The Walnut Street Synagogue is pleased to announce our partnership with the Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program!

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Beyond the Myths:  Getting Started with Ashkenazi Jewish Genealogy

Wednesday, June 30 3:30 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)


Jennifer Mendelsohn will guide us as we learn that Eastern European Jewish family research is often shrouded in myths and misunderstandings. Many Jewish family trees only extend two or three generations because of the fallacy that no records remain from “the old country” (not true!) or that “names were changed at Ellis Island (also not true!) Many beginners are stymied by easily avoidable traps like being too inflexible with spelling and not searching creatively enough. Learn how you can get started on the path to successfully reclaiming your family’s story. Jennifer will share how she uses many of the same strategies she learned during a long career as a journalist to hone in on the hidden clues in your family’s story and follow where they lead, to amazing new stories and unexpected relatives. Jennifer Mendelsohn began her career as a journalist and ghostwriter. A former Washington, DC-based special correspondent for People, she also wrote the satirical “Keeping Tabs” column for Slate. A native Long Islander now based in Baltimore, Mendelsohn serves on the board of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland and is the administrator of Facebook’s Jewish Genetic Genealogy group. Her work has received international media attention, including being featured on, The New Yorker, The Washington Post and Yahoo News.

The Catskills: Its History and How It Changed America

Tuesday, June 29, 3:30 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)


Join us as we learn that there is so much more to the New York mountain range than its Borscht Belt reputation suggests. America’s literature, school of art, and hospitality industry were all first founded there—long before the Catskills became known as the quintessential playground for upwardly mobile Jews. In fact, until the early 20th century, much of the region maintained a strict “No Jews” policy, a situation that changed practically overnight. How did that happen? And, once it did, who were the larger-than-life characters—most of them women—who molded the Catskills into a world-class cultural and socio-economic force? (And what gangsters hid out up there?) What was the appeal of the place? What defined “Catskills humor”—and why did it wield such a persuasive influence on show business? What brought about the end of the Golden Era? And what is taking place up in the mountains today? As described by The Wall Street Journal, Stephen M. Silverman “is a veteran journalist and historian of popular culture [who] writes with verve and mischief.” His 13 books include vibrant histories of the Catskill Mountains and amusement parks, as well as the internationally acclaimed biographies of legendary film directors David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia) and Stanley Donen (Singin’ in the Rain). His first job, when he was an undergraduate at UC Irvine, was selling ice cream in Disneyland.

Unravelling Shtisel Season 3

Monday, June 28, 3:30 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

 Shtisel Season 3

Join Dr. Julia Wagner as she unravels the latest season of Shtisel. This presentation brings a psychoanalytical perspective to explore the themes of doubles, dreams and death as they play out in the yearnings and frustrations of the Shtisel family. No prior reading is necessary, but familiarity with Shtisel is recommended. Season 3 of Shtisel, starring Michael Aloni (Akiva), Doval’e Glickman (Shulem), Neta Riskin (Giti) and Shira Haas (Ruchami), is avaialble to view at this LINKDr. Julia Wagner is a London-based lecturer and writer specializing in film and television. She holds a PhD in Film Studies (UCL) and an MA in Italian Studies (University of Edinburgh). She lectures widely, including teaching Film Studies courses for adults and regularly presenting her research at cultural centers and international conferences. Julia’s writing about film and television has been published by the British Film Institute, Sight and Sound, Huffington Post UK, Jewish Quarterly journal and The Jewish Chronicle.

