CU’s Week of Jewish Culture

The Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder presents the Third Annual Week of Jewish Culture beginning January 11. This year’s series is presented in conjunction with two community events: Movers: Do You Speak Jewish? ( and Czech Point Denver ( and runs through January 25. CU’s Annual Week of Jewish Culture is an exciting series of events that is dedicated to the exploration of more than 3,500 years of Jewish culture including its current, most cutting-edge manifestations.

This year’s series incorporates the theme of the community-wide series Movers: Do You Speak Jewish? with authors, scholars and artists from around the globe examining Jewish culture through language and literature. The week begins January 11 with a celebration of the Reb Zalman Archives, which will be housed in CU’s Library Archives. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi is considered the father of the Jewish Renewal movement, a recent movement in Judaism that works to reinvigorate modern Judaism with mystical teachings and contemplative practices influenced by Hasidism. Until recently, these materials were in the care of Naropa University which was working closely with the Reb Zalman Legacy Project of the Yesod Foundation, whose mission is to preserve, develop and disseminate the teachings of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. The CU Libraries and Archives and CU’s Program in Jewish Studies are excited to join this dynamic team in providing broad access to this invaluable resource to students and researchers throughout the world. In conjunction with the Renewal movement’s annual Ohalah Rabbinic Conference, the January 11 event will bring Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi together with an important scholar and a rabbi working on Renewal Judaism: Professor Chava Weissler of Lehigh University, and Rabbi Or Rose from Hebrew College. CU-Boulder’s director of the Program in Jewish Studies, David Shneer, will moderate the event.

The Week of Jewish Culture concludes with two events in Denver that are also part of Czech Point Denver, a festival celebrating Czech cultural arts with programs hosted by Denver and Boulder non-profit arts and cultural organizations, and educational institutions throughout January and February. This cooperative project, led by Opera Colorado, will include classical music, theater, visual arts, film and multimedia experiences.

CU’s Week of Jewish Culture is an annual series produced and presented by the Program in Jewish Studies at CU-Boulder and generously supported by the Program’s donors.

As we have every year, CU’s Program in Jewish Studies is proud to be highlighting the most cutting edge forms of Jewish culture – from Renewal Judaism’s archives and soccer in interwar Czechoslovakia to a series of programs on Yiddish culture in East Germany, including a concert with the world renowned performer Jalda Rebling,” said David Shneer, director of the Program in Jewish Studies at CU-Boulder.

Events will take place in venues on the CU-Boulder campus and in Denver. Complete details can be found at All events are free and open to the public but RSVP’s are suggested as space is limited. For additional questions, contact the Program in Jewish Studies at 303.492.7143 or via email at

The 2011 calendar of events includes:

Scholars’ Roundtable and Celebration of the Reb Zalman Archives
Tuesday, January 11 @ 3:30 PM
UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom on the CU Campus

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, better known as Reb Zalman, is the founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, one of the fastest growing Jewish movements in the world. Join us for a celebration in conjunction with the Renewal Rabbinic Conference, Ohalah. The roundtable will feature Reb Zalman in conversation with Professor Chava Weissler, who is completing a book on Renewal Judaism, and Rabbi Or Rose, a scholar and teacher who was raised in the Jewish Renewal movement. David Shneer will moderate the event. Together, we will mine the past of the archives in order to envision the future of Renewal Judaism.

A Jewish Girl Sings Yiddish Behind the Iron Curtain: Jalda Rebling in Concert
Wednesday, January 12 @ 7 PM
Old Main Chapel on the CU Campus

In 1952, Lin Jaldati, Eberhard Rebling, and their two daughters moved from Amsterdam to East Berlin and started a Yiddish musical revolution. This concert by one of the world’s most renowned Yiddish performers highlights the history of Yiddish behind the “iron curtain” in East Germany and asks why a Communist state would be interested in Yiddish at all. The evening’s repertoire includes some popular favorites like Never Say (Zog nisht keynmol) but also includes some more haunting melodies that made up the canon of East German Yiddish song.

In Front of the Iron Curtain: Yiddish in East Germany
with David Shneer
Tuesday, January 18 @ 7 PM
Atlas 100 on the CU Campus

Over the course of her 35 years as the Yiddish diva of the Communist world, Lin Jaldati sang for large official Stalin-era concerts and inspired Yiddish folk music collectives in East German factories. Professor David Shneer will present the life story of Jaldati and her daughter, Jalda Rebling, who picked up where her mother left off, and suggest what it says about Jewish life in Europe, in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust and today.

Kafka, Sports, and Czechoslovakian Jewish Identity
with Professor Robert Adler-Peckerar
Wednesday, January 19 @ 7:30 PM
SOBO 151
151 S. Broadway, Denver

…snad teď footbal vůbec přestane… [perhaps now, soccer is really over]”

With these enigmatic words, famed soccer fan Franz Kafka ended a 1923 postcard to his brother-in-law after reading a series of articles railing against the fastest growing sport in the world. Join Robert Adler-Peckerar, assistant professor of Jewish Literature and Culture at CU-Boulder, for an interactive evening that examines the phenomenon of Jewish soccer in central and eastern Europe at the start of the last century – its controversies, politics, and importance in understanding the birth of a new European Jewish culture. And do it while enjoying a refreshing Czechoslovakian beverage in Denver’s favorite Czech sports bar (21 ID required). This event is part of a community-wide series celebrating Czech culture, Czech Point Denver (

Czech Insights from Music and Literature
Opera Colorado with Betsy Schwarm and Davide Stimilli
Tuesday, January 25 @ 7 PM
Tattered Cover LoDo
1628 16th Street, Denver

From Dvořák to Kafka, Czech cultural figures have had a lasting impact on the arts. In this program with live music, we’ll consider the world-view of three generations of Czech artists and how they have affected the arts even beyond their own borders. Includes presentations by Metro State College music historian, Betsy Schwarm, and associate professor of German and Comparative Literature, Humanities and Jewish Studies, Davide Stimilli. Young Artists from Opera Colorado will also perform. This event is part of a community-wide series celebrating Czech culture, Czech Point Denver (

About Jamie Polliard

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

Check Also

“We Are Going To Be Lucky” Dramatic Reading

The Brotherhood and Women of Har HaShem present a dramatic reading of "We Are Going To Be Lucky," a WWII love story through letters between Lenny and Diana Miller.

Some Movies to Watch While Waiting for the Boulder Jewish Film Festival

BJFF Founding Director Kathryn Bernheimer offers some Jewish film suggestions to keep you busy until the festival in November.

One comment