Previous Events Pg. 4

Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program
Due to the Pandemic, Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program has switched to using ZOOM to facilitate Online Events & Podcasts. Below is a list of our recent Online Events we have created and uploaded to YouTube™. To view a desired event video, simply click one of the links below.
 
  Special Note: Listings below without a link to a video on youtube could not be uploaded due to copyright and permission issues.
 
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  • Topic: From Cruse of Oil to Rifle Stock: The Changing Image of the Hanukkah Menorah
    Speaker: Shalom Sabar
    Dedicated in honor of: Bobbi Cherry z”l

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    CSP Partners: Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Temple Beth Sholom (Santa Ana, CA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY) & Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA)

    On Hanukkah Jews the world over light a menorah to commemorate a miracle that occurred at the height of the Maccabean revolution against their Greek oppressors in the 2nd century BCE. The earliest Hanukkah menorahs were lamps of clay or stone, with an opening on top to pour in olive oil, and a small spout in the front for a wick. These lamps were placed at the entrance to the home on a specially constructed stand, in an increasing (or decreasing) number for each day of the holiday. In Talmudic times, another model appeared: a smaller, mobile version of the lamp menorahs. It was a single lamp made of clay, stone, or, increasingly, metal – but it had eight wick spouts instead of just one. Menorahs would further evolve in the Middle Ages. A new model appeared in the Jewish community of 13th century Spain and spread from there to the rest of the Jewish world. These menorahs, made of metal, had an ornate back wall (to affix the menorah to a wall), and a narrow tray on the bottom, with eight dimples for oil. It was in these menorahs that the shamash, an additional candle used to light the other ones, first appeared, and placed on a different plane so as to differentiate it from the others. Over the centuries the Hanukkah lamp developed as an artistic Judaic object, with decorations of messianic Jerusalem and the Temple (usually modeled on the most important structure in a given city or land) and contemporary decorative features including emblems of the ruler or host society, Maccabean images, lions, new pioneers, sacred historical monuments, gun-shells, gun-stocks and IDF soldiers. In this CSP session with Prof. Shalom Sabar, we will examine the meaning of the dramatic changes in the naive-looking ritual object of Hanukkah.

    Shalom Sabar is Professor of Jewish Art and Folklore at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sabar is the last Jewish baby born and circumcised in the ages old neo-Aramaic speaking Kurdish-Jewish community of Zakho. He earned his PhD in Art History from UCLA (1987), writing on the illustrated marriage contracts of the Jews in Renaissance and Baroque Italy. His research joins together the disciplines of art history and folklore, highlighting issues pertaining to the folk nature of Jewish art and Jewish material culture, visual materials and objects associated with rituals in the life and year cycles, and the evidence these materials provide about the relationships between the Jewish minorities and the societies that hosted them in Christian Europe and the Islamic East. Among his books are: Ketubbah: Jewish Marriage Contracts of the Hebrew Union College Skirball Museum (1990); Mazal Tov: Illuminated Jewish Marriage Contracts from the Israel Museum Collection (1994); Jerusalem – Stone and Spirit: 3000 Years of History and Art (with Dan Bahat; 1997); The Life Cycle [of the Jews in the Lands of Islam; 2006], and The Sarajevo Haggadah: History and Art (2018). Sabar served as editor of Rimonim (a Hebrew periodical of Jewish art), co-editor of Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore, Pe’amim, and a multi-volume series dedicated to the Jewish communities in the lands of Islam (both published by Ben Zvi institute). He serves as a visiting professor and lectures widely in universities, museums, and public institutions in Israel, Europe and the US. In addition, he guides travelling seminars to Jewish sites in Europe, North Africa, India, and Central Asia. One of Prof. Sabar’s hobbies has been collecting a wide range of Jewish ephemera, which serve him and his students as an invaluable resource for study, research and teaching.

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  • Topic: CSP Award-Winning Writer Program: TVGoneJewy: TV’s Jewish Renaissance
    Speaker: Esther D. Kustanowitz, live from Los Angeles, CA
    Dedicated in honor of: Rabbi Adam Greenwald

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    CSP Partners: Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Temple Beth Sholom (Santa Ana, CA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY) & Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA)

    Today’s Jewish writers are reclaiming and reshaping Jewish identity on-screen, and audiences are reacting to the increased Jewish representation with enthusiasm and worry, alternating between celebration and condemnation. So, what do we look for in Jewish representation on TV? We’ll look at clips from TV shows (and maybe a movie or two) and talk about how Jewish identity is currently being portrayed on TV and in the world.

