The Jewish Studies Certificate Program
The Jewish Studies Certificate Program (JSCP), approved Fall 2012, enables Fresno State and Continuing Education students to explore the long history, rich culture, diverse communities, and distinctive religious practices of this global minority group from ancient times to the present. Students enrolled in certificate courses learn about the many dimensions of Jewish heritage and also issues of contemporary concern for Jews of the diaspora, including the United States, and in Israel. Housed in the Department of History, the JSCP provides educational opportunities for people of all backgrounds with an interest in this field of study, and heightens awareness of the local Jewish community's contribution to the wonderful diversity of California's Central Valley. Specific requirements for earning a certificate are available in the Fresno State catalog. To fill out an online enrollment form, click here.
The Jewish Studies Certificate Program is affiliated with the Fresno State student club, the Jewish Studies Association. For more information, please find JSA on Facebook.
You can join JSA on orgsync: https://orgsync.com/31140/chapter
Spring 2017 Events
•Tues., April 25, 6 pm: Denial (US, 2016). Based on the acclaimed book Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, the film recounts Deborah E. Lipstadt’s (Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz) legal battle for historical truth against David Irving (BAFTA nominee Timothy Spall), who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the English legal system, in cases of libel, the burden of proof is on the defendant, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team, led by Richard Rampton (Academy Award® nominee Tom Wilkinson), to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred. McLane Hall 161. Introduction and Q&A with Fresno State College of Social Sciences Dean Michelle DenBeste and Professor of History Melissa Jordine.
•Fri., Feb. 3, 9:30-11:45 am: Roundtable on Ottoman Minorities. Janet Klein (University of Akron) researches Ottoman Kurds; Devin Naar (University of Washington) researches Sephardic Jews in the Ottoman Empire and the Sephardic diaspora in Europe and the Americas; Bedross De Matossian (University of Nebraska) researches inter-ethnic politics and the 1915 Armenian Genocide; Stacy Farenthold (Fresno State) researches Syrian and Lebanese emigrants in the Americas during the First World War. Discussants: Laura Robson (Portland State University) and Sergio La Porta (Fresno State). Peters Business Building, Rm 290.
•Tues., March 28, 3:30 pm: Gloria Orenstein (Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and Gender Studies, University of Southern California), "Jewish American Women Artists: Intersections of Feminism and Jewish Identity in Contemporary Art." Industrial Technology 101.
•Wed, April 5, 3:30 pm: Max Baumgarten (Jack H. Skirball Fellow in Modern Jewish Culture, UCLA), "What Makes the Neighborhood Jewish?: Contesting and Promoting Gentrification in 1980s Los Angeles." McKee Fisk 208.
Fall 2016 Events
•Thurs., Sept. 22, 3:30-4:45 pm: Aron Rodrigue, Professor of History and Charles Michael Professor in Jewish History and Culture, Stanford University, “The Jews of France from the French Revolution to the Present.” Professor Rodrigue's talk will provide background information and historical context for the Cineculture screening of La Loi taking place the next day. AG 109.
•Friday, Sept. 23: 5:30 pm: Jewish Studies,the French Program, the Department of Modern & Classical Languages
& Literatures and Cineculture Film Series present The Law (La Loi, 2014). Comment: Rose Marie Kuhn (French Studies, Fresno State). This award-winning docudrama
recounts the fight to decriminalize abortion in France led by Simone Veil, a Jew and
Holocaust survivor, who was spared nothing: tense political negotiations and anti-Semitic,
insults and violence to her family. In French with English subtitles, 90 minutes.
Peters Education Center Auditorium (West of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building). Parking is
free at the venue.
•Friday, October 21: 5 pm: Jewish Studies and Cineculture Film Series present The Merchant of Venice. Comment: Ed EmmanuEl. Acclaimed film version starring Al Pacino of Shakespeare's still controversial play. The film is being shown in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, where the word “ghetto” originated in 1516. Peters Education Center Auditorium (West of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building). Parking is free at the venue.
•Sat., Nov. 12, 5:45 pm: Sand Storm (Israel, 2016). Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and Israel’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, Sand Storm is a family drama that unfolds in a Bedouin village in southern Israel. Fresno Filmworks Film Festival, The Tower Theatre, 815 E Olive Ave., Fresno, CA 93728. $10. Screening sponsored by Fresno Jewish Film Series and Jewish Studies Program – Fresno State.
Spring 2016 Events
•Thurs., February 4, 11 am: David Myers, Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History (UCLA), "A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Shared Perspective." Engineering East 191. Parking Code: 337613.
•Thurs.,February 4, 12:30 pm: David Myers, Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History (UCLA), "Seeking the 'Sane' Center: A Different Approach to Israel-Palestine on Campus." Social Sciences 204. Parking Code: 337613.
•Thurs., February 18, 6 pm: Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race. Film screening with commentary by Caitlin Parker (History, UCLA). Co-sponsored by Africana Studies Program and Jewish Studies Certificate Program. EE 191. Parking Code 342606.
•Friday, February 26: 5:30 pm: Jewish Studies, Psychology, and Cineculture Film Series present The Experimenter. Comment: Robert Levine (Psychology, Fresno State). Peters Education Center Auditorium (West of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building). Parking is free at the venue.
•Thurs., April 7, 1-5 pm: Jewish Studies Symposium: Constructing Jews. Speakers: Murray Baumgarten (UC Santa Cruz), "2016: The Venice Ghetto at 500;”Matt Goldish (Ohio State), “The ‘Old Yishuv’: The Jewish Community in the Land of Israel on the Eve of Zionism” and Hasia Diner (New York University), “The Lower East Side and American Jewish Memory." Alice Peters Auditorium (Peters Business). Co-sponsored by Modern and Classical Language and Literatures and Jewish Studies. Concluding Reception.
•Friday, April 29: 5:30 pm: Jewish Studies and Cineculture Film Series present When Voices Meet; One United Choir; One Courageous Journey (2015). Comment: Marilyn Cohen (Music Therapist), Sharon Katz (Director), and band members. Peters Education Center Auditorium (West of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation
Center Building). Free parking at the venue.
Fall 2015 Events
•Thursday, October 29, 5 pm: Anat Gilboa (Visiting Professor, UCLA), “Representations of Jewish Women in Israeli Film: Gender, Religion, and the State in Israel,” Library 2206. Parking Code: 337605.
•Friday, October 30, 5:30 pm: Jewish Studies and Cineculture Film Series present Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Israel, 2014) – Peters Education Center Auditorium (West of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building). Comment by Anat Gilboa. Parking is free at the venue.
•Thursday, November 12, 5 pm: Bradley Hart, Assistant Professor of Mass Communications & Journalism, Fresno State, talks about his new book, George Pitt-Rivers and the Nazis, Social Sciences 105. Parking Code: 337603.
•Friday, December 4, 5:30 pm: Jewish Studies and Cineculture Film Series present A Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did (UK, 2015) – Peters Education Center Auditorium (West of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building). Comment TBA. Parking is free at the venue.
Spring 2015 Events
Tuesday, March 10, 6 pm, Madden Library 3212. A screening of Black Swan with comment by Hannah Schwadron, Ph.D. (Dance History, Florida State University),“Jewish Swans in American Film: Fanny Brice, Barbra Streisand, and Natalie Portman.” Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Certificate Program and the Jewish Studies Association. A Women's History Month Event.
Wednesday, February 18, 6-8 pm, PHS 102. Tony Michels, George L. Mosse Associate Professor of American Jewish History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, "From Visibility to Invisibility and Back: Jews in American Film." Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Certificate Program and the Jewish Studies Association.
Fall 2014 Events
Thursday December 4, 4 pm, FFS 213. Michelle Denbeste, Ph.D. (Fresno State), “Birobidzhan: The Soviet Zion.” Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Association and Phi Alpha Theta.
Thursday, November 20, 4 pm FFS 213. Melissa Jordine, Ph.D. (Fresno State), "The Transformation of Society and the Persecution of the Jews in Germany, 1933-1938." Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Association and Phi Alpha Theta.
Friday, Sept. 26, 5:30 pm, Cineculture co-sponsored screening of Dancing in Jaffa, Peter’s Education Center Auditorium (west of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building). Over a ten-week period, Pierre Dulaine teaches Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children to dance and compete together. The film demonstrates the powerful role that the arts, and dance in particular, can play in enabling children to overcome prejudice and build strong personal ties with one another. Discussant: director Hilla Medalia. Click here for trailer..
