Wednesday August 20, 2008

Jewish Neighbors

The University of Dayton is exhibiting paintings by a local Jewish artist and will lead a book discussion series on Jewish literature focusing on the theme "Neighbors: The World Next Door."

Jewish literature and art will find a home at a Catholic university this fall.

The University of Dayton Roesch Library will exhibit paintings by local Jewish artist Rina Thau from Aug. 20 to Oct. 1 on the first floor and from Oct. 2-24 on the second-floor mezzanine.

Born in Israel and educated at the Tel Aviv College of Fine Arts, Thau now lives in Dayton. She shows her artwork in private collections and galleries throughout the Miami Valley and in Alabama.

The University of Dayton is also co-sponsoring a free, one-night literary event for the public featuring presentations and a panel discussion highlighting selected works of Jewish literature.

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, at the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education on Loop Road in Centerville.

The University scheduled the art exhibit and free public event in conjunction with a five-book reading and discussion series called "Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature" focusing on the theme "Neighbors: The World Next Door."

UD professor of medieval literature Miriamne A. Krummel will lead a two-hour discussion on the books once a month beginning Aug. 24 in the first-floor gallery at the Roesch Library. The discussion group has reached capacity and is now closed.

"There is no better place to begin learning about other cultures than through literature and art," Krummel said. "Through these texts members of our community can learn about both the pain and joy associated with Jewishness, especially Jewishness in the 20th century."

The reading and discussion series is funded by a grant from the American Library Association and Nextbook, a nonprofit organization that partners with public libraries to promote Jewish literature, culture and ideas. Additional funding is provided by the Ohio Humanities Council and the University's President's Diversity grant. Local partners include Temple Israel, Dayton Metro Library and the Dayton Jewish Community Center.

"Our main objective is to bring together diverse members of the entire Dayton community to our campus library and foster an open and intellectually challenging dialogue that allows for a multitude of perspectives to be shared," said UD Librarian Ione Damasco.

The five books the group will read this fall are:

"Journey to the End of the Millennium," A.B. Yehoshuah

"Red Cavalry," Isaac Babel

"Neighbors," Jan T. Gorss

"The Assistant," Bernard Malamud

"Mona in the Promised Land," Gish Jen

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or