Fifteen years ago the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara received a gift from the Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Foundation which is enabling us to bring to our campus leading writers, artists, scholars, critics, and activists engaged in work of great distinction related to the Jewish experience.
The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Foundation Endowed Symposia in Jewish Studies were inaugurated with appearances by Art Spiegelman (Fall, 1997), Leah Rabin (Winter, 1998), and Rabbi Michael Lerner (Spring, 1998). Since then our featured guests have included Steven Katz (Fall, 1998), Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg (Spring, 1999), Amos Oz (Fall, 2000), Thomas Friedman (Fall, 1999), Theatre Company Jerusalem (Winter, 2000), The Jerusalem Trio (Fall, 2000), Morris Dees (Fall, 2000), David Shipler (Winter, 2001), Ruth Gruber (Fall, 2001), A.B. Yehoshua (Winter, 2002), Elie Wiesel (Spring, 2002), Tom Segev (Winter 2003), Jacques Derrida (Fall 2003), Moshe Idel (Spring, 2004), Ambassador Dennis Ross (Fall, 2004), Aaron David Miller (Winter, 2005), Jonathan Sarna (Spring 2005), Yossi Klein Halevi (Fall 2005), Bernard-Henri Lévy (Spring, 2006), Rabbi Daniel Gordis (Fall, 2006), Judea and Ruth Pearl (Winter, 2007), Saul Friedlander (Spring, 2007), Michael Oren (Fall 2008), James Carroll (Winter 2008), Nathan Englander (Spring 2008), Allegra Goodman (Spring, 2008), David Grossman (Fall 2008), Rabbi David Saperstein (Winter, 2009), Rabbi Reuven Firestone (Spring, 2009), David Makovsky and Ghaith al-Omari (Fall, 2009), Anita Diamant (Fall, 2009), Ethan Bronner (Winter 2010), Michael Fishbane (Spring 2010), Ian Buruma (Spring 2010), Norman H. Gershman (Spring 2010), Moshe Halbertal and Raghida Dergham (Fall 2011), and Sue Fishkoff (Fall 2011).
In 1998-99, we began screening films such as The Shoah Foundation's Academy Award-winning documentary, The Last Days, which chronicles the experiences of five Holocaust survivors who lived in Hungary, Amir Bar-Lev's Fighter which garnered numerous film festival awards for its portrait of two old friends engaged in an original and unorthodox exploration of the Holocaust, the Emmy Award winning documentary, Promises, which explores the Middle East Conflict through the lives of seven Palestinian and Israeli children from Jerusalem, and Seeds, which offers an intimate and candid glimpse of the incredible experiences of young leaders from four conflict regions who meet at the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Maine. Since then we have regularly previewed documentaries which were just entering the film festival circuit before their commercial release, such as Four Seasons Lodge with an appearance by photographer Rick Nahmias, Constantine’s Sword with an appearance by Boston Globe journalist James Carroll, The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl with an appearance by Judea and Ruth Pearl, God’s House with an appearance by fine art photographer Norman Gershman, and And Crown Thy Good: Varian Fry in Marseille with an appearance by Pierre Sauvage.
The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Foundation Endowed Symposia in Jewish Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a program of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, is cosponsored by UCSB Arts & Lectures, Department of Religious Studies, Congregation B’nai B’rith, Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara Hillel.
- Taubman Symposia in Jewish Studies Online Videos and Podcasts
- Taubman Symposia in Jewish Studies Facebook Page
- Taubman Symposia in Jewish Studies List of Events, 1997-2011
"Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic"
May 30th, 2013
2012 - 2013
"Enemy to Brother: Jews, Catholics, and Vatican II"
May 6th, 2013
David Makovsky (Director, the Project on the Middle East Peace Process, Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
"Israel and Palestine: Achieving a Two-State Solution"
February 27th, 2013
"The Palestinian Minority in Israel: Between Coexistence and Conflict"
February 11th, 2013
"The Future of Judaism"
November 27th, 2012
"Ambassador Martin S. Indyk: The Middle East in Turmoil: What Does It Mean For Israel?"
November 4th, 2012
2011 - 2012
"A Force for Good and for God – Judaism in the 21st Century"
May 20th, 2012
"The Jazz Singer: From the Melting Pot to a Multicultural America"
May 14th, 2012
"Report From Jerusalem"
February 15th, 2012
"Sharing Jerusalem’s Holy Places"
February 6th, 2012
"An Evening with Dara Horn"
January 23rd, 2012
"La Rafle (The Round Up)"
November 16th, 2011
Simon Sebag Montefiore (International Best-Selling Historian, author of Catherine the Great & Potemkin, Stalin, and Young Stalin)
November 3rd, 2011
"Peace Through Prosperity: Jewish-Arab Economic Development in Israel"
October 16th, 2011
2010 - 2011
"The Rebbe and The Resurgence of Orthodox Judaism"
May 8th, 2011
In Commemoration of Yom HaShoah
Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, Emory University
"The Eichmann Trial"
May 1st, 2011
"The Jewish Odyssey: An Illustrated History"
March 30th, 2011
"The Tent, the Field, and the Battlefield: How the Stories of Biblical Matriarchs Mine and Undermine Each Other"
February 6th, 2011
"America and the Holocaust "
January 18th, 2011
"Kosher Nation: Why More and More of America’s Food Answers to a Higher Authority"
November 11th, 2010
"Achieving a Two-State Solution"
October 17th, 2010
Daniel Pearl World Music Days
Russell Steinberg, composer/pianist
Mitchell Newman, LA Philharmonic violinist
"Stories From My Favorite Planet"
October 11th, 2010
2009 - 2010
"The Muslim Scare in Europe: Hysteria or Threat"
May 11th, 2010
"Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews in WWII"
April 11th, 2010
Michael Fishbane, Nathan Cummings Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Chicago Divinity School
"Sacred Attunement: Judaism and the Cultivation of Mindfulness in the Everyday"
March 2nd, 2010
"Covering the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in 2010: A Report from the Ground"
February 8th, 2010
"Judaism as a World Religion in a Global Universe"
December 6th, 2009
"How America Can Bring Arabs and Israelis Together Towards Peace and Coexistence"
October 21st, 2009
2008 - 2009
Rabbi Reuven Firestone Professor of Medieval Jewish and Islamic Studies, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion
"Who Are the Real Chosen People? The Meaning of Chosenness in Judaism, Christianity and Islam"
May 19th, 2009
"Four Seasons Lodge"
April 19th, 2009