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May 2021

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Impure Migration: Jews and Sex Work in Golden Age Argentina

May 11, 2021

https://youtu.be/rcENrymSLzk Sponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies Book Talk Mir Yarfitz (Wake Forest) with Ellen DuBois (UCLA) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UCLACJS/​​​​ Website: https://www.levecenter.ucla.edu/​​​​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uclalevecenter​ Impure Migration: Jews and Sex Work in Golden Age Argentina was published in 2019 in the Rutgers University Press Jewish Cultures of the World series. The book examines discourses and practices of organized Jewish "sex traffickers" who moved between Eastern Europe and South America between the 1890s and 1930s. Based on transatlantic…

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Absent the Archive – Lia Brozgal

May 6, 2021

https://youtu.be/nV17t5nBqCE Sponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies Book Talk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UCLACJS/​​​ Website: https://www.levecenter.ucla.edu/​​​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uclalevecenter Lia Brozgal (UCLA) with Michael Rothberg (UCLA) Absent the Archive: Cultural Traces of a Massacre in Paris, 17 October 1961 is the first cultural history devoted to literary and visual representations of the police massacre of peaceful Algerian protesters. Covered up by the state and hidden from history, the events of October 17 have nonetheless never been fully erased. Indeed,…

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The Objects That Remain – Laura Levitt

May 4, 2021

https://youtu.be/Sbpg6Lv55m0 Sponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies The 1939 Society Book Talk in Holocaust Studies Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UCLACJS/​​​ Website: https://www.levecenter.ucla.edu/​​​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uclalevecenter Laura Levitt (Temple University) with Aliza Luft (UCLA) The Objects That Remain is equal parts personal memoir and fascinating examination of the ways in which the material remains of violent crimes inform our experience of, and thinking about, trauma and loss. Considering artifacts in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and evidence in police…

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April 2021

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Scribes, Stars, and Demons in Ancient Judaism and the Hellenistic Near East – Annette Yoshiko Reed

April 27, 2021

https://youtu.be/WsuVEVS0jwk Sponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies Bible and the Ancient World Series Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UCLACJS/​​​ Website: https://www.levecenter.ucla.edu/​​​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uclalevecenter Annette Yoshiko Reed (NYU) with Catherine Bonesho (UCLA) This lecture revisits the beginnings of Jewish demonology by looking to Aramaic Enoch literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Jewish reception of Mesopotamian scholasticism in the early Hellenistic age. Explicit discussion of demons and exorcism are rare in biblical literature but emerges extensively in Jewish sources from…

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A Judean, an Edomite, & a Negevite Walk into a Shrine: Archaeology of Religion in Southern Israel

April 21, 2021

https://youtu.be/PlnFpaxo_yU Sponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies Bible and the Ancient World Series Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UCLACJS/​​ Website: https://www.levecenter.ucla.edu/​​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uclalevecenter/ Erin Darby (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) with Aaron Burke (UCLA) A Judean, an Edomite, and a Negevite Walk into a Shrine: The Archaeology of Religion in Southern Israel In this session, Dr. Erin Darby will discuss the archaeology of religion in southern Israel during the 8th-6th centuries BCE, focusing on what ritual objects might tell us…

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The Demise of the Warlord: A New Interpretation of David and Bathsheba – Daniel Bodi

April 19, 2021

https://youtu.be/eKQKJSo_ehY Sponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies Bible and the Ancient World Series Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UCLACJS/​ Website: https://www.levecenter.ucla.edu/​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uclalevecenter​ The Demise of the Warlord: A New Interpretation of David and Bathsheba in Light of an Amorite and Akkadian Topos Daniel Bodi (La Sorbonne -University of Paris) with William Schniedewind (UCLA)

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March 2021

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The Task of the Jewish Historian Today: A Conversation

