New Ralphie sculpture on the observation deck at the Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE) building at the University of Colorado Boulder campus. (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado)

Program in Jewish Studies at CU Announces Leadership Changes

Introducing the New Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at CU Boulder

We are excited to announce the appointment of Professor Elias Sacks as the new Director of the Program in Jewish Studies. Professor Sacks succeeds Professor Nan Goodman, who will continue to serve as a faculty member with the Program in Jewish Studies and Department of English. This fall, Professor Sacks will be on sabbatical and will begin his directorship on January 1, 2020. During his sabbatical, Professor Beverly Weber will serve as the Interim Director for the Program in Jewish Studies beginning July 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019.

We’re also pleased to announce that Meghan Perea, Executive Manager of the Program in Jewish Studies, has received a promotion within the College of Arts & Sciences at CU Boulder.

Please join us in congratulating Professor Sacks, Professor Weber, and Meghan Perea on their new appointments! Thank you, Professor Goodman, for your work as the Director of the Program in Jewish Studies!

Continue reading to learn more about these changes in Jewish Studies!

Message from Nan Goodman, Outgoing Director

To our students, colleagues, program and library staff, College administrators, community members, and donors, I write with a fond farewell. It has been an honor and privilege serving as Director of the Program in Jewish Studies these last four years. My term as Director came to an end on June 30, 2019, and I am stepping down in order to devote more time to my research and writing. There can be no question, however, that my all of my future endeavors, scholarly and pedagogical, will be informed by everything I have learned as Director of this energetic, innovative, and intellectually diverse program.

I am also happy to say, I have added value to this gem of a program. I leave the program in a stronger place, having launched a number of initiatives that have expanded our public education programming and increased our fundraising to unprecedented levels. I have also overseen three new hires for faculty members whose research areas and class offerings have enriched our curriculum, and I have worked diligently on existing faculty retention and support at the same time. I have broadened the interdisciplinary reach of an already interdisciplinary program, bringing English and Dance graduate students as well as a faculty collaboration with Women and Gender Studies into the mix, and I have doubled down on our efforts to recruit more students into our newly user friendly major and minor tracks.  

To our wonderful incoming Director, Eli Sacks, whose term officially starts in January 2020, and Interim Director, Beverly Weber, who will lead the Program in Fall 2019, I wish you the best of luck and am so glad you will be at the helm. Finally, I know Beverly and Eli join me in thanking Meghan Perea, whose service to PJS has been incomparable.

Meet the New Director

Professor Elias Sacks

We are excited to announce Professor Elias Sacks as the next Director of the Program in Jewish Studies. Professor Sacks will begin his directorship in January 2020. He is an Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies and his research and teaching focus on Jewish thought, Jewish-Christian relations, philosophy of religion, religion and politics, and religious ethics, with a particular interest in the modern period. He is the author of Moses Mendelssohn’s Living Script: Philosophy, Practice, History, Judaism (Indiana University Press, 2017), as well as articles on medieval and modern thinkers. Professor Sacks is humbled and excited to take over as Director of Jewish Studies because he believes that what the Program does stands at the heart of what a public university can and must do in the twenty-first century.

Meet the Interim Director

Professor Beverly Weber

This Fall 2019, Professor Beverly Weber will serve as the Program’s Interim Director. She is an Associate Professor of German Studies and Jewish Studies and served as Jewish Studies’ Associate Director of Graduate Studies for the past two years. She teaches courses on racism in Europe after 1970, Holocaust memory, film, and refugee art and activism. She is currently writing a book manuscript, Decolonizing Hospitality, on refuge and sanctuary in contemporary German culture. Professor Weber notes that this is a wonderful opportunity for her to serve the program that has provided her such an inspiring and supportive intellectual community in the past years.

Meghan Perea Promoted in Arts & Sciences

Meghan Perea

The Program in Jewish Studies wishes a fond farewell and congratulations to Meghan Perea, outgoing Executive Manager of Jewish Studies, who has received a promotion in the College of Arts and Sciences at CU Boulder. For Meghan, who has been part of the Jewish Studies as both a staff member and a student for nearly a decade, this is a bittersweet moment. She states, “I am comfortable making this transition in my career at this time because I am confident that I am leaving the Program in Jewish Studies in a place of strength. I believe firmly that Jewish Studies is a model for what an academic unit can be at CU. I want to thank the Jewish Studies staff, faculty, students, community and all our friends and partners, for everything you have done to make my time here in this program truly wonderful.” She deeply regrets that she won’t have the chance to continue to work with Professor Beverly Weber and Professor Elias Sacks as they take over the directorship of the program, as she feels confident they will take the program in new and exciting directions.

We wish Meghan well in her new professional endeavors and look forward to partnering with her in her new capacity in the college. In the coming weeks, Jewish Studies will conduct a search to fill this position.

About Vanessa Frye

Vanessa is the Communication & Outreach Administrator with the Program in Jewish Studies at CU Boulder.

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