Past Events & Exhibitions 2016


Saul Friedlander, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and professor emeritus of history at UCLA, in Conversation with David Myers, Sadie and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA 


Thursday January 12, 7pm 
Hillel at UCLA
Free and open to the public
Join us in conversation with Professor Friedlander who will talk about his newly published memoir, Where Memory Leads: My Life, the sequel to his classic work of Holocaust literature When Memory Comes.
Forty years after his acclaimed, poignant first memoir, Friedländer returns with Where Memory Leads: My Life, bridging the gap between the ordeals of his childhood and his present-day towering reputation in the field of Holocaust studies. After abandoning his youthful conversion to Catholicism, he rediscovers his Jewish roots as a teenager and builds a new life in Israeli politics.

Friedländer’s initial loyalty to Israel turns into a lifelong fascination with Jewish life and history. He struggles to process the ubiquitous effects of European anti-Semitism while searching for a more measured approach to the Zionism that surrounds him. Friedländer goes on to spend his adulthood shuttling between Israel, Europe, and the United States, armed with his talent for language and an expansive intellect. His prestige inevitably throws him up against other intellectual heavyweights. In his early years in Israel, he rubs shoulders with the architects of the fledgling state and brilliant minds such as Gershom Sholem and Carlo Ginzburg, among others.

Most important, this memoir led Friedländer to reflect on the wrenching events that lead him to devote sixteen years of his life to writing his Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939–1945.


This event is presented by the Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller Institute for Jewish Learning and is co-sponsored by: 

The Doretta and Jona Goldrich Family Foundation
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
UCLA History Department
The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
The 1939 Society
Note: Hourly parking is available at UCLA parking lot#2 on the corner of Hilgard and Westholme.




Rabbi Aaron Lerner, Executive Director, 


Hillel at UCLA






Dr. David Meyer & Sady and Ludwig Kahn, 


Professor of Jewish History at UCLA




Key Note Speaker: 


Dr. Kathrin Steinbrenner, 


Deputy Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany.




Piano Concerto performed by James Higgs





Art Opening:

"Seek My Face: The art of Joshua Meyer, 2000-2016" 

Thursday, October 27, 2016
UCLA Hillel


Free and Open to the Public 

Oil painter Joshua Meyer was born in Lubbock, Texas and currently works in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He gained his education at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Israel in 1995 before attending Yale University a year later in 1996.

In an interview with Fine Art Today, Meyer stated: 

"The colors and the painting should be hard to pin down, difficult to contain, so that they intimate energy and life. I try every color combination I can possibly imagine, one atop another. Each color leads to the next, or else it hides the previous color. I don't think color is about accuracy as much as it is about relationships. So every color I put into a picture pushes all of the other colors in new ways. Every mark I make forces the picture to recalibrate itself. This keeps the painting alive -- keeps it rustling and sparkling."

He goes on to say that although very little about his work is explicitly Jewish, to him, every painting he makes is “intentionally Jewish.” He explains this by saying that “very little is explicit, but a lot is implied,” including his sense of self as a creator being built around his understanding of the book of Genesis.


Click here to see Joshua's full interview with Fresh Paint Magazine, and his website featuring his latest exhibits at the Matter & Light gallery in Boston and the Scope Art Show at Miami Beach. Boston Globe Art Critic Cate McQuaid wrote that Meyer's Matter & Light debut "bristles with a push-pull energy." 

On view in the Spiegel and Dortort Galleries (3rd Floor) from now to December 9th 


 Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_12.34.25_PM.png"The German Roots of Zionism": An Educational Exhibition 

Thursday, October 27, 2016
7:00-9:00 PM
UCLA Hillel

Free and Open to the Public 

The dream of refuge from antisemitism, freedom from the arbitarary dictates of despots, and a place for Jewish religion and culture to flourish gained in popularity in the late 19th centruy. Yet, some of the most potent and enduring expressions of the Zionist vision emanated from assimilated Jews in cities like Vienna and Berlin, where Jews enjoyed unprecedented rights and prosperity in this period. The organizational and financial capacity of the early Zionist movement was rooted in German lands, and German was the lingua franca for a global conversation about the future of the Jewish people. 

Diverse and contested dreams of a Jewish homeland too shape in German-speaking Jewish communities across Central Europe, whose allegiance to Kaiser and fatherland was often as strong as their attachment to Judaism. 

