Jewish Studies at Ithaca College

Jewish Studies at Ithaca College Jewish Studies at Ithaca College is led by the coordinator, Rebecca Lesses, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, and a steering committee.
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Jewish studies is an inherently multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary field. At Ithaca College, Jewish studies focuses on Jewish communities worldwide, not just those in the United States and Israel. We strive to teach students about Jewish cultural diversity, approaching the history and culture of the Jewish people from a variety of perspectives, with attention to different theoretical frameworks and with reference to other cultural groups and sociopolitical systems among which Jews have lived. The study of Jewish cultures includes analysis of religious beliefs and practices, philosophy, literature, folklore, visual arts, music, and the media. A comparative approach, which emphasizes the interaction and comparison of Jews with other peoples who have lived as minorities in diverse cultural contexts, can shed light on larger issues of ethnicity, race, gender, social inequality, and multiple constructions of cultural identity.

Operating as usual

Take a look at our Jewish Studies courses being taught this summer and fall. For the first time, we're offering Living J...
05/04/2021

Take a look at our Jewish Studies courses being taught this summer and fall.

For the first time, we're offering Living Judaism (an introduction to Jewish life, lore, and wisdom) in the summer, in the second block of summer classes. The class runs from July 5-August 6.

In the fall, we're offering Hebrew Scriptures (JWST/RLST 10300), Jews in the Modern World (JWST 20200), and the Holocaust (POLT 23000). I'm teaching the first two courses, and Don Beachler is teaching the course on the Holocaust.

Please tell your friends and any students at IC that you know!

Take a look at our Jewish Studies courses being taught this summer and fall.

For the first time, we're offering Living Judaism (an introduction to Jewish life, lore, and wisdom) in the summer, in the second block of summer classes. The class runs from July 5-August 6.

In the fall, we're offering Hebrew Scriptures (JWST/RLST 10300), Jews in the Modern World (JWST 20200), and the Holocaust (POLT 23000). I'm teaching the first two courses, and Don Beachler is teaching the course on the Holocaust.

Please tell your friends and any students at IC that you know!

Jewish Studies - Cornell University
12/10/2020
Jewish Studies - Cornell University

Jewish Studies - Cornell University

The JPFO Archive is hosted at the Cornell University ILR School, Kheel Center for Archives, Catherwood Library. See article for more information about the Webinar Series this week and the archive.

Jewish Studies - Cornell University
12/10/2020
Jewish Studies - Cornell University

Jewish Studies - Cornell University

A shout-out to David R. Forman, the translator of the IWO / JPFO archive, which was the focus of an archive / library December 9th conference panel. He'll be teaching Elementary Yiddish II: JWST 1777 this spring. The JPFO Archive is hosted at the Cornell University ILR School Kheel Center for Archives, Catherwood Library. For more information about on Di Linke: The Yiddish Left Webinar sessions today, Thursday and Monday, see. https://jewishstudies.cornell.edu/

A recently published book on Diaspora Jewish communities in the Middle East and North Africa, edited by S. Behnaz Hossei...
12/05/2020

A recently published book on Diaspora Jewish communities in the Middle East and North Africa, edited by S. Behnaz Hosseini.

12/03/2020
Lipman's Kosher Market

Order now from Lipman's Kosher Mart for Hanukkah!

We’ve been delivering quality, free-range, all-natural and organic meats, poultry and groceries for over 70 years to the entire Upstate NY region. Certified BVK.

From Cornell Jewish Studies
11/19/2020

From Cornell Jewish Studies

A Ruth Bader Ginsburg '54 mural goes up in NYC's East Village. (spray painted by ELLE Street Art)

Mirit Bessire is teaching two wonderful courses in Spring 2021:Israeli Culture through Film (JWST 27500)Elementary Hebre...
11/13/2020

Mirit Bessire is teaching two wonderful courses in Spring 2021:
Israeli Culture through Film (JWST 27500)
Elementary Hebrew II (HEBR 10200).

Please sign up!

Check out the great Jewish Studies courses being offered this Spring!
11/02/2020

Check out the great Jewish Studies courses being offered this Spring!

More information on the antisemitic and racist graffiti and posters in Ithaca.
10/29/2020
More anti-Semitic, racist vandalism continues around downtown Ithaca

More information on the antisemitic and racist graffiti and posters in Ithaca.

ITHACA, N.Y.—At least three businesses in downtown Ithaca were vandalized with anti-Semitic and racist graffiti and posters over the weekend, following a similar incident last week that included th…

We're getting excited about the approaching fall semester at IC, and especially about the incoming first-year students. ...
08/04/2020

We're getting excited about the approaching fall semester at IC, and especially about the incoming first-year students. Registration for first-year students is this week, and next week is online orientation. Jewish Studies is sponsoring an information session for students who would like to learn about the minor, courses, and Jewish studies cultural events.

