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Food For Thought - February 25, 2004 “Pride and Polemics: Exploring the Self-Image of Medieval Jews Through Their Illuminated Manuscripts”

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Thursday, January 1, 2004

This Food For Thought lecture is part of the Efroymson Lecture series.

Wed. Feb 25 FOOD FOR THOUGHT-Monthly Lunch and Lecture Series
Mayerson Hall

“Pride and Polemics: Exploring the Self-Image of Medieval Jews Through Their Illuminated Manuscripts”

Just as Jewish art, film, and literature today offer a rich selection of images that tell us much about how we see ourselves in our world (and how we want others to see us), so too the illuminated images of medieval Jewish books communicate the very specific identity concerns of those who made and used them. Drawing on images from early illuminated books (communal prayerbooks and Bibles), this talk explores some of the ways in which visual images served to buttress Jewish identities in a Christian world.

Lunch is $8, in Mayerson Auditorium at noon and the lecture will begin at 12:30 p.m. There is no charge for this special lecture thanks to the generous endowment by the Efroymson family of Indianapolis, Indiana. There will be a special dessert and fruit reception for everyone, following the lecture.

For reservations 
please call Marcia Cruse, (513) 221-1875, ext 353,
or email at
or send a check for the lunch, made payable to: 
Department of Outreach Education,
3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220

Dr. Eva Frojmovic received her undergraduate degrees from the University of Freiburg in archeology and art history, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of Munich. She has been a fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome and the Warburg Institute in London. Since 1996 she has been the director of the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Leeds in Great Britain. Her publications cover a variety of themes in the history of Hebrew books and iconography: Hebraica and Judaica from the Cecil Roth Collection (1997), essays and talks on illustrated mohel books and circumcision liturgies, woodcuts in the earliest printed Haggadah, images of the Sanctuary in Hebrew Bible manuscripts. Most recently, she was a contributor to and editor of Imaging the Self, Imaging the Other: Representations of Jews in Medieval Visual Culture (2002).

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.