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organized by Prof. Dr. Sina Rauschenbach, Dr. Susanne Härtel, Julian Holter, M.A. and Tanja Zakrzewski, M.A.
University of Potsdam, Am Neuen Palais 10, building 8, room 0.56, 14469 Potsdam
September 24th, 3:30 p.m. – September 26th, 12:30 p.m.
Although Sephardic Studies is already established as a field at Israeli and U.S. universities, it is strongly underrepresented in European universities, where Jewish Studies scholars still tend to focus on Ashkenazic histories and cultures. However, Sephardic Studies scholars have often been forerunners in connecting Jewish and non-Jewish history, introducing new research questions and applying new methodological approaches from other disciplines to Jewish history and thought. The conference is the first of a series of conferences designed to connect European scholars involved in the study of Sephardic history and culture and to create new networks of scholarly discussion and cooperation.
The conference will start with an evening lecture by Dr. Jessica Roitman (Leiden) on September 24th 2019 and continue with 13 individual presentations and extensive discussions until September 26th at noon. The topics covered will range from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. Geographically, Iberia and the so-called Western and Eastern Sephardic Diasporas will come into view.The detailed program can be found here.
Guests are very welcome. If you are interested, please contact Tanja Zakrzewski (firstname.lastname@example.org) by September 16th at the latest.
On July the 3th at 6 p.m. an information- and network meeting on the exchange project between the master programs of Jewish Studies and Eastern European Cultural Studies at Potsdam University and Ashkenazic Studies at Haifa University took place in room 107 in house 1 at campus Neues Palais.
As part of this program this summer semester four lecturers from Haifa are vistiting Potsdam university, who also presented their current projects in the research colloquia of Jewish Studies and Slavic Studies.
3th July 2019, 10 a.m., 184.108.40.206 Svetlana Natkovich, PhD (University of Haifa): "Discourses of Natural History and the Development of Prose of Mendele Mojcher Sforim"
3th July 2019, 16 p.m., 220.127.116.11 Prof. Cedric Cohen Skalli, PhD (University of Haifa): "Historising the Bible: From Abarbanel to Richard Simon and Spinoza"
10th July 2019, 10 Uhr, 18.104.22.168 Dorota Burda-Fischer, PhD (University of Haifa): "Jewish motifs in the work of Stanisław Vincenz"
10th July 2019, 16 p.m., 22.214.171.124 Prof. Zur Shalev, PhD (University of Haifa): "In Search of the Seven Churches of Asia: Early Modern European Travelers between Theology and Archaeology"
Further information on the exchange project with Haifa Univsersity can be found here (in German)
On Wednesday, 26th of June, Prof. Myriam Bienenstock, PhD (Université François Rabelais, Tours) held a lecture on the French-Lithuanian philosopher Emmanuel Levinas within the frame of the Jewish Studies research colloquium.
Instead of a semester opening of the Department of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies and the School of Jewish Theology on 15th of May 2019 a midterm lecture was held by Prof. Karl Vadja, PhD on the topic of "Current Development Tendencies in the Neolog Judaism of Hungary"
After the lecture guests were invited to a small reception.
The Jewish Studies Student Committee celebrated the end of the winter semester with a movie night on 5th of Februar 2019 at 6:15 p.m. in Thalia Cinema in Potsdam-Babelsberg: „Der letzte Jolly Boy“ (D 2018 • 105‘) with the guests: director Hans-Erich Viet and protagonist Leon Schwarzbaum
An article about the event can be found here(in German)
Like last year, student committees of Jewish Studies, Jewish Theology and Religious Studies warmly invited everybody to a Hanukkah Party on Wednesday, the 5th of December, in the Nil StudentInnenkeller. There was a buffet, as well as a little program with kindling of the Hanukkah lights, song singing, small contributions of students and a Tombola raffle.
Following this, there was a dance party with Trash Disco and Alltime Hits.
winter semester 2018/19
The lecture series "Introduction to Jewish Studies" adresses freshmen of Jewish Studies as well as everybody, who is interested in the subject. It provides insight into the topics and lecturers of Jewish Studies at Potsdam University.
The lecture series takes place every Wednesday from twelve to two p.m. starting on 24.10.2018 until 13.02.2019 in room 2.16 in Haus 9 at Campus Neues Palais.
An overview of the topics and lecturers of the particluar sessions can be found here (in German).
On Wednesday, 7th of November, the festive opening of the winter semester of the Department of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies and the School of Jewish Theology took place.
At the center of the event was the presentation of the book „Glaube in Potsdam“ (Faith in Potsdam) by Prof. Johann Ev. Hafner PhD, Helga Völkening PhD, Daniela Schmidt and Emmanuel Neumann. Subsequently the Student Committees of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies invited to a small reception.
