Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program


The Wings of Change

Sunday, January 8, 2017 - 10:00am to 11:30am

The Wings of Change

This documentary depicts the role of birds in the eco-system of the Middle East.  It focuses on Israeli Professor Yossi Leshem, director of Israel’s International Center for the Study of Bird Migration.  Through his charm, persuasive powers, and love of birds, Leshem is making progress toward the defense of nature and the peaceful co-existence of Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians.  This informative, upbeat film treats the viewer to engaging visuals of birds in their natural habitats. Read more

The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 9:30am to 10:45am

Jonathan Kirsch

In The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan, best-selling author Jonathan Kirsch brings to light the wrenching story of Herschel Grynszpan, a 17-year-old Jewish refugee, who, on the morning of November 7, 1938, walked into the German embassy in Paris and in an act of desperation assassinated Ernst vom Rath, a low-level Nazi diplomat. Read more

Pushing the Boundaries from Within

Monday, November 21, 2016 - 9:30am to 10:45am

Morateynu Alissa Thomas-Newborn

Morateynu Alissa is the first Orthodox woman to serve as a clergy member in Los Angeles. She will explain the restrictions placed on women that she respects and will also share her trailblazing leadership in the Modern Orthodox world. Read more

Spiritual Homecoming in Madagascar

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:45pm

Dr. Elysha Netsarh

Dr. Elysha Netsarh, Professor of Plant Sciences and leader of the Madagascar Jewish community, will speak about the religious transformation that culminated this past summer when she and 120 other Malagasies (the term for people of Madagascar) converted en masse to Judaism. Read more

Rembrandt and the Rabbis: Classical Rabbinic Interpretations in Rembrandt’s Biblical Scenes

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 11:00am to 12:15pm

Rembrandt's David

Rembrandt, the great 17th century Dutch Calvinist artist, is famous for his portraits; but he also painted or etched many images of biblical stories.   Do his scenes from the Hebrew Bible reveal a pattern of borrowing from sophisticated rabbinic interpretations in the Talmud and Midrash?  Jerry Rabow will consider the evidence by examining some prominent artworks by Rembrandt together with their related biblical texts and ancient and medieval commentaries. Read more