Elka Klein Memorial Lecture
Elka Klein Memorial Lecture
The Elka Klein Memorial Lecture Series was established in 2008 as a living memorial to Elka Klein z”l, daughter of Darchei Noam members Martin and Suzanne Silk Klein. The Series mirrors Professor Klein’s broad interests, including Jewish history, evolving halachic practice and Jewish ethics.
Past lectures include:
2008: Jews, Citizens and Slaves in a Colonial Society — the Example of Eighteenth-Century Suriname with Professor Natalie Zemon Davis, Henry Charles Lea Professor of History at Princeton University and Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Toronto
2009: Canadian Jews and the Six Day War with Harold Troper, Professor of Theory and Policy Studies, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.
2010: Seeking Revenge and Seeking the Messiah: Perspectives on Converso and Jewish History in 15th Century Spain with Mark Meyerson, Associate Professor of History, The Centre for the Study of Religion and The Department of History, University of Toronto.
2011/2012: The History of the Jewish People (Two-part series) with Professor Martin Lockshin, Department of Humanities, York University
Part One: Medieval Jewish Thinkers and the Creation of Modern Judaism: How the teachings of a few great men shaped normative Judaism
Part Two: Jewish Spanish Diaspora: Exploring the Golden Age in Spain and its legacy for the future
2013: "Behold You are [fill in the blank] to Me" - Rethinking Our Model of Marriage with Rabbi Gail Labovitz, Associate Professor of Rabbinics, American Jewish University
2014: The 2013 Survey of American Jews - Implications for Canada with Gregory A. Smith, Associate Director, Research,
Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project; Dr. Frank Bialystok, Centre for Canadian Studies at University College, University of Toronto; Bernie Farber, Senior Vice President with Gemini Power Corp, former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress; Rabbi Tina Grimberg, Congregation Darchei Noam; Rabbi Aaron Levy, Founding Director and Rabbi, Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism; moderated by Janice Stein, Director, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. [full archival video]
2015: How Small Men Become Great: Theodor Herzl as a Zionist Leader with Derek J. Penslar, Samuel Zacks Professor of Jewish History at the University of Toronto; Stanley Lewis Professor of Israel Studies at Oxford University.
Elka Klein z”l
Elka Klein was a young academic, specializing in Medieval Jewish History. She grew up in Toronto, although her postsecondary education and career were in the United States. Darchei Noam was her first shul. She was active here as a young teenager and her family thought it appropriate that she be remembered here. She was author of two books and numerous articles. At the time of her death she was an assistant professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Much of her work centred on the way in which Jews fit into their larger society, while retaining their Jewish identity and culture, how similar the strategies of leading Jewish families were to those of their Christian neighbours, and how they navigated their business and cultural worlds.
As an American in Canada and a Canadian in the United States, she was intensely interested in personal and communal identity and in comparisons between the two worlds in which she lived.