The lecture, free and open to the public, will be held in Breasted Hall, located in the Oriental Institute at 1155 E. 58th Street, and will be followed by a reception in the museum galleries.
Dr. Oded Lipschits, Professor of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University, will deliver the inaugural lecture titled “The Myth of the Empty Land and The Myth of the Mass Return – A New Look on the History of Judah under Babylonian and Persian Rule.” Dr. Lipschits’ research focuses on the history and administration of Judah and the Judeans under Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian rule. In addition, he has directed archaeological excavations at Ramat Rahel, and the Ellah Valley Regional Project and the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition.
The lecture series was established through a gift from Barbara Kipper and the Kipper family and includes an annual public lecture as well as a lecture for scholars at the Oriental Institute, an internationally renowned center for the study of the ancient Near East. The Kipper Family has been strong supporters of the Oriental Institute’s public educational programs. In 2008, they established the Kipper Family Archaeological Discovery Center to encourage children and families to learn about the archaeological method through a simulated excavation of a tel. This unique and innovative experience allows school children and their parents the opportunity for hands-on excavation of replica artifacts.
“We are grateful to the Kipper family for their generosity, which makes this series possible,” said Gil Stein, Director of the Oriental Institute.
“We are very pleased that Dr. Lipschits will be delivering the first lecture in what will be a distinguished annual set of lectures,” Stein said. “The history and archaeological record of ancient Israel provide some of our most important sources of information on the rise of civilizations and the formation of world religion. This history has broad appeal for scholars and the general public alike.” he added.
“The institute currently has two archaeological projects underway in the area, the Galilee Prehistory Project in Marj Rabba and the Jericho Mafjar Project,” Stein said.
Dr. Lipschits is a highly acclaimed archaeologist and is director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology and head of the International MA program, “Ancient Israel Studies” in the department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University. He has published profusely on stamped jar handles and is currently co-authoring a critical and historical commentary on the Book of Ezra and Nehemiah.
Dr. Kipper was a clinical psychologist who served on the faculty of Bar Ilan University in Israel as an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. In 1995 he was named a research professor of psychology at Roosevelt University.
He wrote extensively on psychotherapy and was the author of the book Psychotherapy through Clinical Role Playing, and more than 70 chapters and articles in professional journals.
He was a long-standing member of the Visiting Committee to the Oriental Institute and was also well-known for his support of the arts, including The Joffrey Ballet and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra.