News & Bulletins


"Minds and Hearts: Rethinking the 'Division of Labor' Between Jewish Studies and Hillel on Campus". Recently published by Professor Barry Wimpfheimer, Director of The Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies.

The Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies is proud to announce that three of our faculty were selected by students in the recently released Associated Student Government (ASG) 2013-2014 Faculty Honor Roll. Our noted faculty include:Danny Cohen, School of Education; Marcia Gealy, Comparative Literary Studies and The Writing Program; Ken Seeskin, Philosophy and Religious Studies. Congratulations to our faculty!


Read our inaugural 2012-2013 newsletter.





Professor Yohanan Petrovshky-Shtern has published a new book, Beyond the Myth of the Shtetl: A New History of Jewish Life in East Europe (Princeton University Press, 2014). The text challenges popular misconceptions of the shtetl, arguing that from the 1790s-1840s, the shtetl was a thriving community rivaling any other in Europe. New York Times book review here.


Professor Mira Balberg has also recently published a new book, Purity, Body, and Self in Early Rabbinic Literature (University of California Press, 2014). Her text explores how early rabbis reshaped biblical laws of ritual purity and impurity, creating a new idea of bodily self. Professor Rosen-Zvi of Tel-Aviv University called it "one of the smartest works on Mishna I have read."


Professor Phyllis Lassner has been awarded the three year Diamond Jubilee International Visiting Fellowship at Southampton University, UK to support interdisciplinary collaborative work with Southampton University faculty based on her research combining Holocaust representation, World War II, and espionage fiction and film. In conjunction with the Parkes Institute for Jewish-non-Jewish Relations, Prof. Lassner will present public and faculty lectures, conduct graduate student seminars, and organize symposia and edited volumes of research.



The Zionist Ideal in Israeli Culture: Dream and Reality, The Israel Studies Inaugural Conference, was held on November 17-19, 2013.




Moshe Halbertal, an internationally renowned public intellectual and prominent Jewish Studies scholar, visited Northwestern on October 23 to deliver the second annual  Renée and Lester Crown Lecture. Halbertal focused on what it means for Israel to be a Jewish democratic state in his talk entitled “The Jewish Democratic State: Israel Between Nationalism, Religion and Liberalism.” Professor Halbertal  is a chair professor at both at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at New York University Law School. Lecture video





At our recent book launch and signing for Out of Chaos: Hidden Children Remember the Holocaust, a panel of authors read from their contributions to the text and shared their memories as hidden children.








We are proud to announce that Natalie Bergner, a Jewish Studies major and current senior, has been awarded a prestigious Katherine L. Krieghbaum research scholarship by WCAS for 2013. Congratulations Natalie!

We are delighted to announce that the American Oriental Society has awarded the Franz Rosenthal Prize in Islamics and Semitics to Professor Emeritus Jacob Lassner. The prize has only been awarded twice since its creation. Lassner specializes in medieval Near Eastern History with an emphasis on urban structures, political culture and the background to Jewish-Muslim relations

Yakir Englander, Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow in Israel Studies, recently co-authored (with Avi Sagi) The Body and Sexuality in the New Religious Zionist Discourse (In Hebrew) Jerusalem: Hartman Institute and Keter Publishing House, 2013. The glowing review in Haaretz is here.




Upcoming Events

Yossi Klein Halevi: "Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist: My Journey to the Center"
Monday, December 15:30 PM
Evanston - McCormick Foundation Center McCormick Tribune Center

Manfred H. Vogel Lecture in Judaic Studies:“The State of American Judaism: Recent Demography"
Thursday, April 237:30 PM

Jewish Studies graduates

Jewish Studies majors at the Weinberg College convocation.

About the Center

The Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies, the home of the Jewish Studies Program at Northwestern, is a vibrant community of teachers and scholars dedicated to transmitting and expanding knowledge, both in the classroom and through numerous lectures, symposia, and other events of interest to the general public as well as the campus population.

November 21, 2014