In Memory of Samuel Klausner

We are very saddened to report the passing of Professor Samuel Klausner, a founding member of Penn's Jewish Studies Program, a long-time participant in Katz Center activities who remained actively engaged in the Center until just before the onset of the pandemic and who, together with his spouse Professor Roberta Sands, created a fellowship that supported several scholars during the Katz Center fellowship year devoted to Jewish life in modern Islamic contexts.  Professor Klausner was an exemplary social-scientist, and through his questions during the Center

Carol Zemel z”l

Dr. Carol Zemel passed away peacefully, in her 80th year, at Elizabeth Bruyere Hospital in Ottawa.

Dr. Zemel is the daughter of Joseph W. Moscovitch and Beatrice (nee Rebecca) Greenblatt, both previously deceased.

She is survived by her brother Jack Grant, her sister-in-law Suzanne Wicks Grant, and her niece Rebecca Alexandra Grant.

Dr. Zemel was born in Montreal, and lived variously in New York City, Philadelphia, Buffalo and Toronto.

Spectacular New Acquisition: A Pair of 18th Century American Jewish Portrait Paintings

Thanks to the extraordinary generosity and vision of Arnold and Deanne Kaplan, the Penn Libraries have acquired a pair of 18th-century oil portraits of Moses Michael Hays, arguably the most prominent Jewish merchant of the time, and his wife Rachel Myers Hays, the daughter of the outstanding colonial Jewish silversmith (Myer Myers). These paintings are attributed to Gilbert Stuart, renowned for his unfinished painting of George Washington, which appears on the one dollar bill!

In Memory of Howard Reiter

Just before the Jewish New Year, the Katz Center community suffered a deeply upsetting loss with the sudden passing of one of its board members, Howard Reiter. The Katz Center wishes to convey its deepest condolences to Howard’s wife Jody, their four children, and the many family members and friends left heart-broken by his passing.

The Katz Center announces the 2021–2022 fellows, on the theme Rethinking Premodern Jewish Legal Cultures

It is with tremendous excitement that we announce the incoming fellows for the 2021–2022 academic year, focusing on the theme of Rethinking Premodern Jewish Legal Cultures. These scholars bring expertise in law, drawing on a range of methodologies and evidence bases, and covering space and time from ancient Mesopotamia though medieval Sefarad and early modern Germany. Chosen from a particularly competitive pool of applicants, the incoming fellows hail from Israel, Western Europe, Brazil, Canada, and the US.

Penn Judaica Selected New Acquisitions

In the spirit of these difficult times, we would like to highlight two special acquisitions that reflect the possibility of overcoming trauma and rebuilding lives. Thanks to the Mark S. Zucker Judaica Endowment, established by Katz Center board member Mark Zucker, we acquired the first edition of Viktor Frankl’s Trotzdem Ja Zum Leben Sagen [“Say yes to Life”] (Vienna: Franz Deuticke Verlag, 1946).

The Ilan Stavans Collection of Jewish Latin American History, Culture, and Literature

We are delighted to announce that Ilan Stavans, of Amherst College, the internationally known scholar, writer, editor, translator, playwright, cultural critic, publisher, teacher, lexicographer, columnist, journalist, travel writer, biographer, actor, TV and radio host, has donated to the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, the Ilan Stavans Collection of Jewish Latin American History, Culture, and Literature.