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October 07, 1983 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-10-07

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

38 Friday, October 7, 1983

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Brazilian Universities Begin Judaic Studies

By KE yitsf FREEMAN

NEW .5YOR.K (JTA) —
Moshe Davis, academic
chairman of the
Jerusalem-based Interna-
tional Center for University
Training ofJewish Civiliza-
tion, reports that two uni-

versities in Brazil have
begun teaching courses in
Hebrew language and
Jewish culture.
' The development, accord-
ing to Davis, is the result of
the continued efforts of the
center in Jerusalem in close

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cooperation of the Brazilian
committee affiliated with
the center, the Associacao
Universitaria de Cultura
Judaica, whose president,
Leon Feffer, played a lead-
ing role in arraging the ag-
reement for the teaching of
the new courses.
Davis noted the develop-
ments after having recently
returned from a nine-day
visit to Brazil under the au-
spices of the Associacao.
The Jerusalem-based
center was designed sev-
eral years ago to study
and then formulate pol-
icy for meeting the grow-
ing need for Judaic
studies on the university
level throughout the
world. Former Israeli
President Yitzhak Navon
affirmed the center's
original mandate and it
was again reaffirmed by
Israeli President Chaim
Herzog.
The courses in Hebrew
language and Jewish cul-
ture were established at the
Universidade Estadual de
Campinas (UNICAMP) at
the Sao Paulo Pontificia
Universidade Catolicia.
The courses at both univer-
sities are offered to Jewish
and non-Jewish students
and 'may be used as credit
toward academic degrees.
Davis said that he was not
personally surprised by the
two universities' actions.
"The teaching of Jewish
civilization on the campus
. . . has been legitimated in
most countries of the world
as part of Western civiliza-
tion," Davis said.

Davis said that there are
already an estimated 700
universities and colleges
worldwide which teach
courses, and in some cases,
offer full departments for
Jewish cultural programs.
There are now 300 more in-
stitutions that will be added
to a survey conducted in
1981, said Davis, and which
will be updated soon.
Davis added that he in-
terprets the turn-around
and development of
Judaica programs to the
influence of the state of
Israel on Western culture
and civilization. "Heb-
raic culture is now at
center stage," he said.
Furthermore, Davis said,
the Jewish communities in
various cities act as
catalysts for the develop-
ment of such programs in
their respective univer-
sities, but said that overall,
the programs must be a
"purely" academic enter-
prise.
The Universidade de Sao
Paulo is currently one of the
few universities with a "full
fledged department" teach-
ing Hebrew and Judaic
civilization and has thus be-
come an institution of con-
siderable interest for Brazi-
lian Jewry.
During the nine-day visit
to Brazil, Davis met with fa-
culty members of the Uni-
versidade de Sao Paulo and
with Jewish community
leaders and the Sao Paulo
Jewish Federation. Also,
during the course of meet-
ings with the Brazilian
committee affiliated with
the center, a three-year
program for development of
Ringling Bros.
Judaic civilization prog-
Circus Returns
rams in Brazil was outlined.
The Ringling Brothers It was agreed by the com-
and Barnum and Bailey mittee, according to Davis,
Circus will have 12 perfor- that the following steps will
mances at Joe Louis Arena, be taken:
A faculty development
Tuesday through Oct. 16.
The circus animals will program in Brazil of
- parade from the rail yard at Brazilian Jewish
21st Street along Fort teachers who would
Street and Jefferson Ave. to teach in the universities;
the arena beginning at 10 regular visits to Israel of
existing faculty and
a.m. Tuesday.
For performance infor- teachers of Jewish cur-
mation and tickets, call Joe riculums; and a publica-
Louis Arena, 567-6000.
AMW to Honor

Free Health
Care Offered

tion program to include a
The Oakland Livingston
Judaica studies library
catalogue in Portuguese, Human Service Agency
including preparations (OLHSA) has instituted a
program providing free
of syllabi.
According to Davis, health care to pregnant
Jewish student participa- women and children up to
tion in the study of Jewish age 5 if they qualify under
civilization may run as high certain income guidelines,
not have health insur-
as 85 percent in the United do
ance or are unemployed.
States and as low as 35 per-
The program includes
cent in other nations. But he
emphasized the importance general health care, pre-
ofJewish cultural studies as scription drugs and trans-
it serves as a meeting portation at no cost through
ground for those "commit- facilities at St. Joseph
Mercy Hospital in Pontiac,
ted" and those "alienated."
Pontiac
General Hospital,
An estimated 130,000
Jews live in Brazil with half the Lakeside Community
Health Center or the per-
of them concentrated in Sao son's
own doctor.
Paulo. Some 50,000 Jews
For information on the
live in Rio de Janiero, 'ac-
cording to a recent issue of health care program, call
the agency, 858-5126.
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