Over the course of the fall semester, seven scholars on Israel/Palestine spoke at Duke in a lecture series entitled "50 Years of Occupation, 1967-2017: Israel/Palestine, Histories and Futures."  The speaker series included Amahl Bishara, who spoke about the use of the internet and social media in the West Bank, Joyce Dalsheim, who lectured on the anthropology of settlers in Hebron, and Lisa Hajjar, who discussed international law and the Occupation. Helen Yanovsky of the Israeli NGO B'tselem spoke about the… read more about As Trump Declares Embassy Move, Scholars Discuss Future of Jerusalem at Duke »

Yasmin Levy is an acclaimed Israeli artist known for her twist on Sephardic songs. The musical tradition came from her father who recorded and preserved folk songs in Ladino, a Judeo-Spanish language that emerged in the territories of the ancient Ottoman Empire after Jews were exiled from Spain in 1492. Today Levy performs these traditional songs and infuses them with flamenco and her signature doses of passion and melancholy. She speaks with host Frank Stasio about the pushback she has received for promoting and… read more about Yasmin Levy Pours Passion Into Sephardic Songs  »

Prizewinning Israeli author Yossi Klein Halevi will discuss the future relationship between American Jews and Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Duke University. The talk begins at 6 p.m. in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library on West Campus, and is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Bryan Center garage and lot. Imam Abdullah Antepli, chief representative of Muslim affairs at Duke, will moderate the discussion with Halevi and Bruce Jentleson, a professor of political science… read more about Yossi Klein Halevi comes to Duke! »

This article originally appeared at the following:  March 28, 2017 Imam Abdullah Antepli , left, shares a laugh with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks during the pair’s public talk, “Civility & Difference.” In front of a crowd filled with Duke and Durham community members of a variety of faiths, two religious leaders urged about 200 people March 27 to see humanity as the overriding feature that can… read more about Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Visits Duke, and the Center for Jewish Studies »

This article can originally be found at: February 2, 2017   Dear President Trump, Vice President Pence, Members of the Trump Administration and 115th Congress, The story about Abraham bargaining with God to save the people of Sodom is well known; but the underpinning of this story is rarely recognized. After admonishing God, “Shall not the judge of all the earth deal justly?” (Genesis 18:25), Abraham does not suggest that God save only the… read more about Marc Brettler on American Values, Religious Voices »

Original article appeared at: Charred manuscript is one of oldest known copies of Torah ever found Traci Watson, Special for USA TODAY 2:24 p.m. EDT September 21, 2016     A small, seemingly unremarkable burned parchment fragment found 45 years ago during excavations on the western shore of the Dead Sea has emerged after hi-tech… read more about Marc Brettler talks with USA Today about the Ein Gedi Torah scroll »

This article originally appeared at: An idea born in one Duke classroom now has the potential to be a tool in many. A team of first-year students in Professor Laura Lieber’s seminar on Jewish-German culture dreamt up a way to use 21st century technology to preserve the stories of Holocaust survivors. Since finishing Lieber’s course this spring, team leaders Scott Powell and Matthew Kirshner have raised funds to make the idea a… read more about Student-Designed App Preserves Holocaust Survivor Stories »

excerpt from AJS Perspectives: "...With this issue of AJS Perspectives, we seek to highlight a few of the myriad roles that sound, and the study of sound, can play within the world of Jewish Studies. Some authors approach sound through a textual lens: the sound of poetry. Others attend to "intentional" sounds, notably music: its composition, performance, and implicit (and explicit) complexities. Other authors, however, draw our attention to ambient… read more about New AJS Perspectives Now Online »

Duke graduate (Trinity '88, School of Medicine '93), Bobby Green, remembers his time at Duke. While completing his Certificate in Jewish Studies, Green had the opportunity to meet and introduce the late renowned Elie Wiesel, who gave the Rudnick lecture in 1987 in Page Auditorium. Green recently posted this photo of him and Wiesel on Facebook, with a thank you to Professor Emeritus Eric Meyers for giving him such a great opportunity. The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library currently has both audio and… read more about Bobby Green Remembers Wiesel's Talk at Duke Jewish Studies »

