Jewish Studies Past Public Programs

Past Events

Spring 2023

We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your attendance at our past events. We truly appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to seeing you at our future gatherings. Please enjoy these recordings of our past lectures.

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The Jewish Eighteenth Century: A Global Perspective

Stanley Mirvis

May 1, 2023 | 6pm (AZ) | Zoom

This presentation explores the major Jewish settlements, personalities, and cultural developments of the eighteenth century–without borders. This whirlwind tour makes stops in Eastern and Western Europe, the Ottoman Balkans, Egypt, Anatolia, Tunisia, Safavid Persia, Uzbekistan, Alaouite Morocco, Kerala, Yemen, the Caribbean, and North America. Applying a global perspective to pre-modern Jewish history enables us to decentralize the European experience and to identify elements that transcend state, empire, region, or ethnic distinction.

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Bioethics in the Shadow of the Holocaust

Nadav Davidovitch

April 10, 2023 | 12pm (AZ) | Zoom or ASU Coor, 4403

Bioethics emerged mainly after the holocaust and since then it has had an enormous impact on the practice of medicine and life sciences research. Despite bioethics’ profound influence, the study of the development and evolution of the bioethical discourse is scarce. My presentation focuses on the tension between the silencing of the Holocaust in bioethical debates on one side, and the persistent use of National Socialist medicine metaphors, on the other hand. By delving into the meanings and the implications of this two-edged discourse, using case studies from historical and current Israeli public health practices, I argue that comparing post-war bioethics with pre-war medical practices from a social and political perspective has the potential to depict a more nuanced account of continuities and discontinuities in bioethics.

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When Extremist Ideas Are No Longer Considered Extreme

March 30, 2023 | 7pm (AZ) | Zoom & VOSJCC Scottsdale

12701 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Extremist beliefs and violence fueled by white supremacist and other hate groups are on the rise. Often inspired by Nazi ideology, they exploit antisemitic lies, racism and conspiracy theories. When this misinformation goes viral, it runs the risk of appealing to mainstream audiences and dividing society. Holocaust history warns us of the dangers posed when such threats go unchecked and escalate. It also demonstrates the power that ordinary people have to act and make a difference - a message at the heart of the Museum’s educational mission.

Prof Arie Kruglanski: Holocaust survivor; social psychologist; expert in Communities of Hate Stay Connected 
Vidhya Ramalingam: Founder of Moonshot CVE; expert in USHMM’s Global Issues Forum Patricia Heberer-Rice, expert in Communities of Hate
Edna Friedberg expert in Foot Soldiers of White Supremacy

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When Marie met Samuel ... and Joseph: Lessons from a Marriage Scandal in 1902 Baltimore

Laura Shaw Frank

Salo Wittmayer Baron Dissertation Award in Jewish Studies Lecture Series

March 27, 2023 | 7 pm (AZ) | Zoom

Marriage in late nineteenth and early twentieth century America was both intensely personal and also a powerful communal institution rooted in religion, culture, law, and politics. Using the lens of a headline- grabbing early twentieth century Jewish marriage scandal, this talk will give insight into the way Eastern European Jewish immigrants used courtship and marriage to perform Americanness and assert their belonging in an era of rising anti-immigrant sentiment and contested notions of citizenship.

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Will the Environment Survive a Renewed Middle East Peace Process? A Blueprint for Progress

Alon Tal

March 13, 2023 | 7pm (AZ) | Zoom, & Valley of the Sun JCC

12701 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Because of its modest size, Israel’s environmental problems are largely transboundary. Without cooperation with its neighbors, progress in areas from stream restoration to species repatriation will be modest at best. This lecture reviews over twenty years of “below the radar” environmental cooperation in the region and considers the state of the present peace process and how it might be leveraged to ensure an ecological dividend for the region.

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A Community in Transition or Decline? The Polarized Debate over American Jewish Life Today

Jack Werthheimer

2023 Albert and Liese Eckstein Scholar-in-Residence

March 13, 2023 | 7pm (AZ) | Zoom, & Valley of the Sun JCC

12701 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Over the past four decades, the profile of American Jewry has changed dramatically. Not only is the population far more diverse, it is also divided over what Jewishness even means and requires. Observers of the new Jewish communal reality, not surprisingly, are divided in their interpretations of the current American Jewish scene and their understanding of what the new developments portend for the future. During this lecture, we’ll explore the new American Judaism and Jewishness, and contend with clashing interpretations.

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Judaism, Science and Medicine Group (JSMG) Annual Conference

February 26, 2023 | via Zoom

Judaism, Jews, and Artificial Intelligence (AI): Machine Learning vs. Enduring Wisdom

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has changed numerous aspects of contemporary life. Since Jews are deeply involved in the design and use of AI systems, this conference examines the challenges of AI in light of the values of the Jewish tradition. Can Judaism help us build a more just and virtuous AI? Can Judaism instruct us how to live with AI? If so, how? presented by Arizona State University Center for Jewish Studies conference sessions free and open to all | registration required

Programme schedule 

Welcome and Introduction 

Session#1 Keynote Address 

Session #2 Intelligence, Knowledge, and Embodiment 

Session #3 The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence 

Session #4 Artificial Intelligence and Jewish Law 

Session #5 Artificial Intelligence and the Practice of Medicine 

Session #6 Artificial Intelligence in Jewish Society: Secular and Religious Dimensions, Roundtable 


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Lecture Series : Living Longer, Living Better: How Jewish Texts and Traditions Can Help Navigate the Revolution in Longevity

Richard Address (Jewish Sacred Aging)

Thanks to medical technology and public health advances, we are experiencing life spans that open the possibilities for new opportunities as well as unforeseen challenges. During this lecture series, we will examine several approaches from Jewish life that can serve as a guide as we attempt to navigate this new frontier.

