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Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation - News and Events

2009 Calendar of Events

January

February

March

Rethinking Polish-Jewish Dialogue

The Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, together with the Australian Institute of Polish Affairs, the Federation of Polish Jews and the Jewish Holocaust Centre, presents a public lecture on Polish-Jewish relations in contemporary Poland by Zbigniew Nosowski.

Zbigniew Nosowski is a prominent Polish sociologist from Warsaw, editor-in-chief of the influential monthly Więź, Co-Chairman of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews, and the author of several books on Polish-Jewish relations.

  • Date: Thursday 5 March 2008
  • Time: 8.00pm
  • Venue: Building H, Ground Floor, Theatre H.126
    Monash University Caulfield Campus
  • Entry: $5
  • Download flyer [pdf 104kb]

Social Justice and the Right of the People: the 17th Century Reads the Hebrew Bible

Fania Oz-Salzberger, Monash University and the University of Haifa.

This paper will attempt to explain why biblical social laws fascinated and challenged so many prominent thinkers in the seventeenth century, an era that brought the Hebrew Bible to the zenith of its intellectual impact on European thought. Republicans, radicals and natural lawyers used Hebraic scriptures to substantiate new ideas of social and political justice. Discussing a range of Dutch and English authors, from Grotius through Milton to Locke, the paper will offer an overview and an analysis of early modern readings of the Bible, and in some cases the Talmud, as social-political texts.

Fania Oz-Salzberger is the Leon Liberman Research Chair in Modern Israel Studies, Monash University.

  • Date: Wednesday 11 March 2009
  • Time: 12.00pm-1.30pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Level 8, the Lounge
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Admission: Free, all welcome to attend
  • Download flyer [pdf 20kb]
Wrestling With God Poster

Wrestling With God: Jewish Theological Responses to the Holocaust

Professor Steven Katz is a prominent American philosopher who has published numerous books on Jewish thought, mystical traditions and the Holocaust.

In this public lecture Professor Katz will critically examine the main Jewish theological responses to the Holocaust, including such thinkers as Emil Fackenheim, Richard Rubenstein, Yitz Greenberg, Eliezer Berkovits, Ignaz Maybaum, Menachem Schneerson, and Arthur Cohen.

This lecture is sponsored by the Monash Program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Download Lecture [mp3 54.9MB]

April

"The Contribution of Gender Analysis to Holocaust Research"

Dalia Ofer is Max and Rita Haber Professor of Contemporary Jewry and Holocaust Studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry & the Melton School for Jewish Education, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

  • Date: Friday 17 April 2009
  • Time: 12.00pm-1.30pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Level 8, the Lounge
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Admission: Free, all welcome to attend
  • Download flyer [pdf 20kb]

The weakness and strength of a nation: challenging some critiques of Jewish nationalism

Ari Ofengenden, Post-doctoral Fellow in Modern Israel Studies

The talk will contextualize Jewish nationalism within general theories of nation building and nationalism. It will challenge some critiques leveled against Jewish nationalism and rethink issues of culture, economics, language and violence in nation formation. Finally an interpretation of a key scene in Amos Oz's book "a tale of love and darkness" will be offered, in which the author fictionalizes the "national unconscious", and personalizes the violent grounding of the Jewish state.

  • Date: Wednesday 29 April 2009
  • Time: 12.00pm-1.30pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Level 8, the Lounge
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Admission: Free, all welcome to attend
  • Download flyer [pdf 20kb]

May

"Interethnic Relations in the Holocaust as Seen Through Postwar Testimonies: Buczacz. East Galicia, 1941-44"

Omer Bartov is John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History and Professor of German Studies, Brown University.

  • Date: Wednesday 13 May 2009
  • Time: 12.00pm-1.30pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Level 8, the Lounge
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Admission: Free, all welcome to attend
  • Download flyer [pdf 20kb]

The Wallenberg Oration 2009
The Holocaust and Genocide: Remembering the Twentieth Century

The annual Wallenberg Oration explores important themes in Holocaust and genocide scholarship. It is named in memory of Raoul Wallenberg, who risked his life to save Jews during the Holocaust. Presented by Professor Omer Bartov. Download flyer [pdf 223kb]

  • Date: Thursday 14 May 2009
  • Time: 8.00pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Ground Floor, Exhibition Space
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Contact: (03) 9902 9933 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au

"Who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?"

