Welcome to a new year at Queen’s!
This is not the year any of us were expecting, and there will be many difficulties ahead. I will not repeat what other people have said better: the pandemic will demand a great deal from all of us, and we will all have to change our behaviours and expectations as we go. And this is not usually a pleasant thing. Our reach has been shortened, and we have to move in small circles. It will be a hard time. It is, however, a good time for quiet things: studying, learning, and leaving the present to dig deeply into other worlds.
Queen’s Jewish Studies is in a good place to do exactly this. We are well supported by Queen’s and our donors, and we hope to spend this pandemic strengthening and refining what we do. The most important thing we do—supporting and teaching Jewish Studies classes across the humanities at Queen’s—will go on as planned, if online. Being online is not a thing anyone asked for, but I suspect we will learn new things, and perhaps find our teaching and thinking invigorated by this interruption, if only once it is over.
This is a time for Jewish Studies to regroup, think about what we are doing, and why we are doing it. We will work on developing digital collections with the library, our websites, our student awards, and ways we can cultivate and promote events, so that when this is over, we can once more work with Queen’s and the Kingston community and promote the work of Jewish Studies scholars andartists.
It is a good time to explore new things. If you are interested in taking any of our courses, teaching a new course, working with us to develop a project, or getting a minor in Jewish Studies, let us know.
We are working across larger distances than normal: conversations which once took place across a table will now take place across cities. But we would like you to stay in touch with us, via facebook, email, or whatever way you find least invasive.
Please do stay safe
Dustin N Atlas
Continued support will enable us to preserve Jewish Studies role in the educational landscape of Queen’s, to diversify our curriculum, and to open up new educational and professional opportunities for students at all levels.