Naamani Lecture Will Explore Synagogue Art

The 2012 Naamani Memorial Lecture is fast approaching and anticipation is building for this year’s talk, to be delivered by Professor Steven Fine of New York’s Yeshiva University.  Professor Fine’s lecture, “The Colorful Art of the Ancient Synagogue,” will be delivered on Sunday, April 1. For the first time, the Naamani Lecture will be presented at the Jewish Community Center.

The talk will examine the abundant use of color in the art of ancient synagogues and will explore the importance of polychromatic design for our understanding of the Jewish art, archaeology and liturgy of the Roman period.

“Dr. Fine is an engaging and dynamic lecturer,” said Lee Shai Weissbach, professor of history at U of L and chair of the Naamani Memorial Lecture Committee, “and his writings are widely recognized as major contributions to our understanding of the Jewish experience in the Greco-Roman world.”


Fine holds degrees from the University of Southern California and from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and he is currently professor of Jewish History and director of the Center for Israel Studies at Yeshiva University.  He is the author of Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World: Toward a New Jewish Archaeology and an editor of IMAGES: A Journal for the Study of Jewish Art and Visual Culture.

The Naamani Memorial Lecture Series is supported by donations to the Naamani Memorial Lecture Fund. The series was established in 1979 to honor the memory of Professor Israel T. Naamani, long a beloved member of the Louisville community. Dr. Naamani first came to Louisville in 1948 to head the city’s Bureau of Jewish Education, and he remained a key figure in the educational efforts of the community all his life. He also taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of Louisville for many years.

The Naamani Memorial Lecture is free and open to the public.  Plenty of free parking is available at the JCC and refreshments will be served following Professor Fine’s talk.

Those interested in more information about the Naamani Lecture or in contributing to the Naamani Memorial Lecture Fund may contact Professor Lee Shai Weissbach in the History Department at the University of Louisville at 852-3755 or by e-mail at

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