World War I transformed the political landscape of Europe and the course of the Zionist movement. The new political constellation, the end of the Ottoman Empire and the Balflour Declaration of 1917, brought an end to the dominent role of German speaking Zionist leaders. The leadership shifted mainly to East European leaders such as Chaim Weizmann, a British citizen of Russian origin. In the following decades, the rise of the Nazi party encouraged many to consider emigration to Palestine, an option that was previously highly unappealing for most German Jews, and Zionism took on a new importance for Central European Jewry. 

This exhibit was organized by the Leo Baeck Institute and has been made possible by the support of the German Information Center USA. 

Co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of Germanic Languages, German Consulate General in Los Angeles, the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, Hillel at UCLA, the UCLA Center for Israel Studies, and the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Chair in Jewish History at UCLA. 


On view in the Gindi Gallery (2nd Floor) from now to December 9th 


Saturday, August 6, 2016 
8:00 PM (97 minutes without intermission)
the Fowler Museum at UCLA

Free and Open to the Public

Join us in the Amphitheater at the Fowler Museum for Exagoge, the first extant Jewish play, written in the style of a Greek tragedy by Ezekiel the Poet in the second century BCE. Theatre Dybbuk has used the existing 269 lines of the original play and added to it, building a work rich in movement, music, and poetry. Infused with the experiences of later refugees and the disenfranchised, dating from the 17th century to the present, the play highlights the shared struggles of ancient and modern peoples. Featuring the Harmony Project Leimert Park Choir.



Presented by the Theatre Dybbuk Company (founder Aaron Henne) in collaboration with the Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts and the Fowler Museum at UCLA. The mission of the theatre dybbuk is to illuminate the universal human experience by creating provocative theatrical presentations and innovative educational opportunities based on Jewish folklore, rituals, and history.



dybbuk-3-2.jpgdybbuk-2-2.jpg dybbuk-4-2.jpg


(photos of the world premiere of "Exagoge" at Temple Israel of Hollywood on June 18th, 2016. All photos by Taso Papdakis.)



Student Photo Contest

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
5:00-7:00 PM
Hillel at UCLA

Every year, we invite student photographers of all skill levels to enter our photo contest. A theme is selected and photographers are encouraged to submit the image they feel best represents this theme. This year the theme is different and all submissions are due to UCLA Hillel by Friday May 27th. The photographs must be 8x10 and printed on photo paper. Please also make sure to add your name and contact information to the back of your printed photographs. Multiple submissions are acceptable and we look forward to receiving your work. 




Generously funded by the Pamela and Randol Schoenberg Family Foundation. 




Art Opening: "Cultural Journeys" 

Exhibits running through May 6, 2016
Hillel at UCLA 

Free and Open to the public 

UCLA art student Rachel Berkowitz opened her art shows in the Gindi Gallery. 

Israeli fillmmaker and photographer Eyal Resh and UCLA art student Rachel Berkowitz will open their individual art shows in the Spiegel and Dortort Galleries and Gindi Gallery respectively. 

Eyal is a recent graduate of the prestigious Cal Arts Film School in Valencia, California. His collection "Land of Light" of stunning, colorful photographs of India reflect Eyal's deep fascination and love for that country's people and their ancient customs and rituals.  

Eyal2.jpg  Eyal1.jpg

(Photographs taken by Eyal Resh) 



 Rachel Berkowitz is currently a senior at UCLA's School of the Arts and Architecture. Her award winning collages showcase her unique vision and talent. Among her body of work will be "16 Marriage Certificates" which stems from the ketubah. 


 (Paintings by Rachel Berkowitz)


avivah_gottlieb_zornberg.jpgThe Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller Institute for Jewish Learning Presents:

"Moses Veiled and Unveiled": Lecture by Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg  

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Dinner at 6 PM
Lecture at 7:30 PM
Hillel at UCLA

Dinner 6:00 pm & Lecture 7:30 pm - $40.00
Lecture only - $15.00

Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg is the author of The Beginning Desire: Reflections on Genesis, for which she won the National Jewish Book Award (JPS 1995, paper Schocken 2011), and the Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus (Doubleday 2001, paper Schocken 2011). Her latest book is Bewilderments: Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Hardcover-February 24, 2015).

