Dr. Michael Berenbaum is a professor of Jewish Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He currently serves as the university’s Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust.
A three-time winner of the American Jewish Press Association’s Simon Rockower Memorial Award, Dr. Berenbaum has authored or edited more than twenty books, including Not Your Father’s Antisemitism: Antisemitism in the Early 21st Century.
From 1998 to 1993, Dr. Berenbaum was instrumental in the establishment of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, first as the Project Director overseeing its creation, and then as the inaugural director of its Research Institute. Additionally, he was President and CEO of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation (now the USC Shoah Foundation—The Institute for Visual History and Education); his extensive work in film has been recognized with both Emmy and Academy Awards.
Wednesday, January 8 · 7:30 pm · Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School, Ulam Gadol
Antisemitism in the 21st century is dramatically different from traditional antisemitism, a change for which the Jewish community may not be prepared. A lesser percentage of Americans are antisemitic than ever before, yet antisemitic incidents and acts of violence are significantly on the rise and even in a polarized society the extreme radical right and the radical left can agree on targeting the Jews. What has caused this surge in Jew-hatred and what can the Jewish community do about it?
Thursday, January 9 · 7:30 pm · Peninsula Temple Sholom
Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the Holocaust is invoked by friend and foe alike as an icon for evil and human suffering, in addition to being the historical event of annihilating the Jewish People. We will explore the minimalization, trivialization and falsification of the Holocaust Memory, the role it plays in European nationalism, and its uses in combatting antisemitism. And we’ll examine the uses that Jews make of this most significant Jewish memory. Why should we remember the Holocaust and how can the memory of paradigmatic evil, death and destruction serve to enhance Jewish life, human responsibility and dignity?
Friday, January 10 · 6:45 pm Service, 7:30 pm Lecture · Peninsula Sinai Congregation
Zionism was founded on the idea that it could solve the problem of antisemitism by making the Jews a people like every other people with a land, a flag, and an army. For a time it worked, yet in our time, we see that Israel does not quench the fires of antisemitism but fuels the flames. How does the issue of Israel allow antisemites to mask their real motives? How do we distinguish between what may be legitimate and warranted criticism of Israel and Jew-hatred? And how does Israel use charges of antisemitism and self-hatred to shield itself against criticism?
Saturday, January 11 · 6:30 pm Havdalah, 7:00 pm Lecture · Congregation Beth Jacob
Is antisemitism a harbinger of the disintegration of democracy, pluralism, and tolerance? Is there a relationship between antisemitism and hatred of immigrants and other minorities? How should the Jewish community respond to various expressions of hatred? For Jews the issue is made more complex by the perception of Jews as powerful — and often all too powerful – and privileged whites and by the question of intersectionality: Should Jews join forces with groups with whom we share a social justice agenda if those groups make antisemitic statements?
Monday, January 13 · 7:00 pm · Peninsula Temple Beth El
Antisemitism differs dramatically throughout the world. In Eastern Europe, antisemitism is rewriting the history of the Holocaust and cleansing nations and native populations of their responsibility for the murder of local Jewish populations. In Western Europe and the United States, it is directly linked to a growing, angry anti-immigration sentiment on the right as well as the perception of Israel as an oppressor from the left. In the Islamic world, the traditional tolerance of Islam toward the “people of the book” has been replaced by a demonization of the Jew and the introduction of religious fervor into a political dispute. How should the Jewish community respond to these wide-ranging attacks and what hope exists for diminishing antisemitism?
Peninsula Jewish Community Center
800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City · 650.212.PJCC (7522)
Congregation Beth Jacob
1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City · 650.366.8481
Peninsula Sinai Congregation
499 Boothbay Avenue, Foster City · 650.349.2816
Peninsula Temple Beth El
1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo · 650.341.7701
Peninsula Temple Sholom
1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame · 650.697.2266
Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School
800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City · 650.378.2600
The PJCC is proud to be a part of the Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood, presenting educational and cultural programs that explore Jewish heritage, identity, and community. This initiative is co-funded by the Koret Foundation and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture.
Funded in part by Peninsula Jewish Community Center, Peninsula Temple Beth El, Peninsula Temple Sholom, Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Congregation Beth Jacob, Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School, and the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Funded primarily by the Koret Foundation and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture.