The College Commons Podcast, passionate perspectives from Judaism's leading thinkers, is produced by Hebrew Union College, America's first Jewish institution of higher learning.
Elisheva Baumgarten: Mind the Gap
Tracing medieval women’s Biblical culture and how it differed from… the Bible.
Biblical Women and Jewish Daily Life in the Middle Ages, winner of the 2022 JBC Award for Women’s Studies.
Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten holds the Prof. Yitzhak Becker Chair for Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She teaches in the Department of Jewish History and the Department of History. She is a social historian who specializes in the history of the Jews in medieval Germany and Northern France. Baumgarten has published three monographs, a dozen edited volumes, and many articles. She has held fellowships from the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as EHESS in Paris. She is an awardee of the Michael Bruno Memorial Award (2016) for outstanding Israeli researchers and of a European Research Council’s Consolidator’s Grant (2016-2022).
Susan Wider: An Autobiography In Images
Author Susan Wider discusses genre-bending artist Charlotte Salomon's work and how it survived the Shoah to capture a life and time.
It’s My Whole Life: Charlotte Salomon: An Artist in Hiding during World War II, winner of the 2022 National Jewish Book Award for Young Adult Literature
Susan Wider is the author of It’s My Whole Life: Charlotte Salomon: An Artist in Hiding during World War II, winner of the 2022 National Jewish Book Award for Young Adult Literature. It’s My Whole Life is the first biography for teen and young adult readers about the art and life of German-Jewish artist and modernist painter Charlotte Salomon (1917 Berlin—Auschwitz 1943). The book is also finding a strong audience among adult readers of art and biography.
Charlotte Salomon is remembered for her painted memoir, Life? or Theater? where she combined her 33,000-word manuscript, nearly 800 paintings, and a musical soundtrack, all hinting at a film storyboard or graphic novel-style presentation. It is thought to be the largest single work of art created by a Jew during the Holocaust, and she produced it while confronting racism, genocide, psychological abuse, family suicides, and the strife of loving an older man. What she wanted most was to make a name for herself as an artist.
Susan Wider’s articles, essays, and art reviews have been included in Orion, THE magazine, The Fourth River, and Wild Hope magazine among others. Before becoming a full-time author, she held senior management positions at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, The Santa Fe Institute, and Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. Earlier in her career she taught English for the French Chamber of Commerce in Normandy, France and worked as a violinist in professional chamber and symphony orchestras.
Susan lives outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, where she shares the land with an assortment of hawks, snakes, woodpeckers, bobcats, coyotes, and a husband.
Sacha Lamb: Supernatural Jews
Author Sacha Lamb discusses their YA romp from the shtetl to the New World, and the supernatural odd couple at its heart.
When The Angels Left The Old Country, YA category National Jewish Book Awards finalist.
Sacha Lamb is a 2018 Lambda Literary Fellow in young adult fiction, and graduated in Library and Information Science and History from Simmons University. Sacha lives in New England with a miniature dachshund mix named Anzu Bean. Their debut novel, When The Angels Left The Old Country, has won a Printz honor, Stonewall and Sydney Taylor Awards, and is a National Jewish Book Awards finalist in the YA category.
Ashley Goldberg: Airing Our Dirty Laundry in Public
Author Ashley Goldberg imagines the human and communal cost of sexual abuse in the Jewish community.
Abomination, Winner of the 2022 National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction
Ashley Goldberg is a writer from Melbourne, Australia. His stories have appeared in New Australian Fiction 2021, Meanjin, Chiron Review and Award Winning Australian Writing among others. His work has been longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and has been the recipient of the KYD/Varuna Copyright Agency Fellowship and the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre Fellowship. His debut novel, Abomination, was published by Penguin Random House Australia in May 2022 and won the Debut Fiction Prize at the National Jewish Book Awards.
Sarah Imhoff: The Unexpected Zionist
Sarah Imhoff introduces us to Jessie Sampter who broke the Zionist mold.
The Lives of Jessie Sampter: Queer, Disabled, Zionist - National Jewish Book Award Finalist in Women's Studies
Imhoff is Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Chair in Jewish Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and the Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University. She writes about religion and the body with a particular interest in gender, sexuality, disability, and American religion, as well as religion and law. She is author of Masculinity and the Making of American Judaism (Indiana University Press, 2017) and The Lives of Jessie Sampter: Queer, Disabled, Zionist (Duke University Press, 2022). She is the founding co-editor of the journal American Religion.
Laura Hobson Faure: A "Jewish Marshall Plan"
Author Laura Hobson Faure on how French Jews accepted, negotiated and even rejected American Jewish aid after the Holocaust.
A “Jewish Marshall Plan”: the American Jewish Presence in Post-Holocaust France, winner of the National Jewish Book Award in Writing Based on Archival Material.
Laura Hobson Faure is a professor at the Panthéon-Sorbonne University-Paris 1, where she holds the chair of Modern Jewish history and is a member of the Center for Social History (UMR 8058). Her research focuses on the intersections between French and American Jewish life, during and after the Holocaust. She is the author of A “Jewish Marshall Plan”: the American Jewish Presence in Post-Holocaust France (Indiana University Press, 2022) which won a National Jewish Book award, and Rescue: The Story of Kindertransport to France and America (forthcoming, Yale University Press). She also co-edited L’Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants et les populations juives au XXème siècle. Prévenir et Guérir dans un siècle de violences (Armand Colin, 2014) and Enfants en guerre. « Sans famille » dans les conflits du XXème siècle ( éditions CNRS).
Intellectually stimulating AND heart warming
If you enjoy in-depth interviews of interest to the Jewish community that both stimulate the mind AND warm the heart, this is the podcast for you. Love it!
Give the guest some space
The host means well but simply can’t let the show be about the guest. He dominates the conversation. I felt sorry for the guest who could hardly get a word in; or at least he should be allowed to respond in full. The best host knows about tzimtzum. Less is more.
Very interesting topics and discussion; too much cross-talk
Excellent, stimulating topics, host and guests. I think the podcast could be improved if it was talking over the guests by host - in podcast i.e. an audio format, it is difficult to hear what both people are saying at once.