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Wofford College begins Religion and Culture Series

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College has announced a new Religion and Culture Series, “Around The Well,” designed to explore issues and themes of various religious groups in American culture.

The inaugural event of the series, announced by Perkins-Prothro Chaplain Ron Robinson, will be a showing of the documentary film “Shalom Y’all,” on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. in the McMillan Theater on Wofford’s campus. The event is co-sponsored by the Wofford Campus Ministry Center and Congregation B’nai Israel. It is presented in honor of the celebration of 100 years of Jewish life in Spartanburg.

Following the film, a brief panel discussion will be offered, with Robinson, along with Dr. Robert Moss, Wofford professor of biology, and Rabbi Yossi Liebowitz.

The film and discussion are free and open to the public.

“Shalom Y’all” is a documentary feature film about the Jewish experience in the American South as told through the eyes of a native son and the cultural cousins he encounters. At the center of the story is filmmaker Brian Bain, a third-generation southern Jew from New Orleans, in search of his cultural roots.

The film chronicles the Jewish people and places encountered along the way – a small-town store owner; an African American-Jewish police chief; the town that once claimed to be the “Catskills of the South;” a Golden Gloves boxer; a former congressman; a kosher butcher; a hoop-skirted tour guide; and much more.

In the traditional Jewish way, the filmmaker asks questions and challenges old ideas: What is the character of this so-called Jewish South? How have Jewish and southern identities intertwined? How have they remained separate? Where were the Jews during the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement? How did the KKK’s southern style of anti-Semitism affect Jewish identity? Do southern Jews have two homelands — Israel and the American South?

“‘Shalom Y’all’ answers these questions and delivers a southern story with Jewish flavor,” Robinson says. “It is a rite of passage, an homage to family, a youthful adventure, and a spiritual journey.”

For more information on the film, go to:
http://www.shalomyall.com/shalom-yall/press_kit.php