11 2018

UJF Adult Education Series: Exploring Jewish History

12:30PM - 1:30PM  


Part 1- A Glimpse Into 20th Century Jewish History

Four different sessions presented by Michael Feldstein
All classes are 12:30 p.m.- 1:30 p.m. at the Stamford JCC


          April 11 
1)      Iceberg, Goldberg: The Jewish Passengers on the Titanic


Several hundred Jewish passengers were on the Titanic, and unfortunately most of them perished.  A few of them survived.  Who were these passengers?  And what were their stories?


          April 18
2)      The Chief Rabbi Meets the Chief Executive: Rav Kook's Historic Trip to America to Meet President Calvin Coolidge


Most people know that Rav Isaac Hakohen Kook was beloved by both religious and secular Jews, and was one of the first rabbis to promote Zionism.  But did you know that he also made a trip to America…and met with President Coolidge?  Discover why he crossed the ocean, and how he was even able to visit with the president during his historic visit.  


          April 25
3)      Girls Just Wanna Be Frum: How the Orthodox Learned to Embrace the Bat Mitzvah Ritual


Mordechai Kaplan’s daughter was the first young woman to celebrate her bat mitzvah in America. The Orthodox community shunned the ceremony for decades.  Eventually it became an important life cycle event for observant young women.  What brought about this important change, and how did the bat mitzvah ritual develop into mainstream Orthodox Jewish life?  


         May 2
Fritz Haber: The German Jewish Chemist Who Was Responsible for Inventing Zyklon B


Fritz Haber was a German chemist who won the Nobel Prize – and was the individual who invented Zyklon B, which was used to exterminate millions of Jews in the death camps.  The tragic story of a brilliant scientist who was exiled from his country … and lived a sad and heartbreaking life.


Michael Feldstein has taught Torah classes locally at the Young Israel of Stamford, Congregation Agudath Sholom, the UJF of Stamford Tapestry program, and the UJA Federation of Greenwich Lunch 'n Learn program.


Part 2 of series:  History of Jewish Denominations in the United States

Four different sessions presented by Rabbi Oran Zweiter of Congregation Agudath Sholom
All classes are 12:30 p.m.- 1:30 p.m. at the Stamford JCC

As American Jews, we are used to using various terms to designate different groups who believe and practice Judaism differently. But do we understand the history behind each of these movements? This series will provide an overview of the history of each major Jewish movement, with particular focus on their origins and their adaptation to the United States. We will largely utilize primary sources in our study.


1)   June 6 – History of Jewish denominations in the US - Orthodox Judaism


2)   June 13 - History of Jewish denominations in the US - Reform Judaism


3)   June 20 - History of Jewish denominations in the US - Conservative Judaism


4)   June 27 - History of Jewish denominations in the US - Reconstructionist Judaism 


Rabbi Oran Zweiter is the assistant rabbi at Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford, CT. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He has an MA in Talmud, and is pursuing a PhD in American Jewish History at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. Oran has lectured on various Judaic topics in communities across North America. He has particular interest in the history of Jewish practice, as well as religion in general, in the United States. He is married to his wonderful wife Chani, who works at the UJA-Federation of New York.