JTS Graduate School Inaugurates Alumni Lecture Series

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

February 24, 2009, New York, NY

Alumni of The Graduate School of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), which offers the largest curriculum of advanced Judaic studies in North America, will share their scholarship through the inaugural JTS Graduate School Alumni Lecture Series, with programs in Michigan, California, and New York.

The series will begin at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on March 24, continue in Los Angeles on April 1, and conclude in New York City on April 26. All of the presenters received their doctoral degrees from JTS.

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, two dual-degree programs with Columbia University, and consortial relationships with institutions that include Columbia, CUNY, Fordham, Penn, NYU, Princeton, Union Theological Seminary, and Yale.

Dr. Mikhail Krutikov ('98), who holds a joint appointment in both the Slavic Department and the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, will discuss "Encounters with the Shtetl in the 21st Century" at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24. The program, which is being cosponsored by the Frankel Center, will feature a welcome by Deborah Dash Moore, Frankel Center director and Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Krutikov is currently editing the section on Modern Yiddish Literature for the YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. He is also working on an intellectual biography of Meir Wiener, German and Yiddish writer and literary critic of the interwar years in Central Europe and the Soviet Union. In the summer of 2003, Dr. Krutikov was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is a research associate at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, a coeditor of East European Jewish Affairs, associate editor of Prooftexts, a member of the editorial board for New Yiddish Library (Yale University Press and the National Yiddish Book Center), and a member of the International Academic Board at the Moscow Center for Russian and East European Jewish Studies.

On Wednesday, April 1, the topic of "Rabbinic Constructs of the Family" will be addressed by two Graduate School alumnae. Dr. Gail Labovitz ('02), assistant professor of Rabbinics at the University of Judaism, will discuss "Go to Your Ketubbah: Bridewealth, Indirect Dowry, and the Rabbinic Marriage Contract." Dr. Dvora Weisberg ('94), associate professor of Rabbinics and director of the Beit Midrash at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, will present "For Love or Money: The Role of Paternity in Shaping Family." Cosponsored by the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, Dr. Carol Bakhos ('00), will moderate.

The series will conclude on Sunday, April 26, at JTS. Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky ('05), assistant professor of Bible at JTS, will explore "The Fall of the House of Israel: Horror in the Hebrew Bible" and 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." [This lecture has been postponed. For more information call (212) 678-8909.]

The JTS Graduate School Lecture Series is open to the public at no charge but reservations are requested. Receptions will follow each of the programs. For further information and to RSVP, please call (212) 678-8024 or visit the website.