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The IJTH is pleased to announce the appointment of Alexander Green to the tenure-track position of Assistant Professor in the IJTH starting August 2013. Alex is presently finishing his PhD in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Toronto. His dissertation is entitled: "Luck, Wisdom and Conflict in the Ethics of Levi Gersonides." He received his MA from the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with a thesis on "Courage as a Jewish Virtue in Maimonides and Spinoza." He received his BA, Honors, with distinction, in Political Science, and in Jewish Studies, from the University of Toronto. Alex is already the author of several published academic articles and reviews. We look forward to his arrival in Buffalo and becoming part of the IJTH faculty.
Richard A. Cohen, Director of IJTH, has been appointed acting Gordon and Gretchen Gross Professor of Jewish Studies for the 2012-2013 academic year. Recommended by College of Arts and Sciences Dean E. Bruce Pitman, and approved by UB President Satish K. Tripathi, Richard A. Cohen, director of the IJTH since 2008, has
recently been appointed for one year on an acting basis to the Gordon and Gretchen Gross Professorship of Jewish Studies, a professorship endowed by a generous donation by Gordon and Gretchen Gross of Buffalo, New York.
Recent months have seen the publication of three innovative and distinguished academic volumes by faculty of the IJTH:
The IJTH is pleased to announce the publication of a new book coedited by Professor Marla Segol, with Professor Jennifer Brown: Sexuality, Sociality, and Cosmology in Medieval Literary Texts (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Of this volume Professor Steven Kruger (Queens College, CUNY) has written: "Brown and Segol bring together an impressive body of scholarship on Latin, Hebrew, Spanish, and English/Scots materials in which sexuality, both chivalric and mystical, is represented and explored . The volume is impressive both for its range ... and for its recognition that sexuality in medieval texts is as likely to resonate with ideas about the structure of the cosmos as it is to elucidate the ways in which medieval social relations are cemented and undermined." For more information, see: http://us.macmillan.com/author/marlasegol
The IJTH is pleased to announce the publication of a new book by Professor Sergey Dolgopolski: The Open Past: Subjectivity and Remembering in the Talmud (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013). Of this book, Professor Bruce Rosenstock (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) has written: "A brilliant and innovative study of how the work of memory can transform identity, weaving the speech and thought of the single person into the fabric of an ongoing transmissions of sayings." Professor Jonathan Boyarin (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), has written: "Sergey Dolgopolski's project here should not be underestimated: It is nothing else than 'undo[ing] the erasure of the thought processes in the Talmud from the intellectual map of the West,' and Dolgopolski is up to the task." For more information see: http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Philosophy/Religion/?view=usa&ci=9780823244928
The IJTH is pleased to announce the publication of a new book by Professor Marla Segol: Word and Image in Medieval Kabbalah: The Texts, Commentaries, and Diagrams of the 'Sever Yetsirah' (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). The Sefer Yetsirah (the Book of Creation) is a core text of the early kabbalah, yet has remained something of a mystery. Scholars have struggled to establish the most basic facts about the work: its dating, its place of origin, and especially its meaning. The words and images of Sefer Yetsirah raise crucial questions about the history of kabbalah, and about scholarly categories for understanding it. This project attempts to discover the ways in which diagrams accompanying the text and its commentaries show trends in the development of the kabbalistic tradition as a whole. Ultimately, Marla Segol sheds new light on structure, context, use, and meaning in the obscure text and shows that the relation between religion and magic is closer than we think. For more information see: http://www.amazon.com/Word-Image-Medieval-Kabbalah-Commentaries/dp/1403969744
BA in Jewish Studies Begins Fall 2012
Jewish Studies -- Major
Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Minimum grade of C+ in JDS 103, Introduction to Judaism
Two other courses in Jewish Studies (may include Hebrew) with a grade of C or better.
