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Scholar in Residence

 The North Peninsula Jewish Community Presents

Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer


In celebration of Israel’s 70th year of independence, don’t miss this free lecture series on the legacy of the past and visions for the future of Israel and American Jewry.

The North Peninsula Jewish Community welcomes Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, a leading and insightful thinker and speaker on the meaning of Israel to American Jews.

He is president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, which is dedicated to redefining the conversation about Judaism in modernity, religious pluralism, and the relationship between Israel and world Jewry. Dr. Kurtzer also the author of Shuva: The Future of the Jewish Past.

Upcoming Lectures

Except for the Shabbat dinner, all programs are free; pre-registration required where noted.

The Israel We Imagine: Five Zionist Visions and their Consequences for Today
Thursday, January 18, 2018 • 7:00 pm • Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School, Ulam Gadol • Free (Registration Required)

Often our relationship to Israel is defined as much by what we imagine Israel ought to be as what it actually is. What are the major visions for what the State of Israel was and is supposed to be? How are each of these visions succeeding and failing? How does the “Israel of imagination” compare to “the real Israel?”

This PJCC program requires pre-registration. Visit the Welcome Center or register online.


Israel at 70: Messianism, Pragmatism and the Future of Jewish Politics
Friday, January 19, 2018 • 7:30 pm • Peninsula Sinai Congregation

Many of Israel’s urgent political challenges—in its democratic character, in its relationship to the Palestinians, in its place in the international community—invite dramatically different responses by diaspora Jews. What does a mature “Jewish politics” look like for Israel and for us?


Israel and American Jewish Dissent: How Can We Be Pluralistic with our Politics?
Sunday, January 21, 2018 • 9:30 am • Peninsula Temple Sholom

Israel has gone from being the strongest organizing force in American Jewish life to the site of intra-Jewish conflict. How are we to understand this breakdown? How might we repair a relationship that is critical both to modern Israel and to American Jewish identity?


Zionism in Tension with Other Values: The Challenge of Coalition Building
Monday, January 22, 2018 • 7:00 pm • Peninsula Temple Beth El

Jews engaged in progressive causes often find themselves conflicted or challenged by others about the relationship between their attitudes towards Israel and their other political commitments. Can we support moral causes that engage in anti-Israel rhetoric? How might we sustain a commitment to Zionism while working in coalition with others?


Peoplehood in Crisis: What do American and Israeli Jews “Owe” One Another?
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 • 7:00 pm • Congregation Beth Jacob

The implicit contract between American and Israeli Jews has given way in the past few years to enormous frustration and suspicion on both sides. What are the roots of this covenant, and what strategies might we use to rehabilitate the relationship?


American Jews at Home: How the Jewish American Experience Challenges and Informs Zionism
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 • 7:00 pm • Peninsula Jewish Community Center

This lecture is in Hebrew and requires pre-registration. Visit the Welcome Center or register online.

The 20th century provided the Jewish people with not one but two profound experiences of “being-at-home”—the story of the creation of the State of Israel, and the story of the Jews thriving in America. In what ways has the American Jewish success story challenged the core Zionist principle of the negation of the exile? What are the ways in which the experiences of these two communities might enrich and support each other?

Sponsoring Institutions

Primary funding provided by the Koret Foundation and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture.

Also funded by:

Congregation Beth Jacob
1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City

Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
121 Steuart Street, San Francisco CA, 94105

Peninsula Jewish Community Center
800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City
650.212.PJCC (7522)

Peninsula Sinai Congregation
499 Boothbay Avenue, Foster City

Peninsula Temple Beth El
1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

Peninsula Temple Sholom
1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame

Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School
800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City