Joyce Antler, the Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Culture at Brandeis University, will highlight how Jewish women have shaped American comedy in unique ways—from vaudeville and burlesque, to radio, TV, films and stand-up comedy. Antler will take us on a journey from Sophie Tucker, Gertrude Berg and Molly Picon, of the immigrant generation; to Elaine May, Joan Rivers and Gilda Radner, of the "Second City" generation; through contemporary comics such as Sarah Silverman, Judy Gold, Jackie Hoffman and Amy Schumer. With montage of video clips from the Jewish Women's Archive, the presentation examines why the female Jewish comic tradition has been so powerful—and subversive.
Keshet will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its breakout film “Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School” at a reception and panel discussion on Thursday, Dec. 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Hebrew College in Newton Centre. The one-hour documentary, which had its world premiere Nov. 17, 2005, at the Boston Jewish Film Festival, chronicles the story of a ninth-grade student’s fight to establish a gay-straight alliance at the New Jewish High School of Greater Boston, since renamed Gann Academy. Hebrew College President, Rabbi Daniel Lehmann, and Susie Tanchel, head of school at JCDS: Boston’s Jewish Community Day School will be among the panelists. The event is sponsored by Keshet, Gann Academy, Hebrew College and the Jewish Community Day School of Boston.
Michael Fishbane, the Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago, will discuss his recently published JPS Commentary on "Shir Ha-Shirim" ("The Song of Songs"). He will consider the role and responsibility of the Bible commentator over the centuries, with special emphasis on the challenges of our time. He will share his vision of "The Song of Songs" as a multilayered work. In this context, he will invite the audience to consider this ancient love song as an ongoing series of instructions addressed to the religious community and spiritual seekers over the millennia. This event is co-hosted by the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University.