Dec
3
2:00 PM14:00

Learn to Play Mah Jongg

Learn How to Play Mah Jongg.  For five Sunday afternoons, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Bonnie Abramson Eckstut, Penni Fishbaine, Tamar London, Susanne Marder and Sue Port* will be teaching interested individuals how to play Mah Jongg.  Initial sessions will focus on learning the tiles, customs and rules of the game. In later sessions we will play complete games with the mentors joining different groups to answer questions and keep the games flowing. The dates are December 3, December 10, December 17, January 7, and January 14.  If you are interested, please contact Tamar at tamar@londonwolfe.com.  Light refreshments will be served.

*This group of Mah Jongg players came together after Barbara Marder, z'l, offered a series of lessons and we're trying to pay it forward by passing on the love of the game and encouraging the friendships that come along with it.

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Dec
8
7:00 PM19:00

Tot Shabbat

Please join us for Tot Shabbat (intended for children under age 5) on December 8th at 7 PM.  Families will gather together in the Sanctuary to enjoy the beginning of the Shabbat service with the Rabbi, and then Tots will move to the Social Hall for kid-centered songs and an activity and story. Tots will re-join the congregation in the Sanctuary for closing prayers and announcements. School-age children are welcome to stay in the Sanctuary and enjoy the Rabbi's service. Jennifer White and Rebecca Thorsen will lead the Tot Shabbat service.  

Pizza will be offered for participating families at 6:30 PM.  If you would like to eat dinner with us, please RSVP (beccapangborn@yahoo.com).
 

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Dec
10
2:00 PM14:00

Learn to Play Mah Jongg

Learn How to Play Mah Jongg.  For five Sunday afternoons, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Bonnie Abramson Eckstut, Penni Fishbaine, Tamar London, Susanne Marder and Sue Port* will be teaching interested individuals how to play Mah Jongg.  Initial sessions will focus on learning the tiles, customs and rules of the game. In later sessions we will play complete games with the mentors joining different groups to answer questions and keep the games flowing. The dates are December 3, December 10, December 17, January 7, and January 14.  If you are interested, please contact Tamar at tamar@londonwolfe.com.  Light refreshments will be served.

*This group of Mah Jongg players came together after Barbara Marder, z'l, offered a series of lessons and we're trying to pay it forward by passing on the love of the game and encouraging the friendships that come along with it.

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Dec
15
7:00 PM19:00

Chanukah and Shabbat in Song with Michelle Katz

Once each month, member and musician extraordinaire Michelle Katz will provide the music for our Friday evening service. Bringing her collection of inspiring and upbeat Jewish music, Michelle will enhance our worshp service and bring a Shabbat smile to everyone's face.

For tonight's service, everyone is invited to bring a chanukiyah, so we all light the candles together. Happy Chanukah!

 

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Dec
17
2:00 PM14:00

Learn to Play Mah Jongg

Learn How to Play Mah Jongg.  For five Sunday afternoons, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Bonnie Abramson Eckstut, Penni Fishbaine, Tamar London, Susanne Marder and Sue Port* will be teaching interested individuals how to play Mah Jongg.  Initial sessions will focus on learning the tiles, customs and rules of the game. In later sessions we will play complete games with the mentors joining different groups to answer questions and keep the games flowing. The dates are December 3, December 10, December 17, January 7, and January 14.  If you are interested, please contact Tamar at tamar@londonwolfe.com.  Light refreshments will be served.
 

*This group of Mah Jongg players came together after Barbara Marder, z'l, offered a series of lessons and we're trying to pay it forward by passing on the love of the game and encouraging the friendships that come along with it.

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Jan
7
2:00 PM14:00

Learn to Play Mah Jongg

Learn How to Play Mah Jongg.  For five Sunday afternoons, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Bonnie Abramson Eckstut, Penni Fishbaine, Tamar London, Susanne Marder and Sue Port* will be teaching interested individuals how to play Mah Jongg.  Initial sessions will focus on learning the tiles, customs and rules of the game. In later sessions we will play complete games with the mentors joining different groups to answer questions and keep the games flowing. The dates are December 3, December 10, December 17, January 7, and January 14.  If you are interested, please contact Tamar at tamar@londonwolfe.com.  Light refreshments will be served.
 

*This group of Mah Jongg players came together after Barbara Marder, z'l, offered a series of lessons and we're trying to pay it forward by passing on the love of the game and encouraging the friendships that come along with it.

