Of Jews and Judaism

Where Jews and Judaism intersect can be confusing, said Rabbi Alexis Berk of Touro Synagogue in New Orleans. “Not all Jews have the same beliefs — isn't that funny for a religion?” she asked a roomful of students on Thursday (Nov. 5) during her talk, part of the Tulane Jewish Studies Program's Colloquium and Film Series.

Rabbi Alexis Berk of Touro Synagogue in New Orleans spoke on “Where Jews and Judaism Meet: A Confusing Crossroads” as part of the Jewish Studies Program Colloquium and Film Series. (Photo by Scott Saltzman)

Speaking on “Where Jews and Judaism Meet: A Confusing Crossroads,” Berk said, “It can be a challenge to explain those Jews and their beliefs. I believe there are three places where Jews and Judaism can meet, and they may overlap: belief/practice, birth and belonging.”

The series continues on Thursday (Nov. 12) when Rabbi Ilan Fuchs, Schusterman Visiting Professor, will speak on “Women and Halachah” at 4 p.m. in the McKeever Room of the Lavin-Bernick Center.

Fuchs is an expert in secular and religious law at Bar Ilan University in Israel. He has taught about Israeli constitutional law, legal theory, legal writing, Jewish law, Jewish family law and the history of Chasidism.

Other events this semester in the series are:

  • Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m., a film screening of Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh, followed by a sushi reception in the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall of the LBC. The documentary focuses on a World War II-era poet and diarist who became a paratrooper, resistance fighter and modern-day Joan of Arc. Senesh joined a mission to rescue Jews in her native Hungary and was executed by the Nazis.
  • Nov. 19 at 6 p.m., “The High Christology of the Jewish Christian Nazarenes and Similar Early Groups” with Lawrence Lahey of Cambridge University in the LBC McKeever Room.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact professor Brian Horowitz, director of Jewish Studies, at 504-862-3075.