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Biblical scholar to lecture on last day of year-long reflection on human rights (Released: 10/15/96)

by Luis Mocete, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Nahum Sarna, former chair of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University, will be the final speaker at the University of Connecticut's year-long reflection on human rights.

Sarna will talk about human rights and social justice in Jewish civilization at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 20 in Room 382 of the Student Union.

"As an eminent biblical scholar, Professor Sarna will shed some light on the biblical perspective of human rights, social justice and the rule of law," said Arnold Dashefsky, director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Life.

The free lecture is open to the public.

Sarna, now a professor of Judaic Studies at Florida Atlantic University, is a founding member and former president of the Association for Jewish Studies. He also is the author of two books, Understanding Genesis and Exploring Exodus, as well as a translator and commentator for the Jewish Publication Society Series.

Prior to the lecture, the center will announce the creation of the Leo Dashefsky Memorial Prize and Endowment Fund, named after Dashefsky's father. The fund will award a prize in Judaic studies and support the acquisition of Hebrew and Yiddish library books. Leo Dashefsky was born in Bessarabia (Moldova) and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1920. A devoted educator, he was the principal of two afternoon Hebrew schools and taught regularly at Gratz College in Philadelphia.

"It is only appropriate that my family is announcing this endowment named after my father during professor Sarna's visit since they were colleagues at Gratz College nearly 40 years ago," Dashefsky said.

A reception will precede the events at 3 p.m.