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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

Monday, July 24 | 10 a.m.

 

Shari Lowin, Associate Professor, Stonehill College

 

When Muhammad first began preaching in Arabia, he and those around him insisted that he was a prophet on par with Moses, and even exceeded Moses. For the Jews among whom the early Muslim community lived, this posed a particularly problematic claim. After all, according to Judaism, the Bible insists there will never be another prophet like Moses. In this session, we will investigate the Jewish reaction to the Muslim claim of Muhammad’s superiority over Moses. We will look at the Jewish arguments against Muhammad presented to Muhammad himself, later midrashic accounts of Moses’ life as anti-Muhammad polemics, and the writings of medieval Jewish scholars in Muslim lands, such as Maimonides and Ibn Kammuna. We will see the ways in which the Jewish perception of Muhammad shifted (or not) through the centuries. 

 

Landmark Centre | Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 (Advanced registration recommended) | REGISTER >

Monday, July 24 | 7 p.m.

 

Shari Lowin, Associate Professor, Stonehill College

 

Both Judaism and Islam trace their religious (and biological) origins to the same forefather, Abraham, whom both traditions credit with founding monotheism in an age of paganism. Interestingly, the Muslim and Jewish traditions on how this happened frequently resemble each other so closely that, at points one can hardly tell which tradition one is reading. Yet despite this similarity, Judaism and Islam are not clones of one another. In this session, we will investigate the ways in which the Jewish and Muslim narratives of Abraham’s discovery of God both shared and departed from one another. Importantly, we will discuss what ultimate lessons about being Muslim or Jewish arose from these different depictions.

 

Landmark Centre | Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 (Advanced registration recommended) | REGISTER >

Thursday, September 7 | 10 a.m.

 

Samuel Freedman, award-winning author, columnist, and professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism

 

In Jew vs. Jew (2000), award-winning author and journalist Samuel Freedman addressed American Jews’ battles with each other around questions of identity, authenticity, politics and ideology. Now, American Jews remain divided more than ever, with Israel as a particular flashpoint of contention. Join Freedman as he reflects on where we have come and where we are headed.

 

Landmark Centre | Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 (Advanced registration recommended) | REGISTER >

Monday, September 11 | 7 p.m.

 

Matt Goldish, Samuel M. and Esther Melton Chair of History, The Ohio State University

 

Many of us know that there was a very important circle of kabbalists in the Galilean town of Safed during the sixteenth century. Together we will learn a little more about some of the leading figures in this group, how they ended up in Safed, and what some of the ideas were which they studied and taught. We will be aided by tales in Shivhei ha-Ari, stories collected about Rabbi Isaac Luria and his colleagues.

 

Landmark Centre | Members & Nonmembers: Free (advanced registration recommended) | REGISTER >

 

Wednesday, October 18 | 7 p.m.

 

Alex Jassen, Associate Professor of Hebrew andJ udaic Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University

 

Have you ever wondered what the Dead Sea Scrolls are and why there is so much controversy surrounding them? In this lecture, Professor Alex Jassen reveals what they are, where they come from, when they were composed and why they have become scandalous.


Landmark Centre | Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 (advanced registration recommended) | REGISTER >

 

Thursday, October 19 | 10 a.m.

 

Alex Jassen, Associate Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University

 

In this lecture, Professor Alex Jassen examines the exciting insights that the Dead Sea Scrolls continue to offer 70 years after their discovery. This lecture explores how the Dead Sea Scrolls contribute to our understanding of the Bible's origins, the growth of Judaism and emergence of Christianity.

 

Landmark Centre | Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 (advanced registration recommended) | REGISTER >

 

Sunday, October 22 | 2-3:30 p.m.

 

Diane F. Afoumado, Chief of the Research and Reference Branch at the Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

 

Learn about one of the largest Holocaust archives in the world, the International Tracing Service, (ITS), located in the Bad Arolsen, Germany. Dr. Afoumado will share how to use the ITS collection, housed in the United States at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, (USHMM) in Washington, D.C. Opened in 2007, the ITS digital collection contains about 200 million digital images of documentation such as: camp arrival lists, grave locations, transport lists, prisoner cards, forced labor lists, death lists, displaced person applications for assistance, deportation lists, emigration applications/questionnaires, registration and work cards, sometimes with photographs. The archive was established by the Allied powers after World War II to help reunited separated families and to trace missing family members. Dr. Afoumado will be available for a limited number of individual appointments to search ITS.

 

Laurel School - Lyman Campus | Lifelong Learning Members & Nonmembers: Free | REGISTER >

 

Diane Afoumado’s appearance is co-sponsored by the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland, Kol Israel Foundation, Laurel School, Siegal Lifelong Learning Program of Case Western Reserve University and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

 

Monday, November 13 | 7 p.m.

 

Oren Gutfeld, Archaeologist and Researcher at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology

 

The Dead Sea scrolls found in the 1940s offered groundbreaking new information about the history of the Hebrew Bible and the origins of Christianity. This past winter, archaeologist Oren Gutfeld discovered a new scroll cave. Although the contents were looted, jug-shards, textiles, and parchments that were left behind shed new light on an old and intriguing history.

 

Landmark Centre | Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 (advanced registration recommended) | REGISTER >

 

Tuesday, November 14 | 10 a.m.

 

Oren Gutfeld, Archaeologist and Researcher at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology

 

When Jordan occupied Jerusalem’s Old City in 1948, the Hurvah Synagogue and Tiferet Israel Synagogue were bombed, leaving behind only rubble. In recent years, both sites have been excavated and rebuilt. Archaeologist Oren Gutfeld, who directed the dig at Tiferet Israel, presents the rich finds discovered on location, dating back to the Second Temple era.

 

Landmark Centre | Members: free; Nonmembers: $5 (advanced registration recommended) | REGISTER >