Lycoming College to host Fulbright Scholar of Sephardic Mizrahi Jewish studies

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Lycoming College will host Dr. Zvi Stampfer, a Fulbright Scholar of Sephardic/Mizrahi Jewish studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for a lecture on Tuesday, April 17, at 4 p.m. in the Academic Center C-303. His lecture, "Islam and Judaism in the Cairo Genizah Fragments," is sponsored by Lycoming's Religion Department, Ohev Sholom Synagogue and the Fulbright Commission. A reception hosted by the Ohev Sholom will follow his presentation.

The Genizah fragments consist of 280,000 Jewish manuscripts (870 Common Era and later) found in the storeroom of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat (Old Cairo), Egypt. The fragments are in many languages and assist in reconstructing the social, religious and economic history for the period between 950 and 1250. Among Jewish luminaries mentioned is Maimonides. The fragments originated in Egypt, the Land of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, Sicily and India.

Stampfer, an ordained rabbi, is a professor at the Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem. Proficient in English, German, Arabic and various ancient languages, Stampfer has edited and translated books about the laws of divorce and Jewish law. He joined Bucknell University for the 2011-12 academic year as a Fulbright Scholar. There, he teaches two courses in Sephardic Judaism and researches medieval Iraq and Spain.

Founded in 1812 and celebrating its bicentennial during the 2011-12 academic year, Lycoming College is a national liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. It offers 35 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation.

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