Joseph Telushkin returns to the JCC Book Festival

by | Oct 20, 2014 | What’s Happening

Monday, Nov. 3, 7 pm

by Leslie Shroyer

Named by Talk Magazine as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin is the keynote speaker at this year’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival.

Joseph Telushkin is the bestselling author of Jewish Literacy, A Code of Ethics and Biblical Literacy, among many others. His third visit in recent years to the area, Telushkin will present Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History, which published in June.

The title indicates that the Rebbe was THE most influential rabbi in modern history. He was unquestionably a leader both inside and outside Chabad-Lubavitch circles.

“Although he never sought the position of Rebbe (even going so far as to protest the international campaign for his candidacy) and was initially known to be an introvert, Schneerson quickly became a global ambassador for Judaism when he expanded an obscure group of Hasidic Jews to an international powerhouse of outreach and education,” says Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, educator, activist, and writer.

“Fast forward several decades and the Chabad-Lubavitch global influence reaches far beyond that of any other Jewish institution in history.”

“I have been privileged to hear Rabbi Telushkin speak here in our community several times, as well as at Jewish education conferences,” says Miriam Brunn Ruberg, director of Jewish Life and Learning at the Simon Family JCC. She introduced Telushkin when he appeared in Tidewater in 2009.

“I own a good number of Rabbi Telushkin’s books. When asked about a Jewish book to give as an award or gift, usually the first words out of my mouth are to mention one of Rabbi Telushkin’s books. He writes Jewish information books in a way that anyone can understand them. They are also very useful for those with a deeper Jewish knowledge, for he puts forth information clearly while at the same time not writing on too simplistic a level.”

The book, timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Rebbe’s death, is a journalistic exploration of the life of Menachem M. Schneerson. “It will appeal to those curious about the Rebbe’s influence on public life,” says acclaimed author Dara Horn, who presented at last year’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival.

“Rabbi Telushkin is particularly strong on the Rebbe’s impact on Soviet Jewry, Israel-Diaspora relations and American politics. He includes many revealing anecdotes, along with the Rebbe’s thoughts on subjects ranging from evolution to baseball.”

* of blessed memory