Vadim Putzu, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati Graduate Studies Student, :Receives Fellowship from The Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture

Friday, February 11, 2011

Vadim Putzu, a Ph.D. dissertation student at the HUC-JIR/Cincinnati School of Graduate Studies, received a fellowship grant from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture for his dissertation “Bottled Poetry – Quencher of Hopes.” Putzu explains, “Wine has always had a prominent place in many different realms of Judaism and Jewish history – in the ritual and in the economy, as an identity marker and as a drug. Nonetheless, no study on its symbolic and instrumental dimensions in the post-Rabbinic period has been published so far.” Putzu’s dissertation project explores the ways in which two groups of Jewish mystics—the kabbalists operating in Safed around mid-16th century, and the first three generations of east European Hasidim—dealt with wine. In particular, it analyzes their use of wine as a symbol and as a technical element in mystical techniques and in magical practices.


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. www.huc.edu