About the Program
The Major & Minor
Special Studies
Study Abroad
Summer Study
Awards & Prizes
News & Events
Jewish Studies

News & Events


October 17th

Presentation of the Major and Minor
Campus Center 102
4:30 pm




September 11

Graham Hall Auditorium

Dr. David Hirsh

The Mainstreaming of Antisemitism:left and right




Spring 2017


Friday April 21 11:00-12:10
Seelye 102




March 9






March 2

Tamar Zandberg to Speak at Smith

Neilson Browsing Room

4:30 pm.






Monday February 20, 2017




Fall 2016

December 7, 2016


Jewish Feminism and Intersectionality NOW
With Dr. Marla Brettsneider
Seelye 207 at 7pm




November 2

Presentation of the JUD Major and Minor
CC 102




November 16
7pm Seelye 106





Monday, October 24, 2016

Rachel Havrelock
The Book of Joshua: Then and Now

Seelye 201 4:30 pm









Exciting opportunities for Jterm!





Fall 2015


Friday, Sept 25, 3 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room,


Film screening and discussion with Academy Award-winning director Malcolm Clarke: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life,

winner of the 2013 Oscar for Best documentary (short subject), about concert pianist and Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer (1903-2014)


Wednesday, October 14, 12-1pm,
Lewis Global Studies Center

Dr. David Govrin, Ministry of Foreign of Affairs, State of Israel "The Arab Spring and Its Regional Implications: An Israeli Perspective"


Monday, November 2, Seelye 106, 4:30pm

Joel S. Kaminsky, "Would You Impugn My Justice?: Reflections on the Hebrew Bible's Understanding of Divine Reward and Punishment," Morningstar Professorship in Jewish Studies chaired professor lecture
Sponsored by the Office of the President

Tuesday, November 3, 2:45-4pm (Workshop part of the Otelia Cromwell Day Symposium; see schedule for location)

Susan C. Dessel, "Brick in a Soft Hat: Activist, Suffragist, Crusader Martha Gruening, Smith Class of 1909"
Dessel, an award-winning conceptual artist, will present an illustrated talk about Martha Gruening, a Jewish suffragist, lawyer, journalist, civil rights and peace activist. Gruening's widely-read article "Two Suffrage Movements" (NAACP Journal, The Crisis, Sept. 1912) linked the struggles for women's rights and for African-American rights, and her investigation of the 1917 East St. Louis race riots resulted in the article "Massacre in East St. Louis" (The Crisis, Sept. 1917) which provides readers today with an historical perspective on the recent unrest in Ferguson, just thirteen and a half miles from E. St. Louis. Co-sponsored by the Department of Religion, the Program in Jewish Studies, the Otelia Cromwell Day Committee, and and several other departments and programs. An exhibit of Dessel's drawings inspired by the activism of Martha Gruening will appear in the Nolan Art Lounge at the Campus Center.

Wednesday, November 11 Global Salon with Assaf Gavron

Lewis Global Center Lounge 12pm




Wednesday, November 11, Neilson Browsing Room, 7:00pm

Assaf Gavron, "The Wild West Bank: A Novelist's Exploration of the Most Burning Topic in the Israel-Palestine Conflict"


Gavron, an award winning Israeli novelist and literary translator, will deliver a public lecture on his new novel The Hilltop, set in the world of Israel's West Bank Settlements. Gavron will talk about the intersection of literature and politics, and especially the ways in which artists can help us better understand hot-button issues on the international agenda by moving beyond the political sloganeering. Co-sponsored by the Programs in Jewish Studies, Comparative Literature, Middle East Studies, and the Lewis Global Studies Center. For more information on Assaf Gavron, visit the author's webpage at www.assafgavron.com.

(Gavron will also offer a lunchtime talk sponsored at the Lewis Global Studies Center on the topic of "Midtown is Not the Center of Town: Challenges of Literary Translation." Gavron has translated, among others, J.D. Salinger, Philip Roth, Franz Kafka, Jonathan Safran Foer, and J.K. Rowling, into Hebrew.)

Tuesday, December 1, Graham Hall, 4:30pm

Jon Papernick, "The Terrorist Mind"


Canadian novelist and short-story writer Jon Papernick will discuss his new novel The Book of Stone about cell of extremists in New York and what motivates people to turn to political violence. The Jewish Book Council calls it "a terrifying novel that illuminates dark corners of those souls who will give their life for a cause without regard for their own suffering or that of others...an astounding exploration of morality and madness." Co-sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies and the Department of English. For more information on Jon Papernick see the author's website at www.jonpapernick.com.


Thursday, Feb 4, Weinstein Auditorium, 7pm
Hebron: 47 Years of Documentation
Israeli filmmaker Ra'anan Alexandrowicz will be at Smith in connection to JUD 288 Israeli History for a screening and discussion of his documentary film


Tuesday February 9, 4:30pm Neilson Browsing Room
"Israel, then and now: Understanding Current Events in Context"
Donna Robinson Divine (Professor of Government Emerita) and Asaf Romirowsky
This student-organized event welcoming back to campus our retired colleague Donna Divine is sponsored by the Smith Israel Alliance

Feb 25-March 7, Nolen Art Lounge, Campus Center
Brick in a Soft Hat Series 2 Nos 1 - 8 (Portraiture of Martha Gruening)
Opening reception with snacks and refreshments: Thurs. Feb. 25, 4:30-5:30pm
Marth Gruening (Smith class of 1909) hailed from a German-Jewish Ethical Culture background in New York. She was a pioneering suffragist, lawyer, journalist, Civil Rights, and peace activist.

Monday March 7, Seelye 105 7pm.
"On Yiddishland: Memory, Identity, and Literature," an open class of JUD 260 The Yiddish Novel with Merle Bachman (Spalding University), author of Recovering ‘Yiddishland’: Threshold Moments in American Literature

Tuesday, March 9, Seelye 201, 5pm
"Gender and Desire in the Song of Songs,"
Martien Halvorson-Taylor, Associate Professor of Religion, University of Virginia


Monday, March 28 Seelye 202 2:40-4pm
"Yiddish Feminist Writing: Esther Kreitman's The Dance of the Demons,"
an open class of JUD 260 The Yiddish Novel with Anita Norich,  Tikva Frymer-Kensky Collegiate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature and Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan

Monday, April 4, Seelye 106
The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer, screening of documentary film in conjunction with JUD 260 The Yiddish Novel and CLT 150 The Art of Translation (open only to Smith students and faculty)

Saturday, April 2, 8:15 p.m., Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall Film Screening: ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’
Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman makes her debut as writer and director with this newly released adaptation of the best-selling memoir by celebrated Israeli author Amos Oz. Introduction by Justin Cammy, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Comparative Literature.
FREE for Smith students, faculty and staff. Sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies, Film Studies, Hadassah, and the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival. For more info, visit pvjff.org.

Sunday, April 10, 12:30 p.m., Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, Film Screening: ‘Belle and Sebastian,’
This lavish adaptation of the beloved 1965 children's book is the inspiring story of an unshakeable bond between a boy and his dog set amidst the snowy French Alps during World War II. A heartwarming tale that will thrill all ages.
FREE for Smith students, faculty and staff. Sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies, Film Studies, and the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival. For more info, visit pvjff.org.

Tuesday, April 19 at 4:30 p.m.
Global Salon
Kafka, China, and Jews

One of Kafka’s most fascinating short texts, written during the First World War in 1917, was entitled “The Great Wall of China.” Kafka's preoccupation with China reflects his intellectual engagement with the history and possible future of the Jews, as well as the project of building a Jewish national State.
Mark H. Gelber is professor of comparative literature and German-Jewish Studies at Ben-Gurion University. He is also director of the Center for Austrian and German Studies at BGU. In 2015 he was a guest professor at Renmin University, Beijing.
This event is co-sponsored by the Department of German Studies and the Department of Jewish Studies.




Smithies abroad!


Emily Bell '16 with Professor Justin Cammy on the campus of Tel Aviv University, summer 2015. Emily is studying Yiddish at the university's renowned international summer program for which Cammy a visiting professor in Yiddish literature.


Congratulations to the Balman Prize winners:

Dia Roth '15

Suri Roth-Katz '15J




Coming for The SPRING 2015


April 14
Sayed Kashua, Palestinian novelist and journalist
on the challenges of writing in Hebrew and negotiating identities. 

7pm in Neilson Browsing Room




Class visit in JUD 362: Punchline: The Jewish Comic Tradition

Open Seminar, Tuesday April 14, 1 -3pm
Poetry Center Public lecture




The Program in Jewish Studies and the

Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival present:




Kudos to our own Joel Kaminsky

The Abingdon Introduction to the Bible: Understanding Jewish and Christian Scriptures, co-authored by Joel Kaminsky, Morningstar Professor of Jewish Studies and professor of religion, has been selected by the American Library Association’s Choice magazine as a 2014 Outstanding Academic Title. Kaminsky’s book offers an accessible, scholarly perspective on the Bible, drawing on Jewish, Protestant and Catholic interpretations.




Monday, February 23

Dr. Marc Caplan on

"The Migrations and Transformations of Tevye: from Yiddish literary masterpiece to Fiddler on the Roof"

7pm in Graham Auditorium






Presentation of the Major in Minor


Thursday, October 23, 2014 at Noon

Dewey Common Room

Come meet the faculty and students and find out about our program!

JUD poster

Congratulations to Joel Kaminsky on having been named the Morningstar Family Professor of Jewish Studies.