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The Languages of Jewish Life - A Six-Lecture Series

Words are the beginning and end of human expression. They are the key to telling our story, our passions, our fears and our hopes. Much of Jewish history has been told in the languages of Hebrew and Yiddish. But those are only the beginning. Please join us for a series of community-wide lectures with scholars from throughout the United States and Israel for an extraordinary look at the history, power and legends of the languages of Jewish life.

A. Opening Lecture
Presented by The Jewish Forum, SAJE (Seminars for Adult Jewish Enrichment) and Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education/FedEd

Jewish Languages: A Panorama of Manuscript and Print
Brad Sabin Hill
George Washington University
SUNDAY, JANUARY 30, 2011 • 7:30 P.M.

Jewish Community Center • 6600 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield

Holy letters for profane words…

Hebrew is not the only language which has been written in the Hebrew alphabet. Since antiquity dozens of vernaculars have been written by Jews – and even by non-Jews – in Hebrew letters. Some of these have left entire literary traditions in manuscripts and books. "Jewish Languages: A Panorama of Manuscript and Print" will survey the vast range of medieval and later languages in Hebrew characters, before and after the introduction of printing.

Brad Sabin Hill is curator of the I. Edward Kiev Judaica Collection at George Washington University. He has held positions at the National Library of Canada, the British Library, the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. A senior associate of the Oxford Centre, Hill is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.
Presented by The Jewish Forum, SAJE (Seminars for Adult Jewish Enrichment) and Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education/FedEd

 

B. The Languages of Sephardic and Oriental Jews - Three Lectures
Presented by Wayne State University’s Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies in cooperation with the Jewish Forum, SAJE (Seminars for Adult Jewish Enrichment) and Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education/FedEd

1. Not Just Yiddish and Hebrew: On the Phenomenon of Jewish Languages
THE HERMAN/ALPER KEYNOTE LECTURE

Professor Benjamin Hary
Emory University
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2011 • 2 P.M.

Temple Kol Ami • 5085 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield

Dr. Benjamin Hary is associate professor of Hebrew, Arabic and Linguistics at Emory University. Currently a Fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, he was one of the founding faculty members of the Emory Program in Linguistics, where he also served as director.
Co-sponsored by Temple Kol Ami and the Jewish Forum

2. Judeo-Arabic
Professor Benjamin Hary
Emory University
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2011 • 3 P.M.

Romanian Room, Manoogian Hall
Wayne State University • 906 W. Warren, Detroit

Co-sponsored by the Department of Classic and Modern Languages, Literature and Cultures; and the Linguistics Program, Wayne State University

3. Ladino
Professor Monique Balbuena
University of Oregon
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011, 2 P.M.

Keter Torah Synagogue • 5480 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield

Dr. Monique Rodrigues Balbuena is associate professor of literature at the University of Oregon’s Clark Honors College. Currently a Fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, Dr. Balbuena was a Starr Fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University and frequently serves as a translator and a scholar of comparative literature and Jewish studies.
Co-sponsored by Keter Torah Synagogue and the Jewish Forum

 

C. The Mamaloschen and the Holy Tongue - Two Lectures
Presented by The Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, The Jewish Forum, SAJE (Seminars for Adult Jewish Enrichment) and Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education/FedEd

1. Yiddish Culture in America: So Jewish, So American!
Professor Avraham Novershtern
Hebrew University and Frankel Institute Fellow
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2011 • 7:30 P.M.

Jewish Community Center • 6600 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield

Yiddish culture was the bride, American society was the groom. Together, the two formed a completely new ethnicity that came to shape and forever define Jewry in the United States. “Yiddish Culture in America” will explore the immense possibilities that America opened for hundreds of thousands of Jews and analyze its character as a blend and synthesis of two worlds: roots in Jewish Eastern Europe, the importance of communal ties and the survival of Jewish tradition plus an American sensibility, a new urban landscape and the importance of the individual.

Dr. Avraham Novershtern is a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and currently a Fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. His research interests include Yiddish literature in the United States, 20th century Yiddish poetry and Sholem Aleichem.

2. Sacred Hebrew: Inventing Identity through Language
Professor David Aaron

Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and Frankel Institute Fellow

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2011 • 7:30 P.M.

Jewish Community Center – West Bloomfield

The idea that Hebrew is a holy language came at a time when most Jews were living outside the Land of Israel and speaking anything but Hebrew. Why, then, did this concept develop when it did, and what were its implications for the development of early Rabbinic Judaism? “Sacred Hebrew” will explore how the religious notion of “holiness” profoundly influenced the ethnic identity of Diaspora Jews during the Roman-Byzantine era. 

Dr. David Aaron is professor of Hebrew Bible and History of Interpretation at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati and currently a Fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. Dr. Aaron, who was ordained at HUC-JIR, also studied as a graduate Fellow at the Hebrew University and the Universitaet Tuebingen in Germany.

Cost:

Full Series: $25/person or $10 for students and Jewish communal professionals and educators

Individual Lectures:

January 30: Brad Sabin Hill:
$10/person or $5 for students and Jewish communal professionals and educators
February 6: Benjamin Hary:
no charge
February 15: Benjamin Hary:
no charge
February 27: Monique Balbuena:
no charge
March 9: Avraham Novershtern:
$10/person or $5 for students and Jewish communal professionals and educators
March 16: David Aaron:
$10/person or $5 for students and Jewish communal professionals and educators

Advance registration requested by Wednesday, January 26, 2011.
To register, please call 248.432.5692 or click here.

For a printable registration form (for mailing) click here.

The Jewish Forum is happy to present this series in cooperation with:

 

 

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