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No.19, Spring 2008



i -II




Director's Notes

2007-200 8 has been another very busy
0 --Z year at UFs Center for Jewish
Studies. The CJS sponsored more than twenty public lectures,
two film screenings, a symposium, two faculty seminars, an ex-
hibition and its second international confer-
ence. I am particularly pleased to report that
two of our symposia last year's on The
Ister and this year's on Erich Auerbach -
have been published through on-line jour-
nals. Meanwhile, Professor Mitchell Hart
is readying for publication the papers from
our first international conference "The Life
of the Flesh Is in the Blood" while the pa-
pers from the second "Imaging the Unimagi-
nable: The Iconicization of Auschwitz" are
now being assembled by Professor Nora Al-
ter and myself. The Center hopes to do its
third conference this coming year this
one "Popular Israel" is, as the title implies,
on Israeli popular culture.
Much of the resources for the Center's ac-
tivities come from grants, gifts, and various endowment funds.
The Robert Russell Foundation makes it possible to publish
HaTanin; the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation togeth-
er with the June Baunmardner Gelbart and the Jack Chester
Foundations help underwrite the Center's operating expenses.
Two grants are particularly helpful to the Center's curricular
growth: Schusterman through the American-Israeli Coopera-
tive Enterprise (AICE) has been very generous to the Center
and together with the Futernick Endowment provided some of
the funds for us to make a new permanent hire in Israel Stud-
ies, Assistant Professor Michal Ben-Horin; the same funds in
conjunction with the CJS's Gary Gerson Visiting Professorship
Endowment enabled us to bring to UF a senior Israeli scholar,
Professor Harvey Goldberg of the Hebrew University for the
2007-2008 academic year; the Posen Fund through the Center
for Cultural Judaism together with the Alexander Grass Chair
funded a post-doctoral fellow in Russian Jewish history, Simon
Rabinovitch; Posen funds also supported several new course
development awards and an eight-session faculty seminar on

the subject of Jewish secularism. The Center plans to continue
Dr. Rabinovitch's fellowship for the coming academic year as
well as add at least three new courses to our curriculum thanks
to the Posen Foundation and the Grass Chair.
Though we have been very fortunate in
having support from major foundations we
heavily depend on contributions from nu-
merous individuals. I would like to take this
opportunity to thank three couples for their
support of the Center. Samuel and Faye
Price made a generous contribution to the
Price Library with a gift intended to spear-
head further purchasing of historical Yiddish
and Hebrew newspapers on microfilm; both
the "Imaging the Unimaginable: The Iconi-
cization of Auschwitz" conference and the
Auschwitz Album exhibit were made possible
through a gift by Norman and Irma Braman.
These were major events that brought to
campus a number of leading artists, filmmak-
ers and scholars whose work focuses on the
place of Auschwitz in the contemporary cultural imaginary;
I'd again like to acknowledge the support of Gary and Niety
Gerson who recently made a two million dollar deferred gift
to the Center. Over the years, the Gersons' commitment to
UF has been considerable. Through their current pledge they
hope "to induce others to do the same and through a broad
and continuing base of support to help make Jewish studies at
UF one of the finest programs of its kind anywhere."
I hope you'll respond to the call that the Gersons have
made. If you, too, would like to help, please become a Friend
of the CJS. If you are not yet one, please fill out and return
to us the envelope inside this issue. Even small contributions
help underwrite the costs of our many brochures. If a major
gift or building an endowment is something you are consid-
ering, please contact me directly:
jkugelma@jst.ufl.edu or 352.392.9245

JACK KUGELMASS, Director and Melton Professor

Michal Ben-Horin

t the age of eight I began to play the piano. I grew up on a kib-
butz, and I remember hours of practicing in a renovated cinema
hall with an old Steinway. During army service I continued to
play, and completed the service two months early in order to
be ready for the academic year at the Academy of Music at Tel
Aviv University. However, while practicing the piano and analyzing musical
repertory and musicological theories, I suddenly felt a need to study literature and
other texts which brought me to the Department of Comparative Literature, where I
later served as a lecturer.
While pursuing and completing the BA, I thought about the challenging dia-
logue between music and literature. I had studied German during the MA and so
I decided to spend time in Berlin, which opened up a whole new dimension of
cultural traditions.
Berlin was an unknown place, familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. The city
encompassed sights of old Europe with lively multicultural neighborhoods. I met with
people and young colleagues who were eager to learn about the place I came from.
For the first time I had to think about Israel in German. Berlin was also the place we
never talked about in my family, and it was very difficult to explain to my grandfather
why of all places I had to go to Germany. As time passed I found myself thinking
about my grandparents who immigrated from Europe and for whom Germany meant
the impossibility of return. Sometimes in the middle of a concert or often during a
conversation with friends I would ask myself the question that already became a part
of my ongoing research.

Upon returning to Israel I completed
an MA thesis on the historical novels of
Max Brod, a German-Jewish author who
lived in Prague until 1938. His work
embodies the tensions between cultural
and historical identities, Jewish, German
and Czech, as well as a range of theo-
logical and political visions. I read the
historical novels against the background
of his essays and elaborated Brod's ap-
proach to zionism and secularization,
ethics and Jewish tradition. By point-
ing to the analogy between the national
imagination and the fictional structure
of his literary work, I drew attention to
Brod's ambivalent perception of Jewish
national identity.
After a short intermezzo in Tel Aviv
I returned to Berlin to undertake re-
search at the Free University as part
of the doctoral studies. My dissertation
dealt with post-1945 German literature,
and examined how modernist musical

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repertory and German-Jewish musicological discourses affected
and shaped a unique poetics that sought to respond to the ca-
tastrophe of World War II. In other words, I questioned how
musical theory shapes a model of representation and narrative
that challenges the conventions of storytelling on the one
hand, and historiography on the other. A prominent example
is Thomas Mann's novel Doctor Faustus which offers a musical
interpretation of the Mephistopheles pact. His Faust, however,
is a modernist musician. One of the sources of Mann's fictitious
biography was Nietzsche's theory of dissonance. Translated into
literature, the musical dissonance becomes a tool for alterna-
tive documentation. Mann's novel attempts to reconstruct the
rise of National Socialism in Germany by intensive borrowing
of musical patterns and images, and by constructing a narra-
tive based on musicological discourses such as those related to
the First and Second Viennese Schools and to composers such
as Beethoven, Schumann, Wagner, Mahler and Schoenberg.
These discourses were partially influenced by Mann's dialogue
with Theodor Adorno, who, after the Holocaust, sought to find
in music alternative modes of representation.
The dissertation brought me to the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem, where I served as a lecturer in the German Depart-
ment and the School of Literature. I taught courses on criti-
cal theory, including Adorno's essays on literature and music,
post-1945 German literature and the problem of representing
the past, as well as a course on Austrian women writers such as
Ingeborg Bachmann and Elfriede Jelinek, exploring their poet-
ics and their critique of violence.

n 2006 I joined the Center for Literary and Cultural
Studies in Berlin (ZfL) as a research fellow, where I
f5 started a comparative project on German and Hebrew
literature. This led me to the current project on Hebrew
literature. Since the 1980s, Israeli writers have used music in
general, and German music in particular, as a discourse, an
intertext and a cultural code. In alluding to Christian compos-
ers such as Bach or Bruckner, their works open up perspectives
on the unresolved tensions between Israel and Europe, exile
and homeland, ancient and modern traditions. Most writers
use various musical images in an attempt to reconstruct stable

identity binaries within which the Other is either excluded or
dissolved in the self. In a few cases, however, on which I focus,
they rather call these binaries into question, in order to think
differently about the Other.
In August 2007 I joined the faculty of Jewish Studies at the
University of Florida where I teach courses on Israeli culture,
film and literature, modern Jewish and German literature,
and theories of music and representation. The courses in fall
2007 explored fictitious autobiographies or literary memoirs
by German (Barbara Honigmann), American (Paul Auster)
and Israeli writers (Ronit Matalon, Amos Oz). My current
courses deal with representations of war in Israeli films, and
with questions of political poetry in the age of Jewish secu-
larization. The fall 2008 course "Music and Literature: From
German to Hebrew" examines how the music of Bach, Mozart,
Wagner and Mahler was incorporated into German (Thomas
Mann, Ingeborg Bachmann) and Hebrew literature (A.B.
Yehoshua, and Yoel Hoffmann) in a way that challenges his-
torical representation.
For most people music is just something to listen to. For
me, however, music is a way of thinking.

Summer Holocaust Institute for Florida Teachers

The institute is open to all teachers in the
state of Florida. The five-day workshop
takes place June 16 20, 2008 at the
University of Florida.

SHIFT is made possible through the generous support of the
Commissioner's Task Force on Holocaust Education in the State
of Florida, the Harry Rich Endowment for Holocaust Studies, and
friends of the Center for Jewish Studies.

- r)

Register online:

Patricia Woods

fI 1988, a heated conflict erupted between state religious authorities and
the Israel High Court of Justice. This clash, which I call the religious
law conflict, has become nothing less than a culture war. It became
so heated after the 1988 and subsequent HCJ decisions challenging state religious
authorities that, by the mid 1990s, the president of the High Court began to receive
death threats. In 1999, at least 200,000 ultra-Orthodox men descended upon the
High Court building, calling the High Court president a traitor to his people and
decrying the "tyranny" of his self-ascribed rule over the country. Meanwhile, 50,000
secular demonstrators confronted them in counter-protest. Some commentators in
ultra-Orthodox newspapers called for nothing less than the dismantling of the ju-
diciary, comparing the High Court to Haman. From a failed HCJ attempt in 1969
to challenge religious authorities, justices on the court knew the stakes for both
institutional and social stability in mounting an attack on the autonomy of state
religious institutions. And, yet, it did just that in two cases in 1988, cases that marked
only the beginning of the battle.
Religious authorities are part of the state in Israel. They have official legal author-
ity over matters of personal status, including, for the Jewish population, marriage,
divorce, and burial (in divorce, under certain conditions one may opt for a secular
court hearing on those issues pertaining to child custody, alimony, and division of
property). A separate judicial system is in place for religious courts, parallel to the
civil, military, and labor courts. The High Court has final jurisdiction over all of these
court systems both for appeals and for what could be called "constitutional" matters
in a country without a written constitution. Religious authorities also have formal
jurisdiction over observance of the Sabbath, kashrut, and parochial education for reli-
gious communities. However, the application of these rules for the entire population
of Israel has decreased over time, with both the wider state and religious authorities
being relatively flexible in allowing variations of observance for citizens, villages,
towns, and cities. On the legal issues of personal status, however, religious officials

refused to budge. Meanwhile, secular
social movements have brought chal-
lenges to the High Court based on prin-
ciples of rights against religious practices
that have been formally sanctioned by
the state (e.g., religious marriage and
divorce law), as well as religious norms
that had been accepted by the state in
practice but were not entrenched in for-
mal laws (barring women from partici-
pating as representatives on Local Reli-
gious Councils).
In 1988, the High Court made a
fundamental shift in its policy of avoid-
ing challenges to the state-sanctioned
power of religious authorities. Within a
few days of one another, the High Court
announced two decisions that would
change the political landscape of Israel
for years to come (cases known, infor-
mally, as Shakdiel and Poraz). It decided
that religious authorities could not bar
women from being representatives of
Local Religious Councils nor from vot-
ing bodies to select municipal rabbis. In
these decisions, the High Court blasted
religious authorities, stating: "One can-
not forget that rabbinical authorities

