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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.

James Loeffler

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Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century

Date: Sunday, February 3
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Washington Hebrew Congregation
Cost: Free and open to the community 
RSVP preferred: Click here
for our form

James Loeffler, who teaches history and Jewish studies at the University of Virginia, will discuss his book, Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century. Through the stories of five remarkable Jewish figures, Loeffler will examine the connection between Zionism and the origins of international human rights. From the prewar shtetls of Eastern Europe to the postwar United Nations, he covers the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials, the founding of Amnesty International, and the 1975 UN resolution that branded Zionism as racism.

James Loeffler will hold a book signing after his lecture. Copies of his book can be purchased at the event.

James Loeffler comes to Washington Hebrew through a partnership with the Jewish Book Council. His talk is sponsored by WHC's Leo & Elizabeth Goodman Public Issues Endowment Fund.

Steven R. Weisman

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The Chosen Wars: How Judaism Became an American Religion

Date: Sunday, March 3
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Washington Hebrew Congregation
Cost: Free and open to the community 
RSVP preferred: Click here
for our form

In The Chosen Wars: How Judaism Became an American Religion, journalist Steven R. Weisman tells the dramatic story of how Judaism redefined itself in America in the 18th and 19th centuries and of the forceful personalities that shaped its evolution. Beginning with the arrival of the first Jews in New Amsterdam, Weisman examines how Judaism enhanced America and how America inspired Judaism. Along the way, we meet colorful rabbis and activists who ultimately define American Judaism and its division into the Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox movements that continue today.

There will be a book signing after the lecture. Copies of his book can be purchased at the event.

Steven R. Weisman comes to Washington Hebrew through a partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

Tal Keinan

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God Is in the Crowd: Twenty-First-Century Judaism

Date: Sunday, March 31
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Washington Hebrew Congregation
Cost: Free and open to the community 
RSVP preferred: Click here
for our form

Tal Keinan, an American-born Israeli fighter pilot who went on to build a highly successful career as a financier in New York and Tel Aviv, will address the alarming decrease in the numbers of Jews worldwide in God Is in the Crowd: Twenty-First-Century Judaism, which is also the title of his new book. Through the prism of his own dramatic personal story and the lessons learned in his profession, Keinan will investigate the core values of Judaism and how the collective intelligence of the Jewish people can be harnessed to endow Judaism with new purpose and save it from extinction. 

There will be a book signing after the lecture. Copies of his book can be purchased at the event.

Tal Keinan comes to Washington Hebrew through a partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

Nadine Epstein and Rabbi Ariel Burger

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The Life and Legacy of Elie Wiesel

Date: Sunday, April 28
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Washington Hebrew Congregation
Cost: Free and open to the community 
RSVP preferred: Click here
for our form

Nadine Epstein, editor-in-chief of Moment Magazine and author of Elie Wiesel: An Extraordinary Life and Legacy, and Rabbi Ariel Burger, who wrote Witness: Lessons From Elie Wiesel's Classroom, come together to discuss the life and legacy of Elie Wiesel.

Wiesel, who co-founded Moment in 1975 as a place of conversation for America’s Jews, became Nadine Epstein’s mentor when she took it over in 2004. Rabbi Burger was just 15 when he first met Wiesel, and for decades both studied and taught with him. As Wiesel’s former teaching assistant, Burger gives us a front-row seat in the classroom of the late Nobel laureate, activist, and author.

There will be a book signing after the lecture. Copies of both books can be purchased at the event.

Nadine Epstein and Rabbi Ariel Burger come to Washington Hebrew through a partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

Sally Kohn

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The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity

Date: Wednesday, May 15
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Washington Hebrew Congregation
Cost: Free and open to the community 
RSVP preferred: Click here
for our form

For the closing program of the 2018-2019 Amram Scholar Series, activist Sally Kohn will discuss her book, The Opposite of Hate. Meeting with leading scientists and researchers, Kohn investigated the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate and the theory that simple incivility can lead to horrific consequences.

Through her research, Kohn traveled to Rwanda, the Middle East, and across the United States, where she spoke with terrorists, white supremacists, and even some of her own Twitter trolls, and drew lessons from their examples. A CNN political commentator whose TED talks have garnered millions of views, Sally Kohn points the way to positive social change through connection, which, as Kohn illustrates, is the opposite of hate.

This final program of the 2018-2019 series will include a celebratory reception. There will be a book signing after the lecture, and copies of Sally Kohn's book can be purchased at the event.

Sally Kohn comes to Washington Hebrew through a partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

2018-2019 Amram Scholar Series Schedule

Unless specified, all lectures are held at Temple on Sundays at 10:30 am.

Sunday, October 21

Madeleine Albright, author of Fascism: A Warning

Sunday, November 4

Norman L. Eisen, author of The Last Palace: Europe's Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House

Monday, December 3 at 7:00 pm

*Stuart E. Eizenstat, author of President Carter: The White House Years

Monday, December 10 at 7:00 pm

*Steven A. Cook, author of False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East

Monday, December 17 at 7:00 pm

*Wendy Sherman, author of Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage
Sponsored by the 
Everett & Marian Gordon Scholar Series Fund. 

Sunday, January 6

Jonathan Weisman, author of (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump
Sponsored by the Abraham & Freida Hochberg Creative Cultural Fund
.

Sunday, February 3

James Loeffler, author of Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century
Sponsored by the Leo & Elizabeth Goodman Public Issues Endowment Fund.

Sunday, March 3

Steven R. Weisman, author of The Chosen Wars: How Judaism Became an American Religion

Sunday, March 31

Tal Keinan, author of God is in the Crowd: Twenty-First Century Judaism

Sunday, April 28

Nadine Epstein, author of Elie Wiesel: An Extraordinary Life and Legacy, and Ariel Burger, author of Witness: Lessons From Elie Wiesel's Classroom

Wednesday, May 15 at 7:00 pm

Sally Kohn, author of The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity

*Part of WHC Academy's "Academy Goes Conversational" series. Each lecture in this Fall III series is followed by dinner, dialogue, and Q&A, and registration is required. Please click here to learn more.

 

 

Past Lectures

Jonathan Weisman

Jonathan Weisman, Deputy Washington Editor of the New York Times, spoke on his latest book, (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in the Age of Trump on Sunday, January 6, 2019. He addressed how America has changed under this current administration and how our society can move forward to fight anti-Semitism.

Norman Eisen

Norman Eisen, former Ambassador to the Czech Republic and White House ethics czar under President Obama, discussed his acclaimed new book, The Last Palace: Europe’s Turbulent Century Through Five Lives and One Legendary House on Sunday, November 4 at Washington Hebrew Congregation. His engrossing narrative brings to life the last hundred years of European history as told through the story of an ornate mansion in Prague and the lives of those who called it home.

Madeleine Albright

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright opened the 2018-2019 Amram Scholar Series on Sunday, October 21 with a discussion of her new book, Fascism: A WarningDrawing on her experiences as a child in war-torn Europe and her distinguished career as a diplomat, Dr. Albright questions whether the world would reject another Mussolini or Hitler-type leader should one try to rise to power. 

Upcoming Events

February 3, 2019 / Sunday
Amram Scholar Series Presents: James Loeffler
10:30 AM—12:00 PM

James Loeffler, who teaches history and Jewish studies at the University of Virginia, will discuss his book Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century. He examines…

March 3, 2019 / Sunday
Amram Scholar Series Presents: Steven R. Weisman
10:30 AM—12:00 PM
March 31, 2019 / Sunday
Amram Scholar Series Presents: Tal Keinan
10:30 AM—12:00 PM

Previous Years

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

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