Scholar Lectures on Jewish Studies
[North County]

2014-2015 Lecture Series

Ruby G. Shulman Auditorium • Carlsbad Library • 1775 Dove Lane • Carlsbad, CA 92011
Temple Solel • 3575 Manchester Ave. • Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007
More info: 858.362.1154


October 20, 2014

7:00 P.M.

The Image of the Jew in Arab Cinema
Lecturer: Sariel Birnbaum, SDSU

How does the Arab cinema portray Jews? Jews are depicted in many films from the 1950’s and 1960’s according to anti-Semitic stereotypes, while in the 1990’s and 2000’s anti-Semitism was relegated to the margins. Are anti-Semitic motives in Arab cinema based on ancient Islamic traditions, or imported from Europe? We will also discuss films concerning the early days of Islam and the place of Jews within them.

November 17, 2014

7:00 P.M.

The Riddle of the Exodus
Lecturer: James Long, Foundation Stone

In this talk, James Long will compare the extant archaeological records of Egypt with ancient Jewish sources to find startling parallels between them relating to the Exodus. His conclusions will offer a radical new view of this pivotal event in the history of the Jewish people. It is the result of years of research with extensive travel to interview scholars in Israel, Egypt and England to uncover evidence of an epic event that may have precipitated the sudden demise of Egypt's Golden Age and the end of the 6th Dynasty. 
This compelling approach reveals how the aftermath of the catastrophic Ten Plagues are described on a 3,000-year-old Egyptian papyrus, that the pharaoh who enslaved the Hebrews, sat on the throne of Egypt for 94 years and that Egyptologists all agree that the Golden Pyramid Age ended suddenly, leading to the empire’s first woman ruler.

December 15, 2014

7:00 P.M.

Connected: How Trains, Genes, Pineapples, Piano Keys, and a Few Disasters Transformed Americans at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century
Lecturer: Steven Cassedy, UCSD

Between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Americans underwent a dramatic transformation in self-conception: having formerly lived as individuals or members of small communities, they now found themselves living in networks, which arose out of scientific and technological innovations. There were transportation and communication networks. There was the network of the globalized marketplace, which brought into the American home exotic goods previously affordable to only a few. There was the network of standard time, which bound together all but the most rural Americans. There was the public health movement, which joined individuals to their fellow citizens by making everyone responsible for the health of everyone else. There were social networks that joined individuals to their fellows at the municipal, state, national, and global levels. American religious leaders proposed a new ecumenical and socially conscious means of practicing one’s faith. Among these leaders was Stephen S. Wise, probably the most renowned rabbi in America in the early twentieth century. Previous histories of this era focus on alienation and dislocation that new technologies caused. This book shows that American individuals in this era were more connected to their fellow citizens than ever—but by bonds that were distinctly modern.

January 12, 2015

7:00 P.M.

It's Deli-cious! A Historical Exploration of American Jews and DelicatessenLecturer: Joellyn Zollman, UCSD

March 2, 2015

7:00 P.M.

The Spanish Past and the Modern Middle East 
Lecturer: Ibrahim al-Marashi, CSUSM

How are conviviencia and the Inquisition remembered in both modern Spain and Middle Eastern states? What happened to the Sephardic communities in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, why do terrorist groups want to reconquer Andalusia, and how does Muslims Spain figure in TV soap operas in Syria?

March 23, 2015

7:00 P.M.

The Battle Over Jews in Medieval Spain
Lecturer: Thomas Barton, USD

April 27, 2015

7:00 P.M.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen… and Jews: Experiencing the Holocaust in Italy’s Capital
Lecturer: Gabrielle Orsi, Columbia University

In 1922, Europe’s original Fascists—Italy’s National Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista)—seized power and Mussolini established a dictatorship that would last for more than 20 years. In 1938, racial laws were imposed on Italy’s Jewish population, the oldest in Western Europe, stripping away the rights gained only a few generations prior, when Italy’s constitutional monarchy was founded in 1861, emancipating Italian Jews from ghettos that had lasted for centuries. 
After Mussolini’s regime collapsed in July 1943, Italy was invaded by his erstwhile Nazi allies from the north. In a bitter irony, ancient history had concentrated Italy’s Jewish communities in the northern half of the peninsula – communities that were immediately at risk as the Nazis conquered territory south all the way to Rome. 

Join Dr. Gabrielle Orsi to explore what happened next in Rome—declared an open city on August 14, 1943—as the Roman Jewish community, whose roots stretch back to the First Jewish–Roman War (66-73 CE), faces this threat in the autumn of 1943 through liberation on June 5, 1944. She will present testimony, images, art, propaganda, and trace the life of one extraordinary Roman woman whose blockbuster novel History (La Storia) would portray the shocking events in Rome and serve as “an accusation of all the fascisms of the world” so potent that Franco would ban it in Spain.

Supporting the Scholar Lectures on Jewish Studies will ensure the continuation of this lecture series.

For more information, please contact Ilene Tatro at or 858.362.1154.

Former program of the Agency for Jewish Education,
co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of San Diego County and the Leichtag Foundation.