Reclaiming Jewish History
Colloquium ’97 brought together scholars and experts in Jewish history from every period of the Jewish experience to explore a crucial question – what is the real story of the Jewish people and their experience? Can we connect with our ancestors as they really were, rather than as we imagined them to be? Through stimulating surveys of their field and serious, even heated, discussions of the implications of their ideas, the panel and participants in Colloquium ’97 discovered much about the truth and legends of Jewish history.
You can read more about Colloquium ’97, including synopses of the major speakers, in the introduction to the printed volume Reclaiming Jewish History (IISHJ/Milan Press, $14.95). Colloquium ’97 is also available on DVD from the IISHJ (phone order or publications catalog), which includes all major sessions of the conference, introductions before and panel discussions after each presentation.
Video for each Colloquium presentation and the following panel discussion is now available on the IISHJ YouTube channel. Click here to see the complete playlist, or on each title for that specific video.
Keynote: “Why Read Jewish History?”
Steven Zipperstein – Award-winning historian of the modern Jewish experience. Author of The Elusive Prophet: Ahad Ha’am and the Origins of Zionism. Professor in Jewish Culture and History and Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at Stanford University.
“Origins of Ancient Israel”
Carol Meyers – Distinguished biblical archaeologist. Author of eight books including Discovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context. Professor in the Department of Religion at Duke University.
“Origins of the Bible”
William Propp – Expert on the history and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. Author of The Anchor Bible Commentary on Exodus. Then-Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History and Judaic Studies at the University of California, San Diego.
“From the Maccabees to the Dead Sea Scrolls”
Eric Meyers – Recognized historian of the early history of Jews and Judaism. Archaeologist of the Mishnaic period. Author of nine books. Professor in the program for Judaic Studies at Duke University.
“The Significance of Jewish Mythology”
Yaakov Malkin – Israeli scholar and intellectual, Professor of Rhetoric at Tel Aviv University. Author of many books on Jewish culture. Founder of the Jewish Community Center Movement in Israel. Founder of the College for Pluralistic Judaism in Jerusalem.
“The Origins of Halakha”
Ari Elon – Creative analyst of the literature of Rabbinic Judaism. Author of From Jerusalem to the Edge of Heaven. Then-Director of the Department of Rabbinic Texts at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia.
“The Medieval Jew”
Norman Cantor – Leading historian of medieval Europe. Author of The Sacred Chain: A History of the Jews and The Jewish Experience. Professor of History, Sociology and Comparative Literature at New York University (since deceased).
“The Legacy of Hasidism”
Ada Rapoport-Albert – Creative explorer of the Hasidic movement and experience. Expert on Jewish life in Eastern Europe. Popular lecturer in Jewish History at University College, London.
“The Enlightenment and the Jews”
Lois Dubin – Expert on the political and cultural transformation of the Jews in Enlightenment Europe. Author of many articles on modern Jewish identity. Then-Associate Professor of Religion and Biblical Literature at Smith College.
“Antisemitism and the Holocaust”
Yehuda Bauer – One of the world’s greatest Holocaust scholars. Author of many books, including Jews for Sale? Nazi-Jewish Negotiations 1933-1945. Founding Director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism.
“The Reality of Zionism”
Derek Penslar – Specialist in modern Jewish history. Author of Zionism and Technocracy: The Engineering of Jewish Settlement in Palestine, 1870-1918. Then-Professor of History and Associate Director of Jewish Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington.