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23 minutes | 2 months ago
College Commons Podcast Alison Joseph Mixdown
Unexpected dimensions of historical Jewish culture and civilization. Alison L. Joseph is Senior Editor of The Posen Library of Jewish Civilization and Culture. She brings her academic expertise in Hebrew Bible and ancient Judaism to the management of the ancient volumes of The Posen Library. Drawing from years of university teaching, research and publication in Jewish Studies, and her own public-facing digital scholarship, Dr. Joseph works on the Posen Digital Library to bring the content of the anthology alive in digital format. Dr. Joseph earned a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a M.A. in Jewish Studies from Emory University. Her first book Portrait of the Kings: The Davidic Prototype in Deuteronomistic Poetics, received the 2016 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise. She is also co-editor of Reading Other Peoples’ Texts: Social Identity and the Reception of Authoritative Traditions (T & T Clark, 2020). Her research interests include gender in the Hebrew Bible, the Bible in pop culture, biblical historiography, and feminist historiography. She has previously taught at Swarthmore College, The Jewish Theological Seminary, Towson University, Villanova University, Haverford College, and Ursinus College.
22 minutes | 2 months ago
Keith Thomas: Horror and the Torah
HUC-JIR alumnus Keith Thomas discusses his debut feature film—Hasidic horror flick, "The Vigil." Writer/Director Keith Thomas worked in clinical research at several western teaching hospitals before embarking on a career as a novelist and screenwriter. He has published The Clarity (2018) and Dahlia Black (2019), both with Simon & Schuster, and developed numerous book, film, and TV projects with creators like James Patterson. He lives in Colorado. The Vigil is his feature debut.
27 minutes | 3 months ago
Ignacio Cano: Race & Democracy in the Americas
A deep dive into structural racism and inequality in South Africa and Brazil—with lessons for and from the United States. Ignacio Cano got his joint Ph.D. in sociology and social psychology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) in 1991. From 1991 to 1993 he worked with UNHCR, focussing on refugees and war-stricken populations in El Salvador. He was also a member of the United Nations Truth Commission for El Salvador. Cano later developed post-doctoral research at the universities of Surrey (UK), Michigan, Arizona (USA) and Lancaster (UK), centered on research methodology and program evaluation. From 1996 onwards, he worked in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on topics related to violence, human rights, public security and education in an NGO called ISER. In 2000, Cano joined the department of social sciences of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, where he is now a full professor of sociology. He is a founder of the Laboratory for the Analysis of Violence (LAV) of the same university. Over the last 20 years, he has researched different issues related to public security, violence, human rights and education and has undertaken impact evaluations of several public security interventions in Latin America. At present he is a visiting researcher at the Safety Lab, Cape Town, South Africa.
