Taubman Foundation Endowed Symposia

Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Foundation 
Endowed Symposia in Jewish Studies

Interdisciplinary Humanities Center

Ten years ago the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara received a gift from the Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Foundation which is enabling us to bring to our campus leading writers, artists, scholars, critics, and activists engaged in work of great distinction related to the Jewish experience (see http://www.ihc.ucsb.edu/events/endowed/taubman.html).

The Taubman Symposia were inaugurated with appearances by Art Spiegelman (Fall, 1997), Leah Rabin (Winter, 1998), and Rabbi Michael Lerner (Spring, 1998). Since then our featured guests have included Rodger Kamenetz (Fall, 1998), Steven Katz (Fall, 1998), Ze'ev Chafets (Winter, 1999), Arthur Hertzberg (Spring, 1999), Amos Oz (Fall, 2000), Thomas Friedman (Fall, 1999), Theatre Company Jerusalem (Winter, 2000), The Jerusalem Trio (Fall, 2000), Morris Dees (Fall, 2000), David Shipler (Winter, 2001), Ruth Gruber (Fall, 2001), A.B. Yehohsua (Winter, 2002), Elie Wiesel (Spring, 2002), Tom Segev (Winter 2003), Jacques Derrida (Fall 2003), Moshe Idel (Spring, 2004), Ambassador Dennis Ross (Fall, 2004), Aaron David Miller (Winter, 2005), Yossi Klein Halevi (Fall, 2005), Bernard-Henri Lévy (Spring 2006), Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg (Spring 2006), Rabbi Daniel Gordis (Fall 2006), and Judea Pearl (Winter, 2007).

In 1998-99, we also introduced a "New Voices" Seminar intended to showcase and nurture talented scholars, writers, and artists who promise to define the field of Jewish Studies in years to come. Susannah Heschel convened the first of these seminars, which have also featured Marc Dollinger, Michael Levine, and Jonathan Judaken. In addition, we began screening films such as the Shoah Foundation's Academy Award-winning documentary, The Last Days, which chronicles the experiences of five Holocaust survivors who lived in Hungary, Amir Bar-Lev's Fighter which garnered numerous film festival awards for its portrait of two old friends engaged in an original and unorthodox exploration of the Holocaust, the Emmy Award winning documentary, Promises, which explores the Middle East Conflict through the lives of seven Palestinian and Israeli children from Jerusalem, and Seeds, which offers an intimate and candid glimpse of the incredible experiences of young leaders from four conflict regions who meet at the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Maine.

The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Foundation Endowed Symposia in Jewish Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a program of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, is cosponsored by UCSB Arts & LecturesDepartment of Religious Studies, Congregation B’nai B’rith,Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara Hillel.


Fall 2011


Peace Through Prosperity: Jewish – Arab Economic Development in Israel

Sunday, October 16 / 3:00 p.m. / Free
UCSB (Location To Be Announced)

Fifteenth Anniversary Inaugural Event
Helmi Kittani, Executive Director and Eytan Biderman, Director, Center for Jewish – Arab Economic Development in Herzliya, Israel.

For more information visit: