Wednesday, Nov. 12: Eugene Sheppard: German and German Jewish Understandings of Persecution, Providence, and Messianic Vengeance: 1933-1938.

Join the Jewish Studies Workshop on Wednesday, November 12th 4:30-6:00 PM in Swift 106 as we welcome Eugene Sheppard, Brandeis University Professor of Modern Jewish History and Thought to discuss his paper entitled “German and German Jewish Understandings of Persecution, Providence, and Messianic Vengeance: 1933-1938.”

Eugene Sheppard is the author of Leo Strauss and the Politics of Exile: The Making of a Political Philosopher (2007).

Snacks and coffee will be provided!  Dinner for participants will follow.

For more information, please contact David Frankel (

Upcoming Jewish Studies Workshop Events:

11/4: Professor Ryan Szpiech (Department of Romance Languages and Literature, University of Michigan) will give a talk entitled “Rethinking ‘Abrahamic’ Communities: Polemical Writing and Comparative Religious Studies”.  A reception will follow. 12:00-1:30 PM – Pick 218

11/19: Erik Dreff: Spinoza, Teleology, and the Generation of Value. Snacks and coffee will be provided!  4:30-6:00 PM – Rosenwald 405

12/2: Maimonides 101 with Yoni Shemesh.  Snacks and libations will be provided!  7:00 PM – Disciples Divinity House

12/3: Jeff Fowler: Retelling Old Stories: Christian Supersessionism in Post-Emancipation Judaism.  Coffee and snacks will be provided!  4:30-6:00 PM – Rosenwald 405

10/13: Welcome Back Dinner and Discussion



hebrew typewriter

Welcome and welcome back to for a 2014-2015 academic year and a full slate of Jewish Studies Workshop events!


Our first event will be a dinner, meet-and-greet, and a discussion led by this year’s JSW faculty coordinator Sarah Hammerschlag on professionalisation in the field of Jewish Studies scholarship.


Please join us on the evening of Monday October 13th at 6pm.  A kosher dinner will be provided.


Please RSVP to David at for location details.


See you all there, and Shana Tova!

27/5 Julie Cooper: “Democracy and Theocracy in Jewish Political Thought: From Baruch Spinoza to Michael Walzer.”

Israel Theocracy Flag/Oren Neu Dag 2008

Julie Cooper, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, will present her paper titled: “Democracy and Theocracy in Jewish Political Thought: From Baruch Spinoza to Michael Walzer.” Please download the paper here. The workshop will be hosted at the house of Professor Paul Mendes-Flohr and will begin at 6pm. Light refreshments will be provided. Please email Ori at for more details.





13/5 Alexandra Zirkle: “Formative Exegesis: Herxheimer’s Hermeneutics and the Project of Bildung.”


Shabbat Afternoon/ Moritz Daniel Oppenheim 1866

Alexandra Zirkle, PhD Candidate at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School, will present a chapter from her dissertation which examines 19th century German-Jewish exegetical approaches to the temple and sacrifice as reflecting how German Jews negotiated their understanding of the tenets of Jewish thought and practice in light of their commitments as 19th century Germans. The chapter, entitled “Formative Exegesis: Herxheimer’s Hermeneutics and the Project of Bildung,” discusses the intellectual project of Rabbi Dr. Salomon Herxheimer, one of the most influential German rabbis in the 19th century.

Adam Yale Stern, visiting PhD candidate from Harvard, will respond. Please download the paper here.

Swift 406. 4:30-6:00pm. Tea, Coffee, and more.


Spring Schedule

Kiss of the Earth/ Nicholas Roerich 1912


After a long and cold winter, welcome to our Spring quarter! As is our custom, we begin with a big social and intellectual event, this time co-hosted with Northwestern Jewish studies students, and after Passover we are hosting Yale’s Eliyahu Stern and other exciting workshop speakers from Chicago.

April 6: “Ways of Knowing,” a joint Jewish studies event at Northwestern Evanston campus. 3:00-7:00pm. For more details email Michal at

April 29: “The Secularization of the Kabbalah and the Origins of Jewish Socialism.” Eliyahu Stern (Professor, Religious Studies, Yale). 4:30-6:00pm. Location – TBA.

May 13: “Formative Exegesis: Herxheimer’s Hermeneutics and the Project of Bildung.” Alexandra Zirkle (PhD Candidate, University of Chicago Divinity School). 4:30-6:00pm. Swift 406.

May 27: “Democracy and Theocracy in Jewish Political Thought: From Baruch Spinoza to Michael Walzer.”Julie Cooper (University of Chicago). 6pm.

June 10: “A Transnational Approach to the Experiences and Identities of Latin American Jews in the United States: Chicago as a Case Study.” Yael Siman (Visiting Scholar, University of Chicago). 4:30-6:00 pm. Swift 406. – this event is temporarily cancelled.




25/2 Adam Yale Stern: “Kant and Judaism”


American Gothic. Grant Wood. 1930

Adam Yale Stern, visiting PhD candidate from Harvard University, will present his paper on Kant and Judaism. Larisa Reznik, PhD candidate at UChicago Divinity School will respond. To receive the paper please email Ori at See you in Swift 406. 1:30-3:00 pm.


11/2 Liran Yadgar: “The Preacher and the Jews: The View from the Maghrib”




Eugène Delacroix, “Seated Arab, a Chalk Drawing with Watercolour” (1832)


Liran Yadgar, Phd candidate at department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, UChicago, will present part of his dissertation, which is focused on Jewish-Muslim relations in the Later Middle Period (1200-1500 C.E.). The paper will discuss the contents and the historical background of an anti-Jewish polemical treatise, Risala fi al-Yahud, written around 1492 by a Maliki preacher from Tlemcen. Mohamad Ballan, PhD candiate at the History department, UChicago, will respond.

Please email to receive the paper in advance. In addition, please download this Fatwa dealing with Jews and houses of prayer.

Swift 406. 1:30-3:00 pm. Tea and coffee for everyone.





29/1 David Shyovitz “Animals in the Garden of Eden”

Hireonymus Bosch/ The Garden of Earthly Delights

David Shyovitz, Northwestern University, will present his paper: “Animals in the Garden of Eden: Carnivorousness and Eschatology in Medieval Jewish Thought”. To download the paper please visit the Animal Studies workshop’s website and use the password: animalstudies. Wednesday. 4:30 pm. Rosenwald 405. Refreshment will be served. This sessions is co-sponsored by the Animal Studies workshop and the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies.