Gerson D. Cohen Memorial Lecture to Explore Modern Myths of Muslim Anti-Semitism

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

October 23, 2008, New York, NY

Anti-Semitism is rampant today in certain segments of the Muslim communities in the Middle East and Europe. Where does it come from? Is it endemic in the Islamic religion, going back to the Qur’an, as many believe, or is it something new?

Mark R. Cohen, professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, will explore “Modern Myths of Muslim Anti-Semitism” at the Gerson D. Cohen Memorial Lecture at The Jewish Theological Seminary. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 24 at JTS, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City.

Dr. Cohen has lectured widely in the US, Europe, Russia, Japan, Qatar, Egypt, and Israel, before both scholarly and general audiences.

His publications include nearly 100 articles and reviews and several books, including: Jewish Self-Government in Medieval Egypt, which won the National Jewish Book Award for Jewish history; Al-mujtama` al-yahudi fi Misr al-islamiyya fi al-`usur al-wusta ("Jewish Life in Medieval Egypt 641-1382"), a survey, translated into Arabic, for readers in the Arab world; and Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages, which has been translated into Hebrew, Turkish, German, and Arabic. Since 1986 he has been the director of the Princeton Geniza Project, an on-line database of transcriptions of documents from the Cairo Geniza. He received his PhD and rabbinic ordination at JTS.

Dr. Cohen has been a Lady Davis Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a guest lecturer in the Department of Hebrew Language and Culture at Ain Shams University in Cairo. He has held a Guggenheim Fellowship and Fellowships at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin and from National Endowment for the Humanities, and has been a Visiting Scholar at the National Humanities Center. 

The annual Gerson D. Cohen Memorial Lecture was established in 1993 by The Honorable Howard M. Holtzmann, honorary chairman of the JTS Board of Trustees, as a tribute to the late Gerson D. Cohen, who served as chancellor of JTS from 1972 to 1986.

Admission is free but reservations are required. Attendees are asked to arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to the program and to have valid photo identification available. For more information and to register, please call the JTS Department of Public Events at (212) 280-6093.