Jewish Studies
Genocide Studies November 19, 2020

The Failures of Ethics

Confronting the Holocaust, Genocide, and Other Mass Atrocities

John K. Roth

Hosted by Jeff Bachman
In the Failures of Ethics: Confronting the Holocaust, Genocide and Other Mass Atrocities (Oxford University Press, 2018), John K. Roth concentrates on the multiple shortfalls and shortcomings of thought, decision …

Subscribe to

on the NBN

Digital Humanities November 18, 2020

Historical Atlas of Hasidism

Marcin Wodziński and Waldemar Spallek

Hosted by Marshall Poe
The Historical Atlas of Hasidism (Princeton UP, 2018) is the first cartographic reference book on one of the modern era’s most vibrant and important mystical movements. Featuring seventy-four large-format maps …
Russian and Eurasian Studies November 12, 2020

Journey Into the Land of the Zeks and Back

A Memoir of the Gulag

Julius Margolin

Hosted by Aaron Weinacht
Julius Margolin was a Polish Jew caught between the twin 1939 invasions of Poland by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. He spent the years 1940-1945 in Soviet labor camps, finally …
Genocide Studies November 11, 2020

The Struggle for Understanding

Elie Wiesel's Literary Works

Victoria Nesfield and Philip Smith

Hosted by Yakir Englander
An in-depth look at Elie Wiesel’s writings, from his earliest works to his final novels. Elie Wiesel (1928–2016) was one of the most important literary voices to emerge from the …
German Studies November 2, 2020

Testimonies of Resistance

Representations of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Sonderkommando

Nicholas Chare and Dominic Williams

Hosted by Yakir Englander
The Sonderkommando--the "special squad" of enslaved Jewish laborers who were forced to work in the gas chambers and crematoria of Auschwitz-Birkenau--comprise one of the most fascinating and troubling topics within …
Eastern European Studies October 21, 2020

The Rebellion of the Daughters

Jewish Women Runaways in Habsburg Galicia

Rachel Manekin

Hosted by Zalman Newfield
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, over three hundred young Jewish women from Orthodox, mostly Hasidic, homes in Western Galicia (now Poland) fled their communities and sought refuge …
European Studies October 16, 2020

All the Horrors of War

A Jewish Girl, a British Doctor, and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen

Bernice Lerner

Hosted by Mark Klobas
One was a teenage Jewish girl, forcibly transported from her home in Hungary to a Nazi concentration camp. The other was a British doctor, whose experiences serving in two world …
Literary Studies October 9, 2020

Teaching Jewish American Literature

Roberta Rosenberg and Rachel Rubinstein

Hosted by Rachel Adelman
In this interview, Roberta Rosenberg and Rachel Rubinstein (editors), engage our listeners in a conversation about different approaches to teaching Jewish American Literature, complicating what it means to be “American” …
European Studies October 8, 2020

The Holocaust

History and Memory

Jeremy Black

Hosted by Charles Coutinho
The event that is commonly labeled as the ‘Holocaust’, was one of the most horrific of the Twentieth Century. It is also one of the most popularly discussed events of …
Hindu Studies October 2, 2020

Rabbi on the Ganges

A Jewish-Hindu Encounter

Alan Brill

Hosted by Raj Balkaran
How do Judaism and Hinduism compare as religions? Beyond the academic merits of comparative religion, what can adherents to one of these faiths gain by learning about the other? Alan …
Jewish Studies September 29, 2020

Does Judaism Condone Violence?

Holiness and Ethics in the Jewish Tradition

Alan L. Mittleman

Hosted by Hope J. Leman
What exactly does the word “holy” mean in various religious traditions? What is the opposite of it in translations from the Hebrew? Is the antonym of “holy” in the Old …
American Studies September 21, 2020

Women of Valor

Orthodox Jewish Troll Fighters, Crime Writers, and Rock Stars in Contemporary Literature and Culture

Karen Skinazi

Hosted by Zalman Newfield
Media portrayals of Orthodox Jewish women frequently depict powerless, silent individuals who are at best naive to live an Orthodox lifestyle, and who are at worst, coerced into it. In …
Eastern European Studies September 21, 2020

The Jews and the Reformation

Kenneth Austin

Hosted by Crawford Gribben
Kenneth Austin, who teaches history at the University of Bristol, UK, is well-known for his work on Jews and Judaism in early modern Europe. His new book, The Jews and …
Intellectual History September 18, 2020

Unbinding Isaac

The Significance of the Akedah for Modern Jewish Thought

Aaron Koller

Hosted by David Gottlieb
In Unbinding Isaac: The Significance of the Akedah for Modern Jewish Thought (Jewish Publication Society, 2020), Aaron Koller, professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, provides a …
Biblical Studies September 18, 2020

Jesus and the Forces of Death

The Gospels' Portrayal of Ritual Impurity within First-Century Judaism

Matthew Thiessen

Hosted by Jonathan Wright
Although most people acknowledge that Jesus was a first-century Jew, interpreters of the Gospels often present him as opposed to Jewish law and customs—especially when considering his numerous encounters with …
Anthropology September 11, 2020

Off the Derech

Leaving Orthodox Judaism

Ezra Cappell and Jessica Lang

Hosted by Zalman Newfield
Off the Derech: Leaving Orthodox Judaism (SUNY Press, 2020), edited by Ezra Cappell and Jessica Lang, combines powerful first-person accounts with incisive scholarly analysis to understand the phenomenon of ultra-Orthodox …
Van Leer Institute Series on Ideas with Renee Garfinkel September 9, 2020

The Invention of Jewish Theocracy

The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel

Alexander Kaye

Hosted by Renee Garfinkel
The tension between secular politics and religious fundamentalism is a problem shared by many modern states. This is certainly true of the State of Israel, where the religious-secular schism provokes …
German Studies September 8, 2020

Resisting Persecution

Jews and Their Petitions during the Holocaust

T. P. Kaplan and W. Gruner (eds.)

Hosted by Kelly McFall
In 20 years of studying the Holocaust, it didn’t occur to me that German officials might, when petitioned by German Jews or by Germans advocating for German Jews, change their …
Literature September 7, 2020

The Hilltop

Assaf Gavron

Hosted by Yakir Englander
Mordantly funny and deeply moving, The Hilltop about life in a West Bank settlement has been hailed as “brilliant” (The New York Times Book Review) and “The Great Israeli Novel …
Literature September 4, 2020

Two Worlds Exist

Yehoshua November

Hosted by Yakir Englander
Yehoshua November's second poetry collection, Two Worlds Exist (Orison Books), movingly examines the harmonies and dissonances involved in practicing an ancient religious tradition in contemporary America. November's beautiful and profound …