop in
                                            favored ingredients,” if it can’t be            changing contexts and responses,
Bloomsburg. In this town in the middle
                                            defined by its internal similarities (an        as we explore an expanding field of
of Pennsylvania without a Jewish                                                            Jewish studies.
congregation but with, probably, a          approach often favored by literary
number of Jews, you can buy a passable      scholars when they try to define Jewish
challah at the supermarket. Excellent       literature), if it can’t be isolated by its
bagels are available at either of two       differences from the non-Jewish food
Bloomin’ Bagels establishments,             around it, what is it? Here Goodman
baked by a man from New Jersey              turns, logically, to history and suggests
who apprenticed with Jewish bakers          that food “carries the past within
in New York City. On its plate glass        it” and is a “kind of repository of a
window Bloomin’ Bagels features a           community’s history.”1 This means
ferocious medieval looking boar’s head      that memory helps to define Jewish
accompanying the slogan: “The Best          food, as does wandering, poverty,
Bagels Deserve the Best Cold Cuts.”         conquest, exile, and, aspiration. People
The logo and slogan advertise Boar’s        take their food with them. Placed in
Head Brand products, which, of course,      new contexts, food acquires fresh
                                            meanings. Bagels in Bloomsburg eaten
feature a full range of meats . . . what,
                                                                                                                    Deborah Dash Moore
in this context, might be non-kosher to     1           Matthew Goodman, “Introduction,”
                                                                                               Director, Frankel Center for Judaic Studies
counter-kosher.                             Jewish Food: The World at Table (New York:
                                            Harper/Collins, 2005), pp. x-xviii, quotes on   Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History
                                            pp. xi, xiv-xv.
New Institute Theme Year Commences:
The Culture of Jewish Objects
This year, the Frankel Institute theme will examine the construction of Jewish objects. Engaging current
developments in the field of Material Culture, each of the scholars will study the purpose, use, and aesthetics of
Jewish “things,” as well as the ways they have been embraced and contested throughout history. In focusing on the
culture of Jewish objects, the Institute will explore relationships among the physical, visual, spiritual, and textual
over a broad span of time and place.

Michal Artzy                                                       and assess their value and contribution to the
Coastal Canaanite Influence on Israelite Cult                      formation of an Ashkenazi culture. In other
Artzy will be working on cultic objects found                      words, he asks how Yiddish books can be
in the coastal site of Tel Nami dating to the                      identified as Ashkenazi objects.
13th century BCE. Among them are some that
were amalgamated into the Israelite/Hebrew                         J.P. Dessel
cult, including three bronze incense stands,                       In Search of Biblical Elders: Public Space and
one of which bears a female figure, likely                         Rural Elites in Pre-Monarchic Israel
that of a maritime Asherah. The cult of the                        J.P. Dessel’s project seeks to explore the
Asherah, while frowned on by the Biblical                          relationship between archaeological material
writers, was prevalent in the Semitic Coastal                      culture and a social group know from the
Canaanite milieu. Artzy plans to use written                       Hebrew Bible as “zaqen” or “elders.” His work
and pictorial data as well as material goods                       at Tell ‘Ein Zippori, a Late Bronze and Iron Age
from excavations, from the Levant, including                       site in the Lower Galilee, supplies an excellent
Egypt, Cyprus and the Levant to substantiate                       example of a material culture correlate for
the identification of the Nami figurine as an                      Biblical “elders.”
Asherah.
                                                                   Naomi
Leora Auslander                                                    Feuchtwanger-
Strangers at Home: Jewish Parisians and                            Sarig
Berliners in the Twentieth Century                                 Jewish Life in
Leora Auslander’s project is driven by the                         Ashkenaz in the
question of what it means to be “at home.”                         Early Modern
What enables people to feel at home in a given                     Period: Proposing
place? She locates her study in France and                         a Reconstruction
Germany—specifically, Paris and Berlin—                            Medieval
because of the differences, likenesses, and                        illuminated
interaction between the two nation-states and                      manuscripts           Naomi Feuchtwanger-Sarig

their Jewish communities.                                          have attracted the interest of many historians
                                                                   of Jewish art, while considerably less attention
Shlomo Berger                                                      has been paid to illuminated manuscripts and
The Construction of a Cultural Artifact::                          printed books of the early modern period. Naomi
Early Modern Yiddish Books and the                                 Feuchtwanger-Sarig proposes that examined as
Materializing of Text                                              historical documents, these images are a unique
Shlomo Berger plans to elucidate conditions                        resource for reconstructing Jewish material
under which Yiddish books were produced                            culture and daily life in Ashkenaz in the early
between the 16th and the late-18th centuries                       modern period.




                                                                                                                    3
Judith Goldstein                                                                 Alexandre Kedar
Jews and Rosaries: Making Intercultural                                          The Judaization of the
Objects in Contested Spaces                                                      Israeli Land Regime:
What does it means to attach Jewishness                                          1948-2008
to objects and professions? Judith                                               Alexandre Kedar
Goldstein will examine this larger                                               examines the making
issue through the particular example of                                          and transformation of
Roman Jewish souvenir vendors who                                                the “Jewish/Democratic”
sell objects associated with non-Jews,                                           land regime and its legal,
such as rosaries and souvenirs with                                              cultural and geographical
images of the Pope, from open stands                                             foundations from the
throughout the city. The vendors work                                            creation of Israel to
                                              Alexandre Kedar
subtly to transform the commercial                                               present days. How
setting to reflect their Jewish identity                  to make Eretz Israel Jewish? What were
and commitments, while simultaneously                     the major legal-geographical tools used to
trying to deflect the negative historical                 transform the physical realm under Israeli
associations between Jews and peddling.                   sovereignty into Jewish space? How did the
                                                          spatial Judaization project change since the
Oren Gutfeld                                              creation of Israel in 1948? These are the major
Jewish Material                                           questions Kedar intends to investigate.
Culture in the Judean
Shephelah during                                         Michal Kravel-Tovi
the Second Temple                                        Materializing the New Jewish Self: Material
Period: Beit Loya as                                     Culture in the Jewish Conversion Process
a Case Study                                             Stemming from her study of contemporary
As an archaeologist,                                     orthodox, state-run conversions in Israel,
Oren Gutfeld                                             Kravel-Tovi construes Jewish artifacts as the
has carried out                                          fabric out of which the conversion process
excavations at Beit                                      – and ultimately, Jewish life – are made.
Loya, located in                                         She proposes this anthropological study of
the central Judean                                       contemporary conversion to Judaism in both
                          Oren Gutfeld
Shephelah, where he                                      Israel and the United States as a case study of
has unearthed remains                                    the nexus between Jewish material culture and
that may point to the existence of a                     Jewish passages of identity and belonging.
Jewish settlement at the site during the
late Hellenistic and Early Roman periods.                Rachel Neis
The significance of the find stems in                    Ancient Jewish Visual Culture
part from the fact that the site is located              Rachel Neis will study the ways in which late
in Idumea, a pagan territory concerning                  antique Jews experienced images and “used
which very little is known about its                     them to think with” (Deleuze). Her study
Jewish inhabitants. The main goal of                     will focus chiefly on the visual experience
this study is to ascertain the dates of the              of images as a cultural phenomenon that is
region’s Jewish presence.                                experienced differently across locations and
                                                         eras, and that is constitutive of the object of
                                                         vision (in this case, images).




 4
Vanessa Ochs                                    Jason vonEhrenkrook
Jewish Object Lessons                           Jewish Statues: How Jews ‘Used’ Free-standing
For the last ten years, Vanessa Ochs has        Sculpture in Greco-Roman Antiquity
scrutinized objects that have generated and     Jason vonEhrenkrook examines the ambivalent
transmitted new Jewish rituals. She has         relationship between Jews and statues in Greco-
also investigated how a range of objects        Roman Jewish culture, particularly in the writings of
constitute the Jewish nature of a home.         the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. He observes
This year, she will examine objects on a        that while there is little evidence for the actual use
continuum from more to less holy to the         of statues in Greco-Roman Jewish culture, there is
explicitly and implicitly Jewish.               abundant evidence for the literary use of statues.
                                                It is precisely this “iconic” discourse that offers a
Paul Reitter                                    fascinating glimpse into the socio-cultural dimension
Clothes Make the German: Jewish                 of statues.
Acculturation and the Practice of Everyday
Life in Fin-de-Siècle Central Europe                                               Chava Weissler
Working with a variety of media, Paul                                              Spirituality and Art in
Reitter’s project will for the first time                                          the Jewish Renewal
examine how highly consequential                                                   Movement
stereotypes about German Jews as consumers                                         While most forms
affected German-Jewish attitudes toward,                                           of American
and practices of, material consumption. The                                        Judaism put forth an
study seeks, that is, to show how in response                                      authoritative vision
to such stereotypes specifically German-                                           of what Judaism
Jewish styles of consuming the objects of                                          should be, with an
bourgeois life developed in fin-de-siècle                                          emphasis on texts
Germany and Austria.                                                               and commandments,
                                                 Chava Weissler
                                                                                   Chava Weissler’s
Josefina Rodriguez-Arribas                                                         study will show that
Toward a Cultural History of the Astrolabe                                         Renewal is exceptional
in Jewish Cultures                              in its invitation to artistic play. Renewal Jews
Josefina Rodriquez-Arribas notes that, “A       take playful exploration beyond esthetic pleasure,
14th century manuscript of Maimonides’          transforming it into a spiritual practice understood as
Guide of the Perplexed in the Kongelige         a quest for devekut. In the process, they create their
Bibliotek of Copenhagen depicts Aristotle       own forms of midrash and Kabbalah.
as a Jewish astronomer who sits on a
throne with stars of David. He is holding       Oded Zehavi
an astrolabe in his right hand, in front        T’ka Beshofar (Sound the Great Shofar); the
of a group of people... . This image            Unanswered Cry of the Shofar
encapsulates the values associated with         Studying the power of music to elevate one far
the astrolabe in Jewish cultures and the        beyond text-based prayer, Oded Zehavi examines
way Jews appropriated this object and its       the shofar, or ram’s horn, which is employed at
significations.” Arribas seeks to expand on     key moments during the Rosh Hashana (Jewish
this notion.                                    New Year) ceremonies. The shofar–its sounds, its
                                                musicality, its materiality, its symbolic and literal
                                                presence--as a Jewish musical instrument is the
                                                subject of Zehavi’s fellowship project.




                                                                                                    5
2009-2010 Institute Fellow Colloquia
lectures held thursdays
12pm, 202 S. Thayer, 2022
September 17                                             January 28
Leora Auslander, University of Chicago                   Michal Kravel-Tovi, Hebrew University
Material and Emotional Claims: Restitution in            Rite of Passing: (Ex)change of Identities Between
 Post-war Europe                                           the State and the Subject in Contemporary
                                                           Orthodox Conversion in Israel
September 24
Chava Weissler, Lehigh University                        February 4
Art “Is” Spirituality: Practice, Play and Experiential   Judith Goldstein, Vassar College
 Learning in the Jewish Renewal Movement                 Jews and Rosaries:
                                                           Intercultural Objects in Contested Spaces
October 8
Rachel Neis, University of Michigan                      February 11
Proper Looking: Rabbinic Viewing Practices in            Michal Artzy, University of Haifa
 Late Antiquity                                          The Beginning? Coastal Pre-Israelite Cult Practices:
                                                           The Case of Tel Nami
October 15
Oren Gutfeld, University of Michigan                     February 18
From Pagans to Christians: Jewish Material Culture at    Josefina Rodriguez-Arribas,
 Horbat Beit Loya, Israel                                  Warburg Institute, University of London
                                                         Ibn Ezra’s Treatise on the Astrolabe:
October 29                                                 The Hebrew and the Latin Versions
Alexandre Kedar, University of Haifa
The Making and Transformation of the Israeli             February 25
 Land Regime: 1948-2008                                  Shlomo Berger, University of Amsterdam
                                                         Torah for the Masses, Books for Sale:
November 5                                                 Yiddish Bibles in Amsterdam
Jenna Weissman Joselit,
George Washington University                             March 11
Holy Moses!: The Americanization of                      Oded Zehavi, University of Haifa
 the Ten Commandments                                    The Ram’s Song for Shofar,
                                                           Electronics and Instruments
November 19
J.P. Dessel, University of Tennessee, Knoxville          March 18
In Search of Biblical Elders: Public Space and Rural     David Stern, University of Pennsylvania
  Elites in Pre-Monarchic Israel                         “The Tegernsee Haggadah”:
                                                           The Story of a Discovery
December 3
Vanessa Ochs, University of Virginia                     March 25
The Stories Jewish Homes Tell                            Jason vonEhrenkrook, University of Michigan
                                                         Dangerous Images: The Jewish Idol Polemic and
January 14                                                 Constructions of Material Alterity
Naomi Feuchtwanger-Sarig, Tel Aviv University
On Reading Art: Text, Image and Interpretation in        April 8
 Early Modern Ashkenaz                                   Paul Reitter, Ohio State University
                                                         The Stuff of Generational Tension: The Expressionist
                                                           Revolt and German-Jewish Material Culture

