New Teaching Technologies! A Workshop for Teachers in Jewish Schools

Future Astronaut by Dennis Hamilton. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Future Astronaut by Dennis Hamilton. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Wondering how to harness the power of the Internet for effective teaching? Confused and maybe alarmed by all the talk about using social media as a pedagogic tool? Sign up for these three workshops for teachers by visiting www.miamijewisheducators.org! A project of Touro College South and The Shul.

Eventbrite - New Teaching Technologies for Teachers in Jewish Schools

Albert Einstein Video (now with PowerPoint) from TorahCafe editors

Here’s a new version of the Albert Einstein lecture, edited by the wonderful people at TorahCafe.com to include the PowerPoint. It’s basically the same, except without the lame jokes. Click on the icon below to watch the video.

Watch on TorahCafé.com!

Isaac Bashevis Singer: Singer in the Shtetl, the Shtetl in Singer (2004 lecture)

Isaac Bashevis Singer. Source: MDCarchives cropped by Beyond My Ken, Wikimedia Commons.
Isaac Bashevis Singer. Source: MDCarchives cropped by Beyond My Ken, Wikimedia Commons.

This is a lecture I delivered at the University of Central Florida back in October 2004 (my hair was quite a bit darker and, well, there).  Found the CD when I was cleaning out some old files. There’s a PPT that goes with this lecture, and I’m going to try to find a way to post it.  Anyway, this is the summer, so I won’t be sending out too many new lectures, thought I would add this one as well.  Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902-1991) was a Nobel Laureate for Literature, the first Yiddish writer to receive this distinguished award.  He was also a resident of my current home in Surfside, Florida. Hope you enjoy it!

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of Chabad

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Photograph by Mordecai Baron. Source: Wikipedia Commons.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Photograph aby Mordecai Baron. Source: Wikipedia Commons.

A presentation on the life and work of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994), the Seventh Rebbe of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. A native of Nikolaev, Ukraine, and educated in Germany and France, his leadership transformed his Hasidic followers into an international movement that continues to shape the lives of Jews world wide. The lecture was held at the Young Israel of Bal Harbour on Wednesday, June 5th.

Betty Friedan: Jews and American Feminism

Betty Friedan in 1960. Source: Wikipedia Commons
Betty Friedan in 1960. Source: Wikipedia Commons

A presentation on the life and work of Betty Friedan, a prominent American Jewish feminist leader. The author of the landmark The Feminine Mystique (1963), she later became the Founder of the National Organization of Women, and an important political activist for women’s rights.  The lecture was held at the Young Israel of Bal Harbour on May 29, 2013.

Albert Einstein: Time, Space and the Jewish People

Albert Einstein, 1947 (Source: Wikipedia Commons)
Albert Einstein, 1947 (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

A presentation on Albert Einstein (1879-1955), one of the best-known Jews of the twentieth century.  Although he had a complicated relationship with Judaism, he maintained a distinct pride in his Jewish identity, and once said “A Jew who abandons his Judaism is like a snail that abandons its shell.  It’s still a snail.”  The lecture was delivered at the Young Israel of Bal Harbour  on May 22, 2013.

Here’s the improved version, edited by TorahCafe with the missing powerpoint. Thank you Torahcafe.com! Please click on the icon below:

Watch on TorahCafé.com!

Stephen Samuel Wise and the Jews of America

Stephen S. Wise and son (1918). Source: Wikipedia Commons.
Stephen S. Wise and son (1918). Source: Wikipedia Commons.

A presentation on the life and work of Stephen Samuel Wise (1874-1949), an important American communal leader. The lecture will take a broader focus, looking at the history of Jewish settlement in the United States during the 19th century and the major issues facing this immigrant community through the middle of the twentieth century.  The lecture was held at Young Israel of Bal Harbour.

Notes from the Presentation:

Stephen Samuel Wise

Henry Abramson

Touro College South

Young Israel of Bal harbour

Stephen Silver Wise

Born Budapest 1874

Reform Rabbi

Major Jewish Activist

American Zionist

Controversial leadership during Holocaust

Died 1949

Haredi to Neolog

Long line of Rabbis

Grandfather Joseph Hirsch Weisz ultra-Orthodox

Father Aaron also ultra-Orthodox, immigrates to USA and becomes founding member of Jewish Theological Seminary

Stephen Samuel Wise prominent Reform leader, founder of Jewish Institute of Religion (later merges with Hebrew Union College)

The Denominational Spectrum

Immigration to the USA

Father Aaron Rabbi, social liberal

Attempts to unionize workers in father-in-law’s porcelain factory

Father-in-law buys him one-way ticket to New York

German vs Eastern European immigration

Earliest Jewish immigrants: Sefardic Jews

German Jews mid-19th century

Massive wave of Eastern European Jewry after 1881

Education

Ordination 1893 (Adolph Jellinek of Vienna)

Columbia PhD, 1901

Dissertation: translation of Shlomo ibn Gabriol

American mid-century model of “Scholar-Rabbi”

Family

Married Louise Waterman, 1900, took position at Temple in Portland, Oregon

Disciple of Felix Adler’s Ethical Culture movement

Translator, author, social activist

Son author, art specialist (wrote biography of mother)

Daughter author, judge, advisor to Eleanor Roosevelt

The Free pulpit

1906 turned down offer to lead Congregation Emanu-el over issue of a “free pulpit”

Returns to Oregon but comes back to NYC one year later, founds The Free Synagogue

Free pulpit, free seats

American Liberalism

Co-founder of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP, 1909)

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU, 1920)

Promoted labor causes, attacked corruption

forced resignation of New York mayor James Walker (1932)

Founded and led American Jewish Congress (more activist than American Jewish Committee)

American Zionism

Classical Reform position on Zionism

Founded New York Federation of Zionist Societies (1897)

Worked closely with Herzl

American secretary in World Zionist Congress in Basle (1898)

Involved in drafting text of the Balfour declaration

Ethnic Voting Patterns, 2008

Jewish Denominational Voting Patterns (2008)

International Politics

Close to President Wilson

Represented Zionism at Versailles Peace Conference

Writings

Multiple volumes of memoirs, speeches, sermons

Leadership During the Holocaust

Controversy

How much pressure to put on Roosevelt, State Department?

Advocated strong anti-Nazi policy since 1930s, but criticized for tepid response during war

The Riegner Telegram

August 1942

Telegram addressed to Wise, but intercepted at State Department

Confirmed existence of the “Final Solution”

Wise received it from British parliament

Reaction

Met with Roosevelt in 1943

30 minutes, mainly Roosevelt talking

Should Wise have invoked his fiery rhetoric and public persona?

Legacy

Defining American Jewish liberalism for a century

Defining American Jewish Zionism

Menachem Begin: A New Israel

Menachem Begin in 1978. Source: Wikipedia Commons
Menachem Begin in 1978. Source: Wikipedia Commons

A study of the life of Menachem Begin (1913-1992). A native of Poland, he was a proponent of Vladimir Jabotinsky’s Revisionist party that stood in dramatic contrast to the dominant left-wing tendency in the Zionist movement. A major figure in Israel’s struggle for statehood, and a founder of the Likud party, he was elected to the office of Prime Minister in 1977. Despite his hawkish ideology, he was the first Israeli leader to sign a peace treaty with an Arab country.  Lecture was recorded on Wednesday, May 1 at the Young Israel of Bal Harbour.

Mitnagdim, Hasidim, Maskilim: The Cultural Geography of Jewish Eastern Europe

Ger Hasidim (Source: Wikipedia Commons)
Ger Hasidim (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

This lecture presents a broad overview of the three main intellectual-religious trends present in 19th century Jewish Eastern Europe: the traditionalist Mitnagdim, the innovative Hasidim, and the modernizing Maskilim. Good as an overall introduction, although I go into more detail on all of these movements in other lectures on this website.  Taped on April 21, 2013 as a lecture to the Jewish Geneaological Society of Broward Country.

Here’s the improved TorahCafe version. Please click on the icon below:

Watch on TorahCafé.com!

Golda Meir and the Foundations of Israel

Golda Meir (1949), Photograph courtesy T. Brauner and Wikipedia Commons
Golda Meir (1949), Photograph courtesy T. Brauner and Wikipedia Commons

A presentation of the life of Golda Meir (1898-1978), spanning her immigration to Israel in 1921 through the end of her term as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel in 1974. The lecture will discuss the foundations of the Yishuv, the pre-state Jewish community, and touch on the major social and military conflicts that Israel endured during the first three decades of its existence.  The lecture was held at Young Israel of Bal Harbour.