"Cis Maisel Center for Judaic Studies and Community Engagement" typed on open book background

Contact Us:

Michael Pytlik
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Director of the Cis Maisel Center for Judaic Studies and Community Engagement
Director of Judaic Studies

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Cis Maisel Center for Judaic Studies and Community Engagement

Oakland University’s Cis Maisel Center for Judaic Studies and Community Engagement serves as a hub for education and community outreach on the rich tradition of Judaism and Jewish culture.

The Cis Maisel Center for Judaic Studies and Community Engagement was created through a generous gift by Cis Maisel, a community leader in southeastern Michigan and a staunch advocate for education. The newly created center will focus on the study of Judaism from an academic standpoint as well as provide an important space for research that enhances the understanding of the rich traditions of Judaism from around the world. It is the donor’s hope that the center will create new collaborations and build a new level of understanding about Judaism in southeast Michigan and beyond.

Upcoming Events

Rabbi Telushkin's talk on his book,

Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson

February 1, 2023

6:15 reception, 7pm presentation

All welcome, free and open to the public

Registration is required:


Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, named by Talk Magazine as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States, is the author of “Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History,” the most widely selling book on Judaism of the past three decades.

In this talk, Rabbi Telushkin will discuss his more recent book, “Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History,” which has become a New York Times’ bestseller. The book, based on five years of research, tells the story of how Menachem Mendel Schneerson took over a small movement based in Brooklyn in 1951 and turned it into the most dynamic religious movement in modern Jewish history.

The book addresses the Rebbe as an iconic figure, the only rabbi to ever win the Congressional Gold Medal, and as the man who led the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, a worldwide mission that now includes Chabad houses in all of the 50 American states and in some 120 countries. Telushkin will examine the Rebbe’s wisdom, including five of the Rebbe’s teachings that people can incorporate in their lives immediately.


The Maisel Center will allow OU to develop ongoing programs and conversation series, host lectures, display important cultural artifacts and collaborate with other local institutions and community groups in new and exciting ways.

Steering Committee

The board members will serve to guide the CIS Maisel Center for Judaic Studies and Community Engagement at Oakland University.  We welcome all of these members and look forward to their valued input on our programs and future events.

Ruth Bergman, Education Director at the Holocaust Memorial Center
Rabbi Joseph Klein, retired rabbi and faculty at Oakland University and Rochester College, Federation, and community synagogues
Mr. Dan Medow, community leader and member of the Judiac Studies Committee for Oakland Michael Silverstein, community leader and Director of Development at Oakland's Business School