Archive of Events

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 7:00pm
Location: VIRTUAL
PAINTED Pomegranates AND Needlepoint RABBIS
How Jews Craft Resilience and Create Community
Jodi Eichler-Levine, Lehigh University in conversation with Laura Arnold Leibman, Reed College
Virtual Book Launch
Wednesday October 21,2020
7:00-8:15 p.m.
Come celebrate the release of this innovative book, and learn about how the voices of Jewish American crafters give us a whole new feeling for Jewish life. 
Presented by the Philip and Muriel Berman Center for Jewish Studies


Sunday, July 5, 2020 - 9:00am to Wednesday, July 8, 2020 - 6:00pm
Location: Oxford, England via ZOOM


For the complete program of this event, please click here... 

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 3:00pm to 6:00pm
Location: New York University
Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 7:00pm
Location: Linderman Library, Room 200

Israel-Palestine Panel

Open to the Lehigh Community

Panelists included:

Sa'ed Atshan is Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College. He received his BA from Swarthmore in 2006. His research interests are at the intersection of peace and conflict studies, the anthropology of policy, critical development studies, and gender and sexuality studies. He has two forthcoming books with Stanford University Press: Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique and Paradoxes of Humanitarianism: The Social Life of Aid in the Palestinian Territories (Anthropology of Policy Series). He also has co-authored, with Katharina Galor, The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians, to be published with Duke University Press in 2020. 

Arie M. Dubnov is an associate professor of history and the Max Ticktin Chair of Israel Studies at George Washington University. His publications include the intellectual biography Isaiah Berlin: The Journey of a Jewish Liberal (2012), and two edited volumes, Zionism – A View from the Outside (2010 [in Hebrew]), seeking to put Zionist history in a larger comparative trajectory, and Partitions: A Transnational History of Twentieth-century Territorial Separatism (2019, co-edited with Laura Robson), tracing the genealogy of the idea of partition in the British interwar Imperial context.

Nitzan Lebovic received his B.A. in History and Theory of Literature from Tel Aviv University and his Ph.D. from UCLA. His first book, titled The Philosophy  of Life and Death: Ludwig Klages and the Rise of a Nazi Biopolitics (2013) focuses on the circle around the Lebensphilosophie and anti-Semitic thinker Ludwig Klages. His second book, Zionism and Melancholy: The Short Life of Israel Zarchi, came out in Hebrew in 2015 and will be published in June 2019 with the "New Jewish Philosophy and Thought" series at Indiana University Press.

Jodi Eichler-Levine is associate professor of religion studies and associate BermanProfessor of Jewish Civilization at Lehigh University. She is the author of Suffer the Little Children: Uses of the Past in Jewish and African American Children's Literature, which explores how traumatic pasts are represented for young people; she is completing a book tentatively titled Crafting Judaism, forthcoming from UNC Press in 2020. Her academic interests in Jewish American children's literature, popular media, and material culture give her a vantage point on the diverse ways that Jewish Americans approach the conflict.

Lior Sternfeld is an Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Penn State University. He is a social historian of the modern Middle East with a focus on minorities and social movements in the region. His first book, Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran, was published in 2018 by Stanford University Press. 




Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 7:30pm
Location: Muhlenberg College, Moyer Hall, Miller Forum

Monday, October 21, 2019 - 3:30pm
Location: Muhlenberg College, Moyer Hall, Miller Forum

Monday, September 16, 2019 - 7:30pm
Location: Linderman Library, Room 200
Tapping on the Stained Glass Ceiling: The Ordination of Orthodox Jewish Women
Michal Raucher
Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies
Rutgers University
Dozens of Orthodox Jewish women have been ordained as rabbis since 2013, when the first class graduated from Yeshivat Maharat, the only Orthodox seminary ordaining women in North America. Their arduous education and institutional certification have endowed them with ostensible authority. Nevertheless, these women have yet to be widely accepted as rabbis in the particular Jewish communities in which they work. Based on interviews with and observations of women who have been ordained in Israel and North America, this lecture explores how women come to be recognized as Orthodox rabbis.
Michal Raucher is Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. Her research lies at the intersection of Israel studies, the anthropology of women in Judaism, and reproductive ethics. Michal’s first book, an ethnography of Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jewish women’s reproductive ethics, titled, “Conceiving Authority,” will be published by Indiana University Press in 2020. Michal is currently conducting ethnographic research on the ordination of women in Orthodox Judaism in Israel and America. 
This event is free and open to the public.

