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Baruch College Welcomes Award-Winning Actor, Director and Author for Presentation on Jews and the Renaissance

NEW YORK, NY-October 17, 2012 – As part of its Joel Segall Great Works Reading Series, The Jewish Studies Center and the Baruch Performing Arts Center will host a panel discussion/ film screening reflecting on the portrayal of Jews during the Renaissance period. The presentation will focus on the Shakespearean play, A Merchant of Venice, and is scheduled at 3p.m., October 25 in Baruch’s Engelman Recital Hall, Newman Vertical Campus Building.

Featured panelists include Academy Award-winning Actor F. Murray Abraham, (Amadeus), Tony Award-winning Director Daniel Sullivan (Proof), and Columbia University Professor James Shapiro, author of the acclaimed “Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?”(Simon and Schuster, 2010) and “Shakespeare and the Jews” (Columbia University Press, 1996). A video presentation comparing the trial scenes of three noted film versions of “A Merchant of Venice” will be presented. The discussion will be moderated by Baruch English Professor Paula Berggren.

This dark Shakespearean comedy, about a Jewish moneylender who demands a “pound of flesh” from a Christian merchant of Venice as security for a loan, features central themes, including revenge, greed and Jewish and Christian values. The play features a famous “Hath Not a Jew Eyes” speech and has been performed in numerous stage and film adaptations, including a 2004 film starring Al Pacino and Joseph Fiennes and a Broadway run in 2010-2011,(also featuring Pacino), for which Daniel Sullivan received a Tony Award nomination.

The Jewish Studies Center in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College reflects the legacy and heritage of the college, its tradition of educating New York City immigrants, its diverse population, and its special relationship to and place within Manhattan.

WHAT: “A Pound of Flesh: Jews and the Renaissance” panel discussion/film screening on Shakespeare’s A Merchant of Venice

WHEN: 3:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m., Thursday, October 25, 2012

WHERE: Newman Vertical Campus Building, Engelman Recital Hall, 55 Lexington Avenue

RESERVATIONS: Box Office (646) 312-5073; e-mail

About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 5 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world.  For more about Baruch College, go to



Manny Romero, (646) 660-6141,

Mercedes Sanchez, (646) 660-6112,

Celene McDermott, (646) 660-6134,

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