April 26, 2023

In honor of Professor Vanessa Ochs' retirement this spring, the Jewish Studies Program and the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion will be hosting a lunch colloquium and evening panel, followed by a reception.

Along with Prof. Ochs, Dr. Ayala Fader of Fordham University and Dr. Michal Kravel-Tovi of Tel Aviv University will be our honored guests for the evening panel on the 26th.

Invites to follow.

Evening Panel and Reception

Date: Wednesday, April 26
Time: 5–8pm

March 23, 2023
5:00PM (EST)
Nau-Gibson Concourse

An exhibition of student work from the Fall's "Photography, Collaboration, Community" photography workshop, along with a few works by internationally renowned photographers Wendy Ewald and Frédéric Brenner, will be displayed in the Commons Gallery Space (Nau Gibson Concourse) beginning on Thursday, March 23. This is a space of high visibility for our students allowing us to better integrate the Brenner and Ewald Artist Residency in the everyday student experience.

February 16, 2023
Gibson 211

Event Description

The Nazi rise to power drew immediate reactions from Christians and Jews around the world: enthusiastic support among some Christian Germans, deep shock and alarm among Jews, and uncertainty in interfaith circles about how to respond.

Dr. Victoria Barnett, Frank Talbott, Jr. Endowed Visiting Professor at UVA, will offer a vivid portrait of the religious responses at the beginning of Nazi terror.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

January 23, 2023

Our spring schedule has been posted on this page. 

(The schedule is provisional and subject to change.)

November 10, 2022

UVA Lifetime Learning hosted an alumni engagement event on Thursday, November 10, about how Holocaust memory and its lessons are approached in the UVA classroom. Click here to watch a recording of the conversation on Youtube.

November 9, 2022
7:30 PM (EST)
Nau 211

Professor Caroline Kahlenberg of the Jewish Studies Program hosted a film screening of Neighbors on Wednesday, November 9.

November 3, 2022
5:00PM (EST) – 7:00PM (EST)
Bond House

Event Description

The University of Virginia hosted two internationally acclaimed photographers for a series of public conversations and a student workshop. The theme of photography as a collaborative practice that can shape and empower communities connects the work of Wendy Ewald and Frédéric Brenner, both of whom have used photography as a practice not only of documentation but of mutual participation. The photographer’s complex relationship with others is at the center of the public conversations with the artists.

October 24, 2022
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
The Forum for Jewish-Muslim Theology and Thought at Humboldt-Universität in Berlin held a conference October 24–October 26. The conference included two keynote addresses by Celene Ibrahim and Ephraim Meir, eight panels, and various other discussions.
October 20, 2022
Lunch: 12:30-2:00pm; Evening Lecture: 6:00pm–7:30pm
Lunch: Rotunda Multipurpose Room; Lecture: Nau 211

These events have been postponed. Please check back shortly for further information on the rescheduled dates

Lunch Conversation with Riv-Ellen Prell and Vanessa Ochs: “Nostalgia, Memory and Meaning in American Jewish Lived Religion"

September 19, 2022
7PM–8:30PM (EST)
Student Health and Wellness Building teaching kitchen

In this hands-on workshop, we cooked with the chefs of JewFro, a Richmond-based restaurant that combines Jewish foods and African flavors. As we prepared our dish, we learned about JewFro's origin story, its creative cuisine, and its mission to encourage cultural exchange through food.


The Jewfro Team

August 25, 2022

Check out our fall events calendar to keep up to date.

August 11, 2022
Zoom (online)

Event Description

Professor James Loeffler, Ida and Nathan Kolodiz Director of the UVA Jewish Studies Program, hosted acclaimed legal commentator Dahlia Lithwick and UVA legal scholar Professor Micah Schwartzman, Director of the Karsh Center for Law and Democracy, in a conversation about the legacies of August 11-12, 2017, in the national landscape of American law and politics.

May 15, 2022

The Jewish Studies Program co-sponsored a spring school, "Religion and the Culture of Democracy," in partnership with the Berlin Center for Intellectual Diaspora.

Exploring the emerging issues of growing civil distrust, political polarization, and decomposition of the public sphere as a place of recognition, the conference sought to recover the concept of authority in a "post-democratic" world. It did so by engaging with religious communities as a type of microcosm of the current crisis. 

