Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College Announces Fall Schedule of Lectures, Music/Theater Performances, Film and Other Events, Beginning September 7 — Showcases Entertainment by Broadway Stars; Lectures and Book Signings With Noted Historians and Artists; Film Screening and Conversation with Academy Award-Winning Actress Lee Grant —

FLUSHING, N.Y., August 22, 2005 – This fall the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College, directed by Professor Benny Kraut, will present music and theater performances, films, slide-lectures and other events.

Among the highlights on the center’s fall calendar are: the 25th anniversary screening of the trail-blazing film Tell Me a Riddle, which will be followed by a discussion with its director, Academy Award-winning actress Lee Grant; a song-dance-comedy concert by Broadway star Bruce Adler; and insightful lectures by such luminaries as Eli Evans, Albert Barry, Daniel Liebeskind and Jodi Magness.

As the research and outreach arm of Jewish Studies on campus, the Center for Jewish Studies promotes Jewish education, scholarship, and culture outside the formal classroom setting. For more information on any fall 2005 or spring 2006 offerings, call 718-997-4531.

Here is the center’s lineup of fall events (unless otherwise noted, all events take place in LeFrak Concert Hall):


Wednesday, September 7, 7:30 pm
Eli N. Evans
“Growing Up Jewish in the Bible Belt: The Civil War Between Jewish Brothers in America”

A master storyteller and key figure in American Jewish history, Evans has often been called “the poet laureate of Southern Jews” for his seminal works that give eloquent voice to the Jews in the South. Among his books which he will discuss and sign at this event is the newly revised and illustrated edition of The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the South. Evans has an extensive resume of accomplishments and honors including service as speechwriter to former President Lyndon B. Johnson and a 25-year stint as the first president of the Revson Foundation, where he spearheaded major new projects linking Jewish education with new technology.

Wednesday, September 14, 7:30 pm
Professor Israel Koren, Eminent Visiting Professor of Jewish Philosophy, Queens College
“The Inner Path in Jewish Mysticism: Developing Equanimity”

Wednesday, September 21, 7:30 pm
Albert Barry
“The Lost Wooden Synagogues of Eastern Europe: Film and Discussion”Barry is an award-winning graphic designer, filmmaker, photojournalist and the producer of this visually impressive documentary that tells the story of the beautifully designed wooden synagogues—almost all destroyed in World War II—and the lives of the Eastern European Jews who crafted them. Barry will discuss his research and collection of rare photos and scale models of these synagogues, which he built to show the marvelous architecture and Jewish folk art that decorated their walls and ceilings.

Wednesday, November 2, 7:30 pm
Professor Yamin Levy, Academic Director of Sephardic Studies, Yeshiva University
“Maimonides and the Heritage of Andalusia”

Sunday, November 20, 2:00 pm, Colden Auditorium
Daniel Liebeskind, internationally celebrated architect and urban designer
“Breaking Ground”

Chosen as the master plan architect for New York’s World Trade Center reconstruction in February 2003, Liebeskind has earned worldwide acclaim for his building designs, including the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany, and the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, England. In 2004 he was appointed the first Cultural Ambassador for Architecture by the U.S. Department of State. Following Liebeskind’s talk, there will be a performance by the Paul Taylor Dance Company and a musical segment by Michal Cohen and Oded Lev-Ari.

Wednesday, December 7, 7:30 pm
Caraid O’Brien, renowned Irish actress, director and playwright
“The Influence of the Yiddish Theater on American Popular Culture”
O’Brien has “set the show world aflame” in her on-stage performances in Dublin, Jerusalem and Boston, as well as in over 30 productions in New York City, including lead roles in her translated and original plays.


Thursday, November 10, 7:30 pmProfessor Jodi Magness, Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Ancient Jewish Tombs and Burial Customs in Jerusalem”

A dynamic speaker, Magness has published numerous books and articles on ancient Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic pottery and synagogues in Palestine, the ruins of Qumran including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Roman Army in the East. She has also co-directed and participated in 20 different archeological excavations in Israel and Greece.

Wednesday, November 16, 7:30 pm
Professor John Monson, Associate Professor of Archaeology, Wheaton College (Illinois)
“Solomon’s Temple: The Center of the Universe Then and Now”

Monday, November 21, 7:30 pm
Professor Kenneth G. Holum, Professor of History, University of Maryland
“Caesarea in Israel: King Herod’s Royal City”


Sunday, October 30, 2 pm
Bruce Adler in Concert

Often described as the “quintessential performer,” Bruce Adler will provide an afternoon of entertainment that combines song, dance, vaudeville, comedy, lullabies and ballads from Broadway to Yiddish theater. In addition to his work in the theater, Adler has also been featured on television shows, in Disney-animated films and in national tours of popular Broadway productions. His four-year Broadway run in the Tony-Award-winning Gershwin musical, Crazy for You, earned him the 1992 Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations as “best featured actor in a musical.”


Sunday, November 6, 2 pm
Lee Grant, Academy Award-winning actress and director;
Professor Rachel Lyon, Emmy Award-winning producer and director, and
Associate Professor of Media Studies, Queens College
Tell Me a Riddle

A special 25th anniversary screening of a film that boasts a bevy of firsts: the first feature film in America to be written, produced and directed by women; the first women’s film to raise more than a million dollars and receive major studio distribution; and the first women’s film to get into the Cannes Film Festival’s “Directors’ Fortnight.” Starring Academy Award-winning actors Melvyn Douglas and Lila Kedrova, directed by Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning actress and director Lee Grant and produced by Professor Lyon, Tell Me a Riddle won Best Picture and Best Actor Awards at the Edinburgh Film Festival and Best Actress Award at the Taormina Festival in Italy. A question-and-answer session with the audience and a lifetime achievement award to Grant will follow the film screening.

Sunday, December 4, 2 pm
Discussant: Professor Emanuel S. Goldsmith, Professor of Hebrew and Yiddish,
Queens College
Tevye (Yiddish film with English Subtitles)

Other events are currently being planned for the Center for Jewish Studies’ spring 2006 season.

The Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College serves as a bridge between the academic program and the community. Through its imaginative programming, the center seeks to engage the College and general public in Jewish education and culture; foster Jewish learning in the community; publish and disseminate scholarly proceedings to laypeople and scholars; promote academic community among students and faculty; and encourage and sustain scholarly activities of the faculty and students within the Jewish Studies Program at Queens College. Says Benny Kraut, director of both the center and Jewish Studies Program, “We like to think of ourselves as a kind of 92nd Street Y with outstanding academics.”

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Contact:Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services
(718) 997-5597

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593