Lecture: Transformations of the Ketubah
From Contract to Artifact and Beyond
The Jewish wedding contract (ketubah) has a remarkably dynamic history, conceived in turn as a legal contract, a museum artifact, and a domestic artwork. In recent decades its appearance and meaning have been refashioned by a complex interplay between the Jewish home and the Jewish museum. In this talk, Shandler explores this multilayered significance through a look at diverse ketubot, including examples from NMAJH’s own collection.
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Jeffrey Shandler is Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. His research interests include Jewish memory practices, Jewish cultural history, digital humanities in Jewish studies, and Yiddish language, literature, and culture. While at the Katz Center, he will focus on museum practices in Jewish life and particularly the intersections between the Jewish home and Jewish museums.
Shandler received his PhD from Columbia University. He has served as co-editor of the Jewish Cultures of the World series by Rutgers University Press, and has curated exhibitions for The Jewish Museum of New York, the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Shandler served as president of the Association for Jewish Studies and is a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research.
This program is 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.