Previous Events Pg. 8

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: Jewish Readings of Modern Movies and TV Part 2 of 4: James Bond: Shaken and Stirred
    Speaker: Rafi Zarum
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    Shaken and Stirred – A Jewish Reading of James BondDirector Sam Mendes’s 007 is more personal than all previous Bonds: we have an origin story, identity crises and a plethora of biblical imagery. From the real-life Jew who inspired Fleming’s Bond to the latest movie in the franchise, this presentation uncovers the disturbing Jewish themes of the spy of spies.

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  • Topic: The Dead Sea Scrolls: New Perspectives on the Bible, Judaism and Christianity Part 2 of 3: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism
    Speaker: LH Schiffman

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    The Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of JudaismThe Dead Sea Scrolls have recast our view of Judaism in the Second Temple period. We will emphasize the ways in which the Scrolls teach us not only about a small sectarian group, identified by most scholars as the Essenes, but also about the wider constellation of groups and ideologies that existed before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. We will explain how this period contributed to the ongoing development of Jewish law and theology.

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  • Topic: Joe McCarthy: Anti-Communist, Anti-gay,and Anti-Semitic?
    Speaker: Larry Tye

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    U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy was one of the most controversial people in 1950s America, championing an anti-communist movement that often gave way to antisemitism. In Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy, bestselling author Larry Tye offers a comprehensive portrait of McCarthy based on the first-ever review of his personal and professional papers, medical and military records, and recently unsealed transcripts of his closed-door Congressional hearings. Join Tye for a discussion of his new book and McCarthy’s complex legacy.

    Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy
    In the long history of American demagogues, never has one man caused so much damage in such a short time as Senator Joseph McCarthy. We still use “McCarthyism” to stand for outrageous charges of guilt by association, a weapon of polarizing slander. From 1950 to 1954, McCarthy destroyed many careers and even entire lives, whipping the nation into a frenzy of paranoia, accusation, loyalty oaths, and terror. When the public finally turned on him, he came crashing down, dying of alcoholism in 1957. Only now, through bestselling author Larry Tye’s exclusive look at the senator’s records, can the full story be told. Demagogue is a masterful portrait of a human being capable of immense evil, yet beguiling charm. McCarthy was a tireless worker and a genuine war hero. His ambitions knew few limits. Neither did his socializing, his drinking, nor his gambling. When he finally made it to the Senate, he flailed around in search of an agenda and angered many with his sharp elbows and lack of integrity. Finally, after three years, he hit upon anti-communism. By recklessly charging treason against everyone from George Marshall to much of the State Department, he became the most influential and controversial man in America. His chaotic, meteoric rise is a gripping and terrifying object lesson for us all.

    Larry Tye is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book, a biography of Senator Joe McCarthy, was released on July 7, 2020 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. His last book was a biography of Robert F. Kennedy, the former attorney general, U.S. senator, and presidential candidate.

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  • Topic: The Hebrew Bible, its Text and Interpretation in the Dead Sea Scrolls – Part 1
    Speaker: Lawrence Schiffman

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    Some 250 biblical manuscripts were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. These texts are of great significance for the history of the Bible text as we know it. We will explain how the varying text types found among the Qumran Scrolls and other sites in the Judean Desert allow us to trace the process that eventually yielded the consensus around the Masoretic Text. We will then treat texts presenting varying forms of biblical interpretation, explaining their place in the history of Jewish biblical studies.

    Lawrence H. Schiffman is the Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and Director of the Global Network for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies. He served as the Chair of the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and Ethel and Irvin A. Edelman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Between 2011 and 2014, he served as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Professor of Judaic Studies at Yeshiva University. He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. He is a specialist in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Judaism in Late Antiquity, the history of Jewish law, and Talmudic literature.

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  • Topic: Star Wars: Myth, Chareidim, God and the Force
    Speaker: Rabbi Dr. Raphael Zarum
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    The Day of Breath by Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum
    Take a deep breath for Rosh Hashanah by Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum
    Star Wars Episode Infinity: The Force of Grief by Esther Kustanowitz
    May The Faiths Be With You: An Interfaith Star Wars Panel with Esther Kustanowitz

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    The Star Wars film series is a global phenomenon that has captured the imagination of millions, young and old, the world over (including me). But what have a space smuggler, a walking carpet, a little green guru, a princess with stylized hair and a wide-eyed hero got to do with Judaism? George Lucas, the creator of the series, is certainly not Jewish, but like many filmmakers he draws inspiration from the classics of faith and fiction. We will uncover the deeper resonances between Star Wars and the Torah… If you can, watch Star Wars films 4,5,6 and 7 – they are the key

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  • Topic: Live from Zoomer Canyon II
    Speaker: Duvid Swirsky & Nefesh Mountain

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    Duvid Swirsky – Duvid Swirsky is a LA-based musician, songwriter and producer originally from Israel. He co-founded both the legendary Israeli band MOSHAV and the critically acclaimed folk/pop trio the Distant Cousins. Duvid grew up in a musical village in the hills between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, performing at an early age with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. “When we were growing up”, explains Duvid, “the only electrical appliance in the house was a record player. So, while other kids might be growing up watching television and playing video games, we were listening to the records our parents brought with them – Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Neil Young.” Duvid eventually moved to Los Angeles to sign a record deal with SONY and leapt head-first into the vibrant Los Angeles music scene – creating music with Grammy award winning musicians and producers. He’s now preparing the release of the debut Distant Cousins album, Next of Kin.

    Nefesh Mountain: Nefesh Mountain is the place where American Bluegrass and Old-time music meet with Jewish Heritage and tradition. Band leaders, genre-pioneers, and husband and wife Doni Zasloff and Eric Lindberg are the heart of this eclectic offering, and share their love for American music, their own cultural heritage, and each other with audiences throughout the world. The result of this unexpected and beautiful mix is staggering; and while complete with the kind of adept string virtuosity and through composed arrangements one would hope for from a newgrass band with influences from Bluegrass, Old-Time, Celtic, and Jazz, they also play and sing songs of the heart creating music with a sense of diversity, oneness, and purpose for our world today. Their newest and most adventurous recording to date called “Beneath The Open Sky” was a tour de force for the band, featuring friends and bluegrass luminaries Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Tony Trischka And David Grier, along with their own band members Alan Grubner and Tim Kiah. The album’s 11 songs collectively weave together a groundbreaking and beautiful patchwork of new American music, being called “refreshingly eclectic” by Rolling Stone, and “One of the finest, wholly bluegrass records one will hear in not only 2018 but as a touchstone moving forward” by No Depression magazine.

    Leeav Sofer: Leeav Sofer is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer/arranger, music director and teaching artist with a performance degree in clarinet and voice from the Bob Cole Conservatory of California State University of Long Beach. He has performed at venues such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Ford Amphitheatre, as well as singing backups at the Staples Center with the Rolling Stones for their 2013 tour. He currently is on faculty at the Colburn School in Los Angeles where he teaches classes, directs choirs, and community engagement programs. Under the auspice of Colburn, Leeav helped initiate music programs to culturally elevate the surrounding communities. Some of these programs include a choral ensemble made up of students from underserved high schools and a choir with homeless men and women drawn from the community within Los Angeles’ Skid Row. These programs have recently garnered Leeav recognition on the front page of the Los Angeles Times as well as on NPR’s All Things Considered. In addition to co-founding Los Angeles’ only current Jewish Youth Orchestra, he also leads the band Mostly Kosher, dedicated to preserving and progressing cultural folk music of the Judaic heritage for future generations. Mostly Kosher has met critical acclaim recognized by World Music Network, Los Angeles’ Jewish Journal, Jlife Magazine, fRoots Magazine, and Songlines Magazine. Leeav performs clarinet, piano, auxiliary and body percussion, and vocals for his band and around the Greater Los Angeles area.