Rachel Elior, Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Jewish Mystical Thought
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

For more than 50 years, scholarship has maintained that the Qumran scrolls found in 11 caves next to the Dead Sea were authored by the Essenes. This seminar contests the prevailing scholarly consensus. The seminar will present the components of the library of the scrolls and argue that they are best contextualized according to the priestly interests of their authors and their biblical content, which reflects the biblical world in the three centuries before the destruction of the Second Temple. The seminar is based on Professor Elior's recent controversial book "Memory and Oblivion: The Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls" (in Hebrew).

For further information contact Michael.Fagenblat@arts.monash.edu.au

  • Date: Wednesday 20 May 2009
  • Time: 12.00pm-1.30pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Level 8
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Sushi lunch provided. All welcome.

Dialogue and Difference - Rabbi Israel Meir Lau

The Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, Monash University is delighted to invite you to a light luncheon in the presence of the former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau who will speak on the topic of "Dialogue and Difference".

In 1993-2003 Rabbi Lau served as Israel's Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi. In 2005, he was again appointed Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv. Rabbi Israel Meir Lau was born in 1937 in Pyotrekov, Poland. He was the youngest person liberated from Buchenwald in April 1945. He had lost both his parents. In 1946 he immigrated to Israel, where he lived with his uncle and studied at a state religious school in Kiryat Shmuel. He then studied at three yeshivas (religious academies): Kol Torah in Jerusalem, Knesset Hizkiya in Zichron Ya'akov and Ponovitz in Bnei Brak. Prior to being appointed as Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi he was Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv. In a well-known interview broadcast on Israeli television, Rabbi Lau said, "Let's sit down together, and let's live together. We always knew how to die together. The time has come for us to know also how to live together." Rabbi Lau's publications include Yahadut - Halacha Le'maase (1975) on the practice of Judaism and Yachel Israel (1993), two volumes on medicine, ethics and Jewish customs.

Germans, Jews and Israelis: History, Memory, Reconciliation

Panel discussion

Our distinguished panellists - Professor Fania Oz-Salzberger, Leon Liberman Chair in Israel Studies, author of Israelis in Berlin; Navah Semel, award-winning Israeli author of 16 books including And the Rat Laughed; Dr Ari Ofengenden, Leon Liberman Postdoctoral Fellow in Israel Studies; Dr Gideon Reuveni, Jewish historian, University of Melbourne - will ask questions about recent meetings between Israelis and Jews with Germans and Germany: How have they been negotiated and in what position do Israelis and Jews find themselves in Germany? With which generation have they reconciled?

  • Date: Monday 25 May 2009
  • Time: 8.00pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Room H126
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • RSVP: acjc@arts.monash.edu.au or (03) 9902 9933
  • Entry: $10/Concession $5

June

Politics, theology, Law
The Actuality of Paul

A One-Day Workshop organised by the Research Unit in European Philosophy and the Centre for the Study of Jewish Civilisation at Monash University.

July

"Paul the Jew - Continuities and Contradictions"

Amy-Jill Levine is back at Monash to present her only Melbourne lecture on "Paul the Jew - Continuities and Contradictions". Amy-Jill Levine is Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and author of The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus.

Saul of Tarsus was a Jew who became St. Paul, the church's foremost missionary. Today he is both hailed as the inspired evangelist who brought the God of Israel to the Gentiles, and condemned as a self-hating Jew who distorted the teachings of both Judaism and Jesus. In this lecture, Amy-Jill Levine will explore Paul's Jewish identity, his understanding of Torah, and his views on the role of the Jewish people in the divine plan.

See www.mulo.monash.edu.au/podcasts/download.xml to download the lecture or Listen to lecture [mp3 68.6MB]

  • Date: Thursday 2 July 2009
  • Time: 8.00pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Theatre H125
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Cost: $10/Monash students and staff free (with ID card)
  • Contact: (03) 9902 9933
Zohar ConferencePoster

Zohar Symposium

Convenors: Merav Carmeli and Nathan Wolski.

The Zohar Symposium is a three day conference bringing together leading scholars from around the world dedicated to exploring the Zohar - the major work of the medieval Kabbalah - in its varied dimensions.

  • Date: Monday 13 to Wednesday 15 July 2009
  • Venue: Prato, Italy
  • Download brochure [pdf 605kb]
Zuckermann Conference Poster

Without any shame: Israeli, speak Israeli!