17 minutes | 4 months ago
Tamara Harkavy: Creative Placemaking
Engaging community members, artists and youth to create civic beauty. Tamara Harkavy is the founder and former CEO and Artistic Director of ArtWorks where for 25 years she oversaw its growth from a small non-profit to Cincinnati’s largest public art program, creating a model for transforming people and places through investments in creativity. Under Harkavy’s direction, ArtWorks has employed more than 3,600 youth and 3,200 creative professionals, and the organization has completed more than 12,500 public and private art projects including 190 permanent outdoor murals, contributing to the region’s global reputation as an arts destination and an urban, outdoor gallery. Harkavy founded ArtWorks to address a lack of employment opportunities for teens and to recognize the lasting contributions that artists can make to an urban place. Through ArtWorks, youth gain professional workplace readiness skills, and professional artists benefit by opportunities to advance their careers. The organization works through innovative collaborations with community-based organizations, city agencies, nonprofit organizations, schools, the private sector, and philanthropies. Among ArtWorks innovations is the 2015 program Ink Your Love, a public tattoo project led by international artists Kurt and Kremena in partnership with the Cincinnati Reds and over 50 local artists. In sum, ArtWorks invests in urban creatives, both emerging and established. In 2017 Harkavy was tapped to be on the creative leadership team for BLINK, an interactive multi-media event spanning 20 city blocks including the newly revived Over-the-Rhine neighborhoods. Over four days, one million people attended this free event in 2017. In 2019 BLINK returned, expanding across the Ohio River to Covington where a 1.5 million people attended. Harkavy’s numerous awards include a C-Suite Award in 2019, YWCA Career Woman of Achievement in 2013 and 2007 Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year. In 2018, TEDxCincinnati honored Harkavy at the inaugural Extraordinary Women event. Recently, Cincinnati Magazine named Harkavy one of Cincinnati’s top 300 business leaders. Harkavy is a member of Leadership Cincinnati’s Class 38. ArtWorks has won numerous awards under Harkavy’s leadership, including the City Livability Award by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, two Cincinnati Post-Corbett Awards, the Ambassador Award from the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau and a Community Impact Award from the American Marketing Association. Harkavy serves on the board of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce, Mercantile Library, National Museum of Women in the Arts (Ohio Chapter) and the 3CDC program committee. She is on the leadership team planning BLINK in partnership with Brave Berlin, Agar, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. Previously, Harkavy has served on the boards of Ohio Citizen’s for the Arts and Tender Mercies. She was a founding member of the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund. Harkavy co-authored two books, a best seller about the Big Pig Gig and Transforming Cincinnati (with John Fox) published on the occasion of ArtWorks’ 10th anniversary of their mural program (Orange Frazier Press). Harkavy holds an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and a master’s in Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati.
19 minutes | 4 months ago
Israel Crisis on Campus? Maybe, Maybe Not...
Reactivity to press & social media exacerbating and distorting Jewish community conflicts on campus. Tilly Shames is the Executive Director of University of Michigan Hillel. Tilly has worked with Hillels in Toronto and Michigan for 16 years in various positions, including Director of Israel Affairs and Associate Director, before becoming Executive Director at the University of Michigan in 2012. Tilly is passionate about youth engagement, community-building, pluralism, women’s advancement, and social justice. She holds a master's degree in International Affairs and a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science. She is a Wexner Field Fellow Alum and is on the Steering Committee of the Safety, Respect, Equity initiative. Kendall Coden is a 2019 graduate of the University of Michigan. She served as the treasurer of the Michigan Hillel Governing Board in 2018 and as the Chair of the Governing Board in 2019. In her role as Chair, Kendall focused largely on building relationships with other campus communities and fostering a vibrant Jewish community. Outside of Hillel, Kendall acted as a representative of the Jewish community on a student advisory council to University Administrators. Kendall currently lives in Washington, D.C. where she is conducting research on addiction at the National Institutes of Health. Karla Goldman is Sol Drachler Professor of Social Work and Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, where she directs the school’s Jewish Communal Leadership Program. Her research focuses on the history of the American Jewish experience with special attention to American Jewish communities and the evolving roles of American Jewish women. She previously served as historian in residence at the Jewish Women’s Archive in Brookline, Massachusetts and taught American Jewish history at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. She is the author of Beyond the Synagogue Gallery: Finding a Place for Women in American Judaism (Harvard University Press).
29 minutes | 5 months ago
What Are We Missing?
The challenge of growth, spurred by what we’re missing. Author, Joseph A. Edelheit served as a rabbi in Reform synagogues for thirty years, earned a doctorate in Christian theology, and retired as an Emeritus Professor of Religious and Jewish Studies. He has served as a prison chaplain, on a Presidential Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS, created a multi-faith orphanage in rural India for children with HIV/AIDS, and removed five swastikas constructed into the original 1931 facade of a Catholic cathedral in rural Minnesota. He currently lives in Rio de Janeiro where he writes, volunteers as a rabbi, and enjoys teaching his grandchildren English.
