Bloustein School, Bildner Center to host lecture detailing Jewish art and the struggle between tradition and modernity

March 22, 2014

bildner-blousteinThe Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy will present the second Ruth Ellen Steinman and Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Lecture,  “Jewish Art and the Struggle of Tradition in Modernity, ” on Tuesday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Douglass Campus Center, 100 George Street in New Brunswick. Free parking is available behind the Campus Center. (For GPS search, use “57 Lipman Drive.”)

The work of Jewish artists offers a unique and fascinating entry into the changing nature of Jewish life in modern times. From Moritz Oppenheim, the nineteenth-century German-Jewish artist, to Adi Nes, the contemporary Israeli photographer, Jewish visual artists provide daring and unpredictable interpretations of the constant tension that exists in society between elements of tradition and the concerns and challenges of the modern world. The talk will be delivered by distinguished expert Richard I. Cohen, the Paulette and Claude Kelman Chair in French Jewry Studies and the head of the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For more information, visit

Dr. Cohen’s extensive publications include The Burden of Conscience: French-Jewish Leadership during the Holocaust and Jewish Icons: Art and Society in Modern Europe, which received the Arnold Wischnitzer Prize for best book in Jewish history. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at University of Pennsylvania where he is studying the treatment of Jewish figures in visual representations and the distinctive penetration of visual images into Jewish life in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The event is free an open to the public. RSVP to or call 848-932-2033.

The Ruth Ellen Steinman and Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Lecture was established to honor the memory of these two extraordinary individuals. For nearly 19 years, the Blousteins dedicated their enormous energies to Rutgers University. The fund was created in 1988 after Ruth Ellen died following a long and heroic battle with illness. Sadly, there was cause to broaden the purpose of the fund when Edward Bloustein, Rutgers’ beloved president, died suddenly a year later in December 1989. The endowment supports two annual lectures, one co-sponsored with The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life, that are intended to celebrate the values and interests Ruth Ellen and Ed cherished and cultivated throughout their lives, namely the preservation of animal species and the natural environment; the celebration of love, happiness, and laughter as tools of clinical medicine; and the exploration and promotion of humane values. Dr. Mark Gregory Robson, dean of agricultural and urban programs and professor of plant biology and pathology at Rutgers University’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and professor of environmental and occupational health at the Rutgers School of Public Health, presented a lecture earlier this year,  “Rutgers’ Global Reach and Sustainable Agricultural Development: Challenges and Opportunities.”


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