Jewish Studies at Santa Cruz: On the Cutting Edge of Tradition

One of the most important achievements of Jewish studies at UC-Santa Cruz is the remarkable number of alumni who have become distinguished scholars of Jewish studies in their own right. This conference brought these alumni together with their former teachers from a variety of disciplines to discuss the impact of Santa Cruz on their intellectual development and research, as well as to explore the question of whether there is a distinctly Santa Cruz approach to Jewish Studies.

James Young

James Young: “Stages of Memory in Berlin and New York”

The selection of a design for the Berlin Memorial to Europe’s murdered Jews was a contentious one. After September 11th, the memorial for those who died in the World Trade Center was compared by some to holocaust memorials before it, and by one reporter specifically to the Berlin Memorial. How did it come to pass that the memorial at Ground Zero would evoke Berlin’s Memorial to Europe’s murdered Jews?

Yossi Chajes: “Entzauberung (De-Magic-ing) and Jewish Modernity”

Modern identity was forged, in large part, through a self-conscious distancing from a past construed as magical. Until the late nineteenth-century, to be modern meant to have “faith” in “reason & materialist science.” We will explore the ways this identity project worked in Jewish culture, as expressed by figures including the Italians Leone Modena (1571-1648) & Tobias Cohen (1652-1729), as well as in later eastern European Jewish debates on the border between the newly emerging realms of the “natural” and “supernatural.”

Alternative Teleologies: The Mediterranean and the Modern World(s)

This exciting conference was organized by the Mediterranean Seminar at UC-Santa Cruz. Many of the talks will explore aspects of the Jewish experience in the Mediterranean region, including the construction of a pan-Sephardi identity, the creation of the Donmeh community, and the emergence of diasporic Andalusian musical traditions.

Il Ghetto: Forging Italian Jewish Identities 1516-1870

This series carried forward some of Prof. Murray Baumgarten’s work on the Venetian Jewish Anthology. Prof. Baumgarten would be glad to take any questions or walk through the exhibition with colleagues and friends.

Russia, Jews, and the Arts

Russia, Jews, and the Arts

  Sunday, May 4, 2008 | 9:00AM – 5:00PM | Free & Open to the Public University of California, Santa Cruz The Center for Jewish Studies, through the generosity of the Koret Foundation, brought together a small number of scholars on May 4th, 2008 in order to address the question of Jewish contributions to Russian […]

Michael Thaler

Michael Thaler: Nazi Bioscience

Michael Thaler is a Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Medicine, UC San Francisco, and a Lecturer in History, UC Santa Cruz. On May 16, 2007 he delivered the following talk on Nazi Bioscience.

Bruce Thompson: “Jews and the Hollywood Dream Machine”

Did you know that the first American movie star, Bronco Billy Anderson, was a Jewish guy from New York whose real name was Max Aronson? Yes, long before Mel Brooks discovered the West in “Blazing Saddles,” it was a Jew who invented the archetypal figure of the American cowboy!