The Santa Cruz campus of the University of California has announced a $500,000 gift to further enhance its reputation as a leading center for Jewish and Holocaust studies in northern California.
I fail. Every morning shade drawn,
When Jennifer Thompson left her academic position in Iowa to join the Jewish Studies faculty at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), she encountered two problems.
It would be easy to assume that Israel’s cultural and artistic identities are inextricably linked with the nation’s turbulent political history. Certainly there is no ignoring the influence that statehood and the Holocaust had upon the nation’s visual artistic landscape.
The Posen Foundation will launch a fellowship for six Jewish studies scholars and two fiction writers. The international fellowship will aim to support emerging Jewish academics and authors while they embark on their studies, according to Advisory Committee chair David Biale. Each of the fellows will receive a total of $40,000 over the two years of the fellowship.
As reported in the Los Angeles Times on March 31, the failure of Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Sacramento to agree on a budget could mean cutting the spending on the state’s 112 community colleges by $800 million. In addition to an already-planned hike in student fees of nearly 40 percent, the additional cuts would mean eliminating courses from community college offerings, loading more students into the classes that remain and admitting fewer students.
Ten years after its creation, the Jewish studies program at Cal State Long Beach has received a $1 million endowment for a chaired professor.
"These are boom times for Jewish studies on campuses," said professor Sara R. Horowitz.
Reading "Mein Kampf" was no simple task for me. Growing up in Tel Aviv, I learned from a young age that the book was taboo. More than that, it felt like forbidden fruit; as if bringing it home would have contaminated my apartment. Even checking out the book from the library was no simple task. However, as a scholar, a philosopher of humanistic education and a curious human being, an urge grew inside me over the years to read Hitler's own words -- to learn his view of the Jews and why he was consumed with hatred that resulted in the destruction of so many people.
This is especially true for Jews who study biblical texts. Over the millennia, Jews have never stopped dissecting and debating the multiple layers of meanings of the written and oral Torah to arrive at deeper truths.
The vision of a chevruta -- two Jews, sitting across from each other, arguing over minute details -- is an icon of the Jewish intellectual experience. There is one thing, however, that is rarely challenged or debated: the sitting position.
Two new entries for Jewish studies can be found at Cal State Northridge (CSUN) and UCLA. CSUN has introduced a major in the subject this fall, and at UCLA, the Center for Jewish Studies has launched a new program on Modern Jewish Culture.
Mayim Bialik's nickname on campus is "Super Jew." The down-to-earth 26-year-old who starred for five years in the hit sitcom "Blossom" has ceased acting, focusing her attention instead on Judaism.
The Center for Jewish Studies at UCLA, only seven years old, has received one of academe's highest recognitions, a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the study of Jewish Civilizations. It is the only one this year awarded for Jewish studies, the only one for UCLA and one of only seven awarded to American universities.
Sharon Kupferman, a junior at Cal State Northridge, was one of 11 students left "hanging in the air" last fall, when the statewide university system abruptly canceled its overseas study program in Israel.