Why should we care about a
rarefied legal battle in Israel
between secular and religious
authorities, and centered
most particularly between
secular and religious courts
and lawyers?

also function under the auspices of the
law, and the principle of equality that
is incumbent on everyone is binding
also on them." Because religious of-
ficials were part of the state, they were
required to follow secular state law, in-
cluding the political enfranchisement
of women (not only in terms of voting
rights but political representation as
well). In a paradoxical twist, the High
Court used the rabbinical choice to be
part of the state as a way to constrain
rabbinical power using exactly the
same legal principle by which other
state institutions are constrained by the
law (administrative legality).
Why should we care about a rarefied
legal battle in Israel between secular
and religious authorities, and centered
most particularly between secular and
religious courts and lawyers? Israel's sys-
tem of religious courts within the state
is based on the Ottoman Empire's mil-
let system, by which local communities
were granted communal sovereignty or
autonomy over "communal" matters
(usually defined as religious and per-
sonal-status issues). Religious-minority
communities in the Ottoman Empire
had separate religious courts to govern
themselves on these questions. Most
states in the Middle East have followed
this system of formal relationship be-
tween religion and the state. The major
historical exceptions have been Baathist
Iraq, Pahlavi Iran, and Turkey the lat-
ter being the only state of the three that
continues to maintain formal separation
between religious institutions and the

state. However, with these exceptions,
the entirety of the Middle East, and
great parts of Asia (based on a slightly
different model), incorporate religious
institutions into the state at least for
some matters of personal status. Newly
emerging states, such as Iraq, Afghani-
stan, and the Palestinian Authority are
now or have all grappled with decisions
on what to do about incorporation of re-
ligious authorities into the state. Should
separate legal systems be put in place to
continue the Ottoman tradition of local
religious autonomy? Or, does that create
too many problems when what had been
"local" (usually city or village-level) au-
tonomy is replaced in the modem state
by a single state-wide religious author-
ity for each official religion, creating a
single state-sanctioned interpretation of
that religion?
For religious officials in Israel, the
answer is clear. Religious personal-sta-
tus law must be the binding law on all
Jewish citizens of the state, because it is
through religious marriage and divorce
law that the boundaries of the commu-
nity are maintained. "Who is a Jew,"
religiously, is defined by religiously-
sanctioned reproduction. Children born
out of wedlock may be full members of

the community religiously, but children
born to a woman tied to another man
(through, for example, secular divorce
without a religious divorce paper) are
not. Thus, for religious officials, main-
taining religious marriage and divorce
law is a matter of nothing less than
maintaining the Jewish people in the
State of Israel. Without these laws being
applied to all Jews in Israel, I was told
by several officials "We would have two
peoples here" one Jewish, and one,
for the purposes of religious officials,
who would not count as Jewish.
Meanwhile, for secular social-move-
ment lawyers in the women's movement,
civil rights movement, and religious
pluralism movement (represented most
forcefully by the Reform and Conserva-
tive Movements in Israel), the question
is one of civil and human rights. Reli-
gious marriage and divorce laws impinge
on women's human rights in several
ways, making Israel one of the states that
has signed on to the United Nations'
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
with "reservations." That is, Israel is a
member of the charter except in those
areas pertaining to personal status and
family law.
Judicial Power and National Politics:
Courts and Gender in the Religious-Secu-
lar Conflict in Israel grapples with these
issues, drawing upon over three years of
political-ethnographic research in Isra-
el. In addition to court documents, legal
treatises of justices, social movement
records, and Orthodox and ultra-Ortho-
dox press treatments of the conflict, the
book draws extensively on interviews
with legal scholars, social-movement
lawyers and members, religious officials,
and others to develop its argument
regarding the causes of judicial inter-
vention into religious-secular tensions,
and the dramatic increases in judicial
power that emerged as a result of this
and other similar judicial challenges to
the state. &

TODD HASAK-LOWY holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of California,
Berkeley. His book, Here and Now: Histoy, Nationalism, and Realism in ModemC Hebrew Fiction is
published by Syracuse University Press. Captives, his first novel, will he published by Spiegel & Grau
in October. I le is spending the 2007 08 academic year in Tel Aviv as a Yad I lanadiv fellow.

Here and Now: History, Nationalism, and Realism in Modern Hebrew
Fiction I analyze the role Hebrew fiction played in the emergence
l of zionism in the late nineteenth century and in the evolution of
zionist society in Palestine up through the founding of Israel in
I n 1948. I trace the tension between the extra-literary (the historical,
social, and political) and the literary (the aesthetic, formal, and stylistic), situating
extended close readings of canonical Hebrew texts within a contextualized backdrop
illustrating the mutual embedding of nation and narration in the case of Zionism
and Hebrew literature. In other words, I argue that the identity of the nation and
the culture of this nation especially the way it represented itself were ulti-
mately inseparable.
Zionism has often been understood as a program for "returning the Jews to his-
tory," that is a project intent on transforming the Jews from passive objects of history
to active subjects capable of determining their own fate. Though this representation
of Jewish life in the diaspora is inaccurate, the notion of a Jewish return to history
should not be dismissed out of hand. The nineteenth century saw key elements of
European Jewry internalize modern historical thinking, according to which history
was no longer predetermined, but rather open to human intervention. While the
various political movements that would eventually stem from this reconception of
Jewish history zionism and Russian socialism, among others, often receive the
most attention in studies of this period. These conceptual transformations were in
and of themselves monumental. The centrality of this conceptual realm was only
intensified by the fact that zionism emerged outside its self-proclaimed territorial cen-
ter among a community with virtually no substantive political power. Thus, in the
first decades of modem Jewish nationalist thought, before overtly political projects
had found their footing, intellectual and political leadership were essentially one

and the same. In this way, the discourses
surrounding Jewish history and culture
found themselves at the center of the
radical changes reshaping Jewish society
as a whole.
At the heart of this intertwined
cultural and political activity was the
project of reworking Hebrew into
a modern national language and lit-
erature. As such, by the 1880s Hebrew
writers of Eastern Europe, where zionism
first emerged, were working from a sense
of mission and responsibility for the fate
of the Jews. They wrote with the belief
that accurately representing Jewish soci-
ety in their texts including its history
and present condition would "make"
history in a double sense; that is, both
write a record of its past and establish
its future course. In this way, Hebrew
literature came to function as both rep-
resentation and event. In light of the
immensity of Hebrew literature's role at
this time, apparently aesthetic questions
of what subjects to write about and how
to represent them were for these writers

always already socially and politically charged concerns.
Having themselves internalized the trappings of modern
historical thought, but primarily occupied by the present
condition of the Jews, Hebrew prose writers hoped to capture
Jewish society objectively and precisely, with the conviction
that the very act of accurately representing their reality
might participate in its transformation. The long-standing
absence of Jewish territory combined with the
recent rejection of the traditional "universe of
discourse" (i.e. the Hebrew Bible and
its commentaries) left Jewish society
existentially desperate for a new
universe of discourse anchored in the
real, historical world. This profound
interest in, indeed, demand for, a
socially engaged literature equipped
to capture reality would seem to make
realism the fictional mode of choice
for Hebrew writers near the end of
the nineteenth century. In addition,
realism was not only the dominant
mode of nineteenth-century European
fiction, but intimately tied to the
dominance of nationalism and modern
historiography throughout Europe at this
time as well. In a sense, realism can almost ~pmn 4,p
be said to have the power to translate the s,. Aj
literary into the extra-literary, and vice versa.
Yet despite all the reasons for realism's suitability for an
emerging modern, Hebrew fiction, such a mode would be mar-
ginal at best well into the twentieth century. My study analyzes
the reasons for and salience of realism's relatively marginal
place in Hebrew fiction despite its appeal, an appeal explicitly
voiced by many of the writers at the center of this study. Con-
fronting a variety of literary as well as extra-literary choices
and challenges from the linguistic and the generic to the
religious and the political- Hebrew writers struggled in their
effort to find a viable Hebrew realist idiom. Though there are
many reason for realism's elusiveness, two factors stand out:
First, Hebrew, as a sacred language not yet spoken by most
writers until the 1920s, was in numerous ways ill equipped to
function as a realist idiom; second, Hebrew literature's belated
emergence in comparison to many other European literatures
exposed Hebrew writers to a variety of rival fictional modes,
first and foremost modernism, that pushed them away from
standard realism and offered instead numerous alternative
mimetic strategies. While most Hebrew writers failed to em-
ploy a realist poetics in the traditional sense, their writings still
showed signs of a more general commitment to "the real," to

an aesthetic project deeply concerned with capturing external
reality. The final result is a national literature of unusual aes-
thetic complexity and ideological ambivalence.
Despite this, the role occupied by Hebrew literature in
the emergence of modern zionism is remarkable, even when
viewed within the framework of recent theories on nationalism
and national culture. The work of Eric Hobsbawm, Benedict
Anderson, and Homi Bhabha has lead to a reconsideration
of the relationship between the nation and
national culture, by demonstrating
how national tradition and the very
coherency of the nation itself should
be reconceived as, at least in part,
inventions, that is, as constructed and
endlessly revised in the realm of culture.
This scholarship has radically influenced
the tenor and fundamental assumptions
of research on national literatures in gen-
eral. Yet in the particular case of Hebrew
literature and its relationship to Jewish,
zionist, and Israeli history of the last 150
years, interdependency is an inadequate
model, since Hebrew literature, especially
during the emergence and solidification of
modern zionism, played an unmistakably lead-
m-: ing role. In a process perhaps unique in the
,d Ai~arroih history of the modern nation, Hebrew litera-
ture radically reconceived the national community
and literally envisioned the nation-state it would eventually
be tied to. Emerging in a different geographic location, among
a community it hoped to refashion entirely, and written in a
language never before used for these exact purposes, Hebrew
literature stands as an extreme realization of literature invent-
ing the nation. &

lindergraduate scholarships

1n4t, I

andr graduate e/Bradua t

ERIC KLIGERMAN is an assistant professor in the Department of Germanic and Slavic studies-
He received a PhD from the University of Michigan in the spring of 2001. Kligerman spent several
years studying in Germany at the University of Freiburg on a Fulbright Fellowship. His book Sites of
the Uncanny: Paul Celan, Specutarity and the Visual Arts is published by W water De Gruyter.

