Recent Events

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Rabbi Dr. Irving Greenberg

"Seeing Israel - A Real Life Nation - Through a Theological Lens"

Numen Lumen Pavilion, McBride Gathering Space, 7:30 pm

World renowned theologian Rabbi Dr. Irving Greenberg explored the various theological lenses applied to the State of Israel by various groups of Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  Sponsored by: Jewish Studies; Religious Studies; the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture and Society; Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences; the Lori and Eric Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies Endowment; Wendy and Lee Pake; the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte; and the Greensboro Jewish Federation.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Culinary Historian Michael W. Twitty

"Kosher/Soul: Black-Jewish Identity Cooking"

Green World, 5:30 pm (RSVP required)

Being African American and Jewish is for many a combination that many can’t wrap their heads around. However, for thousands of Jews of color; having heritage, faith and family in both Diasporas—African and Jewish—and their many intersections means creating material, social and ideational lives that interweave identities and histories. For Michael Twitty, this includes food and the ways Black and Jews have mediated otherness and oppression using what they eat as well as the global stories Diasporic foodways have to offer.  Sponsored by Jewish Studies, African/African-American Studies, the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society, the Global Neighborhood, the CREDE, Elon Hillel, History and Geography, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and the Coordinator of Residential Dining and Engagement.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Prof. Shuly Schwartz (Jewish Theological Seminary)

"Rugelach, Rummage Sales, Rabbis and Rosh Hodesh Groups: The Transformative Power of American Jewish Feminism"

Numen Lumen Pavilion, McBride Gathering Space, 7:00 pm

Fundraising, organizing, counting in the minyan, studying Talmud and more….Jewish women’s lives have evolved dramatically in the past century, and American Judaism will never be the same!  Dr. Schwartz explored the changing role of women in American Jewish life and the ways in which Judaism has been transformed as a result.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Prof. Jon Levenson (Harvard University)

"The Binding of Isaac in the Three 'Abrahamic' Traditions: The Jewish-Christian-Muslim Debate"

LaRose Digital Theatre (at the Koury Business Center), 7:30 pm

Levenson, the Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard Divinity School, explored parallel texts from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions and both the strengths and the limitations of the claim that these three religious traditions constitute varieties of one “Abrahamic Religion.”

Sponsored by the Fund for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, the Lori and Eric Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies Program, the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society, the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, and the Religious Studies Department.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Avi Melamed (Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College), “Connecting the Dots: Religion and Conflict in the Middle East”

McBride Gathering Space, Numen Lumen Pavilion, 4:15 p.m.

Middle East analyst and former Israeli intelligence official Avi Melamed presented on current events in the Middle East.  A follow-up panel featured Elon faculty members Prof. Michael Pregill, Prof. Yoram Lubling, and Prof. Haya Ajjan, each of whom offered their own analyses of challenges in the Middle East.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society. the Council for Civic Engagement, the Jewish Studies Program, and the Middle East Studies Program.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Prof. Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth College),
"Praying with their Legs: Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr."

McBride Gathering Space, Numen Lumen Pavilion, 7:30 p.m.

Professor Heschel spoke about the friendship and shared vision of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and her father, Rabbi Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel.  As she discussed, the relationship between Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King was a close friendship as well as a relationship of colleagues working together as political activists in the civil rights movement and in opposition to the war in Vietnam.  Sponsored by the Lori and Eric Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies Program, African & African-American Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Religious Studies, the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society, the Multicultural Center, the Truitt Center for Religious & Spiritual Life, and Elon Hillel.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow, "One Man's Incredible Journey Against Considerable Odds"

McBride Gathering Space, Numen Lumen Pavilion, 7:30 p.m.

Born in Kaunas, Lithuania, and imprisoned during the Holocaust in a German concentration camp, Sidney Shachnow escaped from captivity and eventually settled in the United States, where he attained the rank of Major General and served as commander of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command.  Marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, Maj. Gen. Shachnow shared his experiences of and reflections on the horrors of the Holocaust.  Sponsored by the Lori and Eric Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies Program.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Diane Palley
"Light and Shadow: Visual Midrash and the Art of Jewish Papercutting"

McBride Gathering Space, Numen Lumen Pavilion, 5:30 p.m.

