With this issue of AJS News, we welcome to our AJS community, Dr. Warren Hoffman as our new executive director. If you missed the announcement of his appointment, you may read more about his background, accomplishments, and hopes for AJS here.
During the months of transition between executive directors, AJS continued to serve our members and move forward on our mission to advance research and teaching in Jewish Studies at colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning, and to foster greater understanding of Jewish Studies scholarship among the wider public.
Our top-notch staff and our officers all took on additional responsibilities to insure AJS’s smooth operations during the leadership transition. Here are just a few of the projects that proceeded apace.
» Our website redesign ran on schedule.
» The call for papers for our 2017 annual conference, to be held in Washington, DC was posted. Even now, the Division Chairs and Program Committee are hard at work planning this year’s conference.
» The Legacy Heritage Fellowship Committee selected the finalists for the second year of these dissertation-completion awards.
» The call for submissions to this year’s Schnitzer Book Awards has circulated widely.
» We continued to offer new episodes in our webinar series.
» Planning for our Writing Beyond the Academy workshop proceeded.
» Generous members have continued to contribute to our AJS@50 campaign.
These were also months in which international events posed particular challenges to our members and our mission. In April, Gershon Hundert, President of the American Academy of Jewish Research and I sent a letter to the Hungarian government expressing our alarm about legislation, which at the time was under consideration but has since then passed, that will effectively shutter Budapest’s Central European University The AJS Executive Committee wrote Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer to note concerns about the “Entry into Israel” bill. We received an acknowledgement of our concern and await a response.
I close this update by thanking all those who insured the smooth operations of AJS in these recent months. Our officers—Vice-President for Program Christine Hayes, Vice-President for Publications Magda Teter, Vice-President for Membership and Outreach Jeffrey Veidlinger, Secretary/Treasurer Zachary Baker— took on new tasks and shouldered additional responsibilities. So too did our staff: Director of Events Heather Turk, Director of Special Projects Shira Moskovitz, Conference Program Associate Ilana Abramovitch, Grants and Communications Coordinator Amy Weiss, Membership and Database Manager Michelle Katz, Development Associate Susan Sapiro, Website Manager and AJS Perspectives Managing Editor Karin Kugel.
We all look forward to AJS’s continued success under the leadership of our new Executive Director, Warren Hoffman, and extend him a warm welcome.
Pamela S. Nadell is president of the Association for Jewish Studies and professor and Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History at American University.