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2019 Weekend in Quest

Save the date for our 13th Weekend in Quest!


An exhilarating shabbaton (study) weekend in Astoria, on the Beautiful Oregon Coast by the mighty Columbia River. 

Weekend in Quest is sponsored by The Institute for Judaic Studies.

2019 Scholar in Residence:

Naomi Sokoloff
Professor, Near Eastern languages and Civilization
University of Washington.

Dr. Sokoloff joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 1985, and has served as Chair of the Jewish Studies Program and as Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization. She received her BA from Swarthmore College and her PhD from Princeton.  She also has studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her courses in Comparative Literature have included Literature and the Holocaust; Prayer and Poetry: Jewish and Islamic Traditions; Jewish Life in Literature and Film; and Literature of Emerging Nations: Israel and Palestine. Her research interests cover a range of modern Jewish writing. 

Professor Sokoloff will present 4 lectures during the weekend:

  • "Hey, Izzy, Listen Up! New Takes on the Shema" From Primo Levi’s post-Holocaust poem “Shema” (1947) to Hava Pinhas-Cohen’s “Shema” (2015), with comments also on the Shema in American Sign Language, new liturgical versions of the Shema by Marcia Falk and Marge Piercy.

  • "The Blessings of Women Poets" What is a bracha? How have Jewish women responded to and re-imagined traditional blessings? (for instance, in the work of Esther Raab and Hava Pinhas-Cohen).

  • “13 ways of Looking at the Kaddish” By examining lyrics (for example by Adrienne Rich, Charles Reznikoff, Alan Ginsberg, and Israeli rock musician Kobi Oz,) that respond to elements of the liturgy, we can gain insight into the traditional Kaddish, how it evolved, women’s roles in Judaism and public worship, and the allusive richness of Modern Hebrew.

  • "Prayer Shawls: Making Space for Prayer in Poetry" How can modern poems (by Avraham Shlonsky, Yehuda Amichai, and others) help us understand the significance of the prayer shawl in Jewish culture?

Also included in the Shabbaton will be Shabbat services both Friday evening and Saturday morning, plus catered kosher-style meals including a festive Erev Shabbat dinner, Kiddush lunch and Saturday evening dinner.  Opportunities for discussion, social time and entertainment will also be woven into the experience.  The weekend promises to be a dynamic, spiritual and educational experience. Registration will open in October, 2018.

For updates and information on previous years' programming, please see the Weekend in Quest website.

Earlier Event: February 4
Digging Torah: Adinah Miller
Later Event: March 17
Film: Redemption