2011-12 Events

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Fall 2011

Dr. Joy Ladin
David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English, Stern College of Yeshiva University

In June 2007, after a lifetime of struggling to live as a man, Dr. Joy Ladin began to live as a woman.Like many transgender children, for many years Joy's only confidant was God. Unlike many transgender people, who lose their early intimacy with God as they struggle with religious traditions that don't acknowledge or accept them, Joy remained engaged with the Jewish tradition into which she was born and found a position teaching at Yeshiva University, a modern Orthodox Jewish school. After receiving tenure as man, she came out as a transsexual; after a tumultuous period of adjustment she was welcomed back by her students and her colleagues, becoming the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution and sparking discussions about religion and gender identity around the Jewish world.

Dr. Ladin is the author of five books of poetry:Coming to Life, Psalms, Transmigration, The Book of Anna, and Alternatives to History. She also recently completed a book of autobiographical essays, a collection of psalms, and book of poems composed of words found in an issue of Cosmo Girl.

Spring 2012

Justice in Jerusalem?

For the fourth annual Social Justice Lecture of the the USF Jewish Studies and Social Justice program we will be joined by Anat Hoffman, the Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the legal and advocacy arm of the Reform movement in Israel. A founding member of Women of the Wall, in recent years Anat made international news in regard to her tireless advocacy on behalf of issues related to women's rights and freedom of religion. Prior to joining IRAC, Anat, who was born and raised in Jerusalem, served on the Jerusalem City Council for 14 years, leading the opposition to the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox-led administration. In the Social Justice Lecture Anat will focus on the chasm between what people think of Jerusalem -- the fantasy, the fable, the wish, the dream that people have associated with this ancient city for centuries -- and what Jerusalem really is, a Middle Eastern hub replete with violence, ruthlessness, injustice, and people working against all odds to fulfill the city's ideals. (JCCSF admission fees are $10/members, $12/non-members. FREE for USF students.)

Listen to Anat Hoffman's lecture:

Are they ‘Real’ Jews?
March 1, 11:45AM-12:40PM, USF, Main Campus, Kalmanovitz Hall 167 
Professor Aaron J. Hahn Tapper, the the Director of the USF Jewish Studies and Social Justice program, will give a talk entitled, “Will the ‘Real’ Jew Please Stand Up? Karaites, Samaritans, and Messianic Jews.” (FREE for USF students.)

Healing Haiti
April 9, 6PM, USF, Main Campus, Fromm Hall, Berman Room
The fourth annual Social Justice Passover Seder of the USF JSSJ Program will be led by long-time social justice activist Rabbi Lee Bycel, the founder and CEO of Cedarstreet Leadership. Bycel will focus the seder on his recent humanitarian work in Haiti and the plight of the Haitian people. Light Pesadic snacks will be served. (FREE for USF students.)