Dear friends and colleagues,
The ACJS has gone fully online for this year’s conference, and I think the change of pace is not all bad. There are no more travel costs, no more homesickness, and no more need to be physically present for long and tiring––though informative and fascinating––days. And, as an added bonus, the lack of costs to the ACJS has afforded us the opportunity to make the 2021 ACJS conference a by-donation affair. Given that fortunate reality, we are really hoping to see as many of our members (and non-members!) enjoy ACJS content as possible from the comfort of their own homes at zero- or minimal-cost.
We don’t necessarily expect every attendee to sit at their computers every minute of every day of the conference given the complex reality of pandemic life, so we’ve taken some measures to make the conference accessible and interesting. For starters, we’ve incorporated short breaks after every session, where attendees can grab some snacks or prepare for the next session. We’ll keep the sessions open during those breaks, though, in case attendees would like to schmooze a bit.
I’m really excited about our sessions this year; we have a mix of our typical conference style and some that are slightly different. On our first day, we have a session that looks at Canadian Jewish community concerns, followed by one on the question of keeping kosher in the interwar years. Our first atypical session will be a joint one between the ACJS and the Latin American Jewish Studies Association (again, the online nature of this year’s conference has afforded us this great opportunity). Following a session on Jews and Language and a break, we will present this year’s well-deserved Louis Rosenberg award to Frank Bialystok and host a roundtable discussion on Jewish choirs in a Pandemic world.
On our second day, the annual board meeting will be followed by a session on advocacy and activism. During the lunch hour, I will be hosting a live episode of Meet the Author, the ACJS interview series that Richard Menkis and I have been working on since last year’s conference was cancelled. Following this, we have two sessions––chronologically organized––about World War II and the Holocaust, as well as survivor life after the Holocaust.
On our final day, we will start the day with our annual general meeting, followed by a really interesting session that features individual stories of interest in Canadian Jewish Studies. During our lunch hour, we’ll have an open schmooze session. Closing out the conference, we have two sessions in the afternoon, one on Canadian Jewish popular culture and one about Canada’s Jews fitting into a variety of communities.
Finally, I’d like to reemphasize how wonderful it would be to have as many of our colleagues (members and non-members alike!) hop on, even if only for a few sessions. Given the low cost and convenience, we think it’s a great opportunity for some much-needed community! I, for one, am really looking forward to it, and I’m very excited to meet back up with everyone.
To view the schedule and register, please follow this link. Please note that the schedule is still subject to change.
Wishing you all the very best,
ACJS Conference Chair