30 minutes | 5 months ago
Jews Refiguring Judaism
European and American Jews struggle to find their place as the 20th century matures. Todd M. Endelman is professor emeritus of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard University. He is the author of many books, most recently, Leaving the Jewish Fold: Conversion and Radical Assimilation in Modern Jewish History (2015), which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Prize. Zvi Gitelman is professor emeritus of Political Science and Preston R. Tisch Professor Emeritus of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He has written or edited eighteen books, the most recent of which is the edited volume, The New Jewish Diaspora: Russian-speaking Immigrants in the United States, Israel and Germany (Rutgers University Press, 2016).
15 minutes | 6 months ago
Deborah Dash Moore: Editor of the Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, 1973-2005
Varieties of Jewish Culture at the Dawn of a New Millennium. Deborah Dash Moore is the Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. An American Jewish historian, her work focuses on urban Jews. She is the editor in chief of The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization. She also served as co-editor of The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, Volume 10: Late Twentieth Century, 1973-2005.
26 minutes | 6 months ago
Rabbi Melissa Weintraub: Resetting the Table
Building meaningful dialogue and deliberation across political divides. Rabbi Melissa Weintraub is the founding co-Executive Director of Resetting the Table, an organization dedicated to building meaningful dialogue and deliberation across political divides. Melissa was also the founding director of Encounter, an organization that grows the capacity of the Jewish people to contribute to solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Melissa was awarded the Grinnell Young Innovator Prize, which honors demonstrated leadership and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship program, Melissa has lectured and taught in hundreds of Jewish communal institutions, universities, and forums on four continents. She was ordained as a Conservative Rabbi.
28 minutes | 7 months ago
Sarah Hurwitz: Rediscovering Judaism
Michelle Obama’s speechwriter takes us on her journey back to Judaism's deepest lessons. Sarah Hurwitz was a White House speechwriter from 2009 to 2017, starting out as a senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama and then serving as head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama. Sarah worked with Mrs. Obama to craft widely-acclaimed addresses and traveled with her across America and to five continents. Before working at the White House, Sarah was a senior speechwriter for President Obama’s 2008 campaign; chief speechwriter for Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential primary campaign; deputy chief speechwriter for Senator John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign; deputy chief speechwriter for General Wesley Clark’s primary campaign; and a speechwriter for Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. Sarah was also a lawyer at the Washington, DC office of WilmerHale. Sarah is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and she was a spring 2017 Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. She is the author of Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life – in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There).
26 minutes | 7 months ago
Elisheva Carlebach: Confronting Modernity, 1750-1880
Human stories of Judaism’s seismic shift, told from the Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization. Elisheva Carlebach, editor of The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, Volume 6: Confronting Modernity, 1750–1880, is Salo Wittmayer Baron Professor of Jewish History, Culture, and Society and director, Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies, Columbia University. She is the author of several books, including Palaces of Time: Jewish Calendar and Culture in Early Modern Europe.
31 minutes | 8 months ago
Israel-UAE Deal Explained
Geek out on Israel geopolitics with Rand Corporation Middle East expert Jordan Reimer on Israel, UAE, and more. Jordan Reimer is currently a policy analyst at RAND in the defense and political sciences department. He has an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and studied in Egypt and Yemen. He served as a policymaker at the Department of Defense under two administrations, focusing on Iraq, Iran, and the Arabian Peninsula. Before RAND, Jordan was an intelligence analyst at the New York City Police Department, working on counter-terrorism investigations with a nexus to Syria. He is also a lecturer and course instructor on conflict and insurgency in the post-Arab Spring Middle East, radicalization, and political Islam, most recently at New York University.