Barbra Streisand on Film:  The Evolution of a Jewish American Film Icon

Sunday, June 27, 7:00 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

Barbra Streisand

Join Dr. Eric Goldman as we learn how Barbra Streisand rose to superstardom as a vocalist but went on to prove herself as a versatile actor and outstanding director. We will look at Streisand’s cinematic work, focusing on how she and her Jewish background influenced the films in which she appeared, even when she took no credit for her participation as cowriter. Movies to be studied include The Way We Were (1973), A Star Is Born (1976), Yentl (1983), The Prince of Tides (1991) and The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996).  Dr. Eric Goldman is an adjunct professor of cinema at Yeshiva University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is a known scholar and lecturer on Yiddish, Israeli and Jewish film. A noted film educator, Dr. Goldman hosts “Jewish Cinematheque” on the Jewish Broadcasting Service (seen monthly across the nation). Dr. Goldman received a Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University and was a fellow of the Max Weinreich Center for Eastern European Jewish Studies at Columbia University.   He is former director of the Jewish Media Service, which was a national clearinghouse on film and television for the North American Jewish community and was curator of film for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.  His passion for films was first sown during his childhood on Sunday afternoons at the double feature matinee. While attending college at Temple University in Philadelphia with the intentions of becoming a medical doctor, Dr. Goldman found himself in a course entitled History of the Middle East. In addition to studying traditionally through texts, the class also was shown movies. The class was studying the Algerian War and watched a movie on the topic. Dr. Goldman said he learned a lesson. “The power of cinema was opened up. The film gave me a visual understanding of history. I realized that film was not just entertainment but edutainment.” At that point, Dr. Goldman knew he wanted to pull together his two loves–film and Jewish education.

City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement

Thursday, June 24, 3:30 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

City on a Hilltop

Join Dr. Sara Yael Hirshhorn as we learn about the more than 60,000 Jewish-Americans have settled in the territories captured by the State of Israel during the Six Day War in 1967. Comprising 15 percent of the settler population today, these immigrants have established major communities, transformed domestic politics and international relations, and committed shocking acts of terrorism. They demand attention in both Israel and the United States, but little is known about who they are and why they chose to leave America to live at the center of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn is currently the Visiting Assistant Professor in Israel Studies at the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies at Northwestern University. Her expertise focuses on Diaspora-Israel relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Israeli ultra-nationalist movement. Her first book, City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement (Harvard, 2017), hailed as a landmark contribution to the field, was the winner of the 2018 Sami Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature Choice Award, a finalist for the 2017 National Jewish Book Award, and a nominee for the 2021 Grawemeyer Award in Religion.

The Battle Over Holocaust Memory in Lithuania

Tuesday, June 22, 6:00 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

Battle of Holocaust Memory in Lithuania

Join us as we commemorate this day in history with authors Grant Gochin and Silvia Foti who became the unlikeliest of allies.  A Jew and a Christian, Grant and Silvia joined together in the fight to get the Lithuanian government to acknowledge that those who they had been honoring as heroes, including Silivia’s own grandfather, had been responsible for the murder of thousands of Jews.  “Operation Barbarossa“, launched by the Nazis exactly 80 years ago on June 22, 1941, marked the beginning of the “The Holocaust by Bullets” and the annihilation of Jewish communities in Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus. Over 2.2 million Jews and Roma were executed by the Einsatzgruppen, Nazi mobile killing units, and their willing local assistants in over 1,893 execution sites in 7 countries. Until today, despite the incomprehensible dimensions of these crimes, this chapter of the Holocaust has received too little attention.  In Lithuania, politicians and revisionists are actively involved in covering up the crimes committed by their citizens and “war heroes”.

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Coherent Judaism

Tuesday, June 22, 3:30 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

Coherent Judaism

Join Rabbi Dr. Shai Cherry argues that theological pluralism–maintaining different ideas about God–lies at the root of Judaism being more about deed than creed. He will discuss how these contradictory theologies explain certain contemporary legal inequities.  Rabbi Dr. Shai Cherry serves as rabbi and Creative Educational Officer of Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. After eighteen years in academics, Cherry shifted from university teaching to the pulpit in 2019. Rav Shai’s early academic research focused on Judaism and Darwinism. His first book,Torah through Time: Understanding Bible Commentary from the Rabbinic Period to Modern Times, redirected his focus from creation to revelation—how is God’s word and will understood in changing circumstances? Finally, how do we respond to what we understand to be God’s will? To address that question, Cherry attended the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and was ordained in 2009. His latest work, Coherent Judaism: Constructive Theology, Creation, and Halakhah brings these threads together to offer a vision of 21st-century Judaism. Formerly on the faculties of Vanderbilt University and the University of San Diego, he is the featured lecturer for The Great Courses’ “Introduction to Judaism”.

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Documentary “A Fish Tale” and Filmmaker Q&A

Tuesday, June 15 to Monday, June 21 – Virtual Screening
Monday, June 21, 7:30 pm EDT – Filmmaker Q&A on Zoom
(online program from Belmont World Film)

Join our friends at Belmont World Film as they observe World Refugee Awareness Month by streaming the documentary A FISH TALE, about a family from Ghana that moves to Israel, where the husband hopes to learn how to farm fish from an Israeli fish farmer. The film was shot over the course of 10 years by Israeli filmmaker Emmanuelle Mayer, who will participate in a Q&A on Monday, June 21.


Another Momentous Year: Annual Supreme Court Review 

Monday, June 21, 3:30 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

Annual Supreme Court Review

Dean Erwin Chemerinsky takes us through an amazing year of cases decided (and still to be decided) by the Roberts Court and tells us what to expect in the coming term.  Cases include voting rights, First Amendment rights of students and charitable organizations, the Affordable Care Act, free exercise of religion, and police searches of homes. Erwin Chemerinsky became the 13th Dean of Berkeley Law on July 1, 2017, when he joined the faculty as the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law. Prior to assuming this position, from 2008-2017, he was the founding Dean and Distinguished. Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at University of California, Irvine School of Law.  He is the author of fourteen books, including leading casebooks and treatises about constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal jurisdiction. His most recent books are The Religion Clauses: The Case for Separating Church and State (with Howard Gillman) (Oxford University Press 2020), and Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights (to be published by Norton in 2021).  He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court.  In January 2021, he was named President-elect of the Association of American Law Schools.

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A Window into the United Arab Emirates

Sunday, June 20, 3:00 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

Window into the UAE

Dan Feferman will guide our window into the United Arab Emirates. The origins of Dubai trace back to the 7th century, however few people associate the largest city of the UAE with ancient times. Dubai is best described as “the City of the Future”: nowhere else on the planet you will find so many incredible architectural constructions that are ultra-modern and even ahead of our times.  In this virtual tour of the United Arab Emirates, Dan Feferman digs into the nation’s geopolitical, religious, and economic significance in the region and its position as one of Israel’s newest peace partners. We will learn how Dubai has transformed from a little Bedouin fishing village into the most vibrant metropolis of the 21st century in less than a generation. Dan Feferman is an author, speaker and researcher who focuses on Israel, the Jewish world and the Middle East. He has published numerous articles and speaks regularly in Israel and around the world on these matters, and is co-host of the Jewanced Podcast. Dan is a fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, a leading think-tank on issues of importance to Israel and the Jewish people. In this capacity, he researches religious pluralism in Israel, trends in the American Jewish community, Israel-Diaspora relations and more. He is a founding member of the UAE-Israel Business Council, which seeks to create commercial, cultural and personal ties between Emiratis and Israelis, and founded and heads the Gulf-Israel Policy Forum.  Dan holds a BA in International Politics and Middle East Studies from the American University in Washington DC and an MA in Security Studies from Tel Aviv University.

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Where Have All Our Leaders Gone?  A Biblical Study of Power and Influence

Thursday, June 17, 3:30 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

Where Have All Our Leaders Gone

Dr. Erica Brown, author of twelve books on leadership, the Hebrew Bible and spirituality, presents a Jewish concept of leadership and how to implement it in today’s environment. Leadership. Unfortunately, there currently seems to be a lack of this most valuable trait in the Jewish community and the world at large. Our social media loving world has become exponentially democratized and thus harder to lead, to the point where politicians solicit any and all opinions before they act. Frustratingly, we live in a time when there are so many issues that face our community, and consequently we desperately need strong leaders. It seems that with the rise of the individual, leadership structures seem doomed to failure.  Dr. Erica Brown is the director of the Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership and an associate professor of curriculum and pedagogy at The George Washington University. Erica was a Jerusalem Fellow, is a faculty member of the Wexner Foundation, an Avi Chai Fellow and the recipient of the 2009 Covenant Award for her work in education. She is the author of twelve books on leadership, the Hebrew Bible and spirituality.


