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Archaeology and History of Ancient Israel Examined at B’nai Sholom

What do we know about the archaeology and history of ancient Israel, and how do we know it? A course at B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany will provide many of the answers.

“Archaeology and History of Ancient Israel” will be taught Monday mornings beginning January 7 from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at B’nai Sholom, 420 Whitehall Road, Albany.

                This eight-session course will start by summarizing the development of biblical archaeology from the antiquarians of the late 19th century, through the excavation of the “great” sites in the first half of the 20th century and to the maturing of the discipline in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. Succeeding sessions will consider the Patriarchal Age including the descent into Egypt, the Exodus, the Wilderness Wandering, the Conquest and Settlement of the Land, the United Kingdom of David and Solomon and its dissolution into the Divided Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The course will conclude with the Babylonian Conquest and the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E.

Steven Stark-Riemer, the course instructor, studied anthropology at City College of New York, where he specialized in archaeology, and received his degree in 1972. He conducted field work at the Tell Gezer excavations in Israel under the direction of William G. Dever, director of the Hebrew Union College Biblical and Archaeological School at the time. Stark-Riemer continues to pursue his interest in the archaeology, history and religion of the ancient Near East.

“Archaeology and History of Ancient Israel” is open to the public. Fee is $60 ($40 for B’nai Sholom members), and registration is required.

For more information, visit or contact the B’nai Sholom office at 518-482-5283 or

Founded in 1971, B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany is a home for contemporary Reform Judaism in the Capital Region, creating a vibrant Jewish present that links ancient traditions with the promise of the future. More than 150 diverse households from six counties seek religious, educational and social fulfillment at B’nai Sholom.

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