A former American soldier who, at age 18 in the segregate Army unit, helped

liberate German concentration camps in World War II, will speak at an open

forum of the National Conference of Christians and Jews at noon on Thursday,

April 2, at Ramsey's Cafeteria.

Leon Bass, a retired high school principal from Philadelphia, will be

in Knoxville as part of the citywide celebration of Israel's 50th anniversary.

Music, dance, poetry, art, theater and other events are scheduled through

the end of May. Most are free, and open to the public.

On April 2 to 5, Norman Magden of the UT art department will present

Phantoms, a dance performance of visual illusions, with the Creative

Performance Ensemble and Circle Modern Dance at 7 p.m. on April 2, at 2

and 8 p.m. on April 4, and 3 p.m. on April 5 at the Knoxville Museum of


The multimedia show also will include poetry readings by Marilyn Kallet

of the UT English department and Rabbi Howard Simon of Temple Beth El. Aaron

Feldman, an attorney who plays with the klezmer band, Tennessee Schmaltz,

will provide music.

On April 5, the Outdoor Israeli Festival will be held downtown at the

Dogwood Arts Festival from noon to 4 p.m. in Market Square. The program

will include children's choirs from Oak Ridge, Oneida, Temple Beth El and

Community School of the Arts; Israeli dancers; Beaumont Elementary School's

dance group, the Polka Dots; Heska Amuna Synagogue Quartet, the Oak Ridge

klezmer band and Knoxville's klezmer band, Tennessee Schmaltz.

A film festival will also be held from April 6 to 8 dealing with contemporary

issues in Israeli society. The festival will be held at the Hodges Library

Auditorium at 7:30 each night. Showings include Nadia on April 5,

Atalia on April 6 and Summer of Aviya on April 7.

On April 8, Lee Humpreys of the department of religious studies will

speak on "A God in the Process of Becoming," in the McClung Museum


Knoxville's Israel Celebration in headed by Gilya Schmidt, chair of the

Fern and Manfred Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies at UT.

More information about the events can be found at sunsite.utk.edu/Israel-50-jubilee,

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