The most significant concepts, movements and events in modern Jewish history arose from the radical idea that Jews are not basically a faith community but, variously, a nation, a national minority or an ethnic group. Radical paths to the fulfillment of that idea still resonate to this day. We’ll trace those paths and, perhaps, stumble across ourselves.

Subjects we’ll explore:

Looking for roots ’way back…Hasidism — a radical movement? Haskala (Enlightenment): Ideologues in beards and revolutionaries in skirts…Love songs as radical anthems…Novels and stories as instruments of ideology. Battles within the shtetl.

1897, the year of heresy when everything changed: Zionism and Bundism and how both were victorious…“cultural autonomy” and “hereness”…the vision of Socialist Zionism.

The profound Secularism of Tevye’s creator…“Jewish” labor unions, culture and the social/political heritage of Jewish Americans…Radical Jews in the first battles of World War II…Resistance during the Holocaust—our almost-forgotten but enduring legacy.

How intense ideologies built Secular Jewish movements in North America—and how they almost destroyed them. The continuing culture war: Yiddish vs. Hebrew vs. Israeli. Radical and generational differences in today’s Jewish American community. 

Hershl Hartman, Sholem’s Education Director, is a scholar of Jewish history, traditions and culture, and a renowned Yiddish translator. He is the Convenor of the L.A. Secular Yeshiva which has, to-date, trained 10 vegvayzer/madrikhot(im)/leaders as officiants at holiday observances and life-cycle events. His publications include many booklets on Jewish holidays and texts for their secular observance.

Discussion Series with Hershl Hartman
Sunday, Oct 25 @ 2pm PT
CLICK HERE to Register for Zoom link

Free! All are welcome.