She interest in German philosophy and poetry began during my youth. While
playing chess and listening to the Grateful Dead, instead of studying for
geometry exams, I recall talking with my brother about such figures as
Heidegger, Kant, Hegel, Freud, Rilke, Kafka and Nietzsche. In college I immersed
myself in courses on German literature and philosophy.
During six months of backpacking through Europe after college, I spent a while
traveling through Germany. Specifically avoiding the scenes of Oktoberfest, my tra-
jectory was based on the biographies of the most influential German philosophers and
poets. I visited Bamberg, where Hegel wrote his Phenomenology of Spirit. Around the
corner from his home, I read a plaque commemorating the deportation of the town's
Jews during the Second World War. In Tiibingen I stopped at Holderlin's grave to
place flowers. In the cemetery there was another commemorative stone to the vic-
tims of National Socialism. I also visited the lecture hall at the university in Freiburg
where Heidegger had once taught. The building was near a memorial that remem-
bered the destruction of a synagogue on Kristallnacht. In Weimar, after visiting the
homes of Goethe and Schiller, I spent an afternoon at Buchenwald and was struck
by the proximity of these two places. Each site in my travels that commemorated
a cultural achievement was offset by marks that memorialized the victims of cata-
strophic history.
What I somehow was able to circumvent in the classrooms in the United States
- this complex juxtaposition of poetry and extermination I could not avoid in my
travels across the German landscape. This very tension eventually became the focal
point of my research in graduate school in comparative literature, where I continued
studying German literature and philosophy, but in relation to history and Jewish stud-

ies. I now turned my attention to how
German-Jewish intellectual thought
could be utilized to probe and reflect on
the years of persecution and extermina-
tion. My dissertation centered on the
poet Paul Celan (1920 1970), a Ro-
manian Jew from the German-speaking
enclave of the Bukovina, who had him-
self survived the Shoah, but lost his fam-
ily in the death camps. After the war he
emigrated to Paris. Although he was flu-
ent in seven languages, Celan wrote in
German, claiming that, "Only in one's
mother tongue (Muttersprache) can the
poet tell the truth. In all other languag-
es the poet lies." Celan would use not
only the language of Goethe, Novalis,
Rilke and Trakl, but also of his mother
to remember her murder at the hands of
the Nazis. After returning to Germany
from his exile in America in 1951, the
philosopher Theodor Adorno declared,
"To write a poem after Auschwitz is
barbaric." His oft-cited statement has
been invoked during discussions about
the possibility of art after the discovery
of the death camps. Conditioning his
statement on several occasions, Adomo
modified his claim by stating that the
cries of the tortured also have the right
to be heard. It was Celan's poetry that
challenged Adorno to rethink his posi-
tion of art after Auschwitz.
At first, the question of memory and
the Shoah were missing from my research
on Celan and I fell again into the same
pattern of avoiding history. It was easier
for me to discuss the influence his Ger-
man predecessors had on his lyric than
to place his poetry within the context
of the Shoah. The turning point of my
work again came during a stay in Germa-
ny, while I was on a Fulbright fellowship.
During a conference in Berlin, I went on
a guided tour of the newly constructed,
but still empty, Jewish Museum that was
designed by Daniel Libeskind to explore
Jewish culture in Germany. Although
not a Holocaust museum, there were

structures throughout its design to recall the many disruptions
and tensions in the history of Jewish life in Germany. Walking
across the museum grounds, which were guarded by police of-
ficers with machine guns (a common sight at Jewish schools,
community centers and synagogues throughout Germany), I
saw beneath my feet in a courtyard an abstract stone mosaic.
Its dark hues and sharp lines had a familiar look; its design was
similar to the graphic artist Gisele Celan-Lestrange, Celan's
wife, who often based her works on her husband's lyric. He too
would write poems that were influenced by her artworks. I was
to find out later that this was the Celan Courtyard and his wife
had indeed designed the mosaic.
Even more striking than the courtyard was what I would
encounter in the empty museum: the spatialization of Celan's
poetry. With its crossing lines comprised of horizontal hallways
intersected by vertical shafts that Libeskind named "voids"
- spaces intended to disrupt the
exhibitions the building's de-
sign unlocked for me Celan's her-
metic verse that he described as
a "Breathturn." The Breathturn
constitutes the moment when the
poem breaks down and the reader
is confronted with the terrifying
ruptures and silences of historical
catastrophe. Libeskind's voids are
themselves translations of Celan's
poetic silences into architecture.
After stepping into one of Libes-
kind's voids, my nearly completed
dissertation on Celan's relation to the
German poetic tradition came to an PautCe an ad uq Cisd
abrupt halt. I began anew an investiga-
tion of the impact that Celan's lyric had on the visual arts.
In 1970 Celan committed suicide by drowning himself in the
River Sein. He had once described poetry as a "message in a
bottle" that was always on the way to the other; by jumping
into the river he had in effect transformed himself into such
a vessel. I follow the trajectory of how his poetry has been
both received and translated by other poets, philosophers
and artists.
My book Sites of the Uncanny: Paul Celan, Specularity and
the Visual Arts explores four modes of representation poetry,
film, painting, and architecture in their relation to the trau-
ma of the Shoah. My focal point is the ripple effect that Celan's
poetics has had on visual artists who probe the Holocaust, spe-
cifically the filmmaker Alain Resnais, the painter Anselm Kief-
er, and the architect Daniel Libeskind. After investigating how
Celan's uncanny poetics can be read as a response to Martin

Heidegger's "virtual silence" concerning the Holocaust, I track
the transformation of Celan's work in the cultural imaginary of
postwar Germany, showing the extent to which his work is con-
sidered emblematic of the country's memory politics and how
his poetry serves as a template for provocative forms of uncanny
art in the aftermath of the Shoah. The intimate dialogue be-
tween Celan's lyric and the debates surrounding the Holocaust
at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first
centuries remains the backdrop of this study.
Why do we need to turn back to Celan's poetics in order
to explore contemporary deliberations about how Germany
commemorates the traumatic history of the genocide carried
out against Europe's Jewish communities? The questions con-
cerning representation that are deeply ingrained in current
memory debates about the Shoah were themselves initiated
by Celan sixty years ago with the release of his poem Death
Fugue, which shattered and re-
formed both the conventional
techniques of lyric poetry and the
semantic and syntactic functions
of the German language. Like
particular photographs from the
Holocaust the images of a child
with raised hands from the Warsaw
Ghetto, the train tracks leading to
the gate of Auschwitz-Birkenau,
the piles of shoes and shorn hair
from the camps Celan's Death
Ji,.' \inurCum,. Nl Fugue long ago achieved iconic
status in Germany. But reciting
the poem during commemorative functions does not necessar-
ily suggest or guarantee engagement with the Shoah. In fact
Celan himself greeted with an air of suspicion the bestowing of
awards on him and invitations to read his poetry throughout
the 1950s. During this period when Germany was venerating
his poetry, Celan became wary of being used as a sign to show
that the Jewish Other had been integrated back into the space
of postwar German culture. In a letter from 1962 he described
how Germany had perverted his identity into an object solely
based on his "Jewishness." Celan resists this appropriation by
taking the German language and his poetry through a series of
I turn to four periods of crisis in post-war German memory
in relation to the Holocaust: 1958, 1979, 1989 and 2005. In my
chapter on the relation between Celan's lyric and cinema, I ex-
amine Celan's translation of Jean CayroPs screenplay to Alain
Resnais' film Night and Fog (1956) one of the first document

continued on page 15, right column

NINA CAPUTO is an assistant professor in the Department of H history. She received her BA
from UCLA and an MA and PhD in History from UC Berkley. She began teaching at UF in 2003.
Her book Nahmanides in Medieval Catalonia History, Community, and Messianism is published by
Notre Dame Press.





I first encountered the Jewish Middle Ages as an undergraduate at UCLA in a survey
of Jewish history. What first grabbed my attention were the apparent contradictions
in this history: Jewish communities represented a small minority of the population,
but they occupied an ambivalent, at times paradoxical place vis-a-vis Christian soci-
ety. As a minority in predominantly Christian or Muslim society, Jews enjoyed a set of
privileges granted to them by royal or regional leaders, but they were also the object
of distrust, derision, and at times, violence. It was this ambivalence that fascinated
me. Equally compelling was the fact that Christian theologians believed there to be a
viable place for Jews in Christian society and history even if that place was forced
by the fact that these theologians saw Jewish and Christian heritage and future in
the time of Judgment as fundamentally interlinked. Jewish-Christian polemics, in
particular, seem to embody the complexity of the position Jews occupied in medieval
Christian society. I'm fascinated by the question of how conflicting conceptions of
theological truth and authority are negotiated in cultural terms. In polemics, Jews
and Christians were able to discuss their theological differences using a common
language and terms of reference, and though such discussions did not necessarily yield
agreement or tolerance of differences, it is significant that they were able to find a
single frame of reference to capture these differences.

In the context of American society
and culture, questions of tolerance or
toleration of dissenting, diverse inter-
pretations and opinions and truths are
quite timely. Our political discourse is
increasingly intolerant of respectful or
sustained disagreement or dissent. The
medieval example, though rather for-
eign in some surprising ways, is also very
familiar. Thinking critically about the
constituent parts of medieval society
and culture from a modern perspective
almost demands that we grapple with
how we understand differences of politi-
cal philosophy or faith in society today.

My book is a study of Nahmanides, or
Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman, and his un-
derstanding of how Jewish communities
and interpretations responded to social,
historical, and cultural change. He was
important as a community leader, a
teacher and interpreter of Jewish texts,
and as the first prominent teacher to
"popularize" Kabbalah. One of the things
I deal with is Nahmanides's public dis-
putation with a convert from Judaism to
Christianity the Barcelona Disputa-
tion. He was called to the royal palace in
Barcelona to defend the Jews' claim that
the messianic Redemption was still to be
expected. This very dramatic event was
witnessed by King James I of Aragon, as
well as many prominent members of the
Jewish and Christian Elites. Nahman-
ides wrote a long Hebrew account of this
event where he portrayed himself as the
victor in the debate. The account is so
entertaining and literary that a play and
later a television show were based on it.
Nearly everyone who has written on this
document has a different take on it, in
part because of the style of composition
and also because there is an anonymous
Latin document which confirms some
details of Nahmanides's text but at the
same time offers a contradictory inter

continued on bottom of page 1 I


Fall 2008

CJS Courses

Arab/Israeli Conflict
Derrida & Literature

From Nuremberg to Southpark

"Killing for God" (Fall of 2006) examined traditions of
violence in all three Abrahamic religions. The course began
with the premise that no religion is inherently militant or
inherently pacifist. It then explored the causal factors that
have, at different periods of history, veered each of the religions into lethal pathways,
and what forces veer them into more peaceful paths. Participants received a compara-
tive anthropological overview of divinely mandated killing and enslavement in the
three Abrahamic traditions.

"Anthropology of the Siddur" (Fall of 2007) examines the Jewish prayer book
as an anthropological treasure house that bundles into one manual several thousand
years of unfolding Jewish theology and folklore. The texts of the siddur not only cover
the major historical events and commandments with which most Jews are familiar,
but the text also contain ancient strata of Jewish belief that may be unknown to, or
even rejected by, ordinary Jews. They include reincarnation, astrological belief in the
power of stars, angels and demons, nocturnal soul travel, the Evil and Good Inclina-
tions, resurrection of the dead, Jewish beliefs in Heaven (Gan Eden) and Purgatory
/ Hell (Gehinnom), blessings and curses, animal sacrifice, and kabbalistic teachings
about the three layers of the human soul (nefesh, ruakh, neshamah). 0

Hebrew Scriptures

History of Antisemitism (Honors)


Introduction to Judaism

Intro to Modern Jewish Literature

Jewish Ethnography

Jewish History

Judaism in the Americas
Music, Literature & History

Politics of Israel

Senior Honors Thesis

Women mi Mod. Hebrew Fiction

For more course information:

Caputo continued from page 10

pretation of the outcome.
I think there is a lot going on in
Nahmanides's text, but the thing that
seems most striking to me is that even
as this account was meant to show the
truth even supremacy of Juda-
ism, he contributed to two movements
that had gained momentum among the
Christian elites in his native Catalonia:
the effort to capture recent events in a
dramatic form of storytelling, on the one
hand, and the sense that he lived in an
era that saw the messianic Redemption
in the foreseeable future.
In my next book Pm interested in
the issue of conversion and the way that

apostates famous apostates, presented
themselves in either their writings or
their public personas as newly convert-
ed Christians who offered something
unique and important to Christian so-
ciety and culture at large. For example,
Petrus Alfonsi wrote a fascinating work
in which he presented a fictional debate
between a Jew (Moses) and a Christian
(Peter) ostensibly his Jewish and
Christian alter egos. What interests me
is the way he crafted himself in literary
form as a Christian who brought a wealth
of information about Jews and Judaism to
his new community. That is, how he and
others managed to mobilize their inti-
mate knowledge of Judaism as a source of
power and value rather than danger. 0

at B'nai Israel

GERALD MURRAY, Anthropology



Exile, Judaism and Literary Criticism

Auerbach (1892 1957) was one of the leading literary historians and theorists of
the twentieth century. After fleeing Germany before World War II and working in
exile in Turkey, he immigrated to the United States in 1947 where he held the posi-
tion of Sterling Professor at Yale University. During his stay in Turkey, he wrote his
major work in comparative literature, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western
Literature. A symposium organized by Galli Shahar in October of 2007 for the Cen-
ter for Jewish Studies reflects on the exilic conditions that shaped Auerbach's work,
shedding light on the historical conditions that formed this important thinker, and
celebrating a scholar steeped in the history of his time. As Professor William Calin,
the last assistant to Erich Auerbach at Yale University argued at the conference in his
presentation "Auerbach and History," Auerbach was always "sensitive to historical
process and evolution. [Auerbach] declared: 'My purpose is always to write history.'"
Mimesis owes its existence to Auerbach's trajectory as an exiled Jew in Turkey.
Working without a library, he wrote the book reflecting on world literature based
mostly on reading the original texts, without any secondary literature available. As
he himself wrote in Mimesis, "it is quite possible that the book owes its existence to
just this lack of a rich and specialized library. If it had been possible for me to acquaint
myself with all of the work that has been done on so many subjects, I might never
have reached the point of writing."
Judith Page focused on precisely this moment to affirm, in her presentation
"Auerbach and Exile," Auerbach's ability to transform exile "into a kind of for-
tunate fall that allowed such a huge undertaking. Exile deprived Auerbach of an
archive but it allowed him to write this epilogue was paradoxically really the
beginning of the story of how loss and injury can be redeemed. In my imagination,
Auerbach became a figure like Milton, who in exile (albeit at home) and in total
blindness, wrote his epic work."
Auerbach attempted to record and preserve the entire western civilization at the
moment of its darkest decline, at the moment when the end of that civilization was at

hand for the millions of exiles and dis-
placed. Auerbach's Mimesis, therefore,
is not just a history book recording the
past, but a live, active event, "the book
which endeavors to open what seems to
be closing what Auerbach describes
as the end of the history of European
civilization 'as a distinct entity.'" Such
insight led Esther Romeyn to further
analyze in "Mimesis: Erich Auerbach
and the Contradictions of the Modern"
this event and what is alive and surviv-
ing in it, to conclude that "Auerbach's
famed notion of figure may be nothing
more than the dream of the future sur-
vival of European culture." Romeyn as-
tutely traced another concept proposed
by Auerbach, that of the creatural (that,
which obeying the hidden law of God
anticipates the promise of the future).
"In the 'creatural,"' argued Romeyn,
"a concept which marks the affinity of
his writing with that of other German-
Jewish writers and intellectuals (such
as Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Ger-
shom Scholem, Franz Rosenzweig and
Paul Celan), Auerbach locates a form of
'responsibility and justice' beyond the

limits of Enlightenment human-
ism. It is the advance of mankind
towards a full consciousness and
expression of its human, creatural
condition which constitutes the
'inner dream of history, a dream
still alive, even in its 'wholly
fragmentary present form."
The argument proposed by
Dragan Kujundzic went further
in discussing the work of Erich
Auerbach as an attempt at Au-
erbach's own survival and the
survival of the culture that is living its last moments. Kujun-
dzic claims that it is indeed in the exilic, diasporic aspect of
Auerbach's writing, in what maybe even goes un-thought in
the performance of this event titled Mimesis that the lasting
impact of this book is still felt, and probably will for some time
to come. Auerbach, the thinker of figure, was assessed in his
"rhetorical disfiguration and 'dissemiNation,' (Bhabha), in the
moment when the meaning engendered by the text of Mimesis
entered into a dehiscence and disjunction with its own exilic
rhetoric." The exilic, diasporic, permeates Auerbach's narra-
tive and forms the creative, creaturely tension with its his-
toricist narrative.
Along similar lines, Galili Shahar, the conference organiz-
er, concluded his argument about Auerbach's reading of the
Hebrew Bible. "The biblical story that conceals figures, bodies
and plots, and is itself enfolded in riddles and silence, ulti-
mately creates the appropriate model of historical narration,
for the documentation of the complexities, contradictions,
and conflicts of the present, that is, Europe/1942. The bibli-
cat story, with its silent allegories of ancient Hebrew, creates
a model of representation that is appropriate for historical
moments of crisis and confusion. The rise of National So-
cialism in Germany and the war in Europe, Auerbach writes,
are multifaceted, complicated events that consist of a 'great
number of contradictory motives.' The story of fascism and
war requires the structure of the historical narrative that was
provided by the Hebrew Bible."
The conference concluded with a concert by Gila Gold-
stein titled Figura, who performed partitas by Bach, songs by
Mendelssohn and Schubert, and short pieces written in 1943
by the Israeli composer Paul Ben Haim. &

Proceedings from the symposium "The Ister"
that took place March 20, 2007, under the
title "The Danube: Hoelderlin, Heidegger, 'the
Jews,' and the Destiny of Europe" have been published
by Artmargins.

Artmargins is the leading journal in art, film and
media, covering the countries of East and Central
Europe, published at the University of California,
Santa Barbara.

The journal issue may be viewed at:

r"- C---" C-- r)--- ~---- 5--- ~---- ~---- ~---- p--- ~---- p--r

r"- e~-- ~---- ~---- 1--- ~---- 5--- 1---- ~----- ~---- ~-----~


Challenge OF


The Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning Theology and Religion has awarded a grant of
$20,000 to ANDREA STERK and NINA CAPUTO for a series of lectures and symposia titled
"The Challenge of Religious History: A Forum on Religion and Scholarship." The series will run
from September 2008 through December 2009.

The project aims to promote more effective teaching of religious history, with a focus
on the traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. A sixteen month multi-layered
series will foster sustained conversation among those who teach in this area. Over the
course of three semesters prominent scholars with specializations from antiquity to
modern America will engage faculty and students on three levels: 1) a broader public
lecture; 2) a smaller seminar on pedagogy for faculty and graduate students; and 3)
informal discussion over meals. They will address new methodologies in teaching and
research, the benefits as well as the limitations of the secular setting, and the overlap-
ping identities of both historical religious communities and contemporary religious
historians in the post-modern university. While the primary target audience is faculty
and graduate students at the University of Florida, a volume of essays is intended for
those who teach religious history at other institutions.

The following scholars have committed to participate in the program:

SUSANNA ELM, Professor of History and Classics, at the University of California,
Berkeley. In addition to numerous articles and edited volumes, Professor Elm is au-
thor of Virgins of God: The Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity, Oxford Classical
Monograph Series, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994; Paperback, 1996, re-ed. 1999,

DAVID NIRENBERG, Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought at the
University of Chicago. Nirenberg's highly acclaimed book, Communities of Violence:
Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages (Princeton, 1996), examines the complex
interfaith relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in late-medieval Spain
and southern France.

JOHN VAN ENGEN, Andrew V. Tackes
Professor of History at the University
of Notre Dame. Professor Van Engen
has published widely on twelfth-cen-
tury Church reform movements and on
late medieval mysticism and devotional
practices. His most recent book, The
Modern-Day Devout in the Later Middle
Ages: Sisters and Brothers in Communal
Life and Private Societies is forthcoming
in 2008.

MICHAEL SIGNER, Abrams Professor
of Theology at the University of Notre
Dame, has published extensively on
medieval Jewish and Christian exegeti-
cal methods. His recent publications
include Jews and Christians in Twelfth-
Century Europe (Notre Dame, 2001),
co-edited with John Van Engen, and
History and Memory in Judaism and
Christianity (Notre Dame, 2001).

History and Religious Studies at Yale
University, specializes in the social,
intellectual, religious, and cultural his-
tory of late-medieval and early-modern
Europe, with a strong focus on both the
Protestant and Catholic Reformations;
the history of popular piety; and the
history of death. His recent publications
include From Madrid to Purgatory: The
Art and Craft of Dying in Sixteenth-Cen-
tury Spain (1995); and co-author with
J. Corrigan, M. Jaffee, and E Denny of
Jews, Christians, Muslims: An Introduc-
tion to Monotheistic Religions (1997). His
autobiography, Waiting for Snow in Ha-
vana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy (The
Free Press, 2003), won the National
Book Award in Nonfiction in 2003.

hoff Professor of Modern Jewish History
and the Ella Darivoff Director of the
Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at
the University of Pennsylvania. Publica-
tions include Jewish Thought and Sci


C* x

entific Discovery in Early Modern Europe
(Yale University Press, 1995; revised pa-
perback, Detroit, 2001) and Connecting
the Covenant: Judaism and the Search for
Christian Identity in Eighteenth-Century
England, (University of Pennsylvania
Press, 2007).

MARK NOLL, Francis A. McAnaney
Professor of History at University of
Notre Dame, is interested in race, reli-
gion, and politics as intersecting and at
times intertwined modes of discourse.
His most recent book is The Civil War as
a Theological Crisis (University of North
Carolina Press, 2006).

LAMIN SANNEH, D. Willis James
Professor of Missions &World Christi-
anity and Professor of History at the Yale
University School of Divinity. He has
published broadly in such diverse fields
as the study of race, interfaith relations,
and secularism. His recent publications
include Faith and Power: Christianity
and Islam in 'Secular' Britain (with Lesslie
Newbigin & Jenny Taylor, 1998) and
Abolitionists Abroad: American Blacks and
the Making of Modem West Africa (Har-
vard University Press; New Ed edition,

Kligerman continued from page 9 tary films on the Shoah from French
into German, and place it into conversa-
tion with Celan's poem The Straightening
(1958). I explore how Celan's transla-
tion of the film into poetry transforms
the cinematic landscape of extermina-
tion into a text that the spectator both
sees and reads. Although the film assaults
the spectator's gaze with graphic images
N'tar Im e ,wfsa h N cis aend ,tr from the death camps, Night and Fog fails
to give word to the uniquely Jewish bodies it displays. While the Jewish victim is
configured visually throughout the film by yellow stars and iconic photographs, the
word "Jewish" is spoken only once. Celan's translation of the film into his poem The
Straightening responds to this erasure of the Jewish victim both in the film and in
German memory in 1958.
I then examine the reception and translation of Celan's poetry by his successors
in painting and architecture. In my analysis of Celan and Anselm Kiefer (a German
artist born in 1945), I show how Kiefer, after two decades of misappropriations of
Celan's Death Fugue in Germany, disfigures the poem in order to break out of the
repetitive mode that had befallen and transformed it into a fetishized object. While
critics described Kiefer as a "taboo breaker" for painting themes of the Third Reich, I
maintain that the real taboo he had broken was his engagement with the Shoah. As
Germany debated how to memorialize the Holocaust, Kiefer's artworks have become
monumental. While Kiefer continues to inscribe Celan's lyric in his later artworks,
his most recent sculptures explore themes of Jewish mysticism and the kabbalah, and
demonstrate Kiefer's ongoing attempt to prompt his audience to confront the Holo-
caust in the period after re-unification.
The final chapter investigates how Daniel Libeskind inscribes Celan's poetics in
his Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Felix Nussbaumhaus in Osnabruck. Both mu-
seums make it possible for the visi-
tor to enter into a text that is char-
acteristically like Celan's poetry.
While the Jewish Museum's design,
which includes the Celan Court-
yard, is based on Celan's concept of
a Sprachgitter (Speech-lattice) with
its crossing lines and the Breath-
turn, Libeskind actually inscribes
Celan's poem The Straightening on
the wall of the Felix Nussbaumhaus
at the museum's most constricted
point. Libeskind places the exhibi- n4micgr, ansm Kicfr
tions and architecture in constant dialogue with one another, where the anxiety of
space in poetry, painting and architecture coalesce in a museum dedicated to the
works of Nussbaum, a German-Jewish painter who was murdered in Auschwitz.
Sites of the Uncanny shows how our reading of Celan's lyric prepares the way to-
wards other voids that pervade artworks about the Holocaust. To use a title from
one of his poems, Celan functions as my Shibboleth that is, a password for crossing
thresholds, passing borders, and translating uneasy spaces.

MAUREEN TURIM is a professor in the English Department and Director of Film & Media
Studies. She received a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is author of Flash-
backs in Film: Memory and History (Routledge), and The Films of Oshima: Images of a Japanese
Icoroclast (University of California Press).



From the often misunderstood film The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (II Giardino dei
Finzi-Contini, Vittorio De Sica, 1970) to the work of contemporary women filmmak-
ers such as Karin Albou La Petite Jerusalem, 2005 and Caroline Link's Nowhere in
Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika), 2001, based on the autobiographical novel by Stefanie
Zweig, a new course, Jews and Arabs in France: Parallel Otherness in Literature and
Film, taught by Professor MaureenTurim (ENG 4133 cross-listed with JST 3930)
offered an examination of how Jews have been represented in European Cinema in
the years since the Shoah. The course attracted a diverse group of students ranging
from film majors entirely new to Jewish culture and history on one hand, and Jewish
studies majors for whom the cultural issues are familiar, but who were new to this
critical and theoretical inquiry into films.
Turim asked her students to examine what aesthetic principles and intellectual
responses do filmmakers bring to the problem of Jewish identity in different European
societies. Many of the films feature Jewish survivors interrogating their history, and
that of their various countries. Issues of religious practice and assimilation, gender
and sexuality within Jewish narratives, and relationships to other ethnicities, and to
national identity were traced throughout the semester.
Some students were critical of how little Jewish ritual practice was evidenced
in the films, as many of the Jews in the narratives were highly assimilated, or non-
practicing. Jewish ethnicity under persecution, rather than Jewish religious affiliation

may be seen as dominating the portrayal
of Jews in post-war European film. Thus
when the Sephardi Jews in La Petite
Jerusalem, whose title is a reference to
the Parisian working-class suburb of
Sarcelles inhabited notably by a mix of
Jews and Arabs, practice Tashlikh, ob-
serve Simchat Torah, or attend the Mik-
vah, the novelty of such ritual is strik-
ing, recalling only the observant widow
in Jin KadAr's The Shop on Main Street,
(Obchod na korze, 1965).
Aspects of this course have found
continuation in Paris this semester,
where Turim is teaching honors stu-
dents at the UF Paris Research Center.
A semester-long look at concerns (some
parallel, others intersecting, and some
quite different) faced by Jewish and
Arab communities in France. Through
literature, film, art, and site visits which
correspond to sociological and historical
readings, students engage in a unique
opportunity to explore current social
issues and their expression in the arts.
One parallel shared by the communi-
ties, of course, is an outsider status, and
a history of oppression, and this course
takes as its touchstones the history of
anti-Semitism in France culminating in
the Shoah, and the wars of decolonial-
ization, particularly the war in Algeria.
Religious identities are not only studied
through readings, as students visited the
Grand Synagogue and la Mosquee, and
talked to religious leaders. They ate at
restaurants associated with these com-
munities, and attended concerts. They
visited the Jewish Museum, The Arab
Institute, The Memorial to the Shoah,
and most recently visited Radio Beur,
the Arab cultural radio station known
for its Rai music and cultural commen-
tary. Films and novels that speak to the
issues, and a series of guest speakers
have made for an exciting course that
fully takes advantage of study abroad
on-site visits. &

7 -

J.A./ETH PAGEL was born on Staten Island, NY and moved
to Miami in 1948. She attended UF 1962 67. "My claim-to-
fame is that I was the first "Gator Girl." Way back when it
was not politically incorrect to be a good-looking girl, my boy-
friend submitted a picture of me to the newspaper, which regu-
larly featured a girl who epitomized a "Gator Girl." I was the
first!" At UF, Beth first studied architecture, but finished with
a degree in advertising, eventually working in St. Petersburg
and then Miami. She moved back to Gainesville in 1995 when
her then husband was working on an MA and both daughters
attended UF The books she donated to the Price Library were
originally the property of her uncle Jacob who in 1909 was ap-
pointed rabbi of Mishkan Israel in Selma, Alabama and in 1926
became the first rabbi of Temple Israel in Miami Beach. When
he died in the 1960s, all of his books went to his sister Beth's
grandmother. Beth inherited the books from her mother.

"I donated these items to UF because I wanted them to
be where they would be appreciated and cared for. My
Uncle Jacob's memory is so vivid in my mind, even 40
years after his passing, and I know that he is smiling
down on every UF student who has the opportunity to

enjoy the books he loved.




"December 25, 1875, in Adelnau, Ger-
many, a baby boy named Isaac Kaplan
was born. As a young child, he fell very
ill. His parents tried all they could, as did
the doctor, but little Isaac just kept get-
ting sicker. Finally, the rabbi was called.
He had just one last idea to save Isaac's
life. If the Angel of Death were not able
to find little Isaac, he could not take
him. On that night, Isaac's name was
changed to Jacob. The next morning, it
is told, Jacob Kaplan was feeling much
better, and at that moment decided to
become a Rabbi.

"In the
late nineteenth century, Jacob and his
little sister (my Grandmother) came to
the United States where he attended
Hebrew Union College and was or-
dained a Reformed Rabbi. He preached
at Reform temples in Denver and other
Western cities until, in 1904, he moved
to Selma, Alabama to become the first
full-time rabbi at Temple Mishcon Is-
rael. While there, Issac met and married
the lovely Adele Hoffman.

"In 1926 Jacob, his wife and several
prominent Jewish Selma families, moved
to the Miami Beach area where he was
to become the Rabbi of the new Temple
Israel of Miami (later to become Temple
Israel of Greater Miami, growing to over
2,000 families.) His first High Holiday

"Something that I am very proud of and would like others to know about
is the 100+ page book I wrote for my grandson at his mother's request.
Judaism for Jackson is a book about Judaism written for children in either
mixed families (as Jackson is) or in an area where Jewish people are few
and far between (as Montana is). The book explains what Jews believe, how
they celebrate, and how they differ from, but are still the same as their

Christian neighbors."

services happened to coincide with the
catastrophic Great Miami Hurricane of
1926. While the wind howled, Rabbi
Kaplan kept the congregation praying,
singing and laughing until the storm
was over. Miraculously, there was no
major damage done to the Temple or
any property belonging to a member of
the congregation.

"When my daughter was to be married
in the Temple Israel chapel in 1999,
with her reception in Kaplan Hall, I
learned another interesting thing about
my Uncle Jacob told to me by the gen-
tleman who had been his driver until
his death in the late
sixties. Now in his
90's the man said
to me that after
services every Fri-
day night, instead
of going home, Un-
cle Jacob would ask

the man to take him to the segregated
jazz clubs in Miami's Overtown area.
He was as loved there as he was at the
Temple. Until his death, Jacob Kaplin
delivered the benediction at the end of
every Friday night service and at every
Bar Mitzvah at Temple Israel.

"Jacob H. Kaplan was a fine man, an
excellent Rabbi and, from the looks of
his old photographs, quite the adven-
turer. Although he and Adele never had
any children of their own, both of my
daughters, a cousin and my grandson are
all named for him." 0

~- f

Magic Lantern slides of Palestine. Egypt, and
Lebano taken circa 1925 possibly during the
hon eymoon of Jacob Kapla the first rabIi of
Temple M ishkan Israel in Selma, Alabama To see
the entire collection: jst.ufl.edu/special


rCgA gZ~

Z.b~ k~ L%,

~ s~~

4* .:f'

MIT 91t .

;s5 rO



nS n~


Alef-Bet, (Alphabet), illustrated by Z. Raban; verses by
L. Kipnis (Berlin, 1923.)
SOur Holidays, illustrated by Z. Raban ( New York, 1938.)
O Moses, Uriel Birnbaum (Berlin, 1924.)
Go to jst.ufl.edu/special to flip through these beautifully illustrated
books that Beth Pagel has generously contributed to the Isser and Rae
Price Library of Judaica Special Collections.


05r. pS \R

The Posen Faculty Seminar "Secularism, Judaism and the Political"
convenes an interdisciplinary collaboration of University of Florida faculty to discuss
the varied meanings of secularism in Jewish political discourse since the seventeenth
century. At the start of the academic year, faculty in Jewish studies and in related
fields were invited to submit proposals for readings and discussion questions. Each
participant is responsible for introducing and leading a discussion around pivotal
texts. During the first session, Galili Shahar (German and Slavic and Jewish Stud-
ies) led a discussion of A Theological-Political Fragment,
by Walter Benjamin. Shahar's presentation of this text,
which sought to illustrate the opposing forces of tension
and affinity between profane politics and the ideal of a
Messianic end, helped establish a set of central ques-
tions of concern for discussing the interplay between
the political and the theological in Judaism and Jewish
thought. Subsequent sessions explored the emergence of
a non-theological social ideal through Spinoza's Theo-
logical-Political Treatise introduced by Nina Caputo (His-
tory) and Moses Mendelssohn's writings on aesthetics
and the sublime Leah Hochman (Religion and Jewish
Studies); the role of historical narrative and analysis in
BIwuch id Spmnzi, phtrjsph .r
defining separate theological and political spheres since
the Enlightenment Lynn Patyk (History and Slavic) and Simon Rabinovitch (Grass
Post-Doctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies). Harvey Goldberg (Schusterman/Gerson Vis-
iting Professor of Israel Studies) and Tamir Sorek (Sociology and Jewish Studies) used
social scientific methodologies to interrogate the tension between the traditional Jew-
ish (messianic) significance of Israel and the ideology and demands of zionism as a
modern nationalist movement.
The final three sessions were concerned with secularism as a component of mo-
dernity and modernism in Jewish political thought. Eric Kligerman (German and
Slavic Studies) selected Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism to explore
the construction of Jewish distinctiveness as a problem for Western secular society;
at the same session, Richard Burt (English) discussed Freud's engagement with Moses
in Moses and Monotheism and Michelangelo's Moses. Michal Ben-Horin (Hebrew
Literature and Jewish Studies) introduced a discussion of the symbolic, practical, and
political significance of revitalizing the Hebrew language through Haim Nahman
Bialik's essay "The Sacred and the Secular in Language." The final session of this
academic year brought the discussion full circle, returning the focus of discussion to
questions of ethics and aesthetics. Nora Alter (Professor of German and Film Stud-
ies) introduced Giorgio Agamben's Homo Sacer as a vehicle for exploring traditions
of defining realms of the sacred and the ethical economy by which human life is
valued. Finally, Shep Steiner (Visiting Assistant Professor in the College of Fine Art)
presented art historian Clement Greenberg's essay concerning the impact of Jewish-
ness and Judaism on Kafka's fiction.

