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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Hillel to show "Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School”

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 21, 2006 -- The University of Rhode Island will present the film "Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School” followed by a discussion with Shulamit Izen, who is the student chronicled in the film. Sponsored by the University’s Hillel Foundation, in collaboration with OutURI and URI Housing and Residential Life, the film will be shown on Wednesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom on the Kingston Campus. The program is free and open to the public.

Hineini (Hebrew for ‘Here I am’) chronicles the story of student, Shulamit Izen’s courageous fight to establish a gay-straight alliance at a Jewish high school in the Boston area and the transformative impact of her campaign on everyone involved. Beyond the struggle to create a supportive environment for gay and lesbian students and teachers at the school, this is the story of a community wrestling with the very definition of pluralism and diversity. Using interviews with Izen, her family, teachers and other students—both those who support her campaign and those who oppose it—the film allows the members of this community to tell their own story as it unfolds. What emerges is a potent story of Jewish pluralism and a community navigating the cross-currents of Jewish tradition and social change. Izen is now a student at Brown University.

Co-sponsors of the program include the URI Student Activities Diversity Committee, URI GLBT Center, Multicultural Center, URI Chaplains Association, Women’s Center, Women’s Studies and Raise Your Voice. The Hillel Foundation at URI creates a warm and welcoming environment where Jewish students from all backgrounds can meet each other and explore and celebrate Jewish life. For more information, contact 401-874-2740 or www.urihillel.org