Harry Spindel Memorial Lectureship

Established in 1977 by the gift of Rosalyne Spindel Bernstein, Honorary 1997, and Sumner Thurman Bernstein in memory of her father, Harry Spindel, as a lasting testimony to his lifelong devotion to Jewish Learning, this fund is used to support annual lectures in Judaic studies or contemporary Jewish affairs. The fund has celebrated Jewish culture and identity through lectures, music, photography, and film.

Current lecture co-chairs: David Israel & Jennifer Kosak

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Professor David Kertzer, Brown UniversityProfessor David Kertzer, Brown University
Dealing with the Devil: Mussolini, the Vatican, and Italy's Anti-Semitic Racial Laws 

7:30 PM Kresge Auditorium

April 1, 2014

Recovering Nazi Art Loot — Unfinished Business

David D’ArcyDavid D’Arcy.

David D'Arcy is a film producer, journalist and critic who is a correspondent for The Art Newspaper of London. D'Arcy, a frequent commentator on the BBC, has been writing about cultural property disputes for more than 25 years for many publications, including The Economist, Vanity Fair, Art + Auction, and Art & Antiques. He is the co-producer and co-writer of "Portrait of Wally," a documentary film about a Nazi-looted painting that turned up on loan at the Museum of Modern Art.

April 11, 2013

Becoming a Jewish Writer

2013 Spindel Lecture Allegra Goodman, author.Allegra Goodman, author.

7:30 p.m. Lecture:  Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center

Allegra Goodman is the author of Intuition, Paradise Park, Kaaterskill Falls, The Family Markowitz, and Total Immersion. The Other Side of the Island is her first book for younger readers . Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Commentary, and Ploughshares, Prize Stories: the O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories . Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, and The American Scholar.

Raised in Honolulu, Goodman studied English and philosophy at Harvard and received a PhD in English literature from Stanford. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award, the Salon Award for Fiction, and a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced study.

April 17, 2012
The Poetry of Kabbalah, The Kabbalah of Poetry: Ruminations and a Reading
Peter Cole _ 2012 Spindel LecturePeter Cole, visiting fellow at Yale University, Judaic Studies Program.

7:30 p.m. Lecture:  Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center

Peter Cole is a poet and translator of poetry and prose from Hebrew and Arabic whose work has received much recognition, including a MacArthur Fellowship.  His familiarity with the contemporary Middle East and intimacy with medieval Hebrew come together in his recent book  (co-authored with Adina Hoffman): Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza.   

March 29, 2011
That Obnoxious Order: Ulysses S. Grant and the Jews
Dr. Jonathan D. SarnaJonathan D. Sarna, Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University, and chief historian, the new National Museum of  American Jewish History
7:30 p.m. Lecture:  Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center

On December 17, 1862, as the Civil War entered its second winter, General Ulysses S. Grant issued a sweeping order, General Orders #11, expelling “Jews as a class” from his war zone. It remains the most notorious anti-Jewish official order in American history. The order came back to haunt Grant in 1868 when he ran for president. Never before had Jews been so widely noticed in a presidential contest, and never before had they been confronted so publicly with the question of how to balance their “American” and “Jewish” interests. During his two terms in the White House, the memory of the “obnoxious order” shaped Grant’s relationship with the American Jewish community. Surprisingly, he did more for Jews than any other president to his time. How this happened, and why, sheds new light on one of our most enigmatic presidents, on the Jews of his day, and on America itself.

March 9, 2010
Jews as Global Citizens: Our Responsibility in the World
Ruth W. Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), a faith-based international human rights organization that works to alleviate poverty, hunger and disease in the developing world.  Ruth W. Messinger - Jews as Global Citizens: Our Responsibility in the World.In addition to its grantmaking to over 400 grassroots projects around the world, AJWS works within the American Jewish community to promote global citizenship and social justice through activism, volunteer service and education. Ms. Messinger assumed this role in 1998 following a 20-year career in public service in New York City, where she served for 12 years on the New York City Council and 8 as Manhattan borough president. She was the first woman to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for mayor in 1997. Ms. Messinger is continuing her lifelong pursuit of social justice at AJWS, helping people around the world improve the quality of their lives and their communities.

Considered a national leader in the movement to end the genocide in Sudan, Ms. Messinger was among leading anti-genocide, peace and human rights advocates called upon to advise President Obama and the new special envoy for Sudan, General J. Scott Gration, in March 2009. In recognition of her leadership, she was recently appointed to the Obama administration’s newly formed Task Force on Global Poverty and Development. She is also involved in organizing faith-based efforts to secure human rights around the world.

