YINR – Women’s Initiative for Jewish Studies to Bring Dr. Ruth Langer via Zoom


January 9, 2024    
8:15 pm - 9:15 pm

Event Type

Women’s Initiative for Jewish Studies (WIJS) at Young Israel of New Rochelle is proud to present Dr. Ruth Langer on Tuesday, January 9, 2024 @ 8:15 pm (ET) on Zoom.  Langer will be the fifth speaker of the 2023-2024 season in the monthly scholarly programming offered by WIJS at YINR.

Langer’s lecture is entitled, “Cursing the Christians?: The Story of the Birkat HaMinim.”  This presentation is based on Dr. Langer’s book of the same name, Cursing the Christians?: A History of the Birkat HaMinim (Oxford University Press, 2012), which traces the transformations and polemics surrounding the Jewish prayer of Birkat HaMinim from its putative origins as a curse of Christians in the early rabbinic period, through its censorship by the church and, finally, to its modern emergence into an inoffensive prayer that asks God to rid the world of evil.

Dr. Ruth Langer is Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in the Theology Department at Boston College and Associate Director of its Center for Christian-Jewish Learning. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and received her Ph.D. in Jewish Liturgy from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati.

Dr. Langer publishes and speaks in two major areas: the development of Jewish liturgy and ritual, and Christian-Jewish relations.  In addition to Cursing the Christians?: A History of the Birkat HaMinim, Dr. Langer’s works include To Worship God Properly: Tensions between Liturgical Custom and Halakhah in Judaism (Hebrew Union College Press, 1998), investigating the tensions between rabbinic dictates and the actual practices and understandings of the medieval Jewish community; and Jewish Liturgy: A Guide to Research (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), an annotated bibliography of over 1000 entries of English-language studies of Jewish liturgy accessible to those from outside the Jewish Studies world. She also co-edited Liturgy in the Life of the Synagogue (Eisenbrauns, 2005) and Engaging in Dialogue About the Land: A Resource Book for Jews and Christians (Stimulus, 2021), and has published over seventy articles.

All WIJS programming is open to women and men.  Please visit www.yinr.org/wijs to view the complete WIJS 2023-24 schedule.  For more information, to be added to the WIJS email list, or for Zoom information, please call 914-636-2215 or email: wijs@yinr.org.  Individuals on the WIJS mailing list will automatically receive the Zoom information.