Elon hosted world-renowned artist Diane Palley for a presentation on the art of Jewish papercutting.  Palley offered an illustrated presentation that began with an overview of papercutting as an art from many cultures, and that focused in depth on traditional Jewish papercutting. She discussed how papercutting has been a part of both her artistic and spiritual paths, and how she sees her art as midrash, the creative interpretation of text in the Jewish tradition. She presented a newly commissioned papercut that uses text and image to explore cruelty, compassion, and our own selves. A hands-on workshop followed in which participants were able to complete a small papercut. Sponsored by the Lori and Eric Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies Program, the Religious Studies Department, and the Art and Art History Department.


Thursday, March 13, 2014
Prof. Samuel Moyn (Columbia University),
“How Did the Holocaust and Human Rights Intersect (and Was It a Good Thing)?"

McBride Gathering Space, Numen Lumen Pavilion, 7:30 p.m.

Moyn discussed the relationship between the Holocaust and its memory, on the one hand, and the rise of human rights norms and movements, on the other. His presentation offered a survey of the post-World War II era, asking why not simply Holocaust consciousness but human rights activism came so late. Moyn is the James Bryce Professor of European Legal History at Columbia University, where he taught since 2001. The talk was drawn from his new book, Human Rights and the Use of History. Sponsored by the Philosophy Department and the Lori and Eric Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies Program.

March 3, 2014

Prof. Daniel Asia (University of Arizona),
"Breath in a Ram's Horn: Classical Music and Judaism"

Yeager Recital Hall, 6:30 p.m.

Composer and professor of music at The University of Arizona, Asia spoke on his understanding of the relationship between Jewish prayer and music, and how both are roads to approaching the Divine." Sponsored by the Fund for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences and the Lori and Eric Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies Program.

March 4, 2014

The Music of Dan Asia and the Poetry of Yehuda Amichai

Whitley Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.

Panelists: Prof. Daniel Asia, Prof. Omri Shimron, Prof. Kevin Boyle, Rabbi Steve Sager

Dan Asia’s song cycle “Amichai’s Songs,” is based on work by Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai which wrestles with issues of national and religious identity in a war-torn reality. The panelists considered the adaptation of Amichai's texts into a music, the poetry itself — in the original Hebrew and in translation, its Jewish-Israeli attributes, as well as the process of preparing the cycle for a public performance. Sponsored by the Fund for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences.

The Music of Dan Asia, performance featuring the Elon University Camerata (Stephen A. Futrell, conductor), Tim Hill (bass-baritone), guest tenor Timothy Sparks (UNC Chapel Hill) and Omri Shimron (piano)
Whitley Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Daniel Asia, Professor of Composition and Head of Composition at the University of Arizona, narrated a recital featuring three of his vocal works: "Amichai Songs" (version for voice and piano), "Breath in a Ram's Horn" with texts by American poet Paul Pines (tenor and piano), and "Why Jacob?" for chorus and piano. Sponsored by the Fund for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences.


November 17, 2013

Elon University Conference on Jewish-Christian Relations

1:00 pm: Welcoming Remarks
President Dr. Leo Lambert (Elon University)
Dr. Geoffrey Claussen (Elon University)

1:05-2:00 pm: Reading Genesis
- Dr. Marc Bregman (UNC-Greensboro) – “Jewish and Christian Perspectives on the Sacrifice of Isaac”
- Dr. Ellen Haskell (UNC-Greensboro) – “Contesting the Kingdom of Heaven: Rachel as Counterpart to Christ in Medieval Jewish Mysticism”
- Dr. Malachi Hacohen (Duke University) – “Jacob and Esau, Isaac and Ishmael: The Future of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations”
Convener: Dr. Geoffrey Claussen (Elon University)

2:15-3:00 pm: Defining Jewish Identity
- Dr. Lynn Huber (Elon University) – “‘Those Who Say That They Are Jews and Are Not’: The Function of Jewish Identity in the Book of Revelation”
- Dr. James Tabor (UNC-Charlotte) – “Who is a Jew?: A Modern Conundrum with Ancient Roots”
Convener: Dr. Michael Pregill (Elon University)

3:15-4:15 pm: Evangelical-Jewish Relations
 Dr. Shalom Goldman (Duke University), “The Use of Hebrew and Yiddish by British and American Christian Missionaries to Jews: 1870-1970”
 Dr. Yaakov Ariel (UNC-Chapel Hill) – “The Rise of Messianic Judaism”
Dr. Motti Inbari (UNC-Pembroke) – “The Christian Zionist Response to Israeli Land for Peace Solutions”
Convener: Dr. Jason Husser (Elon University)

4:30-5:15 pm: Jewish and Christian Feminist Ritual Innovation
 Dr. Vanessa Ochs (University of Virginia)
Dr. Diann Neu (Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual)
Convener: Dr. Toddie Peters (Elon University)

