Tag Archives: lectures

Save the date! James Kugel @ CUL, November 19, 2014

We are excited to announce that Professor James Kugel, the Director of the Institute for the History of the Jewish Bible at Bar Ilan University in Israel and a noted scholar and lecturer, will be giving the annual Norman E. Alexander Lecture in Jewish Studies on November 19, 2014.

More information to come…

David Stern Lecture: The Lives of Jewish Books

As we near the close of physical version of The People in the Books (the online version will, of course remain online), we look forward to one more lecture dealing with Hebrew manuscripts.  On January 22, as part of the Grolier Club's Bibliography Week, Professor David Stern (University of Pennsylvania) will be speaking at Columbia on "The Lives of Jewish Books." 

The lecture will highlight two medieval manuscripts – one Ashkenazic and one Sephardic, and will describe the stories that they represent.  All are welcome to 523 Butler Library at 6 PM for the lecture.

Remember, the exhibit will close on January 25!  Hours for the exhibition are 9-4:45, Monday through Friday.

November 8: A Bundle of Comics: Graphic Narratives from The Jewish Daily Forward’d Bintl Brief

On November 8, at 6 PM, Liana Finck will be discussing and showing her graphic artistry based on the letters to the editor from the Jewish Daily Forward's Bintl Brief.  A poignant collection of stories from the early 20th century, the Bintl Brief was the "letters to the editor" that highlighted the immigrant Jewish experience in America.  Also speaking will be Samuel Norich, the publisher of the Forward, and Rutgers University Professor Edward Portnoy, an expert on Yiddish popular culture.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Jewish Daily Forward.

Lecture: “Defining a Field: Jewish Books in the Age of Print”


All programs are in Room 523, Butler Library, on the Columbia campus.  Start time is 6:00 PM.

For more information about the Book History Colloquium, please contact Karla Nielsen (kn2300@columbia.edu)

April 19, 2012

Emile Schrijver (University of Amsterdam)

"Defining a Field: Jewish Books in the Age of Print"

The study of the Jewish book since the invention of printing has developed from a rather traditional, descriptive bibliographical discipline into an independent field of research in which the book is studied as an expression of Jewish culture and as an instrument for the transmission of Jewish and non-Jewish knowledge. The foundations for this new field were laid in medieval book research, in the fields of Hebrew codicology and Jewish art, to be more specific. In particular the leading medievalists Malachi Beit-Arié and Colette Sirat have defined new fundamental research questions, which are closely related to, and often precede modern research into non-Jewish medieval books. Their research is based on the careful study of large corpora of carefully selected primary source material, but is not limited to descriptive work. They have produced a number of monographs in which more fundamental research questions have been dealt with. For the centuries since the invention of printing a comparable development may be observed, but the results are not as definitive yet as those achieved for medieval Hebrew manuscripts. This lecture will address some of the pertinent methodological issues.

Emile G.L. Schrijver  is curator of the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, the Jewish special collection at the University of Amsterdam. He is also a curator of the private Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books in Zurich, Switzerland. He is an expert of post?medieval Hebrew manuscripts and printed books and has published and lectured extensively on both topics. He has written a number of introductions to facsimile editions of Hebrew manuscripts and has published numerous auction and exhibition catalogues, most recently (2009, co-edited with Evelyn M. Cohen and Sharon Liberman Mintz) A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books. A German version of this catalogue, entitled "Schöne Seiten: Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection", accompanies an exhibition in the Landesmuseum in Zurich (25 Nov 2011 – 11 March 2012). He serves on boards and advisory committees of numerous Jewish cultural organizations in and outside the Netherlands.

General Grant and the Jews: The Election of 1868 and the Origins of Jewish Politics in the United States

Alexander Lecture 2011 - Poster

Please join us for the very first Norman E. Alexander Lecture in Jewish Studies on October 3. 

Jonathan Sarna was named the "Official Historian" of the 350th Anniversary of Jews in America, and we are very excited to be hosting him at Columbia. 

We are very grateful for the generous gift of the Norman E. Alexander foundation, which established the Norman E. Alexander Library of Jewish Studies, and will be supporting this event.

Update: You can now see the lecture here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yvrxX7r14w

The Jewish Book: Past, Present, Future (Symposium at CJH)

What makes a Jewish book?

Who are the People of the Book?


How have Jewish books changed with changes in technology?


The "history of the book" is a lively field of historical scholarship that looks at authorship, publication, and dissemination of texts of all kinds as windows onto culture and society in different periods and places. Book history also plumbs the relationships between writers, scribes, printers, and readers. Join us on April 3 at 1 PM as an international group of scholars examine the contours of Jewish identity through the study of texts in Hebrew and other Jewish languages, and of the Jews and non-Jews who produced and consumed them.




What was a Jewish Book? Perspectives from Three Periods in History

Moderator: Adam Shear, University of Pittsburgh

Panelists: Katrin Kogman-Appel, Ben-Gurion University

Menahem Schmelzer, Jewish Theological Seminary

Gennady Estraikh, New York University


Texts and Cultures: Three Case Studies

Moderator: Marjorie Lehman, Jewish Theological Seminary

Panelists: David Stern, University of Pennsylvania

Elisheva Carlebach, Columbia University

Jeremy Stolow, Concordia University


The Future of the Jewish Book

Moderator: Jonathan Karp, American Jewish Historical Society

Panelists: Jeffrey Shandler, Rutgers University

Alana Newhouse, Tablet Magazine

Eliyahu Stern, Yale University




The program will be followed by a wine and cheese reception and viewing of the exhibition Zero to Ten: First Decades/New Centuries: Highlights from the Collections at the Center for Jewish History


Ticket Info: $20 general; $15 CJH, partner and Association for Jewish Studies members; $8 students and seniors


Presented by CJH Lillian Goldman Scholars Working Group on the Jewish Book.  This program is made possible by the generous support of Amy P. Goldman and the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust and presented by the Lillian Goldman Scholars Working Group on the Jewish Book in collaboration with the Jewish Book Council, the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and the Columbia University Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies.


For more info, or to order tickets, go here: http://www.cjh.org/event/1759


Early American Jewish Communities and their Printed Texts – This week!

December 9, 2010 (6-7 PM) at the Museum of Biblical Art

Professor Diner, Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History Director, Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History New York University, will focus on three aspects of Jewish life in early America as they reflect on the first Hebrew bible printed here. She will look at the nature of American Jewish communities from the 17th century into the middle of the 19th century, the relationship between American Jewry and the established Jewish communities of Europe, and the connections between Jews and Christians in the religious realm in that period.

Pre-registration is required. To RSVP please call 212.408.1251 or e-mail us at rsvp@mobia.org.  See here for more info.