    6
   Reciting the Ten Commandments with
   Jenna Weissman Joselit
Jenna Weissman Joselit, widely recognized historian of daily      inventive ways in which Americans of earlier generations
life, specializes in the religion and culture of America’s Jews   welcomed Moses and the Decalogue into their homes and
and in U.S. cultural history from the late 19th century through   hearts showcases the fusion of ideas and material culture.
the 1950s. The Charles E. Smith Professor of Judaic Studies
as well as a Professor of History at the George Washington        FS: Can you talk a bit about your research process?
University, she has also most recently been a Distinguished
Visiting Scholar at the John W. Kluge Center of the Library       JWJ: When it comes to my research process, I proceed
of Congress as well as a founding member of New York              on several tracks simultaneously: I listen carefully to
University’s Working Group on Jews, Media and Religion.           what textual sources reveal, then search high and low for
                                                                  visual and material analogues. At other moments, I start
Her work, both within and without the classroom, pays             with the visual and material sources and then look for
especially close attention to the relationship between            textual complements. In both instances, synthesizing the two
material culture and identity. Her many books include The         becomes key.
Wonders of America: Reinventing Jewish Culture, 1880-1950,
which received the National Jewish Book Award in History,         FS: You’re learning about the variety of forms in which the
and A Perfect Fit: Clothes, Character, and the Promise            10 Commandments manifest themselves in American
of America.                                                       culture. What are some of the most interesting artifacts
                                                                  you’ve encountered?
In addition to her academic pursuits, she has written a
monthly column for The Forward for nearly ten years and is a      JWJ: In the course of my research into America’s embrace
frequent contributor to The New Republic, TNR Online              of the Ten Commandments, I’ve come across a striking
and Gastronomica.                                                 and varied array of phenomena. The Ten Commandments
                                                                  turns out to be one of the most richly imagined of all biblical
On November 3, 2009, at 7PM, Professor Joselit will present       texts, generating greeting cards, posters, films, songs,
“The View from the Gallery: Why Jewish Museums Matter” at         sculpture, textiles and even cartoons and comic books.
The Frankel Center. She’ll also offer a colloquium for fellows,   FS: Have you taught any classes on the 10 Commandments?
faculty, and Judaic Studies graduate students titled, “Holy       Can most students today recite them? Can you (no peeking!)?
Moses!: The Americanization of the Ten Commandments”—
the subject of her current research--on November 5, 2009,         JWJ: For several years now, first at Princeton and now at GW,
at noon.                                                          I’ve taught a seminar on the Ten Commandments and their
                                                                  impact on American culture over the course of the 19th and
FS: I’m wondering if you might give some background on your       20th centuries. One of the first things I have the students do
research in reference to the two talks you’ll be giving--         is to go out on campus and
“The View from the Gallery: Why Jewish Museums Matter”            quiz their classmates as                                 to
and “Holy Moses!: The Americanization of the                      the contents of this ancient
Ten Commandments”?                                                constellation of do’s and
                                                                  don’ts. Almost invariably, most
JWJ: My talk, “The View from the Gallery,” grows out of my        contemporary Americans are
fascination with museums. For years, they’ve been both the        unable to enumerate all ten.
object of my scholarly attentions as well as the site of my own   More strikingly still, they turn
work as an independent curator. The opportunity to marry          out to be abashed and chagrined
object with text and to think long and hard about how to          at their inability to know
render complex ideas in visual form intrigues - and sustains -    them all. There’s something in
me. Much the same can be said of my second presentation,          American culture that suggests
“Holy Moses!” which draws heavily on a treasure trove of          that we should. Discovering that
Ten Commandments material that I uncovered recently               very “something” is at the heart
while a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the John W. Kluge       of my project.
                                                                                                    Jenna Weissman Joselit
Center of the Library of Congress. Here, too, the multiple,




