by Pamela Young, Published February 09, 2012
YPSILANTI: Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) will be the guest speaker at the official kick-off for Eastern Michigan University's new minor in Jewish Studies, Thursday, Feb. 23, 3:15 p.m., in the EMU Student Center Ballroom.
"I can't be more delighted that Sen. Levin is joining us," said Martin Shichtman, Jewish Studies program director and professor of English. "The Jewish community has contributed some truly extraordinary participants to Michigan life, such as Sen. Levin."
Shichtman says Eastern Michigan is a school that celebrates diversity and that the Jewish community of southeastern Michigan has been a vital and significant piece of our state's culture, economy and intellectual life.
The program will celebrate and be a voice for Jewish culture in southeast Michigan, Shichtman said. Classes delving into the Jewish faith, culture and thought will be taught by professors with expertise in literature, political science, history, religion, philosophy, art, world languages and theatre. The program started in fall 2011.
Levin is widely known as a strong advocate for education, health care, the environment and ethics. He has been recognized by Time Magazine as one of America's 10 Best Senators. The Saginaw News cited him as being "honest to a fault, blunt and trustworthy. He carries the torch for Michigan and has an impeccable political reputation."
A Detroit native, Levin graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and received his law degree from Harvard University. After serving as assistant attorney general and general counsel for the Michigan Civil Rights Commission from 1964-1968, Levin was elected to the Detroit City Council in 1969.
He has served in the U.S. Senate since 1978, and currently is chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
Levin is known for his strong support of Michigan's colleges and universities, citing their efforts in educating the state's students and for innovation that will help the state prosper.
Eastern Michigan's Student Center is located at 900 Oakwood, in Ypsilanti. The program is free and open to the public.