Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

Research Colloquium

The research colloquium is held usually on every second Thursday during the semester as part of the course offerings at Leipzig University. Each semester it features a special topic reflecting a key research focus of the Institute. The public lectures are usually delivered by scholars from outside of Leipzig.

Summer Semester 2021

American Jewish Political Thought Transnational Varieties


Digital Lecture Series in the Summer Semester 2021

in cooperation with The Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History at New York University


Lecturer: Dr. des. Imanuel Clemens Schmidt

Research Colloquium

Time: Thursday, 5.15–6.15 p.m. (CEST); 11.15 a.m.–13.15 p.m. (EST), Exception: 29.4., 6.15.–7.15 p.m. (CEST); 12.15–13.15 p.m. (EST)

Start: 15 April 2021

Venue: digital event


This lecture series offers some new perspectives on the history of twentieth-century American Jewish political thought in a transnational dimension. It focuses on the diverse ways in which American Jews, through their communal institutions and organizations, articulated a variety of ideas about their responsibilities for Jews and Jewish life abroad. It also asks how those actions, in turn, reflected concerns the Jews of the United States had for themselves and their place in American life. What tasks did they take up for Jews in other places, and what did their actions mean for their various understandings of Jewish life in the United States? The lecture series emphasizes both common concerns among American Jews and widely divergent views of what to do and how.

The lectures explore how American Jews articulated in words and deeds the multiple and often conflicting perspectives about their own situation in America and their relationship to the Jewish people worldwide.

The series is linked to and sets the stage for the Digital Annual Conference of the Dubnow Institute, in cooperation with The Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History at New York University (Prof. Dr. Hasia R. Diner), conducted on June 15–16, 2021.



Program (print)




15 April 2021

Kenneth D. Wald (Gainesville, FL)

The Political Exceptionalism of American Jewry:

A Contextual Approach


29 April 2021, 6.15 p.m. (CEST), 12.15 p.m. (EST)

Lila Corwin Berman (Philadelphia, PA)

Beyond American-Jewish Exceptionalism:

The State in American Jewish Politics


6 May 2021

Zohar Segev (Haifa)

Revolution, Decolonization, Democracy, and Cooperation:

Zionism and the Middle East from an American Jewish Perspective


20 May 2021

Ronnie A. Grinberg (Norman, OK)

»Always Right:«

Midge Decter, Norman Podhoretz, and the Making of an American Jewish Conservative Politics


3 June 2021

Eugene R. Sheppard (Waltham, MA)

Political Theology in America:

On the Impact and Legacy of Jewish Refugees and Immigrants




The lecture series is taking place digitally. Please register at least one day in advance to receive a link to the digital lecture room.


Please send an email to antwort(at) with the title of the event »American Jewish Political Thought«, your name, institution (if applicable) and the email address to which we should send the link.



Prof. Dr. Lila Corwin Berman, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA | Prof. Dr. Ronnie A. Grinberg, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK | Prof. Dr. Zohar Segev, University of Haifa | Prof. Dr. Eugene R. Sheppard, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA | Prof. Dr. Kenneth D. Wald, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL