Spring 2024 CJS to feature lectures on “In The Shadow of October 7”

The Spring 2024 College of Jewish Studies Series will continue its exploration of the causes, character and effects of the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel on Thursday, April 11, at 7:30 pm, when Israeli journalist and historian Gershom Gorenberg will speak on “Israel and the War in Gaza: What Went Wrong and What Must Go Right” during a Zoom lecture. On Thursday, April 18, members of Binghamton University’s Judaic Studies Department and Israel Studies Institute will host a live in-person discussion with audience members at 7:30 pm at the Jewish Community Center, 500 Clubhouse Rd., Vestal. They will address questions and comments on all aspects of the tragedy and its aftermath. There will be an $8 charge for the in-person event. 

Those wishing to attend the Zoom lecture can pre-register via the College of Jewish Studies Facebook Page or the homepage of the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton. An e-mail with the “CJS Spring 24 Series” in the subject line may also be sent to jkarp@binghamton.edu.

CJS Chairman and Judaic Studies Professor Jonathan Karp said, “I felt the October 7 attacks had to be confronted directly. It is too soon to take the full measure of the event and its aftermath. But because it is so horrific and momentous, we have an obligation even now to try to understand its various meanings. On April 4, we had a lecture from the center right; on April 11, we will hear one from the center left, which will offer us a different perspective. Then we will draw on the expertise that we have right here at Binghamton University, through our Judaic and Israel Studies scholars, to put the talks in perspective while addressing some of the still unanswered questions. This final event will be more of a community conversation than an academic presentation.” 

Gorenberg is an Israeli journalist and the author, most recently, of “War of Shadows: Codebreakers, Spies and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East.” Gorenberg previously wrote three critically acclaimed books on Israel’s history and politics: “The Unmaking of Israel,” “The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977” and “The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount.” He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Review of Books and, in Hebrew, for Haaretz and Maariv. He lives in Jerusalem, except during stints teaching a workshop on writing history at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Gorenberg will provide an overview of the steps and missteps that led to the October 7 atrocities and Israel’s military response. Among other key questions that he will ask is why Israel was taken by surprise, how Israeli society has changed as a result and why the war must lead to a new push for peace.

CJS provides opportunities for adult Jewish education for the Broome County community by offering fall and spring programs. Drawing on local resources and inviting scholars and experts from a range of universities and cultural and religious institutions, CJS sponsors a wide array of programs dealing with Jewish history, culture, religion and politics.

Founded in 1986, CJS is an informal coalition between the Judaic Studies Department of Binghamton University and several area Jewish sponsoring institutions: the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton, Beth David Synagogue, Temple Concord and Temple Israel. Programming for CJS would not be possible without the additional financial support of a generous grant from The Community Foundation for South Central New York – David and Virginia Eisenberg Donor Advised Fund, the Jacob and Rose Olum Foundation, the B’nai B’rith Lectureship Fund, the Victor and Esther Rozen Foundation, an endowment fund from the former Temple Beth El of Endicott, a grant from the JoyVel Charitable Fund and the generous donations of individual sponsors.

Anyone who would like to become an individual sponsor, or make a donation so that the CJS can continue bringing programs to the community, should e-mail bingcjs@gmail.com. The College of Jewish Studies is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.