We will explore the history of the Jews in Spain from Roman times through the Inquisition and into the past 100 years. Together we will look at the primary sources in translations that help us better understand their rich and intricate history. We will discuss the controversy and harmony between Sephardic Jewry, Christianity, and Islam; Hebrew poets; the role of women; great Spanish Jewish thinkers; and Jewish Spanish leaders/Spanish Jewish leaders. Those interested in joining our congregational trip to Spain in March are encouraged to take this course.
Program #2: Great American Jewish Songwriters with Fred Miller
Tuesdays, Noon - 1:15 pm
4 Sessions: November 29th and December 6th, 13th, 20th
Fee: Temple Members $30 Non-Temple Members $40
Popular American songwriting in its heyday between the two World Wars was dominated by the presence of innumerable great composers and lyricists, a majority of them Jewish New Yorkers. Top-tier (Jewish) songwriters such as Gershwin, Kern, Berlin and Rogers were in good company with the likes of Dorothy Fields, Harold Arlen and Frank Loessr. In this 4 session series, Fields, Arlen and Loesser will each be musically and anecdotally profiled by pianist/singer/lecturer Fred Miller. The last session is titled "An American Thanksgiving". It drives home the fact that it was these children and grandchildren of Jewish immigrants who created the best, most uplifting of popular American songs, setting the tone for a golden musical age of romance, gratitude and optimism.
A native of Albuquerque, NM, Fred studied piano as a boy with Ralph Berkowitz, former dean of Tanglewood and accompanist for 20 years to the great cellist Piatagorsky. In New York, Miller studied acting for two years with stage and film legend Geraldine Page and vocal performance with Tony award winner Helen Gallagher. Fred performs a series of 70 lectures-in-song throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.Program #3: Sephardic Journeys: Exploring the Sephardic Diaspora with Dr. Samuel Thomas Tuesdays, Noon - 1:15 pm 4 Sessions: January 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th, 2017 Fee: Temple Members: $30 Non-Temple Members $40 In this multi-part series, Hunter College professor of Sephardic Studies, Dr. Samuel Torjman Thomas, Ph.D. presents a discussion of different historical-cultural aspects of the Sephardic experience in the Mediterranean World. Included in our discussions are topics pertaining to migration, rabbinic thought, poetry, famous figures, philosophy, and music. The presentation will also include performative elements of music from Spain and how the migration starts from Spain with music and leads to Morocco, Portugal and Turkey. Dr. Thomas is a professor ethnomusicology, Jewish studies and interdisciplinary studies. He is the adjunct assistant professor at several campuses of the City University of New York and Montclair State University, and is the Director of Curriculum and Institutional Programming at the Brooklyn Music School Program #4: Point-Counterpoint: Hot Issues Through a Jewish Lens with Rabbi Marc Disick Tuesdays: Noon - 1:15 pm 4 Sessions: February 14th & 28th and March 7th & 21st, 2017 Fee: Temple Members: $30 Non-Temple Members: $40 Through side-by-side readings and analysis of opposing New York Times and Wall Street Journal opinion pieces, Rabbi Disick will integrate the primary Jewish texts into a broad ranging conversation on an array of hot-button issues. Not for the squeamish! Rabbi Disick, our interim rabbi, has spent the last 30 years in the rabbinate as a pulpit rabbi and as a Regional Director for the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) where he studied the synagogue as a family system. He received his B.A. in 1980 double majoring in Judaic Studies and Rhetoric & Communications. Program #5: Four Authors, Four New Books - Jewish Book Council Tuesday, March 28th, April 4th, April 25th and May 2nd Session #1: "Orchestra of Exiles" by Josh Aronson Adult Nonfiction: History, Holocaust Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 Noon - 1:15 pm This is the story of Bronislaw Huberman, the Israel Philharmonic, and the one thousand Jews he saved from Nazi horrors. As a teenage violinist, Huberman toured Europe and played for royalty. As an adult, he saw the rising threat of Nazism and created his greatest legacy: The Palestine Symphony Orchestra, which is now known as The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The first concert was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. With the success of this project, Huberman helped with the safe passage from Nazi territories of hundreds of Jewish musicians and their families. Josh Aronson is an Academy Award nominated documentary film writer, producer and director. He has worked with Showtime, PBS and the Discovery Channel. He and his wife, violinist Maria Bachmann, founded the Telluride Muiscfest, a chamber music festival held in Telluride, CO. Session #2: "The Tsimbalist" by Sashs Margolis Adult Fiction: Crime & Mystery: Historical Fiction Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 Noon - 1:15 PM At once a thrilling whodunit, a maddening romance, and an invigorating plunge into history. The Tsimbalist is a tale of Jews and Russians, depicting their complicated friendships, their dangerous enmities and their illicit loves; all seen through the eyes of Avrom, a barber, musician, all-around mensch and born detective. Sasha Margolis is the author of a collection of theatrical works and short stories. A violinist by profession, he is a fiddler, singer and chief talker for the Jewish music band Big Galute. Session #3 "The Velvet Hours" by Alyson Richman Adult Fiction: Mystery April 25, 2017 Noon - 1:15 pm As Paris teeters on the edge of the German Occupation, a young French woman closes the door to her lat grandmother's treasure-filled apartment, unsure if she will ever return. Inspired by the true account of an abandoned Parisian apartment, Alyson Richman brings to life the stories of courtesan Marthe de Florian, her granddaughter Solange Beaugiron, and the unlikely relationship between the two women who pursue freedom and independence during uncertain times. Solange and Marthe's stories unfold like velvet itself, each stitched with their own shadow and light. Session #4: "Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music and Family" by Daniel bergner Adult Nonfiction: Biography May 2, 2017 Noon - 1:15 pm Bergner's touching and triumphant story of Ryan Speedo Green, a young black man's journey from violence and despair to one of the world's most elite artistic institutions. Ryan Speedo Green had a tough upbringing in southeastern Virginia; his family lived in a trailer park, he had an absentee father, and a volatile, violent mother. At the age of twelve, Ryan was sent to Virginia's juvenile facility of last resort. He was placed in solitary confinement. He was uncontrollable, with little hope for the future. In 2011, at the age of twenty-four, Ryan won a nationwide competition hosted by New York's Metropolitan Opera, beating out 1,200 other talented singers. Today, he is a rising star performing major roles at the Met and Europe's most prestigious opera houses.