April 25, 2022
Nau-Gibson Commons Gallery, 2nd Floor

“Taking a photograph is like an embrace.” This is how internationally renowned photographer Frédéric Brenner opened a virtual workshop conducted with University of Virginia students in March 2022. In only four sessions, Mr. Brenner guided students—most of whom had no formal experience in photography—through urgent questions of our time and of our local place: How can photography build bridges of intimacy? How can it negotiate strangeness? How can it be attentive to social inequity, violence, and trauma without voyeurism?

April 9, 2022
Vinegar Hill Theater

When Savta (Hebrew for Grandma) agreed to have a biographer help her write her life story in 2015 she did so because she recognized the importance of passing on her memories to future generations. This was not the first time she did something like this, having submitted testimony pages - twice, once in 1957, and again in 1999 - to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center. Each page documented how one of 26 members of her family were killed during the Shoah. Out of the 26 painful stories, 25 remained consistent from 1957 to 2015. But one was different.

April 6, 2022

This conference took the centenary of the death of the Austrian Jewish social philosopher Popper-Lynkeus as a starting point to re-examine the powers and responsibilities of the modern state. Popper-Lynkeus’s writings on the state’s obligation to provide a minimum of food, housing, welfare, and health care became the center of great attention only in his later years and after the collapse of empires. Among his admirers and interlocutors were prominent figures such as Albert Einstein, Bertha Pauli, Sigmund Freud, Franz Oppenheimer, and Rosa Luxemburg.

March 30, 2022
7pm (EST)
Brown College Tent (heated venue)

Professor Erika Meitner of Virginia Tech, nationally recognized and award-winning poet, joined UVA graduate students and Rachel Winer Manin Fellows Gahl Pratt Pardes and Raisa Tolchinsky for a collective reading and discussion of their work, mapping the connections between creative writing, poetry, and Jewish Studies. Professor Caroline Rody moderated.

March 17, 2022
5pm (EST)
Solarium Room

A Celebration

Peter Ochs, Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies at UVA, is retiring this spring. The Jewish Studies Program and the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion co-sponsored an afternoon textual study and an evening panel, "Reasoning for Repair: Peter Ochs as a Practical Philosopher," to honor Professor Ochs' illustrious career. This event was organized by Professor Shankar Nair and Jewish Studies Professor Asher Biemann.

March 15, 2022
12PM noon (EST)
McLeod Hall 1004

In a lunchtime conversation with Jewish Studies faculty member Professor Caroline Kahlenberg, Dr. Shay Hazkani spoke about his book, Dear Palestine: A Social History of the 1948 War (2021). Dr. Hazkani's book offers a new history of the 1948 war through the examination of hundreds of personal letters by Jewish, Palestinian, and Arab volunteers who fought in the war, or became its victims. It also examines previously unexplored propaganda, disseminated by Israel and Arab states during the war.

February 28, 2022
6PM – 8PM (EST)
Nau 342

Private event for Rachel Winer Manin Fellows of the Jewish Studies Program.

Please contact for more information.

February 17, 2022
7:30PM (EST)

Laura Arnold Leibman, Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College, gave the 2022 Paul and Dorothy Grob Memorial Lecture on American Jewish Life, "Once We Were Slaves: A Multiracial Jewish Family in Early America," on February 17.


February 1, 2022
7:30PM (EST)

Between 1918 and 1921, over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine by peasants, townsmen, and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbors with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them, and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms―ethnic riots―dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of complete extermination.

November 30, 2021
3pm - 4pm (EST)

Before the “Light the Lawn” ceremony at UVA and the celebration of Hanukkah, Lifetime Learning and a panel of UVA Jewish leaders discussed Hanukkah, UVA’s Jewish Studies department, and Jewish life at the university today.

November 15, 2021
12PM and 5PM (EST)

Esther Dischereit – German Jewish poet, artist, essayist, political commentator, and teacher – gave a lecture, "Voices of Survivors," at UVA. The lecture was followed by a roundtable discussion later in the day, which included Jewish Studies Program faculty members Jeffrey Grossman, Jennifer Geddes, Asher Biemann, and Manuela Achilles. The roundtable, with Dischereit participating, discussed the German Department's 1700 Years of Jewish Life in German Speaking Lands exhibit. 

November 10, 2021
5pm (EST)
Monroe Hall 124

The film screening was in conjunction with the opening of an exhibition on Sophie Scholl and the White Rose resistance movement in the “Darden Lounge” on the third floor of Nau-Gibson Hall.

Hosted by the Department of German and the Center for German Studies with the support of the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.