American Jewish Thought

December 31, 2021    
10:00 am - 11:15 am

Class Instructor: Marcel Infeld

Class time: Fridays, 10:00 am – 11:15 am

Class dates: December 3, 2021 — January 21, 2022

Course Description: This course is a survey of diverse views on Jewish issues, articulated by American Jewish theologians, rabbis, academics, intellectuals, feminists and other thinkers since the 1930s.

The course is based on a recently published book,  American Jewish Thought Since 1934: Writings on Identity, Engagement, and Belief, edited by Michael Marmur and David Ellenson, 2020, Brandeis University Press, 300 pp. Available on Amazon: Paperback $26/Kindle: $24.70.  We will use this anthology as our textbook.

The book contains 79 selections from 70 authors and is organized into seven sections. We will cover one section per week as follows:

1) December 3, 2021: God
2) December 10, 2021: Revelation and Commandment
3) December 17, 2021: Spirituality
4) December 24, 2021: Hermeneutics and Politics
5) January 7, 2022: The Holocaust and Israel
6) January 14, 2022: Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality
7) January 21, 2022: Peoplehood

Marcel has been involved in adult Jewish education for many years. He has led classes in Tanach, Hebrew reading, and Torah cantillation, among others. As a Holocaust survivor (born in Belgium 1939) and resident of Israel 1945-1950, Marcel personally experienced two epochal events in Jewish history that are major topics in this course. Marcel was raised in an ultra-orthodox household, attended Yeshivas in Brooklyn and Israel, and studied briefly for the rabbinate. More recently, he was president of a Reconstructionist congregation in Arlington, Virginia. Professionally Marcel has degrees in science and public health, and served as an HMO director and health care consultant. He and his wife of 35 years, Donna Infeld, have one daughter, Amanda.

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