Library Events

Join us for one of our upcoming library events.

All in-person events will be held at the Klau Library in Cincinnati.


Heschel and the Spirit
with Dr. Michael Marmur

Date: Tuesday, October 17
Time: 12:30 pm ET
Zoom Only

Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was one of the most influential Jewish thinkers of the twentieth century. In this lecture, we will consider some of the key aspects of his life, thought, and activism through the prism of one Hebrew word – Ruach. We will look at the definition of this term that Heschel gave this complex term in a dictionary he wrote when a member of the HUC faculty in Cincinnati in the 1940s, and how ruach, sometimes translated as spirit, resonated in his life over decades of creativity, reflection, and activism.

Michael Marmur is Associate Professor of Jewish Theology at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem. Among his publications are a number of articles about Heschel, and Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder, published by the University of Toronto Press in 2016.


Feld Memorial Lecture and Reception

Title page of MS 599

Material Memory: Jewish Record-keeping in Early Modern Europe (Hybrid Event)
with Dr. Elisheva Carlebach

Date: Monday, November 13th
Time: 6:30 pm ET
Location: Klau Library, Cincinnati and Online

This lecture will situate the record-keeping culture of the Jews within the larger democratization of reading and writing in early modern Europe. Together we will explore all types of Jewish records from laundry lists to communal logbooks and discuss the intersection of the material aspects of Jewish records and the complexities of the lives they represent.

Light refreshments will be served.

Elisheva Carlebach teaches Jewish History at Columbia University, where she is Salo Baron Professor of Jewish History, Culture, and Society,/ and Co-Director, Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies. She is the author of The Pursuit of Heresy (National Jewish Book Award); Divided Souls: Jewish Converts to Christianity in Early Modern German Lands; Palaces of Time: Jewish Calendar and Culture in Early Modern Europe (AJS Schnitzer Prize) and Confronting Modernity: 1750-1880, volume 6 in The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization. She has held fellowships at the New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers, the Katz Center at University of Pennsylvania, and the Tikvah Center at NYU Law School. She served as Editor of the AJS Review and as President of the American Academy for Jewish Research. In 2017 she was awarded the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award of Columbia University. Her teaching and research interests include Jewish-Christian relations, Jewish communities and their records, and Jewish women’s history in early modern Europe.


Feld Memorial Lunch and Learn

Title page of mahzor of Bologna

Printing, Praying, and Performing Jewish Identity in Early Modern Italy: Maḥzor kimḥa d’avishuna
with Rabbi Dr. Joseph A. Skloot

Date: Tuesday, November 14th
Time: 12:30 PM ET
Location: Klau Library, Cincinnati and Online

In 1540, a group of silk weavers from the city of Bologna, who called themselves “the partners” (ha-shutafim), printed a two-volume compendium of the Jewish liturgy for the yearly worship cycle. This maḥzor (prayer book) included both a commentary on the liturgy by R. Yohanan b. Joseph Treves, entitled Kimha d’avishuna (Flour Milled from Roasted Grain), and a commentary on Tractate Avot of the Mishnah (an oft-quoted anthology of rabbinic wisdom) by R. Obadiah b. Jacob Sforno. This volume subsequently became the standard prayer book used by those Jews who traced their ancestry to Italy, and Rome in particular (in contrast to those in Italy, for example, who traced their lineage to Spain or Germany). The maḥzor was the last of nine titles produced by the painters and it differs from their earlier works in both the monumentality of its aspiration—to establish, once and for all, the proper text of the Italian-Jewish synagogue service—and its physical size. It is also the only title of the nine to list the partners by name. This paper uses the partners’ maḥzor as a basis for considering the way the printed liturgy was a locus of self-fashioning for Italian Jews in the early modern period.

A light catered Kosher lunch will be provided.

Rabbi Joseph A. Skloot, Ph.D., is the Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Intellectual History at HUC-JIR/New York and the Associate Director of the Tisch/Star Fellowship program. He received his Ph.D. in Jewish History from Columbia University, his rabbinical ordination from HUC-JIR, and his A.B. in History from Princeton University.

Skloot is a historian of Jewish culture and religious thought in the early modern and modern periods. His research explores the history of Hebrew books, Jewish-Christian relations, the development of Jewish law, and Reform Jewish theology. His book, First Impressions: Sefer Ḥasidim and Early Modern Hebrew Printing, will be published by Brandeis University Press. It describes how sixteenth century Hebrew printers (Jewish and Christian) transformed a heterogeneous corpus of manuscripts into canonical book, and by extension, how Jewish sacred texts, long thought to be eternal and unchanging, were in fact created by and for human beings, with specific agendas and interests.



Backwards and Forwards: Facing Antisemitism through Looking Back (Hybrid Event)
Panel Discussion

Date: Tuesday, December  12
Time: 12:30 pm ET
Klau Library, Cincinnati

Join Dr. Michael A. Meyer, Rabbi Ari (Ballaban) Jun, and Dr. Jordan Finkin in conversation with Rabbi Jonathan Hecht to address audience questions on antisemitism. Professor Emeritus, Dr. Meyer, is a German-born American historian who has extensively studied pre-war European Jewry and taught courses at HUC on antisemitism. Rabbi Jun, as the director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, works tirelessly to manage and respond to potential violations of the rights and freedoms of Jews in our local community. Dr. Finkin, the Deputy Director and Rare Book and Manuscript Librarian at the Klau, will address the historical influence of antisemitic writings and propaganda on populations who went on to perpetrate or ignore heinous crimes against Jews. Bring your thoughtful questions and participate in this important conversation to better understand the current rise in animosity directed against Jews, how we got here, and where to go toward a brighter future.


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