    Esther D. Kustanowitz is an award-winning writer, editor, consultant and speaker. She is a contributing writer at the L.A. Jewish Journal and a TV columnist at J. The Jewish News of Northern California, and has contributed to The Forward, JTA, The Jewish Week, Hadassah Magazine, Haaretz, eJewishPhilanthropy.com and ModernLoss.com, among other outlets. She co-hosts The Bagel Report, a podcast about Jews and entertainment, and speaks about #TVGoneJewy, a term she invented to describe the increase of Jewish content on TV. As a freelancer, Esther has worked as a communications or editorial consultant for dozens of Jewish organizations. She was the founding editor at GrokNation.com and is working on a book about life after loss called “Nothing Helps (But This Might Help)”.

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  • Topic: Revisiting the Jewish Bookshelf, Series II Part 10: 21st Century Interpretations
    Speaker: Rabbi Avi

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    In the first part of this course in September, we explored the world of Torah, Ancient Midrash, and Halakha, we now turn to the world of Mussar, Theology and Modern Interpretation. In the course of our study together, we will learn not only what these texts are and how they work but we’ll use them as an entryway into conversations about God, revelation, and the cultivation of personal holiness.

    In our first session, we’ll get to know some of the major thinkers and works of the Mussar movement, focusing on Jewish ethics and wisdom on how to attain personal holiness. Through key Mussar texts, we’ll explore the fine balance between humility and arrogance, as we attempt to apply these teachings to our own lives. For the remaining sessions, we’ll explore questions of revelation through a number of Jewish sources. We’ll ask: what is revelation, what was revealed at Sinai and what continues to be revealed, and what is our role in manifesting God’s Torah? Whether you’re new to Jewish learning or you come with more background, this course will offer you a deep dive into questions of revelation from a diverse sampling of different major Jewish thinkers.

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  • Topic: CSP Past-Life Event: Judaism and Reincarnation
    Speaker: Prof. Hartley Lachter, live from Bethlehem, PA
    Dedicated in honor of: Mimi Goldstein

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    CSP Partners: Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Temple Beth Sholom (Santa Ana, CA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY) & Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA)

    Reincarnation is not often associated with Judaism, but it has been a cherished belief held by a significant number of Jewish authorities since the Middle Ages. In this talk we will discuss the history of this idea and the surprising variety of ways that human souls were believed to be reborn over the course of multiple lives as they sought to achieve their intended purpose in the world.

    Hartley Lachter, Associate Professor of Religion Studies and CSP’s 14th Annual One Month Scholar in Residence in 2015, holds the Philip and Muriel Berman Chair in Jewish Studies, and serves as the director of the Berman Center for Jewish Studies. His scholarship focuses on medieval Kabbalah, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between Jewish historical experiences and the development of kabbalistic discourses. His work explores how medieval Jewish-Christian debates, as well as disruptive moments of violence and forced conversion, shape Jewish mystical literature and serve as a form of cultural resistance for some pre-modern Jews. His recent book, Kabbalistic Revolution: Reimagining Judaism in Medieval Spain, was published by Rutgers University Press. Hartley Lachter’s teaching interests include course on Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah, survey courses on Judaism and Jewish thought, theory and method in the study of religion, and explorations of contemporary religious extremism and violence. In both his work and his teaching, Dr. Lachter invites his readers and students to consider how religious identities are negotiated through the production of public discourses that shape, and are shaped by, the interactions across identity boundaries. Hartley Lachter lives in Allentown, PA, with his wife, Dr. Jessica Cooperman, who is a Religion Studies professor at Muhlenberg College, where she directs the program in Jewish Studies. Hartley and Jessica have two daughters, Zoe and Mollie.

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  • Topic: CSP Geniza Event: How the Arab Conquests Remade Judaism
    Speaker: Prof. Marina Rustow, live from Manhattan, NY
    Dedicated in honor of: Carol and Myron Kanofsky
    Handout Material: Islamic history timeline

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    CSP Partners: Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Temple Beth Sholom (Santa Ana, CA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY) & Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA)

    When Arab armies rode out into the Middle East in the seventh century, world Jewry was divided between two empires. Within a decade, Jews were reunited under a single political aegis, and for the next 500 years, the vast majority of the world’s Jews spoke Arabic and lived under Muslim rule. How did the advent of Islam change Jewish history?

