Yentl, the trail blazing, gender-changing character, focus of upcoming lecture


Award-winning historian Pamela Nadell to delve into story of transformation

Image: P NadellYentl, the remarkable character who was the subject of an award-winning Barbra Streisand film and a classic short story by I.B. Singer, will be the focus of a free and public talk at Fairfield University, on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Pamela S. Nadell, Ph.D., the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women's and Gender History at American University, will deliver the talk, the 2014 Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Lecture in Judaic Studies: "Yentl: From Yeshiva Boy to Syndrome." The lecture is made possible through the generosity of the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation and is presented by Fairfield University's Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies. The event will take place in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room. Please call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066, to reserve a seat as space is limited.

Yentl, a young girl who famously goes against the grain by wanting to study the Talmud, eventually does so by cutting her hair and dressing as a man, setting the stage for a unique story of transformation. "This lecture follows Yentl on her journey out of Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story [Yentl the Yeshiva Boy] and into Barbra Streisand's eponymous film and from there into the New England Journal of Medicine, where she appears under the guise of the 'Yentl Syndrome,' " said Dr. Nadell, who is also the chair of the Department of History and director of the Jewish Studies Program at American University.

A specialist in American Jewish history and women's history, Professor Nadell was the recipient of the American Jewish Historical Society's Lee Max Friedman Award for distinguished service. Her books include "Women Who Would Be Rabbis: A History of Women's Ordination, 1889-1985" (Beacon Press, 1998), which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Her latest book, co-edited with American University Professor Kate Haulman, is "Making Women's Histories: Beyond National Perspectives" (New York University Press, 2013). Past chair of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society, she was deeply involved in the activities commemorating 350 years of Jewish life in America. Her consulting work for museums includes the Library of Congress and the new National Museum of American Jewish History on Philadelphia's Independence Mall.

For more information about the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, visit their website.

"Yentl: From Yeshiva Boy to Syndrome"
Dr. Pamela S. Nadell, Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women's and Gender History, and chair of the Department of History at American University

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., Dolan School of Business Dining Room. Free. Please call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066, to reserve a seat as space is limited.

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

Posted on October 10, 2014

Vol. 47, No. 83

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