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News Release


UAlbany Center for Jewish Studies Launches Film Series

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 6, 2003)-The Center for Jewish Studies, Department of Judaic Studies and University at Albany Hillel have announced their 2003-04 film series. The films - diverse in style and content - address key events and issues in the modern Jewish experience in Europe, America and Israel. Faculty members with expertise on related topics will introduce each film, and moderate a post-screening discussion. Light refreshments will be served. The viewings are free and open to the public.

On Thursday, October 16, 7 p.m. in the Alumni House of UAlbany’s uptown campus, the series opens with The Jazz Singer (Warner Bros., directed by Alan Crosland, 1927). Young Jakie Rabinowitz has forsaken the traditional ways of his father (a fifth-generation cantor) for a career on the American musical stage. Famous for being the first “talkie,” The Jazz Singer is equally important for its powerful treatment of the tension between adherence to religious traditions and adaptation to the modern world. The film features a memorable performance by Al Jolson, one of the greatest stage and screen stars of his era.

The Jazz Singer will be introduced by UAlbany Adjunct Professor Audrey Kupferberg, an accomplished film and video consultant, archivist and appraiser. Ms. Kupferberg has been director of the Yale Film Study Center, assistant director of the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the American Film Institute, and project director of the American Film Institute Catalog. She is a contributing editor to Leonard Maltin's "Family Film Guide," and has written for "Women Filmmakers and Their Films," "International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers," and "St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture." She works as film consultant to The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College.

Upcoming films:

• Nov. 6 - My Mother’s Courage (Kristallnacht commemorative event), 7 p.m., Page Hall
• Nov. 13- Partisans of Vilna, 7 p.m., Campus Center Room 375
• Dec. 11- My Favorite Year, 7 p.m., Alumni House
• Feb. 5- Tevye der Milkhiker [Tevye the Dairyman], 7 p.m., Alumni House
• March 11- Body and Soul, 7 p.m., Alumni House
• April 22- Bluz la-khofesh ha'gadol [Late Summer Blues], 7 p.m., Alumni House

Parking is available opposite Alumni House. For more information contact Yoel Hirschfeld at 591-8514,

The Center for Jewish Studies, University at Albany, seeks to foster knowledge of Jewish history, thought, and culture through education, scholarship, and community outreach. The Center provides an environment in which students, scholars, and community members can engage in education, research, pedagogy, and a variety of public programs related to Jewish Studies. The Center is committed to providing individuals and institutions in the region access to its activities and the Department of Judaic Studies. The Center has a special interest in advancing the University’s commitment to academic excellence, public service, and ideals of justice by promoting the study of Judaism and the Jewish experience in the Diaspora and Israel from antiquity to the present.


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. The University is engaged in a $500 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with the goal of placing it among the nation's top 30 public research universities by the end of the decade. For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit

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