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Amram Scholar Series

This dynamic program of public lectures brings world-renowned authors, scholars, political leaders, policy experts, and theologians to WHC to share their perspectives on timely issues or their research into Jewish culture and history.

We are pleased to present prominent writers of the nation's newest works on topics of Jewish interest, often in cooperation with the Jewish Book Council.

Robert Klitzman & Jamie Metzl

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"Recreating Humanity: Moral Choices and Genetic Engineering"

Date: Sunday, February 2
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Washington Hebrew Congregation
Cost: Free and open to the community 
RSVP preferred: Please click here to RSVP

At a time when an estimated 20 percent of American couples rely on infertility services to conceive children, the Amram Scholar Series will examine the complex ethical and social implications of genetic engineering with two leading scholars of the issue at 10:30 am at Temple on Sunday, February 2.

Since the first "test tube baby" was born over 40 years ago, In Vitro Fertilization and other Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) have advanced in extraordinary ways, producing millions of babies and permitting gay and lesbian couples and single parents to have offspring. Couples can now transmit or avoid passing on certain genes to their children, including those for chronic disease and, probably sometime soon, height and eye color as well. Prospective parents routinely choose even the sex of their future child and whether or not to have twins. The possibilities of this rapidly developing technology are astounding – especially in the United States, where the procedures are practically unregulated and a large commercial market for buying and selling human eggs is swiftly growing. New gene-editing technology, known as CRISPR, allows for even more direct manipulation of embryos' genes.

Our distinguished speakers on this thought-provoking topic are Robert L. Klitzman and Jamie Metzl. Dr. Klitzman, author of Designing Babies: How Technology is Changing the Ways We Create Children, is a Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and director of its Masters of Bioethics Program. Dr. Metzl, author of Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity, is a technology and healthcare futurist and entrepreneur who serves on the World Health Organization advisory committee on global standards for the governance and oversight of human genome editing, as well as on the Brandeis International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life.

Together, they will discuss how the genetic revolution will transform each of us, our species, and the world around us – and far sooner than we think, as incredible new science rewrites the code of life and shakes the core foundations of what it means to be human.

They come to WHC in partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

Please click here to RSVP

Kirsten Fermaglich

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A Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America

Date: Sunday, March 1
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Washington Hebrew Congregation
Cost: Free and open to the community
Please click here to RSVP for this lecture

At a time when immigration, assimilation, and anti-Semitism are at the forefront of our minds, the Amram Scholar Series will present a lecture on the history of Jewish name changing in America.

Join us to hear Professor Kirsten Fermaglich, who teaches history and Jewish Studies at Michigan State University, discuss her book, A Rosenberg by Any Other Name. In a lively presentation, she describes how name changing has had a lasting impact on American Jewish culture.  

Presented in cooperation with the Jewish Book Council.

2019-2020 Amram Scholar Series Schedule

Wednesday, October 23, 7:00 pm at Temple

Deborah LipstadtAntisemitism: Here and Now 

Professor Lipstadt teaches Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University; she was portrayed by Rachel Weisz in the film Denial, based on her legal battle with Holocaust denier David Irving. 

Sunday, October 27, 10:30 am at Temple

David Harris - "Facing Challenges: American and World Jewry"

The CEO of the American Jewish Committee since 1990, Mr. Harris was described by the late Israeli President Shimon Peres as the "foreign minister of the Jewish people."

Sunday, November 3, 10:30 am at Temple - EVENT CANCELED

Jodi Kantor - "'#MeToo,' She Said: Documenting Kolot Isha (Women’s Voices)"

Ms. Kantor is a Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times investigative reporter and co-author of She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.

Wednesday, November 6, 7:00 pm (WHC's Kristallnacht Commemoration)

Michael DobbsThe Unwanted: America, Auschwitz, and a Village Caught In Between

Mr. Dobbs, a former foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, is a scholar and writer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

Sunday, January 5, 10:30 am at Temple

Jamie BernsteinFamous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein

The daughter of the late composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein, Ms. Bernstein is an author and filmmaker.
Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

Sunday, February 2, 10:30 am at Temple

Robert Klitzman & Jamie Metzl - "Recreating Humanity: Moral Choices and Genetic Engineering"

Dr. Klitzman, a professor of psychiatry and bioethics at Columbia University, is the author of Designing Babies: How Technology is Changing the Ways We Create Children. Mr. Metzl -- a prominent futurist who has served in the White House, State Department, and United Nations -- is the author of Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity.
Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

Sunday, March 1, 10:30 am at Temple 

Kirsten FermaglichA Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America

Professor Fermaglich teaches history and Jewish studies at Michigan State University.
Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

Sunday, April 19, 10:30 am at Temple

Robert MnookinThe Jewish American Paradox:  Embracing Choice in a Changing World

A leading scholar in the field of conflict resolution, Professor Mnookin teaches at the Harvard Law School and directs Harvard's Negotiation Research Project.
Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

Sunday, June 7, 5:00 pm at Temple (Closing Lecture & Reception)

Paul Mendes-Flohr - Martin Buber: A Life of Faith and Dissent

Professor Mendes-Flohr, an eminent scholar of modern Jewish thought, teaches at the University of Chicago and is an emeritus professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

 

 

 

Previous Lectures

David Harris

The American Jewish community is confronting fundamental questions about the responsibilities and difficulties of being Jewish in today’s world.

On Sunday, October 27, 2019, AJC CEO David Harris shared his unique perspective on the widespread increase of antisemitism, the relationship between the American Jewish community and the pro-BDS movement taking hold in some quarters of the Democratic Party, and the way that, on both sides of the aisle, support for Israel is being used as a divisive political cudgel.

This Amram Scholar Series lecture was generously supported by the Leo and Elizabeth Goodman Public Issues Endowment Fund.

Upcoming Events

February 2, 2020 / Sunday
Amram Scholar Series Presents: Robert Klitzman & Jamie Metzl
10:30 AM—12:00 PM

At a time when an estimated 20 percent of American couples rely on infertility services to conceive children, the Amram Scholar Series will examine the complex ethical and social implications of…

March 1, 2020 / Sunday
Amram Scholar Series Presents: Kirsten Fermaglich
10:30 AM—12:30 PM

Previous Years

Re-watch and re-experience the dynamic lectures from previous years of the Amram Scholar Series.

2018-2019 Lectures  
2018-2019 Lectures
2017-2018 Lectures  
2017-2018 Lectures
2016-2017 Lectures  
2016-2017 Lectures
2015-2016 Lectures  
2015-2016 Lectures

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