The Annual Lipman Lecture in Jewish Studies

Endowed by the Lipman Family, this distinguished lecture has attracted a variety of important speakers to Colby since 1979, including Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel (1986) and renowned author Chaim Potok (1989).

Masha Gessen: “Where the Jews Aren’t: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region”

The 2018-19 annual Lipman Lecture in Jewish Studies

October 18, 2018 / 7:00 pm / Ostrove Auditorium (Diamond Building)

Masha Gessen is the author of the National Book Award-winning The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia as well as The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy. The book that shares its title with this lecture reveals the complex, strange, and heart-wrenching account of the dream of Birobidzhan—and the true history of Jewish people in twentieth-century Russia. Gessen, a staff writer at The New Yorker who teaches at Amherst College, is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Carnegie Fellowship.

Prior Lipman Lecturers

2017-18 — Anthony Wexler, “Israel and the New American Jewish Novel”

2016-17 — Nathan Englander, “What We Talk About: Writing in Uncertain Times”

2015-16 — Ori Gersht, “Seeing and Believing”

2014-15 — Gershom Gorenberg, “The Battle for History: Israeli and Palestinian Narratives in War and Peacemaking”

2012-13 — Etgar Keret, “Is Reality Overrated?”

2011-12 — Jonathan Safran Foer, “When Jews Laugh at Things That Aren’t Funny”

2010-11 — Tom Segev, “Simon Wiesenthal, Nazi Hunter: The Man who Refused to Forget”

2009-10 — David Bame, “A Faith in Peace: Current U.S. Policy Issues in the Middle East”

2008-09 — Michael Wex, “Just Say Nu: Yiddish from the Jewish Shtetl to the American Heartland”

2007-08 — Jonathan Sarna, “The Furture of the American Jew: American Judaism in the 21st Century”

2006-07 — Deborah Lipstadt, “In Every Generation They Wish to Destroy Us: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism as Factors in Jewish Identity”

2005-06 — Jerry Fowler, “Creating a Constituency of Conscience: The Role of Holocaust Remembrance in Combating Contemporary Genocide”

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The Jewish Studies Program is also grateful to Barry and Judith Bronstein (P’96) for endowing the Bronstein Fund for Jewish Studies and Holocaust Studies, whose funds support a variety of Jewish Studies programs.