The XIXth International Conference on Jewish Studies, January 29-31, 2012
The XIXth International Conference on Jewish Studies took place on 29-31 of January, 2011 at Izmailovo-Beta hotel in Moscow. The Conference was organized by Sefer Centre with the financial assistance of American Jewish Distribution Committee “Joint”, Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Russian Jewish Congress, Genesis Philanthropy Group. Information support was provided by Booknik.ru, Jewish News Agency, Jewish.ru.
The conference brought together more than 200 leading scientists and researchers from Russia, CIS and Baltic countries, Europe, the U.S. and Israel.
At the opening Sefer Director Victoria Mochalova and Chairman of the Academic Council and Euro-Asian Jewish Congress Secretary-General Prof. Michael Chlenov welcomed the participants with warm words in cold Moscow, emphasized the wide geography the conference participants and thanked the sponsors who made the event possible.
Russian Jewish Congress President Yuri Kanner and Director of the Moscow branch of the American Jewish Distribution Committee “Joint” Alik Nadan expressed their view on the Conference as one of the main events of the Jewish life in the Russian speaking diaspora and noticed high academic level and depth of the reports.
At the continuation of the conference official opening plenary lectures were given by Michael Chlenov (“Ethnic Component of Jewish civilization”) and Arkady Kovelman (“Is a Confessional Science Possible?”).
The great interest to the conference was shown by the representatives of publishing houses “Text” – “Knizhniki”, “Gesharim - Bridges of Culture", “Knizhny Les”, “Yad Vashem”, the “Fund Holocaust”, who presented the guests and participants of the conference their latest books. The conference was attended by members of the editorial boards of the journals “Diaspora”, “Tsaytshrift”.
The work of the three days conference was carried out conducted in 17 sessions:
• Judaism and Jewish Thought (Moderators: E. Rashkovsky, R. Ferber)
• Israeli Society Facing New Challenges (Moderator: A. Epstein)
• Non-Ashkenazi Jewish Ethnic Groups (Moderator: M. Hammal)
• Hebrew Language: Research and Teaching (Moderators: N. Kondrakova, E. Maryanchik)
• The Holocaust in the Soviet Union (Moderators: I. Altman, A. Seltzer, T. Manusova)
• Biblic Studies. Ancient Middle East (Moderators: S. Tishchenko, V. Jacobson)
• Jewish Identity, Family, Gender, Tolerance (Dedicated to the memory of I. S. Kon (1928-2011)) (Moderators: E. Nosenko-Stein, M. Kupovetsky)
• History of the Jews in the Russian Empire (Moderators: A. Lokshin, D. Elyashevich)
• Applied Judaica: Museums, Collections, Field Research (Moderator: O. Belova)
• Historical Regional Studies. From The History of Jewish Communities (Moderators: L. Kalmina, S. Charny)
• The State of Israel: the Ideology and Foreign Policy (Moderator: Z. Khanin)
• The Jewish literature (Moderator: L. Katsis)
• European Jewry in the modern and contemporary history (Moderator: A. Shpirt)
• Jewish art (Jewish Theatre, Jewish art) (Moderators: A. Kolganova, G. Eliasberg)
• Musical Art (Moderator: E. Khazdan)
• The Jewish Genealogy (Moderator: A. Vorobiev)
• The Jews and the Jewish Question: Sources and Historiography (Lead: D. Shevelev)
In addition to the traditional session reports the conference program included a film showing “Family heirlooms and Jewish Memory”, a round table “The Holocaust in the Soviet Union: the Methodological Characteristics and Problems of Sources” (with the participance of A. Weiss (Jerusalem, “Joint”)), as well as an online conference (12 points) in the Hebrew section.
At the conference closing Chairman of the Academic Board of Chais Center (Hebrew University in Jerusalem) Cyril Asalanov gave the lecture “French Jewry - a third way?”.
Then V. Mochalova and of St. Petersburg Institute of Jewish Studies dean D. Elyashevich summed up the results of the conference and First Secretary of the Embassy of Israel in Moscow Zvi Mirkin read the greeting letter that by Israeli ambassador Ms. Dorit Golender.