Our Fall 2020 Course Lineup Is Here!

The Center for Jewish Civilization is pleased to announce its Fall 2020 courses!

Holocaust Courses

International Affairs / Diplomacy Courses 

Humanities and Jewish Studies Courses 

Required Certificate / Minor Courses 

  • “Introduction to Jewish Civilization (Great Jewish Texts Through Space and Time),” Prof. Meital Orr, JCIV 199 / INAF 199
  • “JCIV Senior Colloquium,” Prof. Anna Sommer, JCIV 443

Hebrew Language 

  • “Intensive Beginning Modern Hebrew I,” Prof. Sara Grayson, HEBR 011
  • “Intermediate Modern Hebrew I,” Prof. Meital Orr, HEBR 021
  • “Advanced Modern Hebrew I,” Prof. Sara Grayson, HEBR 101

RSVP for “Terrorism’s Terrible Price: Assassination of Lorde Moyne and Palestine’s Lost Opportunity for Peace” on Zoom!

The Center for Jewish Civilization invites you to Dr. Bruce Hoffman’s virtual lecture, “Terrorism’s Terrible Price: Assassination of Lord Moyne and Palestine’s Lost Opportunity for Peace.” RSVP to the lecture here! 

Dr. Bruce Hoffman’s virtual lecture will be accessible to all viewers via Zoom. Zoom invitations will be emailed to all those who RSVP. 

About the speaker:

Dr. Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for over four decades. He is a tenured professor in Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and until recently was director of its Center for Security Studies and Security Studies Program. Hoffman is also visiting Professor of Terrorism Studies at St Andrews University, Scotland. He previously held the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation, where he was also director of RAND’s Washington Office and vice president for external affairs. Hoffman was appointed by the U.S. Congress as a commissioner on the 9/11 Review Commission and has been Scholar-in-Residence for Counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency; adviser on counterterrorism to the Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq; and, an adviser on counterinsurgency to Multi-National Forces-Iraq Headquarters, Baghdad, Iraq. Hoffman’s most recent books include The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat (2014); Anonymous Soldiers (2015); and, Inside Terrorism (3rd edition, 2017). Hoffman is currently a Wilson Center Global Fellow, a visiting senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior fellow at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center.

RSVP is strongly encouraged.

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Any person with an accommodation request is welcome to email us at cjcinfo@georgetown.edu. We will try to meet these accommodation requests to the best of our ability.

Thank you for your interest in “Terrorism’s Terrible Price.” Please note that the CJC reserves the right to cancel this virtual lecture in the event of any major changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We prioritize the health of our audience foremost, and hope that this online event will foster a sense of community as we transition to a virtual environment. 

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Missed our event? 

A recording of Professor Hoffman’s “Terrorism’s Terrible Price: Assassination of Lorde Moyne and Palestine’s Last Opportunity for Peace,” can now be viewed using this link

RSVP for “Jewish Women in the Arts!”

The Center for Jewish Civilization and Georgetown Jewish Life invite you to our discussion, “Jewish Women in the Arts”  at the Intercultural Center (ICC), Room 301 McGhee Library. RSVP to the discussion here! 

About this event:

In the last decade within the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world, a new market of “women only” productions in films, theatre and music has emerged in response to the democratization of Internet and access to technology. A conversation between Dr. Jessica Roda and artist Malky Weingarten, this event covers this growing market in North America and its economic, social, and cultural implications in order to rethink feminism and women’s agency in the 21st century. The interview will take place on Wednesday, February 26, at 3:30 PM at McGhee Library (ICC 301).  

About the speaker:

Trained at the School of Visual Art in New York and at the New York Film Academy, Malky Weingarten is a Frum Female Filmaker. A Hasidic artist from Borough Park, she pioneered the genre of kosher films for only women and girls. Her films are distributed throughout North America, Europe, and Israel. She is consistently investing in artistic expressions through participating in disability rights activism, as well as social and cultural actions in the orthodox worlds.

Dr. Jessica Roda joined the CJC in the fall of 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Jewish Civilization. She is an anthropologist and ethnomusicologist trained in European and North American schools and has published several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and a monograph (Se réinventer au present. Les Judéo-espagnols de France, 2018, Presses Universitaires de Rennes) on the political implications of Sephardic and Arab-Jewish music in France, Spain, and Morocco. Dr. Roda is currently working on a second manuscript based on her ethnography of Hasidic life in Montreal and New York City (Beyond the Sheitl: Jewish Women and Performances in the Digital Age). She teaches the courses, “Music, Politics, and International Affairs,” “Muslims and Jews. New Perspectives,” and “Mapping Jewish life in North America.”