    Marina Rustow is a historian using the Cairo Geniza texts to shed new light on Jewish life and on the broader society of the medieval Middle East. The Cairo Geniza (or Genizah) comprises hundreds of thousands of legal documents, letters, and literary materials—many of them fragmentary—deposited in Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue over more than a millennium. Rustow’s approach to this archive goes beyond decoding documents, in itself a formidable task, to questioning the relationship between subjects and medieval states and asking what that relationship tells us about power and the negotiation of religious boundaries. Marina received a B.A. (1990) from Yale University and two master’s degrees (1998), an M.Phil. (1999), and a Ph.D. (2004) from Columbia University. She taught at Emory University (2003–2010) and Johns Hopkins University (2010–2015) prior to joining the faculty of Princeton University, where she is currently a professor in the Departments of Near Eastern Studies and History and director of the Princeton Geniza Lab. She is the author of Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate (2008), and of The Lost Archive: Traces of a Caliphate in a Cairo Synagogue (2020). She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2015.

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  • CSP 3-Part Master-Class: Convivencia: The Untold Story of Moroccan Jewish History
    Topic: The Moroccan Exception: The Jew in Morocco PT. #1
    Topic: The Moroccan Exception: The Jew in Morocco Pt. #2
    Speaker: Peter Geffen, live from Manhattan, NY
    Dedicated in honor of: Mary Kraft and Jeffrey Kaufman

    This series was free of charge to CSP 5781 Members
    (to become a member, make your annual donation now at this link)
    The cost to the general public is $36 for the series

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    CSP Partners: Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY) & Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA)

    The Moroccan Exception: The Jew in Morocco
    Sunday November 29, 2020, 12:00 – 1:00 PM PDT
    “Convivencia” is the word Moroccans use for the special relationship between Muslims and Jews in their country. King Mohammed VI says publicly that “…the Jews are more Moroccan than the Moroccans” for they have been in Morocco for at least 500 years before the Arabs and Islam came to their land.” We will examine a series of Royal proclamations on the Shoah and about anti-Semitism that will certainly surprise you.
    Why Did Jews Leave Morocco if Things Were So Good?
    Sunday December 6, 2020, 12:00 – 1:00 PM PDT
    The session will begin with discussion of the outstanding documentary “Echoes of the Mellah: From Tinghir to Jerusalem” (which you will have access to online and which you should see on as large a screen as possible). We will explore the complex and often troubling experience of the Moroccan immigration to Israel and its affects upon the political and social landscape of the country.

    Association Mimouna: The Remarkable Young Leadership of Morocco
    Sunday December 13, 2020, 12:00 – 1:00 PM PDT
    We will explore the development of “Association Mimouna”, created by Moroccan Muslim college students in 2008, that is dedicated to the study of Moroccan Judaism, Moroccan Jewish history, and the Hebrew language. Following the King’s words about the Moroccan Jew, they concluded that to be an authentic and complete Moroccan you have to know your roots: you have to know your Jewish History! Quite an unexpected conclusion! To whet your appetite, here is an example of the way Morocco treats these interfaith and cross-cultural questions: watch a few minutes of this video. Listen very carefully to make sure you can believe your ears, in a Royal concert in honor of the Pope’s visit to Morocco in March 2019.

    About Peter Geffen
    Peter Geffen is a founder of The Abraham Joshua Heschel School in NYC, former Director of the Israel Experience Program for the CRB Foundation and an Israel education specialist. His career as a social activist started as a civil rights worker for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He has been deeply involved in Arab-Jewish co-existence work since the early 1960’s. In 2005, Peter Founded KIVUNIM, a year-long post high school/pre-college gap-year program based in Israel and studying about and traveling to 12 countries (from Morocco to India) studying the origins and integration of Jewish life and culture throughout the world. The program seeks to build “world-consciousness” as a context for strengthening Jewish identity, formed as it is from the magnificent history of the Jewish people amongst the nations of the world. For his work, Peter was a recipient of the 2012 Covenant Award, the highest recognition given to Jewish educators. Born and raised in New York City, he is a descendant of distinguished and learned Jewish families on both sides: his grandfather Rabbi Tobias Geffen, “Chief Rabbi” of the South 1910-1970, father Rabbi Samuel Geffen, Uncle Rabbi Joel Geffen and numerous rabbinic Geffen cousins and on his mother’s side from Great-Grandfather William Fischman – Founder and President of the Downtown Talmud Torah, President of the Upper West Side’s The Jewish Center for over 40 years and distinguished philanthropist of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Peter is married to Susie Kessler, founding Director of the Makom Jewish Mindfulness Center at the JCC in Manhattan, is father of Rabbi Jonah (married to Julia Mannes), Rabbi Daniel (married to LuAnne Geffen) and Nessa (married to Micah Bookman) – all Jewish educators – and is the very proud grandfather of Bina 11, Shula, 7, Eva, 4, Gabriel 2 and another boy coming in December!

