by Dr. Moshe Gershovich, Director of The Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies
“Gender, Sexuality and ‘Otherness’ in Israeli Art” and “Jewish & Israeli Culture and Art” are the titles of two exciting new courses to be offered this fall by the University of Nebraska at Omaha through its Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies. Dr. Anat Gilboa will be the instructor of these classes, joining the center’s faculty as its first Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor.
Dr. Gilboa is an art historian, specializing in early modern art, Jewish and Israeli visual culture. She earned her PhD at Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Her dissertation, that examined Images of the Feminine in Rembrandt’s Work, was published in 2003. She has taught at various universities in Israel, Canada and the US, including Salem State College in Massachusetts, Washington College in Maryland, Georgia State University, and Portland State University. Her most recent teaching position has been at the Nazarian Center for Israel Studies at UCLA.
Dr. Gilboa’s expertise in the visual representation of Israeli and Jewish culture will add a new dimension to the curriculum offered by UNO faculty affiliated with The Schwalb Center. Going beyond politics, religion, and the headlines that typically shape our perceptions, she will challenge us to “Rethink Israel” in new ways. As Hannah Schwalb, co- founder of the Schwalb Center puts it, “Anat’s approach will bring a fresh perspective of how we view and learn about Israel today. While there is great value in learning Israel’s history and politics, we must also embrace new aspects of teaching, which she will offer.” Adds Avery Mazor, Assistant Professor of Art and Art History: “I think Anat is going to make an excellent addition to our department’s offerings. We are so lucky to have her point of view.”
Ahead of her move in the fall, Anat will be visiting Omaha from June 27-30. The Schwalb Center is organizing a getting-to-know-you breakfast in her honor, Friday, June 28, 8:30 a.m., at UNO’s Arts and Science Hall, Room 202. This will be a wonderful opportunity for everyone in the Jewish Community to meet with her in person, and you are all invited to do so. If you plan to attend the breakfast, RSVP by June 25 to Beth Brown-Gershovich at 402.660.4084.
The Schwalb Center is able to bring Anat Gilboa to Omaha thanks to a generous grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Implemented by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), the Schusterman Visiting Israel Professors program places approximately 20 scholars annually at various U.S. universities with the goal of presenting American students with a broad understanding of Israel’s history, society, politics, culture and relations with its neighbors and the broader international community. UNO is honored to be included among these elite institutions. It is our hope that hosting our first Schusterman VIP will greatly enhance the visibility of Israel Studies in Omaha.
An additional gift making this professorship possible was made by the generous support of Dr. Larry and Silvia Roffman and the Deborah and Arthur M. Greene Trust. The Roffmans are respected in the community for their life-long commitment to Jewish causes. Dr. Roffman passed away last week. This gift was made in memory of Mrs. Roffman’s parents, Deborah and Arthur Greene. In honoring her parents, Mrs. Roffman said that “Both my father and I were graduates of UNO where we received an excellent education. I knew that my parents would be proud to play a role in bringing Dr. Gilboa to UNO for the benefit of our community.”
Beyond her teaching at UNO, Dr. Gilboa will also be involved with the Jewish Community of Omaha by offering community classes and activities, coordinated through the Jewish Federation of Omaha and its Center for Jewish Life. Beth Cohen, Director of the CJL, states: “The Federation is fortunate to have such a strong partnership with the Schwalb Center. Dr. Gilboa’s expertise will add an exciting new element to our community’s adult education opportunities. We look forward to welcoming her to Omaha.”
Looking forward to her upcoming visit next week, Dr. Gilboa emphasizes “how pleased and honored I am to be invited to teach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Dear friends, I would like to thank you all, and especially Dr. Moshe Gershovich for his guidance and support and for giving me the privilege to join the team. I am looking forward to meeting all of you soon.”
Editor Note: Members of the Omaha Jewish Community who are interested in enhancing their understanding of Israeli history, culture, and society, are encouraged to enroll as auditors in Anat Gilboa’s classes at UNO. For further information, call the Schwalb Center, 402.554.3175 or e-mail Dr. Gershovich at firstname.lastname@example.org.