2017-07-12 / Events

Historian speaks July 23 at Bnai Israel

Fleischmanns — Dr. Stephen M. Berk, a history professor and former chair of the Union College History Department, will speak at Congregation Bnai Israel in Fleischmanns on Sunday, July 23.

Berk’s topic will be American Jews and the Civil Rights Movement and his lecture is sponsored by Andrew Sole in memory of his mother, Sheila R. Sole.

A worldwide lecturer and widely quoted authority on a variety of Jewish historical subjects, Berk is currently completing a new book, Our People Are Your People: American Jewry and the Struggle for Civil Rights 1954-1965. The book will look at the American civil rights movement and the myths and misunderstandings that surround the relationships between Jews and African- Americans. At Union College, Berk serves as the Henry and Sally Schaffer Professor of Holocaust and Jewish Studies as well as the director of the program in Russian and Eastern European Studies.

The author of Year of Crisis, Year of Hope: Russian Jewry and the Pogroms of 1881 – 1882, Berk is known as a superb lecturer and is frequently consulted by TV, radio and newspaper reporters. In 1996 he received the Holocaust Memorial Award from the Holocaust Survivors and Friends Education Center. Berk has also served as a consultant to the Wiesenthal Holocaust Center in Los Angeles and produced a six-hour audio lecture on the Holocaust.

The Sheila K. Sole memorial lecture will take place at 11 a.m. on July 23 at Congregation Bnai Israel on Wagner Avenue in Fleischmanns. The inclusive, egalitarian synagogue affiliated with the Conservative movement and supported by 200 members will celebrate its centennial in 2018.

For more information about the lecture and other activities at the synagogue check out the website at bnai-israel-fleischmannsny.org or call 845 254- 9945.

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