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Reading “Shpinoza”: A Heretic in Yiddish and Hebrew

March 18

Reading Shpinoza: A Heretic in Yiddish and Hebrew
An International Symposium (Online)
The Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison
March 18, 2021

The George L. Mosse/Laurence A. Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to announce the one-day online symposium “Reading Shpinoza: A Heretic in Yiddish and Hebrew”, to be held on Thursday, March 18, 2021.

The symposium celebrates the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s recent acquisition of a large and wide-ranging collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century works by and about the seventeenth-century philosopher Bento (Baruch) Spinoza (Amsterdam 1632-The Hague 1677). All of the books are in Yiddish, Hebrew, or German, and testify to the enduring interest in Spinoza’s life and thought in Jewish intellectual and popular culture. The collection, including many rare books, formerly belonged to Rabbi Allan Nadler; the purchase was made possible by a generous gift from Rodger Krouse. The books are now catalogued and housed in UW-Madison’s Memorial Library and constitute the Allan Nadler Spinoza Collection.

The symposium, organized by Professors Steven Nadler (Philosophy) and Sunny Yudkoff (German/Nordic/Slavic), marks this important addition to the UW-Madison’s holdings in Judaica, philosophy, and intellectual history. It brings together six international scholars working in Yiddish and Hebrew sources with an interest in Spinoza and his place in Jewish philosophy, literature, politics and the arts.

Please register in advance using the following link:


There is no registration fee for the symposium. For a full schedule of events, click here.

The symposium presentations are:

    • Annette Aronowicz (Franklin and Marshall College, emerita): “A Jewish Communist Caught Between Loyalty and Betrayal: Spinoza in the Cold War Context”
    • Warren Zev Harvey (Hebrew University, Jerusalem): “Jacob Klatzin: Spinoza’s Heretical Hebrew Translator”
    • Keren Mock (Sciences Po Paris/University of Paris):  “A Reading of the Last Sentence ofthe Ethics: From Spinoza to Scholem”
    • Allan Nadler (Drew University, emeritus): “Jacob Shatsky: Spinoza’s Heretical Yiddish Propagator”
    • Daniel Schwartz (George Washington University): “Should the Excommunication of Spinoza Be Lifted? Hebrew and Yiddish Perspectives, 1927-1956″

The symposium is co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, the Department of German/Nordic/Slavic+, In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies, and the George L. Mosse Program in History, with generous financial support from the Anonymous Fund of the College of Letters & Science.

Schedule at-a-glance (click here for a full schedule)
*Please note: all times given are in Central Time (CT)*

 8:00 am: Opening Remarks 

8:15 am: Warren Zev Harvey (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

9:30 am: Keren Mock (Sciences Po Paris/University of Paris)

10:45 am: Daniel Schwartz (George Washington University)

11:45-12:45 pm = LUNCH BREAK

12:45 pm: Annette Aronowicz (Franklin and Marshall College, emerita)

2:00 pm: Allan Nadler (Drew University, emeritus)

3:00 pm = Closing Remarks



March 18
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