22 minutes | 8 months ago
Fran Sepler: Harassment in the Workplace
Managing workplace harassment through organizational awareness. Ms. Sepler is best known for her pioneering work in harassment prevention and workplace investigations. She has developed techniques and protocols used by organizations throughout the United States to investigate complaints of workplace misconduct. Ms. Sepler also wrote Finding the Facts: What Every Workplace Investigator Needs to Know, published in 2008. She has conducted over 1,000 workplace investigations, served as an expert witness regarding employer response to employee complaints, and provided anti-harassment, anti-bullying and implicit bias training for thousands of organizations. She has also conducted workplace climate assessments for myriad workplaces of all sizes. Fran was commissioned by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to develop “Respect in the Workplace” and “Leading for Respect” which are offered nationwide. She has been the lead trainer for Ta’amod, which “seeks to help Jewish communal institutions and all who work, learn, or worship at them develop cultures of safety, respect, and equity”, and has provided training for private, public, nonprofit, and higher education workplaces focusing on the evidence-based value of human connection, feedback, coaching, empathy, and mindful efforts to build workspaces where people show up with full engagement.
21 minutes | 9 months ago
Rabbi Seth M. Limmer: Politics in Judaism and Judaism in Politics
Rabbi Seth M. Limmer on social justice, Israel, immigration (and more) at Chicago’s historic Sinai Temple. Rabbi Seth M. Limmer, DHL, serves as senior rabbi of Chicago Sinai Congregation. During his rabbinate he has served as chair of the Justice, Peace & Civil Liberties of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, as vice-chair of the URJ’s Commission on Social Action, as dean of faculty for Eisner and Crane Lake Camps, and at the time of publication serves on the Board of Trustees of the CCAR. On behalf of Chicago Sinai Congregation’s lead role in organizing the Reform Movement’s participation in the NAACP’s 2015 America’s Journey for Justice, Rabbi Limmer accepted the Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award, the highest honor of the URJ. Author of many articles, 2016 saw the publication of his first full-length book, Medieval Midrash: The House for Inspired Innovation. Rabbi Limmer also served as co-editor of Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority, published by CCAR Press.
23 minutes | 9 months ago
HUC-JIR President Andrew Rehfeld: At the Intersection of Religious and Academic Values
Creating safe spaces on campuses for free expression and intellectual candor. Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., is the 10th President in the 144-year history of Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion. A distinguished academic, President Rehfeld brings distinctive intellectual, spiritual, and professional qualities to lead the College-Institute’s mission to transform the Jewish community and the broader world. His passion for teaching and scholarship, as well as exemplary leadership skills, have set him apart as a dynamic visionary and community builder. His deep personal commitment to Reform Judaism and Jewish values, profound understanding of the impact of nonprofit Jewish institutions, and entrepreneurial spirit of innovation will lead HUC-JIR to greater excellence. Dr. Rehfeld has bridged both the academic and Jewish worlds as Assistant Professor of Political Science (2001 to 2007) and Associate Professor of Political Science (2007 to 2019) at Washington University in St. Louis and as President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis (2012 to 2019). A tenured Professor of Political Thought at HUC-JIR, he contributes an unusual combination of teaching and scholarship, experience in Jewish nonprofit administration, and volunteer community leadership to the College-Institute. President Rehfeld earned a Ph.D. in Political Science (2000) and a Master of Public Policy (1994) from the University of Chicago, and a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, in the Philosophy Honors Program at the University of Rochester (1989). The author of The Concept of Constituency (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and numerous articles, Dr. Rehfeld’s research focuses on contemporary democratic theory with related interests in the history of political thought and the philosophy of the social sciences. He has published on the political uses of the Hebrew Bible and has taught yearly courses on Zionism and Jewish Political Thought at Washington University in St. Louis. As HUC-JIR President, Dr. Rehfeld leads the four-campus international institution of Jewish higher education and seminary for Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR’s campuses in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York provide the academic and professional training programs for the Reform Movement’s rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offer graduate programs for scholars of all faiths. HUC-JIR’s 4,000 active alumni serve over one million members of the Reform Movement, nearly 900 North American congregations, and more than 1,200 congregations worldwide, representing the largest Jewish denomination in North America, and the growing Progressive Movement in Israel and around the world. HUC-JIR alumni also hold leadership positions in Jewish educational, communal, cultural, and social service institutions, in hospital and military chaplaincies, in Jewish summer camping and Israel youth and engagement programs, and as faculty and Hillel directors at colleges and universities.
