Central to our understanding of Jewish culture and civilization is a grasp of its many expressive forms—religious and secular, high and low, elite and popular—in the areas of the written word, the visual arts and the performing arts.
Whether it’s a novel, a poem, a building or a piece of music, Jewish expression draws from the same well and, since 1973, has dwelled on certain themes, among them Israel, the Holocaust, the fall of communism, plurality, women’s expressions, assimilation and reconciling old and new modes of Jewish life throughout the world.
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This event is a tie-in with the launch of The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, a ten-volume series that collects more than 3,000 years of Jewish cultural artifacts, texts, and paintings, selected by more than 120 internationally acclaimed scholars. The first of the ten volumes in the series, Volume 10, 1973-2005, will be published by Yale University Press in November. Simultaneously, Yale will publish Jews and Words, a new book co-authored by the novelist Amos Oz and his daughter, historian Fania Oz-Salzberger, which explores the words at the heart of Jewish culture, and makes the case that Jewish continuity depends on written words and on ongoing conversation between the generations.
Amos Oz is the internationally renowned author of more than fifteen works of fiction and numerous essays on politics, literature, and peace. He is also professor of literature at Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva. He lives in Arad, Israel.
Fania Oz-Salzberger is a writer, historian, and professor at the University of Haifa. She recently held the Leon Liberman Chair in Modern Israel Studies at Monash University, and a Visiting Laurance S. Rockefeller Professorship for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University. She lives in Zichron Yaakov, Israel.
Daniel Libeskind is an international architect and designer of Polish-Jewish descent. Libeskind founded Studio Daniel Libeskind in 1989 with his wife, Nina, and is its principal design architect. Some of his buildings include the Jewish Museum in Berlin, The Felix Nussbaum Haus in Ösnabruck (Germany), The Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in and San Francisco. In addition, he is the master planner for the World Trade Center site in New York and is involved in an array of cultural and commercial projects internationally. Daniel Libeskind’s commitment to expanding the scope of architecture reflects his profound interest and involvement in philosophy, art, literature and music.
James E. Young is Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the author of four books dealing with Holocaust memorials, narratives, and images in contemporary art and architecture, and he was a member of the design juries that chose the National 9/11 Memorial in New York City and Germany's national "Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe" in Berlin. He is Editor-in-Chief of The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization.
Deborah Dash Moore is Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History at the University of Michigan where she directs the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies. Her books on the social history of American Jews in the 20th century have helped to establish American Jewish history as a field. She is co-editor of Volume X, 1973-2005 of the Posen Library of Jewish Civilization and Culture.