C ()U4

The Construction of a Na-
tion: Jewish Case Studies
Michal Ben-Horin

The history of modern nations can not
be separated from processes of imagi-
nation, narration and the invention of
traditions. History is always based on
certain stories that are considerations of
emplotments and narratological strate-
gies. This course deals with Jewish case
studies of national discourse: It explores
tensions between homeland and exile,
tradition and modernism, religiosity and
secularization. A few of its case studies
are classical zionist writings from the
end of the nineteenth century and the
beginning of the twentieth century, such
as Theodor Herzl's Alneuland and essays
by Max Nordau and Ahad Ha'am.
These works reveal also the tensions
between body and gender that character-
izes both Diaspora writings and literature
written in the Land of Israel. Examples
are depictions of the exilic body, suffer-
ing and expulsion in Mendele's "Burned
Out" or M. J. Berdyczewski's "Across the
River," deformation and social exclusion
in D. Baron, images of the mythological
body and heroism in S. Tschernicho-
vsky's "Facing Apollo," N. Alterman or
H. Guri.
The theoretical framework of the
course is based on Eric Hobsbawm's con-
ception of modem traditions, Benedict
Anderson's critique of nationalism and
Hayden White's theory of historiogra-
phy and narration. Additional sources
are contemporary Israeli historiography
(Anita Shapira, Tom Segev) and literary
history (Dan Miron, Gershon Shaked).

History of the Jews in Rus-
sia and Eastern Europe
Simon Rabinovitch

This course is a comprehensive survey of
the history of the Jewish communities of
Poland-Lithuania, Russia, and the Soviet

Union from early settlement until today.
Economic, societal, religious, cultural
and political developments contributing
to the course of Jewish history in Eastern
Europe are examined.

History of Modern Jewish
Political Movements
Simon Rabinovitch

This course exposes students to the
broad array of Jewish political ideolo-
gies, groups, movements, and parties in
the modern world. Students come to
understand the origins and the process
of Jewish politicization in Europe, and
its implications for the history of the
Jews in the modern world. The course
discusses early Jewish organizations in-
tended to aid in the integration of Euro-
pean Jewry, such as the Alliance Israelite
Universelle in France and the Organiza-
tion for the Spread of Enlightenment
Among the Jews of Russia. It then looks
at the emergence of proponents of "au-
toemancipation," (Leon Pinsker's term
for the rejection of Jewish national and
political passivity) the variegated Jewish
experiences with socialism, the devel-
opment of zionism, and zionism's frac-
tionalization. The course also explores
Jewish autonomism, Yiddish national-
ism, Jewish liberal politics in Russia, and
the emergence of an Orthodox political
movement, Agudat Yisrael. Followed are
a number of these movements to Ameri-
ca and Israel, to examine the creation of
new Jewish political movements there,
such as the Jewish labor movement and
religious zionism. Wherever possible
students read the writings of the people
and movements discussed in first person.
For example, in addition to a range of
important zionist works in translation,
students discuss the constitution of the
utopian socialist colony Bethlehem of
Judea in South Dakota, they read the au-
tonomist philosophy of Simon Dubnov,
analyze the works of Austrian Social

Democrats, and consider segments from
the autobiographies of the Menshevik
leader lulii Mart ov and the Russian lib-
eral Genrykh Sliozberg.

Jewish Identity in Litera-
Leah Hochman

This class explores the challenges posed
by modernity as expressed in a variety of
types of literature. Focusing on the nine-
teenth and twentieth centuries in par-
ticular, and using memoir, poetry, novels
and fiction, we look at the way European,
S. American, N. American and Israeli
authors used and use Jewish characters
to describe, define and confuse national,
political, and cultural identities. Begin-
ning with Gotthold Lessing and Solo-
mon Maimon, the class tackles George
Eliot's 800-page novel Daniel Deronda,
poetry by Grace Aguilar and Heinrich
Heine, and reflections on the Holocaust
by Silvano Arieti, Philip Roth, Daniel
Mendelsohn and Michael Chabon. Ex-
amining the political, social, cultural,
and even physical assessments of Jews
and Jewishness the students explore the
expressions and conflicts inherent in the
construction and destruction of Jew-
ish identities by looking at some major
themes of modernity: political freedom,
social integration, self-determination,
and assimilation.

Motherhood in Modern
Hebrew Literature
Avraham Balaban

In the summer of 2005 I was asked to
review Avirama Golan's first novel, The
Ravens, for Haaretz. The book tells the
story of two unrelated female characters
that, ostensibly, have nothing in com-
mon: One is an old immigrant, the other
a sabra in her forties; the two plot lines
converge only once. Eventually I came
to understand that neither of them was

the protagonist, but rather their style
of mothering. Because of that review, I
realized that the topic of motherhood
was pivotal in the works of several Is-
raeli authors I had studied, among them
Amos Oz, Aharon Appelfeld and Amalia
Kahana-Carmon. That summer I looked
over much of the contemporary Hebrew
fiction on my bookshelves in Israel and
discovered that this very topic has be-
come even more central over the past
two decades, especially with the emer-
gence of the new wave of female writers.
I worked at the time on a comprehensive
project on feminism in Israeli literature,
and so I decided to add to it the study of
motherhood in twentieth-century He-
brew fiction. On a more personal note,
I suspect that the frail health of my
mother, who was then 90 years old, also
played a role in that decision.
Interestingly, the yidishe mame, so
ubiquitous in American Jewish writing
(Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, Philip
Roth) is much less pivotal in Hebrew
literature. By contrast, the models of
motherhood often found in Israeli fic-
tion include the mentally unbalanced
mother (Amos Oz), the alienated moth-
er who abandons her children (Amalia
Kahana-Carmon), and over-protective,
stifling mothers (David Grossman). The
new wave of female writers have only
enhanced and reinforced this trend in
the last two decades. A partial survey of
recently-published books reveals moth-
ers who abandon their children or who
neglect their children in order to find
a new partner, and mothers who col-
laborate with fathers who abuse their
daughters. I am referring to novels such
as The Glass Butterfly, by Mira Magen,
Thera, by Tzruya Shalev, Good for Me,
Good for Me, by Ofra Ofer. One could
add to this list novels such as The Ravens,
by Avirama Golan and Lethal Wife, by
Shulamit Gilboa, which do not content
themselves with depicting one character
or one family, but try to generalize, and

implicitly argue that motherhood is, by
definition, violent and destructive.
The new course Motherhood in
Modern Hebrew Literature examines
the different representations of moth-
erhood in Hebrew fiction throughout
the twentieth century. Literary texts are
read along with feminist and psycho-
analytical discussions of motherhood.
We start with motherhood as depicted
in the writings of the founders of mod-
ern Hebrew fiction (S-Y Agnon, Dvorah
Baron), review mothers portrayed by the
1948 generation, then concentrate on
the new-wave writers of the 1960s, and
the new generation of women writers of
the 1990s.

Secular Jewish Culture
Jack Kugelmass

The Posen grant stipulates a core course
in secular Jewish culture. We decided
to create a course that would parallel
Introduction to Judaism, but on a more
advanced level. Given the size of the
Jewish Studies faculty at UF we also

decided to make use of a good many of
our faculty so that students would get
exposure to a variety of different styles
of teaching, thinking and, of course,
expertise. The idea is that the course
can function as a funnel for other Jew-
ish Studies courses, simply by exposing
students to texts and professors some of
whom are outside students' disciplinary
Readings for the course included sec-
tions from Martin Goodman's Rome and
Jerusalem, Solomon Maimon's An Auto-
biography, Isaiah I & II, Burton Visotzky's
Reading the Book, Bendict Spinoza's Thc-
ologio-Political Treatise, Sigmund Freud's
Moses and Monotheism, Vladimir Jabo-
tinzky's The Five, Abraham Cahan's The
Rise of David Levinsky, Hannah Arendt's
The Jew as Pariah, Franz Kafka's Diaries
and The Complete Stories. Film screen-
ings include Yesterday Girl, A Gentle-
man's Agreement and Broadway Danny
Rose. Student evaluations are entirely
based upon a weekly journal which inte-
grates summaries of readings, responses
and class discussion. 1

Awardees are undergraduate students
who work with a faculty member on a
project of mutual interest.

Adam Amir
Experience of Gays & Jews in Post-
War Germany

Hilary D'Angelo
The Idea of a Feminized-Male Jew in
Nineteenth Century German Literature
& Cultural Studies

Isabel Quintana
The Assertion of Christian & Jewish
Identity Among Converso Men in Inqui-
sitional Testimony

For more information:

Derrida and Literature
Dragan Kujundzic

The impact of the leading philosopher
of what is known as deconstruction,
"the most famous philosopher," the
"global philosopher," as he was dubbed
during his lifetime, Jacques Derrida, are
discussed in the context of his writing
on literature (Shakespeare, Kafka, Paul
Celan, E. A. Poe, etc); religion, the Bi-
ble and messianism; translation theory
(Walter Benjamin); media and cinema
(two films on Derrida are screened, as
well as films that were read by the

method of "deconstruction," Derrida
and television); art and museum (Mem-
oirs of the Blind book by Jacques Derrida).
Other writers close to Derrida and their
writings are discussed (J. Hillis Miller
on the kiss in Henry James's Turn of
the Screw; Paul de Man on Shelley);
Freud and psychoanalysis are discussed,
in light of Derrida's Archive Fever and
Resistance to Psychoanalysis; Derrida and
Judaism (Levinas).

The Israeli-Palestinian
Tamir Sorek

The course introduces students to the
complexity of the Israel-Palestinian
conflict in its various dimensions. It il-
lustrates how the internal structures of
both societies influence and are influ-
enced by the dynamics of the conflict.
Special emphasis is given to the sig-
nificance of interdependency of culture
and politics; national symbolism as both
product of the conflict and an element
that maintains it; and the significance of
heroism, victimhood and martyrdom in
shaping the conflict and the identities of
the parties involved. 0

~ U6 UL~ I(~ h7 ENEW~

Kimberly D. Gouz

Is Sisterhood Global

* U


of Identity and Israeli Feminism

KIMBERLY GOUZ is a senior majoring in political science, public relations and Jewish studies
with a certificate in Israel studies. She is a 2007-08 University Scholar (Patricia W\oods, faculty
sponsor) and associate editor of the University of Florida hinernational Review. Research for the
following was completed during five months of fieldwork at the Haifa Women's Coalition with
twenty-two in-depth interviews conducted between November 2007 and January 2008.