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  • Topic: Revisiting the Jewish Bookshelf, Series II, Part 3 (20th Century Jewish Theologians)
    Speaker: Rabbi Avi Strausberg

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    In session three, we’ll explore revelation through key Jewish theologians like Rav Kook, Rabbi Arthur Green, and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

    In the first part of this course in September, we explored the world of Torah, Ancient Midrash, and Halakha, we now turn to the world of Mussar, Hasidut, Theology and Modern Interpretation. In the course of our study together, we will learn not only what these texts are and how they work but we’ll use them as an entryway into conversations about God, revelation, and the cultivation of personal holiness. In our first session, we’ll get to know some of the major thinkers and works of the Mussar movement, focusing on Jewish ethics and wisdom on how to attain personal holiness. Through key Mussar texts, we’ll explore the fine balance between humility and arrogance, as we attempt to apply these teachings to our own lives. For the remaining sessions, we’ll explore questions of revelation through a number of Jewish sources. We’ll ask: what is revelation, what was revealed at Sinai and what continues to be revealed, and what is our role in manifesting God’s Torah? Whether you’re new to Jewish learning or you come with more background, this course will offer you a deep dive into questions of revelation from a diverse sampling of different major Jewish thinkers.

    Rabbi Avi Strausberg is the Director of National Learning Initiatives at Hadar, and is based in Washington, DC. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in Boston and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She also holds a Masters in Jewish Education. Energized by engaging creatively with Jewish text, she has written several theatre pieces inspired by the Torah and maintains a Daf Yomi haiku blog in which she writes daily Talmudic haikus.

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  • Topic: Revisiting the Jewish Bookshelf, Series II, Part 4, Modern Feminist Theology
    Speaker: Rabbi Avi Strausberg

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    In session four, we’ll specifically focus on Jewish feminist theologians like Dr. Judith Plaskow, Tamar Ross, and Dr. Rachel Adler, as we ask what is feminism and what is uniquely feminist about their theologies of revelation.

    In the first part of this course in September, we explored the world of Torah, Ancient Midrash, and Halakha, we now turn to the world of Mussar, Hasidut, Theology and Modern Interpretation. In the course of our study together, we will learn not only what these texts are and how they work but we’ll use them as an entryway into conversations about God, revelation, and the cultivation of personal holiness. In our first session, we’ll get to know some of the major thinkers and works of the Mussar movement, focusing on Jewish ethics and wisdom on how to attain personal holiness. Through key Mussar texts, we’ll explore the fine balance between humility and arrogance, as we attempt to apply these teachings to our own lives. For the remaining sessions, we’ll explore questions of revelation through a number of Jewish sources. We’ll ask: what is revelation, what was revealed at Sinai and what continues to be revealed, and what is our role in manifesting God’s Torah? Whether you’re new to Jewish learning or you come with more background, this course will offer you a deep dive into questions of revelation from a diverse sampling of different major Jewish thinkers.

    Rabbi Avi Strausberg is the Director of National Learning Initiatives at Hadar, and is based in Washington, DC. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in Boston and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She also holds a Masters in Jewish Education. Energized by engaging creatively with Jewish text, she has written several theatre pieces inspired by the Torah and maintains a Daf Yomi haiku blog in which she writes daily Talmudic haikus.

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  • Topic: CSP Art History Program: Theresa Bernstein and Portrayals of Early Twentieth Century Immigrant Life in New York
    Speaker: Liz Diament, live from Silver Spring, MD
    Dedicated in honor of: Sharon Chase (CSP artist and donor)

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    CSP Partners: Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY) & Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA)

    The focus of our interactive session will be an exploration of the early work of the artist Theresa Bernstein, possibly the only artist to have made and exhibited art in every decade of the twentieth century. Despite her initial success, Bernstein, born in Krakow in 1890, is an under-appreciated artist in the history of American modernism due to the barriers she faced as a female artist. She, together with the artist George Bellows, photographer Jacob Riis and novelist Upton Sinclair, will give us a window into the challenges faced by new immigrants in New York in the early twentieth century.