Information session: Thursday, August 13, from 1:00-2:00 pm, via Zoom. If you'd like to attend, please email us and we'll send you the details. Email: [email protected].

05/19/2020

We are celebrating the graduation of three seniors with minors in Jewish Studies - Ari Kornreich, Jaclyn Yoselevich, and Adriel Eliora Smith.

Congratulations! Mazal Tov! It has been an absolute pleasure to be your teacher and advisor during your years at Ithaca College. May you go from strength to strength!

We wish you all the best and success in your future endeavors!

Please stay in touch and let us know your adventures in the world so that we can continue to celebrate your lives and work.

Every day, New York governor Andrew Cuomo holds a press conference about Covid-19 in New York, starting at about 11:30 a...
05/11/2020
Andrew Cuomo @NYGovCuomo

Every day, New York governor Andrew Cuomo holds a press conference about Covid-19 in New York, starting at about 11:30 am. For those living in New York and for those attending Ithaca College, here's the link:

Holding a briefing with updates on #Coronavirus. Watch Live:

The National Library of Israel in Jerusalem has posted two online exhibits that relate to the coronavirus pandemic. The ...
04/07/2020
Prayers, Amulets and Spells to Ward off Plague

The National Library of Israel in Jerusalem has posted two online exhibits that relate to the coronavirus pandemic. The first one, from March 17, 2020, is "Prayers, Amulets, and Spells to Ward Off Plague," and recounts the attempts by Jews in the last 1500 or so years to ward off epidemic illnesses by magical means.

The sages of Safed created amulets, the Jews of Italy wrote prayers and other Jews warned of less conventional plagues…

04/07/2020

The new photo on our page is of the magnificent stained glass window in the large hall of the National Library in Jerusalem (still housed at the Hebrew University, although a new building is under construction near the Knesset).

The stained glass window was designed by Mordechai Ardon and "executed by Charles Marc at Atelier Simon in Rheims, France, through the initiative and efforts of Ephraim and Zfira Ilin."

The National Library of Israel is currently closed to the public because of the isolation measures required to protect people against the coronavirus.

https://web.nli.org.il/sites/NLI/English/library/aboutus/past/buildings/Pages/ardon.aspx

Jewish Studies at Ithaca College's cover photo
04/07/2020

Jewish Studies at Ithaca College's cover photo

Jewish Studies courses for Fall 2020. We have a great lineup of courses. Registration starts on Tuesday, April 14.
04/07/2020

Jewish Studies courses for Fall 2020. We have a great lineup of courses. Registration starts on Tuesday, April 14.

Jewish Studies Courses Fall 2020.
04/06/2020

Jewish Studies Courses Fall 2020.

A message about Passover from our friends at Jewish Studies at Cornell University.
04/03/2020

A message about Passover from our friends at Jewish Studies at Cornell University.

Passover/Pesach Seder Meal. "In the future, what story do we want to tell about this period in our lives?" Matzah מַצָּה, the bread of affliction is also the bread of redemption, hope, possibility and healing. Maror מָרוֹר, the bitter herb is eaten in remembrance of sacrifice(s) and hardship. Charoset חֲרֽוֹסֶת, representing the mortar for the bricks created by the forced toil of slaves, is often quite sweet. They are combined symbolically and eaten (or shown) with other symbolic foods, in the seder that brings order to the storytelling of Exodus.

Here's a link to a Hillel guide for running an online seder:
https://hillel.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/zeder-document_v6.pdf

Att: Ithaca Area United Jewish Community, Cornell Hillel, Temple Beth-El of Ithaca, NY, Congregation Tikkun v'Or (Ithaca Reform Temple), Jewish Binghamton, Jewish Studies Program at Syracuse University, The Cornell Jewish Studies Club, JCC Binghamton, Beth David Synagogue,
Temple Concord, Jewish Studies at Ithaca College

03/24/2020

Today Ithaca College resumed classes for the second half of the semester in a very different condition than when we stopped them before the spring break. We had a second, extended week of break last week, during which professors prepared for moving our classes online.

This is what I inserted into the syllabus for both of my classes this week:

Our experience for the second half of the semester will be far different from that in the first half – virtual instead of face to face, in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. Those of us in the class will be sharing the experience of having to deal with the pandemic and the various restrictions in movement that the government requires. Some of you may be worried about the health of family members and friends, or about the possibility of you or someone in your family losing a job. Instead of being together in Ithaca, we are scattered around the country. I would like us to rebuild a sense of community in our class, with the sense that we are learning together, not only about the formal subject of our class, Judaism, but about ourselves and each other.

