The Jews of Ethiopia
journalist, lecturer and award-winning author
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Join us for a fascinating view of the Jewish community of Ethiopia Her award-winning novel, Cry of the Giraffe, is based on the true story of her daughter Wuditu’s experience as a slave in Ethiopia and tells the story in Wuditu’s voice.
This lecture falls during the holiday of Sigd, a festival celebrated by the Jews in Ethiopia and now a national holiday for the State of Israel.
The Jews of Italy
Rabbi Leigh Lerner,
rabbi emeritus Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, volunteer rabbi at two Italian Reform Jewish congregations
Thursday, December 4, 2014
This lecture will give us many of the “insider’s guide to life for Jews in Italy, including the preparation for conversion to Judaism, the Inquisition Museum in Palermo, speaking to families who’ve lived through the Shoah in Italy and whose roots go back centuries, visiting ghettos in Ferrara, Padua, Palermo, and of course, Rome and Venice, working with Reform congregations that find themselves excluded from the mainstream of Italian Judaism but supply answers the mainstream won’t give, and so much more.
The Jews of Cochin
Editor, Tamarind Tree Books and Kenny Salem
Thursday, January 15, 2015
The Cochinin (as the Jews from Cochin are called in Israel) make up one of the tiniest and most ancient of all Jewish communities in the Diaspora. They trace their history on the lush, monsoon-swept Malabar coast in south-western India to 2000 years ago. Recorded history begins with copper plates granted by the Kings of Kerala to Christian settlers and which were signed by Jewish merchants in 849 CE and the most famous one granted to Jewish chieftain Joseph Rabban in the year 1000 CE which gave them great social status and privileges “as long as the sun, moon and the world exists.” These plates are preserved in the fabulous Paradesi Synagogue in Cochin, built in 1568 CE and is the oldest functioning synagogue in the Commonwealth. The community lives on in Israel today and still adheres to its famed Malabar cuisine, songs, the Judeo-Malayalam language and other cultural aspects.