HUC-JIR’s Scholars Presenting at Major International Academic Conferences

Monday, November 3, 2014

HUC-JIR’s faculty is internationally recognized for their scholarship, teaching, publication, and applied research.  In recent months and during the months to come, faculty are presenting papers and participating in special sessions at a broad range of conferences, including the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) in Baltimore in December 2014, the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) in San Diego in November 2014, American Academy of Religion, International Qur’anic Studies Association (San Diego, November 2014), Academy of Homiletics (November 2014), Association for the Sociology of Religion (San Francisco, August 2014), and Limmud in Australia (November 2014), as well as teaching as guest scholars at leading universities.

Rabbi Carole Balin, Ph.D. will participate in a panel discussion, “Between Tradition and Modernity: David Ellenson and the Rethinking of an Old Opposition” in honor of the publication of a festschrift in honor of Rabbi David Ellenson at AJS.



Dr. Sarah BenorFrum Unity, Frum Diversity: The Orthodox Continuum in Popular Culture” at AJS; “Postvernacular Ladino at Sephardic Adventure Camp” at 5th Annual Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas at UCLA (October 2014). 



Dr. Michael J. Cook will make four presentations at the LimmudUK academic conference at Warwick University, Coventry, England, from Dec. 25-31, 2014: "Jesus Had No Sanhedrin Trial: How Recourse to Our Talmud Has Misled Us"; "Why the Ever-Rolling Stream of New Jesus-Books? Their 'Cafeteria' Fallacy"; "Judas (= Jews?) at the Last Supper in Famous Renaissance Painting"; and "Fifty Years Since 'Freed' of Deicide (1965-2015): 'Mind the Gap' on Vatican II."


Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., will be feted at a reception by a panel of scholars to mark the publication of a volume of essays in his honor, Between Jewish Tradition and Modernity: Rethinking an Old Opposition, Essays in Honor of David Ellenson edited by Michael A. Meyer and David N. Myers, at the AJS conference. 




Rabbi Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Ph.D., was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin (Zentrum für Literatur - und Kulturforschung) where she lectured on "Reclaiming Heritage. Biblical Negotiations in the cultural matrix of the Persian Period (6th-4th Centuries BCE)."



Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D.“The Jewish Sages Who Infiltrate Muhammad’s Community: Rhe Problematic of Prophecy and Precedent with newly Emergent Religion” at AJS; “Religions and the Cultural Regulation of Violence: A Comparative Dialogue” at American Academy of Religion; “Wealth, Responsibility, and Community in the Qur’an” at SBL; “Shabbat Violation in Qur’anic Discourse” at International Qur’anic Studies Association.


Dr. Alyssa Gray will present "Wealth as Concept and Religious Idea in Rabbinic Literature of Late Antiquity" at SBL.




Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Ph.D., participated in the NYU conference, “The Religious Leadership, Civil Discourse and Democracy in the Public Square Project,” supported by a Ford Foundation Freedom of Expression Grant (October 2014).



Dr. Sharon Koren will speak on “Motherhood in Kabbalah” at a roundtable on a forthcoming book on motherhood and Judaism at AJS; Wendy Zierler and Carole Balin are contributors to this volume.



Rabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D. will participate in a panel discussion, “Between Tradition and Modernity: David Ellenson and the Rethinking of an Old Opposition”in honor of the publication of a festschrift in honor of Rabbi David Ellenson, and will present a lecture on "Quotation Theory and Jewish Praxis," both at AJS. He will also be giving a paper on "Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Chosen People" in Hebrew at a conference on Heschel at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem (December 2014).


Dr. David Mendelsson will present three lectures at the LimmudFest in Sydney, Australia: "From the New Jew and Sabra to Contemporary Israeli Voices," "The Roots of the Secular-Religious Divide," and "Zionism and the Arabs, "  and will participate in a panel on Israel-Diaspora relations. (November 2014)



Dr. Michael Meyer "New Waters in an Old Vessel: A History of Mikveh in Modern Judaism" at “Between Tradition and Modernity: David Ellenson and the Rethinking of an Old Opposition”in honor of the publication of a festschrift in honor of Rabbi David Ellenson at AJS.  Dr. Meyer is a Fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies of the University of Pennsylvania this semester and presented "Wissenschaft des Judentums Exported to America:  The Case of Gotthard Deutsch" at the first seminar meeting. He presented "Progressive Judaism, Israeli Style" at a conference titled "How Jewish Is the Jewish State?  Religion and Society in Israel"  at American University in Washington, DC (October 2014).


Dr. Bruce Phillips: "Jewish Geography: Are Jews Returning to the City?" at AJS.  Heparticipated in a panel on the Pew study, Portrait of American Jews, at the Association for the Sociology of Religion.



Dr. Andrea Weiss will speak on "Biblical Metaphors of God as 'Self' and 'Other'” in a panel on "Metaphoric Othering in Prophetic Literature" at SBL. 




Rabbi Margaret Wenig is the rising First Vice President of the Academy of Homiletics and will present tributes to members who are retiring at the Academy of Homiletics. 




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, 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.