Israeli dig finds ancient gemstone

Source: UPI (8-26-09)

Israeli archaeologists say they have found a miniature precious stone carved with the image of Alexander the Great. The stone, dating to the Hellenistic period, was found at the Tel Dor excavation site south of Haifa, the Israeli news Web site Arutz Sheva reported Wednesday.
The stone is less than a centimeter long (less than a half-inch) and less than a half-centimeter wide, Ayelet Gilboa, one of the archaeologists directing the work, told the news Web site. The type of gemstone wasn’t described.
Gilboa said the carved image shows a young and energetic face, with a sharp chin, straight nose and long curly hair held in a crown, the Web site said.

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Mark Raider: University, Jewish studies prof settle dispute

University, Jewish studies prof settle dispute

Source: JTA, 8-17-09

The University of Cincinnati and a tenured professor of modern Jewish history settled their dispute.

The university has withdrawn its charges of misusing university funds for research and travel against Mark Raider following mediation, Raider said in a letter to supporters, and will not pursue further disciplinary action.

Raider will drop a lawsuit against the university and and keep his tenured full professor status while moving from the Judaic studies department to the history department.

Raider was removed as head of the Judaic studies department and from his endowed chair in the spring. The dean of the university’s McMicken College also had moved to fire Raider despite a vote against dismissal by the university grievance committee panel in March.

At the time, Jewish studies scholars from the United States and Israel accused the university of being hostile not only to Raider but also the field of Jewish studies.

An Ohio District Court judge, Arthur Spiegel, served as the mediator.

Sol Goldberg: U of T fellow pleased to be part of Jewish studies program

Source: The Jewish Tribune, 8-11-09

The Centre for Jewish Studies at University of Toronto (U of T), which began more than 40 years ago as a modest undergraduate program, has become a unique and valuable contribution to this city’s intellectual Jewish life, according to Dr. Sol Goldberg, recipient of the Centre’s new Senator Jerahmiel S. and Carole S. Grafstein Fellowship for advanced research in Jewish thought.

Although relatively young, Franks is a brilliant philosopher whose work also deals with Jewish and general philosophies, especially in the German tradition, Goldberg said. Franks had studied at Oxford and Harvard with some of the great American philosophers of the second half of the 20th century and held posts at top universities.

“What this year means to me is I will be directly mentored by him – a sort of finishing school for philosophers,” Goldberg enthused.

He expects that U of T’s Jewish Studies centre will attract the best minds internationally

Goldberg was the late, famous philosophy professor Emil Fackenheim’s last teaching assistant and one of his last research assistants.

On a personal level, Goldberg – who grew up in Thornhill, graduated in Jewish Studies at McGill University (focusing on Jewish thought and philosophy) and holds a Master’s degree and a doctorate in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – is pleased to be back in Toronto, “a great city.”  But what he finds most exciting is the opportunity to study under the mentorship of Professor Paul Franks, Grafstein chair of Jewish philosophy.

“There’s a lot of overlap between Jewish philosophy and general philosophy,” explained Goldberg, whose Ph.D. dissertation was on education and the idea of truth in Plato and Heidegger.

Hebrew University: Homeless Holocaust Survivor Leaves $100,000 Donation to Israeli University

Homeless Holocaust Survivor Leaves $100,000 Donation to Israeli University

Source: AP, 8-9-09

Hebrew University has received a surprise donation of more than $100,000 from an unexpected benefactor — a woman who survived the Nazi Holocaust and appeared to be destitute, a university official said Sunday.

Upon her death two years ago, a homeless Holocaust survivor living on the streets of New York City willed the gift to the university. The Jewish woman lived out of a shopping cart in Manhattan and had no known relatives, said Yefet Ozery, Hebrew University’s director of development and public relations.

The university first learned about the gift three months ago but did not receive the money until this week. It will be used to fund scholarships for medical research students, according to the woman’s wishes, Ozery said, refusing to disclose her name. The story was first reported by The Jerusalem Post daily.

Hebrew University of Jersualem Appologizes for Calling $100,000 Donor ‘Homeless’

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education 8-14-09

Hebrew University of Jersualem has apologized for saying that a donor who bequeathed it more than $100,000 was a homeless woman in New York, the Daily News reports. Rather, Ida Fischer was an Austrian Jewish refugee who fled Vienna with her mother in 1938 after the Nazis killed her father.

Newspapers around the world had initially quoted a Hebrew University spokesman as saying that the late donor had lived out of a shopping cart in Manhattan. In its article last week, The Jerusalem Post helpfully showed what a homeless person might look like, had the donor actually been homeless.