ZUMU: A Story of Art, Hope and Social Change in Israel

Tuesday, June 15, 1:00 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)


Shirel Horovitz, live from Tel Aviv, will discuss ZUMU (a portmanteau combining the Hebrew words for “move” and “museum”), a community based mobile museum which moves throughout Israel showcasing changing exhibits that are created and curated together with the local communities. Founded in 2017, one of five Sotheby’s commendations for 2018 and now in its fifth station in Lod, Zumu is a unique phenomenon combining art with social change and a deep love of Israeli society. In this session, Shirel will introduce us to the story behind this initiative, exploring the previous exhibitions and highlighting both the art and the social contexts in each of the cities. The session will continue with Milana Gitzin-Adiram, Founding Director and Chief Curator of Zumu, to hear her story. A woman inventing a museum and out to make a change in Israeli society, looking to get rid of the conventional divisions between the artists & audiences, art & communities and creativity & reality. Through sculpting, drawing and sound, Shirel Horovitz’s installations and performances explore the relations between cities and communities. She earned her BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, her MA from the Interdisciplinary Art Program at Tel Aviv University. Her works have been exhibited in museums and galleries across Israel and the US.  She is currently working on new works, including a sound installation to be exhibited in Ramat Gan Museum of Art in June 2021.

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CSP FIRST ANNUAL Maimonides Award For Excellence in Jewish Education
Honoring Rabbi Charlie Savenor 
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, live from New York City
The Power of Moral Imagination

Sunday, June 13, 3:00 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

Power of Moral Imagination

Rabbi Charlie Savenor will be presented with the first annual CSP “Maimonides Award for Excellence in Jewish Education”. Rabbi Savenor, Director of Congregational Education at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City, has tirelessly worked to make Jewish learning come alive through his teaching, travel adventures and his personal example. In honor of Rabbi Savenor, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin will discuss his newest book (currently being written) – The Power of the Moral Imagination. Extraordinary advances have been made in the last century in medicine, science, and technology because individuals and/or groups of people have applied the full resources of their intellects to solving problems that had previously been thought to be insoluble. In terms of morality, progress has been less consistent. People rarely use the full range of their intelligence to solve the moral problems that afflict us in our daily behavior. “Moral Imagination” describes the sort of ingenious solutions offered in dozens of instances.

Rabbi Charlie Savenor joined the Park Avenue Synagogue staff as Director of Congregational Education in July 2014 after working at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) as the Director of Congregational Development. In this role, he was an international resource for 620 affiliated Conservative synagogues in the areas of leadership, organizational development, strategic planning, communications, volunteer engagement, curriculum, youth programming, and enrichment.  He was ordained at JTS in 1996 with a concentration in Education and earned a Master’s in Education at Columbia University, Teachers College in 2008.   Rabbi Savenor’s articles on parenting, leadership, and Judaism in the 21st century have appeared in “The Jewish Week,” “Hadassah Magazine,” and “The Jerusalem Post.” Rabbi Joseph Telushkin is a spiritual leader, well-known scholar of Jewish history and ethics and a prolific author. His large body of work includes more than fifteen books of nonfiction, a mystery series, and television and movie scripts. His book Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History is the most widely read book on Judaism of the past two decades. His monumental work, A Code of Jewish Ethics: You Shall Be Holy, is a comprehensive presentation of Jewish teachings on the vital topic of personal character and integrity. Richard Joel, president of Yeshiva University, called the book, “a gift to humankind,” and Rabbi David Wolpe hailed it “as a remarkable guide to goodness.”  Rabbi Telushkin is a senior associate of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, serves on the board of the Jewish Book Council, and is the rabbi of the Los Angeles-based Synagogue for the Performing Arts.