                                                                                                                         7
“In my early years as an artist, Judaism      by Ugoretz. Based on proverb 24:3,          Energized, she decided to try paper cut-
barely influenced my artwork,” con-           “Through Wisdom Is a House Built”           ting. With penknife in hand, she started
fessed Deborah Ugoretz. “During a year        hangs on the wall of the Frankel            to cut and explore the two-dimensional
spent in Israel after high school, I drew     Center’s main office on the University      world of cut paper. “I was hooked.”
and painted the glorious landscape and        of Michigan campus. Inspired by
architecture, but the traditional teach-      the rich imagery found in prayer            “In the ‘70s, my interest in Jewish art
ings of Judaism did not inform my                                                         was also motivated by my imminent
art.”                                                                                     marriage. I wanted to try my hand at
                                                                                          Hebrew calligraphy and manuscript il-
This year, as the Frankel Institute                                                       lumination (the painting of decorative
for Advanced Judaic Studies ex-                                                           borders around calligraphic writing) by
plores the theme of the Culture                                                           making my own Ketubah ( Jewish mar-
of Jewish Objects, we thought it                                                          riage contract). My first attempt was
appropriate to ask one Jewish art-                                                        shamefully klutzy but it motivated me
ist how she came to produce such                                                          to improve my skill and discover once
objects of beauty.                                                                        again, how rich in imagery and artistic
                                                                                          endeavors is our culture. Examining an
Deborah Ugoretz received her BA                                                           old ketubah is a lesson in anthropology
in Fine Art and Theater Design                                                            and religious history, a window into
at the University of Wisconsin-                                                           how Jews, a wandering people, adapted
Madison in 1975. In 1976, she                                                             to new countries and how Judaism
moved to New York, where she                                                              evolved through the decades.
studied art therapy at Pratt Institute
in Brooklyn. Influenced by the                                                            Ugoretz hopes that her work will be the
Jewish arts revival movement of                                                           next link in the chain of Jewish history
the 1970s, Deborah began to teach                                                         and heritage. In 2000, she was invited to
herself Hebrew calligraphy. A trip                                                        design “a set of stained glass windows,
to the Jewish Museum in New                                                               a special, perpetually illuminated light
York where she saw examples of           “Ketubah.” Papercut by Deborah Ugoretz.          called the Eternal Light, and collaborate

  Visualizing Judaism: Reviving the Delicate Art of Cut Paper
Ketubot and paper cut mizrach sparked                                                     on the design of a Menorah for the cha-
her interest in paper cutting. “I realized    and in the Bible, her works are visual      pel at the new Russ Berrie Jewish Home
that an entire way of visualizing Judaism     interpretations of the texts that seek      for Living, in Rockleigh, New Jersey.
existed. What so dazzled me during this       to reveal deeper meanings, often by         This experience enabled me to expand
visit, were the works in cut paper from       hauntingly beautiful allusions to the       my artistic vocabulary and gain a new
Poland, Italy and Persia,” she explained.     natural world.                              appreciation for the work of artisans
“I was amazed at the detail and the           Ugoretz reflects upon her artistic jour-    who transform the elements of fire, sand
creative possibilities of transforming a      ney: “I began to search through texts,      and metal into glorious works of art.”
simple piece of paper into a work of art.     through the Bible and prayer for visual     An opportunity to design Torah covers
That Jews had mastered this art form in       imagery. Through that search, I began to    and Ark curtains introduced her to a
the service of Hiddur Mitzvah (creating       discover how rich and full these writings   new set of challenges — working with
an object that is a beautiful way of          were. I wanted to communicate that          fabric. She admits she “is fortunate to
glorifying God) and had been involved         wealth by releasing the words, through      be able to work with talented craftsmen
in this folk tradition for hundreds of        my art, into pictorial space. My visit      and women who enable me to make real
years was a revelation. I had seen a way      coincided with the Havurah movement         my artistic designs.”
to merge the artist and the Jew.”             that stressed the personal connection to    Such collaboration also reflects the pur-
The Frankel Center for Jewish Studies         observing Judaism through the creation      suit of Jewish Studies in its manifold
commissioned a paper cut in 2007              of handcrafted Judaic ritual objects.”      expressions at the Frankel Center.


