A visitor to the last standing Jewish day-school in Syria, the Maimonides Madrasah, will notice the logo of the Syrian Arab Republic’s Ministry of Education proudly chiseled above the entrance. The secular state stakes out an overt presence in many other Jewish sites in Damascus. The very centerpiece of the Syrian National Museum is a historical reconstruction of a 3rd century Jewish synagogue.
Since its inception in sixteenth century Venice, the term “ghetto” has been applied to Jewish urban spaces in Europe and the United States. Over the last half century, it has also become associated with African American inner city neighborhoods. Highly regulated and surveilled by the state, Jewish and African American ghettos have also been marked by a high degree of social autonomy.
Naomi Seidman is the Koret Professor of Jewish Culture and Director of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
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.
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?