The Sholem 2014-2015 Seminar Series Co-sponsored by the SoCal Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle

Are You Jew-y? (or Partnered With One?) What Does “Being Jewish” mean?

Finding a safe place in the storm over “who is a Jew”

Whether it’s in Jewish-American life, in Israel, or elsewhere, the debate rages. There’s far more heat than light. Do statistics matter most, or personal feelings? Are intercultural families a “threat to Jewish survival” or an opportunity? What can we learn from the past? How do we see the future? Bring your thoughts and feelings to this wide-ranging series.

Sunday, October 19, 2014, 10:15 am.

Let’s See Your ID Does Jewish identity come from Ancestry? Faith? History? Culture? What does “half-Jewish” mean? What defines the Jewish part of one’s identity? Who decides for you… for the world?

Sunday, November 16, 2014, 10:15 am.

Jewish Geography Who are Jewish-Americans, anyway? Last year’s Pew Report, A Portrait of Jewish Americans, caused an uproar in the press among Jewish clergy and others. Why? Was the study flawed, its results a cause for alarm, or did they confirm what some have been saying for a long time?

Sunday, January 25, 2015, 10:15 am.

Ages, Sages, and Stages The historical record: ever-evolving concepts of Jewishness over the centuries. What can history teach us about Jewish identity through the ages?

Sunday, February 22, 2015, 10:15 am.

God Forbid? What Is Secular Jewishness? Can it assure continuity in a multicultural age? Are we too “orthodox” in our Secularism? Can there be “secular spirituality?” If so, what does/can it look like?

Sunday, March 15, 2015, 10:15 am.

Tradition! Tradition? Where do “Jewish traditions” come from? Are all of equal worth? Are there Jewish values? Not too many decades ago, the very idea of a “secular seder” would’ve outraged both religious and secular Jews. What changed? Traditions: What to adopt…what to adapt. And just what are “Jewish values?” Are they shared by the 1% who are the “Big Givers?” Or are there human values expressed in culturally-specific ways?

Advance Registration

Seminar Series with PayPal

Sholem* and WC/AR


*Parents of Sholem School students: Fees are included as part of tuition 2014-2015 School&Curriculum

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Pay at the Door

Single Session Fee:

Sholem* and WC/AR Members *Parents of Sholem School students: Fees are included as part of tuition 2014-2015


No advance reservation is required to pay at the door. Space is always available.

Vegvayzer HERSHL HARTMAN, discussion leader, is Sholem’s Education Director and a member of the SoCal Arbeter Ring District Committee. He is a professional Yiddish/English/Yiddish translator/interpreter and the author/co-author of The Sholem Family Hagada; The Hidden History of Hanuka for Kids (and Grownups Too); and “Guides for the Rest of Us” about The Jewish New Year Festival and The Hanuka Festival.