Rabbi Israel Dresner Memorial Library offers Zoom lecture series
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Rabbi Israel Dresner Memorial Library offers Zoom lecture series

Dr. Jacob Ari Lebendz
Dr. Jacob Ari Lebendz

Dr. Jacob Ari Labendz, the director of the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey, leads two upcoming Zoom lectures for Temple Beth Tikvah in Wayne. Each lecture will be about 45 minutes; a question and answer period with Dr. Labendz will follow.

Dr. Jacob Ari Lebendz researches and writes about the history of Jews in and from Czechoslovakia in the twentieth century, and contributes to scholarly discussions around nationalism, the Cold War, antisemitism, Holocaust memory, and Jewish food cultures. In addition to his articles and reviews, he has published two edited volumes, “Jewish Veganism and Vegetarianism: Studies and New Directions” with Shmuly Yanklowitz and “Jewish Property after 1945: Cultures and Economies of Ownership, Loss, Recovery, and Transfer.” Dr. Labendz earned his Ph.D. in history from Washington University in St. Louis and has taught and researched in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Berlin, and Prague.

On October 18 at 7 p.m., he will discuss “Jewish Veganism and Vegetarianism.” Dr. Lebendz notes that 5% of Israelis have stopped eating animal products resulting in a strong Jewish vegan and vegetarian movement over the past five decades, in the United States, in Israel, and beyond. He will discuss what he learned about the movement by publishing a collection of essays from scholars, rabbis, and activists. What are Jewish veganism and Jewish vegetarianism? Why have they proven attractive to so many Jews? What do Jewish vegans and vegetarians have to teach meat-eating Jews and non-Jewish vegans and vegetarians?

His second lecture, on December 13, at 7 p.m., will be “Anti-Antisemitism: Protecting and Defining Jews.” Dr. Labendz will show that studying competing definitions of antisemitism and proposed mitigation strategies can reveal important differences in how communities and movements imagine the rightful place of Jews in society. He feels that we may learn more about the opportunities and challenges facing Jews today by studying anti-antisemitism than by focusing on antisemitism alone. This subject matter is in keeping with Temple Beth Tikvah’s priorities.

Email specialevents@templebethtikvahnj.org for links to the talks.

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