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Norman H. Finkelstein: The Shelter and the Fence

Thursday, June 10, 7:00 pm EDT
(online program from the Brookline Booksmith) 
Join award winning author Norman Finkelstein, one of the featured speakers at the Walnut Street Synagogue Founders’ Day in September 2019, for a discussion of his new book, The Shelter and the Fence: When 982 Holocaust Refugees Found Safe Haven in America. 

Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at  New England Historic Genealogical Society – Tenth Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, June 10, 5:30 pm EDT
(online  program sponsored in part by the Walnut Street Synagogue)

Join the community to celebrate ten years of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society.


The Shrew, the Femme Fatale, the Prima Donna & the Whore: Four Talmudic Heroines 

Tuesday, May 4, 1:00 pm EDT
Tuesday. May 11, 1:00 pm EDT
Tuesday, June 1, 1:00 pm EDT
Tuesday, June 8, 1:00 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

Gila Fine

Gila Fine, live from Jerusalem will discuss stories such as what possessed Yalta to smash 400 bottles of her husband’s wine? How does the newly widowed Homa get herself driven out of town? And why must R. Hiyya’s wife dress up as a prostitute to show her husband who she really is?  Women in the Talmud are usually secondary characters – mothers, daughters, or wives of the male heroes. On the rare occasion when a woman does star in her own story, she generally appears as an anti-feminist stereotype, a critical portrayal of a bad woman. Reading these texts carefully and between the lines, we will discover there’s a lot more to the stories than initially meets the eye; that the Talmudic heroines are far more complex then they first seem; and that the rabbis had rather surprising – so as not to say proto-feminist – views of marriage, childbirth, female power, and sex.. Gila Fine is editor in chief of Maggid Books (Koren Publishers Jerusalem and a faculty member of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and the Nachshon Project. Haaretz has called her “a young woman on her way to becoming one of the more outstanding Jewish thinkers of the next generation.”


Jewish London:  A Three-Part Virtual Adventure

Wednesday, May 12, 3:30 EDT
Wednesday, May 19, 3:30 EDT
Wednesday, May 26, 3:30 EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

Rachel Kolsky will lead our virtual tours live from London.  Rachel Kolsky is popular prize-winning London Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Focusing on the ‘human stories behind the buildings’ Rachel’s talks are known to be fun and informative filled with anecdotes past and present. From off-the-beaten track London and famous personalities to cinemas and shopping, memories of all aspects of London’s rich and varied social history come flooding back.

The Jewish community may no longer live in Spitalfields and Whitechapel but the streets and buildings still evoke memories of the synagogues, schools, shops and markets. Sit back and enjoy this wonderful trip down memory lane –  including Brick Lane, Petticoat Lane, bagels and Blooms.

Wednesday May 19, 2021 – DISRAELI’S LONDON
Twice Prime Minister of Great Britain, Benjamin Disraeli was one of Queen Victoria’s favourite politicians. In this session, we explore how Disraeli, who was born Jewish, entered Parliament when Jews were prohibited from becoming an MP and highlights the places and people associated with him from his birthplace to the house where he died, his friends and colleagues and how his marriage turned from one of convenience to enduring love.

Wednesday May 26, 2021 – AT HOME WITH THE ROTHSCHILDS
Piccadilly became ‘Rothschild Row’ when the Rothschilds made their money in the City but spent it on opulent homes in London’s West End. The Rothschilds also built magnificent mansions in Aylesbury, nicknamed ‘Rothschildshire’. ‘Visit’ the homes and meet the families of Lionel, Natty, Leo, Ferdy and Alfred and hear how they lived, loved and partied.