Public lecture by Associate Professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann

The language spoken in today's Israel is a multifaceted and fascinating hybrid, based not only Hebrew, but also on mother tongues such as Yiddish, argues Assoc. Prof Ghil'ad Zuckermann, an Israeli linguist at The University of Queensland, in his recent controversial bestseller Israeli, A Beautiful Language (Am Oved, Tel Aviv, December 2008). Download flyer [pdf 534kb]

Israel and Europe: Past Burdens, Future Assets

Leon Liberman Lecture Series in Modern Israel Studies. Download flyer

Fania Oz-Salzberger, Leon Liberman Chair in Modern Israel Studies, Monash University; Professor, Faculty of Law, Haifa University.
Download text of lecture [pdf 62kb]

  • Date: Monday 27 July 2009
  • Time: 8pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Lecture Theatre H126
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Enquiries: (03) 9902 9933 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au

August

The Islamic Revolution in Iran: A View from Israel

Leon Liberman Lecture Series in Modern Israel Studies. Download flyer

David Menashri, Director of the Centre for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University where he holds the Parviz and Pouran Nazarian Chair for Modern Iranian Studies; author of numerous books on Iran.

  • Date: Wednesday 5 August 2009
  • Time: 8pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building K, Lecture Theatre K309
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Enquiries: (03) 9902 9933 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au

"Israel: The Constitutional Challenge of a Nation State and the Human Rights Challenge of an Occupier"

Presented by the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation and Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

Two of Israel's major current challenges belong in the realm of law and human rights. Israel has no written constitution, and it has occupied the West Bank (and until recently Gaza) for over forty years. The goal of writing a broad-based constitution interfaces with the need to maintain Palestinian human rights, alongside Israeli security, while seeking a peaceful end to occupation. The colloquium will address the constitutional and human rights challenges respectively, highlight their common themes, and compare the relevant legal contexts of Israel and Australia. Download flyer [pdf 80kb]

For Academics, postgraduate students and researchers

  • Date: Thursday 6 August 2009
  • Time: 9.30am-1.00pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Level 8,
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Enquiries: (03) 9902 9933 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au

Iran Today: Religion, Society, Politics

Iran is emerging as a country of increasing importance to Asian, Middle Eastern and global security. But little is understood about what is happening in Iran today at the level of civil society. This colloquium brings together scholars in Melbourne who are working on Iran and neighbouring countries to share their thoughts and research results with our distinguished speaker, Professor David Menashri, who is at Monash University as a Visiting Fellow of the Leon Liberman Chair in Modern Israel Studies. Download flyer [pdf 99kb]

For Academics, postgraduate students and researchers

  • Date: Friday 7 August 2009
  • Time: 10.00am-1.00pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Level 8,
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Enquiries: (03) 9902 9933 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au

Monash Israel Oration
Israel and the New Middle East: What Next?

Leon Liberman Lecture Series in Modern Israel Studies. Download flyer

Itamar Rabinovich, Professor of Middle East Studies at Tel Aviv University; Distinguished Global Professor at New York University; Israel's Ambassador to Washington (1993-96) and chief negotiator with Syria.

  • Date: Wednesday 12 August 2009
  • Time: 8pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Exhibition Space H116
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Enquiries: (03) 9902 9933 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au

Israel and the Nations: Universal or Unique?

Leon Liberman Lecture Series in Modern Israel Studies. Download flyer

Yedidia Stern, Sir Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor, Monash University; Professor of Law, Bar Ilan University; and Vice President for Research on the Jewish State at the Israel Democracy Institute.

  • Date: Wednesday 19 August 2009
  • Time: 8pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Exhibition Space H126
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Enquiries: (03) 9902 9933 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au

Avivah Zornberg Lecture and Master Classes

Dr Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg is a world renowned Bible scholar who has written Genesis: The Beginning of Desire; The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus; and The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious. Download flyer [pdf 138kb]

Public Lecture
"Letter from an Unknown Woman: Joseph's Dream"

  • Date: Sunday 23 August 2009
  • Time: 8pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building K, Lecture Theatre K309
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Entry: $10/Concession $5
  • Bookings: (03) 9902 9933 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au

Master Classes
"Let me see that good land: The story of a human life" and "From another shore: Moses and Korach"

  • Date: Monday 24 August and Thursday 27 August 2009
  • Time: 8.00pm-9.30pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Level 8,
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Cost: $50 for both sessions; places strictly limited.
  • Bookings: Essential
  • Enquiries: (03) 9902 9933 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au

'In the Cleft of the Rock: Writings on the Five Books of Moses'

Please join us for the launch of Deborah Masel's new book In the Cleft of the Rock: Writings on the Five Books of Moses published by Black Pepper. Speakers are Sam Lipski and Dr Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg. Download flyer [pdf 72kb]

September

The Australian Jewish Community Survey 2008-2009
Methodological Considerations and Key Findings

The Gen08 Jewish population survey was conducted in Australia and New Zealand from September 2008 to April 2009. It was completed by more than 6,200 respondents. This paper will consider:

(i) the validity of the survey methodology;
(ii) the preliminary findings for Melbourne, Sydney and Perth;
(iii) and the insight that the survey affords into change over time and into the distinctive character of Jewish communities in Australia, South Africa and the United States.

