A member of the faculty of the Center for Jewish Studies, Holger Zellentin celebrates the center’s 40th birthday. He believes that CJS is a pioneering institution with a bright future as it faces new challenges, one of them being adapting to the evolving needs of the GTU’s students, and surrounding community. He hopes to see more community outreach as a means of growing the center. In addition, Zellentin would like to see more collaboration among academic institutions, especially between GTU and the University of California, Berkeley. CJS is focusing on working with the Center for Islamic Studies for interreligious events, the first this year being a co-celebration of Rosh Hashanah and Eid al-Fitr.
Having recently completed his Ph.D. at Princeton, Zellentin now prepares his dissertation, Late Antiquity Upside Down—Rabbinic Parodies of Christian and Jewish Literature, for publication. Conscious of the tenuous relationship between Judaism and Christianity which shaped much of later history, he recognizes that conflict also reveals the potential for meaningful exchange. The dialogical approach which marks his work stems from an awareness of interreligious engagement which has existed for centuries in various cultural contexts. Currently, two publications have his attention: The Jewish Wars and Rabbinic Memory and 12 Jewish Gospels.