Dr. Susan Einbinder, Professor of Hebrew Literature at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, will present “Seeing the Blind: Trauma and Poetry in Medieval Ashkenaz,” a workshop on Medieval Hebrew poetry, on Friday, February 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm at Stanford University’s Taube Center for Jewish Studies.
Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, will participate in the lecture series, "Understanding Islam," at Kehillat Israel Reconstructionist Congregation of Pacific Palisades (16019 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA). On Wednesday, February 2, 2011, Firestone spoke on the history of Islam, the monotheism “family tree,” and historical Muslim-Jewish relations. On Wednesday, March 23, 2011, from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Firestone will discuss political issues and Jewish-Islamic relationships, the concept of Jihad, and where we are today and what we can do about it. Click here for further information.
Dr. Leah Hochman, Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles and Director of the Louchheim School for Judaic Studies at USC, spoke to a group of “Great Books” students at Pepperdine University on February 1, 2011. Introducing them to Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) and Levi Gersonides (1288-1344), Hochman put the two Jewish philosophers into a larger conversation of faith, reason, and the understanding of Jewish law, specifically situating these important Medieval Jewish thinkers into the context of a Great Books curricula. With a view toward historical and biographical context, Hochman examined what these philosophers went through personally as Jews in Medieval Europe as they wrote their treatises. She helped Pepperdine students understand their ideas on creation, Jewish law, and issues of the soul’s immortality, thus highlighting the importance of Maimonides and Gersonides in their discussion on Aristotle, Augustine, and Dante.
Dr. Josh Holo, Dean and Associate Professor of Jewish History at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, is serving on the ten-member jury to determine who will be awarded the 2011 Opus Prize, a $1 million, faith-based award given annually to recognize humanitarian heroes of any faith tradition, anywhere in the world, who are solving persistent social problems in their communities. The Opus Prize identifies and honors organizations that are unsung, yet are providing exceptional and unique responses to difficult social problems such as poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease, and injustice in the world's poorest communities. Beyond supporting the humanitarian efforts, the Opus Prize also seeks to inspire people to pursue service to others. Click here for further information.