Prof. Carol Meyers, Mary Grace Wilson Professor at Duke University (em. 2015), Durham NC, and her husband Prof. Eric M. Meyers, Bernice and Morton Lerner Professor at Duke University (em. 2015), Durham NC have shaped the study of Israelite and Jewish history and material culture in ancient Palestine and the entire Greco-Roman world through lifelong teaching, archaeological fieldwork (especially in the Galilee), innumerable publications and dedicated training of future generations of archaeologists, historians and scholars… read more about Carol and Eric M. Meyers on Teaching and Research Visit in Leiden »

Today, March 24, 2016, marks the fortieth anniversary of the Argentine military coup that ushered in one of the Western Hemisphere’s most repressive regimes. Seeking to quash “subversion” and liberalize the economy, the coalition of military and civilian leaders who seized power in March 1976 instituted a vicious, secretive system of kidnapping, torture, and killing that claimed tens of thousands of lives and damaged countless more. Each March 24, now deemed the Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice, Argentina honors… read more about Movimiento Judío por los Derechos Humanos »

In this paper, given at the 2015 annual Empire, Jews and Socialism Conference in Vienna, Austria, Wolfgang Maderthaner looks at the lives of Victor Adler and Otto Bauer—as a prism through which to examine the complex relationship between German nationalism, the Jewish Question and pro-Habsburgism among the early leadership of the Austrian Social Democratic Party.The paper can be found online in the journal Religions at: Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE… read more about Empire, Nationalism and the Jewish Question: Victor Adler and Otto Bauer »

by SHAI GINSBURG for ISLAMiCommentary on OCTOBER 27, 2015: Originally, I had planned on focusing my comments on the divergent logics of Empire and State — of the political dynamics that inform the politics of the US on the one hand, and of Israel on the other — as emerge from Khalidi’s analysis.  Recent events compel me, however, to pursue a different route, one — however — which still traverses the same ground.I would like to dedicate the next few moments thinking about the recent spate in violence in… read more about Israel-Palestine, the US, and the Language of the Holocaust »

'Rhetoric and Nation: The Formation of Hebrew National Culture, 1880-1990,' is reviewed by Jessica Carr (Lafayette College) at the following: notes that "Rhetoric and Nation skillfully reframes scholarly assessment of Hebrew discourse of the nation in new genres, politics, and meanings. Ginsburg’s careful study shows how we can talk about modern Hebrew discourse of the nation without… read more about Shai Ginsburg's book, "Rhetoric and Nation" reviewed on H-Judaic »

This article was originally posted at Duke Today. Alive: Students Dive Into the Rubenstein Initiative aims to make collections a stronger part of the undergraduate experience August 31, 2015 | Geoffrey Mock Students in Richard Powell's course handle materials from the Rubenstein Library related to African-American artists. Photo by Geoffrey Mock Philosophy professor Andrew Janiak can’t have his students… read more about Laura Lieber changes the classroom with Jews and Germans »

Thomas Prendergast, Duke history graduate student, and Perilman fellow, argues that "imperial peripheries, while traditionally overlooked as sites of knowledge production, in fact played a pivotal role in the development of an important brand of “progressive” social scientific research, one defined by a critical stance toward the prevailing historicist paradigms of the time."His article, in "Religions" journal, may be found at: read more about Perilman Fellow Thomas Prendergast in "Religions" »

In this podcast for "New Books in Biblical Studies," Marc Zvi Brettler, the Bernice and Morton Lerner Chair of Judaic Studies at Duke, talks about the complexity of editing The Jewish Study Bible, and the foundations upon which it was built.The original recording can be found at: read more about Marc Brettler discusses the new edition of The Jewish Study Bible »

Normal 0 false false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-… read more about Protect me for (the tie of) blood and milk that is between us »

This article originally appeared on Tablet at: in Jerusalem Memories of the Argentine literary mystic’s visit to the Holy Land, and of his nuanced ZionismBy Shalom Goldman|June 11, 2015 12:00 AM  In 1969 I was living in Jerusalem, waiting to be inducted into the Israeli army, for which I had volunteered a few months earlier. From friends at the Hebrew University I learned that Jorge Luis Borges was visiting… read more about Borges in Jerusalem Memories of the Argentine literary mystic’s visit to the Holy Land, and of his nuanced Zionism »

