Eastern Michigan University

Speaker Series

The Eastern Michigan University Jewish Studies Speaker Series provides a gathering space for students, staff, faculty, and members of the community to participate in vibrant exchange about the broad range of contributions Jews have made and continue to make to our culture. EMU Jewish Studies has sponsored:



False Prophets and Dubious Profits: Ethical and Political Challenges in the Technology Industry

Presenter: Doctor Nathaniel Borenstein

Date: Monday, September 26, 2016

Time: 7:30 PM

Location: EMU Student Center Auditorium

Description: People are drawn into the technology industry for several reasons, most notably the sheer coolness of the work and the potential for untold riches. Most are disappointed on both counts. Profits and prophets are surprisingly rare, but fortunately there are better reasons to follow the high-tech path.

Nathaniel S. Borenstein is Chief Scientist for Mimecast and co-creator of the MIME standard, for which he is sometimes called "the father of the email attachment." He has been an Internet researcher, activist, author, standards maker, and entrepreneur since 1980.

The Saint Louis and the Refugee Crisis

Presenter: Doctor Diane Afoumado

Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Time: 7:30 PM

Location: McKenny Hall Ballroom

Description: In the summer of 1939, more than 900 German and Austrian Jews boarded the S.S. St. Louis hoping to escape Nazi persecution. Most had legal documents to disembark in Havana, which they hoped would be a place of refuge before they emigrated to the U.S. But Cuban, American, and international politics forced the passengers back to Europe.

Dr. Diane Afoumado, Chief of the Research and Reference Branch at the Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., will present the St. Louis story using archival documents, photos, and artifacts from the collections of the USHMM, placing that tale into the larger context of the refugee crisis of the late 1930s.

 Pressing Matters: A Look at the Influence of the Arts on Detroit

Presenter: Lynne Avadenka

Date: Monday, December 5th, 2016

Time: 7:30 PM

Location: EMU Student Center, Ballroom A

Description: Lynne Avadenka is the Director of Signal-Return, a community letterpress print shop in Detroit's historic Eastern Market neighborhood. Founded in 2011, Signal-Return is leading the Detroit revival of letterpress printing - a technology that radically transformed human communication in the 15th century, and and art and craft appreciated anew in the 21st century. Avadenka will speak about Signal-Return and its contribution to the burgeoning arts scene in Detroit, as well as her own artwork as a long time member of Detroit's artist community. 

 The 2016 Election and the Jewish Vote

Presenter: Jim Gerstein

Date: Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Time: 7:30 PM

Location: EMU Student Center, Ballroom A

Description: Jim Gerstein, America's leading expert on Jewish voting patterns, is a founding partner of GBA Strategies, and provides research-based strategic counsel for candidates running for office, non-profit organizations, arts and cultural institutions, and Fortune 500 companies. He has served as Executive Director of the progressive research and strategy organization, Democracy Corps; Executive Director of the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation; and established Israel's Institute for Peace and Security, which provides financial, organizational, and strategic support for Arab-Israeli projects. 


To review past speakers please visit our speaker archive.

The Jewish Studies is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold