7:30-9pm, Sunday, March 27

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Jeffrey Shandler facilitate a discussion about Off the Wall with artists, designers, and staff in a salon hosted by Jews and Media Working Group, New York University.

The Working Group on Jews, Media, and Religion is based at the Center for Religion and Media at NYU. Since 2003, this working group has brought together scholars, media artists, and curators involved in a wide array of disciplines and institutions to examine Jewish life through the emerging field of media and religion.

The working group has also sponsored annual colloquia, generated publications, and created a website (, all dedicated to exploring the intersection of Jews, media, and religion. According to Jeffrey Shandler, “We consider art and museums to be important sites for understanding Jews in the rubric of media and religion, and we are eager to see how contemporary artists at work in the JM will engage issues of Jewish spirituality, community, and self-reflection that we have been studying in other media. We are especially interested in how the museum will serve as a forum that brings artists in direct contact with museum visitors while the artists are at work.”

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies at New York University, where she chaired her department for over a decade. She is also Affiliated Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Working at the convergence of performance studies and visual culture studies, she teaches courses on museums, heritage, tourism, and world’s fairs. Her most recent book, coauthored with her father, Mayer Kirshenblatt, is They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland before the Holocaust, which will be the subject of an exhibition at The Jewish Museum in 2009.

Jeffrey Shandler, a scholar of modern Jewish culture, is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. He studies the role that broadcasting, film, photography, and other media play in modern Jewish life, modern Yiddish culture, American responses to the Holocaust, and Jewish museum and tourist practices, among other topics. His publications include Entertaining America: Jews, Movies and Broadcasting (with J. Hoberman), which accompanied a Jewish Museum exhibition in 2003.