Taus Lecture Lunch & Learn, Wednesday November 7, 2018 at Noon


Associate Professor of Jewish History, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles

“The Temple of the Body: Jewish Boxers, Strongmen and the Development of ‘Muscular Judaism'”


Professor Sharon Gillerman’s scholarship focuses on modern German and central European Jewish history with a specoal interest in gender history, cultural studies, popular culture, and transnational history. Professor Gillerman’s first book, Germans into Jews: Remaking the Jewish Social Body in the Weimar Republic, was the recipient of the 2010 Book Award from the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association. The book reconsiders the meaning and process of assimilation by focusing on communal efforts to reinvigorate the Jewish community through strengthening the family, welfare, and increasing reproduction. She has also co-edited a volume of essays with Benjamin Baader and Paul Lerner, Jewish Masculinities: German Jews, Gender and History. Currently, she is writing a book on the performances and reception of the popular Polish Jewish circus strongman and vaudeville star Zishe (Siegmund) Breitbart in eastern Europe, central Europe, and the United States. Professor Gillerman teaches classes in modern Jewish history, gender and Jewish history, the Holocaust, and the history of Holocaust memorialization. In addition to teaching at HUC-JIR and USC, she has also been a visiting professor at Brandeis University, UCLA, the University of Hamburg, and Harvard University.

Our Taus Lecture Series is perhaps one of a kind in Southern California. The brainchild of Esther Taus, Ph.D., z’l, the Series brings noted scholars and academics to Temple Beth El for an afternoon or evening of thought-provoking learning and dialogue.

Each session offers a thorough exploration of a subject of Jewish interest presented by a distinguished Rabbi, educator, speaker, or faculty member from a Southern California college or university.