Dr. Benjamin Gampel of the Jewish Theological Seminary to lecture at Fairfield University


Image: Benjamin GampelThe Carl & Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies at Fairfield University will sponsor a lecture by Dr. Benjamin Gampel, Eli and Dinah Field Associate Professor of Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Fairfield University.

Dr. Gampel's topic will be "Riots, Inquisition, and Expulsions: The Transformation of Sephardic Jewry." The free lecture will be held in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business.

Renowned as a "stimulating teacher and a delightfully energetic lecturer," Dr. Gampel is dedicated to bringing the history of the Jews to a wide public audience, including synagogue and lay groups.

"The expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1497 were important turning points in Jewish history. We at Fairfield are fortunate to have Dr. Gampel, a highly esteemed scholar of Sephardic Jewry, share with us the significance of these events both for Spanish and Portuguese Jewry and for Judaism as a whole," said Ellen M. Umansky, Ph.D., Carl and Dorothy Bennett Professor of Judaic Studies at Fairfield University.

Dr. Gampel received his bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College in 1971. He earned his master's degree in 1975 and his doctorate in 1983 from Columbia University. As an author and a teacher, he specializes in the history of the Jews of the medieval and early modern world. Dr. Gampel was chair of the Department of Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) from July 1992 to June 1996 and in the fall of 2003 and has been an associate professor of Jewish History in the department since 1988, serving as an assistant professor prior to that. Before joining JTS, Dr. Gampel was an instructor of Jewish Studies at Rockland Community College, State University of New York.

Dr. Gampel researched Spanish archives for almost a year before writing his first book, "The Last Jews on Iberian Soil: Navarrese Jewry 1479-1498," (University of California Press, 1989).

Dr. Gampel has also edited "Crisis and Creativity in the Sephardic World," (Columbia University Press, 1997), and "Heritage: Civilization and the Jews: Study Guide," by William W. Hallo, David Ruderman, and Michael Stanislowski (Praeger, N.Y. 1984). Among Dr. Gampel's most recent articles, are "A Letter to a Wayward Teacher: The Transformations of Sephardic Culture in Christian Iberia," for "Culture of the Jews. A New History," and "The 'Identity' of Sephardim of Medieval Christian Iberia," for "Jewish Social Studies."

Dr. Gampel is a member of the Board of Trustees Exhibition Committee of The Jewish Museum in New York; a referee for the Jewish Quarterly Review and the Association for Jewish Studies Review, Proceedings of American Academy of Jewish Research; and a consultant for the Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York. Dr. Gampel is also a member of the Association for Jewish Studies, American Historical Association, Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain, and he is an associate member of the University Seminar on Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University.

There is no charge for admission to the public lecture; however, space is limited, and reservations are requested. For information and to register, please contact Judaic Studies at Fairfield University at (203) 254-4000, ext 2066.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 6, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 135