Featured Talks

Black Power, Jewish Politics

Hot off the press! A brand-new look at the history of the black-Jewish alliance in the 1950s and 1960s. It’s my most popular talk right now as audiences seek ways to understand how American Jews intersect with such challenging topics as Black Power, the Nation of Islam, Black Lives Matter, and the dynamics of white Jewish liberalism.

California Jews

You’re not in New York City anymore! This multi-media presentation is a tell-all of California Jewish life, exploring how the Golden State offered Jews a history unmatched in the rest of the United States.

American Jewish History

It’s the American Jewish history time machine! Join us as we travel back to 1654 when the first Jewish immigrants arrived on American shores. Exploring historical documents, listening to popular Jewish music, watching video clips, we’ll figure out what it means to be Jewish in America.

Additional Topics

New lecture:

1619, 1654, 2020: Jews, Race, and U.S. History
With protests gripping the nation, so many American Jews are reflecting on systemic racism and ways we may be able to help. Join us for a candid, and probably difficult, journey through American Jewish history as we explore historical documents about Jews and racism. We will think about what is means to “become American” and the ways that racism has played among and within the Jewish community.

New Lecture series:

Engage in this four-part lecture series that covers the most important historical moments for American Jews and questions of race. We begin with “Jews and Whiteness” exploring how white-presenting Jews have, and have not, been considered privileged in U.S. history. Then, we dive deep into the civil rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s, learning new insights into both southern Jews and northern Jewish participation in racial justice causes. Next, we learn about the apparent break-up of the Black/Jewish alliance in the mid-1960s with a close reading of the Black Power movement and its inspiration for American Jewish public identity. We close with a 360-yeaer overview of Jews, race, and racism, examining actual historical documents that will show us how “becoming American” often meant participation in racist systems. If you wish, we can add a fifth session devoted exclusively to questions, answers, and dialogue about our learnings together.