The Center for Jewish Civilization is pleased to announce its lineup of Fall 2020 (virtual) one-credit courses! For a look at our complete Fall 2020 course offerings, visit this link.
Bringing Nazis to Justice, JCIV 025
Professor Andrej Umansky
Saturdays: Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31
11:00 AM – 1:30 PM
After the Nuremberg trials, Germany and other countries brought Nazis to justice for Holocaust-related crimes. These trials ran over decades, with varying degrees of success. State interests, legal issues and public opinion were some of the many hurdles to justice. The most recent trial against a Nazi criminal ended in July 2020: Bruno Dey, a guard at the concentration camp of Stutthof in Poland, was found guilty of complicity in the murder of more than 5,000 prisoners. Dey was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence.
Why do these trials still take place? Why are they taking place only now, almost 80 years after the fact? We will approach these questions and others during the class through analysis of trial material, historical backgrounds and geopolitics. This 1-credit course runs from 11:00am -1:30pm EST on 5 consecutive Saturdays: October 3, October 10, October 17, October 24, and October 31, 2020.
Israeli National Security Decision Making, JCIV 279
Professor Sarah Fainberg
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays: Nov. 16 – Nov. 20
11:00 AM – 1:30 PM
This modular course provides a hands-on insight into Israel’s national security challenges, dilemmas, strategies, policymaking, and implementation in an increasingly turbulent and volatile Middle East. Together we shall explore the unique conditions that have framed Israel’s national security decision-making including Regional and Great Power dynamics, the weight of the intelligence agencies and of the military vs. the relative weakness of the civilian national security organs, and the limitations resulting from the proportional electoral system. We shall also examine rising variables in Israel’s national security thinking and strategy including, among others, information warfare and societal resilience. The course includes four lectures and a wrap-up wargaming session: 1) Israel’s Emerging Threats in the Regional and Global Arenas 2) Adapting Israel’s National Security Doctrine 3) Israel’ Decision-Making in Practice: Structure, Mechanisms, and Power Struggles 4) Case Study Analysis: The Israeli-Russian Tango in Syria and Beyond 5) Wargaming Session. Students will participate in the wargame simulation by playing the moves and countermoves of Israel’s national security stakeholders. Students shall be trained to formulate security assessments, generate policy-oriented solutions, and examine their policy objectives and unexpected outcomes. This course is designed to improve decision-making skills across a wide range of policy areas and empower students and young professionals in the foreign policy and national security realms. This is a non-standard class. Dr. Fainberg’s 1-credit course meets from November 16 – November 20.
To Pray or Not Pray? JCIV 017
Rabbi Rachel Garner
Tuesdays: Oct. 15 – Dec. 18, 10:00 AM – 10:55 AM
Saturdays: Nov. 14 & Dec. 5, 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM
To Pray or Not to Pray? Judaism as a Civilization Is Judaism a religion or an ethnicity? Do Jews believe in the Afterlife? My grandmother never went to synagogue, so why did she care if I married a Jew? What does it mean to sit shiva? This broad exploration of Judaism will take as a point of departure the notion that Judaism is neither a religion nor an ethnicity but instead a civilization. It will have two central foci. First, we’ll explore what it means to define Judaism as a civilization. Second, we’ll take a deep dive into the religious dimension of the Jewish Civilization as we study the core religious ideas and practices that animate, shape and reshape Jewish life. Students with all levels of background are welcome. The intention is that this course will have something for everyone. For those entirely new to the subject, it should serve as an accessible introduction to Judaism. For those with more familiarity with the subject (on any level of depth), this course aims to shed new light on the existing ways one thinks about and understands Judaism. Rabbi Rachel Gartner’s 1-credit course meets from October 15 – December 18, 2020.
The Center for Jewish Civilization is pleased to present the second installment of “The Off Season.” Historically, the CJC has offered guidance on the application process for internships, research positions, fellowships, and jobs. We asked a handful of students what they are up to during this extraordinary summer. Despite unusual circumstances, some of our CJCers have managed to continue their research work and intern remotely. Here is what they had to report!
