UC Department of Judaic Studies hosts Lecture Series on Rethinking Jewish Space

Submitted by the UC Department of Judaic Studies


"Jewish Spaces Lost, Jewish Spaces Regained" is the topic of the 2022-2023 Jacob and Jennie L. Lichter Lecture Series organized by the Department of Judaic Studies of the University of Cincinnati. Recent years have seen a transformative revisioning of physical and imagined Jewish spaces.

One could point to the proliferation of Jewish museums, Moishe Houses and “inclusive, relationship-driven” communities such as The Well in Detroit.  These non-denominational places blur traditional boundaries in order to create open and welcoming spaces to those who connect to the Jewish experience culturally, spiritually or inextricably in both ways.  Long-standing Jewish physical institutions have leaned into similar practices through synaplexes and programming in “third places.”  We see these trends robustly performed in Cincinnati as well with the Holocaust and Humanities Center relocation at the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Ish Festival and regularized off-site shabbat services of local synagogues. The 2022-2023 Lichter Lecture Series explores these contemporary re-conceptualizations of Jewish location. The series consists of three lectures.

The series begins with a presentation by Michael Chaness, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Director, Native American Studies at the State University of New York at Oswego. He will be speaking on "Creating Jewish Space on Native Land" on Monday, October 24, 7 p.m. at the Taft Center, 1 Edwards, UC Uptown Campus. The series continues with a lecture by Manuel Herz on “L' Chaim - to Life: The Synagogues of Babyn Yar and Mainz” on Monday, November 7, 7 p.m. at the Reakirt Auditorium, Cincinnati Museum Center. Herz, an architect out of Basel, Switzerland, designed the synagogue/Jewish Community Center in Mainz abstractly based on the Hebrew word for “blessing” and a synagogue/memorial at Babyn Yar in Kiev. The final lecture will be given by Cecile Kuznitz, Associate Professor of History Patricia Ross Weis ’52 Chair in Jewish History and Culture at Bard College. The topic is “Is There Such A Thing As Yiddish Architecture?” and will take place on Monday, November 14, 7 p.m. also at the Taft Center, 1 Edwards, UC Uptown Campus. All lectures are free and open to the public. Reservations are encouraged.

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