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UCF Judaic Studies series presents Berdichevsky on Esperanto


Dr. Norman Berdichevsky, who teaches Hebrew at UCF’s Judaic Studies Program, will present a lecture titled “Do You Speak Esperanto? A Created, Modern International Language and the Revival of Hebrew” at noon, Tuesday, Feb. 19 in the Psychology Building, room 105.

Berdichevsky holds a Ph.D. in human geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1974) and is the author of several books, among them: “The Danish-German Border Dispute” (Academica Press, 2002), “Nations, Language and Citizenship” (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2004), “Spanish Vignettes; An Offbeat Look into Spain’s Culture, Society & History” (Santana Books, Malaga, Spain. 2004), “An Introduction to Danish Culture” (MacFarland, 2011), and “The Left is Seldom Right” (New English Review Press, 2011).

He is a regular contributor to the New English Review website for which he has written a monthly essay for the past five years, and is the author of more than 250 articles and book reviews that have appeared in a variety of American, British, Danish and Israeli periodicals such as World Affairs, Journal of Cultural Geography, Ecumene, Ariel, Ethnicity, The World & I, Contemporary Review, German Life, Israel Affairs and Midstream. He is also a professional translator from Hebrew and Danish to English, and is an honorary adjunct-docent faculty member of La Akademio Internacia de la Sciencoj in San Marino, an institution offering seminars and courses in Esperanto.

Esperanto is the most widely spoken constructed international language. Its name derives from “Doktoro Esperanto” (“Esperanto” translates as “one who hopes”), under which Dr. Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, on July 26, 1887. Zamenhof’s goal was to create an easy-to-learn and politically neutral language that transcends nationality and would foster peace and international understanding among people with different regional and/or national languages. Estimates of Esperanto speakers range from 100,000 to one million people. Esperanto has a notable presence in over a hundred countries. The first World Congress of Esperanto was organized in France in 1905. Esperanto was recommended by the French Academy of Sciences in 1921. Esperanto was created in the early 1880s by Dr. Zamenhof, a Jewish ophthalmologist from Bialystok. After some 10 years of development, in which Zamenhof spent translating literature into Esperanto as well as writing original prose and verse, the first book of Esperanto grammar was published in Warsaw in July 1887, according from Wikipedia.

The Judaic Studies Program, now in its 29th year at UCF, offers the Distinguished Lecturers Series to the UCF and Central Florida community. This lecture is co-sponsored by Central Florida Hillel and is open to the public and is free of charge. Permits for parking should be secured through the yellow parking machines, available in the parking lots and garages, prior to the lecture. For campus maps and parking information, please visit http://www.UCF.edu.

For further information, contact Dr. Moshe Pelli, director of the Judaic Studies Program at UCF at 407- 823-5039 or 407-823-5129.


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