BU Judaic Studies Dept. to hold two lectures in April

The Judaic Studies Department of Binghamton University will hold two lectures open to the community in April: Dr. Christopher Silver will speak on Thursday, April 20, in the Admissions Center, room 189; and Rabbi Dr. Lance Sussman will speak on Thursday, April 27, in the Fine Arts building, room 258. Both lectures will take place from 5-7 pm. For more information, contact Dr. Beth Burch at bburch@binghamton.edu.

Silver will read from his new book, “Recording History: Jews, Muslims, and Music Across Twentieth Century North Africa.” His book explores the music scene and recording industry across 20th century Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. He offers insights into Jewish-Muslim relations through the rhythms that animated them. He also traces the path of hit-makers and their hit records, seeking to illuminate regional and transnational connections. In asking what North Africa once sounded like, Silver seeks to recover a world of the voices of impresarios, female stars, cantors turned composers, witnesses and survivors of war, and national and nationalist icons.

Silver is the Segal Family Assistant Professor in Jewish History and Culture at McGill University in Montréal. A 2017 graduate of UCLA, he teaches modern Jewish history and popular culture and music. He is also the founder and curator of the website Gharamophone.com, a digital archive of North African records from the first half of the 20th century.

Sussman will speak on “Jews in the New American Nation: Revolution, Religious Liberty, and Civic Culture.” He is the former chairman of the Judaic Studies Department at Binghamton University and is currently the chairman of the Board of Governors and professor of Jewish history of Gratz College. Sussman has taught courses in Jewish history at several universities, including Princeton University, Hebrew Union College in New York City, Rutgers University, Temple University and Hunter College. His published writing includes “Isaac Lesser and the Making of American Judaism” and “Sharing Sacred Moments” (a collection of his sermons). He also served as an editor of “Reform Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook.” 

Sussman is a former rabbi of Binghamton’s Temple Concord and the former Temple Beth El of Endicott. He is also rabbi emeritus of Congregation Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park, PA. To learn more about Sussman, click here.