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Any person with an accommodation request is welcome to email us at cjcinfo@georgetown.edu. We will try to meet these accommodation requests to the best of our ability.

RSVP for “Widen the Window,” with Dr. Elizabeth Stanley!

Join the Center for Jewish Civilization for a discussion on Widen the Window: Training Your Brain and Body to Thrive During Stress and Recover from Trauma by Dr. Stanley. RSVP here!

About the Book:

Stress is our internal response to an experience that our brain perceives as threatening or challenging. Trauma is our response to an experience in which we feel powerless or lacking agency. Until now, researchers have treated these conditions as different, but they actually lie along a continuum. Dr. Elizabeth Stanley explains the significance of this continuum, how it affects our resilience in the face of challenge, and why an event that’s stressful for one person can be traumatizing for another.

This groundbreaking book examines the cultural norms that impede resilience in America, especially our collective tendency to disconnect stress from its potentially extreme consequences and override our need to recover. It explains the science of how to direct our attention to perform under stress and recover from trauma. RSVP for Dr. Stanley’s informative talk on our eventbrite. The event will take place at ICC 301 (McGhee Library)

About the Author:

Elizabeth A. Stanley, PhD, is an associate professor of security studies at Georgetown University. She is the creator of Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT)®, taught to thousands in civilian and military high-stress environments. MMFT® research has been featured on 60 Minutes, ABC Evening News, NPR, and in Time magazine and many other media outlets. An award-winning author and U.S. Army veteran with service in Asia and Europe, she holds degrees from Yale, Harvard, and MIT. She’s also is a certified practitioner of Somatic Experiencing, a body-based trauma therapy.

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Any person with an accommodation request is welcome to email us at cjcinfo@georgetown.edu. We will try to meet these accommodation requests to the best of our ability.

The CJC Looks Back at “Rabbinic Practice in LGBTQ Allyship”

The Center for Jewish Civilization was pleased to host “Rabbinic Practice in LGBTQ Allyship” with Rabbi Mike Moskowitz on Wednesday, January 22. Rabbi Moskowitz lectured on opportunities that Orthodox Jewish communities have to advocate for LGBTQ issues. “The greatest advancements for modern LGBT inclusivity and equality,” stated Rabbi Moskowitz, “have come from the availability of people being able to tell their own stories.” 

About the Speaker

Rabbi Mike Moskowitz is the Scholar-in-Residence for Trans and Queer Jewish Studies at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBT synagogue. He is a deeply traditional and radically progressive advocate for trans rights and a vocal ally for LGBTQ inclusivity. Rabbi Moskowitz received three Ultra-Orthodox ordinations while learning in the Mir in Jerusalem and in Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ. He is a David Hartman Center Fellow and the author of ​Textual Activism​. His writings can be found at​ ​www.rabbimikemoskowitz.com.  

“Rabbinic Practice in LGBTQ Allyship” in the News!

Missed Rabbi Mike Moskowitz’s lecture? Have no fear! A recap of Rabbi Moskowitz’s lecture can be found in a recent edition of The Hoya. Read the article, “Rabbi Urges LGBTQ Allyship Within Jewish Community,” here

RSVP to the CJC’s First Event of the Semester!

The Center for Jewish Civilization invites you to Rabbi Mike Moskowitz’s lecture, “Rabbinic Practice in LGBTQ Allyship.” RSVP to the event here!

About the Lecture 

This lecture will explore issues pertaining to the LGBTQ community in relation to Orthodox Judaism and Jewish thought. It will also deal with the practical questions that are most commonly asked and the approaches that are currently being deployed in rabbinic allyship and Jewish Law. Be sure to save your seat using our eventbrite. 

About the Speaker 

Rabbi Moskowitz was assigned secular, then identified as ultra-orthodox for twenty years, and now embraces a religiously non-conforming identity. He has the cultural competency and language to translate beyond the words of the text and to hear the intentionality in the rabbinic voice speaking for social justice and inclusivity.

