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Democracy and Resistance

Gary Zola Presents Democracy and Dissent: Abraham Lincoln's Response to Jewish Prejudice During the Civil War

Friday, November 22, 2019

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Few are aware of the remarkable history linking American Jewry and President Lincoln.  Dr. Zola will explain how American Jewry protested efforts to limit their full participation in American democracy.  Lincoln responded to their appeals and, in doing so, he compelled the nation to live up to the lofty rhetoric enshrined in its founding documents

Gary Phillip Zola is a historian of American Jewry who specializes in the development of American Reform Judaism. He serves as Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA).

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Prime Time Club with Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller

Friday, November 8, noon- 2 pm

Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller presents on the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, (RAC-CA) the California-wide network of Reform congregations who are working together to bring our Jewish values to bear on statewide policy. Prime Time Club is a monthly gathering with lunch and interesting guest speakers for congregants and guests 65 (or getting there) and older.
$10 lunch fee; presentation only, free.

Eight Nights: A staged reading to benefit HIAS

Saturday, October 12, 2019

7:30 PM - 10:00 PM

EIGHT NIGHTS, a new play by Jennifer Maisel, tells the story of Rebecca, a young Holocaust survivor and refugee, who is finally free to start anew in the United States, but must confront the past that haunts her.

The play spans eight decades of Rebecca’s life and touches upon not only the story of Holocaust survivors, but also the global refugee experience. It acknowledges the trauma mirrored in the African-American community, with interned Japanese citizens and the current Syrian crisis, gracefully weaving together heart-aching moments with dark yet life-affirming humor.

Democracy & Resistance: Israeli Songs of Protest
Rabbi Lawrence Englander
Rabbi Martin Weiner Annual Lecture
Friday, June 14, 7:30 pm

Just as protest songs influenced political life in North America in the 1960’s, so has there been a similar tradition in Israel.  In this session, we shall listen to and discuss protest songs going back to the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War and continuing on to the present.  The themes will include the Occupation, African asylum seekers, social inequality and more.

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The Road to 2020: Israel and the American Jewish Electorate

J Street's Vice President of Political Affairs and Strategy

As the 2020 election heats up, we are seeing the debates over Israel once again take center stage. But where do American Jews really stand in their political views? And how are the leading Presidential candidates responding to these trends?

Join us for a fascinating look into the upcoming elections and the American Jewish electorate with J Street’s Vice President of Political Affairs and Strategy, Ben Shnider. We’ll look at recent polls of both American Jewish voters and likely Democratic primary voters on issues including US foreign policy towards Israel and the Middle East, BDS, anti-semitism and Israeli politics. We’ll also hear about how each party and some of the leading Presidential candidates are approaching these issues and how this could impact the election debates in the coming year. 

Rabbi Ed Feinstein
Monday, May 6, 6pm

Join us for a Salon with Rabbi Ed Feinstein as part of our year-long series on Democracy and Resistance. Rabbi Ed Feinstein is senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California. He serves on the faculty of the Ziegler Rabbinical School of the American Jewish University, the Wexner Heritage Program, the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and lectures widely across the United States. Hosted in a private home, please RSVP to Nia Taylor ( for registration and directions.

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Personal Perspectives from Guatemala and Honduras
Rabbi Jessica Graf and Karen Alschuler
Tuesday, May 7, 6 pm

To learn about the daunting challenges that face Central American families every day, both Rabbi Jessica Graf and social action committee co-chair Karen Alschuler each chose to join a delegation exploring the root causes of migration. They will share the wisdom gained from interactions with threatened communities and leaders of an inspiring movement frequently headed by courageous young women. Presented by the Social Action Committee.

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Fri, May 24 2024 16 Iyar 5784