May we all, on campus and in the world, build up and rebuild our sense of community, because that is surely how we will preserve ourselves in the face of this threat to humanity.

My name is Nikolai (Kolya) Borodulin. I am the director of Yiddish Programming at the Workers Circle, the largest provid...
02/12/2020
Register Today!

My name is Nikolai (Kolya) Borodulin. I am the director of Yiddish Programming at the Workers Circle, the largest provider of Yiddish language in-person and online classes in the world, outside of academic institutions. Our instructors from 6 countries are experts in the field. Our students from 18 countries and 28 States (including teens and young adults) share a passion for the Jewish culture of Eastern Europe and its amazing literature, music, theater, and more.

https://circle.org/what-we-do/yiddish-language/

The Workers Circle Yiddish program is offering a 50% discount on Spring 2020 registration to full-time college students worldwide!

Register Today!
Whatever your Yiddish proficiency, have we got a class for you!

Whatever your Yiddish proficiency, have we got a class for you!

On February 2, 2020 - "When it is hard to be human: Lessons from the rescuers in the Holocaust."Ithaca College, Whalen C...
01/16/2020

On February 2, 2020 - "When it is hard to be human: Lessons from the rescuers in the Holocaust."
Ithaca College, Whalen Center, Presser Room, at 3:00 pm.

When it is Hard to be Human: Lessons from the Holocaust will take place at Ithaca College’s James J. Whalen Center for Music | Presser Rehearsal Room, on Sunday February 2, 2020 at 3 PM. This event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception and book signing.

Authors Eva Fogelman and Roald Hoffman will guide this panel discussion, moderated by author Daniel R. Schwarz. In a quiet and intimate setting, they will explore why some bystanders and perpetrators in the midst of totalitarian genocide were compelled to risk their lives and resist. What role does conscience and moral courage play in confronting hate today? The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A.

Mykola and Maria Dyuk risked their lives to hide Roald Hoffmann with his mother Clara and other relatives in the attic of a schoolhouse to save them from Nazi terror from January 1943 until June 1944 in the village of Uniow, Ukraine. The Germans killed Hoffmann’s father for his involvement in a plot to arm camp prisoners. Roald is the author of ‘Something That Belongs to You’ (2015), an autobiographical drama. He is Professor Emeritus of Cornell University and shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1981.

Eva Fogelman studied at The City University of New York with Stanley Milgram, author of ‘Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View’ (1974) which showed how both his experiment and Nazi Germany successfully transformed large numbers of “ordinary” and arguably indifferent people into willing inflictors of harm. She asked Milgram a question. She wanted to know why a small minority of people in his study disobeyed authority. This question, that he could not answer, began a twenty-year study that led to her book, ‘Conscience and Courage’ (1994). Fogelman bases her findings on over 300 interviews with rescuers of Jews whose acts of courage either have been confirmed by those they helped or substantiated and honored by Yad Vashem. What distinguishes her approach is her attention to ‘rescue’ as an evolving process. As a psychotherapist, Eva has worked with groups and individual children of Holocaust survivors. She is the founding director of the Jewish Foundation for Christian Rescuers (now the Jewish Foundation for The Righteous.)

Dan Schwarz, author of ‘Imagining the Holocaust’ (1999) looks at the various contexts of documentary, testimony, fiction and art that contribute to our understanding of what is real and true about our understanding of the Holocaust and its impact on history, politics and mental health today. Dan Schwarz is Professor Emeritus of English at Cornell and will moderate the discussion about the “rescuers,” or as Israel’s Yad Vashem calls them, the “Righteous Among the Nations”.

This event is sponsored by Area Congregations Together, Jewish Studies at Ithaca College, Jewish Studies - Cornell University, Ithaca College Hillel, Ithaca Area United Jewish Community, Temple Beth-El of Ithaca, NY, Ithaca Descendants of Holocaust Survivors, Roitman Chabad Center at Cornell University, Southern Tier Interfaith Coalition (STIC), and others.

01/09/2020

It's less than two weeks to the beginning of the semester, and we're very much looking forward to students returning to campus and starting new courses!

Just a reminder about the Jewish Studies courses for this semester:

Judaism (JWST 20300) - taught by Rebecca Lesses, meeting on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 1:10-2:25 pm.

Gender and Sexuality in Judaism (JWST 32300) - taught by Rebecca Lesses, meeting on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 2:35-3:50 pm.

Israeli Culture through Film (JWST 27500) - taught by Mirit Hadar, meeting on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 9:25-10:40 am.

