JTS in the Berkshires: Learning Inspired by This Season’s Performances

Date: Jul 26, 2019

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Sponsor: JTS Learning in Your Community

Location: Massachusetts

Category: JTS in Your Community

JTS in the Berkshires: Compelling Jewish Learning Inspired by This Season’s Performances

Taking inspiration from the arts programming that enlivens summer in the Berkshires, eminent JTS scholars will explore a performance of Verdi’s Requiem in Terezin, interrogate the legacy of Richard Wagner through the lens of the Bible’s imperfect messengers, and introduce an extraordinary 16th-century Jewish play written in the style of Shakespeare’s marriage comedies.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics
What Can the Bible Teach Us About Wagner? Jewish Views on the Imperfect Messenger
Lecture and Text Study

Richard Wagner, T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare. Sometimes the most important or even sublime messages are delivered by highly imperfect messengers. This is the case in the Jewish tradition as well, which includes complex and flawed figures like biblical Joseph or King David. Does Judaism allow one to separate the message from the messenger? Can the handiwork of the sinner, if not the sinner him- or herself, be allowed into the community? Dr. David Kraemer will explore this troubling and very current question.

Shakespeare & Company
Elayne Bernstein Theater
70 Kemble Street
Lenox, Massachusetts

11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Tickets: $15

Register Now

Next session:

Friday August 9

Dr. Stefanie Siegmund, Women’s League Chair in Jewish Gender and Women’s Studies
Matchmaking and Midrash: A Hebrew Comedy From the Time of Shakespeare

Lecture and Dramatic Reading

Dr. Stefanie Siegmund will introduce you to The Comedy of Betrothal, the oldest Hebrew play in existence, and its creator, Leone de’Sommi, an Italian Jew from Mantua.  Written in the 16th century in the style of an Italian Renaissance comedy, the play will surprise you with its provocative themes and creative weaving of biblical and Talmudic texts with a plot more characteristic of Shakespeare’s marriage comedies. Dr. Siegmund will discuss the play in the context of the history and cultural lives of the Jews of Italy in the early modern period. Local actors will perform scenes from the work.

For more information, contact Lynn Feinman at (212) 678-8821 or lyfeinman@jtsa.edu

Presented in partnership with Knesset Israel and in cooperation with the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires.  Supported in part by a grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Herald Institute for Jewish Studies of JTS.