In Fall 2014, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies partnered with Yeshiva College and the YU Museum in hosting  “Modeling the Flood Story: Midrash and Movie,” an interdisciplinary symposium examining the biblical flood account and how the story has been read, interpreted, reconstructed – and modeled – through Midrash, medieval and modern texts, art, and film, with a particular focus on the 2014 Hollywood film Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky.

Presentations were made by Dr. Irving Finkel (British Museum), Dr. Devora Steinmetz (Drisha Institute), Dr. Jeffrey Rubenstein (New York University), Dr. Eric Goldman (Yeshiva University). They were then joined by Rabbi Hayyim Angel (Yeshiva University) for a panel discussion of “Noah as Midrash and Art.”

We posted a review of this two-part event back in December, and now we present a video featuring highlights from the various presentations (runs 25 minutes; video, courtesy of the YU Museum):


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Join us for a discussion with Professors Joshua Karlip and Jess Olson introduced and moderated by Dr. Kenneth Moss, Associate Professor and Felix Posen Chair of Modern Jewish History at Johns Hopkins University.

Date and Time: Thursday, April 30, 2015, 7:30 P.M.
Location: Belfer Hall, Room 218, 2495 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10033.

Register at

The Jewish communities of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Eastern Europe featured a dazzling and provocative array of ideological, religious and political movements: Zionism, Diaspora nationalism, Yiddishism, Orthodoxy, socialism, and more. Moreover, many individuals moved fluidly—or painstakingly—between different ideological commitments over the course of their lives.

Come hear Professors Joshua Karlip (author of Tragedy of a Generation: The Rise and Fall of Diaspora Nationalism in Eastern Europe) and Jess Olson (author of Nathan Birnbaum and Jewish Modernity: Architect of Zionism, Yiddishism, and Orthodoxy) discuss their books and the complexities of the modern European Jewish experience—complexities which still reverberate today—with Professor Kenneth Moss of Johns Hopkins University.

This event is sponsored by the Esther Manischewitz Community Education Fund. Sponsorships are available to help support other special Revel events. Please contact Dean David Berger at or Paul Glasser at or 212.960.0852.

Sponsored parking is available in the YU lot (E) on Amsterdam Avenue and West 183rd Street.


The fifth annual Revel Shabbaton, which took place on March 13-14, 2015, parashat Vayaqhel-Pequdei/Parah in Washington Heights, surpassed all previous Revel shabbatonim. Thanks to the assiduous work of Revel alumni Mayer Juni (BRG 2014), Aliza Storchan (BRG 2014), and Yaelle Frohlich (BRG 2012), who planned, publicized, and organized the event, over 50 people signed up and participated in the programming — joined by dozens of others from the YU and Mount Sinai communities.

Friday night services were in the beautifully renovated Shenk community shul, where Rabbi Uri Orlian welcomed BRGS. This was followed by a communal meal attended by over 50 current and prospective Revel students and alumni, who enjoyed a scrumptious meal catered by Carlos and Gabby’s.  The meal stimulated lively social interaction, zemirot, and a riveting talk by Prof. Daniel Rynhold, who illuminated the debate between Judah ha-Levi and Maimonides regarding the nature of ritual impurity (tum’ah) based on concepts from contemporary philosophy. A number of people noted how wonderfully clear Prof. Rynhold made the abstract philosophical concepts, bringing them into their everyday lives as committed Jews.

An oneg program followed, with 5 breakout sessions featuring text-discussions by Revel students. Ezra Brand analyzed a Zoharic passage regarding tefillin; Chumie Juni contrasted the conceptions of God presented by Maimonides and Levinas; Chaya Sima Koenigsberg offered a close reading of the elegy of R. Eleazar of Worms for his wife; Jason Strauss discussed a seeming talmudic ambivalence about marital bliss; and Akiva Weisinger observed a post-modern tendency in the thought of R. Yaakov Kamenetsky. Hudy Rosenberg, a student at SCW, remarked: “I found it exciting to be part of a community that values academic Torah scholarship and inquiry, so well exemplified by the serious text-based learning led by Revel students, which made it clear that high-level scholarship is attainable to those who invest the effort.”

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Beanah GreenbergWhen Revel MA student Mrs. Beanah Greenberg learned that she would receive the Shevach ve-Hodaah Teacher’s Award at Shevach High School’s annual dinner, she knew who she had to thank. “I really feel that the award in great part belongs to you and wanted you to share in my achievements,”she wrote in a letter to her Revel professors. “As a result of the scholarship gained and the methodology that I learned at BRGS, my skills as a teacher of Tanakh on a High School level were immeasurably enhanced.”

Read the complete letter here.

Congratulations, Beanah!


The Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and Yeshiva University Museum, in partnership with Rutgers University Press and the American Jewish Historical Society invite you to a nationally-televised conversation with Rabbi Mark Golub and Professor Jeffrey S. Gurock:

“What If” in American Jewish History and Contemporary Jewish Life

Join the audience as Professor Gurock and Rabbi Golub explore many reasonable historical alternatives grounded in what is actually known about the tumultuous, catastrophic and climatic 30 years that bridge the beginnings of the Holocaust, the rise of the State of Israel and Israel’s triumph 
in the Six Day War, and what this novel approach to history tells about the real world that Jews live in today.

Gurock-Final Cover(1)Shown live on the Jewish Broadcast Service (JBS), this event will launch Professor Gurock’s latest book,
The Holocaust Averted: An Alternate History of American Jewry, 1938–1967 (Rutgers University Press).

Monday, March 30, 2015.

Forchheimer Auditorium
Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011

Doors open at 7:00pm.
Live broadcast begins at 7:30pm.
Book signing and refreshments to follow.

Admission is free of charge, however reservations are required at

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