Speaker/Performance Series

Fall 2020

“From Rivalry to Reconciliation: The Catholic Church and the Jewish People.”

Wednesday, September 9, 2020, 7:00 p.m.
Zoom Webinar
Professor Andre Villeneuve

Dr. Villeneuve, a Catholic biblical scholar at Azusa Pacific University, holds an M.A. in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Commission in Rome. His scholarly focus is on biblical theology, Jewish-Christian relations, and the reconciliation of Israel and the Church. He is the founder and director of Catholics for Israel.

"Being Black, Jewish, and Israeli"

Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 7 p.m.
Zoom Webinar
Naftali Aklum

The story of Ethiopian Jewry in Israel is a unique tale of suffering, perseverance, and fulfillment. Naftali Aklum, a member of the Ethiopian Israeli community, is founder and CEO of the Yerus Project, an educational experience that focuses on the history, culture, and traditions of Ethiopian Jewry, while also aiming to stimulate economic development among the Ethiopian Israelis. His mission is to empower the Ethiopian community and to contribute to a pluralistic Israeli society that views diversity as a source of strength.

A Conversation with Kenneth D. Wald

Monday, October 19, 2020, 7:00 p.m.
Zoom Webinar
Dr. Kenneth D. Wald

How will religion influence our upcoming election? How will religion influence our political futures beyond November? On October 19, at 7:00 PM, Dr. Kenneth D. Wald, one of America's leading authorities on religion and politics, will discuss these and other matters with EMU Professor Jeff Bernstein in a Zoom conversation.

“The Amazing Power of Family Stories”

Monday, November 23, 2020, 7:00 p.m.
Zoom Webinar
Dr. Marshall P. Duke

Every family has stories. Have you ever wondered if your family’s stories are true? Or they just bubbameisters, tall-tales that have been handed down for generations? Does it even matter? On Monday, November 23, at 7:00 PM Eastern Time, the Eastern Michigan University Center for Jewish Studies is delighted to welcome Dr. Marshall P. Duke, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology at Emory University, who will discuss “The Amazing Power of Family Stories.” Over the years, Professor Duke has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. His work has been written about in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, Parents Magazine, and Time Magazine.Sketch and Sip for Hanukkah with Meg Adler

Sketch and Sip for Hanukkah with Meg Adler

Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 7:00 p.m.
Zoom Webinar
Meg Adler

Looking for for a respite from Covid-19 Winter, a special, virtual place where you can come to draw and learn some new things?? During Sketch and Sip for Hanukkah, Meg Adler will taste and talk about a new wine while you sip whatever is extravagant (and, of course, legal) to you at home. Then, we all learn a bit about Hanukkah while creating digital holiday cards that you can send to loved ones or keep as a reminder of this event!

Winter 2021

“After Auschwitz: Antisemitism in America”

Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 7 p.m.
Zoom Webinar
Holly Huffnagle

On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Eastern Michigan University Center for Jewish Studies will host Holly Huffnagle, U.S. Director for Combating Antisemitism for the American Jewish Committee (AJC). In her role at AJC, Ms. Huffnagle spearheads the global organization’s response to antisemitism in the United States and its efforts to better protect the Jewish community. Before coming to AJC, Ms. Huffnagle served as policy advisor to the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism at the U.S. Department of State and as a researcher in the Mandel Center of Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Most recently, she was Scholar-in-Residence at Oxford University with the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy.
There is no cost to attend this program, however registration is required at:
This presentation was co-sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC, Hillel at Eastern Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University Campus Life, and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

Mira Awad: A Concert/Conversation

Sunday, March 7, 2021, 3 p.m.
Recorded Concert
Mira Awad

Singer, songwriter, actress, artist, and content creator, Mira Awad has long been a major figure in Israeli and Palestinian life and culture—performing music; appearing in television, theater, and film; creating visual installations. In 2009, however, she exploded onto the international scene, when, representing Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest, she joined her longtime friend and frequent collaborator, Achinoam Nini (known outside of Israel as Noa), to perform “There Must Be Another Way,” the first time any Israeli entry included Arabic lyrics. She is among the actors in the hit Israeli television series Arab Labor and has even been a participant in Israel’s version of Dancing With the Stars.
But Mira Awad is a forceful activist for women's rights, for equal citizenship for Palestinians living in Israel, for a two-state solution, and for environmental awareness. Her eloquent advocacy for dialogue and co-existence, for peace and solidarity, has brought considerable praise (and some criticism) across the political spectrum. She calls her music Arabic Fusion, a combination of styles and sounds that weaves together Arabic language with Western harmonies. For this performance, Ms. Awad will be accompanied by Israeli guitarist, Shay Alon.
This concert/conversation is co-sponsored by the Academic Engagement Network, the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan, the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, the Gayle & Larry Weiseneck Symposium Fund, Hillel at Eastern Michigan University, and EMU Campus Life.

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