Shabbat Evening Service followed by the first of three talks in the Rabbi’s Spring Forum, “WWI and the Jews; Eve of Battle: Jewish Life Before WWI” Presented by Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D. with Joan Myerson Shrager, M.Ed.
March 31 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
In many ways, World War I was the real end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. If nothing else, the map of Europe and the world changed dramatically after 1919. In this initial talk, we will look at Jewish life in 1914 just before the war started. The largest Jewish community in the world was in the Czarist Empire which would implode in 1917. The war also saw the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the emergence of new nation states in east and central Europe. Very significantly, the Ottoman Empire was destroyed during the war opening the way to the creation of a British Mandate in Palestine part of which, according to the Balfour Declaration, would become a Jewish Homeland. Finally, American Jewry in 1914 was rapidly changing by immigration which would be cut off because of the war and subsequent xenophobic legislation. In this lecture, we will survey the Jewish world of 1914 just before the great storm which transformed it and the world. Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, 8339 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA. For more information, call 215-887-8700.