5:30-6:30 pm: The Future of Jewish-Christian Dialogue
Dr. Stanley Hauerwas (Duke University)
Dr. Peter Ochs (University of Virginia)
Convener: Dr. Jeffrey Pugh (Elon University)

Closing Remarks: Dr. Jeffrey Pugh (Elon University)

Sponsored by the Elon College Fund for Excellence, the Eric and Lori Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies Program, the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of History and Geography, the Women's/Gender Studies program, the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, and the Elon Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society.  Registration page here


Prof. Brian Nedvin (Old Dominion University)

November 7, 2013

“Music and the Holocaust: A Lecture-Recital”

Elon parent and music professor Brian Nedvin shared music, images, and words in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht and the beginning of the Holocaust.



October 16, 2013

Liat Srur
"The Israeli Kibbutz Movement"

Liat Srur of UNC-Chapel Hill presented on the history of the Israeli kibbutz movement.


May 1, 2013

Rabbi Greg Epstein
"Secular Humanism and Modern Jewish Thought: A Conversation with Chaplain Greg Epstein"

Spring Convocation panelist Greg M. Epstein, the humanist chaplain at Harvard University, was ordained as a humanist rabbi by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism.  He joined Elon Jewish Studies students for a special session on the place of secular humanism in the history of modern Jewish thought.


April 30, 2013

Rabbi David Wolpe
"A Judaism of Relationships:
A Conversation with Rabbi David Wolpe"

Belk Pavilion 208, 1:00 pm

This special session was with Spring Convocation panelist Rabbi David Wolpe, the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Named the most influential rabbi in America by Newsweek magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post, Wolpe is the author of seven books and is a popular media contributor on questions regarding religion.  He recently delivered the benediction at the Democratic National Convention, and his most recent book is Why Faith Matters.



April 11, 2013
Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat

"The Future of the Jews: How Global Forces are Impacting the Jewish People, Israel, and Its Relationship with the United States"

Lakeside Meeting Room (at Moseley Center), 7:30 pm

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat has held senior U.S. government positions in three presidential administrations, from the White House to the State Department, from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury; he has also been a leader in the Jewish community, having led American and international Jewish groups and institutions.  In this lecture, he shared his provocative thesis regarding the future of the Jewish people in light of the major geopolitical, economic, and security challenges facing the world in general, and the United States and the State of Israel in particular.  A reception and book-signing will follow Ambassador Eizenstat's speech.  Sponsored by the Lori and Eric Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies Program, the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of History and Geography, Middle East Studies, International Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, the Law School, the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center, and the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, with special thanks to the President's Office.

Event flyer here.  Directions to Elon's Moseley Center (400 N. O'Kelly Avenue, Elon, N.C.) here.  The Lakeside Meeting Room is above the new Lakeside Dining Hall on the west side of Moseley Center.



November 13, 2012
Prof. Geoffrey Claussen, Dept. of Religious Studies

"A Jewish Perspective on War, Scripture, and Moral Accounting"

Prof. Claussen shared a Jewish approach to questions of war and peace, focusing on Jewish concepts of equanimity, justice, and humility—virtues which are crucial for contemporary policymakers, including those considering the appropriate response to Iran’s developing nuclear program.

Lecture sponsored by Elon's Peace and Conflict Studies (Non-Violence Studies) program.  
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 4:15-5:30 pm, in Lindner 106.  Refreshments/Snacks provided.
For more information, contact Prof. Swimelar,


October 26, 2012

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, "Taking Judaism Public: What Traditional Wisdom Can Teach America"

Should America live by Jewish values? Can an ancient tradition say anything about twenty-first century economic and social concerns? In this lecture, Rabbi Jill Jacobs (Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights–North America) offered a Jewish perspective on some contemporary challenges, and then considered whether and how religion belongs in the public debate.

Lecture sponsored by Elon's Jewish Studies Program; the Elon Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society; the Department of Religious Studies; and the Non-Violence Studies Program.  This event is part of the Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies program, made possible by the generosity of Lori and Eric Sklut and the Levine-Sklut Family Foundation.  Lunch (kosher and vegetarian) following the lecture sponsored by the Truitt Center for Religious & Spiritual Life and Elon Hillel.  

Friday, October 26, 2012, 12:15 p.m., in LaRose Digital Theatre (at the Koury Business Center: 401 N. O’Kelly Avenue, Elon NC 27244)