Rabbi Moskowitz has three ultra-orthodox rabbinic ordinations. He spent a decade in the largest yeshivas in the world and studied the entire Babylonian Talmud. He founded and headed a kollel – a sacred think tank, served as a rabbi at Columbia University, and of a congregation in Harlem. Rabbi Moskowitz explored academic Talmud at Yale and at Jewish Theological Seminary, where he is currently completing a Doctorate in Hebrew Literature. As one of the leading thinkers at the intersection of trans issues and Jewish thought, he is a sought after lecturer, educator, and researcher.

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Any person with an accommodation request is welcome to email us at cjcinfo@georgetown.edu. We will try to meet these accommodation requests to the best of our ability.

The CJC’s Spring 2020 Events Lineup Is Here!

The Center for Jewish Civilization is pleased to announce its Spring 2020 Public events lineup!  Any person with an accommodation request is welcome to email us at cjcinfo@georgetown.edu. We will try to meet these accommodation requests to the best of our ability.

January

“Rabbinic Practice in LGBTQ Allyship,” with Rabbi Mike Moskowitz 

January 22, 3:30 PM – Arrupe Hall Multipurpose Room 

This lecture will explore the general issues that homosexuality and transgender experiences raise for Orthodox Judaism and Jewish thought. It will also deal with the practical questions that are most commonly asked and the approaches that are currently being deployed in rabbinic allyship and Jewish Law. 

Rabbi Mike Moskowitz has three ultra-orthodox rabbinic ordinations. He spent a decade in the largest yeshivas in the world and studied the entire Babylonian Talmud. He founded and headed a kollel – a sacred think tank, served as a rabbi at Columbia University, and of a congregation in Harlem. Rabbi Moskowitz explored academic Talmud at Yale and at Jewish Theological Seminary, where he is currently completing a Doctorate in Hebrew Literature. As one of the leading thinkers at the intersection of trans issues and Jewish thought, he is a sought after lecturer, educator, and researcher.

February 

Widen the Window: Training Your Brain and Body to Thrive During Stress and Recover from Trauma” with Dr. Elizabeth Stanley

February 6, 3:30 PM – Intercultural Center, Room 301 (McGhee Library)

Stress is our internal response to an experience that our brain perceives as threatening or challenging. Trauma is our response to an experience in which we feel powerless or lacking agency. Until now, researchers have treated these conditions as different, but they actually lie along a continuum. Dr. Elizabeth Stanley explains the significance of this continuum, how it affects our resilience in the face of challenge, and why an event that’s stressful for one person can be traumatizing for another.

This groundbreaking book examines the cultural norms that impede resilience in America, especially our collective tendency to disconnect stress from its potentially extreme consequences and override our need to recover. It explains the science of how to direct our attention to perform under stress and recover from trauma.

Elizabeth A. Stanley, PhD, is an associate professor of security studies at Georgetown University. She is the creator of Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT)®, taught to thousands in civilian and military high-stress environments. MMFT® research has been featured on 60 Minutes, ABC Evening News, NPR, and in Time magazine and many other media outlets. An award-winning author and U.S. Army veteran with service in Asia and Europe, she holds degrees from Yale, Harvard, and MIT. She’s also is a certified practitioner of Somatic Experiencing, a body-based trauma therapy.

March

“Attitudes Towards Jews in Contemporary East Asia and Their Implications,” with Dr. Rotem Kowner 

March 26, 3:30 PM – Mortara Center for International Studies 

Dr. Rotem Kowner is a professor of Japanese history and culture at the University of Haifa, Israel. His background includes early childhood in a Kibbutz, military service as an executive officer aboard a missile boat, and work as a chef in an Italian restaurant in Melbourne. Kowner’s active interest in Japan has developed gradually. After majoring in East Asian studies and psychology in Jerusalem, he studied in Berlin and then moved to Tsukuba, Japan, where he obtained his Ph.D. Following postdoctoral studies at Stanford he returned to Israel to pursue an academic career. His research interests include wartime behavior in modern Japan, race and racism in East Asia, Asian Jewish communities, psychological aspects of intercultural encounters, and learning methods of Japanese scripts.

