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Former Labor Relations Board Chief Barney Horowitz to Lead “Synagogue Scholars” Talk on Bagel Bakers and Trade Unionism

B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation continues its popular “Synagogue Scholars” series with “Bagel Bakers Union, Local 338: A Remembrance,” a presentation by Barney Horowitz, former head of the National Labor Relations Board’s Albany office.

Horowitz will lead the conversation immediately following the congregation’s Shabbat service Friday, Nov. 17.  The service and program, open to all who wish to worship and learn, begin at 8 p.m.  B’nai Sholom is located at 420 Whitehall Road, Albany, New York.        

For more than half a century, the skilled craftsmen of Bagel Bakers Union, Local 338, made virtually every bagel in New York City.  Even into the 1950s, all members were Jewish and the minutes of its meetings were taken in Yiddish.  Local 338 was merged out of existence in 1971, the victim of refrigeration, changing tastes and most notably the introduction of the automated bagel baking machine, but it left behind an absorbing story – one of assimilation, of technology’s disruptive impact and, of course, the decline of trade unionism.

Horowitz will draw on newspaper accounts, articles both scholarly and from the popular press, his analysis of NLRB decisions involving the union and his interviews with surviving Local 338 members.

Horowitz recently retired from the NLRB after 42 years of service.  A graduate of the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, he also holds a master’s degree in labor relations from the University of Wisconsin.  Horowitz, who resides in Albany and is a past president of B’nai Sholom, has lectured frequently as to the role of the National Labor Relations Act in society at large, from baseball to Facebook and now to bagels.

Begun in 2004, the “Synagogue Scholars” series spotlights individuals in the Capital Region Jewish community who are recognized scholars in their fields.  Upcoming speakers include:




  • Jan. 12 – Harvey Strum, professor of history and political science at the Sage Colleges, on “The Impact of World War I on the Jews of the Capital District”;
  • Feb. 9 – Martha Rozett, professor of English at the University at Albany, will lead a book discussion on Their Promised Land:  My Grandparents in Love and War by Ian Buruma.

For more information about the “Synagogue Scholars” series, visit or contact the B’nai Sholom office at or 518-482-5283.


Founded in 1971, B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany is a home for contemporary Reform Judaism in the Capital Region.  Nearly 130 diverse households from eight counties seek religious, educational and social fulfillment at B’nai Sholom.  For information about B’nai Sholom and the benefits of belonging, visit  or contact the B’nai Sholom office at 518-482-5283 or


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