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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Terri Berns
561-297-1164, tberns@fau.edu

Jewish Cultural Society at FAU Announces Membership Kickoff Events November 23 and December 14

‘From Shelf to Stage’ will be presented by Maestro Aaron Kula and members of the Klezmer Company Orchestra

BOCA RATON, FL (November 3, 2008) -- The Jewish Cultural Society (JCS) at Florida Atlantic University, a unique fundraising group, will introduce itself to the community and kick off its membership drive with two free celebratory musical events titled “From Shelf to Stage,” featuring Maestro Aaron Kula and members of the Klezmer Company Orchestra.

 “From Shelf to Stage” will be presented on Sunday, November 23 at 3 p.m. at the Barry and Florence Friedberg Lifelong Learning Center 777 Glades Road, FAU’s Boca Raton campus. The program will be presented again at on Sunday, December 14 at 3 p.m. at the Elinor Bernon Rosenthal Life Long Learning Complex, 5353 Parkside Drive, FAU’s Jupiter campus. The events are free and open to the public.

The phrase “Shelf to Stage” refers to the historic music that Kula, director of music collections and performance at the library, takes from the archives and rearranges and re-orchestrates for live performances. The program also will include a lecture and visual presentation of images of some of the historic sheet music covers.

The mission of the JCS is to help advance Jewish cultural traditions and education at FAU and its Libraries through philanthropic endeavors and programs. This volunteer organization was established to support FAU Libraries’ large and richly diverse Jewish cultural and music collections, as well as the Libraries’ educational outreach programs and live performances. The group’s major projects for its first year include supporting the library’s inaugural “KULTUR Festival 2009: a Celebration of Jewish Music and Arts,” promoting the print music and sound archives, and raising money for the employment of library student workers.

Most of the society’s founding members are retired executive women who moved to Palm Beach County within the past 15 years and want to use their involvement with the JCS to help strengthen community ties to FAU.

“We now feel that Florida is our home and take great pride in all things Floridian,” said Dottie Pierce, one of the group’s founders. “The Jewish community, once very small, has grown each year.   Members of the JCS feel it is important to be involved in FAU’s efforts to enrich and perpetuate Jewish culture and heritage."

The concept of the group began when Pierce, a resident of Boca Raton, Joan Roude and Bobby Starsky, both of of Boynton Beach, and Charlotte Schiff of Palm Beach Gardens contacted Randy Talbot, FAU senior vice president for University Advancement, to discuss their idea.

             “The JCS is providing a bridge to the community via FAU Libraries,” said Talbot. “It is presenting a venue to empower, inform and stimulate the human experience, which is the heart of all institutions of higher learning.”

The group was organized with the support of Dr. William Miller, dean of FAU Libraries. Miller said he is looking forward to an extended relationship between the library and JCS.

 “Several of our specialized collections and services, such as our Judaica Sound Archives and our Klezmer Company resident ensemble, are especially relevant to JCS’ interests,” said Miller.   “This dedicated constituency will help us to continue to fulfill the public service component of our mission.”

There are two arms of the JCS organization which will offer programs and fundraisers in both southern and northern Palm Beach County. These two kick off events were designed to introduce potential new members to JCS by promoting a season of exciting programs to the public. Participants can sign up for membership and register for a variety of JCS events planned by the group, including the February 2009 KULTUR festival — an event the group will help advance annually.

Kultur Festival 2009 is the first festival of its kind in South Florida. This five-day celebration of Jewish culture includes concerts, presentations and lectures that feature a diverse selection of music, dance, film and book arts.

For more information on the JCS, contact Dottie Pierce at 561-852-9720; Joan Roude at 561-369-1518; Bobby Starsky at 561-735-0176 or Charlotte Schiff at 561-627-0520.

-FAU-

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