It is hoped that the discussion will help identify key issues for ongoing analysis.

  • Date: Tuesday 1 September 2009
  • Time: 2.00pm-3.30pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Level 8
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Enquiries: (03) 9902 9933 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au

Inglourious Basterds
Can Hollywood rewrite history?

The Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation in association with the Research Unit in Film and Cultural Theory at Monash University invites you to a wide-ranging discussion on Tarantino's subversive and divisive film. The session will be chaired by Philippa Hawker, film critic at The Age. Download flyer [pdf 95kb]

See Video on panel discussion.

  • Date: Thursday 24 September 2009
  • Time: 8.00pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Level 8, Room H116 Exhibition Space
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Enquiries: (03) 9903 5002 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au
  • Entry: $10, concession $5

October

Happiness, Justice and Law: Notes on Walter Benjamin's Theologico-Political Fragment

ACJC Research Seminar

Walter Benjamin's Theologico-Political Fragment is one of his most enigmatic and demanding texts. The Messiah and the possibility of the Messianic become the figures through which forms of upheaval and renewal are understood. As such, what it brings to the fore is the question of the relationship between theology and politics. The aim of the seminar will be to work through the text.

Andrew Benjamin is Professor of Critical Theory and Philosophical Aesthetics in the Faculty of Arts. He is also Director of the recently established Research Unit in European Philosophy. He has two forthcoming publications: Writing Art and Architecture (Re:press) and On Jews and Animals (Edinburgh University Press).

  • Date: Tuesday 6 October 2009
  • Time: 2.00pm-2.30pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Level 8
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Enquiries: (03) 9903 5002 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au

Lessons from the Hebrew Revival in the Promised Land to the resuscitation attempts of no-longer-spoken Aboriginal Languages in the Lucky Country

ACJC Research Seminar

This paper asks what lessons can be drawn from the Hebrew revival in the Promised Land for current attempts to revitalise (as well as to maintain as post-vernacular) no-longer-spoken Aboriginal languages in the Lucky Country. As happened in the Hebrew revival, Zuckermann predicts that any attempt to revive an Aboriginal language will result in a hybrid, combining components from Australian English, Aboriginal English, other Aboriginal languages and the target Aboriginal tongue.

Zuckermann argues that we should encourage revivalists to be more realistic and less puristic, and not to chastise English loanwords and pronunciation within the emergent language. Crucial insights can also be drawn from the Israeli example about which language components are more revivable than others.

Ghil'ad Zuckermann is Associate Professor and Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Fellow in Linguistics at the University of Queensland. His most recent book, Israelit Safa Yafa (Israeli – A Beautiful Language: Hebrew as Myth) was published by Am Oved (Tel Aviv) and became a bestseller. His website is www.zuckermann.org. Further particulars http://uq.academia.edu/GhiladZuckermann.

  • Date: Tuesday 13 October 2009
  • Time: 2.00pm-3.30pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Level 8
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Enquiries: (03) 9903 5002 or acjc@arts.monash.edu.au

'Never Again.' Yet Again. From the Holocaust to Rwanda and Darfur

The Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation invites you to a lecture by Stephen Smith, the new director of the Shoah Foundation Institute at the University of Southern California and co-founder of the Aegis Trust, the agency engaged in the prevention of crimes against humanity and genocide. The Institute’s archive of nearly 52,000 Holocaust survivor testimonies, incorporating more than 2000 Australian testimonies, is held in the southern hemisphere by Monash University. See video

An evening with Michael Gawenda

Please join us for an evening with Michael Gawenda as he talks to James Button about his journalistic career, growing up Jewish in Melbourne and Rocky & Gawenda (MUP), his new book celebrating the love between a dog and his human friend. Michael’s children, Evie and Chasky, will sing some of the great Yiddish songs discussed in the book. Download flyer [pdf 168kb]

November

Judging in Israel
Balancing Contradictions

Presenter: Justice Eliezer Rivlin, Vice President of the Supreme Court of Israel

The state of Israel is characterized by many conflicts: contradiction of ideas, differences of beliefs, divergence of opinions as to the national identity and clashes regarding the nature of the state. Download flyer [pdf 125kb]

December

Religion as a Pathway to Peace

The ACJC invites you to a lecture by Rabbi Michael Melchior, former member of the Israeli Knesset and honorary Chief Rabbi of Norway.
Listen to audio [37.5MB mp3]
Download flyer [pdf 153kb]

See Past Events 2008