News & Bulletins


The Hebrew language placement test will be given
Wednesday, September 16th from 3:00 - 5:00 in
Fisk Hall, room 114.

Congratulations Shaul Mitelpunkt!

Congratulations to Postdoctoral Fellow in Israel Studies and Visiting Assistant Professor in History, Shaul Mitelpunkt!  He will be moving to the UK for his new post as Lecturer in American History at the University of York!  Best wishes, Shaul, and thank you!

The Jill Stacey Harris Prize in Jewish Studies

We are pleased to announce this year's Jill Stacey Harris Prize in Jewish Studies awardee! Congratulations to Katherine Strair (WCAS) for her essay entitled, "I.L. Peretz's Socialist "Impression" of the Shtetl." The paper was written for Professor Marcus Moseley's Jewish Studies/German/Yiddish 266, "Introduction to Yiddish Culture: Images of the Shtetl" course. Congratulations!

National Jewish Book Award Winner

Professor Yohanan Petrovshky-Shtern's newest book, The Golden Age Shtetl: A New History of Jewish Life in East Europe (Princeton University Press, 2014) has just been awarded the 2014 National Jewish Book Award in the category of History. 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.


Please read our 2013-14 newsletter









Recent Events

Philip M. & Ethel Klutznik Lecture in Jewish Civilization "Dealing with 'Difficult' Prayers: Jewish Liturgy in an Age of Jewish-Christian Dialogue"

On Thursday, May 28, Ruth Langer, Professor of Jewish Studies and Associate Director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College, overviewed the history of Birkat Haminim, an ancient prayer that has been understood as anti-Christian for much of its history. Langer framed this issue in the context of recent traditionalist attempts to reinstate such prayers in the liturgy despite their polemical meanings in an unprecedented age of religious dialogue.
This program was co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.

Manfred H. Vogel Memorial Lecture in Judaic Studies“Is It Good to Give? The American Jewish Philanthropic Complex”

On Thursday, April 23, Lila Corwin Berman, Director of the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History at Temple University enlightened the audience on the history of American Jewish philanthropy.

Watch the video "Is It Good to Give? The American Jewish Philanthropic Complex"

“2015 Knesset Elections: A Shift in Israeli Politics?” On Thursday, March 5, Yoram Peri, University of Maryland and Elie Rekhess, Northwestern University shared insights on the upcoming Israeli elections.

Watch the video "2015 Knesset Elections: A Shift in Israeli Politics?"

On Saturday, October 25, best-selling author Gary Shteyngart presented the 2014 Renée and Lester Crown Speaker Series lecture, "Still Falling: Gary Shteyngart Returns," in partnership with The Chicago Humanities Festival.

Watch the video here.



On Thursday, October
23, experts from Northwestern University, Brandeis University and the Chicago Council for Global Affairs participated in a panel discussion on "Gaza and Beyond: Israel, The Palestinians, and the Arab World."

Watch the video of "Gaza and Beyond"

Faculty News and Publications

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!

"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.

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.

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









Upcoming Events

Between Baghdad And Haifa: A Tribute to Israeli Author Sami Michael
Wednesday, October 77:00 PM
Evanston - Lutkin Memorial Hall

Between Baghdad And Haifa: A Tribute to Israeli Author Sami Michael
Thursday, October 89:00 AM
Evanston - Rebecca Crown Center Hardin Hall

A Tribute to Israeli Author Sami Michael – Between Baghdad and Haifa
Friday, October 99:00 AM
Evanston - Rebecca Crown Center Hardin Hall

Israel Studies

Please save the date for our upcoming fall conference,
Between Baghdad and Haifa, A Tribute to Israeli Author Sami Michael!
Wednesday, October 7 - Friday, October 9, 2015.











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.

We are pleased to announce our new Facebook page. Like us to hear about upcoming events, new publications and other news!


August 25, 2015