A Wandering People: Jewish Journeys, Real and Imagined

By :  The Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Jun 7, 2021

As the pandemic surged and forced us into our homes, many of us dreamed with new intensity of being elsewhere. For Jews throughout the ages, the promises and perils of travel have been central to shaping the individual and collective experience. Notions of home and homeland have been redefined by Jewish wandering. Drawing on literary, spiritual, and historical sources and responses, JTS scholars explore what happens when Jews—whether by force or voluntarily, whether in reality or in the imagination—travel from one place to another. 

Recordings of the sessions can be found below. 

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“If I forget Thee, O Jerusalem”:
The Idea of the Retun to Zion in Jewish History

with Chancellor Shuly Rubin Schwartz

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Home and Exile, Center and Periphery:
Ambivalent Journeys in the Torah

with Dr. Benjamin D. Sommer

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Preparing for the Final Journey:
The Tahara Ritual and its Significance

with Rabbi Eliezer Diamond

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Listing of resources referenced in this session

Judah Halevi: Poet and Pilgrim
with Dr. Raymond Scheindlin

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Flight, Return, and Emigration:
The Wanderings of a Yiddish Writer
During and After the Holocaust

with Dr. David Fishman

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Finding Hijar: A Scholar’s Quest to Uncover
the History of Her Jewish Community
Through the Journey of Its Books

with Dr. Marjorie Lehman

The Spectacular Story Of S. Ansky’s
 The Dybbuk and How it Transformed American Jewish Theatre

with Dr. Edna Nahshon

The Early Modern Travel Pass:
 Controlling the Plague and Jewish Mobility 
in 16th Century Tuscany

with Dr. Stefanie Siegmund

Work-Life Balance in Ancient Times:
  Why the Rabbis Left Their Homes 
to Study Torah

with Dr. Rachel Rosenthal

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A Journey Without End—
  The Explusion From Spain
and the Age of Perpetual Jewish Migration 

with Dr. Jonathan Ray

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Traveling to Babylon—For Good
with Dr. David Kraemer

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