Rabbi Guttman's "Crossroads to Jewish History" Course
Time & Location
About The Event
Rabbi Guttman’s course is entitled “Crossroads to Jewish History.” Coming in at this time of the course means that one will, in essence, be taking a course in Modern Jewish History. This Wednesday's topic is Anti-Semitism and the rise of Zionism.
Rabbi Koren’s course is entitled “Ethics of Jewish Living.” This week’s course will deal with Ethics For Our Times, concentrating on whether we as Jews should place our focus on the needs of individuals over the needs of the community, or vice versa. This topic is incredibly timely as it gets to the heart of responses to the current global pandemic.
Jews had been rejected and ostracized by Christian society for over a millennium by the time emancipation was granted to the Jews. Emancipation relied on the statement of Clermont-Tonnerre: “the Jews should be denied everything as a nation, but granted everything as individuals.”1 This was understood and accepted in various ways by different factions in European society. Many employers and society circles barred their doors to Jews regardless of the new laws. Often Jews were forced to become baptized in order to break through the glass ceilings that had been established post-emancipation. For all the freedoms European governments granted on paper, obstacles still remained. Ingrained Christian anti-Jewish sentiment could not be thrown off as quickly as the laws were changed.
While the Jewish community was internalizing the new changes and learning how to manage their new position in society, a process fraught with growing pains, non-Jewish society was also reacting to the new political climate. All across Europe movements were popping up, focusing on different core identities to distance themselves from the minorities that used to be segregated by their religion. These movements promoted the idea that the Jews were still “other” and, more importantly, that they could not overcome their “otherness” as it was based on race. Race became the most important unifier of the era, becoming more exclusionary as the movement developed. Once again the Jews were outsiders. This experience of exclusion led to the most formidable Jewish movement of the modern Jewish world: Zionism.
This lesson focuses on the growth of the two most influential ideologies of the 20th and 21st centuries for Jews: Anti-Semitism and Zionism.
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Meeting ID: 508 631 128
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