Virtual Walking Tour: Kaunas (Kovno), Kedainiai (Keidan) & Kalvarija 

Sunday, May 23, 3:00 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

CSP’s favorite Lithuanian guide – Daniel Gurevich will lead a virtual walking tour of three important Jewish towns in Lithuania. Starting in Kaunas (Kovno), which was 60% Jewish at the end of the nineteenth century, we will visit the city center, Jewish Quarter, 9th Fort, Sugihara House, and many other important sights. We then take a virtual jump 50 kilometers north to Kedainiai (Keidan), one of the oldest cities in Lithuania. Situated on the banks of the Navyaza and Smilga river, Kedainia became known as a Jewish center of Talmudic study thanks to the erudition of the Rabbis of the Katsenelenbogen family. One of the most famous Jewish resident of Keidan was Elijahu ben Šlomo Zalman (1720-1797) the future expert of the Talmud, also known as the Vilna Gaon (genius). Finally, we will visit Kalvarija (2 miles SSW of Marijampolė), the smallest of the three towns but nevertheless rich in Jewish history.

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The Last Million: How a Million Refugees Became Postwar Pawns of the Allies

Sunday, May 16, 3:00 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

David Nasaw will discuss The Last Million, explaining the until now largely hidden story of postwar displacement and statelessness, a story whose contemporary resonance shows us that it is our history as well.  Millions of concentration camp survivors, POWs, slave laborers, political prisoners, and Nazi collaborators in flight overwhelmed a ruined Germany. After exhaustive efforts to repatriate the malnourished and desperate refugees, there remained more than a million displaced persons left behind in Germany: Jews, Poles, Ukrainians, and other Eastern Europeans who refused to go home or had no homes to return to. No countries were willing to accept the 200,000–250,000 Jewish people who remained trapped in Germany—including the United States, which severely limited the entry of Jews on suspicions of their being Communists. It took the controversial partition of Palestine and Israel’s declaration of independence to find home for the Jews who remained in displaced persons camps in Germany.   David Nasaw is the author of The Patriarch, selected by The New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year and a 2013 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Biography; Andrew Carnegie, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the recipient of the New York Historical Society’s American History Book Prize, and a 2007 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Biography; and The Chief, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize for History and the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for Nonfiction. He is a past president of the Society of American Historians, and until 2019 he served as the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Professor of History at the CUNY Graduate Center.

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Update from Israel with Ambassador Ido Aharoni

May 13, 8:30 pm EDT
(online and organized by the Lappin Foundation)

Ambassador Aharoni will help us understand what is happening in Israel, why now, and where it may be going.  The program is free and everyone is welcome.

Israeli Update Flyer


Digging Up Armageddon:  The Search for the Lost City of Solomon

Sunday, May 2, 3:00 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

Dr. Eric Cline will present “Digging Up Armageddon:  The Search for the Lost City of Solomon.”  The University of Chicago excavations at the ancient mound at Megiddo—biblical Armageddon—yielded stunning discoveries in the 1920s and 1930s that transformed our understanding of the ancient world. Their expedition made headlines around the world, unearthing biblical-era monuments including gates, palaces, stables, and temples, along with gold and ivory treasures. In this illustrated lecture, which is based on his new book published by Princeton University Press, Eric H. Cline, a professor of classics and anthropology and director of George Washington University’s Capitol Archaeological Institute—who himself excavated at Megiddo for twenty years—draws on archival records left by the participants to present a portrait of a bygone age of archaeology. He sets the expedition against the backdrop of the Great Depression and growing troubles and tensions in British Mandate Palestine, discussing the infighting that roiled the expedition as well as its significance in expanding the scope of knowledge in biblical archaeology.  Dr. Cline is the former Chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and current Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at The George Washington University. He is the author or editor of 20 books and nearly 100 articles; translations of his books have appeared in nineteen different languages.


CONCEALED – Memoir of a Jewish-Iranian Daughter Caught Between the Chador and America

Thursday, April 29, 3:30 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

Esther Amini will be featured in this CSP author event. Esther grew up in Queens, New York, during the freewheeling 1960s. She also grew up in a Persian-Jewish household, the American-born daughter of parents who had fled Mashhad, Iran. In Concealed, she tells the story of being caught between these two worlds: the dutiful daughter of tradition-bound parents who hungers for more self-determination than tradition allows. Exploring the roots of her father’s deep silences and explosive temper, her mother’s flamboyance and flights from home, and her own sense of indebtedness to her Iranian-born brothers, Amini uncovers the story of her parents’ early years in Mashhad, Iran’s holiest Muslim city; the little-known history of Mashhad’s underground Jews; the incident that steeled her mother’s resolve to leave; and her parents’ arduous journey to the U.S., where they faced a new threat to their traditions: the threat of freedom. KIRKUS REVIEWS chose “CONCEALED” as one of the BEST BOOKS of “2020.” ChaiFlicks, (Jewish Netflix), is presently streaming an excerpt from “Concealed” called AM-REE-KAH. Esther Amini is a writer, painter, and psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice.

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The Preservation of Jewish Monuments in Eastern Europe (Part 3)

Sunday, April 25, 7:00 pm EDT
(online in partnership with the Orange County Community Scholar Program)

Dr. Samuel Gruber will present “Preserving Holocaust Sites”.  His focus will be on the commemoration of those destroyed communities and their murdered members and how the places of their suffering – ghettos, deportation centers, concentration, labor and death camps, and mass grave sites are being remembered and identified. Dr. Gruber will discuss key examples of the memorialization process a Holocaust-related sites in Germany, Poland, Lithuania and the Czech Republic.

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Cafe Yiddish-Lite 

Join our friends at the Boston Synagogue this coming Saturday evening as they co-sponsor the online Cafe Yiddish-lite.
Yiddish Cafe 4-24-2021

Café Yiddishkayt returns!  Boston’s own Jewish culture cabaret, Cafe Yiddishkayt, returns, in a socially distancing-conscious new edition titled Café Yiddish-lite! Different format (Zoom), same lively mix of music, performance and dance breaks presented by our talented stable of performers of the Greater Boston area, Café Yiddish-lite will be another evening you won’t want to miss! Attendance is free, but donations are welcome.

Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell
Ezekiel’s Wheels
Judy Bressler
A Besere Velt, BWC’s Yiddish choir
Derek David
Jonah Sidman
Linda Gritz and Pauli Katz
Uri Schreter
David Zakalik
Sarah Biskowitz
Adah Hetko
Mamaliga, aka Rebecca MacInnes and Mattias Kaufmann
Zach Mayer

Music for the Soul: Album Premier

Join our friends at the Boston Synagogue for an online concert!  The concert will mark the debut of Zach Mayer’s 2nd album — Zamru — of spiritual Jewish music. Zach is a leading, young, talented singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist on the Boston music and club scene and in the overall Jazz & Jewish world.

email to join

Zach Mayer poster


Tikkun Olam/Sanar el Mundo Film Series 

February 21, 2021
February 28, 2021
March 14, 2021

The Walnut Street Synagogue has partnered with Women in Film & Video New England and the Boston Latino International Film Festival to bring you a series of three films all on the theme of  “repairing the world”. Each screening will be followed by a moderated conversation with the filmmakers!  For more information and to RSVP please click HERE.


 The One and Only Jewish Miss America

The Walnut Street Synagogue is pleased to be a co-sponsor of the Women in Stamps program, presented by the Lappin Foundation, on March 8, 2021 at 7:30 pm.  This will be a virtual event offered at no charge.

The One and Only Jewish Miss America Flyer


Jewish Women on Stamps

The Walnut Street Synagogue is pleased to be a co-sponsor of the Women in Stamps program, presented by the Lappin Foundation, on March 1, 2021 at 7:30 pm.  This will be a virtual event offered at no charge.

Jewish Women on Stamps Flyer