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Hosted by The Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies, York University, Toronto


The thirty-fifth annual conference of the Midwest Jewish Studies Association (MJSA) will be held October 29-30, 2023 in-person and in English.

Our plenary speaker is Dr. Rachel Harris, the Elaine and Herbert Gimelstob Eminent Scholar Chair in Judaic Studies at Florida Atlantic University, who will be speaking on: “How the IDF Created the Israeli Film Industry: a 1950s Focus on the History of Israeli Cinema." One can register for just the dinner and plenary.

  •  To be guaranteed a meals, please register by September 29th. All meals are kosher. If you require a vegetarian meal, please contact Dr. Wiseman directly (

  • If you are a panelist or chair and do not register by the October 11th, you will be dropped from the program. Any registrations after September 29th will not be guaranteed meals.


MJSA conference participants and their travel companions are invited to visit the new Toronto Holocaust Museum and archives after lunch on Monday, March 30. MJSA has arranged a 3:00 p.m. privately guided tour of the [new] Toronto Holocaust Museum with chief curator, Rachel Libman. Rachel will walk the group through the museum and share curation considerations in designing this adjustable, modular, collection, its rooms and emphases in light of the Canadian context,  and in light of the call to educate new generations who will grow up without access to in-person, first-hand narratives.

The cost per person is $18.00. Registration for this is part of the registration process.

Transportation to the venue will be at your own expense. There will be space to store your luggage.


 Do not forget about the Graduate Student Paper award!

Registration HERE 

Please direct all inquiries to: Dr. Mara W. Cohen Ioannides (



Sunday Oct 29


Registration and Coffee with pastries



Domestic Issues

Chair: Martin Lockshin, York University

“Jewish Concepts of Home”

Dustin N. Atlas, Queen’s University

“Mother and Daughter: The Pull of Home in the Emigration Experience of Two German Jewish Women.”   Amy Shevitz Hill, Independent Scholar



Rethinking Jewish Halacha

Chair: Eric Lawee, Bar Ilan University

“The Leibowitzer Rebbe: Yeshayahu Leibowitz and Hasidism”

Justin Jaron Lewis, University of Manitoba

“Assets are attractive: ambivalent rabbinic rationales for the enforcement of the ketubah”

Marinka Yossiffon, University of Toronto



Jewish Education and Education About Judaism


“Framings of Jewish Legal Knowledge Circa 1900: The Scholarship of Mordché Wolf Rapaport”

Dana Hollander, McMaster University

“Where does Antisemitism fit into DEI?  The Storied Experience of a Jewish Post-Secondary Educator”

Lori Ann Laster, University of Minnesota

LUNCH 12:30pm-1:50pm



Israeli Politics


“The Protestantization of Israeli Judaism and the Weakening of State Law”

Meirav Jones, McMaster University

“‘Their True Act of Desperation’: The 1950 Tuberculosis Hunger Strike at Shaar Ha’aliya”

Rhona Seidelman, University of Oklahoma

“Qadosh, qadosh, qadosh: How Jerusalem Became Thrice Holy”

Carl Stephan Ehrlich, York University

“Ben Gurion and Mahatma Gandhi: A Comparison in Leadership.”

Joseph Hodes, Texas Tech University




Chair: Charlyn Ingwerson, Drury University

“Thankful Am I: A Prayer Poem by Sivan Har-Shefi"   

Laura Wiseman, York University

“David and Jonathan or Rabbi Yohanan and Resh Lakish? Making a Jewish Queer Literary Canon”

Shlomo Gleibman, York University

“Afterwar/d : A Poetic Response to the Shoah and Its Legacy”

Jaclyn Piudik, University of Toronto



Holocaust and Nazis


“Confronting the Holocaust. The Polish Government in Exile towards Jews 1939–1945”

Piotr Długołęcki, Polish Institute of International Affairs

“Preaching on Zion in Hungary on the eve of WWII: Rabbi Fulop Fischer's 1937 sermon anthology Towards Zion”

Armin Langer, University of Florida

“Argentina, Peron, and the Nazis”

Benjamin Portugal, University of Texas at Dallas




Welcome by Mara Cohen Ioannides, pres.

