Parfitt is the Florida International University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Director of the Center of Global Jewish Communities. At the luncheon he will speak about the ancient tribes including the Lemba in Zimbabwe and the Gogodala in Western Papua New Guinea. Parfitt’s work includes exploration of Jewish genetic identity in Asia and Africa.
Before joining FIU, he was the director of the Jewish Studies Center at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
This event begins with coffee at 10:15 a.m., Sept. 24 at Temple Judea, 5500 Granada Blvd. (at U.S. 1 and Granada Boulevard) in Coral Gables. Reservations by Sept. 17 are a must for the luncheon. The cost is $28. For more call Jackie Leone at 305-665-4832 or Barbara Bulbin at 305-274-0206.
“Reach For the Stars” is the season’s first free public program presented by the Southern Cross Astros. FIU Research Astronomer James R. Webb will show a slow-motion video of the construction of the university’s new observatory and the recent installation of its silver dome roof.
There will also be information about the second floor round control room, that resembles a space ship, where faculty and students can open remote telescopes at the Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, and in northern Chile.
Webb and Terry Oswalt, Dean of Space Science at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, have established a consortium of universities in SE United States to enable students to share astronomy information and the FIU remote telescopes. The universities are members of the Southeastern Association of Research Astronomers (SARA).
Webb received his doctorate degree at the University of Florida and has taught astronomy and physics at FIU for more than 20 years. He has dreamed of the observatory for more than a decade. Now through a generous donor, retired physics professor and scientist Dr. Carl Stocker, new university committees, enthusiastic architects, contractors, artists and SCAS Vice President Tim Khan, the dream is coming true.
A 24" diameter telescope will be installed later this year with the grand opening week beginning Nov. 12. The new Stocker AstroScience Center will feature visiting NASA VIPs, the designer of the latest space telescope and noted astronomers.
The free Southern Cross “Reach For the Stars” program will start at 8 p.m., Sept. 20 in the FIU Physics Building, CP-145 lecture hall. Park in the campus Red Garage, west side of southwest 109 Avenue/8th Street and follow the SCAS signs across the new patio to CP-145. For more information call 305-661-1375 or visit www.scas.org.
The Children’s Voice Chorus is now holding auditions for children, ages 8-12, for its community-wide chorus. The group started in the fall of 2011 and has a mission to “shape the future by positively impacting the lives of young singers of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds through the highest quality choral music education.”
The beginning and intermediate levels currently have open spots and the auditions are being held at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church, 14401 Old Cutler Rd., in Palmetto Bay. Rehearsals are held weekly and are led by Founder and Artistic Director, Jamie Perez Sutta, who has a bachelor’s degree in Choral Music Education from the Florida State University, and a master’s degree from the University of Miami.