  8
Anarchy, Intermarriage & Central European Jewish
Studies: Upcoming Events at The Frankel Center
                              Revolution & Rye                                Of Mice & Menshes: An American History
                              Ari Weinzweig,                                           of Intermarriage and Fatherhood
                              co-founder of Zingerman’s                                                  Keren McGinity
                              Wednesday, November 18                                             Wednesday, October 14
                              7 pm, 202 S. Thayer St., 2022                                 7 pm, 202 S. Thayer St., 2022

                               “How do a passion for               “Intermarriage, an issue that has long concerned the
                               obscure history, anarchism,         organized Jewish community, is thought to be a major
                               writing, capitalism and             threat to Jewish continuity. Jewish men who intermarry
                               full flavored food all come         are often considered “lost” to the Jewish population based
                               together? People tease me           on the assumption that their Jewish identity no longer
                               regularly about having a            matters to them. Moreover, quantitative studies thought
                               career that’s completely            to be representative suggest that far fewer intermarried
                               disconnected from my U of           Jewish fathers raise Jewish children than do intermarried
Ari Weinzweig
                               M History degree. But the           Jewish mothers.
   truth is that what I do every day is directly linked to what    Combining qualitative
   I studied. For us at Zingerman’s, the work with food            interviews, traditional
   and cooking is always about the story behind the food,          archival research, and
   not just about putting a few ingredients into a pan. To         popular culture, I will
   do justice to the food we serve, we need to understand          discuss the ways in
   where the food came from, the culture and the history, the      which Jewish men
   religion, the economics, the terrain, and the politics from     have been portrayed as
   which it developed.                                             passive players with
                                                                   regard to continuity. I
  My study of social movements has also turned out to be           will juxtapose media
  relevant. In school, I was fascinated with the anarchists-       representations and
                                                                                                 Keren McGinity
  -Peter Kropotkin, Mikhail Bakunin, Alexander Berkman             literary sources with the
  and Emma Goldman. To this day, I think of myself as              personal oral histories of 40 Jewish men who married
  a lapsed anarchist—I still believe in the philosophy, but        Gentile women. Dismantling the assumption that
  having realized (after trying it) that it doesn’t really work,   intermarried Jewish men are not proactive about raising
  I don’t practice it. That said, anarchism--respect for           Jewish children, I illustrate how some Jewish men were
  individual freedoms, individual identity, and community-         far more adamant about the faith of their children than
  based, fairly non-hierarchical, participative forms of           previously recognized. My research emphasizes using
  organizational governance--have very much informed the           gender as a category of analysis and incorporating change
  way that we run Zingerman’s.                                     over time as both critically important to advancing
                                                                   knowledge about intermarriage in America.”
  This talk is a chance to pull together my interest               Central European Jewish Identities:
  in Jewish foods and Jewish history, to look at the                        Through a New Lens
  importance of things I have great passion for like           Thursday, October 22 & Friday, October 23
  really big loaves of rye bread, traditional bagels,        Panelists include Steven Ashheim, Scott Spector,
  the concept of Servant Leadership, the Noble’s               Leora Auslander, Mary Gluck, Paul Reitter,
  Democracy in Poland, Emma Goldman, 19th century               Michael Steinberg, and Liliane Weissberg.
  Yom Kippur balls, and other interesting, obscure
  sidebars. Plus, I promise to bring some Jewish rye,          All events are free and open to the public. For more
  bagels and a few other relevant bits of culinary ‘research’ information, visit http://www.lsa.umich.edu/judaic/ or
  as well.”                                                    call The Frankel Center office at 734.763.9047.


