The Ner Tamid Lectures #2 – The Cry For Social Justice

The second in my series of lectures on the Jewish American Experience this is an examination of the Jewish commitment and contributions to Social Justice in America. Highlights include the role of Jews before and during the Civil War; Brandeis on the Supreme Court; Gompers and AFL; Rabbi Heschel and MLK; Betty Freidan and Womens’ March.

(Requires PowerPoint or Google Slides) 2_Social Justice

(Requires Acrobat or another PDF reader) 2_Social Justice

The Ner Tamid Lectures #1 – Coming to America

The first of my lecture series presented since coming to Las Vegas presented at and with the support of Congregation Ner Tamid. Special thanks to Rabbi Sanford Akselrad, Rachel Raskin and to Roberta Unger for their support.

Coming to America is an overview of the Jewish journey from a hostile Europe to the new American lands and deals broadly with the various eras of Jewish-American life, topics that will later be explored in more depth. Two versions are below, the first is a PowerPoint version and the second a PDF of the same file:

(Requires PowerPoint or Google Slides)  1_Coming to America

(Requires Acrobat or another PDF reader) 1_Coming to America


Jewish Tough Guys

My latest presentation on Jewish Tough Guys: Boxers and Gangsters as delivered at the JCC of Ann Arbor February 14th, 2018. As always, I wore a special t-shirt for the occasion.

The presentation covers the period between World War I and World War II, when Jews were a dominant group in boxing, producing famous (or infamous) world champions like Max Baer, as well as boxers with memorable names including Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom (nicknamed by author Damon Runyon), Jewey Smith, Ruby Goldstein (“the Jewel of the Ghetto”), King Levinsky (born Harry Krakow) and more. Many of the boxers had ties to organized crime figures such as Rothstein, Lansky, Moses Annenberg, The Purple Gang in Detroit and most famously Murder Inc.

This was an era when Jews were ostracized and lived in ghetto communities such as the Lower East Side or the Brownsville section of Brooklyn where opportunity was limited and Jews had to be tough to survive.

This topic speaks not only to the Jewish experience but to the experience of all immigrant groups in America and has implications for today’s minority groups.

Download as a PDF:

Jewish Tough Guys

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