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Jan
14
2:00 PM14:00

Learn to Play Mah Jongg

Learn How to Play Mah Jongg.  For five Sunday afternoons, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Bonnie Abramson Eckstut, Penni Fishbaine, Tamar London, Susanne Marder and Sue Port* will be teaching interested individuals how to play Mah Jongg.  Initial sessions will focus on learning the tiles, customs and rules of the game. In later sessions we will play complete games with the mentors joining different groups to answer questions and keep the games flowing. The dates are December 3, December 10, December 17, January 7, and January 14.  If you are interested, please contact Tamar at tamar@londonwolfe.com.  Light refreshments will be served.
 

*This group of Mah Jongg players came together after Barbara Marder, z'l, offered a series of lessons and we're trying to pay it forward by passing on the love of the game and encouraging the friendships that come along with it.

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Jan
16
7:00 PM19:00

Klezmer Workshop with Simple Gifts

In a workshop geared toward amateur and professional musicians from the synagogue and the community, Simple Gifts will teach participants to play Klezmer music. Klezmer (literally Yiddish for "musician") is the traditional music of the Eastern European Jewish population, and it uses scales, modes, ornaments and expressions that are different from Western music. This workshop will focus on the cultural and technical aspects of Klezmer music.

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Jan
18
7:00 PM19:00

Klezmer Night with Simple Gifts

“Simple Gifts” is an outstanding duo who perform a number of instruments and styles of music. Performing at schools, colleges and universities, folk festivals, churches, Longwood Gardens, and the Smithsonian Institution, they have been described as extraordinary (National Theatre Review), infused with “energy, integrity, and joy” (Boston Globe), and “fun, informative, and energetic” (Smithsonian).  At Temple Beth El in Huntington, New York the audience “were on their feet the instant the concert ended.” Join us as they get us on our feet with gems from the Klezmer repertoire. 

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Jan
28
2:00 PM14:00

Fourth Sunday Flicks: A Wing and a Prayer

A Wing and a Prayer, a film by Boaz Dvir, tells the virtually unknown story of Al Schwimmer who led a secret, illegal operation to give the newborn Jewish State a chance to survive. Schwimmer and key members of his team thought they were through figting after WWII ended in 1945. Yet Schwimmer convinced them to put their lives and U.S. citizenships on the line to give the Jewish State a fighting chance in the 1948 Arab-Israel War. Mr. Dvir will be with us to lead a discussion of the film.

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Mar
25
2:00 PM14:00

Fourth Sunday Flicks: Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (The Band's Visit)

THe Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra, consisting of eight men, arrive in Israel from Egypt. They have been booked by an Arab cultural center in Petah Tikva, but through a miscommunication (Arabic has no "p" sound and regularly replaces it with a "b"), the band takes a bus to Beit Hatikva, a fictional town in the middle of the Negev Desert. There is no transportation out of the city that day, and there are no hotels in which they can spend the night. The band members dine at a small restaurant where the owner, Dina, invites them to spend the night at her apartment, a friend's apartment, and in the restaurant. That night brings challenges to all of the characters.

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Nov
5
3:00 PM15:00

Together: A Journey for Survival

Ann Arnold will speak about her book, Together: A Journey for Survival, which chronicles her grandmother’s courageous story of saving her family from the Nazis. The story displays the magnificent strength of a mother's love and the incredible courage of good people during the worst of times.  Ann’s father, aunt and grandmother did not go to the death camps, but they saw a side of the war that very few people survived: in the forests and farms. As Ann tells the story, her father, Mark (Manek) Schonwetter, one of the children who survived the journey portrayed in the book, will be accompanying her as part of the program.

Ann was awarded the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Heroes for Tolerance award for her work and lecturers on tolerance. A graduate of Lehigh University, Ann earned her CPA while working at Deloitte.  She has been an award-winning designer and manufacturer of bridal jewelry, and is currently president of a business consulting firm. She is also a cousin of our member Renee Marks.

 

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Oct
20
7:00 PM19:00

Helping Hands Award

At our Shabbat Service, we'll be honoring Mike Radis with our "Helping Hands Award," the highest award our congregation bestows. It was originally intended to honor and thank Mike for all the work he has done for the congregation over the years, but he is now actively adding to his "portfolio," stepping up and providing his professional expertise as our Religious School Principal. Thanks to Mike for everything! Join us as we honor him--and thank God for all of our blessings on Shabbat!

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Oct
13
7:00 PM19:00

Simchat Torah and Consecration

Join us as we conclude the yearly cycle of Torah readings and begin anew the story of our relationship with God. We'll also celebrate the Consecration of our newest Religious School students. And, we'll enjoy the music of Michelle Katz, with the first of her Shabbat in Song services. And, there will be a mystery Torah reader.