                                                                                                                     9
A Jewish Yank in Oxford:                                          Sabbatical Impressions
                                         by my Brooklyn-born, Jane-               years (the last estimates I have seen
                                         Austenphilic mother, and I looked        put the number of Jewish students
                                         forward to having it confirmed again.    there at roughly 9%--less than in
                                          And yet, for all that, I’ve never       equivalent American universities,
                                         felt more uncomfortable anywhere         to be sure, but still a large number
                                         in my life. Part of that discomfort      in comparison with the country at
                                         comes, as it were, with the territory.   large). While religious tests for
                                         Oxford’s medieval architecture and       admission were eliminated in the
                                         storied past are humbling in and of      1850s, Jewishness as such been
                                         themselves, reminding all who live       recognized only relatively recently—
                                         there of the sublime indifference        the famous historian Cecil Roth, for
                                         of time to the hopes and fears of        example, campaigned long and hard
                                         individuals. Moreover, I was not         a century later to allow observant
                                         unaware of Oxford’s long history         students to take exams on days other
                                         of indifference to its Jews—a good       than Saturday. And while Oxford
   Jonathan Freedman
                                         news/bad news story if ever there        has seen occasional spasm of anti-
                                         was one. Despite occasional anti-        Semitism of the more childish sort—
                                         Semitic outrages, Jews were tolerated    while I was there, a local controversy
Having just returned from several
                                         in Oxford the town for most of its       erupted over a crew-team sponsored
months of teaching, researching, and
                                         history; indeed, one of the oldest       dance in which participants were
noodling around in Oxford, during
                                         streets in town, St. Aldates, was also   invited to come in Orthodox gear—
a sabbatical term from Michigan, I
                                         called Old Jewry Street because of       such spasms didn’t seem all that
was asked by Deborah Dash Moore
                                         the many Jews who lived there in         widespread.
to contribute a few words about my
                                         the eleventh century, and the Christ     What did seem all-pervasive was a
experience . This was my third trip
                                         Church Meadow Walk follows the           semi-medieval atmosphere conjured
to England since 2001: like many
                                         path taken by funeral processions to     forth by the architecture and the
English professors, I have always
                                         a Jewish cemetery on what is now         customs of the place, neither of
felt quite comfortable on the British
                                         the grounds of Magdalen College.         which has changed all that much.
academic scene. Responses to the
                                         Like all of England’s Jews, Oxford’s     Writing of the nineteenth century,
talks I’ve given there have been
                                         community was expelled in 1290,          our colleague Todd Endelman
warm (not necessarily always the
                                         but grew gradually following their       observes: “There was one further
case in the UK, where the prevailing
                                         readmission in the seventeenth           obstacle to Jewish attendance at the
ethos is to ask harsh questions and
                                         century. The local synagogue             ancient universities [in the nineteenth
then go out to the pub together
                                         estimates that there are now 200         century]: the atmosphere was
afterwards); the best reviews I’ve
                                         Jewish families out of a total           suffused with Christianity. Gothic
gotten for my books have been with
                                         permanent population of 150,000,         architecture, chapels . . . Latin
the TLS. One of the thing I write
                                         roughly the size                         benedictions at dinner and countless
about is the Anglophilia of a certain
                                         of Ann Arbor.                            other Christian symbols combined to
generation of American Jewish
                                         The opposite seems to have been true     create a setting in which many Jews
intellectuals, for whom the putative
                                         of Oxford the University, which like     would have felt uncomfortable. It
gentility of British culture (imagined
                                         many universities in England and         was as if they sensed the power of
largely through literary expressions
                                         America was less than welcoming          these quintessentially English spaces
of that culture) became a model
                                         to Jews for most of its storied past.    to shape the identities of those who
for their own public personae. I
                                         Jews were sporadically admitted to       inhabited or passed through them.”
realize, every time I visit England,
                                         Oxford throughout the nineteenth         It is odd that, for all the challenges of
how deeply engrained this response
                                         century, increasingly so in recent       modernity, the changing nature of the
is inme as well, no doubt implanted

