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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

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

OU Cis Maisel Center invites you to a virtual event

An Evening with Dr. Jay Michaelson, Judaism: What Now?

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 

Discussion begins at 8:00 PM EST with

Q & A immediately following.

Even before 2020, American Judaism was in a period of rapid change and fragmentation.  Longstanding identities, organizations, ideologies, and political commitments (to Israel, to American liberalism) have all come under significant strain and questioning.

One of those shifts has been the rise of the “spiritual but not religious” and the “nones” (those who claim no religious affiliation).  Increasingly, American Jews, like other non-traditional American religionists, have taken pragmatic, eclectic, and functionalist approaches to their religious lives, although much of this has taken place away from traditional Jewish contexts.

2020 likely changed everything–we just don’t know how just yet.

In this talk, Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson, who, over the past twenty years, has played a significant role in some the shifts described above, will offer some informed speculation on how the Covid-19 pandemic, racial justice uprisings, 2020 election, and devastating climate change might be affecting how American Jews conceive of the place of religion in their lives, and how some forms of Jewish engagement may be revalued in the years to come.

Click here to be taken to the event web page.
Please register below and you will be sent a  confirmation email
with a link to attend the virtual event beforehand.



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.


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