Conference on Zion and the Diaspora: Past, Present and Future

On June 27th, 2019 The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies is pleased to be hosting a day-long conference on Zion and the Diaspora. Renowned scholars will share their work exploring vital issues in  Zion-Diaspora Studies ranging from History and Literature to Gender Studies and Jewish Thought. 

The conference is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

The complete program is below. The sessions (except one) will be in Hebrew.

For further information, please call us at 074-7800601 or email

9:00 – 9:30 Refreshments and Greetings:
Prof. Doron Bar, President of Schechter Institute
Prof. Yossi Turner, Schechter Institute

9:30-11:10 Session 1: Zion and Diaspora in the Bible and Second Temple Literature: 

Chair: Prof. Gershon Greenberg, American University
Dr. David Frankel, Schechter Institute: The Priestly Story of the Tribal Altar on the Other Side of the Jordan River (Joshua 22: 9 — 34)
Prof. Eliezer Schweid, Hebrew University: The Land of Israel and the Lands of the Diaspora in the Bible
Prof.  Dalit Rom-Shiloni, Tel Aviv University: Between Jerusalem and Babylon: Internal Polemics of Identity by the Early Sixth Century BCE
Dr. Noah Hacham, Hebrew University:Jerusalem and Diaspora in 3 Maccabees

11:30-13:10 Session 2: Zion and Diaspora in Talmudic and Medieval Periods 

Chair: Dr. Ynon Wygoda, Hebrew University
Prof. Moshe Benovitz, Schechter Institute: Shushan and Caesarea, or What is Redemption? Two Models of Salvation in BT Megillah Chapter I
Dr. Noa Yuval-Hacham, Schechter Institute: Decorative Trends in Ancient Synagogues: Between the Land of Israel and the Diaspora
Prof. Zev Harvey, Hebrew University: Zion and the Diaspora in the Thought of R. Nissim of Gerona
Dr. Biti Roi, Schechter Institute and Shalom Hartmann Institute:The Dispute between the Babylonians and  the Israelis in the Zoharic Literature: The Measure of Suffering and Empathy

Lunch: 13:10-14:00

14:00-15:40 Session 3: Zion and Diaspora in Modern Jewish History and Thought

Chair: Dr. Tami Salmon Mack, Schechter Institute and David Yellin College
Prof. Yehoyada Amir, Hebrew Union College: “Babylon and Jerusalem” in Modern Jewish Thought
Prof. Shmuel Feiner, Bar-Ilan University: Zion and Diaspora in the Cultural Wars of the Jewish World at the End of the 19th Century
Prof. Ofer Shiff, Ben-Gurion University: Yishuv Perspectives on the Diaspora in the pre-Holocaust era of the 1930s
Prof. Bat-Sheva Margalit Stern, Schechter Institute: Women’s Networks in the Land of Israel and in the Diaspora in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

16:00 – 17:40 Session 4: Zion and Diaspora from Religious, Cultural and Educational Perspectives

Chairperson: Prof. Jonathan Cohen, Hebrew University
Dr. Ari Ackerman, Schechter Institute: The Diasporic Zionism of Mordecai Kaplan
Dr. Einat Ramon, Schechter Institute: Cultural Zionism as a Substitute for Religious Reform: An Investigation into the Views of Ahad Ha’am, A.D. Gordon and Berl Katznelson
Prof. Shaul Magid, Dartmouth College: Is Israel Good for Diaspora Jewry?
Prof. Gil Troy, McGill University: Identity Zionism as the Bridge to Unite Israel and Diaspora Jewry

Dinner Break: 17:40-18:30

18:30-20:15 Session 5: Whither the Jewish People? Philosophical and Historical Perspectives

Chairperson: Prof. Rabbi Dalia Marx, Hebrew Union College
Prof. Avinoam Rosenak, Hebrew University and Van Leer Institute: Inter-Marriage: Theological, Philosophical and Educational Implications on Jewish Identity in the 21st Century
Prof. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Ben-Gurion University: The Zionism of the Diaspora and the Zionism of Israel (Or: On the Question of the Nature of the Link to the Land of Israel)
Prof. Yossi Turner, Schechter Institute: Whither the Jewish People: The Aspired Contribution of the Jewish Nation in Zion and the Diaspora to the Destiny of Humanity

Please register, limited number of seats
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