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Conference Program

Please note: Due to the pandemic, there have been late changes to the conference program. The Program Book PDF includes the program as of November 1. Session and presenter changes since November 1 are reflected in the Sessions Schedule with Presentation Abstracts. The conference app will be available in December and will also include the most current program.

Sessions Schedule with Presentation Abstracts (log in with your MyAJS info to create your personal schedule)

Program Book PDF (schedule of sessions, special events, receptions; floor plans; exhibitors; as of Nov. 1, 2021)

Resources: Guidance for Session Chairs, Moderators, and Attendees | The Art of Conferencing

Conference Program Overview

Saturday

Badge and Tote Bag Pickup

Saturday, December 18, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Ballroom Promenade (4th Floor)

Advance conference registration is required. To register, please click here.

Badge and Tote Bag Pickup is open to registered registrants showing proof of vaccination and photo ID.


Sunday

Tour of Chicago Loop Synagogue, Abraham Rattner Window, and Presentation

Sunday, December 19, 8:00 – 9:30 AM

You are invited to tour the remarkable Chicago Loop Street Synagogue, home of the Abraham Rattner’s (1893–1978) great 40’ x 30’ “And Let There Be Light” stained-glass window (1958), one the most exceptional works of Jewish art of the twentieth century.

For more information and to register, please click here.


Badge and Tote Bag Pickup

Sunday, December 19, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Ballroom Promenade (4th Floor)

Advance conference registration is required. To register, please click here.

Badge and Tote Bag Pickup is open to registered registrants showing proof of vaccination and photo ID.


General Breakfast

Sunday, December 19, 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM, Chicago Ballroom VIII (4th Floor)

By prepaid reservation only.

For more information, please click here.


Exhibits + Networking Lounge

Sunday, December 19, 9:00 AM – 7:15 PM, Ballrooms I–III (4th Floor)

Click here for list of exhibitors.


Session 1

Sunday, December 19, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM


General Lunch

Sunday, December 19, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Chicago Ballroom VIII (4th Floor)

By prepaid reservation only.

For more information, please click here.


Annual Business Meeting

Sunday, December 19, 11:45 AM – 12:15 PM, Superior A (2nd Floor)

Open to all AJS members.


Session 2

Sunday, December 19, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM


Exhibit Hall Coffee Break

Sunday, December 19, 2:30 PM – 3:00 PM, Ballrooms I–III (4th Floor)

Click here for list of exhibitors.


Plenary

Sunday, December 19, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm, Chicago Ballroom VI-VII (4th Floor)

The Future of Humanistic Scholarship and the Role of Learned Societies

Join AJS president Jeffrey Shoulson and American Council of Learned Societies president Joy Connolly as they discuss ACLS’s work on behalf of societies and scholars with regard to major issues affecting American academia, including graduate education reform, diversity and equity initiatives, and advocacy efforts for the humanities and interpretive social sciences. What lasting impact will events since March 2020 leave on academia generally and on humanistic scholarship in particular? How can learned societies best support scholars and institutions in this period of change?

Thank you to our generous Plenary and Welcome Reception sponsors who helped subsidize the cost of the events. (Click here for list of sponsors.)


Traditional and Egalitarian Services

Sunday, December 19, 4:30 PM, Bridgeport (4th Floor, Traditional) and Bucktown (4th Floor, Egalitarian)


The Marshall Sklare Award Lecture and Reception

Sunday, December 19, 4:45 pm – 7:15 pm, Ballroom IV (4th Floor)

Sponsored by the Association for the Scientific Study of Jewry

Chair: Judit Bokser Liwerant (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Rediscovering Secular Jews through Self-Identification in Survey Research: Two Voices
Ariela Keysar (Trinity College) and Barry Kosmin (Trinity College)

Respondents: Sergio DellaPergola (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Debra Renee Kaufman (Northeastern University), and Bruce A. Phillips (HUC–JIR/University of Southern California)


Session 3

Sunday, December 19, 4:45 PM – 6:15 PM


Welcome Reception

Sunday, December 19, 6:15 pm – 7:15 pm, Ballrooms I–III (4th Floor)

Please join us for the Welcome Reception. Thank you to our generous Plenary and Welcome Reception sponsors who helped subsidize the cost of the events. (Click here for list of sponsors.)


Film Screening: Israeli Short Film Program

Sunday, December 19, 7:15 PM – 10:15 PM, Ballroom V (4th Floor)

Curated by: Catherine Portuges, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Introduction: Daniel Susz, Director of Film & TV in North America, Israel Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel

White Eye

Directed by Tomer Shushan, 2019, 21 minutes, in Hebrew with English subtitles

A Tel Avivian finds his stolen bicycle in the street. In twenty minutes and in one continuous take, an ethnically diverse cast of characters confront privilege and place in modern Israeli society in this powerful exploration of “blind” bias toward otherness. Nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 93rd Academy Awards.

