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September 18, 1970 - Image 39

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1970-09-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

New Interest in Jewish Studies Reflected
in Growing Number of University Courses

A revitalizatiOn of interest in
Jewish studies is having its effect
in the curricula of five Michigan
universities—from the long-estab-
lished Semitics department at the
University of Michigan to the
breakthrough university-sponsored
course in modern Hebrew at Mich-
igan State.
The Midrasha College of. Jewish
Studies, from the United Hebrew
Schools, is cooperating with Oak-
land University to offer, for the
first time, courses in Hebrew lan-
guage and culture. There has
11, en a similar arrangement with
U. of M. for several years.
Wayne State University's depart-
rr t of Near Eastern language:
_a literatures has reported its
nost significant expansion to date,
.vith a faculty of five and two
others contributing to it.
Even the Jesuit-sponsored Uni-
versity of Detroit is offering a
variety of courses of Jewish inter-
est in its newly named religious
studies department.

Jewish faculty and students at
Michigan State had organized
an independent free university
last year, offering such courses
as a series on kibitz life. But a
university - sponsored course in
Hebrew took some doing. This
fall, the university has agreed
to sponsor, on a provisional basis
depending on demand, a coarse
in modern Hebrew within the
linguistics department. It will be
taught by Prof. Meyer Wolf,
with the assistance of an Israeli
Economics professor Mordecai
Kreinin, who heads the Michigan
State chapter of American Pro-
fessors for Peace in the Middle
East and is a prime mover in the
battle for Jewish studies at MSU,
said that he has no doubts there
will be sufficient demand for the I

• •

Lansing Faculty
Form Synagogue,
Communal Council

In connection with his announce-
ment of the introduction of He-
brew to the Michigan State Uni-
versity curriculum, Prof. Mordecai
Kreinin said a group of faculty
members had formed a new con-
gregation along Conservative lines,
but with Reconstructionist experi-
mentation. _
The economics professor also an-
nounced that a group of East
Lansing residents, both from the
university and general community,
had formed a Jewish Community
Council, largely out of the desire
"to help change the climate of
opinion (toward Israel) in the
Headed by • Francis Fine, a
builder, %who is chairman, and
Kreinin, co-chairman, the council
met for the first time last week.
The new congregation, which
so far has a membership of 30
families, will hold its first Sab-
bath service tonight. Its rabbi
will come in once a month for
services, which will be held in
the Alumni Memorial Chapel on
the MSU campus.
Prof. Kreinin said that there
would be much singing and ex-
perimentation at the services,
which will use the Silverman
prayerbook on Sabbath and the
Reconstructionist Mahzor on the
High Holy Days.
The congregation is building on
the already-existing Rishon School,
a Sunday school for children in the
first four grades. The school itself
will be expanded to the middle
school level, meeting Sunday and
once during the week. Two Israeli
students will teach Hebrew and
Jewish studies.

new Hebrew course when classes
convene within the next two
weeks. The free university also
will be organized at that time.
The University of Detroit's reli-
gious studies department is offer-
ing "J ewish Literature" and
"Nazism and the Response of
Christian Churches" among its
other subjects. Dr. Richard C.
Hertz of Temple Beth El is teach-
ing a three-credit course on "Jews
and Judaism in Western History."
Because of its interest to intellec-
tual and social history, the course
will also be listed by the history
department of the university.
Joint sponsorship for bringing
Rabbi Hertz to U. of D. was ar-
ranged by the university's vice
president Fr. James V. McGlynn,
and the Jewish Chautauqua So-
At - the University of Michigan,
the Bnai Brith Hillel -Foundation
is again co-sponsoring the Bet
Midrasha. The four-year-old pro-
gram offers everything from the
"Psychology of Jewishness" to five
levels of Hebrew language. Some
240 students are enrolled this
Additionally, through a grant
from United Jewish Charities, Hil-
lel is initiating this year a Hebraic
arts program, believed to be the
only one of its kind in the country.
The program includes perform-
ing workshops in drama, dance,
chamber orchestra, chorus and oil
painting. Directed by faculty and
graduate students, the workshops
are advised by a board of Jewish
artists from Detroit and Ann
Arbor. They will stage productions
in the newly decorated "Shalom
House," a coffee house and thea-
ter which offers an informal set-
ting for students to meet.
(Hillel Director Rabbi Gerald)
Goldman said the only need that
remains to be filled is that for a
grand piano for use in the work-
shops. The foundation would cover
the costs of cartage, and the- con-
tribution would be tax deductible,
he said.)
The vast department of Near
Eastern Languages and Litera-
tures at U. of M., which has
cffered biblical Hebrew for the
past two decades, continues to
offer courses in Jewish history
and literature, as well as Hebrew
and Aramaic. Modern Hebrew
has been offered for the past few
years. Linguistics professor Her-
bert Paper said Yiddish may be
offered next year.
Oakland University, in a co-