“Assassination of Lord Moyne and Palestine’s Lost Opportunity for Peace”

March 31, 5:00 PM – Mortara Center for International Studies 

Dr. Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for over four decades. He is a tenured professor in Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and until recently was director of its Center for Security Studies and Security Studies Program. Hoffman is also visiting Professor of Terrorism Studies at St Andrews University, Scotland. He previously held the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation, where he was also director of RAND’s Washington Office and vice president for external affairs. Hoffman was appointed by the U.S. Congress as a commissioner on the 9/11 Review Commission and has been Scholar-in-Residence for Counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency; adviser on counterterrorism to the Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq; and, an adviser on counterinsurgency to Multi-National Forces-Iraq Headquarters, Baghdad, Iraq. Hoffman’s most recent books include The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat (2014); Anonymous Soldiers (2015); and, Inside Terrorism (3rd edition, 2017). Hoffman is currently a Wilson Center Global Fellow, a visiting senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior fellow at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center.

CJC ExCo Spotlight: Professor Andrew Sobanet’s Work Selected for H-France Forum

The Center for Jewish Civilization’s ExCo member Professor Andrew Sobanet’s work, Generation Stalin: French Writers, the Fatherland, and the Cult of Personality, was recently selected for the prestigious H-France Forum! Read more about the H-Forum here

About Professor Andrew Sobanet 

Andrew Sobanet is a Professor in the Department of French and Francophone Studies at Georgetown University. His research focuses primarily on the intersection of politics and literature. His research interests include the twentieth-century novel, testimony, mass media, and European history. He is the author of Jail Sentences: Representing Prison in Twentieth-Century French Fiction (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and Generation Stalin: French Writers, the Fatherland, and the Cult of Personality (Indiana University Press, 2018). He has also published widely on Vichy France. Since 2011, he has been associate editor of the journal Contemporary French Civilization. He served as chair of the Department of French and Francophone studies from 2009 to 2015 and again in 2018-19. Additionally, he served as convenor of Georgetown’s Faculty of Languages and Linguistics in 2014-15.

About Generation Stalin

From Indiana University Press: 

Generation Stalin traces Joseph Stalin’s rise as a dominant figure in French political culture from the 1930s through the 1950s. Andrew Sobanet brings to light the crucial role French writers played in building Stalin’s cult of personality and in disseminating Stalinist propaganda in the international Communist sphere, including within the USSR. Based on a wide array of sources—literary, cinematic, historical, and archival—Generation Stalin situates in a broad cultural context the work of the most prominent intellectuals affiliated with the French Communist Party, including Goncourt winner Henri Barbusse, Nobel laureate Romain Rolland, renowned poet Paul Eluard, and canonical literary figure Louis Aragon. Generation Stalin arrives at a pivotal moment, with the Stalin cult and elements of Stalinist ideology resurgent in twenty-first-century Russia and authoritarianism on the rise around the world.

Take A Look at Some of The CJC’s Exciting Spring 2020 Courses!

Haven’t seen all of the CJC’s exciting course offerings for the Spring 2020 semester? Be sure to check these classes out before it’s too late!

Holocaust Courses 

  • “Holocaust Autobiography,” Rev. Dennis McManus, Fr. Patrick Desbois, JCIV 236 / INAF 236
  • “Use & Abuse of Holocaust in Politics,” Fr. Patrick Desbois, Prof. Anna Sommer, JCIV 272 / INAF 272
  • “Holocaust Forensics: Fieldwork,” Fr. Patrick Desbois, Prof. Anna Sommer, JCIV 309

International Affairs / Diplomacy Courses

Humanities and Jewish Studies Courses 

Required Certificate / Minor Courses 

Hebrew 

  • “Intensive Beginning Hebrew II,” Prof. Grayson, HEBR 012
  • “Intermediate Hebrew II,” Prof. Orr, HEBR 022
  • “Advanced Modern Hebrew II,” Prof. Grayson, HEBR 102

Read the Second Installment of our Faculty and Student Insight Series!

On November 19, the CJC launched its new blog series featuring insights from CJC professors and students. Maddox Angerhofer (SFS ’22) and Professor Moran Stern expounded on the future of Israeli politics after the expiration of Benny Gantz’s mandate to form a new government. In the second installment of the series, Angerhofer and Stern explore the implications Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu’s indictment, as well as a potential “post-Netenyahu era.”