The conference took place on 05. and 06.11.2018 in the TOPOI-Haus in Berlin-Dahlem. The conference opening was on 04.11.2018 at 6 p.m. in the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans Joas held the ceremonial address.
The program of the conference can be found here (in German).
From October 24th to 28th 2018 for the third time a workshop for young scholars (M.A. and PhD) in Jewish history, religion and culture took place at Campus Neues Palais.
The workshop was organized by the Leo Baeck Foundation, the School of Jewish Theology (Potsdam University), the Department of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies (Potsdam University), the Department of Slavic Studies (Potsdam University), as well as the Department of Jewish Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow.
The opening lecture was held by Prof. François Guesnet, PhD (University College London) on the topic "Religion, State, and Society: The Jews of Poland at the Watershed of World War One".
Prof. Habbo Knoch PhD (University of Cologne, Department of History)
Lecture and Discussion
Friday, 6th of July 2018
2.15 p.m. - 3.45 p.m.
Universität Potsdam, Neues Palais, Raum 1.11.0.09
More information can be found here (in German).
Taboos, Maladies, Dilemmas and Aporias
Scholars report 10 minutes about a no-go in research and everyday life
An interdisciplinary study day at the 60th birthday of Prof. Christoph Schulte
with buffet and wine in the evening
Wednesday, 27th of June 2018, starting 3 p.m.
Potsdam University, Am Neuen Palais, Haus 11
outer terrace between the pillars over the outside staircase
The School of Jewish Theology, the Department of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies and the Student Committees of the departments opened the summer semester with the lecture "What's so Interesting About the German Zionism?“ by visiting professor Stefan Vogt, PhD (Frankfurt a. M./Potsdam), that inquired after the relevance of the German Zionism, 70 years after the foundation of the State of Israel.
Following the lecture, the Student Committee of the School of Jewish Theology invited everybody for reception and snack.
21th-22th January 2018 in Berlin
"Bestimmung des Menschen" / Bilder des "Juden von Berlin" ("Destiny of Man" / Images of the "Jew of Berlin") was the topic of the first Moses Mendelssohn symposium, which took place on Sunday, 21th, and Monday, 22th of January 2018.
More information, as well as the program can be found here.
On December 19th 2017 a Chanukka Celebration of Jewish Studies, Jewish Theology and Religious Studies took place at Nil StudentInnenkeller (Haus 11, Campus Neues Palais). It was organized by the departmental Student Committees.
At 6 p.m. the Chanukka candles were lit, which was accompanied by the singing of Chanukka songs and the reading of texts. Hereafter a buffet was opened, which was provided by Foodsharing Potsdam and the university cafeteria. A Chanukka Aftershow Party concluded the evening.
The second Polish-German conference for young researchers took place from November 8th to 12th in Cracow. It was organized by the School of Jewish Theology (University of Potsdam) together with our Department of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies and the Jagiellonian University in Cracow.
On Tuesday, the 7th of November 2017, the common opening of the winter semester by the Department of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies and the School of Jewish Studies took place. Special guest was Prof. Alfred Bodenheimer (Basle), who gave a reading from his new crime novel "Ihr sollt den Fremden lieben. Rabbi Kleins vierter Fall". Afterwards all guests and students were invited for drinks.
Wissenschaft des Judentums" in the Context of Diaspora and Migration" was the topic of the November 5th to 7th 2017 in Frankfurt (Oder).
The conveners of the conference were Prof. Kerstin Schoor and Prof. Annette Werberger from the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) and Werner Treß from the Moses Mendelssohn Center for Jewish Studies in Potsdam.
The conference program can be found(in German).
June - October 2017
Since 2014, more than 5.000 books from the Judaica Collections of the University Library Potsdam (UB) are examined, which are suspected to be Nazi loot. The exhibition showed a selection of those books and gave a cursory insight into the complexity of this field of research.
The exhibition was shown from June 23th until October 28th 2017 in the foyer of the IKMZ Golm.
The conference with the topic "Methods and Disciplines between Germany and Israel" took place from July 3th to 5th 2017 at the University of Potsdam.
The Enlightenment philosopher and Kantian Saul Ascher (1767-1822) was the first political publicist of Jewish modernity and one of the most hated Jews of his time. As enlightened universalist, Ascher opposed Fichte, Arndt and other protagonists of the early German nationalism and declared their anti-Jewish definition of the German to be a "Germanomanie" (1815).
The workshop, which took place on May 8th 2017, 200 years after the Wartburg festival and 500 years after the reformation, was dedicated to the role of Luther in the Haskalah, to the early nationalistic utilization of Luther and the reformation for the birth of the German nation and to it's Jewish reactions. More information can be found here (in German).
