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  • Adult Learning

Summer Institute: The History of Jews in America

Jews have lived in what became 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 question of whether its own children and grandchildren would remain Jewish, whether Judaism as a faith would 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.

Dates: Tuesdays, June 15, 22, 29, July 20 & 27, Aug 3 & 10

Registration: This event will take place through a video conference call. Pre-registration is required. Please click the registration button above to pre-register. Once you have registered, your unique access link will be emailed to you. For classes that meet for multiple sessions, you only need to register once. You will be able to use the same Zoom link to access each session of the class. If you’re new to Zoom, watch a tutorial or read written instructions on how to join a Zoom video call.

About Summer Institute: Connect with other adult learners and exceptional teachers in an innovative, online program exploring how Judaism touches the heart and fills the soul.

About Rabbi Orkand: Rabbi Bob Orkand retired from the pulpit rabbinate in 2013 and moved with his wife, Joyce, to Natick to be near their son and his family. He has taught classes for TBElle and at a number of other adult learning programs in the Boston area.