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Siegal Lifelong Learning

Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies

Case Western Reserve University’s Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program continues the legacy of Jewish adult education courses offered for nearly nine decades through the Laura and Alvin Siegal College of Judaic Studies and its predecessor institutions. Offerings include courses in basic to advanced Hebrew language instruction, Bible study, Jewish thought, history, culture, and literature. The Distinguished Lecture Series brings world-renowned experts in Jewish studies to engage our community. Film screenings and cultural programs explore contemporary Jewish life in America and abroad.

Jewish Studies Events + Lectures

Wednesday, February 21 | 7 p.m.

 

Alanna Cooper, Director of Jewish Lifelong Learning, CWRU

 

In November 2017, Museum of the Bible, a $500 million privately funded institution, opened its doors to the public. Situated in Washington, D.C., just two blocks from the National Mall, the museum’s mission is to “engage people with the Bible.” Despite this neutral statement, debate swirls around its religious and political agenda, the provenance and authenticity of its artifacts, and the exclusion of many religious traditions from its narrative. Cultural anthropologist Alanna Cooper weighs in, drawing on a Jewish angle to examine the museum’s use of Jewish heritage, which includes the exhibition of Torah scrolls from around the world, and a live scribe who is publicly engaged in the ritual act of writing a Torah scroll.

 

Landmark CentreLifelong Learning Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 | Advance registration required | REGISTER >

 

Monday, March 12 | 7 p.m.

 

Roy Horovitz, Actor and Director

 

One of Israel’s foremost actors and directors presents on the history, scope and themes of contemporary theater in Israel. Combining live readings, screenings and dramatic lecture, Roy Horovitz addresses the multicultural aspects of the Israeli theater, the country’s preoccupation with Holocaust memory, the recent amplification of the feminine voice, and the multilingual stage, which makes room for Hebrew, Arabic, English, Russian and Amharic.

 

Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 | Advance registration required | REGISTER >

Roy Horovitz's residency is made possible by The Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artists Program 

Thursday, March 15 | 7 p.m.

 

Amy-Jill Levine, University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies and Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences

 

Although Jews and Christians share common books–the Jewish Tanakh and the Christian Old Testament–we read our shared stories in different ways. Differences in translation, punctuation, definitions, theology, emphasis and even canonical order all lead to differences in community self–definition. What prompts these differences, and what do they suggest about Jewish and Christian priorities? Among the items to be discussed: the "virgin birth," Isaiah's "suffering servant," the deity who speaks in the plural in Genesis ("Let us make humankind in our image”), and the events in the Garden of Eden ("original sin" or "human nature”).

 

Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 | Advance registration required | REGISTER >

This program is made possible and sponsored by the Association of Jewish Studies Distinguished Lectureship Program

Monday, April 9 | 7 p.m.

 

David Grossman, Israeli Author

 
Join David Grossman, Israel's most celebrated writer, winner of countless awards, and the only Israeli ever to win the prestigious Man Booker International Prize. His novel A Horse Walks into a Bar is haunting in both its effortless dexterity and dynamic contradiction.  The book is set in a comedy club in a small Israeli town where an audience awaits an evening of amusement, but instead become witness to the comedian’s personal hell. Grossman addresses human suffering, society, truth, and love – all of the most surprising and breathtaking aspects of the human condition.
 
 
Maltz Performing Arts Center, 1855 Ansel Road, Cleveland
 
Reservations required through Maltz Performing Arts Center; call 216–368–6062 to buy tickets over the phone or go to https://goo.gl/D65x2u to purchase tickets online.
 
Member of Lifelong Learning cost: $18/$75 (premium); Nonmember cost: $28/$95 (premium)
 
Premium reservation cost includes reception with David Grossman prior to the lecture, reserved seating and valet parking
 
David Grossman’s visit is supported by the Herbert and Mariana Luxenberg Siegal College Lecture Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and the Israel Arts Connection of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland

Thursday, April 12 | 7 p.m.

 

Samantha Baskind, Professor of Art History at Cleveland State University

 

On Passover eve, April 19, 1943, Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto staged the now legendary revolt against their Nazi oppressors. Since that day, the deprivation and despair of life in the ghetto and the dramatic uprising of its inhabitants have captured the American cultural imagination. Samantha Baskind looks at how the ghetto and its remarkable story have been told, retold, and remembered in fine art, film, television, radio, theater, fiction and comics. Her talk includes iconic works such as Leon Uris’ best–selling novel Mila 18, Roman Polanski’s Academy Award-winning film The Pianist, and a teleplay by Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling, alongside other expressions in popular culture, including Superman comics.

 

Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 | Advance registration required | REGISTER >

 

Wednesday, May 2 | 7 p.m.

Avivah Zornberg, Torah Scholar and Author

 

Renowned author and scholar Avivah Zornberg is acclaimed for her innovative approach to studying the Torah through rabbinic, literary and psychoanalytic lenses. Join her presentation on the Biblical figure Ruth, who is a “stranger,” in more senses than one. Who is this unknown woman who is destined to become the mother of royalty? And how does she find her way into a foreign and unwelcoming culture and religious tradition?


Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: free; Nonmembers: $10 | Advance registration required | REGISTER >

Thursday, May 10 | 7 p.m.