For more information contact: Office of Interdisciplinary Programs

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 7:00pm
Location: Moyer Hall, Miller Forum, Muhlenberg College

What Are Jews For?

The History of the Idea of Jewish Chosenness
The biblical ‘election of Israel’ – the setting apart of the Jews by God, as recipients of divine protection, and bearers of special holiness – has been the focus of fascination and repeated reappraisal by both Jews and non-Jews throughout the modern era. This theological concept lies at the heart of a broader question: what is the particular purpose of Jews in the world?
In this lecture Professor Sutcliffe will trace the history of the ‘Jewish Purpose Question’ from its biblical and medieval roots, through key early modern thinkers such as Spinoza and Moses Mendelssohn, and up to the twenty-first century.
Professor Adam Sutcliffe
Kings College London
Tuesday, April 2
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Moyer Hall, Miller Forum
Open to the public
Kosher dessert reception following lecture.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 7:00pm
Location: Sinclair Auditorium
Set in the Hasidic enclave of Borough Park, Brooklyn, 93QUEEN follows a group of tenacious Hasidic women who are resisting the patriarchy in their community by creating the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York City. With unprecedented — and insider — access, 93QUEEN offers up a unique portrayal of bold women who take matters into their own hands to change their own community from within.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Sinclair Laboratory Auditorium, 7 Asa Drive 
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015
This is a free and non-ticketed event open to the public.
Lehigh University's Berman Center for Jewish Studies, Lehigh Hillel and Office of Jewish Life, Religion Studies Department, Film and Documentary Studies, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Health, Medicine and Society Program, Muhlenberg College’s Jewish Studies Program and Muhlenberg College’s Hillel. 
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 7:30pm
Location: Williams Hall, Roemmele Global Commons

Philip and Muriel Berman Center for Jewish Studies

Jews, Whiteness, and the Broadway Musical
Warren Hoffman, PhD
Executive Director, Association for Jewish Studies, NY

Jewish Americans served as the  main creators behind  the growth of the Broadway  musical in the U.S., but  what does the Broadway  musical have to  say about issues of race, especially the racial identities of its Jewish creators? In this talk, we'll look at four musicals: Show Boat, Oklahoma!, Annie Get Your Gun, and  West Side Story to see how  the  musical art  form engaged with the concept of race in different time periods, looking particularly at the question of  white racial identity and the ways in which musicals themselves  helped Jews assimilate into the white mainst ream .
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
7:30 PM, Lehigh University, Roemmele Global Commons, Williams Hall, Building 31.
On  street parking or Zoellner  Arts Center.
Book signing to follow.
For more information contact: The Office of Interdisciplinary Programs, 610-758-3996 I
Co-sponsors: American Studies Program and the Association for Jewish Studies Distinguished Lectureship Program


Monday, October 29, 2018 - 8:30am to Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 5:00pm
Location: John Evans Alumni Center, Evanston Illinois

For more information, click here...

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - 4:00pm
Location: Williams Hall, Roemmele Global Commons
Interdisciplinary Academic Programs Dialogue and Networking
Meets 5 x 10 professional growth and success requirement! Bring a Friend...or two!
Africana Studies • Global Studies • Asian Studies • Cognitive Science  
Environmental Studies • Jewish Studies • Global Citizenship  
Science, Technology & Society • Health, Medicine & Society  
American Studies • Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies • Classical Studies
Sustainable Development • Latin American and Latino Studies 
Environmental Policy • Community Fellows
Learn about interdisciplinary studies within the College of Arts & Sciences
Re-connect with classmates and faculty
Meet perspective and re-connect with current students
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 | 4:00 - 5:00 PM | Williams Hall, Roemmele Global Commons
Office of Interdisciplinary Programs: 610-758-3996 |
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 7:00pm
Location: Lewis Lab, Room 270
On Being a Jewish Writer
Dara Horn
American Novelist, Scholar of Hebrew and Yiddish Literature
"Can one find the universal in the particular? In this talk, Dara Horn, American novelist and scholar of Hebrew and Yiddish literature, will discuss the history of Jewish languages, what it means to write stories grounded in the Jewish literary tradition in contemporary America, and how she came to write her most recent novel, about a woman who can't die." 
Book signing will follow lecture.
Jewish Studies Program, Lafayette College
Hillel Society, Lafayette College
Creative Writing Program, Lehigh University
Monday, March 5, 2018 - 6:00pm
Location: Roemmele Global Commons, Williams Hall
“We Charge Genocide":  American Racism, Memory, and the Genocide Convention in the Cold War
Anson Rabinbach
Princeton University
The United Nations Genocide Convention was deeply entwined with the politics of race in early post World War II America. In 1951, a group of prominent African-American intellectuals and political activists, including W.E.B. Dubois and Paul Robeson, saw the Convention as an opportunity to address lynching in the American South. The result was a petition entitled We Charge Genocide; The Crime of Government against the Negro People, presented to the United Nations in December 1951. Despite its’ adoption by the United States in 1948, the Convention was not ratified until 1987. It was effectively blocked by Southern Senators, who feared an infringement of state’s rights and Jim Crow. Trapped in the politics of the Cold War, the Genocide Convention became a casualty of the confrontation between the African American experience of slavery, segregation, racial violence, and its origins in the immediate postwar experience of the crimes of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. 
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 4:15pm
Location: Williams Hall, Roemmele Global Commons
Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia 'teach in'
Jodi Eichler-Levine, Professor, Religion Studies
Khurram Hussain, Professor, Religion Studies
Hartley Lachter, Professor/Chair, Religion Studies
Robert Rozehnal, Professor, Religion Studies
Open Q & A Conversation
Berman Center for Jewish Studies | Center for Global Islamic Studies | Religion Studies Department
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 11:00am to Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 4:30pm

