The Bildner Center brings visiting scholars to Rutgers to promote research and scholarly exchange and to teach courses in Jewish Studies. Visiting scholars contribute to the intellectual vigor and diversity of Rutgers' educational experience, adding to its growing reputation as a center of excellence in the burgeoning field of Jewish studies. Visiting scholars participate in faculty seminars and contribute to the Bildner Center educational activities within the university as well as its outreach programs for the community.
Faculty and visitors affiliated with the Center pursue a wide range of research areas within the field of Jewish Studies, such as Eastern European Jewish history, Jewish immigrants in America, Jewish religious movements, early Rabbinic Midrash, Hebrew and Yiddish literature and culture, Jewish identity and education, Jewish memory, Israeli politics, Israeli society and culture, Jews and the media, and the ethnography of Jewish communities.
Aresty Visiting Scholar (fall 2016)
Joshua B. Friedman is a cultural anthropologist and Jewish studies scholar with an ethnographic focus on contemporary American Jews. His research interests include the political economy of philanthropy, the American Jewish non-profit sector, and the politics of Yiddish in American Jewish life. His work addresses topics of religion and secularism, kinship and inheritance, public culture, language and identity politics. He is currently working on a book manuscript, Yiddish Returns: Language and Economy in American Jewish Life.
Bildner Visiting Scholar (spring 2017)
Yakir Englander is a specialist in modern Jewish philosophy, with a focus on gender issues. His PhD, from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2012), is in Jewish philosophy and gender studies. His dissertation, "The Perception of the Male Body in Ultra-Orthodox Society during the Last Sixty Years, and its Ramifications for Understanding the Human Subject and the World" offers new understandings of the images of the male body in Jewish Ultra-Orthodox contexts in recent decades.
Englander's research is interdisciplinary, touching on the interfaces between Jewish philosophy, Jewish law and gender studies. He has authored articles on sexuality in Judaism (gay and lesbian issues, masturbation, and women's sexuality in Jewish divorce law), on the role of the body as a mnemonic in the work of post-Holocaust writer Aharon Appelfeld, on "shame" in the Talmud, and on the body of the Hasidic tzadik (Jewish saint). His first book (coauthored with Avi Sagi) examines aspects of the religious-Zionist image of the body and sexuality during the last decade and was published in Hebrew (Hartman Press 2013) and English (Academic Press 2015). His second book, The Male Body In Jewish Lithuanian Ultra-Orthodoxy was published in Hebrew (May 2016) by the Hebrew University Press.
Englander is interested interfaith dialogue, as well as theory and practice of nonviolent social change. He has been developing understanding of these issues through his volunteer work as director of Kids4Peace in Israel and Palestine—a member of the global interfaith dialogue organization Kids4Peace International. In 2011, he received the Berlinsky-Sheinfeld Award for Change in Israeli Society from the Israel Council of Higher Education, for his work in Kids4Peace.
Post-Holocaust Ultra Orthodox Theology: A New Perspective
Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 7:30pm
Religious Zionism, the Media, and the Changing Role of the Rabbi
Wednesday, March 08, 2017, 07:30pm