12/11/2019
Jewish Studies - Cornell University

Our colleagues at Cornell University Jewish Studies have shared with us this important message on the antisemitic murders yesterday in Jersey City. We join together with their mourning and condolences.

The Jewish community at Cornell mourns deeply for those who were murdered yesterday in Jersey City, NJ. A hail of bullets targeted three locations including a kosher grocery store associated with Jersey City's local Hasidic community as well as other community institutions. Media reports indicate that this was an anti-Semitic attack and the Jewish community was targeted. The victims include members of the Jewish community, bystanders, and a first responder. May their families find comfort and consolation amidst the mourning.

Jewish Studies - Cornell University Program, Cornell Hillel

Attn: Temple Beth-El of Ithaca, NY, Congregation Tikkun v'Or (Ithaca Reform Temple), Ithaca Area United Jewish Community, Jewish Studies at Ithaca College, The Cornell Jewish Studies Club, The Cornell Daily Sun, Cornell Chronicle

Mirit Hadar let me know that the incorrect schedule was given for her Israel Culture Through Film course (in the poster)...
11/04/2019

Mirit Hadar let me know that the incorrect schedule was given for her Israel Culture Through Film course (in the poster), so I'm reposting the accurate poster.

Jewish Studies courses offered in Spring 2022:
JWST 20300 Judaism
JWST 25000 Antisemitism: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives
JWST 27500 Special Topics: Israeli Culture through Film
JWST 32300 Gender and Sexuality in Judaism
HEBR 10200 Elementary Hebrew II

Jewish Studies is offering some great courses next semester:Judaism (JWST 20300)Antisemitism: Contemporary and Historica...
11/03/2019

Jewish Studies is offering some great courses next semester:
Judaism (JWST 20300)
Antisemitism: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives (JWST 25000)
Israeli Culture through Film (JWST 275000)
Gender and Sexuality in Judaism (JWST 32300)
Modern Languages is offering Elementary Hebrew II (HEBR 10200)

Ithaca Area United Jewish Community Holocaust Commemoration. May 1, 7:00-9:00 pm, Temple Beth El.
04/04/2019

Ithaca Area United Jewish Community Holocaust Commemoration. May 1, 7:00-9:00 pm, Temple Beth El.

Jewish Studies courses for Fall 2019!One new course on reative exploration of Jewish Texts and creation of new midrash!T...
03/22/2019

Jewish Studies courses for Fall 2019!

One new course on reative exploration of Jewish Texts and creation of new midrash!

Two Hebrew courses: Elementary Hebrew and Intermediate Hebrew, taught by Mirit Hadar!

02/06/2019
Jewish Studies - Cornell University

An interesting upcoming event at Cornell.

Video Interview with Upcoming Guest Speaker Dr. Eddy Portnoy on "Humor and the Yiddish Press." Catch his act on March 11 at 4:30pm, 142 Goldwin-Smith Hall | Cornell University
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzves2AQB7Q
Att: Cornell Hillel, The Cornell Center for Jewish Living, Jewish Studies at Ithaca College, Temple Beth-El of Ithaca, NY, Congregation Tikkun v'Or (Ithaca Reform Temple), Ithaca Area United Jewish Community

Hebrew & Israeli Studies at IC
11/07/2018

Hebrew & Israeli Studies at IC

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Ithaca, NY
14850

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Outer Docs Film Festival will host a one-time only screening of The Ideal Kibbutz at Cinemapolis this Sunday, Nov. 10, at 7:30pm. Follow Daniel on his search of the perfect community across Israel. Students with ID will receive a discount on tickets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOJDNw2qDwU&fbclid=IwAR1ttTOdrzaCPd8qtxA7OWxHIj6a-FlMN56SJpxuu_Zb27xH8YhpuWnng-I
Jewish Studies courses for Spring 2020.
Temple Beth El is Looking for Another Amazing Religious School Teacher  You love working with kids and want to share what you love about Judaism with kids through fun projects and structured learning.  You know Jewish customs, history, and traditions, a decent amount of Hebrew, and have a strong background in tefillah (prayer).  You are able to effectively communicate with both students and parents.  Classes meet Sunday mornings 9-12:30 and Wednesday afternoons 3:30-6 pm at Temple Beth-El. send a resume and cover letter to Rabbi Brody (director @ tbeithaca . org, minus the spaces)
The concert today with Journey West was wonderful - beautiful music from West to East, including Sephardic Jewish, Eastern European Klezmer, Turkish, Iraqi, Syrian, Romani, French, Irish, and Bluegrass (including an original composition by Max Buckholtz!). I'll post some photos tomorrow.
Will you be attending The Lizards, Phish Tribute concert in November @ The Haunt?