Situated on the slope of Mount Carmel amidst a sea of apartment buildings, fruit
stands and small family grocers is a multi-story, white apartment building lovingly
referred to by its basement-floor, female inhabitants as "the house." Although no
one permanently resides in the dwelling on 118 Arlozorov St., most of the women
who work, eat and organize within its walls feel at home there. "The house," known
formally as the Haifa Women's Coalition, is where these women find refuge from the
upstairs world where their gender, sometimes in addition to their ethnicity, national-
ity, class and sexual orientation, earns them second- or third-tier status. Until 1998,
the Haifa Women's Coalition housed Isha l'Isha-Haifa Feminist Center and the Haifa
Rape Crisis Center under one roof. In recent years, however, Isha lIsha has split into
four distinct identity-based feminist groups: Isha lIsha-a primarily Ashkenazi femi-
nist center with mixed leadership; Kayan, a Palestinian-Israeli feminist organization;
Aswat, a Palestinian-lesbian feminist organization; and the Haifa Rape Crisis Cen-

ter. Members of the Coalition maintain
friendships across organizational lines
and are aware of each other's projects
and goals. They can frequently be found
chatting over coffee in the house "living
room" or smoking cigarettes outside on
the "house patio." Despite this, through
the beginning of 2008 there have been
few reports of collaborative work among
the organizations.
The situation of the recent split
among members of the Haifa Women's
Coalition is indicative of a larger trend
within the Israeli feminist movement
upon which my research is based. Be-
ginning in the 1990s, the feminist com-
munity in Israel began restructuring in
response to calls, led by Mizrakhi femi-
nists, for a system of equal representa-
tion and an end to the movement's
heterosexual, middle-class, Ashkenazi
hegemony. Initially, the system was
proposed as a way to bring the feminist
community together. Hannah Safran, a
feminist and peace activist and scholar,
states, "It did not start as a divide. It
started as a coming together with the
first feminist conference in the 1990s.
The idea was that we have such a di-
vided society and it is impossible that
feminism will ignore this." She indi-
cates that the idea for feminist politics
based on group identity was born out of
the conscious-raising sessions of a group
of mizrakhiot that were being held once
a month for several years in the begin-
ning of the '90s. "A new energy came,"
Safran explains. "The Mizrakhi came
and said, 'let's do it a different way. Let's
realize the schism in Israeli society."
In 1993, at the National Feminist
Conference, a group of mizrakhiot led
by Vicki Shiran mounted a challenge to
the Israeli feminist community and its
hegemonic leadership (Motzafi-Haller
2001, 713; Dahan-Kalev 2002, 669).

The women demanded that the feminist movement implement
a system of equal representation for Mizrakhi and Palestinian
women, a policy that was adopted and a year later also ex-
tended to lesbians (Motzafi-Haller 2001). Finally in 1994, miz-
rakhiot were allowed for the first time to actively participate
in the planning of the National Feminist Conference. Accord-
ing to Mot:afi-Haller, "The difference was felt immediately.
For the first time, workshops that focused on Mizrakhi women
and their needs were convened. Mizrakhi feminists invited the
Ashkenazi women to discuss their own position as Ashkenazim
and explore their own unacknowledged racist views" (Morzafi-
Haller 2001, 713).
Despite these changes, the debate over the composition
and policies of the Israeli feminist movement came to a head
during the 1996 National Feminist Conference when two hun-
dred Mizrakhi lower-class women, invited by the grassroots
organization Hila, flooded the conference room in an attempt
to directly confront Israeli feminists with the issue of class and
ethnic divisions (Motzafi-Haller 2001, 714). During this en-
counter, the lower-class mizrakhiot were brought face-to-face
with women who they felt oppressed them not only within the
feminist structure, but also in their day-to-day lives. The Ash-
kenazim were their social workers, psychologists and council-
ors, as well as the teachers of their children (Motzafi-Haller
2001, 714). Realizing that the feminist structure still did not
support their needs, a forum of about ten mizrakhiot decided
to organize a separate feminist conference in 1996 an act
that I suggest represents the first large structural split within
the Israeli feminist movement. A subsequent decision by the
New Israel Fund to encourage the formation of women's orga-
nizations based on ethnicity also helped catalyze a system of
fragmentation within the movement (Woods, manuscript).
Interestingly, both the increasing fragmentation within Is-
raeli feminism and the role of Mizrakhi feminism in catalyzing
this new era of feminist activity have scarcely been documented
in English sources. A survey of English feminist literature pres-
ents a primarily Ashkenazi-led and heterosexual movement
where the distinct narratives of lesbians, Palestinians and miz-
rakhiot, among others, have been marginalized or were simply
overlooked. The first primer on Israeli feminist activity, Calling
the Equality Bluff, includes only two articles of forty written
by Oriental or Mizrakhi Jews and only five written by Pales-

tinians. Yael Yishai's frequently cited "Between the Flag and
the Banner" is also focused primarily on the Jewish, Ashkenazi
community. In addition, while a few authors, such as Tamar
Mayer, have illuminated the politics of Palestinian women in
Israel and the territories through academic literature, there is
no complete volume on the topic of feminist mizrakhiot to
date. The only sources in print in English on mizrakhiot and
the identity divide are a handful of articles written primarily
by Pnina Motzafi-Haller, Henriette Dahan-Kalev, Ella Shohat
and, recently, Dalia Sachs and Hannah Safran.
One possible explanation for this has been the tendency
of the feminist movement to emphasize the common oppres-
sion that binds women, as opposed to the differences that
have divided them. In addition, the leadership of the 1970s
movement, which published and is the focus of much of the
early literature, was primarily
Ashkenazi. Finally, the early
literature, in particular, was
written during a time when

1 Isha L'sha recently ld the call I;r a National Feminist Confcerence in 2008.
This upcoming event was cited in interviews as one of the few examples of
collaborative work among organizations. The organizers of the upcoming
conference hope it will bring women together from across identity lines. This
will be the first National Feminist Conference since 2004 (Yahel Ash Kurland-
er, Rula Deeb, Esther Eillam, Hedra Eval, Hannah Safran, personal interviews,
Haifa, December 2007).

the feminist movement was very local-
ized, both in comparison to the move-
ment at present and similar women's
movements in other countries. It also
mobilized around and concentrated its
efforts solely on women's issues in a gen-
eral sense. It is therefore not surprising
that the feminists of the 1970s were not
concerned with "representing all wom-
en." As one activist pointed out:

[Israeli had a local movement in feminism, and
I want to give it credit, but it never became
a mass movement. There is a big difference
between 30 women and 30,000 women. You
already interviewed all of the surviving '70s
activists. Can you do that in the U.S.? Can
you even do that in Florida? No, because it's a
different phenomenon. This is also the reason
why it's meaningless to adopt some of the black
feminism from the US against the whites. The
fact is that it was a bunch of activists in the 70s
trying to raise consciousness. Then we bring
the American idea that they didn't represent
all women? They didn't attempt to represent
all women.

Despite these patterns of fragmenta-
tion over the past twelve years, women
recently suggested a desire for return to
collaboration. This sentiment is current-
ly being actualized in the planning of the
2008 National Feminist Conference -
the first National Conference to be held
since 2004 which aims to be a gath-
ering "for everyone and [that represents]
all feminist groups." Esther Eillam, the
founder of the 1970s feminist move-
ment in Tel Aviv, says she believes in
the possibility of future cooperation
and reunification but "real cooperation
demands from hegemonic women to
work hard on their hegemonic attitudes
which are many times unconscious. This
move will bring underprivileged women
to trust the privileged women and to co-
operate more easily with [them]." Nomi
Nimrod, co-founder of the 1970s Israeli
feminist movement, can see the possible
value in the identity divide, despite its
problems, if the groups do eventually
come back together. According to her:

What happens for women is that, in order
to see their own needs, they need to work
separately from men. So it may be that [dif-
ferent types of feminist women] need to work
together in order to then separate and work
on our different needs. Eventually, from these
separate identities, we have to be able to come
back together.

In the Israeli context, "black" refers to mizrakhiot
and "white" to Ashkenazim.
I Dalit Baum, author interview, Haifa, December
4 Yahel Ash-Kurlander, author interview, Haifa,
December 2007.


Unpublished Sources

Baum, Dalit.
Feminist activist; professor of Women's Studies,
University of Haifa. Interview with the author.
December 30, 2007.

Eillam, Esther.
Feminist activist. Interview with the author.
December 7, 2007.
Nimrod, Nomi.
Feminist activist. Interview with the author.
December 30, 2007.
Safran, Hannah.
Feminist and peace activist; professor, Emik
Yizrael College; Ph.D. in Women's Studies.
Interview with the author. December 19, 2007.
Unpublished and Primary Document

Woods, Patricia J.
"Ethnic Politics and Women's Movement
Mobilization in Israel: The first and Second
Intifadas." Manuscript, University of Florida.

Published Sources

Dahan-Kalev, Henriette.
2001, "Tensions in Israeli Feminism: The Miz-
rachi-Ashkenazi Rift." Women's Studies Interna-
tional Forum, Vol. 24, No. 6, pp. 669-684.
Morgan, Robin.
1996. Sisterhood is Global: The International
Women's Movement Anthology. The Feminist
Press at The City University of New York.
Motzafi-Haller, Pnina.
2001. "Scholarship, identity and power: Mizra-
chi women in Israel." Signs, Spring 2001, 26:3,
p 697-734.
Safran, Hannah and Dalia Sachs.
2007. "Equal Representation in a Divided Soci-
ety: A Feminist Response to Multiculturalism in
Israel." In Building Feminist Movements and Or-
ganizations: Lessons from Diverse Experiences, Zed
Publishing House, London (in print).

Shohat, Ella.
1999. "The Invention of Mizrachm." Journal of
Palestine Studies, Autumn 1999, Vol. 29, No. 1,
p 5-20.

Swirski, Barbara.
1993. Cafling the Equality Bluff: Women in Israel,
Barbara Swirski and Marilyn P. Safir, eds., New
York: Teachers College Press.

Yishai, Yael.
1997. Between the Flag and the Banner: Women in
Israeli Politics. Albany: SUNY Press.

ROBERT HILSON is a third year political
science major from Coral Gables, Florida. He
currently writes music columns for the Alligator
and would like to pursue a career in journalism
following graduation. The essay was written for
a course taught by Professor Kenneth Wald,
Department of Political Science.

hen it comes to the fun-
damental structure and
function of the Israeli
kibbutz, few constants
exist. Relentlessly transforming, never
stagnant, the institution promises only
one certainty: Darwin would be proud.
The kibbutz embodies the ideal of sur-
vival of the fittest, and its evolution from
nucleus of the Labor Zionist movement
during the Yishuv and early statehood
eras to its current status as a political,
cultural, and economic barometer for
the Jewish state emphasizes the estab-
lishment's continued relevance nearly a
century after its creation.
Clearly the history of the kibbutz

parallels the turbulent narrative of a population that at first struggled to achieve
statehood, and since attaining it, has seen its defining values diversify as it hurdles
through series of internal transitions. A staple of the pioneering era, the communal
body promoted a spirit of national duty, reinforced the ethic of equality, and, above
all, espoused intense physical labor, the vehicle by which Ashkenazi state founders
believed they would negate the Israeli Diaspora, finally returning the Jewish people to
an independent condition.
The rise of Likud in 1977 certainly proved a shock to this system, but it also pre-
sented the institution in an entirely new, no less important role. Changes induced by
Menachem Begin's regime, primarily the political ascension of the Sephardim, promi-
nently registered in the kibbutz. While the prime minister denounced kibbutmikim as
"millionaires with swimming pools," the perceived superior status of the Ashkenazi
gradually declined, even within their own towns and industries. This was especially
the case when large Sephardi communities established themselves in developing
settlements owned and operated by the kibbutz. It is evident in this event that the
political decline of Ashkenazi Labor in the whole of Israeli culture mirrored a similar
flux accurately measured by identical changes in the kibbutz. This institution, then,
in its ability to register the impact of significant social and political upheaval, appears
a microcosm of the entire Israeli nation.
By adapting to a changing economic environment, the kibbutz also records the
massive impact of globalization and the state's increasingly liberal fiscal policies. Kib-
butz Deganya, the first establishment of its kind, offers a prime example of this. The
body's recent privatizing reforms match those experienced within the Jewish nation.
Evidence of personalized economics abounds. Once abiding solely by the Communist
creed, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need," Deganya
now allows members to pursue external employment and educational opportunities.
In addition, and more indicative of fundamental change, kibbutznikim now earn
differential wages according to the weighted importance of their duties. As for the
Westernization of Israel? Kibbutznikim attest to the strength of globalizing forces by
ditching communal dining halls for "The Golden Arches." Any noteworthy transfor-
mation in Israeli society corresponds with a similar makeover in the kibbutz. Deganya
makes this much obvious, further revealing the kibbutz's position as indicator of the
extensive movements within Israel's economic, political, and social sectors.
One proud kibbutznik fittingly concludes, "We're happy the kibbutz is changing
like we change." Is any remark better qualified to recap the symmetry apparent in
the kibbutz and the broader Israeli nation? Indeed, a once exclusively communal
body, the kibbutz maintains its roots by steadily registering the moves of a much
broader collective. &

