During the 2022–23 fellowship year, the Katz Center turned its attention to the study of law between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries, an age of transition from a world of empires to the modern age of the nation-state and international law.
In March of 2023, the Katz Center was honored to inaugurate a new series in memory of Katz Center Board of Advisors member Howard Jay Reiter.
Steven Weitzman (SW): Can you tell us about your research on ultra-Orthodox Judaism and philosophy?
Steven Weitzman (SW): Elisabeth, thank you for contributing so much to our fellowship program this last semester. You came to the Katz Center to do research on something that you refer to as the “New York Black Book of 1946.” Can you tell us a bit about what this text is and what led you to investigate it?
Current fellow Sarah Zager is an award-winning teacher known for clarity and accessibility in taking up complex and thorny issues, a recent PhD from Yale, and at work on a book exploring how Jewish philosophy can contribute to today’s debates about virtue ethics.
As she is gearing up to teach an online course on gender and Jewish philosophy for us, we asked her a few questions about the subject and her approach to it.
Steve Weitzman (SW): Emmanuel, it has been great to have you as a fellow. Your research has opened my eyes to how halakhah, Jewish law, is developing is the twenty-first century. First of all, is "Jewish law" the right translation for halakhah? How would you explain what halakhah is for those who do not study it?
The major New York Times article from Sunday, September 11 on Hasidic education in New York has elicited a huge outpouring of responses on social media from many different quarters—critics of the school system, supporters, and, quite noticeably, many within the Hasidic community itself. It is hard to recall a story in which the Haredi community in the United States has been the focus of such wide national visibility and scrutiny.
The Katz Center is thrilled to announce the cohort for the 2022–23 academic year, engaging the theme of Jews and Modern Legal Culture. The fellows will join us from Israel, France, Germany, Canada, and the United States, and represent a range of methodological, disciplinary, and historical specializations.