School of Humanities and Cultural Studies

Ryterband Symposium

The Ryterband Symposium is a major ecumenical program co-sponsored by The University of Dayton, United Theological Seminary, and Wright State University. The host for the symposium rotates each year among these three institutions. The goal of the symposium is to promote mutual understanding between religious traditions, as well as advance social justice by exploring the interface between religious communities and the broader society.

42nd Annual Symposium
Thursday, March 31, 2022
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Wright State University
Student Union, 163 A-B Discovery Room

Keynote speaker: Dr. Deborah Dash Moore, the Frederick G. L. Heutwell Professor of History at the University of Michigan

Topic: "GI Jews: How WWII Transformed American Jews"

The lecture is free and open to the public. It will also stream on WSU TV at For more information, contract Dr. Mark Verman at

History of the Symposium

The annual Judaics Symposium began in 1978 under the leadership of Sanders Professor Emeritus, Eric Friedland. Since 2000 it has been coordinated by Mark Verman, Ph.D., Zusman Professor of Judaic Studies at Wright State University. It was originally known as the Sanders Symposium and has since been endowed, through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Louis Ryterband and Mrs. Natalie Roth.

Past Symposiums

  • 41st Annual Symposium: Dr. Arthur Green, "Excavating Hasidic Texts" and "Re-envisioning Jewish Theology and Judaism." Wednesday, September 19, 2019.
  • 40th Annual Symposium: Dr. Benjamin Sommer, “The Bodies of God in Ancient Israel” and “Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition.” Thursday, November 8, 2018
  • 39th Annual Symposium: Professor Ruth Langer,  Rachel Adler, “Women, Lament and Social Grief: An Historical Perspective” and "From Feminism to Gender: The Evolution of a Jewish Feminist." Thursday, November 2, 2017.
  • 38th Annual Symposium: Professor Ruth Langer, “Can Jews and Christians Pray Together?” and  “The Origins of Rabbinic Liturgy.”  Wednesday, November 16, 2016.
  • 37th Annual Symposium:  Professor Amy-Jill Levine, “The Bible and Israel/Palestine: Jewish and Christian Dialogue and Disputation’;  “Hearing Jesus’ Parables through First-Century Jewish Ears,” November 4, 2015.
  • 36th Annual Symposium: Rodger Kamenetz, “The Soul of a Jewish Poet: Why Poetry Still Matters”;  “The Jew in the Lotus: Spiritual Encounters with the Dalai Lama, a Retrospective,”  November 17, 2014.
  • 35th Annual Symposium:  Prof. Rachel Elior, Hebrew University Jerusalem, “The Origins of Hasidism”;  “The Dead Sea Scrolls---Who Wrote them, When and Why?” November 20, 2013.
  • 34th Annual Symposium: Dr. Richard Elliott Friedman, University of Georgia, “The World’s First Great Writers, or Nobody Believes That Anymore”; “The Death of the Gods, the Birth of Monotheism, the Disappearance of Gods,” October 15, 2012.
  • 33rd Annual Symposium: Dr. Daniel Matt, “To Eff the Ineffable: Translating the Zohar, the Masterpiece of the Kabbalah”; “How the Zohar Re-imagines God,” September 14, 2011.
  • 32nd Annual Symposium: Dr. Sylvia Barack Fishman, Brandeis University, “Jewish Gender Roles in Transition”; “Changes in the American-Jewish Hyphenated Identity,” October 27, 2010.
  • 31st Annual Symposium: Prof. Jon Levenson, Harvard Divinity School, “Resurrection in Judaism, Christianity and Islam”; “Re-Examining Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” October 26, 2009
  • 30th Annual Symposium: Dr. Lawrence Schiffman, New York University, “Biblical Interpretation in the Scrolls: God’s Word in Human Hands”; “Scholars, Scrolls and Scandals: Judaism, Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls,” September 15, 2008.
  • 29th Annual Symposium: Dr. Daniel Boyarin, University of California at Berkeley, “Moses in Heaven, Hellenism in Babylonia: a Talmudic Satire”; “The Talmud as Novel: The Life of Rabbi Meir, Patron of Incongruity,” October 10, 2007.
  • 28th Annual Symposium: Dr. Reuven Firestone, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, “Holy War in Western Religions”; “Textual study on Abraham in the Western Religions,” October 31, 2006.
  • 27th Annual Symposium: Dr. Ellen Umansky, Fairfield University, “Reclaiming the Covenant: Jewish Women’s Spirituality”; “Spiritual Healing & American Jews,” November 2, 2005.


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