Can We Move Beyond Race and Religion? Jewish Identity & American Civil Rights Law

Sep 10

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Zoom Webinar

Part of How the Law Treats Hate: Antisemitism and Anti-Discrimination Reconsidered, a conference presented in partnership with the UVA Jewish Studies Program and the UVA Karsh Center for Law and Democracy

Recent years have seen controversial attempts to rethink civil rights law’s treatment of American antisemitism. These efforts have raised questions about the Jewish place in the legal landscape of American racial and religious diversity and the possibility for new hate speech laws. In this session, Elizabeth Katz and James Loeffler reflect on where Jews have and have not historically fit into categories of American civil rights protection, and where they might fit in today.

(Above: AP Photo/Steve Helber)


Elizabeth Katz, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

Elizabeth Katz is Associate Professor of Law at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. Her research focuses on family law, criminal law, the legal profession, and the operation of state courts. Her recent publications include “Racial and Religious Democracy”: Identity and Equality in Midcentury Courts (Stanford Law Review, 2020) and Criminal Law in a Civil Guise: The Evolution of Family Courts and Support Laws (University of Chicago Law Review, 2019).


James Loeffler, University of Virginia

James Loeffler is Jay Berkowitz Professor of Jewish History at the University of Virginia and a Faculty Collaborator with the Religion, Race & Democracy Lab. His books include Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (2018) and The Law of Strangers: Jewish Lawyers and International Law in the Twentieth Century (2020). He edits the Association for Jewish Studies Review journal and he is currently work on a history of antisemitism and civil rights in postwar America.


Chair: Laura Weinrib, Harvard Law School

Laura Weinrib is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. A legal historian, she studies how social movements have transformed constitutional categories to pursue political and economic change. She is the author of The Taming of Free Speech: America’s Civil Liberties Compromise (2016).

Conference Schedule

12:15–1:30 PM EST

How Do We Define Anti-Jewish Discrimination? The Puzzle of Antisemitism


2–3 PM EST

How Can Law Protect Groups? American and International Perspectives


3:30–4:30 PM EST

Can We Move Beyond Race and Religion? Jewish Identity & American Civil Rights Law


4:45–5:30 PM EST

Closing Conversation: Dahlia Lithwick and Micah Schwartzman


Each conference session requires a unique registration—attendees cannot register for the entire conference using a single link. Review the above conference schedule and click on session titles to register and learn more about the speakers. All sessions will be hosted as Zoom webinars.

Have questions? Email thereligionlab@virginia.edu.

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