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UAlbany Professor Martha Rozett Offers “Synagogue Scholars” Book Discussion at B’nai Sholom

B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation continues its popular “Synagogue Scholars” lecture series with a book discussion by University at Albany Professor Martha Rozett of Philip Roth’s Nemesis.

Rozett will lead the conversation during the congregation’s Friday, January 24, Shabbat service.  The service and program, open to all who wish to worship and learn, begin at 8 p.m.  B’nai Sholom is located at 420 Whitehall Road, Albany.    
A powerful short novel, Nemesis is set in the 1940s in Roth’s hometown of Newark, N.J., during a polio epidemic. The characters are all Jewish, and the novel explores themes of fear, guilt and loss of faith in ways that will prompt a good discussion.  To many, Roth is the preeminent Jewish writer of modern time.

Rozett’s own most recent work is When People Wrote Letters: A Family Chronicle (The Troy Book Makers, 2011), a story told through family letters and autobiographies about the travels and careers of her mother and great aunt and about a romance threatened by the differences between New England Episcopalians and New York Jews.  A Shakespeare scholar, she authored Constructing a World: Shakespeare’s England and the New Historical Fiction, a look at the way historical novelists challenge our assumptions about the past, and Talking Back to Shakespeare, which examined the way Shakespeare’s plays have been appropriated and transformed. Rozett is a professor of English at UAlbany with an affiliate appointment in Judaic studies.  She frequently teaches contemporary historical fiction, including fiction on the history of the Jews, and lectures in the community at Bethlehem Institute for Lifelong Learning and at the Albany Public Library.   Rozett holds a doctorate in English from the University of Michigan.

Begun in 2004, the “Synagogue Scholars” lecture series spotlights B’nai Sholom congregants who are recognized scholars in their fields.  Award-winning author and journalist Peter Golden will wrap up the current series Friday, February 21, with a talk about some of the favorite political stories American Jewry has been telling itself since the end of World War II.
For more information about the “Synagogue Scholars” series, visit or contact the B’nai Sholom office at or phone 518-482-5283.

Founded in 1971, B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany is a home for contemporary Reform Judaism in the Capital Region.  More than 150 diverse households from six counties seek religious, educational and social fulfillment at B’nai Sholom.

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