October 26, 2005
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Ilan Stavans, the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College, will deliver the annual Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Lecture on the topic “What Crisis? Jewish Identity in the Diaspora in the 21st Century” at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Jewish Community of Amherst (742 Main Street, Amherst, Mass. ) The talk is open to the public and free to students with valid identification. Tickets are $5 for the general public. Refreshments will be served.

Stavans, who has written much about Jewish literature and culture, will discuss the crisis in Jewish identity in light of the many options available to Jews in the 21st century, among them assimilation, nonreligious secular affiliation, religious affiliation with one of the Jewish denominations, Zionist affiliation and political action on the right and on the left. James Young, chair of the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Jules Chametzky, professor emeritus of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Rabbi Andrew Davids, the executive director of the Association of Reform Zionists will respond to his remarks. A question and answer period will follow.

Stavans's talk is sponsored by the World Jewish Concerns and Action Committee of the Jewish Community of Amherst, Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the University of Massachusetts Office of Jewish Affairs. Contact Eva Sartori at 413/467-3626 for more information.