7:30 PM
Kresge Auditorium,  Visual Arts Center

Jonathan Safran FoerMarch 31, 2009
An Evening with Jonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the international bestseller Everything Is Illuminated, which was published when he was just twenty-five, and hailed as the “debut of the decade.” It was named Book of the Year by The Los Angeles Times and won numerous awards, including the National Jewish Book Award. His second novel is the national and international bestseller Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
7:30 PM Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall
Admission is Free. Tickets are required and available at the David Saul Smith Union information desk now with Bowdoin ID, and beginning Wednesday, March 25 for the general public, and at the door, 207-725-3375.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close        Everything Is Illuminated


Robert Bernheim '86

Putting History to Work: One Holocaust Historian's Long Winter from Moscow to Maine.
February 25, 2008
(rain/snow date of Tuesday, February 26th)
Robert Bernheim '86: Putting History to Work: One Holocaust Historian's Long Winter from Moscow to Maine.


James Carroll

James Carroll: No War is Holy: Constantine, Crusades, and the Present CrisisNo War is Holy: Constantine, Crusades, and the Present Crisis

April 16, 2007


Art Spiegelman

Art Spiegelman: MausMaus


Daniel Boyarin

Why is Rabbi Yohanan a Woman: Platonic Love and the TalmudWhy is Rabbi Yohanan a Woman: Platonic Love and the Talmud


Rabbi Michael Lerner

God and Global Judaism: Strategies for Spiritual Transformation and Social Healing in the Age of Bush and Ariel SharonGod and Global Judaism: Strategies for Spiritual Transformation and Social Healing in the Age of Bush and Ariel Sharon

25th Anniversary Series 2002-03


Sandi Simcha DuBowski

Trembling Before God


Almuth Herbst and Marien van Nieukerken

Vocal Music on Jewish Themes


Arthur Giglio, Sean Fleming and Anthony Antolini

Ernest Bloch's Sacred Service


Susannah Heschel

We're Not Jews: Multiculturalism and the New Jewish Studies


Shimon Attie

The Writing on the Wall


James Young

After-image of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art


Tony Kushner

Evening Conversation with Tony Kushner


Samuel J. Freedman

Jew vs. Jew: the Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry


David Horovitz

Ariel Sharon's Israel: Heading for War or Peace?


Ian Lustick

Israel and the Iron War: The Role of War in the Peace Process


Arthur Green

Hasidism: The Life of Piety at Modernity's Door


Jehuda Reinharz

100 Years of Zionism: Statesmanship Without a State


Cheryl Greenberg

Negotiating Many Americas: Jews, African Americans and Diverse Identities: Blacks and Jews in the Age of Identity Politics


Michael Walzer

The Politics of Biblical Wisdom


Sharon Pucker Rivo

Yiddish Cinema: Between Two Worlds


Dori Laub

Testimony and Truth


Barney Frank

The Politics of Jewish/African-American Relations


Roberta Apfel Bennett Simon

Gas Chambers to Gas Masks: Trauma and Resiliency in Children of War


Susannah Heschel

Jewish-Christian Feminists in Dialogue


Wolf Blitzer

Between Washington and Jerusalem


Grace Paley

Who's in Charge of Jewish?


Elizabeth Holtzman

U.S. Government and Nazi War Criminals


Symposium: Judaism and Otherness:Symposium: Judaism and Otherness:

Livia Bitton-Jackson

The Jewish Literary Stereotype as Metaphor for Cultural Otherness

Peter Gay

In Germany at Home: German Jews In The Weimar Republic

Vivian Gornick

The Feminization of Otherness

Geoffrey Hartman

The Sweat of The Hayyot: Some Images of Otherness In Jewish Thought


Robert Skloot

Images of Survival: The Theater of Holocaust


Arthur Hertzberg

Spinoza: The Fount of Jewish Modernity


John Hollander

Autobiography and the Jewish Poet


Elaine Brody

The Jewish Connection in Nineteenth Century Music


Nathan Glazer

American Jews, the United States, and Israel: The Delicate Triangle


Jacob Neusner

Story as History in Ancient Judaism


Irving Greenberg

Ethical Implications of the Holocaust


Irving Howe

East European Jew and American Culture


Lucy Dawidowicz

Historiography of Holocaust