Jewish Studies Spring 2019 Events

February 19, 2019

The Cornell Jewish Studies Program is pleased to announce our spring 2019 line-up of events. As always, admission for all of these events is free and faculty, students and community members are all warmly invited.

Monday, March 4, film director Lawrence Loewinger will be joining us for the Ithaca premiere of his Polish award winning film “Bogdan’s Journey.” Kielce, Poland was the site of Europe’s last Jewish pogrom—in 1946. Bogdan, a Catholic Pole determined to heal a historical wound, launches a campaign in the 1990s to reconcile Poles and Jews in the aftermath of that pogrom. Over time, with great effort, he persuades the people of Kielce to confront its painful history.  The screening will be held at Cornell’s Willard Straight Theater at 7:00pm and a talk-back with the director will follow the screening.

On Monday, March 11 at 4:30 pm in 142 Goldwin Smith Hall, Cornell University, author and Academic Advisor at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Eddy Portnoy will discuss his book Bad Rabbi: And Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press. An underground history of downwardly mobile Jews, Bad Rabbi exposes the seamy underbelly of pre-WWII New York and Warsaw, the two major centers of Yiddish culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With true stories plucked from the pages of the Yiddish papers, Eddy Portnoy introduces us to the drunks, thieves, murderers, wrestlers, poets, and beauty queens whose misadventures were immortalized in print. The first thirty Cornell students with ID will receive a FREE copy of Bad Rabbi. A signing opportunity will follow the talk.

On Monday, April 15, at 4:15 pm in 132 Rockefeller Hall, Cornell University, Jodi Magness, Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will give a talk, “More than Just Mosaics: The Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee.” Since 2011, Professor Magness has been directing excavations in the ancient village of Huqoq in Israel's Galilee.  The excavations have brought to light the remains of a monumental Late Roman (fifth century) synagogue building paved with stunning and unique mosaics, including biblical scenes and the first non-biblical story ever discovered decorating an ancient synagogue.  In this slide-illustrated lecture, Professor Magness describes these exciting finds, including the discoveries made in last summer's season. For more information visit

Our final event of the year will be with Jonathan Karp, Professor at Binghamton University State University of New York. He will be speaking about “Overrepresented Minorities? Some Peculiar Parallels between Asians and Jews in the Modern US.” This talk is on Tuesday, April 30, at 4:30 pm in 132 Goldwin Smith Hall, Cornell University.  

More information on our website,

Bogdan's Journey film poster