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October 6, 2006


Judith Monachina will conduct her research in Italy

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA — Judith Monachina of Stockbridge has been awarded a Fulbright Grant for the 2006-2007 academic year. Monachina is the Associate Director of Public Affairs at Simon's Rock College.

The Fulbright grant will support research that Monachina began in 2000. Her project includes interviews with people who lived in Italy during the Second World War as well as archival research on that period. She has focused on those who were persecuted by the Fascists and Nazis, and she has visited various cities in Italy over six years to meet interviewees and read primary source documents. The Fulbright will allow her to spend significant time in archives where letters, journals and other documents are kept, and to continue to talk with Italians about their own experience of the events.

Monachina coordinates public affairs efforts at Simon's Rock. She has worked as a writer and journalist in the Berkshires for 11 years, primarily for The Advocate weekly newspaper; she has also freelanced for other publications, including The Berkshire Eagle. In 1994, while working as director of Career Education at Columbia University in New York, she helped to launch a neighborhood newspaper on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She began the Italian project that the Fulbright award will support when she was a writer and associate editor at The Advocate. While there, she interviewed a Pittsfield based priest, Rinaldo Ribezzi, who lived in Rome during the German occupation, and she traveled to Rome to visit the church where he worked. Since that time, she has returned several times to interview people, including Jews and others who were persecuted.

In 2002, the Olivetti Foundation awarded her a grant to work with American and Italian high school students to create a video of an interview with an Italian Jewish woman whose family was affected by the Racial Laws and then, during the German occupation, was forced to hide.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is an international exchange program for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Named for Senator J. William Fulbright, the program was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress to "enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries."

Simon's Rock Media Contact:
Briee Della Rocca: 413 644-4706