Sherb Talk: False Messiahs and Self-Appointed Heirs; a Peak to Peak lecture with with Professor Nan Goodman

This talk tells the story of two charismatic, messianic figures under whose spell thousands of Jews converted to Christianity. 

The first figure was Jacob Frank, self-appointed heir to the false Jewish messiah, Sabbatai Sevi, whose orgies and other cultic behaviors gained widespread approval among European Jews in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  The other was Joseph Samuel Christian Frederick Frey, a Frankist figure in America whose belief in conversion as a path to messianic redemption was less successful but no less effusive than Frank‚Äôs.


Magicians, mystics, mischief-makers and messiahs take center stage in the CU Boulder Peak to Peak Lecture series, a program that brings CU Boulder humanities scholars to communities around Colorado to share innovative perspectives on historical figures, events and enduring questions. It is offered through the Program in Jewish Studies, a non-religious academic program that explores Jewish culture, history and society, in partnership with the CU Boulder Office for Outreach and Engagement. 

About Professor Nan Goodman: 

Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder and a professor in the Jewish Studies Program and English department, Goodman is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards and is the author of many articles and three books, The Puritan Cosmopolis:  The Law of Nations and the Early American Imagination (2018); Banished:  Common Law and the Rhetoric of Social Exclusion (2012); and Shifting the Blame:  Literature, Law, and the Theory of Accidents (1998).  She has also co-edited three volumes:  The Routledge Research Companion to Law and Humanities in Nineteenth-Century America (with Simon Stern, 2017)The Turn Around Religion in America: Literature, Culture (with Michael Kramer, (2011) and Juris-Dictions, Special Issue, English Language Notes, 48.2 (2010).  Her current project revolves around the legacy of Shabbtai Sevi, the false Jewish messiah. 

Thanks to our sponsors!

Interested in supporting the Sherbino? Sponsors make it happen.

Town of Ridgway
Telluride Foundation
Colorado Creative Industries
Alpenglow Arts Alliance
Tri-State Generation & Transmission
Alpine Bank
Ouray County Performing Arts Guild
Women's Club of Ouray

A history of community

Established in 1915, the Sherbino has been the heart of Ridgway Colorado, providing a venue for community events ranging from music to poetry. Now in a period of re-birth, the Sherbino continues to standout as the hub of events and community activities in Ridgway and throughout Ouray County. On February 11 2012 the Sherbino incorporated as the Ridgway Chautauqua Society Inc. whose mission is to embody the Chautauqua tradition by producing programs celebrating lifelong learning, the arts, culture and community. Learn more about the Sherbino.

Heart of Ridgway

Sherbino Ridgway Colorado

604 Clinton Street
Ridgway, Colorado 81432


Alpenglow Arts Alliance