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History of Jews in America

Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Bob Orkand: “A History of the Jews in America”

Mondays at noon, beginning February 1

Jews have lived in what is now the United States for 366 years. The contribution by American Jews to this nation has been extraordinary, in large part because of the freedom afforded to not only Jews but to other minority communities as well.

There has been a long-standing fear that Jews in America are doomed to assimilate, that they cannot survive in an environment of religious freedom and church-state separation. In the United States, where religion is totally voluntary, where religious diversity is the norm, where everyone is free to choose his or her own brand of Judaism - or no Judaism at all - many have assumed that sooner or later Judaism will disappear. And so, each generation has had to wrestle anew with the questions of whether its own children and grandchildren will remain Jewish, whether Judaism as a faith will end and carry on as ancestral memory alone.

Amazingly, then, Judaism in the United States has not only survived but thrived. This course will look at why this is the case. How have America’s Jews adapted to living in a land of freedom? And, what has America’s Jewish community contributed to this, its home?

No prior knowledge is needed. All are welcome! Registration required; class is free.

Please register at to receive a Zoom link by email.

Questions? Contact: Jessica Baim

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