On Wednesday, the 26th of April 2017, the Department of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies and the School of Jewish Theology celebrated the beginning of the summer semester 2017 together. The event was opened by a lecture of Prof. Jonathan Schorsch (Jewish religious and intellectual history) on „Messianism and Activism, Messianism as Activism.“ At the end of the lecture, the Jewish Activism Summer School (JASS), which took place from 31th of July until 20th of August was presented. More information concerning the JASS can be found here.
Afterwards everybody was invited for a reception, which was organized by the departmental Student committee of the School of Jewish Theology. The buffet was provided by Foodsharing Potsdam.
In 2016, the first day Chanukka fell on the Christmas Eve. For both feasts the symbol of light plays an important role. In order to get attuned to the festive season a Miracle of Light Celebration of Jewish Studies, Religious Studies and Jewish Theology took place on Tuesday, December 13th 2016, which was organized by the departmental Student Committees.
As an introduction to the complex relationship of Chanukka and Christmas, the movie "The Hebrew Hammer" was shown. Afterwards there was a small program, which included a Chanukka movie made by students, the reading of texts and singing of Christmas and Chanukka songs. A substantial buffet provided sustenance for the convivial evening.
On December 9th/10th 2016 a conference took place in Berlin on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as the 125th birthday of Nelly Sachs.
The conference was organized by the Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum in Potsdam and the Department of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies at the University of Potsdam.
Further information, as well as the conference program can be found here (in German).
October - November 2016
"Sephardim and Ashkenazim – Jewish-Jewish Encounters in History and Literature" was the topic of the fourth annual conference of the ZJS, which took place from October 31th to November 2nd 2016 in Berlin.
Conveners of the conference were Prof. Sina Rauschenbach (University of Potsdam) and Prof. Kerstin Schoor (European University Viadrina Frankfurt/Oder)
Further information can be found here.
From October 26th to 28th 2016 the first conference for young Polish and German academics in the fields of Jewish Studies and Jewish Theology took place at Potsdam University. Participants came from the University of Potsdam, from the Jagiellonian University Cracow and from the University of Wroclaw and discussed their Master theses, which included the fields of Jewish history, culture and religion.
The conference was organized by the School of Jewish Theology, the Department of Slavic Studies and the Department of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies of Potsdam University, in cooperation with the Instytut Judaistyki of the Jagiellonian University Cracow and the Zakład Studiów Żydowskich of Wroclaw University.
October / November 2015
A cycle of songs by the Argentinian-Spanish composer Osias Wilenski with a reading from original texts by Luis de Carvajals (el Mozo), who was convicted and burned at the stake by the Inquisition together with his family in 1596.
The event is based on the idea and arrangement of Prof. Sina Rauschenbach (Potsdam) und Prof. Héctor Pérez Brignoli (San José, Costa Rica) and founded by a cooperation between the University of Potsdam and the Constance Cluster of Excellence „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“ (Cultural Foundations of Integration).
More information can be found here (in German).
In the context the new focus of Jewish Studies in Potsdam on the history of Sephardic Judaism, an international conference was held between October 27th to 29th 2015, that inquired after the role of Sephardic Judaism within the European expansion between the 16th and 19th century.
The conference was organized by Prof. Sina Rauschenbach, the Department of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg (ZJS).
More Information on this conference can be found here.
In resonance of her 250th birthday, this interdisciplinary conference opens new and nuanced perspectives on life and work of Henriette Herz.
The conference was organized by the Department of German Studies (Ulrike Wels, PhD), the Department of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies (Ulrike Schneider, PhD) and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Hannah Lotte Lund, PhD) in cooperation with the Moses Mendelssohn Center for Jewish Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies Berlin Brandenburg. More information on the conference can be found here (in German).
From April 16th to 29th 2015 the traveling exhibition "Jewish Mathematicians in the German-Speaking Academic Culture" was shown at Campus Neues Palais. It was invited to Potsdam by the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies. The exhibition showed the important role of Jewish mathematicians in the German-speaking academia from the 19th century until World War II. The exhibition was prolonged and was shown until September 2015 in the IKMZ on Campus Golm.
In the winter semester 2014/2015 we celebrated 20 years of Jewish studies in Potsdam. On the occasion of this anniversary we organized the workshop "Jewish Studies for the 21th Century", in which we looked both back on the past and forward into the future.
Short presentations were (among others) given by Dmitrij Belkin (ELES), Cathy Gelbin (University of Manchester), Cilly Kugelmann (program director of the Jewish Museum Berlin), François Guesnet (University College London), Vivian Liska (Universiteit Antwerpen), Eva Lezzi (ELES) and Inka Bertz (Jewish Museum Berlin). More information can be found here (in German).