Friday, Sept. 19, 5:30 pm, Cineculture co-sponsored screening of Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa, Peter’s Education Center Auditorium (west of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building). Albie Sachs, a Jewish South African who fought against apartheid and was disabled by a car bomb, lived to help create the post-apartheid government. Discussant: director Abby Ginzburg. Click here for trailer.
Friday, Aug. 29, 5:30 pm, Cineculture co-sponsored screening of Besa,Peter’s Education Center Auditorium (west of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building). Amazing and beautifully told account of the Albanian Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. Discussant: Besa producer/editor Christine Romero. Click here for trailer
To become involved with the Jewish Studies Association, please log in via your orgsync account. To find out about enrolling in the certificate program, please visit or contact Jill Fields. Jill's office is located at Social Sciences 123, phone (559) 278-5414, and email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the Department of History at (559) 278-2153. Please begin by reviewing the Certificate Checklist.
JSCP in the News!
Thanks to the Collegian at Fresno State for a nice piece on the Jewish Studies Certificate Program. Please take a moment to read "Jewish Studies Explores History, Culture, Religion" for some background and context for the new program.
The Collegian reported on the 2013-2014 Jewish Studies Lecture Series. "Art used to help understand Holocaust" details the November talk given by Andrea Pappas (Art History at Santa Clara University) on "Artists Respond to the Holocaust." Co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Central California, which has provided community funding for the JSCP in 2012 and 2013. Todah rabah (thank you) JFCC and the Collegian.
In March 2013, Fresno State hosted a well-attended reception for the newly appointed Israeli Consul General of the Pacific Northwest, Andy David. Andy was welcomed by (former) President Welty, (former) Provost Corvino, and College of Social Sciences Dean Gonzalez. Read about the event in the Collegian.
April 24, 2014: Lori Clune, Ph.D. (History, Fresno State), "The Rosenbergs: Executing Jews in the Early Cold War." Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Association. Social Sciences 110.
February 11, 2014:. Godwin Boswell's bookCow without Tail explores connections between the Igbo peoples of Nigeria and ancient Israel. Co-sponsored by Africana Studies and the Jewish Studies Certificate Program for Africana Peoples History Month. Madden Library 2206.
January 31, 2014: Cineculture co-sponsored screening of The Great Dictator -- the first Hollywood film to openly portray Jewish ghettos and Nazi persecution of Jews -- with discussant Steve Ross, Professor of History, University of Southern California. Steve's most recent book is Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics. He is working on a new book, Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews and Their Spies Foiled Nazi and Fascist Plots Against America. Peter’s Education Center Auditorium
The Jewish Studies Association co-sponsored with Phi Alpha Theta a lecture by Fresno State historian Dan Cady on "Jewish American Popular Culture," Dec. 3, 2013, 5 pm, Social Sciences 110.
This academic year's Phebe McClatchy Conley Classics Lecture explored a Jewish Studies topic. Oct. 3, 2013, McLane 121, Erich Gruen (UC Berkeley) presented, “Religious Pluralism in the Roman Empire: Did Judaism Test the Limits of Roman Tolerance?” to an SRO audience.
Dr. Bradley Hart spoke about his research “Reevaluating Nazi Sympathizers in Britainduring Appeasement and World War II” on Oct. 22, 2013 to a full Social Science classroom. The lecture was sponsored by the Jewish Studies Association and Phi Alpha Theta The lecture can be viewed on YouTube.
Last spring, the Jewish Studies Certificate Program held its first lecture seriesdesigned to explore the vibrant history and rich culture of the Jewish people. Dr. Leandra Zarnow of Stanford University presented the first lecture in the series February 12, 2013. Please check back for a link to a videocast of “The Making of a ‘People’s’ Politician: Jewish Congresswoman Bella Abzug’s First Career as an Early Civil Rights Lawyer.”
In April 2013, Josh Moss presented "Woody the Gentile: Comedy, Nostalgia, and Christian-Jewish Interplay in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris" followed by a screening of the film.