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Portraits of the Holy Land: From Antiquity to the Present

April 25 - June 13, 2005

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Learn About the Program


Learn About the Scholars

Please join us for seven weeks of interdisciplinary learning featuring a study of classic and contemporary texts on images of the Land of Israel. Dr. Barry Chazan will lead our study with Dr.'s Ben Hollander, Fred Krome, Stanley Nash, James Rudin and Ezra Spicehander. Join our “guests” for a conversation about diverse relationships to Israel over time and over place. Engage in a dynamic and informal chat about where we have been, where we are now, and the direction we might take in forming close ties and meaningful connections to our complex and sacred homeland.

The Sefirah Study is an email correspondence course. The scholars' prepared course materials will be emailed to you as Adobe Acrobat documents for study. Barry Chazan will introduce and conclude the Sefirah study as well as weaving together the weekly units (see schedule below). The Sefirah Study follows a Monday/Thursday schedule (holidays permitting): each week on Monday, we begin our study of a new text or set of text, and on Thursday, the scholar of the week will provide his/her thoughts on the text(s). Comments and questions will be emailed in digest form to the group as they arrive. (For courses with live or recorded presentations, please see our Mini-Courses or Mahaloqet L'Shem Shamayim Programs.)

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Learn about the Program

Week of
Apr 25 Barry
Special Introduction
May 2 Stanley
Fulfillment and Healing in 20th Century Zionist Poetry
May 9 Ezra Spicehandler Contemporary Poets: Development of Feminist, Biblical, and Theological Themes
May 16 Ben Hollander The Divine Promise to Israel of Nationhood and Land: Biblical and Rabbinic Perspectives
May 23 James
Jews and Christians the Unfinished Agenda
May 30 Fred Krome (Re)Envisioning Israel:
The American Mindset
June 6 Barry
Program Conclusion

As a participant, you will receive an introduction from Dr. Barry Chazan prior to Passover which will introduce the program's themes. Then the course itself begins on April 25. For each of the seven weeks, you will receive a weekly text study and a weekly text study conclusion.

The text study introduces a text and the approach or discipline of the week's scholar: it includes background exposition, the text, and study questions. For Thursday, the text study conclusion provides some of the scholar's own insights into the material for your review after you have studied "Monday's" material. We encourage you to study with a chevruta or small group of colleagues.

Throughout the course, you will have a chance to interact with your colleagues and our special presenters via the email discussion. This is a chance to explore the material in greater depth and ask any questions you might have.

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Scholars' Bios

Dr. Barry Chazan, the first recipient of a Melton Fellowship, is currently international director of education of birthright Israel. He is a professor of education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has served as educational consultant of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. Professor Chazan has held visiting appointments at Brandeis University, Harvard University, Ohio State University, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and New York University. For many years, Professor Chazan was senior consultant to JCC Association for Jewish education, based in the Israel Office but serving as a consultant to JCC Association in both North America and Israel, and he has had a profound impact on the parameters of Jewish education in JCCs. He has published widely in the areas of philosophy of education, moral education, informal education, and Jewish education including, “What Is Jewish Education in the JCC?” “Mekorot: Jewish Sources for Lay Leaders,” and “Jewish Education and the Jewish Community Center.”

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Dr. Ben Hollander has taught Torah in Jerusalem since making aliya in 1972--at HUC, the Hebrew U's one-year overseas students' program, and Machon Schechter. He was ordained at JTS and has a Master's degree in Bible and education from Hebrew U., and studied intensively with the late Prof. Nehama Leibowitz, for whom he was teaching assistant for many years. He makes frequent trips abroad as scholar-in-residence, and also teaches in several American cities through video-conference for the Siegal (Cleveland) College of Jewish Studies.

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Dr. Frederic J. Krome received his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati 1992. He is the Academic Associate of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, the Managing Editor of The American Jewish Archives Journal, and the Associate Director of The Marcus Center Fellowship Program. Dr. Krome is also an Adjunct Professor of History & Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati. His articles have been published in The Historian, The Journal of Contemporary History, Modern Judaism, and Jewish Culture and History. A regular Book Reviewer for Choice Magazine and Library Journal, he was named Library Journal’s Book Reviewer of the Year for Non-Fiction in 2002.

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Dr. Stanley Nash is Professor of Hebrew Literature at the New York campus. He has writtenand lectured widely on Hebrew authors such as Aharon Megged, Shulamit Hareven, Shai Agnon, Moshe Shamir, Ahad Haam, Berdyczewski, Brainin, Hazaz, Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua. Most recently he has completed a comprehensive review-essay on Aharon Appelfeld, the well-known author of works inspired by his experiences as a child survivor of the Holocaust.

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Rabbi James Rudin, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. He attended Wesleyan University and received his B.A. degree with academic distinction from George Washington University. Rabbi Rudin received his Masters degree and rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and has done graduate studies in American history at the University of Illinois. He holds two honorary doctorates, one from HUC-JIR and the other from Saint Leo University in Florida where he is Distinguished Visiting Professor. In 2000, Rabbi Rudin retired as a member of the American Jewish Committee professional staff, but continues his involvement with the AJC as its Senior Interreligious Advisor and as a member of the organization’s Board of Governors. During his tenure as Director of the Interreligious Affairs Department, the AJC became the internationally acknowledged leader in Christian-Jewish and Muslim-Jewish relations.

Rabbi Rudin has served congregations in Kansas City, Missouri and Champaign, Illinois. He was also a United States Air Force Chaplain in Japan and Korea. In 1964 he participated in an interreligious, inter racial voting rights drive in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In 1997 the Polish Council of Christians and Jews presented Rabbi Rudin with its “Person of Reconciliation Award” at a ceremony in Warsaw. Rabbi Rudin is the author or editor of seven books, “Twenty Years of Catholic-Jewish Relations,” “Evangelicals and Jews in Conversation,” “A Time to Speak: The Evangelical-Jewish Encounter,” “Evangelicals and Jews in an Age of Pluralism,” “Prison or Paradise: The New Religious Cults,” “Why Me? Why Anyone?” and “Israel for Christians: Understanding Modern Israel.” He is a recognized expert on religious cults.

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Dr. Ezra Spicehandler, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Literature at the Cincinnati School of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, was ordained as a rabbi in 1946 and earned the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Hebrew Union College in 1952. He studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and in 1960 was awarded a U.S. Education Fellowship in oriental languages and received a Fulbright research grant for study in Iran. From 1966 through 1980 he served as Director, then as Dean of the Jerusalem School of HUC-JIR.

He coauthored with Dr. Jakob Petuchowski Perakim Beyahaduth (Chapters in Judaism). 1963. He co-edited The Hebrew Poem Itself, with Stanley Burnshaw and T. Carmi (Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1965). Harvard University Press, 1989, published a revised edition of this work and The Wayne State University Press published a new and updated edition of The Modern Hebrew Poem Itself in 2003. He edited an anthology of the modern Hebrew short story for Bantam. Among other publications in Hebrew are a book about Joshua Heschel Schorr (1970) and a study on the Jews in Iran (1967). In 2000 he co-authored with Prof. David Patterson, Random Harvest, a translation of the major short stories of Hayyim Nahman Bialik. Dr. Spicehandler served as Divisional Editor of Modern Hebrew Literature of the Encyclopedia Judaica where he wrote the comprehensive article of Modern Hebrew Literature.

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