Venue: Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York 10011 (USA)

Organized by: Nitzan LebovicDaniel Weidner

Research project(s): Prophetic Politics in Transatlantic Transfer

Organized in cooperation with the Zentrum Fur Literatur – Und Kulturforschung (Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin) and the Center for Jewish History, New York

Modern forms of prophetic rhetoric became important models for social and political change. The rise of modern political theology, political messianism, secularization, or the revival of “prophetic charisma” contributed to a different mode of revolutionary or reformative change. This change has been characterized by a tight relation between ethical and epistemological, normative and utopian claims, all of which integrated tropes of prophetic rhetoric. From this perspective, it is not sufficient to talk about religious rhetoric in relation to concepts such as hegemony and control; it is as important to consider its appearance in non-institutional discourses and different expressions of popular resistance, and then not only as mere gestures, but in the form of specific practices.

Our workshop in New York will continue in laying the foundation for a transatlantic cooperation about prophetic politics in the twentieth century. A first workshop was held in Berlin in June 2017, and focused mostly on references to an elitist and theoretical form of political prophecy in the Weimar republic. The second workshop, in New York, will follow the prophetic figure across the ocean, as it moves, with A.J. Heschel, Martin Buber, and Paul Tillich, to the American context. Here, historians believe, prophetic politics became more vernacular and more democratic. The second workshop will examine how and where the radical intellectual figure meets with other traditions of prophetic speech, such as the American Jeremiad, Walt Whitman’s transcendental prophetic plea, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X’s use of prophetic tropes, and the American-Muslim call for social and political reform.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Daniel Weidner (ZfL) and Nitzan Lebovic (Lehigh University): Introduction

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Brian Britt (Virginia Tech University): Prophetic Perfectionism: The Afterlives of Nat Turner and John Brown

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Sam Brody (The University of Kansas): Prophecy and Powerlessness

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Sarah Hammerschlag (The University of Chicago): Believing in the U.S.A.: Derrida, Melville and the Great American Charlatan

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Zvi Ben-Dor Benite (New York University): The Prophetic Voice: Political-Theological Perspectives

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Keynote Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth College): Political Prophecy versus Liberation Theology: Ethical and Mystical Dimensions

Thursday, September 14, 2017

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 
Reading session: Written prophecy

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Saladin Ambar (Rutgers University): Catch on Fire: Malcolm X and the Black Prophetic Tradition

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Vincent Lloyd (Villanova University): Samuel Delany as Prophetic Critic

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
John Pettegrew (Lehigh University): James Baldwin's "Gospel of Love" in Mid-20th Century Democratic Thought

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Concluding discussion

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - 4:00pm
Location: Roemmele Global Commons, Williams Hall
Thursday, November 3, 2016 - 4:15pm
Location: The Humanities Center

In this lecture, I explore the affinities between the atonality of Heidegger’s speculation on the essence of the truth of being that eludes objectification and the nonsystematic system championed by the kabbalists in their effort to diagram the infinity that resists all schematic representation. I will argue that Heidegger’s Seyn and the kabbalistic Ein Sof are postontological constructs that call into question the suitability of systematic thinking applied to the being that is the singular fragmentation of all beings but that can never be confined to any particular being. Heideggerian and kabbalistic hermeneutics can be contemplated from the perspective of the atonality of thought, which is profitably compared to a musical fugue wherein the different aspects are joined together compositionally into a polyphonic whole in which each jointure intones the same sequence of notes from a contrapuntal perspective without a tonal center. 