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Oct
8
5:30 PM17:30

Membership & New Member Dinner

All members are invited to welcome our congregation's new members AND to enjoy a lovely dinner. Main dishes and drinks will be provided, but we're hoping you can bring a salad or dessert. We'll have the Sukkah all ready for habitation, and the Lulav and Etrog will be available for shaking!
 

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Sep
20
to Sep 30

High Holy Day Services for 5778 (2017)

ROSH HASHANAH
Wednesday September 20th at 8:00 PM      Evening Service

Thursday September 21st at 10:00 AM   Morning Service

Friday September 22nd at 9:30 AM     Second Day Service


YOM KIPPUR
Friday September 29th at 6:30 PM      Kol Nidre Service

Saturday September 30th
     10:00 AM   Morning Service
      2:00 PM      Adult Study Group
      3:00 PM      Minchah
      4:45 PM      Children’s Service
      5:30 PM      Neilah
      7:15 PM      Break the Fast

 

 

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May
19
7:00 PM19:00

Save a Life Shabbat: Organ Transplantation

Why organ and tissue donation?  We prefer to think of it as why not? The decision to register as an organ and/or tissue donor is one that many people do not address until the time a tragedy strikes and a family is facing the loss of a loved one. However, due to the hectic and mind-numbing effects of emergencies, addressing this issue now can prove invaluable. If the unthinkable happens, then, at least, the family knows everyone's feelings and desires.

Why organ and tissues donation? It is estimated that twenty-two people die each day waiting for a lifesaving donation. Every ten minutes, another name is added to the waiting lists. Current numbers have 118,000 people waiting for a donation to save their lives. And, thousands more await the gift of human tissue--skin or bone-- that can be truly life-enhancing. The decision by an individual to become an organ or tissue donor can possibly save or enhance the lives of 50 other individuals. It is truly a gift of life.

Please join us this evening as we focus our Shabbat attention on this important and life-saving possibility. We'll have a regular Shabbat Service in which Rabbi Ostrich's D'var Torah will look at the Jewish view of organ and tissue transplantation. Then, during our Oneg Shabbat, we'll have a discussion with individuals whose experiences with donated organs or tissue are truly touching. 

We are taught that "Whoever saves a life is considered to have saved the entire world." (Mishnah Sanhedrine 4.5) This subject is truly worthy of your attention.

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May
5
7:00 PM19:00

A Sabbath Service for the Community and for Our Communal Aspirations

God speaks in many voices and to different people differently. This is not to say that every opinion or action is godly, but rather that there is a great diversity in the ways that God is understood and the ways that godly virtues can be pursued. The challenge in a multi-cultural, multi-religious, and democratic society is to keep our shared moral values before our eyes and to work together to pursue them.

This service is one of a number of programs being arranged by local religious and civic leaders, hoping to honor our shared communal sensibilities and Divinely inspired aspirations. 

Congregation Brit Shalom invites everyone in the community to this Sabbath Service. We shall invoke ancient wisdom and modern insights, contemplating the hopes of all humankind for justice, righteousness, and kindness. Our hope to hold aloft our shared and sacred values and seek ways to manifest them in the world.

Participating with Rabbi David Ostrich will be members of Congregation Brit Shalom and members of other faiths. The sermon will be given by Pastor Dean Lindsey of State College Presbyterian Church.

We hope you will join us for this service and interfaith gathering—and for refreshments afterwards.

(This is a rescheduling of the Interfaith event originally scheduled for February.)

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Apr
23
4:00 PM16:00

France and the Holocaust: A Yom Hashoa Program

Our speaker will be Willa Silverman, a member of our congregation and the Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Professor of French and Jewish Studies at Penn State. She began her academic career working on the social and cultural history of France from approximately 1880 to 1914--including the unique Jewish experiences of that period. Later, she expanded her studies to include the period of the Shoa (Holocaust) and the way that French film and literature treated this traumatic time. On several occasions, she has taken students to France to gain a deeper knowledge of France's experience of the Shoah, including through meetings with survivors and a visit to the former concentration camp of Drancy. (For a report on this past year's trip, go to: http://news.psu.edu/story/402639/2016/04/07/academics/students-meet-holocaust-survivors-franceHer program will give us a glimpse into uniquely French aspects of the Holocaust. 

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Apr
21
7:00 PM19:00

Tot Shabbat Reimagined!

 Calling all pre-school age children and families!
 
