The Jesus Mary Synagogue of Mexico City; New Podcast on Jewish History Unpacked; Upcoming Lectures in Jewish History; Entrevista al Dr. Henry Abramson (in English)

What happens when two young Jewish history nerds start to schmooze? This.

Here’s the first episode of Jewish History Unpacked, a new project of OpenDoc Media. Under the leadership of Rivky Stern, two young Jewish history enthusiasts spend a little time with me in a mini-seminar, and then I leave them alone with the microphone to talk about what they’ve learned. It’s pretty surprising and entertaining, and mercifully free of the pedantry some might associate with graybeard historians (ahem). We’ve got a bunch more episodes in the works, but please click here or on the image to listen and subscribe for free!

Visiting the Jewish Community of Mexico City

Premieres at 12 noon ET. Join me for a live chat!

Upcoming Lectures

Monday, November 21, 8:00 pm at Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst.

Part VI: The Synagogue and the Emergent Church (Wednesday at 7:30)

Beth Jacob Congregation (

Brief discussion with Dr. Daniel Fainstein, Dean of Jewish Studies at Universidad Hebraica (in English)

Interview with Dean of Universidad Ebraíca in Mexico City; Maimonides on Teshuvah quoted in the New Yorker; Encounter with Rome lectures resume Wednesday night!

Join us Wednesday Night (7:30 pm) at Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhust

Zoom attendance available to YILC members and YouTube Colleagues.

Interview with Dr. Daniel Fainstein of the Universidad Ebraíca, Mexico City

I recently spent several days in Mexico City getting to know this fascinating community (more video forthcoming!). Here’s a conversation I had with my colleague Daniel Fainstein, Dean of Jewish Studies at Universidad Ebraíca, explaining what makes the Jewish community of this city so unique.

Maimonides on Teshuvah Quoted in The New Yorker!

Very pleased to read that Jill Lapore quoted Maimonides on Teshuvah: The Way of Repentance in a recent piece in The New Yorker (The Case Against the Twitter Apology, online November 7, published in the print edition of the November 14, 2022, issue, with the headline “Sorry Spectacle.”). Here’s the relevant passage:

Favorite response from my family: son-in-law Chaim writes, “The New Yorker is no Der Veker, but still cool.”

Limmud Mexico Lectures (keynote with James Carroll, author of Constantine’s Sword); Did Jews Go Quietly to their Deaths in the Holocaust?; Jews in Padua, Ferrara and the Old Cemetery of Lido (Venice)

Explora tu Judaísmo at Limmud Mexico this Shabbat!

Very honored to share the stage with James Carroll, author of the National Book Award-winning Constantine’s Sword this coming Shabbat at Limmud Mexico. Our joint keynote address will focus on the topic of “Jews in the Christian Mind; Christians in the Jewish Mind.” I’ll be speaking on Shabbat day on the Spanish translation of The Kabbalah of Forgiveness and on Sunday looking at the history of the Jews of Ukraine. Kosher, Shabbat-observant friendly environment, of course! Click here for more information:

Powerful New Video from the Team at Unpacked

Brilliant, evocative script by Ali Elbaz and powerfully narrated by Becky Tahel. My small role was as educational consultant for the background research. This film is a great example of the great work done by the team at Unpacked, very proud to work with them.

The Jews of Padua, Ferrara, and the Old Lido Cemetery of Venice

Yahrzeit of the Piaseczno Rebbe; Meaningful People Podcast now on YouTube; Day 1 of Italy with Kosher Riverboat Cruises

Fascinating Jewish History in Venice!

Yahrzeit of the Piaseczno Rebbe (Aish Kodesh)

Very honored to have the opportunity to discuss this remarkable example of spiritual heroism from the Holocaust with Ari Lieberman of Sparks of History (

Meaningful People Podcast Interview

Thanks to all who have sent kind words about the podcast version of this interview. I thought it went well, here’s the YouTube version.

Meaningful People Interview; Niccolo Matas Grave Marker Confirmed in Florence, Italy

Had a great time speaking with Nachi and Momo of Meaningful People podcast. The conversation was a little personal, a little irreverent, but even a little deep. Hope I didn’t overshare!

Here’s the link:

Nicolo Matas grave marker confirmed

Last week I discussed the remarkable story of the Jewish architect Nicolo Matas (video below), who somehow got this Star of David prominently displayed on the Santa Croce church in Florence, Italy. Lots of important people are buried in the church (Michelangelo, Machiavelli, etc.) but given that Matas was unbaptized, he could only be laid to rest in a sarcophagus outside the church, immediately outside the front steps.

In a deeply ironic way, he is now buried in front of what appears to be the world’s largest Jewish tombstone.

How Did Jewish Tombstones end up in an Italian Monument?; Jews and Italian Unification; Draft Chapter 10: The Roman-Jewish Wars now online

Read and Comment on this Draft Chapter of Volume One of The Jewish People: A History

Available to students registered in by Biblical Jewish History course. Click here for more information.

Jews and the Risorgimento

Premieres at 12 Noon ET with live chat.

New Piece in

Click here to read the article.

Wishing all fellow students of Jewish History a G’mar ve-Hatimah Tovah; a successful completion to the end of the penitential season! May you and all your loved ones be blessed with health, and spiritual as well as material bounty in the year 5783 and beyond.


Jewish Medical Students at the University of Padua

A tolerant admissions policy led to an explosion of Jewish students at this prestigious 13th century school.

Premieres at 12 Noon ET with Live Chat

Wishing all students of Jewish history and their loved ones a sweet new year!

Members-only Videos Now Available in Online Course

The following three videos tend to attract a lot of unwanted attention on YouTube, so they are currently sheltered behind a low paywall to discourage intellectual vandals. They are available to Channel Members (information on membership available here:, but YouTube does not offer that option in all countries. The videos have also been uploaded to students registered for my online course in Biblical Jewish History (click here for registration information).

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