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Culture & Arts Guide
Spring 2013

Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College

The Arthur and Carole Anderman



Middle East Forum
Has the Sun Set on the Two-State Solution?
An Israeli-Palestinian SOS

Ghaith al-Omari in Conversation
with Professor Mark Rosenblum

Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 6:30 pm
Student Union Ballroom East,
4th floor
Free and open to the public
further information call 718-997-5730 or 4530.

Ghaith al-Omari is Executive Director of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP).
Previously he served in various positions within the Palestinian Authority,
including Director of the International Relations Department in the Office of
the Palestinian President, and advisor to former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.
He participated in various negotiating rounds, most notably the Camp David
summit and the Taba talks, and was the lead Palestinian drafter of the Geneva
Initiative, an unofficial model peace agreement negotiated between leading
Palestinian and Israeli public figures. Mr. al-Omari is a lawyer by training and
a graduate of Georgetown and Oxford universities. Prior to his involvement in
the Middle East peace process, he taught international law in Jordan
and was active in human rights advocacy.

Professor Mark Rosenblum is an award-winning historian
at Queens College, where he directs the Center for Jewish Studies,
the Center for Ethnic, Racial & Religious Understanding, and the Michael Harrington
Center for Democratic Values & Socia Change.
He has been involved in track two Middle East diplomacy for more than
30 years, and has met with all the major players in the region, including the past six
presidents of the U.S. and President Obama. His most recent academic article is “The
Quest for Impact: Lessons Learned from the American Jewish Peace Camp,” in Israel
and the United States: Six Decades of US Israeli Relations, Robert O. Friedman, ed.,
Westview Press, 2012.

Jewish Lecture Series
New! Ancient Judaism: Lectures augmenting the
Biblical Archaeology Slide-Lecture Series
All lectures are free

A Different Past: How Models of Jewish Sects in
the Roman Empire Have Changed

Arthur Shippee

Thursday, April 4, 2013, 7:15 pm
Rosenthal Library 230
Free and open to the public

Recipient of the Queens College President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching,
Rev. Arthur Shippee has been teaching courses listed in the Jewish Studies Program for
many years, covering the Bible, Abrahamic Religions, and Philosophy of Religion.
An ordained Presbyterian minister, Prof. Shippee has advanced degrees
from the Union Theological Seminary (New York) and Yale University. He has
participated in digs at Tel Dan, and was an American Fellow of the Shalom Hartman
Institute in Jerusalem. He is coeditor of The Pastor: Readings from the
Patristic Period (Fortress Press, 1990), and has written a number of articles and
reviews on early Christianity. Last summer he served as a Teaching Elder Commissioner
to the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, USA.
Given archaeological discoveries, methodological advances, and social
changes, scholars discuss the versions of Abrahamic religions in late antiquity
in dramatically different ways from previous generations. What was once
“late Judaism” is now sometimes called “early Judaism,” with Christian and
Jewish scholars teaching each others’ courses in a more secularized field. In
this inaugural lecture, Prof. Shippee will provide an introduction to a wider focus
on the Biblical Archaeology series. He will survey some of the discoveries and
advances leading to the contemporary understandings of the range of Judaism in
the Roman Empire before the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism and the Christian
Church. The lecture will be accompanied by a PowerPoint slide show.

The Rescue of Jewish Cultural Treasures during the Holocaust

David Fishman

Thursday, April 11, 2013, 7:15 p.m.
Rosenthal Library 230
Free and open to the public

David E. Fishman is professor of Jewish History at the Jewish
Theological Seminary of America. Dr. Fishman also serves as director of Project
Judaica, a Jewish Studies program based in Moscow that is sponsored
jointly by the Jewish Theological Seminary and Russian State University
for the Humanities. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the
history and culture of East European Jewry, including Russia’s First Modern
Jews, The Rise of Modern Yiddish Culture, and, most recently, Nazi-Looted
Jewish Archives in Moscow. He is currently working on a book about the
fate of Jewish cultural treasures in Vilna during and after the Holocaust.
This lecture, commemorating Yom HaShoah, will focus on events in Vilna
(Wilno), which belonged to inter-War Poland. The lecture will be accompanied
by a PowerPoint slide show.
This program is endowed by Marvin and Celina Zborowski.

Music and Theater

Co-sponsored with the Center for Ethnic, Racial,
and Religious Understanding (CERRU)

Gerard Edery Trio in The Spirit of Sepharad

Wednesday, March 13, 7:15 pm
LeFrak Concert Hall

Free and open to the public
A soul-searching program, The Spirit of Sepharad traces the unique migration
of the Sephardim from medieval Spain, across North Africa, to the
Middle East and beyond. Combining music, narration, and film projections,
this dynamic performance brings to life all the rich cultural strains of the
Sephardic Diaspora. Featuring songs and instrumental music of secular and
liturgical origin from Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, Greece, Syria, Turkey,
ancient Persia, the Balkans, Israel, and Kurdistan, it is a story of a rich cultural
heritage that invites the possibility of coexistence, respect, and peace among all peoples.

Gerard Edery
, recipient of the Sephardic Musical Heritage Award,
is recognized as a leading musical folklorist, singer, and guitarist—called
“a master of Sephardic song” by the New York Times. He possesses a remarkable
range of ethnic folk styles and traditions, singing in fifteen languages and speaking
four fluently. Highlights of Edery’s extensive performing career include
engagements at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center “Out of
Doors,” Merkin Concert Hall, Florence Gould Hall, and the United Nations
in both New York and Geneva. As an educator he preserves songs, stories, and
melodies from around the world, prizing formal authenticity and an appreciation
for how disparate cultures overlap, parallel each other, and often borrow
from one another. Edery is joined by classical and jazz musician/composer
Meg Okura on violin and Sean Kupisz on bass.

Meg Okura, a classically trained concert violinist with a bachelor’s and
master’s degree from Juilliard, is a composer and jazz violinist, entwining
her colorful and moving pieces with inspirations from various cultures
and countries to create an enchanting experience. She has performed in
Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, and London’s Barbican
Centre. She also has her own group, the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble.

Sean Kupisz has composed music for PBS and has worked with numerous
flamenco dance groups. He also is a tenured faculty member of the American
Institute of Guitar, and has been involved in Gerard Edery’s many concerts and
recordings since 2000.
This program has been made possible through the generosity of Leon* and Elsi Levy.

New! Author Readings

The Journey of Author Stephen
Maitland-Lewis from Louis Armstrong
to Emeralds Never Fade
(a story of the Holocaust).

Stephen Maitland-Lewis
Co-sponsored with the Center for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious
Understanding (CERRU) Sunday, April 21, 2013, 4 pm
LeFrak Concert Hall
Free and open to the public

As a 12-year-old Jewish boy in England in the post-War period, Stephen
Maitland-Lewis wrote a letter to Louis Armstrong and was thrilled—and
astonished—when it resulted in a private lunch with the famous musician.
He continued to correspond with Louis and Lucille Armstrong for many years,
even as his own illustrious career began to take shape.
An award-winning author, British attorney, and former international
investment banker, Stephen Maitland- Lewis has held senior positions in
the City of London, Kuwait, and on Wall Street before moving to
California in 1991. Maitland-Lewis is a jazz aficionado and a trustee of
the Louis Armstrong House Museum, a cultural center of Queens College.
A member of PEN and the Authors Guild, Maitland-Lewis also serves on
the Executive Advisory Committee Nathan Sternfeld copyright 2010
of the International Mystery Writer’s Festival. His first novel, Hero on
Three Continents, received numerous accolades. His second, Emeralds Never
Fade, a story of the Holocaust, is the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Award winner
in the category of Historical Fiction and the 2011 Written Arts Award winner for
Best Fiction. His new financial thriller, Ambition, was recently published.
In addition to reading from his novel, Maitland-Lewis will share fascinating
stories from his life, including what inspired him to write Emeralds
Never Fade as well as his friendship with Louis Armstrong and how that
impacted his own life and career. Michael Cogswell, Director of the
Louis Armstrong House Museum, will introduce Maitland-Lewis with a brief
multimedia presentation that highlights the correspondence between Armstrong
and Maitland-Lewis from the Museum’s collections, as well as Armstrong’s
profound love and respect for Jews. (Armstrong wore a Star of David around
his neck and asked Lucille to always keep a box of matzoh in the house.)
Author book signing and reception to follow.

Cinema on Sundays
Film/Dialogue Series

Comedian Harmonists
German with English subtitles, 1997
Director: Joseph Vilsmaier

Sunday, March 17, 2013, 2 pm
Rosenthal Library 230
Admission: $5
Call 719-997-5730 for ticket information.

Founded by a Jewish musician, Harry Frommermann, in Berlin in 1928, the all-male,
close-harmony German vocal sextet Comedian Harmonists soon became the
international singing rage of the popular music scene, from coffeehouses and
cabarets in Europe to the streets and stages of New York.
With three Jews and three non-Jews blending their voices in both classical
and popular tunes of the day, the Comedian Harmonists symbolized the
best of the experimental and ecumenical spirit of Weimar Berlin at its height. By
1934, however, the original group gave their last performance. The Nazis could
not abide their incarnation of German- Jewish harmony. One of Bill Clinton’s
favorite films of 1997, Joseph Vilsmaier’s Comedian Harmonists is as entertaining
and historically enlightening as it is evocative of a lost time and place.

Prof. Emeritus Stuart Liebman,
an expert on the representation of history in films, retired from Queens College in 2010, where he taught for 37 years and served a the first chair of the Department of Media Studies. He has
lectured and published widely on the representation of the Holocaust in world cinema, including in Poland, where he frequently participated in panel discussions. His awards include a National Endowment for the
Humanities Fellowship, the Advanced Holocaust Fellowship with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Lucius Littauer Foundation Award. His many publications include special issues of scholarly journals he edited, including Alexander Kluge: Theoretical Writings, Stories and an
Interview, and Berlin 1945: Liberators Take Liberties, for which he won an award for Best Issue of a Scholarly Journal.  
This program has been made possible by the Jerry* and William Ungar Endowment Fund.

For events in LeFrak Concert Hall only, there is free parking in Lot 15 on Reeves Avenue (behind LeFrak) and easy elevator access to the Concert Hall.For travel directions to Queens College and parking/elevator information, please turn to page 39 Jewish Studies and Theater Arts adjunct

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