Photos and Text by Lydia Aisenberg
Last year when he was visiting Israel Professor Jonathan Golden paid a quick call to Givat Haviva and made a repeat visit recently accompanied by Yehezkel Landau from the Hartford Seminary.
“When I came to visit last year there was a group from an American synagogue participating in a seminar and I sat in on their program and was really disappointed not to have had time to join them afterwards on the tour of the region that was part of their day at Givat Haviva,” reminisced Golden, Assistant Professor, Departments of Religion and Anthropology; Associate Director, Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict and also Director of Hillel at Drew University.
Next year Professor Jonathan Golden and another faculty member will be leading a group of 20 students from Drew University on an in-depth study tour of Israel. Professor Golden came to discuss International Department input to such a program and a seminar will be built together in the interim period.During the visit both Professor Golden and Yehezkel Landau were extremely impressed with the Intensive Arabic Semester program – a new term of which started the same day they visited campus – and expressed not only their interest in the program but also a willingness to share those impressions with others when they return to their respective campuses in the States shortly.
“This is a really exciting program and definitely could be attractive to some of our students,” said Professor Golden as he and Yehezkel Landau collected up pamphlets to take back to the States.Yahezkel Landau is also the co-director of the Open House Center for Jewish-Arab Coexistence in Ramle and a much respected commentator on interfaith and Middle East topics.
“This was an important visit for us here at the International Department,” said Intensive Arabic Semester director Hilit Ben Zvi. “We have a great deal of faith in our program and it is very uplifting indeed to have academic guests like Jonathan Golden and Yehezkel Landau give us such encouraging feedback.”
Jonathan Golden (Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, 1998) teaches at Drew University, where he is Associate Director of the Caspersen Centers, working closely with Drew’s Center for Civic Engagement, while serving as Assoc. Director for the Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict. Golden teaches in the Department of Religious Studies, the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies and the Theology School, specializing in the areas of Religion, Anthropology, and the Middle East - ancient and modern. He is the author of Ancient Canaan and Israel: New Perspectives and the forthcoming Dawn of the Metal Age. Golden offers courses and has written on such topics as religious conflict and terrorism, world archaeology, Jewish diaspora communities, ethnography of the Middle East and Latin America, and human evolution, with a special focus on the inter-face between science and religion. Golden is also Faculty Advisor to Drew Hillel and S.T.A.N.D. and is an active member of the Drew Disaster Relief Project; he also serves on the Religious Life Council and Diversity Committee. Golden lives in Florham Park, NJ, where he also enjoys playing soccer and performing/writing music.