University of Minnesota
Center for Jewish Studies
jwst@umn.edu
612-624-4914


Center for Jewish Studies

Center for Jewish Studies

About Us

At the Center for Jewish Studies, we are dedicated to exploring the important questions about Jewish history and culture from antiquity to the modern age. Our acclaimed faculty, path-breaking research, expanding undergraduate program, and focus on deepening ties within the University attest to the success and ongoing promise of our mission: to foster a new understanding of Jewish culture and history.

We support the academic study of the historical, cultural, linguistic, ethnic, geographic, and religious diversity of the full range of peoples who identify themselves as Jewish, while fulfilling the educational mission of the liberal arts to promote critical thought, reflection on values, and analysis of sources.


Announcements

  • Welcome Ido Zelkovitz, 2014-15 Schusterman Visiting Professor

    Thumbnail image for ido zelkovitz (2).jpg

    The University of Minnesota received a grant from the Schusterman Foundation to invite
    an Israeli scholar to spend the academic year 2014-2015 with us. Professor Ido Zelkovitz
    is a Research Fellow with the Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at the
    University of Haifa, and is a lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern History and the
    Department of Multidisciplinary Studies. Dr. Zelkovitz was a postdoctoral research fellow inThe Institute of Sociology at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany. Dr. Zelkovtiz is also a Member of Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies: an independent think tank that envisions a fresh start for Israel among the nations. His research, academic courses, and public lectures reflect a focus on cross-disciplinary analysis of Palestinian history and politics and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Israel's geopolitical situation in the Middle East and the role of Higher Education and students in building national identities in the Middle East. He is the author of two books and has been published in many academic journals such as Middle Eastern Studies, Israel Affairs, and Ha-Mizrah Ha-Hadash.

    While at the University of Minnesota, Prof. Zelkovitz will teach three courses, including a freshman seminar, "Wars, Memory, and Political Identity in Israel and the Middle East" in the Fall. He will also teach adult education courses at both the Minneapolis and St. Paul Jewish Community Centers, and will give CJS' second Community Lecture of the season at Temple of Aaron on October 22, 2014.

    (Continue Reading)07/10/14
  • Steven Cohen's lecture now on Youtube

    On Monday, June 16, 2014, Professor Steven M. Cohen spoke to the community at Temple Israel, giving a talk entitled, "Reflections on the Most Important Study of American Jewry in the 21st Century: "Portrait of Jewish Americans" by the Pew Center for Religion and American Life." A video of that talk is now available to watch on the Center's Youtube channel.

    (Continue Reading)06/19/14
  • Daniel Schroeter awarded Ina Levine Invitational Scholar Fellowship

    One of the less known dimensions of the history of World War II was how Jews living under French colonial rule in North Africa were devastated by the fall of France and the establishment of the French collaborationist government of Vichy in 1940. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, DC has in recent years amassed a considerable archive related to the Jews of North Africa during the war and has encouraged scholars to research this subject.

    In June 2010, Daniel Schroeter, the Amos S. Deinard Memorial Chair in Jewish History at the University of Minnesota, and former director of the Center for Jewish Studies, co-taught a research workshop at the USHMM and began studying their voluminous collection of documents. He will be returning to Washington, DC, having been awarded the Ina Levine Invitational Scholar Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the USHMM for the 2014-2015 academic year.

    During Schroeter's residency at the USHMM, he will be conducting research for a book on the subject of Vichy and the Jews in the protectorate of Morocco. Jews under French colonial rule were legally classified as indigenous Moroccan subjects of the sultan, a ruler whose power was limited and controlled by the French administration. The anti-Jewish laws, instigated by the central Vichy government in France, and promulgated in Morocco by the French protectorate authorities as royal decrees signed by the sultan Mohammed Ben Youssef, revealed the racism and discrimination inherent in the colonial system and the ambivalent position of the Moroccan monarchy and the Muslim population towards the Jews.

    Research conducted at the Center will focus on the legal, social, and economic impact of the Vichy regime on the Moroccan Jewish communities, the response of the Muslim leaders and population to the anti-Jewish measures implemented in different parts of the country, and the contested politics of remembrance of World War II in Morocco.

    For more information on Daniel Schroeter, please click here.

    (Continue Reading)05/30/14

Center News

  • CJS and other University departments and centers comment on the Gasthof dinner

    Minneapolis group 'plays' Nazi: Sorry, it's no trifle
    by ALEJANDRO BAER, SABINE ENGEL, RICK MC CORMICK, RIV-ELLEN PRELL, RUTH MAZO KARRAS, and KLAAS VAN DER SANDEN

    Star Tribune
    March 19, 2014

    It's an insult to those who suffered in the Holocaust and to those who campaigned then (and since) against such evil.

    Late last week, City Pages published photographs that showed men dressed in German SS uniforms seated in the main dining room of the northeast Minneapolis restaurant Gasthof zur Gemutlichkeit, surrounded by Nazi flags. According to a participant, this was a World War II historical re-enactment meeting, "just like any club that has a party."
    In Germany and several other European states, laws prohibit the public use of symbols of Nazism -- in particular, flags, insignia and uniforms. The reason: It assaults the human dignity of others by insulting, maliciously smearing or defaming segments of the population.

    While in the United States the First Amendment gives constitutional protection to this type of conduct -- no matter how offensive its content -- the public display of racist or extremist symbolism usually has been followed by indignation, outrage and demands for action.

    To read the entire article please click here.

    (Continue Reading)03/31/14
  • Strange Times to Be a Jew, Perfectionism and Rabbinic Judaism, and other intriguing topics: 11th Annual Community Lecture Series

    The University of Minnesota Center for Jewish Studies is pleased to present its Eleventh Annual Community Lecture Series, in cooperation with synagogues and other sponsoring partners across Minneapolis and St. Paul. Join us as writers, thinkers, and scholars from varied fields address intriguing questions relevant to the Jewish experience today.

    This series is made possible by a generous gift in memory of Julia K. & Harold Segall.

    Events are free and open to the public. A reception follows each lecture.

    (Continue Reading)08/30/13

Events

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