|Expert in Qur’an Recitation
Teaches in Electronic Classroom Course
on “Introduction to Islam”
On Wednesday, December 2, Mr. Ensar Demirkan, one of the foremost experts in Qur’an recitation, taught a class in Dr. Reuven Firestone’s “Introduction to Islam” bi-coastal course. Students and faculty from the Los Angeles and New York campuses attended the class in the electronic classrooms on their respective campuses. Demirkan demonstrated how Qur’an recitation is used to preserve the oral integrity of the text, and he provided a variety of styles and approaches to the art of Qur’an recitation. As in Judaism, the “ta’amim” were developed in Islam to ensure the proper pronunciation and syntax of oral recitation of the divine word. More so than in Torah trope, however, there has developed a tradition of personal artistic expression and even virtuosity in the recitation of the Qur’an. Students and faculty were privileged to hear some of the most famous Qur’an reciters of the 20th century that have been digitally preserved, and Ensar also demonstrated personally how it is done.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation’s oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR’s scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement’s congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR’s campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish history, identity, art, and archaeology, and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.