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Tickets now on sale: Defiant Requiem: Verdi Requiem at Terezín

Hosted by tmurry-sidlin-1-october-2012-photo-credit-jeff-roffman-1he UNC Department of Music and co-sponsored by the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies

April 20, 7:30 pm, Memorial Hall

  • UNC Symphony Orchestra, Carolina Choir, Chamber Singers, Men’s and Women’s Glee Clubs, soloists Louise Toppin, Mary Gayle Greene, Timothy Sparks, Marc Callahan, and guest conductor Murry Sidlin
  • $10 general admission ($5 students and UNC faculty/staff)

The UNC campus will host the signature concert of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín, which tells the story of the courageous Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp (Terezín) during World War II who performed Verdi’s Requiem while experiencing the depths of human degradation.

Event details can be found on the Performing Commemoration web site, on our event listing, and on the Dept. of Music web site

Tickets are sold through Carolina Performing Arts.

holocaust-remenbering-day-sirenMarch 31-April 2: “Performing Commemoration: Music and the Politics of Trauma,” conference hosted by the Dept. of Music and co-sponsored by the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies

The Center is pleased to co-sponsor this three-day academic conference in which invited scholars from around the world will discuss the role of music in the performance of commemoration, in order to understand how diverse states, governments, organizations, communities, and individuals across the globe deploy the specter of trauma for public, private, or political ends. By so doing, they aim to trace out theoretical territory for performance in the study of memory, reenactment, and commemoration. The conference will include two concerts of musical responses to the Holocaust and other traumatic events in modern history. There are concerts on March 31st and April 2nd and the conference runs April 1st-2nd.

Details: and

Post and Courier article on our Jewish Food in the Global South symposium:
By Hanna Raskin, March 15, 2017…/article_056f3fc6-0443-11e7-…

joan1At UNC symposium, speakers wonder whether Jewish food can combat hate

Told he was delivering a passenger to a symposium devoted to Jewish Food in the Global South, a Chapel Hill-based Uber driver laughed. “That’s pretty specific,” he said.

But in the months since the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies first announced its one-day conference, the subject has become increasingly less niche. Held days after President Donald Trump opened his first address to Congress by noting the recent epidemic of anti-Semitic threats and desecrations, the event became a forum in which to consider whether brisket and rugelach could play a role in tamping down widespread hate.

vimeoVideo of the symposium is posted on our Vimeo site:

alpernThank You!  The Jewish Food in the Global South symposium was a huge success, and we thank all of you who joined us. If you missed the event, or wish to revisit, we have posted video of the Sunday symposium on our Vimeo site. Meanwhile, UNC Bookstore is offering a 20% discount and free shipping on The Gefilte Manifesto by symposium speaker Liz Alpern. If you’d like to order, contact John Williams at or 919-962-5060.



Program-cover-webWUNC The State of Things featured Jewish Food in the Global South on February 28, 2017. Listen online.
Host Frank Stasio talks with Marcie Cohen Ferris, professor of American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and award-winning writer Joan Nathan about the relationship between Jewish cuisine and regional influences. Ferris and Nathan will be a part of the event “Jewish Food in the Global South” at UNC-Chapel Hill Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5.
Jewis-Food-Global-South-600pxJewish Food in the Global South is in the current edition of Garden and Gun Magazine:
Arts & Culture: The Southern Agenda: February/March 2017
Goings-on in the South and beyond North CarolinaThe Family Meal
Most people don’t think of the South as a cradle of Jewish food tradition, but our stew of culinary influences includes latkes and matzo—and other less obvious foodstuffs, too. For example: “Thomas Jefferson credited Dr. John de Sequeyra, the only Jew in Williamsburg, Virginia, with introducing the tomato to the United States,” says Joan Nathan, a food writer who will be among the speakers at the University of North Carolina’s Jewish Food in the Global South symposium (March 4–5) in Chapel Hill. James Beard Award–winning chefs Alon Shaya of Shaya in New Orleans and Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill will join her. “Jews brought their dishes to cities like Charleston, Richmond, and New Orleans and made them Southern,” Nathan says. “I’ve even heard of people making gefilte fish with catfish, which isn’t kosher, but maybe they didn’t know that.” Whether or not you can tell rugelach from hamantaschen, you’re invited to join in two days of films, panels, lectures, and cooking classes. “Sitting down to a traditional meal for the Sabbath is what has kept all of us Jews together for so many years,” Nathan says. That’s a sentiment Southerners of all backgrounds can appreciate.—

Spring 2017 Newsletter is now available. PDF.

Registration now open:

mel-brooks-e1480532697425The Uhlman Family Seminar: Jewish Song, Comedy, and Storytelling in the Old and New Worlds
May 6, 9:15 am – 5:30 p.m. / Location TBA

This year’s annual Uhlman Family Seminar will focus on Jewish culture as revealed through entertainment: music, film, folklore, humor, and the storytelling components present in all of these arts. Discussions will focus on Jewish folklore, Warsaw’s cabaret scene, the Jewish influence in Hollywood, and the origins of contemporary Jewish humor. This seminar is offered by the Program in Humanities and Human Values and is made possible by a grant from the Uhlman Family Fund. Pre-registration is required.


Visit the UNC Program in the Humanities web site for full event description and registration.

Upcoming Events for Spring 2017

March 31-April 2: “Performing Commemoration: Music and the Politics of Trauma,” conference hosted by the Dept. of Music

April 18: “On the Study of Jews of Color,” with Lewis Gordon, UConn
Note: this event was rescheduled for April 18, 5:30pm, Dey Hall.

Apr 20: “Defiant Requiem at UNC,” performance hosted by the Dept. of Music

May 6: Uhlman Family Seminar: “Jewish Song, Comedy, and Storytelling in the Old and New Worlds”

PrintReconsidering Antisemitism: Past and Present
April 10-12, 2016
The Center hosted a three-day conference featured academic panel discussions, two keynote lectures, and student research.Thank you to all who attended the conference. We have recently added the following: program guide, photos and videos and student research posters from the conference.

eli.classroom.2015webDistinguished Service: For more than a decade, Eli Evans, ’58, founding chair of the Center’s advisory board, has been visiting Professor Marcie Cohen Ferris’ classroom to meet with her students. This month he combined the classroom visit with receiving the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service in the College of Arts and Sciences, which recognizes individuals who have served the College through exceptional vision, commitment and leadership.

travis.alexander2.2015webInvesting in Students… and their Exceptional Research: Research topics explored by Carolina students have ranged from Jewish communities in Moldova, to Jewish-American composer Kurt Weill, Jewish and Islamic schools in North Carolina, Holocaust survivors in Lithuania, and Israeli medical centers. Their research topics and travel destinations are as diverse and individualized as the students themselves, but one thing remains constant—they need funding to pursue these projects. Read more about how our students spent their summer.