UAlbany Heralds Inauguration of Jewish Studies Center

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4981

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 10, 2002) -- The University at Albany will inaugurate its new Center for Jewish Studies on April 25, 2002 at 4 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom.

The inauguration will feature remarks by UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock and honored guest Itamar Rabinovich, president of Tel Aviv University and former ambassador to the United States from Israel. President Rabinovich, a noted expert on Middle East politics and author of several in-depth studies of the region, will offer the keynote address: "The Middle East Peace Process - What Went Wrong."

President Hitchcock will also present President Rabinovich with the Medallion of the University, the institution's highest honor. Featured in the program are Jewish Studies Center Advisory Board Chair Alan P. Goldberg, who is president and co-chief executive officer of First Albany Corporation, and Mark Raider, director of the Center for Jewish Studies and chair of the Judaic Studies Department.

UAlbany is home to one of the oldest Judaic Studies Departments in the country. Against that backdrop, the new Center aims to consolidate and strengthen Jewish studies in public higher education to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to first-rate academic programs dedicated to the study of Jewish history and life. The Center also focuses on strengthening the education, research and public service mission of UAlbany by promoting a deeper understanding of the social and historical dimensions of Jewish civilization. The overarching vision of the Center is to establish the University at Albany as a flagship of Jewish studies for public higher education in the northeast and the nation.

The University and Center's advisory board are currently focused on the creation of a new endowed professorship in European Jewish studies with expertise in the Holocaust. In addition, the Center's Jewish Educational Initiative taps the resources of the University School of Education and the community to bolster the quality of Jewish educational institutions in the Capital Region and the northeast.

As part of the Inauguration festivities, a 1:30 p.m. film viewing and discussion in the Campus Center's Assembly Hall will focus on films from the Jewish Heritage Video Collection, a compilation of more than 250 films of Jewish interest made possible by a gift from Hedy Bagatelle ('60), a member of the UAlbany Foundation Board, the Center's advisory board and the honorary committee for this event.

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Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit ###


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