I. Required Courses = 12 credit hours
- JDS 103, Introduction to Judaism
- JDS 229, Medieval Judaism
- One course in area of Bible and Talmud
- One course in area of Ethics
- Students must earn a 2.5 (C+) in JDS 103 and a 2.0 (C) or better in each of the three additional required courses.
II. Five JDS electives = 15 credit hours
Five additional Jewish Studies courses, including a 400-level Special Topics seminar that will serve as a “Capstone Seminar.”
III. Foreign Language Courses 0-20 credit hours
Two years of Hebrew language; or one year of Hebrew language and one year of either French, German, Italian, Arabic, Aramaic or Yiddish. See advisor for waivers of this requirement. If the language requirement is waived because of proven proficiency, the student will be required to take 6 additional credit hours of electives in Jewish Studies.
Total Jewish Studies Credits = 33 – 47 credit hours
Jewish Studies - Minor
Minimum GPA of 2.0
18 credits that must include the following:
JDS 103 Introduction to Judaism
JDS 229 Medieval Judaism
4 other JDS courses or courses from other departments with approved Jewish Studies content (may include 2 Hebrew language courses)
IJTH Welcomes New Full Time Faculty Member: Marla Segol
The JTH is happy to welcome new full time faulty member Marla Segol, who begins Fall 2012, serving as the program's Undergraduate Advisor. Marla received her BA from SUNY at New Paltz in 1991, her MA at SUNY at Buffalo in 1994, and her Ph.D. from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 2001. She has taught at Cornell University, Ithaca College, Carleton University, and was Assistant Professor of Religion at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, for six years prior to coming to UB. Her book, Word and Image in Medieval Kabbalah: Text, Diagram, Context, is forthcoming. Fall 2012 semester Marla is teaching JDS 103 Introduction to Judaism and JDS 306 Jewish Civilization I: Bible to 1492.
Samuel Friedman Library inaugurated on June 6, 2011, in UB's Institute for Jewish Thought and Heritage
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A generous gift from the foundation of a late Western New York businessman has established the Samuel Friedman Library in the Institute for Jewish Thought and Heritage (IJTH), in room 704 Clemens Hall at the University at Buffalo.
Samuel Friedman, who owned several restaurants in Niagara Falls, was very dedicated to his Jewish faith, according to his attorney, Don Day. He established the Samuel Friedman Foundation to support and strengthen Jewish educational initiatives and programs.
"Samuel was extremely generous, but shied away from publicity," Day recalled. "He would be absolutely thrilled to know of this gift to UB because he believed very strongly in supporting educational causes."
The foundation has given $100,000 to name the library, as well as purchase books, journals, electronic media and other materials, and to equip workspaces, storage and archival areas. Day said the foundation hopes to promote awareness of Jewish history and perspective through its gift, and hopes the initial funding of the library will help encourage continued growth and enrichment of this scholarly collection in years to come.
"We are giving to support UB's excellence in research, teaching and outreach that will result in the IJTH becoming a world-class center of scholarly activity," Day said.
"Books and exegesis are central to Judaism, from its sacred texts to commentaries to contemporary academic scholarship," said Richard Cohen, IJTH director. "We are very grateful for the Friedman Foundation grant and welcome additional contributions and library donations to strengthen our Judaica collection."
The Samuel Friedman Library collection will add to the UB Libraries' already impressive collection of materials that are of value to institute scholars and visitors. For example, Special Collections houses the Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo, containing synagogue records, local community records and the personal papers of notable leaders of the Buffalo Jewish community, including Donald S. Day, Dorothy Goldberg, Bernard Mandelkern, Morton Merowitz, Haskell Penn and Milton Plesur. This material is being collected and organized by the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project, a collaborative effort of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo and UB Libraries. The UB Libraries also house several Jewish book collections of note, among them a 1,800-item Holocaust collection.
Donations of books, new and/or used, are most welcome! Please contact Valerie Bailoni at firstname.lastname@example.org.