“This summer, I am studying Persian intensively through a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, while working on a few research projects. In June, along with my 3 coauthors, I was invited to present research from a Spring Centennial Lab with Professor Dan Byman on national security and social media. We presented at the U.S. Army Futures Command Information Warfare Conference. A write up can be found on the U.S. Army website and a recording of the web conference is available on YouTube. Additionally, I am continuing to assist CJC Professor Moran Stern with his research on Palestinian domestic politics.”
Maddox Angerhofer is a rising junior in the School of Foreign Service from Durham, New Hampshire. She majors in International Politics with a concentration in security. Additionally, she minors in Persian and pursuing a certificate in Jewish Civilization.
“This summer, I am taking a philosophy class about the TV show BoJack Horseman, as well as interning with Congressman Jim Cooper who represents Tennessee’s Fifth District. Throughout my internship, I am learning about how Congress is adapting during the pandemic. Additionally, I am expanding my knowledge on issues including systemic racism, economic inequality, and voter suppression in Tennessee.”
Matthew Davis is a rising junior in the School of Foreign Service from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Davis majors in Regional and Comparative Studies.
“This summer I am working as a research assistant for Dr. Elizabeth Grimm Arsenault (of Georgetown University) and Dr. Tricia Bacon (of American University). We are in the process of writing a book on leadership, decapitation, and the transfer of authority in terrorist organizations. The particular focus of the book is on how leaders of terrorist groups affect the organizational culture and structure, and when a change in leadership occurs, how that transition changes both the new leadership and the makeup of the group. Over the summer, I have been working on researching and writing the empirical case study on al-Qaida in Iraq and, subsequently, the Islamic State of Iraq. The case study explores AQI/ISI as a highly institutionalized group which also existed in an extremely high counterterrorism pressure environment, and under the command of a charismatic and hands-on leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.”
Tara Maloney is a rising senior in the School of Foreign Service from Madison, Connecticut. Maloney majors in International Politics with a concentration in security studies.
“This summer I am managing social media and doing logistics and research work for a non-profit global classical music organization called Lyrica Classic. I’m also volunteering to help transcribe and translate documents from the Smithsonian and National Archive online. Additionally, I am participating in an entrepreneurship fellowship where I’m creating a podcast on my own. On the podcast I discuss the more taboo topics of YouTube with some of the creators on the site. When I am not doing volunteer work or podcasting, I am completing preliminary research for my history thesis about the musical response to the massive right wing movement during the Thatcher era.”
Cheyenne Martin is a rising senior in the College from Santa Fe, Tennessee. Martin majors in History and is pursuing a minor in both Government and Jewish Civilization.
“This summer, I have spent my time taking classes, doing research, and interning at the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition as a Research and Advocacy Intern. In my role at the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, I advocate to increase the supply of housing to combat the Bay Area’s regional affordability and displacement crisis.
As a Georgetown University research assistant, I am working with the CJC’s Professor Jacques Berlinerblau on various endeavors relating to secularism. I am also working with Professors Berlinerblau and Shareen Joshi of the Asian Studies Department, on a project about judicial systems and social justice in India. I hope to apply the skills I have gained this summer to my passion for development economics in South Asia.”
Ria Pradhan is a rising sophomore in the School of Foreign Service from the San Francisco Bay Area, and plans to major in International Political Economy.
Dear CJC Community:
Amidst all the upheaval and uncertainty today in the world, in this country, and on our campus, we are fortunate that the CJC’s core values of diversity and inclusiveness as well as its long-standing commitment to social justice and tikkun olam—repairing the world—remain as important and relevant as they are timeless. That these values align so closely with those of the Jesuit university which is our home, is an additional source of strength and replenishment in these especially trying times.
Under Professor Berlinerblau’s leadership, the CJC established an impressively solid foundation of expertise in the religion, literature, history, culture, language, music, politics, and diplomacy of the Jewish people. My intention is to build on that legacy and further energize the CJC’s efforts in new directions, especially the study and countering of hate and intolerance. Among my other priorities is to expand our curriculum on Israel studies and also further deepen our understanding of the Holocaust.
