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Religion | SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FILE / NONA YATES

USC Plans Jewish Research Center

October 17, 1998|NONA YATES

USC will establish an Institute for the Study of Jews in American Life, an interdisciplinary center to study and recognize the role Jews have played in shaping the culture and character of Southern California and the American West.

The research center will enable scholars from USC and other institutions to explore contemporary issues of Jewish identity and culture and to study the evolution of the Jewish community in the Western United States.

"With its Southern California regional focus and emphasis on interdisciplinary research and education, the new institute . . . will advance USC's academic mission and help elevate it to a new level of excellence in coming years," said USC President Steven B. Sample.

The institute will feature conferences, lecture series, community-based inter-ethnic dialogue groups, research activities, and visiting scholars and community leaders.

The contributions of American Jews to the arts, business, media, literature, education, politics and law will be studied by researchers and scholars from throughout the world. The relationships between Jewish Americans and other groups, such as African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and Arab Americans, will also be explored.

The institute's inaugural public event, a screening of Pier Marton's documentary, "Say I'm a Jew," about the identity issues confronting the children of Holocaust survivors, will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. in Room 108 of USC's George Lucas Instructional Building. A discussion with historian Sander Gilman will follow.

"Eye & Thou: Jewish Autobiography in Film and Video," the institute's first academic conference, will be held Oct. 24-26 in USC's Norris Cinema Theatre. For more information, call (213) 740-3405.

PEOPLE

Billy Graham and his wife, Ruth, will receive the 1998 Edith Munger Leadership Award at a dinner in their honor Wednesday at the Regal Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. They will be recognized for their "lifelong commitment to bringing the message of acceptance and forgiveness to a hurting world." The evening will begin at 6 with a reception and silent auction, followed by dinner, entertainment and the awards program at 7. The award will be accepted by the Grahams' daughter Gigi Graham Tchividjian because of Billy Graham's poor health. Proceeds will benefit Hollywood Presbyterian Church's Munger Center for Psychological Services, founded in 1974 by Edith Munger and church members. Dinner tickets are $125; call (310) 553-9007.

* Actor Kirk Douglas will talk about his Jewish journey in the Sanctuary of Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., on Sunday at 7 p.m. The film star is the recipient of many honors, including America's highest civilian award, the Medal of Freedom. He is also the author of six best-selling books, including 1997's "Climbing the Mountain." He recently completed a children's book titled "Young Heroes of the Bible," due out next year. Admission is $5 for Sinai Temple members and $10 for nonmembers. Call (310) 474-1518, Ext. 3234.

EVENTS

The Rev. Rudolph Featherstone, professor of Cross-Cultural Theological Studies and Mission at Trinity Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, will be the keynote speaker at California Lutheran University's 39th annual Founders Day Convocation on Friday at 10 a.m. in Samuelson Chapel. As part of the university's fall theme of "Commitment to Character," Featherstone will address "Faith and Character." Founders Day serves as the annual meeting of the school's convocators, who represent churches, faculty, students and the community. The university is at 60 W. Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks. The service is open to the public, and an offering will be received. Call (805) 493-3936.

* The Rev. M.A. Robinson-Gaither, pastor of Faith United Methodist Church in South Los Angeles, has called upon communities of faith to join Thursday in the Third National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. As national coordinator of the Oct. 22 National Day of Protest Faith Initiative, Robinson-Gaither has called upon religious leaders to pray, support and participate in bringing abuses to the attention of the public. Call (213) 754-8453.

PROGRAMS

The Orange County Friends Meeting (Quakers), will present "The Visionaries," a segment of the public television program featuring the work of the American Friends Service Committee on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the University Communication Assn. Center, 4530 Sandburg Way, Irvine. The committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Guest speakers will discuss many of the committee's activities. Call (949) 786-7691 or (949) 551-8070.

* Harriet Rochlin will discuss "From Pariah to Pardner: Jewish Life on the Frontier" on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Temple Isaiah, 10345 W. Pico Blvd., West Los Angeles. A lifelong resident of Los Angeles, Rochlin has been writing and lecturing on Western Jewish history for 25 years. Call (310) 277-2772.

MUSIC

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