Season 4 of the Hillels of Memphis On One Foot: Jewish Faculty Lecture Series will kick off on Friday, September 9, and features a new group of Jewish academics from Rhodes College and the University of Memphis. Lectures this season will be featured every second or third Friday of the month, starting with Professor Naomi Eichorn, Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Memphis. Hillels of Memphis is a program of Memphis Jewish Federation, which is operated by Jewish Community Partners.
“This initiative was created during COVID when there were little to no in-person events happening in the Memphis Jewish community,” said Sophie Bloch, Director of Hillels of Memphis. “It was also created when we were trying to leverage virtual programming to engage with the community. Now in its fourth season, we’ve continued the online series because of the great feedback we’ve gotten. With the speakers that we have lined up for this series, I’m sure everyone will leave feeling not only more informed on interesting topics, but also more connected to the Memphis Jewish community and to Hillels of Memphis.”
Season 4’s topics are as diverse as the lecturers, whose expertise in speech and language pathology, law and education reform, information technology, disability studies in the Middle East, and more will bring the episodes to life. Viewers can look forward to hearing from Jewish professors exploring topics related to current events and issues affecting our daily lives.
“I’m looking forward to participating in the On One Foot Jewish Faculty Series this Friday and sharing ideas related to my research and teaching interests with the Zoom audience,” said Professor Naomi Eichorn, Season 4’s first lecturer and Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Memphis. “As we approach the High Holy Days and introspect about our personal and communal goals and values, it feels especially meaningful to connect with other students, faculty, and community members in learning and growth. Kudos to Sophie Bloch and Hillels of Memphis for coordinating this opportunity!”
Each hour-long lecture starts at noon, with time included for group discussion. The series is designed for any community member interested in learning and is open to everyone.
“The Faculty Lecture Series is a rare Hillel program that isn’t specifically student-focused. We intentionally created it as a community-focused program for anyone with a student’s curiosity,” said Sophie. “Any adult community member will find the topics intellectually stimulating, and the sessions also give students the opportunity to learn from professors outside of their major or department, and possibly outside of their school as well.”
“On One Foot is a wonderful program because involvement is very important in any Hillel,” said Harry Samuels, a past President of Memphis Jewish Federation who was instrumental in establishing the first Memphis Hillel as a student at then Memphis State University, and who has remained involved with the program for more than 60 years. “It’s a wonderful thing that she’s done because involvement is very important in any Hillel. When you get the Jewish professors involved, it really means something to the students, aside from the benefit of the lectures themselves.”
The sessions are open to the public, but viewers must register in advance. Click here to learn more and register. The lectures will be recorded and posted on the same webpage. Viewers can catch up with the first three seasons now and watch upcoming lectures the week after their live debut.
“I’m hoping that viewers leave with a sense of connection to the Jewish academic talent at our local institutions, and a renewed perspective of how our religion ties into more topics than we may realize,” said Sophie.