Co-sponsors: The Humanities Center, Department of Philosophy and Department of Religion Studies

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 7:00pm
Location: Roemmele Global Commons

Joy Ladin
David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English
Director, The Beren Writing Center
Yeshiva University

Joy Ladin is often asked how she reconciles being religious with being transgender. In this talk, she will explain how her childhood experience of hiding both her trans identity and her relationship with God has led her to see transgender experience as enriching rather than challenging, opposing or  "queering" religious tradition, a perspective she will illustrate by reading the story of Jonah (a man who preferred to die than live as who he was) from a trans perspective. Building on the work of feminist theologians, she will argue that expanding our understanding of humanity to be more gender-inclusive enables us to expand our understanding of God.

Joy Ladin's return to Yeshiva University as a woman after receiving tenure as a man made her the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution and made page-3 news in the New York Post. Her memoir of gender transition, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, was a finalist for a 2012 National Jewish Book Award, and she is also the author of seven books of poetry, including Lambda Literary Award finalists Impersonation and Transmigration. She holds the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University, and her work has been recognized with a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, and an American Council of Learned Societies research fellowship. She has spoken about gender identity issues around the country, and is currently writing a book of trans Jewish theology entitled, I Am What I Will Be: Meeting God at the Burning Bush of Becoming.

Co-sponsor:  Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.

Free non-ticketed event.

Paid parking available at Zoellner Arts Center or on street meter parking.


Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 4:15pm
Location: Humanities Center, Lehigh University

Thursday, December 3rd - 4:10PM
Humanities Center, Lehigh University
The Philip and Muriel Berman Center for Jewish Studies
The Humanities Center
Kocku von Stuckrad
Professor of Religious Studies, Dean of Faculty, Theology and Relgious Studies
University of Groningen, The Netherlands
"Buber, Scholem, and the Birth of Twentieth-Century Kabbalah from Jewish Intellectual Discourse"

Monday, November 30, 2015 - 7:00pm

Monday, November 30 - 7:00pm
Seegers Union, Muhlenberg College
Writing Transparent: Revealing the Modern Jewish Family on Television
Micah Fitzerman-Blue
Writer and Supervising Producer of Transparent

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 7:15pm
Location: Kirby Hall of Civil Rights Room 104, Lafayette College
Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 4:15pm
Location: Williams Hall, Global Commons

Gil Anidjar, Professor, Department of Religion & Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Columbia University

The notion of a 'founding murder' seems strange enough, yet it is a common enough motif. What is even more interesting is that -- contra Freud -- the ancient Greek and Hebrew stories posit a fratricide, rather than a patricide at the origin. I want to explore these two answers -- for it's all in the family, or so it seems -- to the question of murder. If time permits, I shall proceed to reflect on kinship and politics -- or kinship and violence, if there is a difference -- in the Western tradition.

On Friday, October 9 from 11am – 12:30pm there will be a response to Professor Anidjar’s book “Blood” facilitated by Lehigh professors Nitzan Lebovic from History and Hartley Lachter and Khurram Hussain from Religion Studies at the Humanities Center, 224 W. Packer Ave. for faculty and graduate students. Please RSVP to for the Friday event.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 4:00pm
Location: Williams Hall, Global Commons


Welcome Back Mixer: Interdisciplinary Academic Programs
Africana Studies
American Studies
Asian Studies
Global Studies
Classical Studies
Cognitive Science
Environmental Studies
Global Citizenship
Global Studies
Health, Medicine & Society
Jewish Studies
Latin American Studies
Science, Technology & Society
Sustainable Development
Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
NEW STUDENTS: learn how interdisciplinary studies can enhance your academic goals, declare a major or a minor
CURRENT STUDENTS:re-connect with classmates and faculty
FACULTY: an opportunity to meet students and answer questions 
Light refreshments served
Monday, April 27, 2015 - 6:00pm
Location: Wood Dining Room, Iacocca Tower at Lehigh University

Book signing & reception to follow.

