Spring 2021 Lecture Series: Jews, Race, and Religion

The Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies presents the following speaker series on the subject of "Jews, Race, and Religion." The series is paired with Professor Weitzman's Spring 2021 course of the same title. Here is a description:

We are in the midst of what might be a major new chapter in the history of race relations in the United States, with untold numbers of protestors demanding that the country confront abiding race-based injustice. Among the consequences of this movement is a wider recognition of how race and racism are interwoven into all aspects of society, including government, education, health, and religion.

In an effort to deepen public understanding of race, this series uses the prism of Jewish experience to examine intersections of race and religion, drawing lessons from the history of antisemitism, examining the role of Jews in the racialized culture of the United States, and exploring the role of race in Jewish identity. Leading scholars in Jewish Studies, Critical Race Studies, and Religious Studies will share insights and research that deepens the conversation about race, racism and anti-racism in contemporary society, both American and Jewish.

Lecture schedule:

  • Is the Talmud Racist? / Jan 28 Mira Wasserman, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, & Steve Weitzman, University of Pennsylvania
  • Zakhor: Alex Haley’s Roots, Scriptures, and the Race for America / Feb 4 Richard Newton, University of Alabama
  • Jews and the Religion of Whiteness / Feb 11 J. Kameron Carter, Indiana University at Bloomington
  • Religion and White Supremacy in the United States / Feb 18 Sophie Bjork-James, Vanderbilt University
  • Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s / Feb 25 Marc Dollinger, San Francisco State University
  • Limpieza de Sangre and the “Clash of Civilizations”; Or, What Hath the Soul to Do with Racialized Bodies? / Mar 4 Sylvester A. Johnson, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Race, Class and Privilege: How Latino Jews Navigate Life in the United States / Mar 18 Laura Limonic, College of Old Westbury at the State University of New York
  • “We are the Ethiopian Hebrews, Brothers to the Fair White Jew”: Race, Religion, and Jewish Identity in Harlem / Mar 25 Judith Weisenfeld, Princeton University
  • Funny—You Don’t Look Jewish! / Apr 8 Helen Kim, Whitman College, & Noah Leavitt, Whitman College
  • The Diaspora Within: Mizrahi Jews from Minneapolis to Jerusalem / Apr 15 Claris Harbon, Al Akhawayn University
  • Purity Politics and the Problem of Jewish Solidarity / Apr 22 Shana Sippy, Centre College

All talks will take place on Zoom, Thursdays, 1:30–2:30 pm ET