The Sonenshine Lecture Series features Michael Brenner

by | Feb 22, 2016 | What’s Happening

Old Dominion University’s Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding will feature Michael Brenner, the Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies at American University in Washington, D.C., as this year’s Sonenshine Lecture Series speaker for three events.

At American University, Brenner directs the Center for Israel Studies. He is also a professor of Jewish History and Culture at Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich. Previously, he taught at Brandeis University and was a visiting professor at several universities, including Stanford, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Haifa, ETH Zurich, Lucerne, and CEU Budapest.

Brenner is the International president of the Leo Baeck Institute for the Study of German Jewry.

The three lectures are:
War, Revolution, and Displacement: European Jews and the First World War
Friday, March 18, 12 pm, ODU library
World War I was a decisive event in European Jewish history: Jews fought Jews on all fronts; Russian Jews were liberated from the Czarist yoke, but became subject of Bolshevik oppression; German Jews hoped to finally integrate through the common army experience, but were disillusioned by new anti-Semitic measures. As a result of the war, anti-Jewish violence in Eastern Europe reached unprecedented dimensions, and as a result of the demise of the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires in the new postwar order, most Jews were no longer subjects of multinational empires, but of nation states. In short: The war and its aftermath completely transformed Jewish society. This event is open to public. Free parking available in the parking garage behind the library.

The Balfour Declaration: Its Meaning
Friday, March 18, Congregation Beth El Shabbat Dinner at 6 pm; services and speaker to follow
The Jewish State was born during World War I when the British government uttered its support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. But what exactly did this support mean? Did it open the road to Jewish independence? And what was the British role in the decades to come? $18 adults; $10 children 3–12. RSVP by March 11. Babysitting available during the lecture.

World War I and the Revival of Jewish Thought
Saturday, March 19, 11:30 am: lunch 12:30 pm: speaker, Ohef Sholom Temple
The War experience strengthened the religious bonds of many assimilated Jews in Germany and other places. This talk will concentrate mainly on the German-Jewish thinker Franz Rosenzweig who grew up in an assimilated family, rediscovered his Jewish roots, and became one of the most important modern Jewish thinkers during World War I. Lunch is free. RSVP to linda or