Graduate School Alumni Lecture Series to Conclude at JTS

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

March 31, 2009, New York, NY

Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky and Dr. Edward Portnoy, who received their doctoral degrees from The Graduate School of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), will be the featured speakers at the final program of the 2009 JTS Graduate School Alumni Lecture Series.

The lectures will begin at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, at JTS, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City, and showing videos of the lectures hosted in Ann Arbor and Los Angeles beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Dr. Kalmanofsky (’05), will explore “The Fall of the House of Israel: Horror in the Hebrew Bible.” Assistant professor of Bible at JTS, she teaches courses on biblical literature, religion, and feminist interpretation of the Bible. Combining her love of the Bible and horror movies, Dr. Kalmanofsky’s research applies horror theory to biblical texts and examines the ways the Bible is designed to terrify its audience. Just as there are monsters in the movies, there are monsters in the Bible. Her article, “Israel’s Baby: The Horror of Childbirth in the Biblical Prophets,” will appear shortly in Biblical Interpretation, and she contributed three articles to the Women’s Torah Commentary (URJ Press, 2007). Currently, she is completing her book Terror All Around: The Rhetoric of Horror in the Book of Jeremiah (forthcoming T&T Clark/Continuum). Dr. Kalmanofsky received her BA from Wesleyan University, an MHL and rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and a PhD from JTS in 2005.

Dr. Edward Portnoy (’08), a lecturer on Jewish popular culture throughout Europe and North America, will discuss “The Abuses of Tradition: Religious Motifs in Cartoons of the Yiddish Press.” His doctoral dissertation was on cartoons of the Yiddish press. He also holds an MA in Yiddish Studies from Columbia University, having written on artists/writers Zuni Maud and Yosl Cutler. His articles on Jewish popular culture phenomena have appeared in the Drama Review, Polin, and the International Journal of Comic Art. Dr. Portnoy has consulted on museum exhibits at the Museum of the City of New York, Musée d'art et d'histoire du judaïsme in Paris, and the Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam.

The Graduate School brings together the world’s finest scholars and students in a rigorous and inspiring encounter with classical Jewish texts. Unique for the sheer abundance of its course options and depth and range of its faculty, it also affords access to the premier library of Judaica in North America, consortial relationships with institutions that include Columbia, CUNY, Fordham, Penn, NYU, Princeton, Union Theological Seminary, and Yale, and two dual-degree programs with Columbia University. The community is invited to attend.

Admission is free and a reception will follow the program. Reservations are requested. For further information and to RSVP, please email or call (212) 678-8909.