Leading Israeli Choreographer to Present Studio Performance and Artist Dialogue

Event Celebrates 100th Anniversary of the Founding of JTS’s Teachers Institute

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

November 30, 2009, New York, NY

To publicly inaugurate a season of commemoration and celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Teachers Institute (TI) and its great and enduring impact on Jewish life in America, The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and Barnard College are presenting Renana Raz, a leading voice in the young generation of Israeli choreographers, in a free studio performance and artist dialogue on Sunday, December 13.

The program will take place at Barnard College, 3009 Broadway (entrance at the 117th Street gate). Guests will be welcomed with a light brunch at 11:00 a.m. in the Barnard Hall Lobby, followed by the performance and artist dialogue at noon in Barnard Hall Annex 110, Streng Studio. Ms. Raz’s performance is being presented with support from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the assistance of the Israeli Consulate in New York.

Working independently since 1999, Ms. Raz has presented works in nine countries on five continents, winning awards, critical acclaim, and devoted audiences. In 2007 she collaborated with the Israeli Druze Folklore Dance Company and created a work for the Aura Dance Company in Lithuania. Last year, Ms. Raz was invited by Habima National Theater, Israel's leading theater company, to create a work for the Israel Festival in Jerusalem; together with Ofer Amram, she created OV, a dance theater piece inspired by the classical Jewish play, The Dybbuk.

Teachers Institute—the forerunner of JTS’s Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies and the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education—was founded in 1909 by then JTS president Solomon Schechter. Under the visionary leadership of founding dean Mordecai M. Kaplan, TI trained Jewish educators who provided critical leadership to America’s synagogues, universities, Jewish communities, and the broader public. Open to both men and women, the institute was one of the few institutions in the country where women could gain an advanced education in Jewish studies. From TI’s successes—that also gave rise to Camp Ramah, Reconstructionist Judaism, the Rebecca and Israel Ivry Prozdor High School, and the modern congregational school education system—came the roots of today’s thriving and vibrant JTS.

Admission is free, but seating is limited and advance reservations are encouraged. Please RSVP by Wednesday, December 9, to aimurray@jtsa.edu. Further information about the performance and the Teachers Institute celebration is available by contacting Marion Dienstag at (212) 678-8849.