18 minutes | 9 months ago
Kathryn Fleisher: Young Adults Against Gun Violence
Coalition building and grass-roots programs for gun violence prevention. Kathryn Fleisher is the founding Executive Director of Not My Generation, a nonprofit dedicated to localized, intersectional young-adult gun violence prevention organizing. She is a former NFTY North American President and current RAC Commission on Social Action (CSA) Member. She also previously served on the Executive Planning Committee of the WRJ's inaugural social justice conference. Kathryn is a student at the University of Pittsburgh studying Politics & Philosophy and Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies with a minor in Creative Writing. She is deeply involved in the Reform Movement and is passionate about building a more just and compassionate world.
33 minutes | 10 months ago
Pastor John Cager: Racial Justice & Religion
Lessons and challenges from Black church leadership for Jewish and other allies. Pastor John Cager is an Ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He has shepherded four congregations in his ministry: St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Baldwin Hills as a visiting pastor; First African Methodist Episcopal Church, Santa Monica, CA as a supply pastor; St. Stephens African Methodist Episcopal Church, Los Angeles, CA; Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Fontana, California, and most recently was the proud pastor of Second African Methodist Episcopal Church, Los Angeles. His ministries exceed the boundaries of the local church, evidenced by his various leadership positions: Politically active, Reverend Cager worked for Tom Hayden’s “Campaign California” and was elected a Delegate to the 1984 Democratic National Convention. Reverend Cager serves on the Board of Directors of Progressive Christians Uniting, Greater Capacity Consortium; and First To Serve Treatment Centers; and, volunteers on the Prostate Cancer Awareness Team for the American Cancer Society. He was named 2007 “Pastor of the Year” by the Inland Valley News. Reverend Cager presently serves as the Interim President of the Los Angeles Council of Churches and is the President of the AME Ministerial Alliance of Southern California.
26 minutes | 10 months ago
Rabbi Noa Sattath: The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC)
Fighting for gay and civil rights, and Jewish pluralism. Rabbi Noa Sattath is the Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the social justice arm of the Israel Movement for Reform Judaism. She is charged with leading the staff of the organization, developing social change strategies in the fields of separation of religion and state, women’s rights, and the struggle against racism. Prior to her work in IRAC, Noa was the Executive Director of the Jerusalem Open House, the LGBT community center in Jerusalem and the Executive Director of MEET, a non-profit organization that uses technology to create a common language between Israeli and Palestinian young leaders.
34 minutes | a year ago
Marra Gad: Racism in Progressive Jewish Communities
The compelling journey of a biracial Jew. Marra B. Gad was born in New York and raised in Chicago. She is an independent film and television producer and now calls Los Angeles home. Ms. Gad is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and holds a master’s degree in modern Jewish history from Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University. She is the author of The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish girl.
19 minutes | a year ago
Rabbi Richard Address: Jewish Sacred Aging
Seeking meaning in a spiritual approach to aging. Rabbi Address was ordained at HUC-JIR 1972 and currently serves as the Director of Jewish Sacred Aging® (jewishsacredaging.com) and host of weekly podcast "Seekers of Meaning." He served on staff of the URJ for over 3 decades as Regional Director and Director of Jewish Family Concerns, in addition to serving congregations in CA and NJ. He is active in several national and local (Philadelphia-area) organizations dealing with aging, caregiving and end of life. He also serves as Dean of Gamliel Institute and teaches classes associated with Jewish Sacred Aging work at HUC-JIR in New York, Yeshiva Univ, as well a local JCC and numerous congregations.
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