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April 4, 2005

Jewish studies to host lecture by winner of 2005 Koret history book prize

By Scott Rappaport

In celebration of the Koret Jewish Book Awards, the UCSC Jewish Studies Program Research Colloquia will present a lecture by Elisheva Baumgarten, winner of this year’s prestigious Koret Jewish History Book Prize, at noon on April 12 at the Cowell College Provost House.

Photo: Elisheva Baumgarten

Elisheva Baumgarten

The event is cosponsored by the Women’s Studies Department and admission is free.

The Koret Jewish Book Award is considered to be one of the highest honors for authors writing prose on Jewish themes. Baumgarten joins five other authors, including renowned Israeli novelist Amos Oz, as a 2005 recipient of the award. Each award carries a $10,000 prize, and the Koret Jewish Book Awards Ceremony this year will be the centerpiece of a Jewish Literary Arts Series in San Francisco.

Baumgarten was honored for her book, Mothers and Children: Jewish Family Life in Medieval Europe, published by Princeton University Press and described as “a richly detailed and deeply researched contribution to our understanding of the relationship between Jews and their non-Jewish neighbors.” She will speak at UCSC on the topic: “Women’s Rites: Birth Ceremonies in Medieval Jewish Culture.“

Baumgarten completed her doctorate in 2000 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is a social historian and lecturer in the Department of Jewish History and the Gender Studies Program at Bar-Ilan University, specializing in the history of Jewish women, Jewish family life, and Jewish-Christian relations in medieval Ashkenaz. Baumgarten lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three children.

For more information, contact the UCSC Jewish Studies Program, at (831) 459-2566.

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