Dr. Gary Zola at Ohef Sholom Temple for Scholar in Residence

by | Oct 25, 2013 | What’s Happening

Friday, Nov. 15–Sunday, Nov. 17

Ohef Sholom Temple’s 2013 Marvin and Lillian Davis Scholar in Residence Weekend will feature Dr. Gary P. Zola, associate professor of the American Jewish Experience at Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion and executive director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.

During Friday night services, Nov. 15 at 6:30 pm, Zola will deliver the sermon, “Profiles in American Jewish Courage.” The American Jewish experience has produced a remarkable array of enthralling personalities. Some of these people are renowned, but most are little known. Zola will examine the careers of three fascinating figures who epitomize inspiring lessons about the American Jewish experience. These stalwarts represent genuine examples of American Jewish courage.

On Saturday, Nov. 16, at 9 am, Zola will lead Torah Study. His topic will be “What This Week’s Torah Portion, Vayishlach, Can Teach Us About American Jewish History.” More than a century ago, a remarkably talented satirist and writer, Gershon Rosenzweig (1861-1914), composed a Hebrew commentary on many of the weekly Torah portions, as well as topical parodies on Jewish holidays. Rosenzweig’s commentaries and poems shed light not only on Torah, but also on the trials and tribulations of life as a Jewish immigrant in America during the early years of the 20th century. Zola will introduce this little-known material, and, in doing so, will enrich the study of Torah and the American Jewish past.

Zola will also deliver the sermon “He Was One Of Us! American Jewry’s Relationship With Abraham Lincoln” during the Shabbat Services on Nov. 16, which begin at 10:30 am. Few are aware of the remarkable history linking American Jewry and President Lincoln. Zola was the only American rabbi on the Academic Advisory Council of the congressionally recognized Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission in Washington, D.C. He also prepared a monograph on Lincoln and the Jews. Zola will explain why many of Lincoln’s personal and professional characteristics have caused American Jews to embrace the 16th president as a man who possessed a Jewish soul. Lincoln’s remarkable human qualities offer American Jewry an uplifting legacy to ponder.

On Sunday, Nov. 17, at 10:30 am, Zola will be the featured speaker at the Carpool Café. His topic will be “Great Voices, Civil Rights, and American Reform Judaism.” He will explain how some of the leading American rabbis handled pivotal world events from the pulpit and what American rabbis told their congregants about topics such as the rise of Adolph Hitler, the outbreak of World War II and the struggle for Civil Rights in the 1950s and 1960s. Zola will introduce some of Reform Judaism’s most notable orators. This will be a rare opportunity to hear a series of remarkable vocal recordings (digitized with visuals added) of several towering rabbinic voices, all of which come from the AJA’s extraordinary historical collection.

All programs offered during this Scholar in Residence Weekend are free and open to the public. For more information call 625 4295 or email linda@ohefsholom.org.