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Dr. David Shneer, Louis P.Singer Chair in Jewish History and Director of the Program in Jewish Studies
Dr. David Shneer, Louis P.Singer Chair in Jewish History and Director of the Program in Jewish Studies

So What is Post Holocaust American Judaism?

The Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder together with the Department of Religious Studies and Naropa University are beginning a series of events that will examine Post Holocaust American Judaism, which is quickly becoming a central issue in the field of contemporary Jewish Studies.

Dr. David Shneer, Louis P.Singer Chair in Jewish History and Director of the Program in Jewish Studies
Dr. David Shneer, Louis P. Singer Chair in Jewish History and Director of the Program in Jewish Studies

This Saturday, March 1 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm, CU on the Weekend is hosting Dr. David Shneer, Louis P. Singer Chair of Jewish History and Director of the Program in Jewish Studies for a mini-course seminar exploring this new and growing field. Post World War II America is often characterized negatively by suburbanization and the rise of a bland consumer culture obsessed with accumulation rather than reflection. But it is also the period when the United States became the fertile petri dish for new kinds of Judaism.  From Brooklyn-based Chabad Lubavitch Hasidism to 1960s ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Judaism and American Zionism, this mini-course will examine American Judaism from World War II to the present. Professor Shneer will pay particular attention to materials now housed at the University of Colorado Library Archives and Special Collections Post Holocaust American Judaism Archive, which contains materials documenting this movement, from Arthur Waskow’s Freedom Seders to Zalman Schachter Shalomi’s early ideas about deep ecumenicism.  The seminar will include a guided tour of the “Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and the Origins of Post-Holocaust American Judaism” exhibit and archive materials currently on display in Norlin Library with Stephanie Yuhas, PhD, Archives Project Director.

This class is free and open to the public and will be held in the British Studies Room located on the 5th floor of Norlin Library on the Boulder campus. Seating is first-come, first serve and doors open at 12:30 pm.  For more information, contact weekend@colorado.edu or call 303-492-4561.

Dr. Shaul Magid
Sondra D. Bender Visiting Scholar, Dr. Shaul Magid

The exploration continues as we welcome the Sondra D. Bender Visiting Scholar, Shaul Magid. Professor Magid will present a public lecture and roundtable discussion based on his recent book American Post-Judaism: Identity and Renewal in a Postethnic Society on Thursday, March 6 at 7:00 pm in University Memorial Center, Room 235. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, religious leader and founder of Jewish Renewal, will present opening remarks on “Paradigm Shift Judaism.” The lecture will be followed by a roundtable discussion with Magid, CU professors David Shneer, Louis P. Singer Chair in Jewish Studies, Elias Sacks, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Deborah Whitehead, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Rabbi Zvi Ish-Shalom, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University.

Shaul Magid is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies and the Jay and Jeannie Schottenstein Chair, Jewish Studies in Modern Judaism at Indiana University Bloomington.  He is the editor of God’s Voice from the Void: Old and New Essays on Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav, co-editor of Beginning Again: Toward a Hermeneutic of Jewish Texts and author of Hasidism on the Margin: Reconciliation, Antinomianism, and Messianism in Izbica and Radzin Hasidism. His book From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Lurianic Kabbala was awarded the 2008 American Academy of Religion Award for best textual studies book in religion. Magid is also a regular contributor to Tikkun Magazine, Zeek MagazineReligion Dispatches, and Occasional Religion.

This event is free and open to the public but as space is limited, RSVPs are appreciated. Professor Magid’s recent book, “American Post-Judaism: Identity and Renewal in a Postethnic Society” will be available for purchase and signing after the event.  Please email CUJewishStudies@colorado.edu or call 303.492.7143. Additional information can be found at http://jewishstudies.colorado.edu.

Professor Magid’s visit has been made possible by the Bender Family Foundation through the endowment of the Sondra D. Bender Visiting Scholars Fund in the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.

About Jamie Polliard

Assistant Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder

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