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B’nai Sholom to Host New Course by Distinguished Scholar Dr. Paul Finkelman Covering Three Views of Jewish History

B’nai Sholom to Host New Course by Distinguished Scholar Dr. Paul Finkelman Covering Three Views of Jewish History

 B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany will present a new course by distinguished legal scholar Dr. Paul Finkelman covering three topics in Jewish history.

“Three Views of Jewish History” will be taught in-person and via Zoom on three consecutive Mondays beginning May 1, 7:30-8:45 p.m.  B’nai Sholom is located at 420 Whitehall Road, Albany.

The course will start with “Jews and the Black Death,” discussing the horrific bubonic plague of the mid-14th century and explanations for the Jews’ relative immunity based on genetics and not the cultural myths attributing this to cleanliness and kashrut.  On May 8, “Jews and Slavery” will start with the biblical context and update the story to America through the 19th century looking at Jews as both slave owners and abolitionists.  “Jews and the American Revolution,” an examination of how the presence of Jews and their active participation in the Revolution changed the United States, will wrap up the course May 15.

Finkelman is an expert in constitutional history and constitutional law, freedom of religion, the law of slavery, civil liberties and the American Civil War.  He provided the chief expert testimony in the Alabama Ten Commandments monument case.  The author or editor of more than 50 books and 200 scholarly articles, his op-eds and shorter pieces have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Jewish Review of Books, USA Today, New York Daily News, Baltimore Sun and Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, and he has been named among the nation’s most cited legal historians.  The U.S. Supreme Court has cited his work in four cases.  Finkelman has appeared on CBS, NBC, C-SPAN and PBS.

Finkelman is the Robert E. and Susan T. Rydell Visiting Professor at  Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.  He is the former President William McKinley Professor of Law at Albany Law School.  His current project is a book on Jews and the American Revolution.  Finkelman holds a doctorate in U.S. history from the University of Chicago and was a fellow in law and humanities at Harvard Law School.

“Three Views of Jewish History” is open to the public; registration is required.  Fee is $25 ($20 for B’nai Sholom congregants).

For more information or to register, contact the B’nai Sholom office: 518-482-5283 or office@bnaisholom.albany.ny.us.

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