Ari Kelman: “Learning to be Jewish”

2013 Helen Diller Family Endowment Distinguished Lecture in Jewish Studies

May 8, 2013 | 4:00-5:30 PM | Free & Open to the Public
Humanities 1 Building, Room 210, UC Santa Cruz
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Ari Y. KelmanFor most Americans, the phrase “Jewish education” summons images of Hebrew School. But, Hebrew School, or even what we might call “formal Jewish education” amounts to only a very small percentage of where and how people learn to be Jewish. The landscape of Jewish learning might include those sites, but it certainly includes a much broader spectrum of settings like worship, film festivals, popular music, literature, home-based rituals (like Passover seders), technology, and encounters with the news. By focusing on the places where and how people learn to be Jewish, a dramatically different image of Jewish education comes into focus. Building on cutting edge research into educational cultures, we will explore the variety of ways in which people learn to be Jewish in the 21st century and ask how this new understanding might inform how we understand what it means to be Jewish.

An alumnus of UC Santa Cruz (Stevenson, 1994) Ari Y. Kelman is the inaugural Jim Joseph Professor of Education and Jewish Studies in the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, where he also serves as an affiliate of the Jewish Studies Program, the Center for Comparative Race and Ethnicity, the American Studies Program, and, by courtesy, a professor of Religious Studies. He is the author of Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio, (University of California Press, 2009) and the editor of a volume of the work of cartoonist Milt Gross (NYU Press, 2009). He is also the co-author of Sacred Strategies (Alban Institute Press, 2010), a study of synagogue transformation efforts in the United States and winner of the 2010 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Jewish Education and Identity. In collaboration with Steven M. Cohen, Ari has authored a number of studies of contemporary American Jewish culture addressing issues from Israel to the internet. Ari recently finished a book entitled Shout to the Lord: Worship and Music in Evangelical America, and is currently writing about Fiddler on the Roof, the Jewish Catalog, Jewish cultural festivals and other extra-scholastic loci in which people learn to be Jewish.

Every year we honor Helen Diller, whose generous endowment continues to provide crucial support to Jewish Studies at UC Santa Cruz, by hosting a public lecture series on campus by an internationally recognized scholar.

This event was made possible by generous support from the Helen Diller Family Endowment and the Center for Jewish Studies at UC Santa Cruz.

Questions, or for disability related accommodations, please contact or 831-459-5655.

Posted in Diller Lecture Series, Events.

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