Contact: Kobi Mizrahi, email

Touch

Directed by Nir Berger, 2019, 25 minutes, in English & Hebrew with English subtitles

An aggressive, self-conscious seventeen-year-old Adele spends her time trolling her classmates online. Another internet troll, Uri, flirts with her, urging her to send a picture in which she is actually visible. Nir Berger has served as a writer on such series as The Jews Are Coming and Dismissed.

Contact: Nir Berger, website, email

Image of Victory

Directed by Adi Mishnayot, 2019, 29 minutes, in Hebrew with English subtitles

Uri, an IDF soldier in mandatory military service, is shot and wounded in the third Gaza War. His sister Adi documents his hospital recovery that summer as the procession of celebrity entertainers, veterans, army generals and others who visit Uri offer an inside look into Israeli society and its responses to war. Best Documentary Short, Jerusalem Film Festival.

Contact: Adi Mishnayot, email; T/Port, website

Our Hearts Beat Like War

Directed by Elinor Nechemya, 2020, 15 minutes, in Hebrew with English subtitles

On his ninth birthday, Sinai joins his mother for the day at the refugee aid center where she works. As he falls asleep, images from the fantasy book he’s reading blend with testimony he overhears from an Eritrean refugee, sparking a surreal dream. Official selection, 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.

Contact: Ouat Media, website

The Promise 

Directed by Roni Azgad, 2020, 24 minutes, in Hebrew with English subtitles

This rich collage integrates the personal and national, drawing on archival footage of the director’s own family rituals—Brit Milah, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, holidays, birthdays, weddings and funerals. 

Q&A with Nevo Shinaar, a producer of The Promise, after the screening

Contact: Nevo Shinaar, email

The Conference Film Festival is sponsored by Wesleyan University.


General Dinner

Sunday, December 19, 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM, Chicago Ballroom VIII (4th Floor)

By prepaid reservation only.

For more information, please click here.


Contingent Faculty Gathering

Sunday, December 19, 7:15 – 8:15 PM, CHI Bar (3rd Floor)

Join contingent faculty, adjunct or term faculty, post-docs, research associates, and non-tenure track lecturers for an informal gathering and drinks in the CHI Bar.


Graduate Student Reception

Sunday, December 19, 8:15 PM – 9:15 PM, Fountainview (3rd Floor)

Sponsored by Stanford University, Taube Center for Jewish Studies

AJS graduate students are invited to this networking reception.


Memorial Reception in Honor of Rachel Feldhay Brenner and Rosemary Horowitz

Sunday, December 19, 8:15 PM – 9:15 PM, Columbus A and B (Third Floor)

Memorial Reception in honor of Rachel Feldhay Brenner and Rosemary Horowitz, sponsored by the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies at Appalachian State University. Desserts and libations will be served.


Monday

Women’s Caucus Meeting

Monday, December 20, 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM, Chicago Ballroom IX (4th Floor)

Open to all members of the AJS Women's Caucus.

For more information, please click here.


General Breakfast

Monday, December 20, 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM, Chicago Ballroom VIII (4th Floor)

By prepaid reservation only.

For more information, please click here.


Badge and Tote Bag Pickup

Monday, December 20, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Ballroom Promenade (4th Floor)

Advance conference registration is required. To register, please click here.

Badge and Tote Bag Pickup is open to registered registrants showing proof of vaccination and photo ID.


Traditional and Egalitarian Services

Monday, December 20, 8:00 AM and 3:30 PM, Bridgeport (4th Floor, Traditional) and Bucktown (4th Floor, Egalitarian)


Exhibits + Networking Lounge

Monday, December 20, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM – 7:15 PM, Ballrooms I–III (4th Floor)

Click here for list of exhibitors.


Session 4

Monday, December 20, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM


Exhibit Hall Coffee Break

Monday, December 20, 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM, Ballroom I–III (4th Floor)

Click here for list of exhibitors.


Session 5

Monday, December 20, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM


Sephardi-Mizrahi Caucus Lunch and Annual Meeting

Sponsored by the College of Charleston Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program

Monday, December 20, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM, Chicago Ballroom IX (4th Floor) 

By prepaid reservation only.

The Sephardi/Mizrahi Caucus Annual Meeting takes place annually during Monday lunchtime at the AJS Conference, following the Sephardi/Mizrahi Caucus Lunch. The annual meeting is open to all conference attendees.

For more information, please click here.


General Lunch

Monday, December 20, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM, Chicago Ballroom VIII (4th Floor)

By prepaid reservation only.

For more information, please click here.


AJS Honors Its Authors Event: Lisa Leff in Conversation with Laura Liebman and Kenneth Moss 

Sponsored by the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature 

Monday, December 20, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM, Mayfair (2nd Floor) 

Lisa Leff, 2016 Sami Rohr Prize Winner, Professor of History, American University Director, Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 

Laura Liebman, Professor of English and Humanities, Reed College, author of Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multi- Racial Jewish Family (2021) 

Kenneth Moss, 2010 Sami Rohr Prize Winner, Harriet and Ulrich E. Meyer Professor of Jewish History and the College, University of Chicago, author of An Unchosen People: Jewish Political Reckoning in Interwar Poland (2021) 


Session 6

Monday, December 20, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM


Exhibit Hall Break

Monday, December 20, 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM, Ballroom I–III (4th Floor)

Click here for list of exhibitors.


Session 7

Monday, December 20, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM


Session 8

Monday, December 20, 5:45 PM – 7:15 PM


Film Screening: Overture to Glory 

Monday, December 20, 7:15 PM – 9:00 PM, Ballroom V (4th Floor)

Directed by Max Nosseck, 1940, 82 minutes, in Yiddish with English subtitles 

Based on the true story that inspired The Jazz Singer and starring the legendary, real-life cantor Moishe Oysher in his most iconic role, Overture to Glory is a milestone of Yiddish filmmaking, presented here in a brand-new restoration. Filmed in the thick of the Second World War, the film’s extensive cantorial segments read like an elegy for a disappearing world. Featuring perhaps the most convincing scenes of synagogue life in any fiction film, Overture to Glory begins during the morning service on Rosh Hashanah and ends at Kol Nidre, making the story a kind of redemptive journey. Overture to Glory is part of the Blu Ray compilation “The Jewish Soul: Ten Classics of Yiddish Cinema,” with commentary by Jim Hoberman, Eve Sicular, and Allen Lewis Rickman. 

Q&A with a Yiddish actor, director, & translator Allen Lewis Rickman after the screening 

Contact: Kino Lorber, website

The Conference Film Festival is sponsored by Wesleyan University.


The Jewish Theological Seminary, The Gershon Kekst Graduate School Reception

Monday, December 20, 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM, Fountainview (3rd Floor)

JTS's Office of Alumni Affairs welcomes all alumni, faculty, and conference guests. Mingle with JTS deans, faculty, graduate students, and alumni. Open to all conference registrants.


Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Press Reception

Monday, December 20, 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM, Columbus A and B (3rd Floor)

The Katz Center invites you to join us to celebrate over 25 years of advanced research. Open to all fellows, past and present, as well as all conference registrants.


Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards Reception and Dinner

Monday, December 20, 7:15 PM – 9:45 PM 

By invitation only.

Click here for list of this year's award recipients.


General Dinner

Monday, December 20, 8:15 PM – 9:15 PM, Chicago Ballroom VIII (4th Floor) 

By prepaid reservation only.

For more information, please click here.


Trivia Night

Sponsored by the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature

Monday, December 20, 9:00 PM, CHI Bar (3rd Floor)

Join us for our fourth annual AJS trivia competition, where your knowledge of Jewish history and culture will be tested. Meet new people! Have a drink! Win fantastic prizes!


Film Screening: The Adventures of Saul Bellow

Monday, December 20, 9:15 PM – 10:00 PM, Ballroom V (4th Floor)

Directed by Asaf Galai, 2021, 85 minutes, in English 

The film traces Bellow’s rise to eminence and examines his many identities: reluctant public intellectual, “serial husband,” father, Chicagoan, Jew and American. Interviews with the novelist’s family and friends will shed new light on Bellow’s personality and the way he turned life into art. 

Q&A with the filmmaker Asaf Galai after the screening. 

Contact: Costanza Films, website

The Conference Film Festival is sponsored by Wesleyan University.


Tuesday

General Breakfast

Tuesday, December 21, 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM, Chicago Ballroom VIII (4th Floor)

By prepaid reservation only.

For more information, please click here.


Badge and Tote Pickup

Tuesday, December 21, 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Ballroom Promenade (4th Floor)

Advance conference registration is required. To register, please click here.

Badge and Tote Bag Pickup is open to registered registrants showing proof of vaccination and photo ID.


Traditional and Egalitarian Services

Tuesday, December 21, 8:00 AM, Bridgeport (4th Floor, Traditional) and Bucktown (4th Floor, Egalitarian)


Exhibits + Networking Lounge

Tuesday, December 21, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Ballrooms I–III (4th Floor)

Click here for list of exhibitors.


Session 9

Tuesday, December 21, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM


Session 10

Tuesday, December 21, 10:15 AM – 11:45 AM


How to Publish Your Book

Tuesday, December 21, 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM, Huron (2nd Floor)

Presented by Palgrave Macmillan

Open to all conference registrants.


General Lunch

Tuesday, December 21, 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM, Chicago Ballroom VIII (4th Floor)

By prepaid reservation only.

For more information, please click here.


Session 11

December 21, 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM


Session 12

December 21, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM