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UAlbany Appoints Joel Berkowitz as Director of the Center for Jewish Studies

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

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Associate Professor Joel Berkowitz, director, UAlbany's Center for Jewish Studies

New Center for Jewish Studies Director Joel Berkowitz's research includes Jewish culture, history, film and Yiddish theatre (Photo Mark Schmidt).

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 4, 2008) -- Associate Professor Joel Berkowitz, an author and scholar in modern Judiac Studies, was appointed director of UAlbany's Center for Jewish Studies. Berkowitz joined the University at Albany faculty in 2001 and serves as chairman of the Judaic Studies Department. His research includes Jewish culture, history, film and Yiddish theatre.

Berkowitz was a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem from 1995-1996. Prior to his tenure at UAlbany, Berkowitz taught in the CUNY system and at Oxford University. He is the author of Shakespeare on the American Yiddish Stage (2002), editor of Yiddish Theatre: New Approaches (2003), and editor and translator of Landmark Yiddish Plays (2006). His work is regularly published in scholarly journals. Berkowitz earned his doctorate at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

"I am confident that under Professor Berkowitz's strong leadership the Center for Jewish Studies will flourish, continue to affirm its commitment to academic excellence, and through innovative community-wide programs serve as a bridge between the university and the community at large," said Edelgard Wulfert, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"I look forward to leading the effort to find new ways for the Center for Jewish Studies and the Judaic Studies Department to collaborate on making UAlbany a vital resource for the understanding of Jewish history, religion, and culture in the Capital Region, the SUNY system, and the wider academic community," said Berkowitz.

Berkowitz replaces former director Olga Litvak.

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 58 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.

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