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  • Artwork for Fiddler on the Roof Symposium

    Don't miss this dynamic series of events and lectures leading up to the college's production of Fiddler on the Roof.

‘To Life!’ Jewish Tradition: Endurance, Home and Change

The Davidson College Theatre Department, in collaboration with other campus and community organizations, will host a series of events and lectures spotlighting the joy and resiliency of Judaism in America. The symposium begins Feb. 9 and culminates with the college's production of Fiddler on the Roof, March 20-29.

The multifaceted symposium includes a Jewish festival, as well as lectures from leading experts who will explore questions of balancing one's culture and faith against the tensions of progressive change, all through the lens of Fiddler on the Roof.

All symposium events are free and open to the public. Tickets to Fiddler are available through the ticket office.

For directions and parking, please see our campus map.

Symposium Events

Jewish Theatre in Stalinist Russia: False Messiahs, the Inquisition, and the Holocaust

A public lecture by Harriet Murav, Ph.D., professor of Slavic languages and literature at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Feb. 9, 8 p.m., Carolina Inn

In 1946, in the face of the destruction of Jewish culture and Jewish lives, Solomon Mikhoels, director of the Moscow State Yiddish Theatre, and David Bergelson, a prominent Jewish playwright, return to 16th-century Jewish history to make a bold comparison between the Inquisition and the Holocaust. They think they are going to produce a play about a false Jewish messiah. Indeed, Mikhoels believes this figure is of great world historical significance, comparing him to Ivan the Terrible and to Shylock. This entire phenomenon is folly–inspired folly, but folly nonetheless.

Sponsored by the Russian Studies and Theatre departments.

Dad's Jewish, Mom's Catholic... What am I?: Interfaith families in the 21st Century

A panel discussion moderated by Rabbi Michael Shields

March 9, 7 p.m., 900 Room, Alvarez College Union

Rabbi Michael Shields, Kerry Honan '17, and couples of inter-faith backgrounds from the Lake Norman area will explore the innate tensions in dual-faith households, respected traditions, and recent challenges and opportunities in American Jewish families.

Tradition: Celebrating Jewish Community and Culture

Jewish Festival Art

A community festival

March 15, 12-3:45 p.m., Alvarez College Union

"To Life, To Life, L'Chaim"–the Jewish spirit celebrates life and humanity in each waking moment. This family-oriented festival spotlights the powerful vitality and history of the Jewish people. Highlights include a Klezmer band from New York City, Russian folk dance lessons, storytelling with puppetry, food, art-making for children, a panel talk on "The Making of Fiddler from Russia to Broadway" and a musical excerpt from the college's upcoming production of Fiddler on the Roof.

Sponsored by the Davidson College Friends of the Arts, Center for Civic Engagement, Theatre Department, Music Department, Vann Center for Ethics, office of the Vice-President of Academic Affairs, and Hillel; as well as the Jewish Council of Lake Norman and the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte.

From Sholem-Aleichem to Fiddler: The Tevye Tradition

A lecture by Karl Plank, Ph.D., J.W. Cannon Professor of Religion at Davidson College

March 19, 11:05 a.m.-12:05 p.m., 900 Room, Alvarez College Union

An introduction to Sholem-Aleichem's Tevye stories, their path to Broadway, and how Tevye, the Jewish dairyman, became an American cultural icon.

yellow/orange drawing/sketch of fiddle for Fiddler on the Roof Fiddler on the Roof

A musical

March 20-29, Duke Family Performance Hall

Music by Jerry Bock; lyrics by Sheldon Harnick; book by Joseph Stein.
Directed by Ann Marie Costa; music directed by Jacquelyn Culpepper; conducted by Tara Villa Keith

A beloved icon of musical theatre, tells the story of a Jewish family facing social and political upheaval in a 1905 Russian village. Presented in collaboration with the Music Department, this must-see production is one for the entire family. Recommended for ages 11 and up.
General Admission: $15; Seniors: $12; Faculty/Staff: $10; Students: $6.  Tickets

Post-show discussion

March 21 (following the 8 p.m. show of Fiddler on the Roof), Duke Family Performance Hall

Renowned theatre and feminist scholars Jill Dolan and Stacy Wolf, both from Princeton University, will respond to Davidson College's production of Fiddler on the Roof and ask questions of the director.

Doal/Wolf Lecture artGender and Jewishness in Fiddler on the Roof from the 1960s to the Present

A public lecture* featuring Jill Dolan, Ph.D., and Stacy Wolf, Ph.D., both of Princeton University.

March 22, 12-1:30 p.m., The Lilly Gallery, Chambers Building

Professors Jill Dolan and Stacy Wolf will discuss Fiddler in the context of 1960's America and the contemporary representation of Jews in pop culture. Dolan is the Annan Professor of English, a theatre professor in the Lewis Center for the Arts, and program director for Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton. Wolf is a theatre professor and director of fellowships at Princeton.

The discussion follows a brunch catered by the Davidson College Friends of the Arts.

*Event is free, though reservations are required. RSVP now.

Sponsored by the Davidson College Public Lectures Committee, Office of Academic Affairs, Center for Civic Engagement, Chaplain's Office, Friends of the Arts, Vann Center for Ethics, and the Gender and Sexuality Studies, History, Religion, and Theatre departments.

The Jewish Experience at Davidson College and Why It Matters

A panel discussion moderated by the Rev. Rob Spach

March 24, 4:30 p.m., Room 209, Alvarez College Union

Students, faculty, and staff will discuss their experiences as Jewish members of the Davidson College community. Individuals of all worldviews and religious backgrounds are welcome to attend.