CUNY and JCRC to Celebrate Israel’s 50th Anniversary June 2, Ambassador Shmuel Sisso to be Honored

The City University of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York will celebrate Israel’s 50th anniversary and the tradition of academic exchange and scholarly partnerships between CUNY and Israeli higher education at a reception Tuesday, June 2, 5:30 p.m. in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center, 165 West 65th Street.

CUNY Board of Trustees Chairwoman Anne A. Paolucci and Interim Chancellor Christoph M. Kimmich will join with JCRC President Martin S. Begun and JCRC Executive Vice President Michael S. Miller to honor Ambassador Shmuel Sisso, Consul General of Israel in New York at the event.

The Jewish Community Relations Council’s activities reflect the concerns, needs and aspirations of New York’s Jewish community. JCRC is an umbrella agency for more than 60 major civic, communal, educational and religious organizations and maintains departments on intergroup relations and community concerns, government relations, Jewish communal affairs, Israel and international affairs and Soviet Jewry.

CUNY students, faculty, and administration marked this milestone in Israel’s modern history with a wide-range of programs and events.

Listed below are examples of the great variety of activities held on CUNY campuses in celebration of Israel’s 50th anniversary and as part of CUNY’s on-going exploration of Jewish life in New York. All were open to the public and most were free.

Partial List:

Kingsborough Community College, the History Department, and the Jewish History Club presented Songs of the Ghetto, performed by lyric soprano Diane Cypkin, accompanied by Ruby Sosnowicz, on May 19, 1998.

The Graduate School and University Center, on May 18, 1998, held a free public conference to discuss Israel and American Jews: How Stable is the Relationship. Presenters included Prof. Charles S. Liebman, Bar-Ilan University; Prof. Irving Louis Horowitz, Rutgers University; Professors Samuel Heilman and Asher Arian, The Graduate School; and His Excellency Dr. Dore Gold, representative of Israel to the United Nations.

Truman, Eisenhower, and the Creation of Israel was the topic discussed by Isaac Alteras, at Queens College, on May 6, 1998. Dr. Alteras is professor of Jewish history and former director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College.

Brooklyn College was the place to hear Jewish music based on East European Klezmer and Yiddish songs. The program, Brave Old World was presented in April 1998.

Herbert H. Lehman College hosted Theodore Bikel, the well-loved performer, to highlight a Salute to Israel, 50th Anniversary celebration in April 1998.

Queens College Hillel, from April 30-May 29, presented an Israel Birthright Photo Exhibit, the photography of Hertzel Hillel Yitzhak.

The Jewish History Club at Kingsborough Community College sponsored a trip to the Museum of Jewish Heritage on April 30, 1998.

On Israeli Independence Day, April 30, 1998, Brooklyn College’s Hillel Club presented Take a Walk Through Israel! Free food, multi-ethnic music and a street carnival celebrated Israel’s 50th Birthday.

The Queens College Israeli Club and the Queens Region of Hadassah presented an Israel Independence Day B-B-Q, celebrating Israel’s 50th Birthday, on Monday, April 27, 1998.

Hunter College’s Hebrew Division, the Jewish Social Studies Program and the Hunter Hillel Foundation sponsored the symposium, Women Authors of Modern Hebrew Literature, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel. Chaired by Robert M. Seltzer of Hunter College, participants included Lily Ratok, Tel Aviv University; Stanley Nash, Hebrew Union College, and Rivka Friedman, Hunter College on April 22, 1998.

Sponsored by the Jewish History Club, the Department of History and the Holocaust Resource Center of Kingsborough Community College, Dr. Henry Feingold, of the Graduate School and University Center, author and educator, discussed the question Did American Jewry Do Enough During the Holocaust? on April 7, 1998.

Queensborough Community College’s Celebration of Israel on its 50th Anniversary, in April 1998, included a concert by pianist David Holzman, performing Jewish Folk Melodies by Marshall Bialosky; Log-a-Rhythms, by Robert Pollock; From the Palestinian Notebook-Yiddish Wedding, Wiegenlied, Hora, by Stefan Wolpe. The concert was free and open to the community.

The Graduate School and University Center hosted Professor Zvi Yavetz, speaking on The Pogrom in Antiquity. This free lecture was held in March 1998.

The Lecture Series ot the Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, at the Graduate School and University Center, as part of its on-going exploration of Jewish life, in March, April and May 1998, discussed Survivors of the Shoah; Memory: Reflections on the Holocaust, presented by Prof. Alan Rosenberg of Queens College; and Fate of Sephardic Jews During the Holocaust, presented by Prof. Jane Gerber of the Graduate School. These programs were free and open to the public.

Dr. Ehud Sprinzak, professor of political science at the Hebrew University, author of The Ascendance of Israel’s Radical Right, spoke at Queens College, March 18, 1998 on A Family in Crisis: The Strained Relationship of Israeli and American Jews.

The City College, the Jewish Studies Program and the Simon Rifkind Center for the Humanities at City College hosted a lecture by the distinguished Jewish historian from Bar Ilan University, Moshe Rosman, on February 18, 1998. Author of The Lords’ Jews, Prof. Rosman spoke on The Case of Women and Mysteries of Hasidism.

At Queens College, on February 26, 1998, the renowned chronicle of a Jewish 13 year old, during the Holocaust, Anne Frank: A Voice Heard was performed.

Queensborough Community College’s Professional Performing Arts Series presented the City of Gold, a special musical tribute to the Israel’s 50th anniversary, in December 1997.

Prof. Sherry Gorelick of Rutgers University and author of City College and the Jewish Poor: Lessons from the Past for Conflicts of the Present spoke at The City College as guest of the Program in Jewish Studies and the Rifkind Center, on November 18, 1997.

The Rifkind Center, the Program for Jewish Studies, and the Friends of The City College Library sponsored an Evening with Norman Mailer, author, Pulitzer Prize winner and Emmy Award nominee, on May 5, 1997.