The Buzz: The American Jewish Experience | The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies

The Buzz: The American Jewish Experience

The Buzz: The American Jewish Experience

Monday Evenings 7:00-8:30 @ the Tucson JCC

Cost: $50.00 (individual sessions $15 each). Financial Assistance Available.

For more information and to register, contact Suzanne Amador at 577-9393 /
or register online

A new educational collaboration from the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies, the Coalition for Jewish Education of the Jewish Federation of Southern AZ and the Tucson Jewish Community Center The Buzz is series of adult community discussions exploring continuity and diversity. The focus is on the American Jewish Experience, the concept of Jewish Peoplehood, and its relevance today.

December 2 –That’s funny…You don’t LOOK Jewish:   Being Jewish in America Today
Amy Hirshberg Lederman

What does it mean to be Jewish today? Is Judaism a religion? A culture? A tradition? A system of law and ethics? A way of being and relating to others and the world? The answers can be found in Jewish history, memory, people and texts.  Join Amy in this compelling presentation as she explores the essence of Judaism and why it is not a “one size fits all” religion for Jews today.

December 9 –How the Pioneer Jews Became the Power Brokers of Southern Arizona
Eileen Warshaw

The 1880’s were a time of heightened religious and cultural awareness for the Jews of Southern Arizona.  While the first known Jewish settler arrived in Southern Arizona in 1854, the earliest indications of Jewish religious activities in Arizona appeared in newspapers in the 1870s.  They were a small group that had a huge impact in taming the wild west.  

January  30 – Talmudic Law and the Modern American Jew: Divorce American Style
Madeline Kochen

“US Accuses Two Rabbis of Kidnapping Husbands for a Fee” (New York Times, October 10, 2013).  This is one example of the problems related to the special meaning of and procedures for divorce in Talmudic Law which also exemplifies the potential for conflict inherent in a dual Jewish- American identity.  What are the practical and philosophical parameters of the problems related to Jewish divorce? What legal and extra-legal solutions have been used to address them?

February  10 – Our Jewish Cultural Mosaic:  Your Participation Needed!
David Graizbord

American Jews (or Jewish Americans) come from all continents and have been shaped by diverse backgrounds. But how has living in the United States shaped our identities? For instance, do the struggles of our ancestors--cultural, economic, familial, etc.--as immigrants to (or natives of) the US defines us today? If so, how? How and to what extent does living in the US allow or limit our connection to other Jews, past, present, and future?  What makes us “Jewish” in an age of declining religious practice and ethnic attachments? Join us for an exploratory, interactive discussion on these and related questions regarding US Jews and Jewish identities, their continuities and discontinuities.

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