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Lecture Focuses on 350 Years of American Jewry
UAlbany Center for Jewish Studies and the Colonie Jewish Community Association launch their annual program with an April 7 lecture by Center Director Mark A. Raider

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 24, 2005) -- The Center for Jewish Studies at UAlbany and the Colonie Jewish Community Association will present Mark A. Raider, chair of the Judaic Studies Department and director of Center, lecturing on "Reflections on 350 Years of the Jewish People in America" The lecture, the initial presentation of an annual educational program, will be held Thursday, April 7, 7:30 p.m., at the William K. Sanford Town Library in Loudonville. Light, kosher refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public. All facilities are wheelchair accessible.

The Center for Jewish Studies and Colonie Jewish Community Association collaboration was created to promote greater understanding of Jewish heritage and community in the Capital Region.

Raider explained, “The American Jewish experience - now marking its 350th anniversary year - is a kaleidoscope of social, religious, cultural, economic, and political forces. Like other American ethnic groups, the experience of the Jews is rooted in two great historical traditions: one, its own, dating back to the Jewish people’s origins in biblical times; the other, that of the New World, dating back to the colonization of North America in the 17th century.”

This lecture will explore how American Jewish life and culture developed and changed over time, from the colonial period to the present. It will highlight broad themes and major topics in the American Jewish experience, and investigate critical historical junctures including the American Revolution, the Civil War era, World Wars I and II, the rise of Zionism and the creation of the State of Israel, and the impact of the Holocaust on American Jews.

The annual educational program highlights topics about Jewish life and culture, and is organized by the UAlbany Center for Jewish Studies. The program underscores the Center's goal of promoting a deeper understanding of the social, religious and historical dimensions of Jewish life through educational lectures and activities. By including topics such as Jewish art, music and culture, the program seeks to attract a broad range of participants of all ages and backgrounds - from both the University community and greater Capital region. Moreover, the program provides for an academic forum for individuals who are interested in enriching their knowledge about Jewish culture, thus, also supporting the core mission of the University - to educate and advance knowledge in society. “This is a wonderful demonstration of the new private-public partnership championed by the Advisory Board. We hope that others will follow the example set by our Colonie friends,” said Peter Elitzer, president of Peter Harris Clothing and head of the Advisory Board’s development committee.

For more information on the lecture, contact Yoel Hirschfeld (518) 437-3613.


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