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  • Topic: Moshe Dayan: Israel’s Controversial Hero (Politics and Politicians Part 1)
    Speaker: Paul Liptz

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    Sunday April 12, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT
    Moshe Dayan was sometimes seen as the ultimate sabra, tough, arrogant, committed to his country and its land and the greatest of generals. However, he was, in reality, a complex person who was often in conflict with his peers and family and he was blamed for the failure in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. However, in 1977 he joined Menachem Begin’s cabinet as Foreign minister and played an important role in the peace talks with Egypt. He is remembered by his comment that he claimed he only knew how to “plow to build the homeland and hold a sword to defend the earth”.

    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 in the Department of Middle East and African History and the International School, where he dealt with a wide range of topics. His main interests are History of the Yishuv [Pre-State], the Modern State of Israel and Arab Women and Nationalism in the Middle East.

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  • Topic: Paul Liptz – Ariel (Arik) Sharon: The Ultimate Bulldozer (Politics & Politicians Part 2)
    Speaker: Paul Liptz

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    Sunday April 19, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT
    Sharon’s life was all about military conflict, taking risks and being a hero. He was sidelined by senior officers for refusing to accept orders and was told “you’re not a decent human being” and yet he was loved by many Israelis who sang “Arik: King of Israel”. He was considered to be the ultimate right-wing politician until in an amazing change of face, he decided to withdraw from the Gaza Strip based on his comment that “we cannot have a Jewish and democratic state and continue to rule over the whole of Eretz Israel.

    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 in the Department of Middle East and African History and the International School, where he dealt with a wide range of topics. His main interests are History of the Yishuv [Pre-State], the Modern State of Israel and Arab Women and Nationalism in the Middle East.

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  • Topic: Paul Liptz – Shimon Peres: No Room for Small Dreams (Politics & Politicians Part 3)
    Speaker: Paul Liptz

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    Sunday April 26, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT
    Loved and hated, Shimon Peres did not succeed as a politician but was highly respected as a statesman. He was not the kind of politician who the population could appreciate because he was perceived as being cold, without a military background and perhaps too intellectual. The session will delve into the controversies surrounding him and analyze his biographer’s comment that in terms of Israel, “no other person has done so much, in so many fields and by such original methods, to strengthen her security, and to bring her peace and to improve her world stature”.

    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 in the Department of Middle East and African History and the International School, where he dealt with a wide range of topics. His main interests are History of the Yishuv [Pre-State], the Modern State of Israel and Arab Women and Nationalism in the Middle East.

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  • Topic: Elijah The Prophet: The Man Who Never Died
    Speaker: Daniel Matt

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    In the biblical book of Kings, Elijah the prophet is transported to heaven in a fiery chariot. According to rabbinic tradition, he was transformed into an immortal angel. Ever since his ascent, he has appeared on earth again and again—not only at ever Seder and every circumcision, but whenever people are in need or when they seek spiritual guidance or enlightenment. In this session, Daniel Matt (who is writing a biography of Elijah) will trace his transformation from a biblical zealot to his second career as a compassionate Jewish superhero.

    Daniel C. Matt is a teacher of Jewish spirituality and one of the world’s leading authorities on Kabbalah and the Zohar. He has been featured in Time and Newsweek and has appeared on National Public Radio and the History Channel. He has published over a dozen books, including The Essential Kabbalah (translated into eight languages), Zohar: Annotated and Explained, and God and the Big Bang: Discovering Harmony between Science and Spirituality (revised edition, 2016). Several years ago, Daniel completed an 18-year project of translating and annotating the Zohar. In 2016, Stanford University Press published his ninth volume of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, concluding the Zohar’s main commentary on the Torah. For this work, Daniel has been honored with a National Jewish Book Award and a Koret Jewish Book Award. The Koret award hailed his translation as “a monumental contribution to the history of Jewish thought.”

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