    Liz Diament is a senior educator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC where she has managed and developed the docent education program for almost eighteen years. In addition, she manages the school tour and general public tour program. At the Gallery she is passionate about her work with teachers, helping them integrate art and critical thinking into the curriculum. A proud native of London, England, Liz graduated from Manchester University with an honors degree in Art History and a Masters’ Degree in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York. As a leader in the field of experiential museum education, Liz creates nationally acclaimed professional development workshops for teachers, both in person and on-line. She enjoys conducting interactive workshops exploring how Jewish texts, history and ideas can be interpreted and understood through the prism of works of art.

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  • Topic: CSP Israel Event: South African Jews and Their Relationship with Israel
    Speaker: Prof. Paul Liptz, live from Israel
    Dedicated in honor of: Bernice Watkin

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    CSP Partners: Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY) & Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA)

    South African Jews regard themselves as one of the most Zionist communities in the world. As a minority within the South African white minority, they faced the challenges of apartheid and the realities of African independence. From a peak population of 120,000, there are 53,000 Jews now living in South Africa as a closely-knit community in Johannesburg and Cape Town, with about half of them having family members in Israel. Since 1948, over 23,000 have made aliyah and many have played an important role in Israel’s development. Join us on Sunday November 22nd, 2020 as we continue our exploration of sub-groups in Israeli society. For past programs in our “Creating a Nation” series with Prof. Liptz, visit this LINK on our CSP YouTube Channel (we have explored Jewish communities from Iraq, Morocco, India, Latin America, France, Ethiopia, Yemen, Russia and America).

    Paul Liptz, a social historian and CSP’s recent 19th Annual One Month Scholar in Residence, was on the Tel Aviv University faculty for 40 years, teaching graduate and undergraduate students. He taught graduate students at the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. In the last few decades, he has travelled the world extensively, lecturing and conducting workshops in some twenty countries. Paul was born in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and came as a volunteer to Israel one day before the Six Day War on June 4, 1967.

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  • Topic: CSP Time Travel Event
    Barcelona’s Jewish History; Hidden in Plain Sight
    Speaker: Dominique Tomasov, previously live from Barcelona, Spain
    Dedicated in honor of: Stuart and Ingrid Rosenthal

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    CSP Partners: Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Temple Beth Sholom (Santa Ana, CA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY) & Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA)

    Despite the fact that Jews of Spain trace their history back to the time of the Romans, there is no record of Jewish presence in Barcelona prior to the 9th century. Starting in the 9th century, towns and villages in the surrounding rural areas became home to many Jewish communities. When, in the early 13th century, the Crown of Aragon expanded its domains and Barcelona’s port took an international dimension, the city was transformed into the largest center in the Kingdom of Aragon and became one of the most important centers of Jewish learning in Europe. Until the end of the 1300s, Jews flourished as doctors, philosophers, merchants, money-lenders craftsmen, and comprised about 12% of the city’s total population. The community suffered greatly in the wave of pogroms of 1391, which caused deaths, conversions and dispersion. At the dawn of the 15th century, after more than 500 years of presence, Jewish life in Barcelona ceased to exist until its re-birth six centuries later. Though very scarce structures from that period remain in Barcelona (or anywhere in Spain), a vast archival documentation gives information about daily life, the neighborhoods and the cemetery. Join us as we time-travel back over 700 years for a tour of the “el Call” neighborhood, a treasure trove of concealed Jewish history in the Middle Ages that was home to over 4,000 Jews (including Ben Barzilai in the 11th century, Rabbi Aharon ben Yosef ha-Levi, Rabbi Yaaqov ben Asher (Baal ha-Turim) and Rashbah (Rabbi Shlomo Ben Avraham ibn Aderet, El Rab d’España) in the 13th century) and the location of the historic disputation between Nachmanides (the Ramban – Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman) and Pablo Cristiani, a Jewish convert who had been trying to force other Jews to convert to Christianity.

    Dominique Tomasov Blinder, an architect with experience in Buenos Aires, New York and in Barcelona where she has lived since 1991, is a scholar involved in Jewish research, advocacy, teaching, lecturing and consulting. A founding member of the first egalitarian synagogue in Spain, Dominique is very active in the development of the Barcelona Jewish community and is responsible for the Chevra Kadisha and the cemetery of her congregation. She brings together a unique wealth of professional experience plus the involvement in local Jewish life. Since 1999, Dominique has focused exclusively on the study, protection and dissemination of Jewish heritage. She has promoted the recognition of the ancient Jewish cemetery in Barcelona as a historical site and has co-directed the research project that allows for a better definition of its extension and limits

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