operative arrangement with the
Midrasha College of Jewish Stu-
dies, is offering courses in Hebrew
language and culture for the- first
The courses will be taught by
faculty from the Midrasha, William
Sturner, Oakland's active vice pro-
vost, said.
"This cooperative arrangement
will give Oakland the opportunity
to offer a number of courses in
Hebrew culture and civilization as
taught by the highly specialized
faculty of the Midrasha and sup.
ported by its excellent library hold-
ing in Jewish studies," Sturner
Currently offered is a course in
Hebrew language taught by David
Gamliel, 'assistant professor at the
Midrasha. This winter, Oakland
will offer another course in He-
brew language and one in history,
and beginning with fall 1971, ap
proximately four courses will be
offered each term. The maximum
enrollment of 25 students has been
achieved for the fall language
course, and a waiting list has been
The new cooptrative arrange-
ment will be cShcerned with the
analysis of Hebraic studies as a
scientific, academic discipline,
Starner said. The courses do not
represent a separate program
or major field of concentration,
rather they may be taken in-
dividually by Oakland students
enrolled in a variety of majors.
Oakland and the Midrasha have
cooperated in the past to the extent
that students at the Midrasha
have taken their general education
courses at Oakland and then re-
turned to their own institution for
specialized courses.
The Wayne State University de-
partment of Near Eastern lan-
guages and literature is offering
Bible, Islamic studies and Judaica.
Prof. Daniel Reisman, a specialist
in the Cuneiform literature of the
ancient Near East., teaches He-
brew, Akkadian and Aramaic, be-
sides biblical studies. Jacob Lass-
ner is chairman of the department.
The largest area in the program
is devoted to Judaica and Heb-
raica. Prof. Max Kapustin, a spe-
cialist in rabbinics, teaches courses
in Jewish history and thought as
well as courses in advanced He
brew covering Mishna, Midrash,
medieval .commentaries, liturgical
and historical literature.
Prof. Abraham Lavi, who
comes from Bar-Ban University,
where he taught Arabic, will

teach Hebrew. Among his pupils second and third course through-
in Israel were the former am-
out the year.
bassadors of the U.S., France
and Britain. With his coming,
there will be considerable devel-
Friday, September 18, 1970-39
opment in the hitherto neglected
area of modern Hebrew at all
levels, according to the depart-
Hy's .
In addition, the department has
Appliance Repair
some cooperative relationship with
Guaranteed Work
the Midrasha, and is a member of
Quick Service
the university consortium with the
U 5-0356
Hebrew Union College Biblical and
Archeological School in Jeru-
salem, whereby students can par-
ticipate in an archeological dig in
An important feature of the de-
partment's activities is its rela-
tionship with the division of urban
extension of Wayne State Univer-
sity. Through the division, the de-
Champion sired. For
partment will offer courses for
show or pet, excellent tem-
credit at night in the Southfield-
perament with young chil-
Oak Park area. The courses are
open not only to regular students
at Wayne State University but to
the college community at large.
Prof. Kapustin will give a course
in Jewish history; and a broad
survey course, "An Introduction to
the Civilizations of Southwest
Asia," will be coordinated by Prof.
The latter lecture course in-
volving many world-famous schol-
ars will include • such areas as the
Biblical Period, Rabbinics, the
Arab-Israel Problem, Ancient Near
East and the Modern Problems
and will be held once a month. It
will give four credits.
The Jewish history course will
2:511 W 5 M.Ic
be continued in sequence by a


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Tel Aviv U. Honors Ross, Baron

NEW YORK — Two ,prominent
New Yorkers—an attorney and an
educator—have been awarded hon-
orary doctor of philosophy degrees
by Tel Aviv University in Israel,
becoming the first Americans so
honored by the University.

Attorney Daniel G. Ross and
Jewish historian Dr. Salo Witt-
mayer Baron were awarded the
degrees in ceremonies presided
over by Tel Aviv University Presi-
dent Dr. George S. Wise. The two
men were later honored at a re-
ception here given in their honor
by Dr. Wise.
Ross, a member of the law firm
of Becker, Ross and Stone, is
chairman of the executive commit-
tee of the American Friends of
Tel Aviv University and deputy
chairman of the board of gover-
nors of Tel Aviv University. He is
chairman of the Hebrew Univer-
sity-Technion Joint Maintenance
Appeal, co-chairman of the Na-
tional Council of the United HIAS
Service and a former chairman of
the national planning committee
of the Jewish Theological Semi-
nary, and serves on the board of
the seminary.
Ross, a native. New Yorker, re-

ceived the BA, degree from Yale
College in 1924 and the LLB from
the Columbia University Law
School in 1927.
Dr. Baron, a -native of Tarnivw,
Austria, has served on the board
of directors of Tel Aviv Univer-
sity since 1967.
Since 1930 he has occupied the
chair of Jewish history, literature
and institutions on the Miller Foun-
dation at Columbia University and
served as professor emeritus since
1963. He was director of the Center
of Israel and Jewish Studies at
that university from 1950 until
1968 and as director emeritus
since 1968.
Dr. Baron received three doctor-
ates from the University of Vienna
and a rabbinical degree of DHL
from the Jewish Theological Semi-
nary in Vienna, honorary- degrees
from Hebrew Union College; Drop-
sie College, Rutgers University,
Columbia University and a
"Golden Doctorate" from the Uni-
versity of Vienna.
His recent works include "A
Social and Religious History of the
Jews," "The Jews of the United
States, 1790-1940, A Documentary
History" and "The Russian Jew
Under Tsars and Soviets."








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