What Happened

On December 21, the day after Benny Gantz’s deadline to form a government expired, the Israeli Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, announced his decision to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on three counts.  These indictments, the first ever of a sitting Prime Minister, came after three years of investigation and in the midst of significant political uncertainty, as the country awaits a successful government formation by the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) or through another round of elections, which, if necessary, will most likely take place in March 2020.  

On the first two charges, Case 1,000 and Case 2,000, Netanyahu was indicted for fraud and breach of trust.  Case 1,000 involved Netanyahu receiving upwards of about $150,000 in gifts of luxury goods, such as bottles of champagne and cigars, from various businessmen in exchange for preferential treatment and advancement of their private interests. In Case 2,000, Netanyahu discussed with one of Israel’s largest media tycoons an arrangement in which Netanyahu would successfully pass legislation annulling the free distribution of a rival newspaper in exchange for positive portrayal in the tycoon’s media. While Netanyahu did not accept the bribery, he did negotiate the terms of the offer – as audio recordings of the meetings have shown.  

On the final and most serious charge, Case 4,000, Netanyahu was indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.  He and members of his immediate family conveyed frequent requests for a positive portrayal of themselves and the blackening of Netanyahu’s political adversaries to another media conglomerate owner. In exchange, the Prime Minister offered to exercise his position of power to advance telecommunications regulation to the benefit of the owner.

In response to the Attorney General’s announcement, Netanyahu publicly accused Israel’s law enforcement and legal establishment of being corrupt and biased.  He called the decision to indict him an attempted coup, arguing that it is in fact the investigating team who should be investigated.

The Forecast

At this juncture, Netanyahu has three primary options.  He could try to get immunity from the Knesset.  To receive immunity, he would need the approval of the Knesset House Committee of the parliament.  Such a decision would be difficult, due to the current status of the transitional government which does not have active committees. Also, the Attorney General cannot file the indictment with the court before the Knesset reaches a decision over Netanyahu’s immunity status, a process which can start only after a new government is formed.

A second option would be to wait until he goes to trial and argue for his innocence in court. Should Netanyahu be proven guilty, he may face imprisonment.  The option of a court trial, however, would not play out for quite some time, especially given the possibility of elections where Netanyahu is likely to head Likud’s list. The final option would be a plea deal whereby Netanyahu is removed from office permanently but serves reduced to no jail time. 

What (or Who) to Watch

Israel may be entering the post-Netanyahu era, but this shift will not come quickly.  Netanyahu will fight the indictment all the way, working tirelessly to refocus the public’s attention on what he calls a disordered, conspiratorial, politically motivated investigation.  The Attorney General has stated that he will follow Israeli law in regard to Netanyahu’s continued service as Prime Minister. Unlike a minister or member of the Knesset, the Israeli Prime Minister can remain in office until there is a final court decision, even after an indictment. 

The indictment has major implications for the two largest parties, Likud and Blue & White.  In Likud, some had hoped that internal unrest would result in a change in leadership. However, the majority of the ministers have rallied around Netanyahu, potentially prioritizing their leader’s political survival over the viability of their party and, crucially, Israel’s rule of law.  The one exception is Gidon Sa’ar, who sees himself as the next leader of Likud. He attacked Netanyahu’s rhetoric against the law enforcement authorities and called for immediate primaries to contest Netanyahu’s leadership. There may also be a shakeup within the right wing bloc as a whole, if the other right wing parties turn away from their commitments to Netanyahu, although this option seems unlikely in the short term

The main objective for Benny Gantz’s party has remained to divide Netanyahu from Likud.  If Netanyahu were replaced as the party leader, the chances of Blue & White forming a coalition partnership between themselves and Likud will increase, thereby breaking the stalemate that has kept the government of Israel in limbo.

In Conclusion

Politicians on both sides view the groundbreaking indictment – as well as Netanyahu’s attack of Israel’s law enforcement authorities – as a sad and embarrassing moment, indicative of the high degree of polarization within Israeli society and politics.  Netanyahu’s legal status and political conduct has become the center of this division that has impeded numerous attempts to form a government with majority support.

Maddox Angerhofer is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service majoring in international politics, studying Jewish Civilization and Persian. She is also a member of the Georgetown lightweight women’s rowing team. Maddox is from Durham, New Hampshire. Moran Stern is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Maryland, College Park and a Graduate Fellow in Advanced Israel Studies. Since 2012, Stern has been teaching courses at the Center for Jewish Civilization on Israel and the contemporary Middle East.