Fairfield University's Bennett Center launches new season with Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis


Image: Rebbetzin EstherFairfield University's Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies begins its spring 2014 season of events with a talk by internationally acclaimed lecturer, activist, educator, and author Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, a Holocaust survivor and founder of the Hineni Heritage Center, on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. Free and open to the public, the event - the annual Carl and Dorothy Bennett Lecture in Judaic Studies - will take place in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room. It is made possible by a gift from Carl Bennett.

Called "the Jewish Billy Graham" by the media, Rebbetzin Jungreis has made it her life's mission to help Jews recognize the beauty and inherent value of Jewish study and observance. Her lecture at Fairfield University, entitled "The Jewish Soul on Fire," is also the title of what is perhaps her best-known book (William Morrow & Company).

"Forty years after the founding of Hineni, Esther Jungreis continues to teach, counsel, and inspire millions of people year," said Ellen M. Umansky, Ph.D., director of the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies. "She is a phenomenal speaker. Her talk at the university promises to be a dynamic and memorable event."

The Rebbetzin has been given formal recognition for her accomplishments by major religious and civic organizations in the United States and Israel. Born in Hungary, she came to the United States after surviving the Nazi's Bergen Belsen concentration camp. Determined to devote her life to fighting the spiritual holocaust among Jews in the U.S. and around the world, she founded Hineni, a New York City-based Jewish outreach movement that today offers programs in the United States, Israel, South Africa, and Australia.  "We cater to everybody," Jungreis said. "We attract not just the secular, but the observant as well and that is so exciting that people from every walk of life attend our classes, from the left to the right, because the Torah speaks to everyone."

She has long written a weekly column for the Jewish Press, the largest Anglo-Jewish paper in the world with a circulation of 500,000 and teaches Bible on the Hineni television show broadcast each week to more than eight million homes. Her weekly Young Leadership class draws more than 1500 participants. In addition to "The Jewish Soul on Fire," Rebbetzin Jungreis has authored the best sellers, "The Committed Life;" "The Committed Marriage;" and "Life Is A Test."

Space is limited. Please call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066 to reserve a seat. The Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies was founded in 1994 with an initial endowment from Carl and Dorothy Bennett of Greenwich, Connecticut. For more information about its programming, visit www.fairfield.edu/judaic.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 24, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 18