March 11, 2021

Video now available: https://youtu.be/wInltZ7snVQ Opening Remarks: Noam Pianko (President of the AJS) & Shmuel Feiner (Chair of the Historical Society of Israel) Speakers: Maud Mandel (Williams College), Devin E. Naar (University of Washington), Iris Idelson-Shein (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), and Anita Shapira (Tel Aviv University) Moderator: David N. Myers (UCLA) This event brings together prominent U.S. and Israeli historians at a critical time in the history of both countries and the world to discuss the challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities…

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Jews and the American West: Violence, Race, and Masculinity

March 9, 2021

Video available now: https://youtu.be/KdrTYx04AvQ David S. Koffman (York University) and Sarah Imhoff (Indiana University) in conversation with Caroline Luce (UCLA) This webinar brings together David S. Koffman (York University), author of The Jews’ Indian, and Sarah Imhoff (Indiana University), author of Masculinity and the Making of American Judaism, in dynamic conversation with host Caroline Luce (UCLA) about Jews’ relationship to the physical and discursive landscapes of the American west. How did the American colonial project shape Jewish ideas about masculinity, morality, and…

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Performance in 19th Century Russia and the Rise of the Modern Yiddish Theater

March 9, 2021

Alyssa Quint (Yeshiva University) with Amelia Glaser (UCSD) and Todd Presner (UCLA) Video available now: https://youtu.be/kI0bujeKu08 The institution of the modern Yiddish theater coalesced in a short period (from roughly 1876 to 1883) under the stewardship of a Russian-Jewish intellectual named Avrom Goldfaden, known as the father of the Yiddish theater. In composing and producing these first works of the public stage, Goldfaden pulled from Yiddish folk motifs and folksongs, and integrated comic routines from the performance culture of traditional…

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The Holocaust at the Crossroads of Empire: West and Sub-Saharan African Approaches to African, Holocaust, and Jewish Studies

March 4, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm

In this workshop, we discuss the state of African research and archival collecting on the subject of the Jews of West and Sub-Saharan Africa and their many complex cultural, spiritual, and economic engagements. We also reflect on the emerging interest among many African scholars in the history of Nazi and Vichy race laws, forced labor, and internment in West Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa—as well as the arena of Holocaust studies more generally. This program assembles a group of scholars from…

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Nationalism, Mnemonic Wars and Poland’s “Holocaust Speech Law” – Geneviève Zubrzycki

March 1, 2021

Twenty years after the publication of Jan T. Gross' book Neighbors, which told the story of a the 1941 pogrom in Jedwabne, during which ethnic Poles tormented and murdered their Jewish neighbors, Poland is sharply divided over the history of World War II and the role Poles played in the Holocaust. While a significant portion of Polish society accepts responsibility and is engaged in collective soul-searching, others are denying Polish participation. Holocaust memory is politicized and speech on Polish participation…

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February 2021

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

February 23, 2021

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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Jews and the American West: Violence, Race, and Masculinity

February 22, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

This webinar brings together David S. Koffman (York University), author of The Jews Indian, and Sarah Imhoff (Indiana University), author of Masculinity and the Making of American Judaism, in dynamic conversation with host Caroline Luce (UCLA) about Jews’ relationship to the physical and discursive landscapes of the American west. How did the American colonial project shape Jewish ideas about masculinity, morality, and violence? How has the figure of the Jewish frontiersman been used to advance ideologies of belonging, both in the U.S. and around the world? Using…

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

February 18, 2021

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

February 15, 2021

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

February 11, 2021

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

February 9, 2021

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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Togo Mizrahi and the Making of Egyptian Cinema – Deborah Starr

February 2, 2021

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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January 2021

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

January 19, 2021

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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September 2020

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

September 24, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Student, staff, and faculty affiliates of the Leve Center share outrage at the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many other Black men, women, and trans folks at the hands of the police. We support and have participated in the protests in L.A. county and across the world, and applaud the years-long efforts of Black Lives Matter and other community organizations working to channel outrage and grief into concrete policy changes. At the encouragement of our dynamic…

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