Please join us for a Tot Shabbat Service on April 21st at 7 PM.  
Families will gather together in the Sanctuary to enjoy the beginning
of the Shabbat service with the Rabbi, and then Tots will move to
the Social Hall for kid-centered songs and an activity and story.  
Tots will re-join their families in the Sanctuary for closing prayers
and congregational announcements.  
School-age children and parents are welcome to stay in the Sanctuary
and enjoy the Rabbi's service.  

Jennifer White and Rebecca Thorsen will lead the Tot Shabbat service.
 
Pizza will be offered for participating families at 6:15 PM.  
If you would like to eat dinner with us, please RSVP through
Sign-Up Genius by April 20th
(http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0c4fa4a929a1fa7-totshabbat) 
or RSVP through email (beccapangborn@yahoo.com).
 
Thanks and we hope to see you there!
 
Becca and Jennifer
 

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Apr
10
6:00 PM18:00

Congregational First Night Seder

Join us for our Congregational Seder on the first night of Passover. Rabbi Ostrich will lead the Seder with our congregational Haggadah. The food is all kosher and delicious--with the arrangements being supervised by Trudy Lipowsky. For reservations, please contact the synagogue office at (814) 238-4611.

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Mar
12
5:00 PM17:00

PURIM CELEBRATION

Join us as we hear the story of the Megillah and get very creative in blotting out Haman's name. Silliness is encouraged, as are costumes. Then, join us for a Pizza Potluck Dinner where hamentashcen shall be consumed. It'll be a family celebration of the ancient story of Esther, Mordecai, and the Jews of Shushan. 

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Jan
27
7:00 PM19:00

Dedication of Amud HaNerot

Under the direction of Julie Wohl, our Religious School Director and Artiste Extraordinaire, our Seventh Grade Religious School students have been working diligently on a stand for our Shabbat Candles, a beautiful way to elevate the mitzvah. Please join us for Shabbat Services on Friday January 27th as we dedicate this beautiful and holy addition to our sanctuary. Thanks to Sami Fragin, Madeline Krentzman, Ethan Lavallee, Madeline Miller, Sarina Nussbaum, Jenna Schreiber, and Jacob Weiner for their hard work and sensitive artistry.

 

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Jan
22
4:00 PM16:00

Simple Gifts Concert

Simple Gifts is a local ensemble featuring two women and twelve instruments. Drawing on an impressive variety of ethnic folk styles, this award-winning duo plays everything from lively Irish jigs and down-home American reels to hard-driving Klezmer frailachs and haunting Gypsy melodies, spicing the mix with the distinctive rhythms of Balkan dance music, the lush sounds of Scandinavian twin fiddling, and original compositions written in a traditional style. At our concert, the duo of Linda Littleton and Karen Hirshon will make sure to include lots of Jewish and Eastern European music in their mix. 

Reviewers have called their program "fun, informative, and energetic" (Teresia Bush, Smithsonian Institution) and full of "energy, integrity and joy" (Dave Johnson, Boston Globe). At Temple Beth El in Huntington, NY, the audience was "on their feet the instant the concert ended."

Join us at the synagogue for this wonderful return performance. There will, of course, be refreshments following the concert.

 

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Dec
30
7:00 PM19:00

Shabbat Services During Winter Break, Part II

During Winter Break--when so many members are traveling, we shall be merging our two Shabbat Services into one. On the weekend of December 30th and 31st, we shall only be holding a Friday Night Service. Worship begins at 7:00 PM. Please join us AND please bring your Chanukah Menorah. We'll have tables set up at the front of the sanctuary so we can all light our candles together. 

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Dec
16
to Dec 17

Services Tonight But Not Tomorrow

Due to the approaching Winter Storm, we are cancelling Service this Shabbat MORNING.
The storm will begin Friday night around 10:00 and continue through Saturday afternoon.

Things should be fine tonight (Friday December 16th), so please join us for Shabbat Services at 7:00 PM.

Things should be fine for Sunday Morning for Minyanaires and Family Education Day.
 

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Oct
16
6:00 PM18:00

Supper Under the Sukkah!

Please join us for dinner to celebrate Sukkot and our new members. We'll gather on Sunday October 16th at 6:00 PM. 
We'll be providing pasta and drinks and hope you will bring a vegetarian side dish or dessert to share. (Impress people with your culinary acumen!)
Of course, we'll have the lulav and etrog and Sukkah so we can bless the occasion and the mitzvot.

We hope to see you there.
Contact Michelle Davis at 238-4611 with any questions.

