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The Origin of the Jews by Steven Weitzman: A Book Talk and Reception

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University of Pennsylvania Hillel

215 S 39th Street

2nd Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19104

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The Jews are an ancient people with one of the longest recorded histories, yet scholars have long puzzled over their origins. When exactly did they appear? What were the precipitating factors that contributed to their arrival? This talk will explore some of the latest research bearing on the origin of the Jews, ranging from the Bible to 21st-century biology. Professor Weitzman will survey an area that has confounded historians and archaeologists for centuries with the help of genealogy, linguistics, archaeology, psychology, sociology, and genetics.

The talk will be followed by a reception celebrating the publication of Professor Weitzman’s book on the same topic, The Origin of the Jews: The Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age, which just won a National Jewish Book Award.

Steven Weitzman is the Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania and the Ella Darivoff Director of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. He specializes in the Hebrew Bible and the origins of Jewish culture and has published on the Jews in antiquity, religion in the same period, and on King Solomon. His most recent book is called The Origin of the Jews: The Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age, which Publishers Weekly called a “multicourse intellectual feast” and Kirkus Reviews described as “an accomplishment for the academy.” The book won the 2017 National Jewish Book Award in Education and Jewish Identity.


Free and open to the public, RSVP requested.

For information about the entire series of which this is a part, visit http://katz.sas.upenn.edu/public-programs.

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University of Pennsylvania Hillel

215 S 39th Street

2nd Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19104

View Map

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