College of Charleston

Spring 2022 Events

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, in-person events are limited to fully vaccinated individuals who have received a booster shot. Masks are required other than when eating/drinking. Please click the link for each event to register.

The College of Charleston imposes maximum capacities on in-person events from time to time. Our program adheres to such restrictions. Updates will be emailed before events and posted on our Facebook page.

Your RSVP is not a confirmation that you can attend the event in person. You will receive an email confirming whether your spot at the event has been reserved.

Most events will also be live-streamed via Zoom and Facebook, and a recording will be made available via our YouTube page. Follow this & our Facebook page for updates.

Links to RSVP for events and more information will be posted here closer to each event.

Sunday, 1/23, 10am: Jewish Comedy: It's Serious

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Comedy has been central to the development of a distinct Jewish American identity and Jewish comedic and satirical works have helped shape the larger American culture. From its beginnings in the shtetls of Europe, to the golden age of the Catskills Borscht Belt, and right up through today, Jewish comedy has confronted difficult and challenging topics, such as: poverty, immigration, gender, sex, anti-Semitism, and the cataclysmic event of the Holocaust. Join writer and Jewish Studies Professor Ezra Cappell as we sample and discuss key moments of Jewish comedy and discover why laughter might be a deeply serious form of empathy and understanding.
Brunch will be provided to in-person attendees. For those joining virtually, brunch will be available to go at the Jewish Studies Center lobby from 9am.

Monday, 1/24, 6:30pm: Food and Faith VI: Eating Jewishly and Islamically in the Age of Uncertainty

In 2022 eating Jewishly and Islamically is more than just a matter of keeping Kosher or Halal, and more than just a festive meal at Passover or Eid. Environmental and ethical issues of factory farming and food insecurity, and newer food developments such as veganism and sustainable agriculture, present new challenges for Muslim and Jewish clergy. Featuring a conversation between Imam Abdel Majid of the Central Mosque of Charleston, Rabbi Evan Ravski of Synagogue Emanu-El, and moderated by Prof. Elijah Siegler of the College of Charleston’s Religious Studies Department.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies at the College of Charleston and the Charleston Interreligious Council

Tuesday, 2/1, 6pm: Charleston Jewish FilmFest Presents: "Final Account"

Online only event. Click here to register.

Join us virtually to stream "Final Account" at 6:00 PM followed by a discussion with Dr. Chad Gibbs at 7:40 PM. Watch a trailer here.
Sponsored by the Stanley Farbstein Endowment Fund and the Charleston JCC Foundation.

Thursday, 2/10, 7pm: A Time to Gather: Archives and the Control of Jewish Culture

Online only event. Click here to register.

Jason Lustig (U of Texas) joins us virtually to discuss his book A Time to Gather: Archives and the Control of Jewish Culture, which traces the twentieth-century struggle over who might “own” Jewish history, especially after the Nazi looting of Jewish archives. He explores how archives became battlegrounds over control of Jewish culture from the turn of the twentieth century to the cusp of the digital era.
Sponsored by the Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture and the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina

Thursday, 2/17, 7pm: A Conversation with Abby Stein

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Abby Stein is a Jewish educator, author, speaker, and activist. She was born and raised in a Hasidic family, attended Yeshiva, and completed a rabbinical degree in 2011. In 2012, she left the Hasidic world to explore a self-determined life. In 2015 Abby came out as a woman of trans experience. Since then, she has been working to raise support and awareness for trans rights and those leaving ultra-Orthodoxy. Her book Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman, is a coming of age memoir that examines identity, gender, and religion through personal experience.

Tuesday, 2/22, 7pm: A Conversation with Ilan Yona

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Ilan Yona (Middlebury College) is a doctoral student researching the relationship between the acquisition of highly gendered languages and student gender identity. Hebrew is considered a highly genderized language and can pose certain problems for students coming to it from a less gendered language such as English. This lecture will explore the mutual interactions among the three elements of gender, identity, and second language acquisition.

Thursday, 2/24, 2pm: Book Launch: The Virtuous Wehrmacht, Crafting the Myth of the German Soldier on the Eastern Front, 1941-1944

Online only event. Click here to register.

David Harrisville will discuss his new book, The Virtuous Wehrmacht: Crafting the Myth of the German Soldier on the Eastern Front, 1941-1944. Released in November 2021, The Virtuous Wehrmacht explores the myth of the German armed forces’ innocence during World War II by reconstructing the moral world of German soldiers on the Eastern Front.
Sponsored by the Zucker/Goldberg Center for Holocaust Studies.

Sunday, 2/27, 10am: What's New in Israel: A Conversation with Journalist Linda Gradstein

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Award-winning journalist Linda Gradstein returns to CofC for a fascinating conversation about her work. Serving as NPR's Jerusalem correspondent for 20 years, she is now the Jerusalem correspondent for Voice of America and teaches journalism at NYU-Tel-Aviv. Some of you may remember that Ms. Gradstein was our very first Arnold Visiting Chair in Jewish Studies in the Fall of 2010.
Brunch will be provided to in-person attendees. For those joining virtually, brunch will be available to go at the Jewish Studies Center lobby from 9am.
Sponsored by the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Center for Israel Studies.

Monday, 3/21, 7pm: Hate Across Borders: German and American Neo-Nazis from the 1970s to Charlottesville

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Michelle Kahn (U of Richmond) studies post-World War II Germany in transnational and global perspectives, with particular attention to migration, racism, antisemitism, far-right extremism, Holocaust memory, gender, and sexuality. Dr. Kahn will help us understand the roots of American Neo-Nazis and how they play into current events.
Sponsored by the Zucker/Goldberg Center for Holocaust Studies

Thursday, 3/24: Aspirations and Anxieties: The Design and Outcomes of the 2020 Pew Study of American Jewry

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Dr. Matt Williams is the Vice President of Antisemitism Research and Director of the Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Anti-Defamation League. Formerly, he was the founding Director of the Center for Communal Research at the Orthodox Union. Dr. Williams joins us to give his perspective on the 2020 Pew Study of American Jewry.

Wednesday, 3/30, 7:30pm: Three Rabbi Panel on Jewish Spirituality: What Does Judaism Believe about the Big Questions?

Location TBD

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Since the Middle Ages, Jews have argued about big theological questions to which its foundational texts provided no clear answers. This includes questions like what is the nature of God and his providence? What is the nature of the soul? What is the difference between Jews and non-Jews? Why must Jews observe Jewish ritual and with what intention? What exactly is the Torah? Today's denominations continue this healthy and vital debate. This semester Rabbi Greg Kanter (Reform), Rabbi Evan Ravski (Conservative), and Rabbi Sholom Mimran (Orthodox) will explore the big questions and how they see their respective movements answering them.
The Three Rabbi Panel is supported by the Stanley and Charlot Karesh Family Fund, an endowment given by the Karesh family in the Spring of 2015 in support of Jewish Studies’ community outreach programming. We are incredibly grateful for their support, and for their broad vision of K’lal Yisrael.

Monday, 4/4, 7pm: Love Letters of a Socialist: Jack London, Sinclair Lewis, and the Strunsky Sisters

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Ashley Walters (College of Charleston) introduces us to two East European-born Jewish sisters named Anna and Rose Strunsky - young and captivating writers dedicated to the socialist revolution - and the impressive cast of well-known American authors, including Jack London, William English Walling, Arthur Bullard, and Sinclair Lewis, who were romantically involved with the sisters and wrote about their desires for them in a variety of capacities. This conversation explores the complicated ways in which these women served as conduits of cultural, political, and linguistic knowledge of the country of their birth, in addition to their objectification in the eyes of their American-born contemporaries and romantic partners.
Sponsored by the Pearlstein/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture

Sunday, 4/10, 10am: What Makes a Great Jewish Leader? Theodor Herzl and the Zionist Movement

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Derek Penslar (Harvard U) is a comparative historian with interests in the relationship between modern Israel and diaspora Jewish societies, global nationalist movements, European colonialism, and post-colonial states. Dr. Penslar joins us to discuss his book Theodor Herzl: The Charismatic Leader.
Brunch will be provided to in-person attendees. For those joining virtually, brunch will be available to go at the Jewish Studies Center lobby from 9am.
Sponsored by the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Center for Israel Studies.

Tuesday, 4/19, 7:30pm: The Kronsberg Lecture

A Conversation with Ilana Kaufman (Arnold Hall, JSC 100)

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Ilana Kaufman is the executive director of the Jews of Color Initiative, an organization working to build a truly multiracial, anti-racist Jewish community in which Jews of Color can experience joy and reach their full potential and belonging as leaders and community members. Her work sits at the center of Jewish community, racial equity, and justice. It is anchored by the voices and experience of Jews of Color, and is focused on grantmaking and community education.
The Milton Kronsberg Lecture Series began in the Fall of 1999 as a result of a generous endowment by the Kronsberg family. In the Fall of 2002, the series became the Milton and Freddie Kronsberg Memorial Lecture Series because of the passing of Freddie Kronsberg obm. The series honors the Kronsbergs’ lifelong commitment to Jewish ideas and values.

