Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Fall 2018 @ OASIS Albuquerque

Great Courses of Jewish Interest
Abq Jew is pleased to inform you that
OASIS Albuquerque has just announced
their Fall 2018 line-up of classes!
Registration opens on
Wednesday September 5
but you can Wish List your selections now.

OASIS Albuquerque Executive Director Kathleen Raskob continues (as always) to bring you new and interesting class offerings, and continues to make sure there are plenty of courses of Jewish interest.

This session's courses and instructors include but are by no means limited to:

Walking Bazaars: Arab Peddlers in New Mexico
Wednesday 26 September 2018 @ 1:00 pm - #133
Instructor: Monika Ghattas
What It Is: The first Arabic peddlers appeared in the territory of New Mexico in the late 1880s. They were young men who started out on foot and became wagon peddlers. Monika Ghattas shares accounts of their colorful appearance, unusual merchandise, and assimilation into New Mexico history and culture that were recorded as folktales, personal reminiscences, and official records.

The Creation of the American Jewish Community
Mondays 22 & 29 October 2018 @ 1:00 pm - #62
Instructor: Noel Pugach
What It Is: In this two-session course, Noel Pugach investigates how the American Jewish community was formed over a period of 350 years. He discusses the various elements that constituted the community, including post-World War II immigrants. He explores its nature, distinctiveness, challenges, and remarkable success.

The Rabbinic Imagination Runs Wild: An Introduction to Midrash
Thursday 25 October 2018 @ 10:30 am - #108
Instructor: Michael Nutkiewicz
What It Is: Midrash (Hebrew for "drawing out") is a type of literature that flourished from 3rd and 4th century Palestine to Europe in the Middle Ages. Its stories and parables imaginatively fill in what the Hebrew Scriptures leave out: the contradictions and paradoxes of biblical stories and the motives of biblical characters. Midrash can be innovative, charming, funny, and sometimes quite wild. We study some midrashim (plural of midrash) for enjoyment and insight.

The Travels of Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela
Wednesday 31 October 2018 @ 1:00 pm - #65
Instructor: Norma Libman
What It Is: Benjamin of Tudela was a 12th century Spanish rabbi who traveled most of the known world over an approximately ten-year period. He searched for and catalogued all the places where he found Jewish communities. His writings survive to this day, and it is possible that his work influenced Columbus. Examine his amazing life and the ways in which it may have intersected with and impacted the life of Columbus.

Hannah Arendt on Totalitarianism & the Banality of Evil
Tuesday 06 November 2018 @ 1:00 pm - #66
Instructor: George Ovitt
What It Is: Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was one of the most profound political thinkers of the 20th century. Her analyses of political power, revolution, and the rise of totalitarian governments still have much to teach us, as does her remarkable discovery, while covering the trial of Adolf Eichmann, of the "banality of evil." In this lecture, George Ovitt presents and critiques Arendt's key ideas and their continuing meaning for us today.

Star of David on the Santa Fe Trail
Tuesday 20 November 2018 @ 10:30 am - #138
Instructor: Naomi Sandweiss
What It Is: Naomi Sandweiss presents an illustrated overview of the Jewish pioneers who came across the Santa Fe Trail and settled in New Mexico. "Meet"  Rebecca Mayer, the 15-year-old bride who spent her honeymoon on the Santa Fe trail, as well as other Jewish pioneer families, including the Spiegelbergs and the Seligmans. Through diary excerpts, photographs, and other primary materials, learn how their history intertwines with the rich history of New Mexico.

Maisel's Murals: Native American Art on Central
Monday 26 November 2018 @ 10:30 am - #139
Instructor: Paul Secord 
What It Is: The murals fronting the entrance of Skip Maisel's Indian Jewelry and Crafts store at 510 Central Avenue SW, Albuquerque, are a treasure of Native American painting and are of national importance. They represent some of the earliest and finest paintings by a seminal group of Southwestern native artists. Commissioned in 1939 by the store's founder, Maurice Maisel, the grandfather of the current owner, the murals are an extraordinary expression of fine arts, rarely seen on a commercial building.

Thessaloniki, Greece: The Burden of Memory
Monday 26 November 2018 @ 1:00 pm - #70
Instructor: Eleni Bastéa
What It Is: Thessaloniki is a city rich in history: Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Jewish. Until the early 20th century, the city also had prominent Muslim and Jewish communities. Following the deportation of Muslims to Turkey (1923) and the annihilation of the Jewish community in WWII, the city acquired a single identity: Christian Greek. Recently, the municipality began showcasing the city's multicultural past. We examine how these efforts are finding support and resistance among residents and visitors.

