Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Continuation of adult 'Jews in Politics' courses offered at Beit Hamidrash


Dr. Teri Sue Fine

The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando's Jewish Community Relations Committee is pleased to announce a free community adult education initiative focusing on "Jews in American Politics: Advanced Topics." This short course will continue the successful fall 2013 community initiative offered through Beit Hamidrash. Dr. Terri Susan Fine, political science professor at UCF, will teach the class in three installments on Feb. 24, March 3 and March 10. The course will be open to the public. Participants are encouraged to attend one class or all three-each installment will focus on a unique perspective about Jews in politics such that missing one class will not be a disadvantage to full participation in other classes.

The class will run from 7-8:15 p.m. Monday evenings at the Jewish Academy of Orlando, simultaneously to Beit Hamidrash so that parents, friends of Beit Hamidrash students, and any other member of the community, can join in the learning that is already taking place in the building.

"I have really enjoyed teaching 'Jews in American Politics' at Beit Hamidrash to Jewish adults," commented Fine. "I enjoy seeing friends and making new ones and finding out about their perspectives on these issues."

Fine teaches the class by focusing on civic education with a Jewish focus. "Educated citizens are my objective-this will not be a class where I share my political views-that is not teaching."

The class will begin on Feb. 24 with a discussion looking at Jewish women in American state politics. Special emphasis will be on how Jewish women have become integrated into state legislative politics and the barriers that they have faced. On March 3, the discussion will turn to using Israel as a case study through which to learn how the U.S. model has influenced, or not, how and why Israel declared independence. Attention will focus on the events leading up to independence and the core issues found in each country's declaration of independence. On March 10, participants will look at political parties and national legislatures in Israel and the U.S. and compare how each interprets and responds to their role as representatives of the people.

Fine has taught at UCF for almost 25 years and is the recipient of 10 excellence in teaching awards and one university-wide award each for professional leadership, academic advising and professional service. She was the Jewish Federation's "Mensch of the Week" in November 2013 for teaching the Jews in American Politics course to Jewish adults and students at Beit Hamidrash in fall 2013. She is the 2009 recipient of the Jewish Federation's "Community Relations" award and in 2012 received the American Society for Public Administration's "Academic Excellence" award from the Central Florida chapter. In 2006 she was named a Schusterman Israel Studies fellow at Brandeis University and in 2013 was named a faculty fellow of the Center for Academic Engagement-Israel on Campus Coalition. She and her husband Paul Stenzler live in Orlando.

To learn more about JFGO's impact locally through the Jewish Community Relations Council and Beit Hamidrash please visit http://www.jfgo.org.


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