Sunday, 4/24, 10am: The Nemirow Lecture

Music in the Shoah: Savagery and Survival, a Conversation with Teryl Dobbs

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Throughout the depth and breadth of the Holocaust, music found its way into every crack and corner, from the well-documented cultural life in Theresienstadt to singing prisoners in Sachsenhausen to children's choirs in Lodz to recently discovered music written by a 12-year-old girl in the Warsaw Ghetto. Music was also used as a means of violence by the Nazi SS as well. Join Professor Teryl Dobbs (U of Wisconsin-Madison) as she shares her research on music in the Shoah.
Brunch will be provided to in-person attendees. For those joining virtually, brunch will be available to go at the Jewish Studies Center lobby from 9am.
Sponsored by Nemirow Endowment Fund for Holocaust Studies, which supports Holocaust education initiatives for students and the community, and by the Zucker/Goldberg Center for Holocaust Studies.

Sunday, 10/3, 10am: Meet the Faculty with Chad Gibbs

Meet Dr. Chad Gibbs, the incoming Director of the Zucker/Goldberg Center for Holocaust Studies. He will discuss his research about prisoner resistance at Treblinka II. Professor Gibbs will also cover social networks within the camp and how he is able to piece these stories together through careful research.
Brunch will be provided to in-person attendees. For those joining virtually, brunch will be available to go at the Jewish Studies Center lobby from 9am.
Sponsored by the Zucker/Goldberg Center for Holocaust Studies

Thursday, 10/14, 7pm: Charleston Jewish Filmfest Presents: Ma'abarot

Watch the powerful documentary "Ma'abarot" to unravel the history of Israeli transit camps. The impact of these camps, which housed over 300,000 new immigrants from all over the world between 1948–1952, contributed to a divide between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews that still exists today.After the movie, Dr. Yaron Ayalon gives us an insider’s view. Trailer: bit.ly/maabarot-trailer.
Sponsored by the Stanley Farbstein Endowment Fund and the Charleston JCC Foundation

Sunday, 10/17, 10am: Charleston Jewish BookFest presents Drunk on Genocide: Alcohol and Mass Murder in Nazi Germany with author Edward Wastermann

Join Dr. Edward Westermann (Texas A&M University) to discuss his book Drunk on Genocide: Alcohol and Mass Murder in Nazi Germany. In Drunk on Genocide, Dr. Westermann reveals how, over the course of the Third Reich, scenes involving alcohol consumption and revelry among the SS and police became a routine part of rituals of humiliation and the perpetration of genocide.
Sponsored by the Zucker/Goldberg Center for Holocaust Studies and the Charleston JCC Foundation.

Thursday, 10/21, 730pm: Charleston Jewish BookFest presents Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multiracial Jewish Family with author Laura Liebman.

Join Dr. Laura Arnold Liebman (Reed College) to discuss her recent book Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multiracial Jewish Family. This book follows Blanche Moses, a descendant of a well-known Jewish family, as she researches her family history. Moses discovers her grandmother and great-uncle were not always the wealthy, free, white Sephardic Jews she believed, but were born as poor Christian slaves in Barbados. Once We Were Slaves brings to life the largely forgotten population of mixed African and Jewish ancestry and illuminates the fluidity of race as well as the role of religion in determining racial identities in early nineteenth-century America.
Sponsored by the Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture and the Charleston JCC Foundation.

Wednesday, 10/27, 730pm: Three Rabbi Panel on The Meaning of Judaism.

With so many choices available today, so many religions, value systems, competing social networks, and entertainment vying for our time, why should Jews, especially younger Jews, engage with Judaism? What is each denomination doing to meet younger generations of Jews where they are, to make Judaism relevant to them? Rabbi Stephanie Alexander (Reform), Rabbi Evan Ravski (Conservative), and Rabbi Scott Hoberman (Orthodox) will join us to discuss their different approaches to addressing these questions.
The Three Rabbi Panel is supported by the Stanley and Charlot Karesh Family Fund, an endowment given by the Karesh family in the Spring of 2015 in support of Jewish Studies’ community outreach programming. We are incredibly grateful for their support, and for their broad vision of K’lal Yisrael.

