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January 2021

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The Finger of the Scribe: How Scribes Learned to Write the Bible

January 19

William Schniedewind (UCLA) with Aaron Burke (UCLA) One of the enduring problems in biblical studies is how the Bible came to be written. Clearly, scribes were involved. But our knowledge of scribal training in ancient Israel is limited. William Schniedewind explores the unexpected cache of inscriptions discovered at a remote, Iron Age military post called Kuntillet ‘Ajrud to reconstruct how scribes were taught to write. Here, far from such urban centers as Jerusalem or Samaria, plaster walls and storage pithoi…

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February 2021

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Togo Mizrahi and the Making of Egyptian Cinema – Deborah Starr

February 2

Video of talk now available at: https://youtu.be/bLzeCmxe2vw Book available now: https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520366206/togo-mizrahi-and-the-making-of-egyptian-cinema https://www.luminosoa.org/site/books/m/10.1525/luminos.91/ UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies Luminos Book Talk Series In this book, Deborah A. Starr recuperates the work of Togo Mizrahi, a pioneer of Egyptian cinema. Mizrahi, an Egyptian Jew with Italian nationality, established himself as a prolific director of popular comedies and musicals in the 1930s and 1940s. As a studio owner and producer, Mizrahi promoted the idea that developing a local cinema industry…

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Bryan K. Roby – Israel through a Colored Lens: African-American Perspectives on Mizrahi Israelis

February 9

https://youtu.be/l-CSXXR1bVQ Sponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies Maurice Amado Seminar in Sephardic Studies https://www.cjs.ucla.edu/podcasts/ https://www.facebook.com/UCLACJS This talk explores African-American interactions with Middle Eastern Jewish Israelis in the 1950s and 1960s. The focus will be on how African-Americans navigated racial constructs in Israeli society as well as an exploration of their observations on racial dynamics in Israel. I center the travel writings of scholar and social worker Ida B. Jiggetts, who wrote extensively on the social…

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Elissa Bemporad – The Blood Libel in Modern Eastern Europe: A Social History

February 11

https://youtu.be/JX8KuJITiUE The Blood Libel in Modern Eastern Europe: A Social History Michael and Irene Ross Lecture in Yiddish Studies Elissa Bemporad (CUNY) Through new archival research and a close reading of the Yiddish press, this talk will explore the metamorphosis of the centuries-old false allegation that Jews murder children for ritual purposes in modern Eastern Europe. Ritual murder accusations in modern society (which involved the intervention of local and central authorities, police investigations and trials) can be used as a…

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“If I Embarrass You, Tell Your Friends”: Jews Making Trouble, Jews Making Comedy

February 15

https://youtu.be/231Uxx5zsIk American Jewish historian Tony Michels (UW Madison) in conversation with practitioners and critics of comedy, including Jessica Chaffin, Jena Friedman, Lynn Harris, Michaela Watkins, and Josh Kun (USC, 2019-2020 Etta and Milton Leve Scholar-in-Residence), to discuss the outsized role that Jewish women have played as path-breaking comedic writers and performers. Together, the group will reflect on how comedy has changed in recent years, and what labels such as "Jewish comedian" and "female comedian" mean today. This event is sponsored…

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Simon Levis Sullam – The Italian Executioners: The Genocide of the Jews of Italy

February 18

https://youtu.be/XaNcD10ttU0 Simon Levis Sullam in conversation with Marla Stone will explore the role of Italians – from members of the Fascist Party, police and military forces to everyday citizens – in the Holocaust and meditates on how their involvement became obscured in the postwar era. Sponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies Viterbi Program in Mediterranean Jewish Studies Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UCLACJS/ Website: https://www.levecenter.ucla.edu/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uclalevecenter

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A Teach-In on Jewish Studies, Race, and Anti-Racism

February 23

https://youtu.be/Ue5gEu1SIuQ This Teach-In gathers together a diverse array of students and faculty from UCLA and beyond, to consider how Jewish Studies scholarship and pedagogy has (and has not) engaged with racism, anti-racism, and structural violence; and to strategize what we can do to deepen and expand our engagement with these themes. Introduction by: Sarah Abrevaya Stein (UCLA) Moderator: Dean Franco (Wake Forest University) Panelists: Lila Corwin-Berman (Temple University) Aomar Boum (UCLA) Sultan Doughan (Boston University) Maxwell Greenberg (UCLA) Benjamin Ratskoff…

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