JTS Professor to Serve as Scholar-in-Residence at Temple Beth El

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

February 20, 2007, New York, NY

Dr. Benjamin Gampel, Dina and Eli Field Family Chair in Jewish History at The Jewish Theological Seminary, will serve as scholar–in–residence March 16–17 at Temple Beth El, 2815 N. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach.

Friday evening services begin at 7:30 p.m. on March 16, during which time Dr. Gampel will speak on "Jews, Judaism and the Rise of Islam." At Shabbat morning services on March 17, Dr. Gampel will discuss "The Golden Age of Sephardic Jewry."

An expert on medieval and early modern Jewish history, with a special focus on the medieval Sephardim, Dr. Gampel is an energetic scholar and teacher dedicated to bringing the history of the Jews to a broad public audience. He has addressed synagogues and lay groups, organizations of all stripes, and scholarly conclaves. Dr. Gampel spent close to a year doing research in local archives in Spain for his first book, The Last Jews on Iberian Soil. After a great deal of painstaking work compiling materials for the project, Dr. Gampel was able to recreate some of the long–forgotten history of the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula.

He also edited the volume Crisis and Creativity in the Sephardic World (Columbia University Press, 1998). At present, he is writing a book on the pogroms and forced conversions of 1391 in the Iberian Peninsula, and the effects of those events on the course of Jewish history. Dr. Gampel received his doctorate from Columbia University.

Further information is available by calling Temple Beth El at (561) 833–0339.

Editors/Reporters: To schedule an interview with Dr. Gampel, please contact Sherry S. Kirschenbaum in the JTS Department of Communications at (212) 678–8953 or email.

Founded in 1886 as a rabbinical school, The Jewish Theological Seminary today is the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world–class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.

Visit the JTS website at www.jtsa.edu.