Tuesday, 11/2, 730pm: Karesh Annual Lecture with Dr. Tamar Sella on Modern Diaspora and Mizrahi Music.

Dr. Tamar Sella, the first scholar selected to deliver the Stanley and Charlot Karesh Annual Lecture in Jewish Studies, is an ethnomusicologist. Her research takes an interdisciplinary approach to broadly investigate the intersections of performance, diaspora, and power. Dr. Sella will join us to discuss her current research which explores cultural memory and contemporary Mizrahi performance in order to illuminate how ongoing Jewish diasporic formations resist colonial and racial logics.
The Karesh Family Lecture is supported by the Stanley and Charlot Karesh Family Fund, an endowment given by the Karesh family in the Spring of 2015 in support of Jewish Studies’ community outreach programming. We are incredibly grateful for their support, and for their broad vision of K’lal Yisrael.

Monday, 11/8, 7:30pm: A conversation with Dahlia Scheindlin

Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin is a public opinion expert and strategic consultant with twenty years of experience, specializing in liberal and progressive social causes. She has advised eight national campaigns in Israel and has worked in 15 other countries. Dr. Scheindlin conducts research and policy analysis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, regional foreign policy, democracy, human rights and civil rights, minority issues, religion and state, domestic political analysis, comparative conflict and comparative politics. She will share her thoughts about the current political climate in Israel and where it might lead.
Sponsored by the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Center for Israel Studies.

Sunday, 11/14, 10am: Sister Scholars, Bais Yaakov and the Revolution in Orthodox Girls Education

Dr. Naomi Seidman (University of Toronto) will discuss the Orthodox girls' school system Bais Yaakov, founded in Krakow in 1917 by a seamstress named Sarah Schenirer, that continues to flourish today. The lecture will focus on the character of the school as "a revolution in the name of tradition," in which socialism and feminism were mobilized for the purposes of reviving Orthodoxy at a moment of great peril, when girls were leaving the traditional world in droves.

Thursday, 11/18, 7:30pm: Defining antisemitism, a conversation with Kenneth Stern

Kenneth Stern, director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate, will talk about the competing definitions of antisemitism, particularly the IHRA definition for which he served as primary author. Mr. Stern will discuss his thoughts about the legislation built around the IHRA definition and his perspective on the best ways for colleges and universities to protect students while nurturing an open environment for exploring and challenging ideas with full academic freedom.
Sponsored by the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Center for Israel Studies.

Tuesday, 11/30, 7pm: Charleston Jewish FilmFest presents They Ain't Ready for Me

Tamar Manasseh, an African American rabbinical student, leads the fight against senseless killings in Chicago’s south side. With her magnetic personality, she helps the neighborhood believe that people care whether they live or die. After the film, meet Tamar and Director Brad Rothschild via Zoom. Trailer: bit.ly/theyaintready-trailer.
Sponsored by the Stanley Farbstein Endowment Fund and the Charleston JCC Foundation.

Sunday, 11/28, 4-6pm: Chanukah in the Square at Marion Square Park

Chanukah in the Square returns to downtown Charleston with our seventeenth annual celebration, sponsored by the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Foundation with supplemental support from the City of Charleston. Once again the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program will team up with Chabad of Charleston and the Lowcountry, the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and many of our local Jewish organizations.

Sunday, 12/05, 10am: A Conversation with Shaul Magid

Professor Shaul Magid (Dartmouth College) visits the College of Charleston to discuss his new book Meir Kahane: The Public Life and Political Thoughts of an American Jewish Radical. His book sheds new light on the controversial figure of Meir Kahane, an American Jewish activist who preached radical and violent means to Jewish survival. Kahane became one of the most influential Jewish thinkers and activists of the last half century, and has left a lasting impact in America and Israel.
Sponsored by the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Center for Israel Studies.

The Jewish Studies Program prepares its line of events one semester in advance, in January-February for Fall, and in September-October for Spring. Ideas for speakers and performers are discussed at a Programming Committee meeting that is composed of Jewish Studies faculty & staff, and members of the Charleston Jewish Community. The Programming Committee welcomes proposals and ideas for events, as well as feedback from the community about upcoming and past events. Feel free to submit your ideas here, or contact Associate Director for Community Relations Kim Browdy.

Here's our Spring 22 Newsletter:

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Past newsletters:

Fall 2021 newsletter

Spring 2021 newsletter

Fall 2020 newsletter

Access Full List of CofC Events here.