Teaching and Presentations

Courses taught at the university level

My classes are designed with an interdisciplinary focus, utilizing methodologies from the fields of comparative literature, Jewish Studies, and cultural studies. My overarching goal is to help students scrutinize primary sources, think critically about the roots and impact of a text, and then develop their own sophisticated interpretations. Through carefully-planned writing assignments, I am able to share my passion for the research process and help students improve their writing skills. I have designed and taught university-level classes such as:

  • Modern Jewish Thought: Language and Jewish Identity
  • Autobiography in Israeli Culture
  • Introduction to Modern Hebrew Language
  • Introduction to Jewish Studies: History and Methodologies (graduate seminar series)

Courses taught in the community

A firm believer in the value of public scholarship, I have facilitated Jewish cultural programs, lectured, and taught classes at institutions around the country. Venues include the JCC in Manhattan, Alma New York, Kehilat Hadar, Nextbook, the National Yiddish Book Center, Seattle’s Congregation Beth Shalom and Temple Beth Am, the Kavana Cooperative, and the Seattle Jewish Film Festival. Here are some samples of my community classes and presentations:

  • “Sitting Under Devorah’s Palm Tree in the 21st Century: The Women’s March in Jewish Historical Perspective.” Dvar Torah at Congregation Beth Shalom, Seattle. January 2017.
  • “Wishing a ‘Happy New Year’ with Yiddish Postcards.” Interview on The Shmooze Podcast at the Yiddish Book Center. October 2016.
  • “Midrashic Poems about Ruth: Itzik Manger and Marge Piercy.” Shavuot Program at Congregation Beth Shalom, Seattle. June 2016.
  • “The History of Yiddish from the Shtetl to Cyberspace.” Adult education course at Congregation Beth Shalom, Seattle. May 2014.
  • “Keynote Address: A Meditation on Mame-Loshn, Manger, and Me.” Shabbat Honoring Yiddish, Temple Beth Am, Seattle. July 2013.
  • “Remembering (in) the Mother Tongue: The Role of Yiddish in Israeli Autobiographical Expressions.” Hort Memorial Lecture, YIVO Institute, New York. May 2010.
  • “Israel and Jewish Peoplehood: Facing the Difficult Questions.” Jewish Identity Workshop Series at the Kavana Cooperative, Seattle. Co-instructor with Noam Pianko. October-November 2009.
  • “Keynote Address: Writing Israeli Selfhood: Reflections on Modern Hebrew Autobiography on the Occasion of Israel’s 60th Birthday.” “Israel at 60” Colloquium, Jewish Studies Program at Portland State University, June 2008.
  • “Hebrew Short Stories: Yehuda Amichai’s ‘The Times My Father Died.’” Alma New York Class at the JCC of Manhattan, New York. March 2007.
  • “The Poet as Creator: Sacred and Secular Themes in Modern Hebrew Poetry.” Kehilat Hadar Bet Midrash Class Series, New York. November 2006.
  • “Babel/Babble/Bible: Genesis 11:1-9 and the Problematics of Sacred Language.” Alma New York Lishma Day of Jewish Learning with NYU Bronfman Center and Storahtelling, New York. November 2006.

I am available on a limited basis as a scholar-in-residence (virtually for now) teaching these and other topics. I am happy to work with a community to customize a series of classes. I also offer consultation services for Jewish book clubs. If you’re interested in finding out more, please contact me using the contact form.