Israeli Literature: Past and Present
From 10 to 11:30am on Thursdays, August 9, "Context," a division of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, will conduct the 4 session university-level course "Israeli Literature: Past and Present." Co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, the course is held at Congregation Knesset Israel, 16 Colt Road, Pittsfield with Dr. Justin Cammy, Director of Programs in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Smith College.
"That Knesset Israel has been chosen as a venue for a program of high-level continuing education is a particular honor," said Rabbi David Weiner of the classes. "We hope this and future course offerings will provide a forum for thoughtful, educated discussion of timely themes."
In the classes Cammy will offer excerpts of novels, short stories, and poetry - all translated into English - that chart the dramatic story of Zionism. Discussions will focus on the relationship between "sacred" and "secular" space; exile and homeland; the revival of Hebrew as a living language; Jews and Palestinians; and Israel's founding vision as a democratic and Jewish state.
Cammy was awarded Smith's "Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching" in 2006. His PhD was conferred by the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of Harvard University. A professor of diverse courses in Yiddish, Israeli, and American-Jewish literature, Cammy is the translator and editor of On Long Winter Nights: Memoirs of a Jewish Family in a Galician Township, 1870-1900. (Harvard Center for Jewish Studies, 2005). Cammy's forthcoming book, Young Vilna: Yiddish Culture of the Last Generation, will be published by Indiana Press in 2013.
Hannah Schiff, a Smith College student, and Knesset Israel Hebrew High School graduate, noted "Taking Justin Cammy's course on Modern Jewish Fiction opened my eyes to a range of Jewish literature that I had never been exposed to before. Justin is an animated, energetic professor, who has been such a joy to learn from." Said Schiff: "He compiled a list of about 15 authors, all of whom take a different perspective on what the genre of Modern Jewish Literature is, and I came away from his class as a 'close-reader' and open to all levels of interpretation and symbolism."
Tuition for the course is $50, if attending three or four sessions, and $40 for those attending two.
For further information, required registration by June 27, and instructions regarding obtaining materials so that reading assignments may be completed in advance of classes, please call Myrna Hammerling, Director of Adult Education, Congregation Knesset Israel at 413-445-4872, ext. 16.