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ODU's IJIU Offers Free Minicourse in Jewish Studies

Old Dominion University's Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding, in partnership with the Simon Family Jewish Community Center, presents "ODU Learning Series: Back to College for Jewish Knowledge," four sessions of college-level workshops taught by ODU professors. The free workshops will be held Tuesday evenings starting Sept. 2 at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus in Virginia Beach.

Tuesday, Sept. 2 - 7 p.m. : "Why Names Matter: Mussolini, Fascism and Italian Jews"

Maura Hametz, associate professor of history and academic director of the Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding, will examine how names are universally understood as markers of ethnic and cultural origin and use name studies to explore the complexities of Jewish acculturation, assimilation, patriotism and nationalism in Fascist Italy and beyond.

Tuesday, Sept. 9 - 7 p.m.: "Klezmer Revival in Contemporary Germany"

Frederick Lubich, professor of German literature, will discuss how Germany, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, is experiencing a strong revival of interest in everything Jewish, including its rich multicultural traditions of Klezmer music. The presentation will trace the resurfacing and creative evolution of Klezmer in Germany since the early 1980s and compare it to other creative forms, such as German romantic poetry and European and American popular music, and illuminate its cultural background through photographs, paintings and drawings.

Tuesday, Sept. 16 - 7 p.m.: "The Jews of Rome: A Look at Western Europe's Oldest Jewish Community"

Kathy Pearson, associate professor of history, will examine selected periods in the complex history of Rome's important Jewish community, beginning with the arrival of the city's first Jews in second century B.C.E., the world of Rome's medieval Jews, their eventual enclosure in the Renaissance Ghetto, the opening of the ghetto in the late 19th century and their remarkable story of community survival during the last years of World War II.

Tuesday, Sept. 23 - 7 p.m.: "On the Hunger of Jewish Writers"

Michael Blumenthal, Mina Hohenberg Darden Chair in Creative Writing, will discuss the psychological "hunger" that is often the province of Jewish writers, and will read an accompanying section from his novel and memoir.

To register for the workshops, call the JCC front desk at 321-2338, or call Kelly Duggins at 683-3931 for more information.

This article was posted on: August 25, 2008

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