Thirty years of thought-provoking talks on Jewish life & culture
The Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies are an annual series of talks given by luminaries in the field of Jewish Studies, hosted by Stroum Jewish Studies at the University of Washington. For more than forty years, through the generosity of Samuel and Althea Stroum, Jewish Studies has been able to bolster public scholarship around Judaism. View highlights from the past thirty years below, or scroll further to learn more about the history of the lectures and view the full archive.
Professor Ruth Behar moves between the personal essay and poetry, history and ethnography, exile and disaspora in this 2015 lecture series.
History of the Stroum Lectures
It has been over 30 years since Murray Shiff, then Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, and Edward Alexander, chair of the Jewish Studies Committee at the UW, got an idea that was quite ambitious for a relatively small and isolated Jewish community: to bring to the UW each year an internationally-known Jewish studies scholar for a series of lectures – lectures that would reach not only the Seattle community but, through publications, a nationwide audience as well.
Shiff asked one person after another for the financial resources needed. One after another, they turned him down – until he talked with Sam Stroum, who proved willing to add support for what became the Samuel & Althea Stroum Lectureship in Jewish Studies to the very long list of worthy causes to which he was already committed. The lectures have put the Center, the UW, and Seattle on the Jewish Studies “map” worldwide.
With the Stroum’s support, The University of Washington Press has published over 16 books based on the lectures; the books have collectively sold tens of thousands of copies. Several have won national book awards, and many are used in university courses around the country. To learn more about the series, visit the UW Press website.