A SPLIT JEWISH DIASPORA FOCUS OF COURSE AT B’NAI SHOLOM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sunday, December 21, 2014
CONTACT: Deb Adler
After the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 C.E., the diaspora of Jews in the East – Israel and Babylonia – developed very differently from that of the West – Egypt, northern Africa, Asia Minor and southern Europe.
A course at B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany will examine this and other aspects of a split Jewish Diaspora
“A Split Diaspora” will be taught Tuesdays beginning January 6 from 10 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. at B’nai Sholom, 420 Whitehall Road, Albany, N.Y.
In addition to the obvious geographical divide, language served as a barrier between east and west, with the former speaking and writing Hebrew and Aramaic and the latter speaking Greek. This linguistic gap led to a much deeper cultural gap. The course will discuss the theory that this discontinuity helps to explain the successful spread of earliest Christianity to the west, rather than to the east.
Steven Stark-Riemer, the course instructor, studied anthropology at City College of New York, where he specialized in archaeology, and received his degree in 1972. He conducted field work in Israel under the direction of William G. Dever, director of the Hebrew Union College Biblical and Archaeological School at the time. Stark-Riemer continues to pursue his interest in the archaeology, history and religion of the ancient Near East.
“A Split Diaspora” is open to the public. Fee for the eight weekly sessions is $60 ($40 for B’nai Sholom members), and registration is required.
Founded in 1971, B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany is a home for contemporary Reform Judaism in the Capital Region. More than 120 diverse households from six counties seek religious, educational and social fulfillment at B’nai Sholom.