   10
British polity, and the challenges to    and it didn’t seem to contradict the    (who am I? a Mideast expert?), and
“Englishness” as an ethos, much the      one they came from: many of the         more so to be put in such a defensive
same could be said today.                Leicester relatives, for example,       position, as if all reasonable
  All this made me question more         had moved to London too and             people thought one thing and I was
acutely the kinds of identifications     lived within blocks of my friends.      suspected of thinking something else,
I had been writing about and             Sensing via Oxford the ways that the    and so suspected because of the kind
experiencing: to sheer them of           official culture enforced a normative   of work I do, if not the kind of person
their exoticism and to confront          pattern of Christian Englishness—       I am. This kind of default- mode
what was really at stake in them.        far removed from the realities of       thinking is always objectionable of
Seeing close up what my American         contemporary multicultural Britain,     course, and particularly problematic
Jewish intellectuals had been            which flourishes in Oxford the town     because of the long history of genteel
identifying with made their response     just down the Cowley Road from          British anti-Semitism (and for
seem all the odder, all the more         Oxford the University—made me           that matter working- class British
paradoxical. And that recognition        understand the closeness of the         anti-Semitism), a specter that rose
made me feel more “Jewish” than          Anglo-Jewish community. I was           before my eyes whenever I was
usual. Since I was there without         happy to feel part of it.               confronted in this manner and which
my family, for example, I spent              Such closeness, I discovered,       I could barely keep myself from
a good deal of time taking in the        posed some problems of its own. I       mentioning. But at the same time,
excellent weekly lectures at the         had a number of conversations with      just like the default Christianity and
Oxford Center for Hebrew and             gentile British academics that went     English on display, as if under glass,
Jewish studies, incongruously but        something like this (I exaggerate       in the Oxford-ness of Oxford the
delightfully located in a medieval       only slightly, for effect):             University, these kinds of responses
manor in nearby Yarnton. I also                                                  made me confront my own relative
spent much time with good friends        British Academic (late in the           privilege as an American-born and
who lived near Golders Green, still      evening long after dinner, after much   -identified Jew. As an American,
the epicenter of London’s Jewish         wine, dessert, and polite small         I have the option of not having an
community. From them, I garnered         talk): What are you here to study?      opinion, or of not being forced to
the sense that, although there are                                               articulate one if I do. While I revel
some 300,000 or so Jews in England       Jonathan: Not really studying, right    in the intellectual freedom that this
(out of a population of 60 million),     now. Just teaching and writing a book   brings—like Lionel Trilling, I tend
all of them seem to know each other,     on Jews and literary decadence.         to value complexity, multivalence,
connected by family, or by schools                                               “the electric qualities of mind,”—I
like Habadasher’s in Northern            British Academic: Oh, I see. (long      was forced to recognize, however
London— attended by, among others,       pause). So—(longer pause, sip of        irritatingly, the fact that it is either an
Sacha Baron Cohen, with whom             drink). Er- (puff of pipe) How          anomaly or a luxury. I
everyone I spoke to seemed to be on      can you defend the outrageous           happily return to my life here in the
first-name terms. This of course was     behavior of Israel? (challenging,       U.S., in Ann Arbor, and at the U.M.
an optical illusion, enforced by the     triumphant, quizzical look).            more aware of the uniqueness, and
intimate relation between class and                                              the comfortableness, of that life, not
consciousness still on display even in      I was at first shocked by this       just in the British but
modern Britain. Indeed, my friends       challenge. My own political views       in the world context. This is not an
were of lower- and lower-middle          are quite complicated, and I am         entirely flattering self-recognition.
class origins, and from Leicester to     usually more than happy to unfold
boot: double outsiders to the world      their complexities at some length.
in which they were moving. Yet they      But it felt odd to be asked to be
were very much part of that world,       asked to articulate them on command

                                                                                                                    11
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202 S. Thayer Street                                                                                          US Postage
2111 Thayer Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608                                                                                      PAID
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                                                                                                              Permit No . 144
Executive Committee
Deborah Dash Moore, Director
Elliot Ginsburg
Julian Levinson
Anita Norich

The Regents of the
University of Michigan
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Laurence B. Deitch
Denise Ilitch
Olivia P. Maynard
Andrea Fischer Newman
Andrew C. Richner
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Katherine E. White
Mary Sue Coleman, ex officio

Frankel Institute for Advanced
   Judaic Studies
Steering Committee
Derek Collins
Deborah Dash Moore
Geoff Eley
Elliot Ginsburg
Daniel Herwitz
Julian Levinson
Anita Norich
                                                                     SAVE THE DATE
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  University of California - Berkeley
Jonathan Boyarin                           Monotheism & Mutiny:
  University of North Carolina                  Holy War in Ancient Judaism
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                                                       Tuesday, December 1, 12PM
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                                                       202 South Thayer Street, Room 2022
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  Harvard University                       with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action,
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                                           Act of 1973. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and
  University of Massachusetts at Amherst   equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin
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