What Does It Mean to Be in Exile, and Why Has Judaism Been So Obsessed with it? What is Diaspora and How is it Different from Exile? And Why Is All This so Important?

Please join us for this hybrid public talk by the renowned Jewish Studies scholar Prof. Shaul Magid. His visit to Boulder is co-sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies, the Boulder JCC, Congregation Bonai Shalom, Congregation HarHashem, and Congregation Nevei Kodesh.

In-person at Eaton Humanities, Room 135
and streaming on Zoom (please register well in advance).

Shaul Magid suggests that Jews worldwide are experiencing a deep intervention into their identity. Perhaps sparked by October 7 and then the ensuing war, basic questions of Jewish identity that seemed somewhat stable are now de-stabilized. In this talk, Shaul Magid expands on some themes in his book The Necessity of Exile about why he thinks exile is so important for us today and, even more controversially, why Zionism may not be the best ideology for the state of Israel in the next phase of its history.

Shaul Magid is Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard, and the Kogod Senior Research Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. In 2023-2024, he serves as the Visiting Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at Harvard Divinity School. He has been the rabbi of the Fire Island Synagogue in Seaview, Fore Island, NY, for the past 25 years. Studying as an undergraduate at Goddard College in Plainfield Vermont, he moved to Israel in 1980, studied for five years in various yeshivot in Jerusalem and then completed his M.A. in Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University. Returning to the US in 1989, he earned his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1994. His rabbinical ordination is from Jerusalem in 1984. He is the author of many books and essays including Hasidism on the Margin (University of Wisconsin Press, 2005), From Metaphysics to Midrash (Indiana University Press, 2008), American Post-Judaism: Identity and Renewal in a Postethnic Society (Indiana University Press, 2013), Hasidism Incarnate: Hasidism, Christianity, and The Construction of Modern Judaism (Stanford University Press, 2014), Piety and Rebellion: Essays in Hasidism (Academic Studies Press, 2019), The Bible, the Talmud, and the New Testament: Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik's Commentary to the New Testament (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), and Meir Kahane: The Public Life and Political Thought of an American Jewish Radical (Princeton University Press, 2021) and his new book The Necessity of Exile: Essays from a Distance (New York: Ayin Press). He is the contributing editor of the column “Teiku” for the Ayin Journal and writes regularly for +972 and Religion Dispatches. He is an elected member of the American Academy for Jewish Research and the American Society for the Study of Religion.

Thursday, February 29 at 5:00pm

Eaton Humanities, 135
1610 Pleasant Street, Boulder, CO 80309

Event Type

Lecture/Presentation, Community Engagement


Science & Technology, Diversity & Inclusion, Environment & Sustainability, International & Global Affairs


Students, Faculty, Alumni, General Public, Staff

College, School & Unit

Arts & Sciences

Program in Jewish Studies
Add to Calendar

Recent Activity