I am at once both honored and humbled to have this opportunity to work with you to ensure the CJC’s continued vitality and consolidate the remarkable success it has achieved during Professor Berlinerblau’s decade-and-a-half as director. There will eventually come a time when the pandemic will be over and we all will again be able to gather to celebrate in person our friendship and fellowship. Until then, I am eager to meet and hear from you whether individually, in small groups (health and safety concerns permitting), via Zoom, or over the telephone.
With best wishes and kindest regards,
Dear Students of the Center for Jewish Civilization,
We are writing to express our deepest sympathy to those affected by the tragedies and losses of these past few months. We wanted to reach out to you to convey our shock, concern, and anger at the murder of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, the continued brutalization of our brothers and sisters, and the abhorrent actions of our current national leadership. We feel no need to couch this notice in cautious tones, institutional cadences, and empty platitudes. The situation is unacceptable, has been unacceptable, and will never change unless every one of us devotes our thoughts and actions to bringing about structural change.
We stand in solidarity with the Black community in the ongoing fight against injustice. As an academic center, we need to use our privilege to educate ourselves on the continued threat of systemic oppression and its tolerance of police brutality. To this end, we need to recognize and confront racism, not only in our community, but within ourselves. And we need to share this knowledge, and the process through which we attained it, with our students.
Since our founding, we have taught students about Jewish Civilization’s role in the global community. We have dedicated ourselves to putting our undergraduates first, and aspired to learn from their diverse experiences. Our Center exposes explicit and implicit forms of antisemitism, and their culmination into crimes of hatred. But we strive to take this one step further. By drawing parallels between biases, prejudices, and ideologies, we challenge our students to monitor and combat all forms of hatred.
Please remember that the CJC’s faculty members and administrators are always available as a resource. For your reference, we have linked additional programs and services offered by Georgetown affiliate programs. Please also note that Georgetown Jewish Life and the Jewish Student Association will be hosting a moderated conversation, “Let’s Talk Racial Justice,” today at 9 PM EDT. Rabbi Rachel Gartner will moderate the discussion, and you can find out more about the event by emailing email@example.com.
This is not a moment, but a movement. We must commit all of our efforts, as we embark upon another effort to repair a broken world.
Yours in solidarity,
Professor Jacques Berlinerblau, Director, CJC
Professor Bruce Hoffman, Incoming Director, CJC
Professor Anna Sommer, Associate Director, CJC
Professor Jessica Roda, Assistant Director, CJC
Jocelyn Flores, Program Coordinator, CJC
Brittany Fried, Center Manager, CJC
Bethania Michael, Research Specialist & Signature Events Coordinator, CJC
This month, the Center for Jewish Civilization is reintroducing its Student Spotlight Series! Our spotlight is Yebin Won, a sophomore in the School of Foreign service majoring in International Politics with a concentration in Security Studies. Recently, she was awarded funding to conduct independent research this summer. The Lisa J. Raines Fellowship provides up to $5,000 in funding for successful applicants; 66 Georgetown students have won the award in the past 20 years. Won, who is from Singapore and Seoul, South Korea, will conduct research on the incel movement this summer. In the fall, she plans to study ethnopolitical conflicts at Oxford University. Read our interview with her below to learn about her research interests and experience on the Hilltop.
Q: Could you tell us about how you joined the CJC? What were some of the push factors?
A: I first learned about the CJC while being in Prof. Berlinerblau’s freshman proseminar, Fictions of Politics and International Relations. I came to Georgetown interested in learning about genocide prevention and ethnopolitical conflicts. After talking with Prof. Berlinerblau, CJC staff, and students about the center, I knew CJC was the place for me. Everyone was so sweet and welcoming whenever I was at the Center, and as a brand-new freshman I was drawn to its sense of community and warmth. It also didn’t hurt that Prof. Berlinerblau is very persuasive!
Q: What was you first CJC class?
