Winter 2017 Schedule

January 9, 4:30-6 PM: Mili Leitner (PhD Student, Ethnomusicology): “Musical Discourses of Racialization in Palestine, 1900-1948.” Co-sponsored by the EthNoise Workshop. 

January 23, 4:30-6 PM: Grace Overbeke (PhD Candidate, Theatre and Drama, Northwestern): “Audience Response to Jewish Female Standup Comedians.”

February 6, 4:30-6 PM: Erik Dreff (PhD Candidate, Divinity): “Ethics, Religion, and the Intellectual Love of God in Spinoza.” 

February 27, 4:30-6 PM: Matthew Katz (MDiv Student, Divinity): “The Chofetz Chaim and 21st Century Law and Ethics.”

March 6, 4:30-6 PM: *Guest Speaker* Dr. Rachel Seelig (Institute Fellow, Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Michigan): “Strangers in Berlin: Modern Jewish Literature between East and West, 1919-1933.” Co-sponsored by the History of Judaism Club. 

Fall 2016 Schedule

September 26, 6-7:30 PM: Welcome Dinner at the home of Professor Paul Mendes-Flohr. Please RSVP by September 23rd to Anna Band ( and David Cohen ( for the address.

October 10, 4:30-6 PM, Harper 148: Erik Dreff (PhD Candidate, Divinity): “The Psychology of the Intellectual Love of God in Spinoza.”

October 31, 4:30-6 PM, Harper 130: *Guest Speaker* Professor Shachar Pinsker (Professor of Hebrew Literature and Culture, University of Michigan): “A Rich Brew: Urban Cafes and Modern Jewish Culture.” Co-sponsored by the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies (CCJS) and the History of Judaism Club. 

November 7, 4:30-6 PM, Harper 148: Matthew Johnson (PhD Student, German): “A tsveyter: Paul Celan in Yiddish.” Respondent: Kirsten Collins (MA Student, Divinity).

November 14, 4:30-6 PM, Harper 148: Visiting Professor Guy Stroumsa (Professor of Comparative Religion, Hebrew University of Jerusalem): “Beyond Utopia: Avatars of the Promised Land — A Comparative Reflection on the History of the Concept of the Holy Land in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.” Co-sponsored by the Philosophy of Religions Workshop. 

November 21, 4:30-6 PM, Harper 148: Yoni Shemesh (PhD Student, Divinity): “Narboni on Maimonides’ Classification of Evil and Job’s Attainment.”

November 28, 4:30-6 PM, Harper 130: Visiting Professor Sarah Stroumsa (Professor of Arabic Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem): “The Literary Genizot: A Window to a Mediterranean Republic of Letters.” Co-sponsored by the Middle East History and Theory (MEHAT) Workshop and the Islamic Studies Workshop.

Spring 2016 Schedule

*Wednesday, March 30, 5-6:30 pm: Katerina Capkova, “Kehile or Club? Being Jewish in Communist Poland and Czechoslovakia” (224 SSD [John Hope Franklin room], co-sponsored with Modern Europe workshop)

Monday, April 11, 4:30-6: Benny Bar-Lavi (PhD Student, History), “Judaizing Machiavelli: anti-Judaism in the Spanish anti-Machiavellian tradition of the 16th and 17th centuries”
*Wednesday, April 13: AAJR at UChicago
Monday, April 18, 4:30-6: David Cohen (MA Student, Div School), “Yitzhak Ibn- Latif: A Mystical Philosopher or a Philosophical Mystic? A Commentary on Tzror Ha’Mor Chapter five”
Monday, May 2: Tzvi Schoenberg (MA Student, Div School), TBA
*Thursday, May 5, 5-6:20 pm: Sam Shonkoff (PhD Student, Div School), “Sacramental Existence and Embodied Theology in Buber’s Representation of Hasidism” (Swift 208, co-sponsored with the Theology and Religious Ethics Workshop)
*Wednesday, May 11, 5-6:30 pm: Leora Auslander (Professor, History), “Jews at Home in Paris and Berlin, 1918-1933/40”, (224 SSD [John Hope Franklin room], co-sponsored with Modern Europe workshop)
Monday, May 16, 4:30-6: TBA

Monday, June 6: Closing Dinner

Autumn Quarter Schedule

Schedule, Autumn Quarter, 2015
*Please allow for minor changes resulting from unforeseen circumstances

  • Sunday-Monday, October 18-19:  Conference – Martin Buber: Philosopher of Dialogue (The Spertus Institute with the University of Chicago Divinity School)
    In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Buber’s death, this two-day conference brings together leading scholars from around the country to generate new questions and reflections at the heart of Buber’s thought. See more at
  • Tuesday, October 20, 4:30-6: Toshihiro Horikawa (Kyoto University / Uni. Heidelberg), “Buber’s I-Thou philosophy in Buddhism and Taoism”, Stuart Hall 104 (Co-Sponsored with the Philosophy of Religion Workshop)
  • Monday, October 26: Mid-Western Inter-University Workshop in Jewish Studies (MIUWJS). More details to follow.
  • Tuesday, November 3, 4:30-6: Chelsie May (PhD Student, NELC), “Levantinism, Youth Aliyah and The Image of Jacqueline Kahanoff: The Authorship of RAMAT-HADASSAH-SZOLD: YOUTH ALIYAH AND CLASSICATION CENTRE” (Location TBD)
  • Tuesday, November 17, 4:30-6: David Cohen (MA Student, Divinity School), Subject TBD (Location TBD)


  • Monday, November 30, 4:30-6: Erik Dreff (PhD Candidate, Divinity School), “Medieval Jewish Sources for Spinoza’s Concept of the Intellectual Love of God: A Reconsideration” (Location TBD)


  •  Tuesday, December 1, 7-8:30: David Frankel (PhD Student, Divinity School), “Saadia Gaon 101” (with UChicago 101’s), (at the Disciples Divinity House)