Welcome by York University Rep. is Professor Kalman Weiser, Director, Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre of Jewish Studies, York University


Dr. Rachel Harris,

Elaine and Herbert Gimelstob Eminent Chair

and Director of Jewish Studies,

Professor of Cinema and Multimedia Studies,

Florida Atlantic University

“How the IDF Created the Israeli Film Industry:

A 1950s Focus on the History of Israeli Cinema”

developed as a

Fulbright Heyes Media School Scholar

in the Tisch School for Film, Media, and History



Monday October 30


Jews in the Arts

Chair: Laura Wiseman, York University

“Reviving a Jewish Theatrical Education: Rediscovering the Works of Samuel J. Citron”

Jacob Hellman, University of Wisconsin

“The Arbel Chorale: The ‘Glee Club’ Years”

Stephen Michael Cohen, Independent Scholar

“The Absence and Rare Presence of Women Rabbis in American Feature Films”

Lawrence Baron, San Diego State University



Traditional Jewish Texts in Conversation with Non-Jewish Ideas

Chair: Martin Lockshin, York University

“Almohad-Era Jewish Jurisprudence: Moses Maimonides and Joseph Ibn ʿAqnīn”

Marc Herman, York University

 “Jewish and Non-Jewish Biblical Scholarship in Conflict and Confluence as Reflected in Modern Critiques of Isaac Abarbanel’s Portrait of Jeremiah “

Eric Lawee, Bar Ilan University

“Rashbam’s Commentary on Genesis 18 in Light of Christian Bible Exegesis”

Martin Lockshin, York University





“Son of Mad Men Speaks: Biographical/Autobiographical Reflections on Jews in Advertising”

Alan Levenson, University of Oklahoma

“Young Adult Jewish Graphic Memoirs”

Mara W. Cohen Ioannides, Midwest Jewish Studies Association

“An Intentional Representation of Bios”

Nadine Sheinberg, York University


Lunch 1:00pm-2:00pm


Docent tour of the Holocaust Museum

Registration required


“Space and Place in Southern Jewish History”

48th Annual Conference, Southern Jewish Historical Society

Rice University

October 20-22, 2023

Houston, TX

The Southern Jewish Historical Society will convene in Houston, Texas on the campus of Rice University for its 48th annual conference on October 20-22, 2023. Known as the “Bayou City,” “Energy City,” “Clutch City,” and “Space City,” Houston’s many names reflect its diverse and rich history. The city’s multifaceted identity reflects its position as a crossroad between the American South and the American West, and between the Mexican and Latin American North and the United States.

As we gather just around the corner from the NASA Johnson Space Center, this year’s conference theme is “Space and Place in Southern Jewish History.” We seek to understand how physical spaces — neighborhoods, borders, boundaries, and the built environment – have shaped Southern Jewish history, and we also aspire to make space in the field for underrepresented narratives, such as the experiences of Jews of Latinx, Black, Sephardi, and Mizrahi descent, exploring how they have made a place for themselves in the American South.

Centering the notion of “space and place” in various ways, paper and panel submissions are encouraged to explore Southern Jewish history through the lens of social, cultural, environmental, transnational, and legal frameworks. How has the idea of “space” — whether homeland, border, diaspora, neighborhood, or building – informed and transformed Southern Jewish identity? How can mapping software and other digital humanities tools help us to understand the Southern Jewish experience in new ways? How have Southern Jews found their place in a region defined by racial, political, sexual, and other boundaries? Finally, how does making space for Southern Jews who identify as Latinx, Black, Sephardi, or Mizrahi Jews, as well as those who come from Crypto-Jewish backgrounds, modify and enrich our understanding of Southern Jewish identity?


Please address any questions to conference co-chairs Joshua Furman and Mark Goldberg at


Dr. Joshua Furman

Associate Director, Program in Jewish Studies
Curator, Joan and Stanford Alexander South Texas Jewish Archives

Rice University
Rayzor 120

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