January 22, 2010

News article on Center for Jewish Studies had errors

Maroon article omits important information concerning the new center

I am writing to correct two errors in the Maroon article on the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies, “With new Jewish Studies Center, meshuggeners and menschen will come together” (1/15/10).

First, the Center will not “connect different areas of interest for Jewish scholars” (my emphasis). The Center hopes to engage in conversation all scholars working on Jewish Studies, Jewish or not. We welcome scholars of Jewish history, thought, languages, and culture regardless of their religion, nationality, race, or gender (and not only males, which might be mistakenly inferred from your use of ‘menschen’ in the title).

Second, the Center does not “oversee” the Hebrew and Yiddish language programs. The Hebrew and Yiddish programs are overseen by the Departments of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Germanic Studies, respectively. In the e-mail interview on which the article was based, I wrote that the Center “supports” these programs; i.e., we provide backup support in the way of funding for the Hebrew Circle and for similar activities for Yiddish.

Unfortunately, the article also omits the most important part of the interview: This coming Sunday January 24th at 11:30 am, the Center will host a free brunch in Cobb 107 for undergraduates to publicize the programs, courses, and opportunities in Jewish Studies already in existence and to hear from students their ideas and proposals about what they would like the Center to do for them. We are open to exploring new avenues for the expression of student interest in Jewish Studies—including arts programs and student initiated performances, lectures, and conferences. Please join us.

Josef Stern

William H. Colvin Professor of Philosophy

Director, Chicago Center for Jewish Studies.

Knudson gives misleading impression of anthropology department