The campus community is invited to a retirement reception in honor of Larry Goldbaum, director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, on Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 4-6 p.m. in the Amherst Room, Campus Center.
Refreshments will be served.
Goldbaum came to UMass Amherst in 1995 as director of Jewish affairs and has served as director of Religious and Spiritual Life for 23 years.
As director, he created numerous programs, including the annual Freedom Seder, a collaboration between African American, Jewish, Muslim and other students; monthly interfaith community service projects in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity; and twice-weekly student-led meditation groups.
To promote greater awareness of the many religious and cultural traditions on campus, Goldbaum redesigned the “Festival of Light” holiday poster series and expanded it to include the Islamic holiday of Eid-al-Adha, the Hindu festival of Diwali, and Chinese Lantern Festival, in addition to the original five posters for Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Three Kings Day and Kwanzaa.
He also organized educational programs related to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and black/Jewish relations – two areas of focus that led to his hiring in 1995.
He supported the creation of a course on the history of black/Jewish relations (which grew out of a faculty seminar led by professors John Bracey Jr. and Maurianne Adams), and he brought the major “Bridges and Boundaries” exhibition to campus to further explore this complicated subject.
"One By One: Descendants of the Holocaust and the Third Reich in Dialogue," a program organized by Goldbaum, brought Holocaust survivors or their children and the children of SS officers to campus.