Northwestern Events Calendar


2021 Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Lecture in Jewish Civilization

When: Thursday, April 29, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Nancy Gelman   (847) 491-2612

Group: The Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies

Sponsor: The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

Category: Academic


“Es iz schwer tzu sein a Yid” It is hard to be a Jew

Kenneth Seeskin, Northwestern University

Why is it hard to be a Jew?  Why is anti-Semitism on the rise?  This lecture will seek to answer these questions by identifying a persistent theme in Jewish history: a willingness to challenge authority and dissent from prevailing opinions.  Beginning with Abraham, Moses, and the Hebrew Prophets, Jews have produced a long line of dissenters, whistle-blowers, and people who insist on justice above all else.  It is this feature, along with minority status, that has made Jews perennial scapegoats.


Kenneth Seeskin is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Emeritus Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Professor of Jewish Civilization at Northwestern University.  Over his more than forty years at Northwestern, he has served as chair of the Philosophy Department and the Religious Studies Department.  He has published numerous books and articles on Maimonides and Jewish thought through the ages. He won the Koret Jewish Book Award in 2001 and the National Jewish Book Award in 2010.  His two most recent books are Thinking about the Torah: A Philosopher Reads the Bible and Thinking about the Prophets.

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