Lectures & Courses

At Central Synagogue

Interested in presenting at Central Synagogue?

If you are an artist, author, educator, or rabbi interested in presenting at Central Synagogue, we invite you to submit a request online. While we are unable to respond to each request individually, please note that all requests are read and evaluated.

Writing Between Two Jewish Worlds: Matti Friedman and Nicole Krauss in Conversation

Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 7:00pm | Pavilion

Central Synagogue in partnership with The Jewish Week is proud to present Writing Between Two Jewish Worlds, a conversation with Matti Friedman, Israeli journalist and author of The Aleppo Codex and Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story, a 2016 New York Times Notable Book, and Nicole Krauss, hailed by the New York Times as “one of America’s most important novelists” and the author of bestsellers Great House, The History of Love, and Man Walks Into a Room. Her new novel Forest Dark will be published in September. The conversation will be followed by a public forum and book signing. Books will be available for purchase.



Enduring Disagreements: A Three-Part Speaker Series

May 10 & May 16, 2017 at 6:30pm | Pavilion

Addressing the Urgencies of Our Time

How do we respond when someone takes a stand that challenges our core beliefs? How do we keep the lines of communication open when political and cultural divides continue to grow? In this three-part series, our guest speakers will help identify the causes for these expanding ideological rifts, examine how they affect the Jewish community, and offer strategies to engage in thoughtful discourse when we disagree.

Interested in taking a deeper dive? Join a CORE Group – small discussion group – for an opportunity to create connections with fellow congregants, explore what Jewish tradition has to teach us about constructive conflict, and consider suggested tools to be a productive participant in these difficult conversations. Please contact Lauren Dickel if you’d like to participate.


Learn more below…

Part 1: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion

ft. Jonathan Haidt

This event took place on Wednesday, April 5.
Are our political opponents morally bankrupt?  If not, what could they possibly be thinking? NYU Professor Jonathan Haidt, author of the NY Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, will explore the moral psychology of political and religious difference, how we are wired to ignore alternative perspectives, and how we can learn to escape our own “moral matrix” to better understand those with whom we disagree.

Part 2: Responding to Anti-Semitism

ft. Eric K. Ward, David Harris, and Rabbi Michelle Dardashti

Wednesday, May 10 at 6:30pm
How serious is the growing wave of anti-Semitism in the United States, and how does it relate to racism and other forms of discrimination?  Panelists Eric K. Ward (Senior Fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center), David Harris (CEO of AJC – Global Jewish Advocacy), and Rabbi Michelle Dardashti (Associate University Chaplain for the Jewish Community at Brown) bring together their unique perspectives to discuss how the Jewish community and its allies should respond to these threats.

Part 3: Muslims and Jews - Bridging Historical Divides

ft. Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer and Rabia Chaudry

Tuesday, May 16 at 6:30pm
The relationship between American Muslim and Jewish communities is a complicated and delicate one. Today, two groups who’ve typically remained at arm’s length find themselves reaching out to one another for support as both increasingly become the targets of threats, violence, and exclusionary political rhetoric. Explore new paths being forged in Muslim-Jewish community building in America including the groundbreaking work of the Muslim Leadership Initiative with Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and Rabia Chaudry, creator of the acclaimed podcast Undisclosed and an alumna of the Hartman Institute’s Muslim Leadership Initiative.

Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Six-Day War

Thursday, May 18 & Monday, May 22, 2017 | Temple Emanu-El/JCC Manhattan

Evening Lecture

How the Six-Day War Changed the Jewish People
Thursday, May 18, 7:30-9:00pm • Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center

$18 per person
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War. The Jewish Week, the Shalom Hartman Institute and the Streicker Center are proud to host a wide-ranging discussion of the lead-up, combat and aftermath that changed the face of the region and the Jewish people with two incisive commentators: renowned journalist and Shalom Hartman fellow Yossi Klein Halevi and Knesset Member and former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren.

Register »

Pre-Reception at 6:15pm: Join Rabbi Salth for wine, cheese, and socializing before the event. Spots are limited. RSVP »

All-Day Seminar

Six Days That Shaped 50 Years: An iEngage Conference on the Legacy of the Past and Future of Modern Israel
Monday, May 22, 12:30pm-9:00pm • JCC Manhattan

$25 per person
Join JCC Manhattan and the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America for a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War.

Register »

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Rabbi Ben Greenberg

Rabbi Ben Greenberg

Director of Adult Engagement

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