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Faculty and Student News

On March 5, 2020 Dragan Kujundžić will screen his new film “Sergei Shnurov and his Group Leningrad: A Window into Russian Rock Music,” at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies.

In 2016, Sergei Shnurov and his group Leningrad released two now-famous video clips, “Exponat” and “V Pitere pit’”, which were viewed almost 200 million times in 2016. This occasioned an opportunity for Professor Kujundžić to meet with Sergei Shnurov in St. Petersburg in December of 2016. Kujundžić and Shnurov talked about the literary tradition of St. Petersburg, as well as its art and history, as they inform the poetry and music of the rock group Leningrad. Kujundžić is a Professor of Jewish, Germanic and Slavic Studies as well as Film and Media Studies, European Studies, and Religion at the University of Florida. He is the author of numerous articles and books on critical theory, deconstruction and literary criticism, published in fifteen countries and translated in eight languages.Dragan Kujundžić is currently concluding a book Cinetaph: Spectral Genealogy of Cinematic Image, and filming Play It Again: Sam Weber.

Gayle Zachmann has been awarded a Florence Gould Foundation grant to continue her annual Paris research workshop — “Cultural Production in Nineteenth-Century France” — at the Université Paris-Diderot, Paris 7.

The workshop will take place June 2020.

Ken Wald’s newest book The Foundations of American Jewish Liberalism (Cambridge University Press)  has won the 2019 National Jewish Book Award in the category of American Jewish Studies.

The Museum of Tolerance invites you and a guest to a special preview of Cojot, a film by Boaz Dvir

Public Announcement of Search Steering Committee Meeting
Position: Israel Studies
Department: Jewish Studies
Meeting Location: Jewish Studies Conference Room, 201B Walker Hall
Date/Time: October 7, 2019 at 3pm
Contact info: Dr. Gayle Zachmann,

Job Description Position in Israel Studies

The Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Florida invites applicants for a tenure accruing faculty position at the assistant or associate professor level in the field of Israel Studies to begin August 16, 2020. The position is open to Israel specialists in any discipline in the social sciences and the humanities. Ph.D. required by start date. A successful candidate must have an active research agenda; teaching must integrate the study of Israel into the needs of the Center and the relevant departmental tenure home; service requirements include a commitment to developing the Jewish Studies major and related certificate programs. The successful candidate will also help promote Israel studies within the community and further develop the Center’s links with Israel.

The University of Florida is ranked among the top ten public universities in the US. The University has excellent research facilities, and the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica is considered one of the top Judaica research collections in the US. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is currently undergoing a significant expansion of faculty. All new hires are expected to enhance the national visibility of the academic units in which they are housed.

The Center is committed to creating an environment that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. The university and greater Gainesville communities enjoy a diversity of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activity, and social opportunities.

For full consideration, applications must be submitted through Careers at UF at and must include: a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a statement about ongoing research and teaching directions, a writing sample, and three confidential letters of recommendation. The review of applicants begins on September 20, 2019, for an August 16, 2020 appointment, and the position will remain open until filled.

All candidates for employment are subject to a pre-employment screening which includes a review of criminal records, reference checks, and verification of education.

The selected candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an educational institution outside of the United States require evaluation by a professional credentialing service provider approved by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), which can be found at

The University of Florida is an equal opportunity institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The selection process will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Florida’s Government in the Sunshine and Public Records Laws. If an accommodation due to disability is needed to apply for this position, please call (352) 392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at (800) 955-8771 (TDD).

Advertised Salary: The salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience, and includes a full benefits package.

Minimum Requirements: A Ph.D. is required

For College Students Today, Anti-Semitism Is Not Old News
by Rachel Gordan

Oren Okhovat, PhD candidate in the Department of History, won a Fulbright Fellowship to Spain. He will spend the 2019-2020 academic year in Seville conducting research in notarial records for his dissertation, “The Portuguese Jews and the Spanish Atlantic: Constructed Communities and Cultural Crossroads in the Seventeenth Century.”

Robert Kawashima has been appointed to an editorial committee, organized by the Society of Biblical Literature, under the auspices of the National Council of Churches, charged with updating the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, the most widely used translation of the Bible in the English-speaking academic world.

Rachel Gordan had a Shvidler post-doctoral fellowship from Fordham University’s Department of Jewish Studies and the New York Public Library in summer 2019. She presented at Columbia University’s conference “Antisemitism in the Americas” in May 2019, and at the “Jews in the Americas” symposium at the University of British Columbia in July 2019. Gordan participated in the American Academy of Jewish Research Early Career in May 2019, and will participate in an American Jewish Studies Working Group at Lehigh University this September, 2019

Mitchell Hart and Nina Caputo published the edited volume On the Word of a Jew: Religion, Reliability, and the Dynamics of Trust with Indiana University Press in 2019. The essays examine how and when Jews were recognized as reliable and trustworthy in the areas of jurisprudence, medicine, politics, academia, culture, business, and finance. The authors reveal how caricatures of Jews moved through religious, political, and legal systems. While the volume is framed as an exploration of Jewish and Christian relations, it grapples with perceptions of Jews and Jewishness from the biblical period to today, from the Middle East to North America, and in Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions. Taken together these essays reflect on the mechanics of trust, and sometimes mistrust, in everyday interactions involving Jews.

Alice Freifeld is completing her book manuscript on displaced Hungarian Jewry at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as the 2019–2020 Judith B. and Burton P. Resnick Invitational Scholar for the Study of Antisemitism.

Tamir Sorek and Danyel Reiche have published the edited collection Sports, Society, and Politics in the Middle East (Oxford University Press, 2019) — This interdisciplinary edited volume discuss the intersection of political and cultural processes related to sport in the region. Eleven chapters trace the historical institutionalization of sport and the role it has played in negotiating ‘Western’ culture. Sport is found to be a contested terrain where struggles are being fought over the inclusion of women, over competing definitions of national identity, over preserving social memory, and over press freedom. Also discussed are the implications of mega-sporting events for host countries, and how both elite sport policies and sports industries in the region are being shaped.

Tamir Sorek  published Is There a Middle Eastern Sport? in the International Journal of Middle East Studies 51 (3) in 2019.

Ken Wald (professor emeritier) published The Foundations of American Jewish Liberalism (Cambridge University Press, 2019).