Jewish Life at Gustavus

Samuel KesslerDr. Samuel Kessler, Jewish Life Advisor

Assistant Professor of Religion and Åke and Kristina Bonnier Chair in Jewish Studies
kessler@gustavus.eduDr. Kessler received his BA in History from New York University and MA and PhD in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Between 2016 and 2018 he was the Postdoctoral Fellow in Judaic Studies in the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech. His scholarship focuses primarily on nineteenth-century religious responses to modernity. He works on topics in Judaism, postmodern theory (Foucault), Holocaust, and twentieth-century literature (Roth, Malamud, Durrell). Dr. Kessler has taught widely in Jewish religion and culture, both in the classroom and community. You can find a selection of his syllabi here and his community engagement here as well as on Sepharia. Anyone in the community with questions about Judaism is encouraged to contact him. This fall (2018), Dr. Kessler will be teaching Introduction to Judaism (RELI 144) and Religion and Science (RELI 253). 

Jewish Life Holidays and Events, 2018-2019


The Chaplains’ Office and Dr. Samuel Kessler are pleased to bring awareness to the following Jewish holidays and to host several Jewish life events this year on campus. Events in bold are open to all members of the Gustavus community.

Sept. 9-11

Rosh Hashanah Interfaith Observance on Tuesday, Sept. 11 during Daily Sabbath at 10 am in Christ Chapel. Apples and honey will be served.

Sept. 18-19 Yom Kippur
Sept. 23-30

Sukkot celebration in the Sukkah on campus led by Gustavus Interfaith Forum, Jewish students at Gustavus, and Dr. Samuel Kessler.

Oct. 1-2 Simkhat Torah
Dec. 2-10


Apr. 20-27


May 2 Yom HaShoah