Visiting Scholars 2020-2021

Jonathan Dekel ChenJonathan Dekel-Chen

Allen and Joan Bildner Visiting Scholar (Spring 2021)

Professor Jonathan Dekel-Chen is Rabbi Edward Sandrow Chair in Soviet & East European Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he holds a dual appointment in the Department of Jewish History and in the Department of General History. He served from 2007-2019 as the Academic Chairman of the Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East European Jewry. He is currently Chairman of the Russian Studies Department. Dekel-Chen’s publications have appeared in prestigious scholarly presses. His current research and publications deal with transnational philanthropy and advocacy, non-state diplomacy, agrarian history and migration. In 2014 he co-founded the Bikurim Youth Village for the Performing Arts in Eshkol, which provides world-class artistic training for underserved high school students from throughout Israel.

February Mini-Course - Tevye’s Descendants: A Short History of Soviet Jewry
February 24 Faculty Seminar - Putting Agricultural History to Work Today: A Global Blueprint from the Jewish Past
March 2 Faculty Seminar - Echoes of Violence and their Deployment in Israel and the Diaspora

     For my children and the children of Gaza: A view from the Israeli border - May 13, 2021
     Painful Truths, Rays of Hope: Shavuot 2021 - May 17, 2021

2021 Vernon Carstensen Memorial Award for the best article in Agricultural History (in 2020) from the Agricultural History Society - “Putting Agricultural History to Work: Global Action Today from a Communal Past"

Gregg DrinkwaterGregg Drinkwater

Norman and Syril Reitman Visiting Professor (Spring 2021)

Dr. Gregg Drinkwater’s research focuses on sexuality, gender, and Judaism in the modern United States. His research has appeared in the journals Jewish Social Studies and American Jewish History, as well as the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies. He is currently working on a book on the history of gay and lesbian synagogues and their role in incubating queer Jewish space. Prior to entering academic life, Drinkwater worked for 10 years as a researcher and advocate for LGBTQ inclusion and social justice in the Jewish community through the organizations Jewish Mosaic and Keshet. He is the co-editor of the book Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible (NYU Press, 2009). His new research project centers the history of LGBTQ Jewish American engagements with Zionism and Israel from the 1950s through the mid-1990s and the emergence of a uniquely Jewish diasporic homonationalism.

March Mini-Course - Jewish Countercultures: Remaking American Judaism, 1967-1990
April 13 Faculty Seminar - 
Larry Kramer’s Holocaust: AIDS, Hannah Arendt, and the Moral Imperative of Political Action

Marc HermanMarc Herman

Aresty Visiting Scholar (Fall 2020)

Marc D. Herman earned his Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Pennsylvania and has held post-doctoral research fellowships at Columbia University, Fordham University, the University of Michigan’s Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, and Yale Law School’s Abdallah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilizations. His research explores the ways in which medieval Jews deployed Islamic legal theory when writing about the Oral Torah, and his articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Jewish Quarterly Review, Journal of the American Oriental Society, and Association for Jewish Studies Review. He is coeditor of a forthcoming volume, Accounting for the Commandments in Medieval Judaism: Studies in Law, Philosophy, Pietism, and Kabbalah, and he is currently writing his first monograph, Imagining Revelation: Medieval Jewish Presentations of the Oral Torah in an Islamic Key, for the Jewish Culture and Contexts series of the University of Pennsylvania Press. At Rutgers, he will teach a mini-course, deliver a faculty seminar, and participate in the community outreach activities of the Bildner Center.

October Mini-Course - Writing the Oral Torah in Islamic Terms
December 1 Faculty Seminar - Rethinking Tradition in the Middle East: Islamic and Jewish Perspectives

New reflective article by Aresty Visiting Scholar Dr. Marc Herman on the death of Professor Gerald/Yaakov Bildstein.

More about our Visiting Scholars 

Past Visiting Scholars