The Book of Job in Our Time - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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The Book of Job in Our Time

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The Book of Job in Our Time exhibit

Exhibition continues through May 3, 2015

The Book of Job has inspired and challenged philosophers, theologians, playwrights, artists, and writers for generations. Whether the story is true or a parable, it raises one of life’s biggest existential questions—“why do the righteous suffer?”

Boils! Satan! Destruction! Fantastic descriptions of the universe! As an impressionable teen, award-winning printmaker Linda Nesvisky walked into this subject and never turned away. The forty prints on view in this exhibition reflect the artist’s fascination with this timeless theme in a combination of imagery and the written word.

View the Opening Ad >


Lecture series: Faith and Suffering in Israeli Poetry, Jewish Discourse, Literature, and Art

An Innocent Victim? Reading the Book of Job Before and After the Holocaust 
Monday, February 2 at 7 pm

Despite the Bible’s clear assertion that Job was an innocent sufferer, Jewish readers of the Book of Job rarely took this statement at face value because it impugned God’s justness. The Holocaust forced these readers to reevaluate whether it was Job or God’s integrity they desired to defend.

Jason Kalman, Ph.D., 
Associate Professor of Classical Hebrew Literature and Interpretation; 
Gottschalk-Slade Chair in Jewish Intellectual History, HUC-JIR Cincinnati

Between the Binding of Isaac and the Sacrifice of Job— An Israeli Perspective as Explored in Hebrew Poetry
Monday, February 9 at 7 pm

Facing perpetual hostilities, generations of Israelis have given their sons and daughters to the Gods of War. This ongoing reality awakens dormant mythological traumas buried deep in the collective memory of the People. In this context the “sons” look back at their “parents” through the figures of Abraham and Job with a mixture of condemnation and adoration.

Rabbi Haim O. Rechnitzer, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor of Jewish Thought,
HUC-JIR Cincinnati

A Reading of J.B., the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Archibald MacLeish
Monday, February 23 at 7 pm

Based on the story of Job, J.B. tells the story of a twentieth-century American banker/millionaire whom God commands be stripped of his family and wealth but who refuses to turn his back on God. J.B. won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1959 and the Tony Award for best play. More important, the play sparked a national conversation about the nature of God, the nature of hope, and the role of the artist in society.

Rabbi Kenneth Kanter, Associate Dean and Director of the Rabbinical School will lead a talented group of rabbinical and graduate students of the Cincinnati campus of HUC-JIR in performing an edited reading of the play. 

D. Lynn Meyers, Producing Artistic Director of Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati will be joined by a member of the HUC-JIR Cincinnati faculty for a lively discussion following the reading.

The Book of Job in Art: From Byzantium to Blake and Beyond
Monday, March 2 at 7 pm

From Byzantine manuscripts of the 9th century to paintings by Albrecht Dürer and Georges de la Tour, the Book of Job has inspired artists through the ages. Most notable is the cycle of illustrations produced by the nineteenth century English poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake. An illustrated lecture will explore these visual representations of the story of Job.

Abby Schwartz,
Art historian and Cincinnati Skirball Museum director


Printmaking Workshop with artist Linda Nesvisky

Sunday March 8, 1–3 pm
Art Academy of Cincinnati
1212 Jackson Street

Join exhibition artist Linda Nesvisky for a workshop using the facilities of the print department at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

Registration and $5 materials fee required.

To register: Call Jen Mendelson at 513.487.3098 or online byclicking here. Space limited.

Lunch and Learn Book Club on Harold Kushner’s The Book of Job: When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person

Monday, March 23, 12:40–1:40 pm
Skirball Museum
HUC-JIR campus

Read the book, enjoy lunch and engage in conversation around Kushner’s most important book since When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Free and open to the public.

Reservations required. 513.487.3098 or email

Discussion led by Dr. Barry Kogan, Efroymson Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Religious Thought, HUC-JIR Cincinnati.

Exhibition open for viewing before and after the program.


All lectures will be held at Mayerson Hall on the HUC/Cincinnati campus. 

Exhibition open for viewing at 6:30 pm before each lecture.

Series fee $18.00.

Inpidual lectures $5.00.

Registration and payment required by calling Jen Mendelson at 513.487.3098

Skirball Museum Hours
Tuesday and Thursday 11 am–4 pm
Sunday 1–5 pm

Exhibition continues through May 31, 2015