Sacred Texts as Guides for Our Sacred Journey

February 20, 2023 | 12 pm (AZ) | Zoom
In this first session, we will examine some key texts from the Torah that provide a textual/spiritual foundation for our own aging process.
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We Pray for Health and Wellness

February 27, 2023 | 12 pm (AZ) | Zoom
There is a rich tradition in Judaism regarding the focus on health and wellness. In this session, we will look at some texts that form a foundation for emphasis on physical health.
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New Rituals for New Life Stages

March 6, 2023 | 12pm (AZ) | Zoom
In this final session, we will examine the explosion of creative rituals and prayers that speak to new stages of life that have been created as a result of longevity.
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All history is local : The Role of Local and Regional American Jewish Historical Societies

Joel Gereboff

February 16, 2023 | 12 pm (AZ) | Zoom

Beginning in the 1950’s, over 40 local and regional Jewish historical societies have been organized. These groups play diverse roles within the Jewish and general communities. Little has been written about these institutions and their contribution to the formation and transmission of important aspects of American Jewish history and the competing demands that shape their activities. This lecture explores the history of these societies and the forces that both sustain and threaten their survival. 

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The Jews of Summer: Summer Camp and Jewish Culture in Postwar America

Sandra Fox

February 9, 2023 | 7pm (AZ) | Zoom

Salo Wittmayer Baron Dissertation Award in Jewish Studies Lecture Series 

Explore the lived experiences of youth in postwar Jewish summer camps, sites of intergenerational negotiation in the making of American Jewish culture. This lecture considers how postwar American Jewish leaders representing a diverse range of ideological commitments, including Zionism, Yiddishism, and liberal Judaism used summer camps to expose children to their ideologies, and attempted to transform them according to their visions of authentic Jewishness.

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Fall 2023

Lowe Family Lecture Series – Modern Jewish Studies with Polish Scholars

September 7 & September 12

All two lectures are at 12 pm MST, 3 pm EDT on Zoom.

Two Polish scholars will introduce us to complex issues of Jewish identity, politics, and memory in post-Holocaust Poland. They will ask what it was like to be a Jewish child, a Jewish communist, or a Jewish intellectual after the war in the land saturated by the genocide and its memory.

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Lowe Family Lecture - Ukrainian Jews in Early Twentieth-Century: Contested Visions of Diaspora and Nation

22nd October,2023

4 pm MST, 7 pm EDT on Zoom and in person.

Brian Horowitz, Tulane University (LA). Co-sponsored by the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and Eastern European Studies and funded by the Lowe Family Holocaust and Genocide Education Endowment.

In person program will be held at the AZ Jewish Historical Society, 122 E Culver St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

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International academic workshop in memory of Mark von Hagen: Jews and their Neighbors - 20th Century East/ Central Europe in Times of War and Beyond

October 22 - October 23, 2023

Co-sponsored by the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and Eastern European Studies and funded by the Lowe Family Holocaust and Genocide Education Endowment. West Hall Room 135, ASU Tempe (by invitation only)

For more information or to register, contact:

Murray and Sabina Zemel (z”l) Educators Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide

October 24, 2023

9:30 am - 4:00 pm at Burton Barr Library and AZ Jewish Historical Society

This conference on the Holocaust and Genocide aims to aid Arizona teachers in building programs, developing curricula, and sharing best practices for educating primary and secondary school students on the Holocaust and other genocides. Featuring filmmaker Roberta Grossman as our keynote speaker. Co-sponsored by ASU Jewish Studies. For more information go to 

The Israeli - Palestinian Conflict : Why have peace efforts failed so far ?

Monday, October 30th, 2023

6 PM MST on Zoom.
Victor Peskin, Assistant Professor, School of Politics and Global Studies, Arizona State University

An educational prgram which aims to move past propaganda from all sides and share the history and politics that have led us to the current situation and the future of this region.Peskin’s teaching and scholarship focus on international human rights, international war crimes tribunals, conflict resolution, and diplomacy. At ASU, he has taught a range of corses, including a course on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

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The Origins of Zionism and the Making of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Nov 12 @ 10 A.M. via Zoom

Register Now, Space is limited. 

Arieh Saposnik, Associate Professor at the Ben-Gurion Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

In this lecture, we will seek to understand the origins of Zionism, its goals and its nature, how the encounter between Jews and Arabs began, how it evolved, and how it shaped Zionism itself, the history of Israel, and the nature of the conflict today.

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Lectures with Musical Performances by Adam Millstein, The Colburn School (CA) on Lost Voices of the Holocaust

November 16 & 20

Both lectures are at 7 pm MST, 9 pm EST on Zoom

• Nov. 16 Survival, Exile, and Music under the Shadow of Nazism and Stalinism: The Story of Mieczysław Weinberg
• Nov. 20 Music and Modernism: The World of Erwin Schulhoff

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About the Calendar

  • Events are free and open to all unless otherwise noted. All times MST (Arizona).

  • Events subject to change. See individual event listings for up-to-date details. 

  • Pre-registration is required for all events in case of unplanned schedule adjustments.


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