Sunday, November 1, 2020
The word ‘apocalypse’ summons to mind some of the most terrifying religious ideas: world-engulfing wars, supernatural creatures falling to earth, natural forces ripping the world asunder, the very end of the cosmos itself. These notions have their origins in the most dramatic and colorful literature in all of Judaism. This talk will be an introduction to the vast corpus of Jewish apocalyptic literature from the the Biblical Book of Daniel, the Book of Enoch, the catastrophic Wars of Light and Dark in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and beyond. No genre of literature has had such an enormous impact on our world and yet remains so poorly understood - come and hear about this most bewildering Jewish literature.
This session will explore the previously unknown story of the Hidden Jews of Ethiopia. Beginning with a brief history of the Ethiopian Jewish story, follow the fascinating story of how Jews got to the African content and their improbable survival against waves of persecution. Learn about recent efforts of Temple Israel, The American Friends of Beta Israel, and Cultivaid to promote the survival of Judaism in Addis Ababa and Debre Birhan.
Fighting Antisemitism And Enriching Our Lives: The Opportunities And Challenges Of Reaching Out To The Muslim And African American Communities
There has been a recent resurgence in connecting the Jewish community to the African American and Muslim communities. Some of that is motivated by utilitarian interests: strengthening Israel’s position in America; building coalitions to fight antisemitism; working on legislation where we can be allies. Another approach is that these connections are what Judaism is all about and are fulfilling on a moral and even spiritual level. In this session we will explore the limits and challenges of both, and the opportunities, based on the work of the JCRC/AJC and past personal experiences - as well as some of Asher’s personal out-of-the- box ideas.