The Book of Job in the Bible: Why DO Bad Things Happen to Good People?
Wednesday 28 November 2018 @ 10:30 am - #112
Instructor: Shlomo Karni
What It Is: The evidential problem of unjustified suffering and pain - the existence of evil - has been tackled since ancient times by prophets, sages, poets, philosophers, and scholars. An entire book in the Bible, Job, is dedicated to this issue, as well as to the related question of reward and punishment. Shlomo Karni presents and discusses Job’s approach and offers answers to this problem.

The Jewish Historian Josephus: Our Man in Rome
Thursday 06 December 2018 @ 10:30 am - #113
Instructor: Paul Citrin
What It Is: Josephus was both a traitor to and an advocate for the Jewish people back in the first century. Examine his approach to history, his axe-grinding, and what he had to say about the events of Hanukkah under the leadership of the Maccabees. Use his writings to understand the various religio-political philosophies among first century Judeans, including early Nazarenes and the Dead Sea sect. Look at how Josephus was influenced by other historians, and how he may have influenced them.

The Gender of God in the Bible
Friday 14 December 2018 @ 10:30 am - #114
Instructor: Hilary Lipka
What It Is: While most of us tend to think of God in masculine terms, in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, the gender of God is not so clear. In this session we explore the use of gendered imagery, both masculine and feminine, in relation to God in the Bible, and we also consider the possible implications of Genesis 1:27, which describes both male and female as created in God's image.

Regular OASIS Albuquerque instructor (and award-winning composer and recording artist) Jane Ellen also continues (as always) to bring you new and interesting class offerings, and continues to make sure there are plenty of courses of musical and Jewish interest.

Jane's courses this session include but are by no means limited to:

Day-O, Day-O! The Harry Belafonte Story
Thursday 27 September 2018 @ 1:00 pm - #78
What It Is: Beginning as a struggling actor singing in New York clubs and finishing as a globe-trotting social justice activist, the life and career of Harry Belafonte (1927- ) has been anything but dull. Although his first performances were in pop and jazz, it was his interpretation of calypso songs that sent him to the top of the charts. His legacy now includes a versatile music career, as well as civil rights, humanitarian, and political activism throughout the years.

Song Sung Blue: The Life and Times of Neil Diamond
Thursday 04 October 2018 @ 1:00 pm - #80
What It Is: Neil Diamond (1941- ) has managed to stay on the charts for over 50 years and is now among the most accomplished popular songwriters of our era. Diamond often brings a touch of the common man to anything he records; it's almost as if he wants to show us he's not doing anything we couldn't do. His recent revelation of a Parkinson's diagnosis has effectively ended his touring career, cancelling the third leg of his 2018 tour.

The Unimportance of Being Oscar: Oscar Levant Remembered
Thursday 25 October 2018 @ 1:00 pm - #84
What It Is: Concert pianist, best-selling author, songwriter, talk show host, radio personality, enfant terrible, serious composer, movie star, quiz show panelist, recording artist, America's favourite neurotic, or all of the above? By popular demand, Jane Ellen takes a fond look at Oscar Levant (1906-72), who was surely one of the most intriguing musical personalities of the 20th century. Levant's acerbic wit is amply displayed through words, music, and film, against the backdrop of his tragic childhood.

How African Americans Invented American Music
Part 1: Beginnings
Thursday 01 November 2018 @ 1:00 pm - #85
What It Is: The focus of this series is the contribution of African American composers, musicians, and entertainers to the tapestry of American Music. An infinite diversity of musical styles, ranging from blues to jazz to rock and roll to house (EDM, or electronic dance music), would not exist were it not for the phenomenal talents of African Americans. Part 1 (of three parts) examines the earliest beginnings of African American music in the United States through the 1860s.

Anticipation: Singer-Songwriter Carly Simon
Thursday 08 November 2018 @ 1:00 pm - #86
What It Is: Carly Simon (1945- ) has had an incredibly successful career which includes two dozen Billboard Hot 100 charting singles, 28 Billboard Adult Contemporary charting singles, and two Grammy Awards. William Ruhlmann of AllMusic has called the contralto "one of the quintessential singer-songwriters of the 70s." Now 73, Simon has all but retired from performing; she still lives in the rustic home she built in Martha's Vineyard with then-husband James Taylor, where they raised their two children.

Richard Strauss: Music & the Holocaust
Thursday 29 November 2018 @ 1:00 pm - #89
What It Is: Child prodigy Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was destined to write landmark works including romantic and revolutionary operas, tone poems, and a wide range of orchestral and chamber music. He was also destined to fall afoul of the rapidly changing political atmosphere, accepting a position as head of the Nazi's Reichsmusikkammer, with which he initially cooperated in a desperate attempt to protect his Jewish daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Several members of his family were later murdered in Theresienstadt.

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