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Congregational Conversations

Conversation is a form of prayer. This idea is the foundation of the Congregational Conversations series — to bring us together in an open and honest dialogue, to bridge our differences, and to build a stronger community.

Congregational Conversations Monthly Discussions


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This year our Congregational Conversations series will look at the rise in anti-Semitism that is taking place both here in the United States and around the world.

We will use Deborah E. Lipstadt's book Antisemitism: Here and Now as a guide for these discussions.

Monthly Discussion Sessions:

Sunday, November 17
10:30 am at Temple

Friday, November 22*
Following WHC's Shabbat service at Temple

Online registration for our November sessions is now closed, but walk-ins are welcome. For our Friday session, we will accept cash, check, or credit card at the door.

Sunday, December 8
10:30 am at Temple

Friday, December 13*
Following WHC's Falls Rd. Shabbat service at JBSC

Online registration for our December sessions is now closed, but walk-ins are welcome. For our Friday session, we will accept cash, check, or credit card at the door.

Friday, January 24*
Following WHC's Shabbat service at Temple

Sunday, January 26
10:30 am at Temple

Click here to RSVP for our January sessions

Our 2019-2020 Congregational Conversations series will conclude with a final Siyyum with Dr. Lipstadt on Wednesday, February 12 at 7:00 pm at Temple.

Please check back soon for RSVP information for this final lecture.

*Our Friday evening conversations include Shabbat dinner. The cost for each Friday session is $18 for WHC members; $25 for non-members.

About the book:
In her new book, the award-winning author, Deborah Lipstadt, gives us a penetrating and provocative analysis of the hate that will not die, focusing on its current, virulent incarnations on both the political right and left: from white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, to mainstream enablers of antisemitism such as Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn, to a gay pride march in Chicago that expelled a group of women for carrying a Star of David banner.

Over the last decade, there has been a noticeable uptick in antisemitic rhetoric and incidents by left-wing groups targeting Jewish students and Jewish organizations on American college campuses. And the reemergence of the white nationalist movement in America, complete with Nazi slogans and imagery, has been reminiscent of the horrific fascist displays of the 1930s. Throughout Europe, Jews have been attacked by terrorists, and some have been murdered.

Where is all this hatred coming from? Is there any significant difference between left-wing and right-wing antisemitism? What role has the anti-Zionist movement played? And what can be done to combat the latest manifestations of an ancient hatred? In a series of letters to an imagined college student and imagined colleague, both of whom are perplexed by this resurgence, acclaimed historian Deborah Lipstadt gives us her own superbly reasoned, brilliantly argued, and certain to be controversial responses to these troubling questions.



Final Siyyum Featuring Deborah Lipstadt


This year's Congregational Conversations series will conclude on Wednesday, February 12 at 7:00 pm at Temple with a lecture by Deborah Lipstadt and a panel discussion featuring some of the area's top experts on the topic of anti-Semitism.

Please click here to RSVP for this event.

About the event:

From the massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh to shooting in Jersey City, to the brutal Hanukkah attack in New York, headlines about targeted, anti-Semitic attacks have been all too common over the past several months. 

Back in October, Professor Deborah Lipstadt opened our Congregational Conversations series with an Amram Scholar Series lecture about her latest book, Antisemitism: Here and Now. In the months since her lecture, we have used her book as a guide to having an open, honest, sometimes difficult conversation about the rise of anti-Semitism both here in the US and around the world.

On February 12, Professor Lipstadt will return to WHC for a final siyyum lecture and panel discussion on this omnipresent topic for Jews living in America today. The panel will be perhaps our deepest dive yet into the issue of anti-Semitism, looking at topics including the recent executive order signed by President Trump, the resolutions brought up in the halls of Congress, the recent attacks targeting the Jewish community, and more.

This program is free and open to everyone.. Attendance at Dr. Lipstadt’s previous lecture and/or our discussion groups from the past several months is not a prerequisite for attending.

Please click here to RSVP for this event.


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