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In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.   – David Ben Gurion

As Israel approaches its 75th birthday in 2023, how is its third attempt at national sovereignty faring? With a critical eye and guidance from informed observers, we’ll revisit Israel’s first two attempts, examine the founding of the modern state in 1948, and peer across Israel’s current borders. Our spring series will then culminate with a trip to Israel in October where our studies will come alive — and where the pieces will come together.

In April and May, the AJ Adult Education Committee will welcome two wonderful speakers.

Prof. Ken Stein, Scholar-in-Residence for the weekend of April 8-10, will focus on the origins of modern Israel; his experience as advisor to President Jimmy Carter and his rejection of Carter's highly controversial 2006 book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid; the causes and political choices that contributed to Zionist state making before the Holocaust; and why negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians are not working. You can find out more about this exciting weekend here.

Dr. David Bernat will help us look back at Israel through history using biblical and Rabbinic material. Dr. Bernat will present “Stones, Bones, and Stories: Archaeology & History in the Holy Land” in three sessions, every other Tuesday starting April 12. First, we will focus on Hezekiah’s tunnel and the siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrian king Sennacherib during Hezekiah’s reign [~700 BCE]. Then, we will take up Israel during the Roman era, focusing on the reign of Herod [37 – 4 BCE] and his massive building projects that have stood the test of time and technology. Finally, we will explore the evidence of how Judaism was observed in its nascent days by looking at artifacts and texts. Learn more here.

Tue, August 9 2022 12 Av 5782