 

 

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Oct
11
to Oct 12

Yom Kippur Services

Tuesday October 11th
       6:00 PM    Kol Nidre and Evening Service

Wednesday October 12th
        10:00 AM   Morning Service (Yizkor approximately 11:30 AM)

         2:00 PM   Discussion Group

         3:00 PM   Minchah

         5:00 PM   Children’s Service

         5:30 PM   Neilah

         7:15 PM   Break the Fast

 

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Oct
2
to Oct 4

Rosh Hashanah Services

Sunday October 2nd
       8:00 PM    Evening Service

Monday October 3rd
       10:00 AM   Morning Service with Shofarot

       4:00 PM    Tashlich Hike

Tuesday October 4th
       9:30 AM   Second Day Morning Service

 

 

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Sep
30
7:00 PM19:00

Helping Hands Award to Ted Ziff

Please join us in honoring Ted Ziff with our highest annual honor, The Helping Hands Award. The presentation will take place during Friday night services on September 30th. We shall be thanking Ted for a lifetime of service to Congregation Brit Shalom. In addition to serving as a board member, Ted got the idea for and helped establish our congregation's endowment fund--a financial basis for our congregation's future that now exceeds $800,000. He organized the funding by family and friends for the Denise Ziff Memorial Entrance, and, in his former life as mohel, he donated whatever he received for his services, amassing a significant Bris Fund. We all appreciate Ted's continuing devotion to our congregation, and this service will give us an opportunity to show him our thanks.

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Aug
31
12:15 PM12:15

Wednesday Torah Luncheons

OUR WEDNESDAY TORAH LUNCHEONS ARE GETTING STARTED AGAIN: ON AUGUST 31st:
Join us for a free lunch (!) and a study session led by Rabbi Ostrich. Last year, we studied and discussed the Five Megillot (Ruth, Esther, Song of Songs, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes). Currently, we are working on Pirke Avot, the section of the Talmud with Judaism's most famous proverbs. Each perek
(paragraph or saying) is a sermon in itself, and we always find modern lessons from these ancient texts. JOIN US WEDNESDAYS AT 12:15 AND BE PART OF THE DISCUSSION!

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May
2
7:00 PM19:00

Taste of Judaism: Are You Curious?

Join us for a three session introduction to the Jewish religion and culture.
(Monday May 2nd, Monday May 9th, and Monday May 16th: 7:00 - 8:30 PM)

The subjects will be Jewish Spirituality, Jewish Ethics, and the Jewish Sense of Community. For each, Rabbi David Ostrich will share a number of sacred texts from the Bible and the Talmud and consider their messages both for ancient times and modern application. As is the Jewish custom, there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Who is invited? Everyone!
(1) Non-Jews interested in learning something about the Jewish religion and culture.
(2) Non-Jews who are considering Judaism as a spiritual path.
(3) Jews who are unaffiliated and would like to get back in touch with their heritage.
(4) Members of Congregation Brit Shalom who would like a brush up on the basics.

There is no charge for the class. We ask only that you make reservations so that we can have enough chairs and study materials.

For information and registration, please contact:
Michelle Davis, Office Manager at (814) 238-4611  or brshalom@aol.com
Rabbi David Ostrich at (814) 238-4611 or rabbiostrich@aol.com
 

 

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Apr
22
6:00 PM18:00

Passover Seder

Join us for a delicious seder, led by Rabbi Ostrich and using our congregational Haggadah.

Along with the traditional Passover symbolic foods, we'll be serving:
Matzah Ball Soup, Gefilte Fish (Ungar's), Garden salad, Slow Braised Beef Brisket,
Salmon, Passover Nutloaf, Asparagus and Potato Kugel, Seasonal Fresh Fruit, and
Homemade Macaroons. Everything will be strictly Kosher for Passover.

$40 per adult      ($35 per adult if paid by March 31st)
$20 per child      (Children under 5 are free)

Please send your reservation in by April 15th:
Congregation Brit Shalom
620 East Hamilton Avenue
State College, PA   16801      (814) 238-4611
 

 

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Apr
17
3:00 PM15:00

The Jews of Curacao

Alan Benjamin, an anthropologist in the Penn State Jewish Studies Program, will give a general overview of the Jewish settlement of the Netherlands' colony of Curaçao, their links to Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jewish communities and to Jews elsewhere, their internal tensions and disputes about social and religious issues, and their unique position on Curaçao and in the New World economy from the 1600s until today. Dr. Benjamin is the author of the book "Jews of the Dutch Caribbean: Exploring Ethnic Identity on Curaçao."

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