Jewish Life and Open Expression on Campus

For the Public
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM EDT

Zoom Link to be provided
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Dajana Denes Walters
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The year 2020 has been a transformative one for American society, but what is it becoming?

Even as the country struggles with a pandemic and massive unemployment, many Americans have at the same time been newly awakened to racial injustice and economic inequality. Much of the change now underway has been tragic; some of it is hopeful; and the combination may yet produce a very different America.

The aim of this online series is to draw on the insights of scholarship to explore the implications of all these changes for American Jews—their role in the changes underway, and/or the stake they have in them as a community. Through presentations by experts from the fields of Jewish Studies, Religious Studies and Political Theory, the series will address the implications for Jews of the #Metoo movement, the continuing struggle against racism, the prospects for freedom of speech, the fight against economic injustice, and the future of America's relationship with Israel.

No one can be certain about what the future brings, but in certain ways, the future is already here. The aim of this series is to encourage reflection about the America to come, and what Jews can do to help shape it.

This talk will focus on the relationship between open expression and inclusion, especially on college campuses. Dr. Sigal Ben-Porath will illustrate some of the current tensions between speech and inclusion through the debate surrounding the BDS movement, and relate this to democratic concerns that American Jews, and Israeli citizens, are facing today.  


Sigal Ben-Porath

Sigal Ben-Porath

Sigal Ben-Porath is professor of Education, with secondary appointments in Philosophy and Political Science, at the University of Pennsylvania. Her areas of research include democratic theory, education policy at the K-12 and higher education levels, and educational ethics.

Ben-Porath received her PhD in political philosophy from Tel-Aviv University. She recently published the books Free Speech on Campus (Penn Press, 2017) as well as Making Up Our Mind (with Michael Johanek, University of Chicago Press, 2019). 


Presented in partnership with the National Museum of American Jewish History.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Klatt Family and the Harry Stern Family Foundation.