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Demystifying History: A Four-Part Series



Sundays, 7:00-8:00 pm, on Zoom.

Register here.


January 8, 2023

A Tale of Two Popes: Pope Pius XII and John Paul II

Two brilliant men faced different and difficult times. One, by the sin of omission, dishonored his church. The other changed history and transformed Jewish-Catholic relations. We hope that you will join us for our special Sunday history series with Prof. Stephen Berk, speaking live from Schenectady, New York, as we delve into four historical case studies that help us understand modern Jewish history and, we hope, make us well-informed citizens!


JANUARY 15, 2023

FDR and the Holocaust

He was the greatest president of the twentieth century, a magnificent leader during the Depression and in the war. But when it came to the Jews he failed.


JANUARY 22, 2023

Our People are Your People: American Jews and the Struggle for Civil Rights

Jewish involvement in the Civil Rights movement is perhaps the most glorious moment in American Jewish history. Yet even in the midst of close collaboration there was the beginning of tension that continues up to the present.


JANUARY 29, 2023

Putin, Ukraine and the Jews

Personality counts in history. The former KGB man rolled the dice. We shall see how they come up. His future and the future of Europe hang in the balance.


People live in the present. They plan for and worry about the future. History, however, is the study of the past. Given all the demands that press in from living in the present and anticipating what is yet to come, why bother with what has been? The study of history is in fact very useful -- actually indispensable. It helps us understand people and societies. It also helps us understand change and how the society we live in came to be. History contributes to moral understanding. It provides basic factual information about the background of our political institutions and about the values and problems that affect our social well-being. It also contributes to our capacity to use evidence, assess interpretations, and analyze change and continuities. No one can ever quite deal with the present as the historian deals with the past—we lack the perspective for this feat; but we can move in this direction by applying historical habits of mind, and we will function as better citizens in the process. Historical study, in sum, is crucial to the development of that elusive creature, the well-informed citizen.


This program is presented by the Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program and sponsored by the TBS Adult Learning Committee.

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