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On Winks and Lies: The Performance of Sincerity and Jewish Conversion in Israel

Thursday, April 22
12 – 1:30 p.m.

The talk will feature Tel Aviv University’s Michal Kravel-Tovi in conversation with Omri Elisha, Queens College and CUNY, hosted by the Seminar on Jewish Orthodoxies. It will trace the performance of state-endorsed Orthodox conversion to highlight the collaborative labor that goes into the “making” of the Israeli state and its Jewish citizens.

About the Speakers
Kravel-Tovi is an associate professor of socio-cultural anthropology at Tel Aviv University, working at the intersection of Jewish studies, political anthropology, and the anthropology of religion. Her award-winning book When the State Winks: The Performance of Jewish Conversion in Israel, was published in 2018, and she is currently working on two projects, one on the American Jewish “Continuity Crisis,” and the second on sexual violence among Haredim.

Elisha is an associate professor of anthropology at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of Moral Ambition: Mobilization and Social Outreach in Evangelical Megachurches (University of California Press, 2011). His current research explores issues of cosmology, professionalization, and expertise among contemporary Western astrologers.


This event is open to alumni, faculty/staff, parents, students, and the public.