Dr. Stuart Rockoff to Present 'Southern Jews and Slavery' in conjunction with CBT's THE WHIPPING MAN

The Knoxville Jewish Alliance (KJA) and the Clarence Brown Theatre (CBT) have announced that Dr. Stuart Rockoff will present "Southern Jews and Slavery" at the Arnstein Jewish Community Center on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 7:00 pm. The program, which is free and open to the public, will be presented in collaboration with the theater's production of The Whipping Man, a drama about the Civil War running Thursday, January 30 through Sunday, February 16, 2014. The center is located at 6800 Deane Hill Drive. Light refreshments will be served.

Dr. Rockoff is the director of the history department at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life in Jackson, Mississippi. His talk will explore how the issue of slavery divided the American Jewish community, both North and South, and how southern Jews reacted in very different ways to the so-called "peculiar institution." Approximately 3,000 Jewish soldiers fought for the Confederacy. According to Dr. Rockoff, "...with our own experience of slavery in Egypt, it seems unbelievable that Jews would ever support the enslavement of a group of people." But in fact, slavery was hotly debated within the mid-19th century Jewish community.

Directed by John Sipes, The Whipping Man is an award-winning drama written by Matthew Lopez and takes place in the waning days of the Civil War. In April 1865, a wounded Jewish Confederate soldier returns to his home in Richmond only to find it ruined and abandoned - except for two former slaves also raised in the Jewish faith. As the three men celebrate Passover, they uncover a tangle of secrets and grapple with an uncertain future brought on by the end of the Civil War. Tickets to the production are available by calling the CBT Box Office at 974-5161 or online 24/7 at clarencebrowntheatre.com.

Support for Dr. Rockoff's discussion is provided by the Knoxville Jewish Alliance, the Max and Zelda Morrison Cultural Fund, a fund of the Knoxville Jewish Community Family of Funds, and the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life.

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