2008 winner of the Alexander Grass Award for best
undergraduate essay written by a University of Florida
student on a subject in Jewish studies. I

Nahmanides in Medieval
Catalonia: History, Commu-
nity, and Messianism
Nina Caputo
University of Notre Dame Press, 2008

In this detailed study, Nina Caputo
examines conceptions of history and
messianic redemption in the writings
of the Catalonian rabbi and brilliant
Talmudic scholar Nahmanides (1195 1270). An early expo-
nent of kabbalah, Nahmanides was also a shrewd intermediary
between the Jewish communities and the royal administration
of Aragon. Most intellectual histories focus on Nahmanides
in the fairly insular context of Jewish community dynamics,
but this volume explores the largely unexamined history of
encounters between Jewish and Christian interpretations of
history and Redemption, as well as the significant role played
by Jews in the expansion of the Crown of Aragon during the
13th century. Caputo explains Nahmanides's distinctive un-
derstanding of the shape and meaning of historical time and
change and reveals how his discourse frequently confronted
Christian views of history and scripture, sometimes embracing
Christians forms, but at other times directly refuting them.

Empire of Dreams: The Sci-
ence Fiction and Fantasy Films
of Steven Spielberg
Andrew M. Gordon
Rowman & Littlefield, 2007

Empire of Dreams is the first definitive
look at all of the science fiction (SF),
fantasy, and horror films directed by
Steven Spielberg. "I dream for a liv-
ing," Spielberg says. "I interpret my dreams one way and make
a movie out of them and people see my movies and make them
part of their dreams." Following not only a large part of Spiel-
berg's oeuvre but also the reactions of audiences and critics,
Empire of Dreams shows that Spielberg's appeal as a storyteller
is primarily visceral and emotional for he has found ways
to tap into his own feelings and to evoke profound emotion
in audiences,

The Healthy Jew
Mitchell Hart
Cambridge University Press, 2007

1 A
CA 1, 1 N 1A

Here and Now: History,
Nationalism, and Realism in
Modern Hebrew Fiction
Todd Hask-Lowy
Syracuse University Press, 2008

The emergence of zionism in the late
nineteenth century and the evolution
of zionist society in Palestine were
profoundly influenced by the Hebrew
literature of the day. As Todd Hasak-Lowy cogently argues
in this book, Hebrew authors wrote with the belief that ac-
curately representing Jewish society including its history
- in their texts would both record the past and establish its
future course.
Hasak-Lowy traces the tensions between the extraliterary
- the historical, social, and political and the literary -
the aesthetic, formal, and stylistic in Hebrew fiction. Focus-
ing on canonical texts by S. Y. Abramovitz, Y. H. Brenner, S.
Y. Agnon, and S. Yizhar, the author establishes how modem
Hebrew writers galvanized Jewish nationalism in nineteenth-
century Europe and later articulated its character in twentieth-
century Palestine.

SThe Healthy Jew traces the culturally
SI revealing story of how Moses, the rab-
bis, and other Jewish thinkers came
to be understood as medical authori-
MiB.dIll ties in the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries. Such a radically different
interpretation, by scholars and popular writers alike, resulted in
new, widespread views on the salubrious effects of, for example,
circumcision, Jewish sexual purity laws, and kosher foods. The
Healthy Jew explores this interpretative tradition in the light of
a number of broader debates over "civilization" and "culture,"
Orientalism, religion and science (in the wake of Darwin),
anti-Semitism and Jewish apologetics, and the scientific and
medical discoveries and debates that revolutionized the fields of
bacteriology, preventive medicine, and genetics/eugenics.

N IL A5r

Sites of the Uncanny: Paul
Celan, Specularity and the
Visual Arts
Eric Kligerman
Walter De Gruyter, 2007

The first book-length study that exam-
ines Celan's impact on visual culture.
Exploring poetry's relation to film,
painting and architecture, this study
tracks the transformation of Celan in postwar German cul-
ture and shows the extent to which his poetics accompany the
country's memory politics after the Holocaust. The book posits
a new theoretical model of the Holocaustal uncanny evolving
out of a crossing between Celan, Freud, Heidegger and Levinas
- that provides a map for entering other modes of Holocaust
representations. After probing Celan's critique of the uncanny
in Heidegger, this study shifts to the translation of Celan's
uncanny poetics in Resnais' film Night and Fog, Kiefer's art and
Libeskind's architecture.

Judicial Power and Na-
I tional Politics: Courts and
Gender in the Religious-Secu-
lar Conflict in Israel
Patricia J. Woods
Judicial Power and SUNY Press, 2008
National Politics
.i.' Courts around the world have played
San increasing role in national politics
since the end of World War II. Israel is
no exception. Like other national courts, Israel's High Court
of Justice has become increasingly involved in negotiating the
proper balance between the administrative authority of the
central state and the rights of individuals. In no arena has this
process been more controversial in Israel than in the religious-
secular conflict. Since 1988, the High Court has challenged
the institutional autonomy of state religious authorities, ally-
ing with unpopular left-wing social movements to develop the
innovative legal reasoning that enabled it to do so. This book
is about the conflict between religious and secular forces in
Israel as it has been played out in the highest court of the land,
and the role of links between social movements and the state,
in this case, the judiciary, in such conflicts.

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 3 4 S 6

28 29
-4 15 AR .210


Made possible through these endowments and gifts:
0 June Baumgardner Gelbart Foundation

0 Irma & Norman Braman
o Jack Chester Foundation
o Futernick Endowment

o Alexander Grass Eminent Scholar Chair
o Charlotte A. Gunzburger Endowment
o Gary R. Gerson Lecture Series Endowment
o Harry Rich Endowment for Holocaust


o Jewish Council for North-Central FL
o Jewish Federation of Volusia and Flagler


a Kahn Visiting Scholar Endowment

0 Posen Foundation

SRobert Russell Memorial Foundation

o Schram Memorial Fund
o Schusterman Foundation

o Jerome Yavitz Charitable Foundation

SHIFT 2007 (Summer Holocaust Institute for
Florida Teachers,) June 11-15, University of

MONIKA FLASCHKA, "Gender as Motiva-
tion for Violence: Atrocities Against Women
Under the Nazis," June 14 at Hillel,

"Europa Europa: Europe in Philosophy, History,
Literature, Music and Film," followed by a
screening of the film Europa Euaropx Septem-
ber 10 at Dauer Hall.

Encounter Point screening, October 17, Reitz
Union Auditorium.

"Exile, Judaism and Literary Criticism: Erich
Auerbach, the 50th Anniversary of His Death,"
October 23 at Dauer Hall.

Riddle: Second Thoughts of a Minister for Jew-
ish Affairs," November 1, Faculty Seminar.

"The Auschwitz Album: The Story of a Trans-
port," opening reception, November 4 in the
Reitz Union Gallery.

"Imaging the Unimaginable: The Iconiciza-
tion of Auschwitz," November 11 at the Harn
Museum and 12 at Hillel.

DAN MIRON, "S.Y. Abramovitsh Between
Yiddish and Hebrew: Mendele's Art of 'Breath-
ing Through Both Nostrils'," November 15 at
Reitz Union.

JAN GROSS, "After Auschwitz: Anti-Semi-
tism in Poland," November 18 at Hillel.

MICHAL BEN-HORIN, "The 1948 War: Col-
lective Memories, Music and the Challenge of
Narration," January 17, Faculty Seminar.

RUTH BEHAR, "Searching for Jewish Cuba:
Perils and Pleasures of Diasporic Ethnography,"
January 29 at Ustler Hall.

NAOMI SEIDMAN, "Faithful Renderings:
Jewish-Christian Difference & the Politics of
Translation," February 7 at Reitz Union.

of the Jew in North Africa: Memmi, Derrida,
Cixous," February 14, Faculty Seminar.

driguez: A Mulata Marrana from seventeenth-
century Mexico City," February 20 at Hillel.

"Children of the Sun Screening and and talk by
Director Ran Tal," March 5 at Hillel,

C. PAUL VINCENT, "20,000 Children Shut
Out: Congress and the Failure of US Refugee
Policy after Kristallnacht," March 24 at Hillel.

ALICE FREIFELD, "Catharsis and Backlash:
War Crimes Trials of the 'Small Fry'," March
20, Faculty Seminar.

"Metamorphosis: Reading Franz Kafka: 125th
Anniversary of Kafka's Birth A new transla-
tion of his stories by Michael Hofmann," March
31 at University Auditorium.

ILANA PARDES, "The Song of Songs as Cul-
tural Text," A reading from The Song of Songs
and a consideration of its circulation in Israeli
culture. April 10 at Reitz Union.

ILANA PARDES, "Freud, Zipporah, and the
Bridegroom of Blood: National Imagination in
the Bible," April 11, Faculty Seminar.

For the latest in events:


A workshop with Dan Miron, the Leonard Kaye
Professor for Hebrew and Comparative Literature,
Columbia University

University of Florida
Sunday, October 12th, 2008

The workshop encompasses two sessions of close engagement with
selected texts of Yiddish and Israeli literature, with regard to questions
of bilingualism and translation, unity and pluralism, the reception and
formation of modern Jewish traditions.
This program is closed to the public and participation is by application
only. The UF Center for Jewish studies will cover up to two nights hous-
ing, reception, lunch and dinner to a limited number of participants. To
attend, please send a one-page letter about the value of the workshop
for your teaching along with a CV by August 1, 2008.

11:00 AM 1:00 PM, First Session: Yiddish Monologues
Sholem Aleichem: Burned Out (A nisref), Advice (An eytse)

1:00 2:00 PM: Lunch

2:00 4:00 PM, Second Session: Hebrew Dialogues
Yehudit Hendel (A Story with no Address), Dahlia Raviko-
vitch (Poems)

5:00 PM, Dan Miron Lecture: Who Wants to Listen to Tevye
the Dairyman? the Tevye-Sholem-Aleichem symbiosis
and its ramifications

For more information contact Michal Ben-Horin: mbhorin@ufl.edu

Center for Jewish Studies
PO Box 118020
Cainesville, FL 32611-8020


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