A: My first (and favorite) CJC class was Holocaust Forensics with Fr. Desbois and Fr. McManus. It was an absolutely riveting class – I had superficial knowledge of the Holocaust from my fourth-grade history unit, but this class took it to a whole new level. In addition to learning about concepts like “perpetrator culture” and the stages of a genocide, the class’s impact was further augmented by our trip to Lviv, Ukraine. Following Fr. Desbois, we visited mass graves of Holocaust victims, interviewed witnesses, and examined the legacy of the Holocaust in Ukraine. I still find myself flipping through our syllabus, reminding myself of our readings and the discussions; so much of this class informed me of my studies as well as my how I might translate my academic pursuits into meaningful forms of service.
Q: You have just won a Raines award to research incels this summer. Congratulations! Can you tell us about how you developed this research interest and what you hope to accomplish this summer?
A: I was inspired to pursue my research into incels (involuntary celibates) when I attended Professor Bruce Hoffman’s talk on incels and their interaction with online far-right groups this January. When Professor Hoffman detailed key incel rhetoric and jargon, I was struck by how common these features were in everyday social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. After doing some research, I found that there was a group of Asian incels separate from the mainstream, predominantly white “inceldom.” Despite being thoroughly disturbed by their violently misogynistic rhetoric, especially against Asian women, I was drawn to studying them, as they embodied a very unique space in online extremism and radicalization. They not only juggled a multitude of identities (e.g. race, gender expression), but also showed no noticeable violent strain like their mainstream counterpart. By conducting a comparative analysis between Asian and mainstream inceldoms, my research hopes to make sense of why that might be.
My summer will be spent following the incel movement on social media forums, Zoom-interviewing experts in the field of terrorism and extremism, and drinking lots of cold brew! I’m so excited to see where this research will take me.
Q: Another amazing development in your academic career was your acceptance to Oxford’s study abroad program. Can you tell me a bit about the opportunity, why you applied, and what you anticipate for the fall?
A: The Oxford study abroad program is an opportunity for Georgetown juniors to spend an entire year at the University of Oxford. The selection process is a bit different from other study abroad programs in that it requires applicants to receive a university nomination from Georgetown before they can apply to Oxford; this means that applicants start preparing in early September!
Oxford didn’t really enter my mind until the beginning of my sophomore year. Since I’m an international student, I was always a bit hesitant to go abroad (or, as my dad jokes, go “abroad-abroad”). However, while researching possible study abroad destinations, I was immediately drawn to the University of Oxford. Not only is the campus absolutely gorgeous (always a plus if you’re going to be anywhere other than the Hilltop), but it also affords students the opportunity to engage in the famous Oxford tutorial system. The one-on-one tutorial system was definitely a big push factor because I wanted to explore a more intimate learning experience than ones usually offered in American universities. And, as someone who used to be a classical singer, I was also intrigued by the possibility of joining (or at least attending live performances of) Oxford’s famous choirs.
Due to the current pandemic, my study abroad plans are a bit up in the air; that being said, if I am allowed to go to Oxford, I plan on studying violent ethnopolitical conflicts and their influence on post-conflict democratic processes. In particular, I hope to investigate ideological and philosophical thoughts around ethnicity and how they contribute to violent state disintegration and formation. Going to Oxford this fall seems a bit unrealistic at the moment given the COVID-19 situation, but I’m hoping that I will get to take classes with my tutors online and arrive on campus during the second term.
Q: How has the CJC informed your time at Georgetown?
A: I’ve been very fortunate to call this incredibly community my on-campus family since my first semester on the Hilltop. It’s where I go almost every day to chat with my friends, check in with my favorite professors, or discuss cover letters and career opportunities with its stellar staff. The CJC has introduced me to some of my favorite classes, amazing academic mentors (in both professors and students), and an unbeatable support system. I’ve also found that CJC people are the first I turn to for advice, encouragement, and celebration, whatever the occasion may be.
Q: What are some of your professional goals for the future? What do you look forward during your next few years at Georgetown?
A: Looking forward to the next few years on the Hilltop, I hope to continue my studies in violent ethnopolitical conflicts and extremism. I’ve also been planning to apply for the accelerated degree program for the Security Studies Program, which I believe will help further my academic and professional interests.
Q: What are some other clubs you’re involved in and activities you engage in at Georgetown?
A: I’m currently a regular contributor for the Caravel, a barista at Uncommon Grounds (a branch of Students of Georgetown, Inc.), and a TA for the Map of the Modern World. When I’m not chatting up a storm in the CJC or frantically brewing coffee during UG rush hour, you can find me religiously avoiding the gym or strolling down to Compass Coffee on Wisconsin Avenue.
The Center for Jewish Civilization invites you to Professor Ira Forman’s virtual lecture, “Covid-19 and Conspiracy: the Latest Manifestation of Conspiracy” RSVP to the lecture here!
Professor Ira Forman’s virtual lecture will be accessible to all viewers via Zoom. Zoom invitations will be emailed to all those who RSVP.
About the event:
Since the beginning of recorded history human beings have reacted to complex, societal catastrophes by spinning conspiracy theories. These theories posit simple explanations for bad things happening. Over the last 2,000+ years of Western civilization the simple explanation for all manner of misfortune is frequently “the Jews.” The Covid-19 pandemic is no exception.
Since the very beginning of the pandemic some Americans have blamed China for the catastrophe and as a result, Asian-Americans of all nationalities have been harassed and attacked. But globally it did not take long for antisemites to cook up conspiracy theories about Jewish malevolence behind the spread of the virus. Where do these ideas come from and how are they impacting global Jewish communities who, even before coronavirus, were experiencing a wave of resurgent antisemitism?
About the speaker:
Professor Ira N. Forman is a Senior Fellow on Anti-Semitism at the Center for Jewish Civilization and a Senior Fellow at the Moment Institute. In the fall of 2018, he was appointed Senior Advisor on Anti-Semitism at Human Rights First.
Forman served as the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism from 2013-2017. From 2011-2012 he served as the Jewish Outreach Director for the Obama for America campaign. He also served for nearly 15 years as the Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC).
Forman received his B.A. from Harvard University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in Government. He received his M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He co-edited and wrote for the reference book Jews In American Politics.
***This event is online only. RSVP is required. Only those who register will receive the Zoom link to access the lecture.
Accommodation requests related to a disability should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 20th. A good-faith effort will be made to fulfill requests. A captioned version of this presentation will also be made available shortly afterwards at cjc.georgetown.edu.
Thank you for your interest in “Covid-19 and Conspiracy.” 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.
The Center for Jewish Civilization is pleased to announce its Fall 2020 courses!
- “Theological Implications of the Holocaust,” Prof. Ori Soltes, JCIV 138 / INAF 138
- “Nazi Camps and the Holocaust,” Prof. Patrick Desbois and Anna Sommer, JCIV 269 / INAF 269
- “Holocaust by Bullets,” Profs. Patrick Desbois and Andrej Umansky, JCIV 276 / INAF 276
International Affairs / Diplomacy Courses
- “Jerusalem: City and Symbol,” Prof. Ori Soltes, JCIV 187 / INAF 187
- “How to Fight for Human Rights,” Prof. Ira Forman, JCIV 188 / INAF 188
- “Congress & Making Middle Eastern Policy,” Prof. Danielle Pletka, JCIV 235 / INAF 235
- “The Arab Spring and Israel,” Prof. Moran Stern, JCIV 245 / INAF 245
- “Hist of Peace-Making in the Middle East,” Amb. Dennis Ross, JCIV 321 / INAF 321
- “Terrorism: Middle East and North Africa,” Prof. Bruce Hoffman, JCIV 341 / IPOL 341
Humanities and Jewish Studies Courses
- “Fiction Writing Workshop: What is a Story?,” Prof. David Ebenbach, JCIV 145 / INAF 091
- “Jewish Orthodox Women in North America,” Prof. Jessica Roda, JCIV 195 / INAF 195
- “Jews on Trial,” Prof. Ori Soltes, JCIV 225 / INAF 206
- “Troubled Rivalry: Jewish-Catholic Relations,” Rev. Dennis McManus, JCIV 237 / INAF 237
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
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.
Any person with an accommodation request is welcome to email us at email@example.com. 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.
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.
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.”
Any person with an accommodation request is welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will try to meet these accommodation requests to the best of our ability.