 

David Engel, Maurice Greenberg Professor of Holocaust Studies; Professor of History, Jewish Studies and Political History, New York University

 

The Jewish Museum in New York offers visitors, in its words, a chance "to examine the Jewish experience as it has evolved from antiquity to the present." The Holocaust occupies only minimal space in the museum's permanent exhibition. It is presented as a sudden interruption in the main path of Jewish history, with no roots in the Jewish past and no long-term effects on the Jewish future. What made a major American Jewish institution decide to represent the Holocaust in this way? What other ways have been proposed for placing the Holocaust within the long span of Jewish history? This lecture explores a surprising, counter-intuitive debate that has been taking place among Jewish scholars and leaders ever since the end of World War II.

 

Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 | Advance registration required | REGISTER >

Friday, May 11 | 10-11:30 a.m.

 

David Engel, Maurice Greenberg Professor of Holocaust Studies; Professor of History, Jewish Studies and Political History, New York University

 

During the 20th century, Poland regained its independence after a long period under foreign conquest. Between the First and Second World Wars it faced unrelenting hostility from its neighbors, who objected to its very existence. It defined itself as the nation-state of the Polish people, yet one–third of its citizens were not ethnically Poles, and many Poles lived in a worldwide diaspora. It also was home to Europe's largest Jewish community. Later, many residents of the State of Israel, including much of its leadership, were Jews who had been raised and educated in Poland. What ideas did those Jews bring with them from Poland to Israel? In what ways did their experience in Poland affect how they thought about Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people? The lecture points to some striking parallels and differences in the histories of the two countries.


Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 | Advance registration required | REGISTER >

 

Tuesday, May 15 | 7 p.m.

 

In recent years, the relationship between American Jews and Israel seems to be becoming increasingly divisive. What are the root causes of this issue? Can the divisions be reversed? How might they be addressed, and how does the trend reflect more complex dynamics at play on the global Jewish stage? This panel discussion brings together three outstanding scholars with expertise on both American Jewry and Israel to address these and other questions on the future of Jewish peoplehood.

 

Mandel JCC Stonehill Auditorium | Lifelong Learning Members & Nonmembers: Free | Advance registration encouraged |

REGISTER >

 

Thursday, May 17 | 7 p.m.

 

Jeffrey Veidlinger, Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies and Director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan

 

Marc Chagall has become the best known of many artists who worked on the Yiddish theater in Russia. This presentation, based on an exhibition at the Jewish Museum of New York, spotlights Chagall and introduces several of the artists who worked in his orbit, examining the ways they became catalysts for modernist experimentation, redefining the concept of theater itself.

 

Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 | Advance registration required | REGISTER >

 

Sunday, June 3 6 p.m. Reception with Light Hors d'oeuvres; 7 p.m. Lecture

 

Alan Levenson, Schusterman/Josey Chair in Judaic History, The University of Oklahoma

 

What is anti–Semitism and why does it persist? Theodor Herzl believed Jew hatred was a result of the Jews’ economic activities. Benedict Spinoza attributed it to the Jews' self–imposed separation from their non–Jewish neighbors. Others considered anti–Semitism to be the product of suppressed Christian rage over Jesus’ death (carried out by Romans but blamed on Jews). But what about contemporary Iran's obsession with Israel and the Holocaust? Or anti–Semitism in Malaysia, one of several countries with few Jews, but plenty of animosity? Professor Alan Levenson unpacks the conundrum of this Great Hatred.

Join us at 6 p.m. for a reception with light Hors-d'oeuvres, followed by Alan Levenson's lecture at 7 p.m.

 

Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: free; Nonmembers: $10 | Advance registration required | REGISTER >

REGISTER FOR ALL ALAN LEVENSON EVENTS >

Alan Levenson’s visit is made possible by the generous support of Karen and Richard Spector

 

 

Thursday, June 7 | 10-11:30 a.m.

 

Alan Levenson, Schusterman/Josey Chair in Judaic History, The University of Oklahoma

 

Back by popular demand, our Jewish Lives Book Series explores the stories of influential personalities whose Jewish experiences shaped their contributions to culture, science and politics. Professor Alan Levenson kicks off this year’s series with a reflection on the book Jacob, Unexpected Patriarch. A powerful hero of the Bible, Jacob is also one of its most complex and enigmatic figures. Join Levenson for an intriguing perspective and a dynamic view. This taste of our summer series will pique your interest for more!

(Jewish Lives Series Kick-Off

 

Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 | Advance registration required | REGISTER >

REGISTER FOR ALL ALAN LEVENSON EVENTS >

Alan Levenson’s visit is made possible by the generous support of Karen and Richard Spector

 

 

 

 

Thursday, June 7 | 7 p.m.

 

Alan Levenson, Schusterman/Josey Chair in Judaic History, The University of Oklahoma

 

Award-winning author Margaret Atwood wrote her chilling dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale in the 1980s. Today, the book has re-emerged as a new popular television series and has soared again to the bestseller list. This lecture explores the way Atwood draws on the stories of the Bible, revisits them, and imbues them with new messages and meanings.

 

Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $free; Nonmembers: $10 | Advance registration required | REGISTER >

REGISTER FOR ALL ALAN LEVENSON EVENTS >

Alan Levenson’s visit is made possible by the generous support of Karen and Richard Spector