On Monday, December 22 at 2 p.m. EST, JTA will be providing a live video stream of a panel discussion at the Association for Jewish Studies‘ annual convention on the economic downturn’s impact on the field of Jewish Studies. Tune in here at the Fundermentalist or by visting JTA’s Mogulus channel. A detailed description of the panel follows.
Jewish Studies, Jewish Money, and the Future of an Academic Field: Reflections by Scholars and Donors
Sponsored by Sh’ma: A Journal of Social Responsibility
Chair: Steven J. Zipperstein (Stanford University)
Discussants: Lisa D. Grant (HUC-JIR), Paul Zakrzewski (Foundation for Jewish Culture), Julian A. Levinson (University of Michigan) & Yael H. Zerubavel (Rutgers University)
The evolving relationship between Jewish studies programs and Jewish communal concerns is complicated and warrants careful airing and scrutiny. In the case of the most discerning programs, preoccupations with communal agendas are balanced carefully against scholarly priorities; though not permitted to overwhelm, they are acknowledged. While early presumptions that Jewish scholarship in the university would come to be seen much like other disciplines in the humanities—funded by the university and populated by both students and faculty from the broadest range of backgrounds—those assumptions now often seem misplaced. Especially given the interest and support that Middle East and Israel Studies have garnered over the past years, communal funding and preoccupation with campus life are making an impact on many university campuses.
This Sh’ma Roundtable will explore the dimensions and health of these relationships and how they impact the academy, centers for Jewish learning, and the community.