David Myers
Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 7:00pm
Location: Baker Center for the Arts, Recital Hall at Muhlenberg College
Philip and Muriel Berman Center for Jewish studies
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 6:00pm
Location: Jewish Community Center of Allentown, Board Room 702 N 22nd Street, Allentown, PA 18104
Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 4:15pm
Location: Lafayette College, Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, Room 104
Benjamin and Jewish Philosophy: Workshop
Friday, March 6, 2015 - 9:30am
Location: Linderman 200


Benjamin and Jewish Philosophy: Workshop
March 6, 2015
9:30 - 9:45 a.m.
Nitzan Lebovic (Lehigh University): Introduction
9:45 - 10:00 a.m.
Udi Greenberg (Dartmouth College)
"A Critical Life and Benjamin's Other Biographers"
10:00 - 10:15 a.m.
Eric Jacobson (University of Roehampton)
"Judaic Motifs in Benjamin's Late Work"
10:15 - 10:45 a.m.
10:45 - 11:00 a.m.
Brian Britt (Virginia Tech University)
"Framing the Question of Benjamin's Jewishness"
11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Discussion and short break
11:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Christopher Driscoll (Lehigh University)
"Walter Benjamin, the Twilight of White American Identity, and the Terrible Difficult of Learning to Die"
11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m
Annika Thiem (Villanova University)
"Benjamin's Messianic Metaphysics of Transience"
12:00 - 12:30 p.m.
12:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Michael Jennings (Princeton University) and Nitzan Lebovic: Integrative Commentary
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch and Concluding Discussion: Plans for Publication
Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 4:15pm
Location: Linderman Library, 200

The Philip and Muriel Berman Center for Jewish Studies presented the Benjamin and Judaism ConferenceThursday, March 5, 4:10 p.m. in Linderman Library, 200Keynote Speaker:Dr. Michael Jennings, Princeton University“Toward the Apokatastatic Will: Patristics and Esoteric Judaism in Walter Benjamin’s Late Theological Politics”Friday, March 6, 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Linderman Library, 200Paper Presentations and Discussions Dr. Brian Britt, Virginia TechDr. Christopher Driscoll, Lehigh UniversityDr. Udi Greenberg, Dartmouth CollegeDr. Eric Jacobson, University of RochamptonDr. Nitzan Lebovic, Lehigh UniversityDr. Michael Jennings, Princeton UniversityDr. Annika Thiem, Villanova UniversityFor more information or to download, view the flyer here or click on the image at right.Office of Interdisciplinary Programs - 610-758-3996 - incasip@lehigh.cdu

Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 4:00pm
Location: Linderman 200
Benjamin and Judaism Conference
Thursday, March 5 • 4:10 p.m. • Linderman Library, 200
Keynote Speaker
 Dr. Michael Jennings 
Princeton University
“Toward the Apokatastatic Will: Patristics and Esoteric Judaism in Walter Benjamin’s Late Theological Politics”
The lecture examines the eschatology that is implicit in Walter 
Benjamin’s late work: the writings that grew from the Arcades Project and the book on Baudelaire. The theory of modernity developed there is not merely analytical: it subtends an understanding that the proper use of technologized media accelerates the erasure of the 
conditions that currently obtain. It is, in short, an apocalyptic 
eschatology. This line in Benjamin’s late thought is organized not 
by the concept of messianism, but by the theological concept of 
apokatastasis. Benjamin’s use of theological material is always local and always specific to a particular problem. His work deploys a “situational” theological politics oriented to the task at hand, a 
recombinatory logic that draws freely on elements of the Christian and Jewish traditions alike. 
Michael Jennings is the Class of 1900 Professor of Modern Languages in the Department of 
German at Princeton University. He is the author of two books on Walter Benjamin: Dialectical Images: Walter Benjamin's Theory of Literary Criticism (Cornell, 1987), and with Howard Eiland, Walter Bejamin: A Critical Life (Harvard, 2013). He also serves as the general editor of the standard English-language edition of Benjamin's works, Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings (Harvard, 1996ff.), and the editor of a series of collections of Benjamin's essays.
Jennings sits on the executive committees of the Program in European Cultural Studies and the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Humanistic Studies. He is an associated faculty member in the 
Department of Art and Archaeology and the School of Architecture. 
Friday, March 6 • 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. • Linderman Library, 200
Paper Presentations and Discussions
Dr. Brian Britt, Virginia Tech 
Dr. Christopher Driscoll, Lehigh University
Dr. Udi Greenberg, Dartmouth College
Dr. Eric Jacobson, University of Roehampton
Dr. Nitzan Lebovic, Lehigh University
Dr. Michael Jennings, Princeton University
Dr. Annika Thiem, Villanova University
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 2:30pm to 3:45pm
Location: STEPS 101
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 7:00pm
Location: Muhlenberg in Hillel C located at 2238 Chew Street