Scholar Norman Ravvin has been appointed to the first Chair in Quebec and Canadian Jewish Studies, which was recently established in Concordia's Department of Religion.
A native of Calgary, Dr. Ravvin joins Concordia's Department of Religion from the University of New Brunswick, where he taught in the English Department. He arrives with an extensive background in Jewish studies, focused primarily on Jewish literature, and literature of the Holocaust.
He has published a book, House of Words, which deals with Canadian Jewish literature, and is currently at work on a second book, The Hidden Canada, which will include chapters on the Jewish farming colonies of the prairies.
In addition to his teaching and research duties, Ravvin will be responsible for reaching out to the general community, with particular attention to Montreal's Jewish community of about 101,000.
The field of Canadian Jewish studies is just emerging, as students and scholars seek to explore the Jewish community's 300-year history in this country. While Judaic studies have long been a strength at Concordia's Religion Department, the push to create a Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies was given a big boost with a recent grant from the Canadian government, under the aegis of its multicultural program.
Last year, an Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies was established through the generosity of Andrea and Charles Bronfman and the Seagram Co. Ltd. The Institute provides fellowships to Master's and PhD students exploring Canadian Jewish topics.
Tamás Zsolnay has been appointed to a five-year term as Executive Director, University Advancement, effective September 1.
Mr. Zsolnay comes to Concordia from Navion, one of Canada's leading fundraising consulting companies, where he has worked for more than 10 years, most recently as senior vice-president of eastern operations.
However, he is also a Concordia graduate, having earned his BA in economics in 1986; he subsequently acquired specialized certificates in fundraising. He is also a lieutenant-colonel in the Canadian Forces Primary Reserves.
In his new position, he will oversee the Advancement and Alumni Affairs offices, and design and implement Concordia's long-term fundraising, advancement and alumni strategies. We welcome him to the Concordia community.