Upcoming Events

At Central Synagogue

Jewish Journeys Part II - with Mike Hollander

Date: Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Location: Virtual

Join us for more virtual trips this summer! Take 1, 2, 3, or 4 virtual tours with Mike Hollander, a well-loved Israeli-Canadian educator and tour guide on many Central trips, including our most recent 10X Chai trip to Israel.

Zoom Link information will be sent to registrants 24 hours before each lecture.

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June 18, 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM

“Amichai in Jerusalem” - Jerusalem - a Journey through the Poetry of Yehuda Amichai. The German-born, late Israeli Yehuda Amichai, is often referred to as our ‘National Poet.’ Moving to Palestine as a child with his family, Amichai served in the Palmach before he became a teacher and taught literature in Israel and abroad. His poetry focused on many tensions, including those between religious and ‘secular,’ Jew and Arab, old and new, particularity and universality, war and peace. This literary and spiritual journey will take us through millennia of Jewish memory and contemporary issues while exploring some of Amichai’s poems of Jerusalem.


July 2, 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM

“Berlin” - The Rise and Fall of German Jewry - From Success to Shoah to Rebirth. During the short period from the arrival of Moses Mendelssohn in 1743, to Max Lieberman becoming the President of the Prussian Academy of Arts, the Jewish community in Berlin grew in size and significance. This meteoric rise took less than 200 years. The success of Berlin Jewry was almost unprecedented for a Diaspora community, and its achievements collapsed quickly after the rise of Nazism in the early 1930s. Berlin became the epicenter of the Nazi regime, and here they developed and implemented the Final Solution. This journey will examine the growth and success of Berlin Jewry, its quick downfall and the Final Solution conference at Wannsee, and will grapple with the complex challenges of Germany’s post-WWII legacy. We’ll also explore issues of memory and teshuva, as well as German-Israeli relations and the rebirth of a significant Jewish presence in Berlin.



July 9, 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM

“Budapest & Vienna ” -In the Footsteps of Theodor Herzl in Budapest and Vienna. These two capitals of the Austro-Hungarian Empire boasted thriving, creative, successful, and influential Jewish communities, which reached unprecedented heights during the Fin de Siecle era. Perhaps the best example of this is Budapest’s incredible Dohaney Street Synagogue, which was a true expression of pride and success of the community. The short-lived successes ended quickly. Austria was the first country to fall under Nazi control outside of Germany in the March, 1938 Anschluss, whereas Hungarian Jewry was the last major European Jewish community to be murdered in the Shoah in the spring of 1944. This session will explore the incredible achievements of the Jewish community in these two beautiful cities, explore the complex search for identity in the 50 years leading up to World War II, will grapple with two very different stories of how anti-Jewish policies and the Shoah developed, and will discuss Jewish life post-1945. The themes will be explored by focusing on a number of key personalities, including Theodor Herzl, Hanna Szenes, Raul Wallenberg, Sigmund Freud, Stefan Zweig, and Viktor Frankl.


July 16, 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM

“Prague” -The Jewish Story in a City in Search of Freedom. Many Jews have visited Prague, largely because of its accessibility in Central Europe, as well as its Jewish story, which one can explore by walking through the richly preserved Jewish area. In fact, this neighborhood, in the center of town, is one of the more visited tourist sites in the city in general. This complicated city is layered with centuries of quests for freedom, from Jan Hus’ early 15th Century early attempts to reform Christianity (a century before Martin Luther) through the Velvet Revolution led by Vaclav Havel in 1989. The Jewish community was a part of this zeitgeist and had a short-lived Golden Age in the late 15th-early 16th centuries. We will explore the sites of the incredibly preserved city, including the oldest synagogue in Europe, the 13th Century Altneushul, the centuries-old Jewish Cemetery, and hear some of the stories of the more prominent Jewish characters, from the Golem of the Maharal through Franz Kafka.

See more Virtual events.