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Jews, Dodgers and Brooklyn: Before the Diaspora

B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation will host a “Bagels and Baseball” brunch with William Simons, co-director of the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, Sunday, June 23, 10:30 a.m. at the synagogue, 420 Whitehall Road, Albany, New York.

Simons’ presentation, “Jews, Dodgers and Brooklyn: Before the Diaspora,” will examine the special relationship that existed between Brooklyn’s large Jewish community and baseball’s Dodgers before they departed for Los Angeles.

The program is free and open to all; donations welcome and appreciated. Bagels, coffee and tea will be available 10-10:30 a.m. Non-B’nai Sholom congregants wishing to attend in person must pre-register at https://forms.office.com/r/wHvnvGELgQ . Doors will close at 10:40 a.m., and backpacks may not be brought into the building. In addition, Simons’ talk will be streamed via Zoom.

A special relationship connected the Dodgers and Brooklyn Jews, one that no baseball team had ever forged and likely hasn’t since. The Dodgers drilled deep into the borough’s social fabric and provided Brooklyn’s soundtrack, creating a unique bond with its Jewish residents and a shared sensibility between them. These bonds only got stronger when Jackie Robinson broke the color line in 1947. Simons will explore this unique connection in what should be a fascinating discussion.

The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture is an annual academic baseball conference sponsored by SUNY Oneonta and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Professor emeritus and former chair of the history department at SUNY Oneonta, Simons is the author of numerous articles, essays and reviews as well as editor of 12 books. He is an award-winning columnist for “The Reporter,” the newspaper of the Jewish Federation of Broome County. Simons continues to teach at Chautauqua Institution and the Center for Continuing Adult Learning in Oneonta and has lectured in diverse venues throughout New York.

For more information about “Jews, Dodgers and Brooklyn” with William Simons, and to obtain the Zoom link, contact the B’nai Sholom office: 518-482-5283 or office@bnaisholomalbany.org .

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