She was born in London and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where her father was a Rabbi and the head of the Rabbinical Court. She studied with him from childhood; he was her most important teacher of Torah. She holds a BA and PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University. After teaching English literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she turned to teaching Torah. For the past thirty years, she has taught Torah in Jerusalem. Dr. Zornberg holds a Visiting Lectureship at the London School of Jewish Studies. She travels widely, lecturing in Jewish, academic, and psychoanalytic settings.

Co-sponsored by The New Center for Psychoanalysis (NCP) in Los Angeles and the Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller Institute for Jewish Learning. 

This program is made possible through a generous gift by Lisa and Alan Stern in memory of their mother Renee Salovesh.








Kajewski-3.jpgThe Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller Institute for Jewish Learning Presents: 

A Talk by Professor Stanislaw Krajewski followed by a Reception

We've added a musical component! 
Gregorz Fitelberg (1879-1953), To the Wedding (1. Kale-Besetzen, 2. Procession) Dawn Marie Hamilton, clarinet. Neal Brostoff, piano

Monday, May 16, 2016
4:00 PM
Spiegel Gallery (3rd Floor) of Hillel at UCLA

We are proud to welcome Professor Stanislaw Krajewski for his talk called "What Is and What is Not Presented in the Post-World War II Section of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw".

Professor Krajewski will discuss specific assumptions that he views were guiding the work of devising the Post-World-War II section of the exhibition at POLIN, the museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. He says many assumptions were operating for the whole exhibition, and applying them to the post-war period created historical, political, and moral problems.

Stanislaw Krajewski is a Polish Jewish philosopher, writer, and professor at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Warsaw in Poland. He has been involved in research in logic and the philosophy of mathematics as well as in the philosophy of religion and interfaith dialogue. After the fall of Communism in 1989, he became involved in the revival of Jewish life by being amongst the founders of the Polish-Israeli Friendship Society and of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews.

Former member of the board of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, International Council of the Auschwitz Camp Museum and Memorial, he worked on the post-war section of POLIN. 


Co-sponsored by the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, the UCLA Department of History and the Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller Institute for Jewish Learning. 


Yiddish Music Concert


Sunday, April 10, 2016
5:00-7:00 PM
Hillel at UCLA


The Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at UCLA Hillel, in collaboration with the California Institute for Yiddish Culture, is proud to present The City of the Future Yiddish Music Concert. For this concert, internationally renowned musicians will perform in concert the music and lyrics of Shmuel Polonski (1902-1955). Polonski grew up in a traditional Jewish environment as the son of a klezmer violinist father and a mother who knew and sang a treasury of folk songs. His catalogue of works includes numerous compositions, both instrumental and vocal, based on Jewish themes, and on the folk cultures of Belarus and surrounds. He composed, led choruses and other ensembles, and enlisted the collaboration of major poets.


Acclaimed composer and musician, Yale Strom has arranged Polonski’s music and lyrics for four internationally-renowned Yiddish singers: Michael Alpert (Scotland), Judy Bressler (Boston), Anthony Russel (Oakland), and Elizabeth Schwartz (San Diego). They are joined by superb Jewish music instrumentalists from around the country. All of these performers rarely, if ever, perform together on the same stage and are teaming up for this World Premier Concert in LA.



Generously underwritten by the Doretta and Jona Goldrich Family Foundation.


 This program is co-sponsored by the So. California Workmen's Circle/Sholem Community, the UCLA Dept. of Germanic Languages, the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies at UCLA, the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music at UCLA, and the Jewish Music Commission in Los Angeles.



A Talk by Professor Paul Von Blum

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 
6:00-8:00 PM
The Gindi Gallery (2nd Floor) of Hillel at UCLA

Paul Von Blum, a professor who teaches the 'History of Art as Social and Political Commentary' course at UCLA, will be joining with one of his students Shoshana Hammer to present the works by Jewish artist Silvia Wagensberg. As his course shows how visual artworks are vehicles for communicating social and political ideas, Professor Von Blum will talk about the importance of Silvia Wagensberg's paintings which portray survivors of the Holocaust.  

Artist Silvia Wagensberg was born and raised in Barcelona where she studied art and developed her interest in human communication and perception. In her studio in Venice, California, she continues to explore pictorial language in paintings through forms and symbols of the written word.

Much of her art is infused with a Jewish thematic such as portraits of Holocaust survivors, Yiddish-speaking activists, and embeddings of a Yiddish word or phrase. 


(Painting by Silvia Wagensberg)

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