Adrienne Krone, Duke Center for Jewish Studies Perilman Fellow and Graduate Student in the Department of Religious Studies, has recently published a paper detailing the revolutionar movement that has cropped up with a vision to revitalize American Jewish environmentalism through food reform.She argues that "this movement implemented shmita (sabbatical) year practices, which Jewish law mandates only inside the land of Israel, in the United States during the shmita year that began in September 2014. This article… read more about A Shmita Manifesto: a radical sabbatical approach to Jewish food reform in the United States »

The Duke Center for Jewish Studies is incredibly pleased to welcome Marc Brettler to the faculty in Jewish Studies in fall 2015.  Professor Brettler will take over the Bernice and Morton Lerner Chair of Judaic Studies from Professor Eric Meyers who will be retiring at the end of the summer.  He will hold an appointment in the Department of Religious Studies, and will be teaching two courses in the fall.  Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE… read more about Duke Welcomes Marc Brettler to Jewish Studies Faculty! »

Religion in Israel: It’s the Government’s Business by SHALOM GOLDMAN for ISLAMiCommentary on APRIL 3, 2015: Surveys of religious affiliation in the U.S. reveal that more than 25% of American have joined a faith other than the one in which they were raised. And if we factor in movement from one Protestant denomination to another, we find that 45% of Americans are affiliated with religions that they have chosen, not the ones they were born with.In Israel, a country linked in so many ways to the US:… read more about Religion in Israel: It's the Government's Business »

Israel's occupation has been transformed in the social media age. Over the last decade, military rule in the Palestinian territories grew more bloody and entrenched. In the same period, Israelis became some of the world's most active social media users. In Israel today, violent politics are interwoven with global networking practices, protocols, and aesthetics. Israeli soldiers carry smartphones into the field of military operations, sharing mobile uploads in real-time. Official Israeli military spokesmen announce… read more about Digital Militarism: Israel's Occupation in the Social Media Age »

Biblical Archaeology: Whither and WhenceLooking Back with Eric and Carol Meyers Hershel Shanks   •  02/09/2015 GIANTS AT WORK. Biblical archaeologists Eric and Carol Meyers sit down with BAR’s editor to discuss the past 40 years of archaeology in the land of the Bible. Photo: Robert Sugar. Duke professors Eric and Carol Meyers gained national prominence when they discovered the Torah ark at Nabratein, Israel, in 1981. But that’s only part of their story. On December 22, 2014, I sat… read more about Biblical Archaeology Review Reminisces on 40 Years of Archaeology with Eric and Carol Meyers »

This article originally appeared on The Devil's Tale at: by Kate Collins“For many of us the march from Selma to Montgomery was about protest and prayer. Legs are not lips and walking is not kneeling. And yet our legs uttered songs. Even without words, our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.”Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote these words soon after returning from participating in the Selma-to-… read more about Jewish Voices from the Selma-to-Montgomery March »

In this episode of The Jewish Channel's "Up Close," Laura Lieber, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, and co-director of the Duke Center for Jewish Studies, discusses her new book, A Vocabulary of Desire: The Song of Songs in the Early Synagogue. Up Close: SUNY Stony Brook professor Sara Lipton, author of "Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography," and Duke University professor Laura Lieber, author of "A Vocabulary of Desire: The Song… read more about Avant-garde poetry at Shul? »

This article originally appeared on Sacred Matters at: This article is Part III in a three part series. Click here for Part I and Part II. By Shalom GoldmanAs a culturally and politically aware New York City teenager, I knew that there was a buzz among bohemians and literati about LSD use. That in the early 1960s artists, musicians and poets were using psychedelic drugs was not exactly… read more about LSD and the Rabbis: Conclusion »

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-… read more about “Hallelujah”: Duke Faculty Pay Tribute to Leonard Cohen »

The Vision of 6th Century Chanukah in ZechariahThe Significance of the Rabbinic Choice of Haftarah for Shabbat ChanukahThis article originally appeared on at: ttp:// Professor Eric MeyersIntroduction: Why Write about the Haftarah of Chanukah?Chanukah has no biblical text; other than in Rabbinic Literature, it is only mentioned in Second Temple Period books like the Books of… read more about The Vision of 6th Century Chanukah in Zechariah »