High Holy Days 5783 Speakers

Schedule is subject to change

Rosh Hashanah Guest Speaker

Monday, September 26
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM
Beth-El Chapel

Ambassador Asaf Zamir,
Consul General of Israel in New York

Israel @ 75

This program will be livestreamed on Experience Emanu-El, Facebook and YouTube.

In October 2021, Ambassador Asaf Zamir was installed as Consul General of Israel in New York, after serving as Minister of Tourism, a member of the Knesset, and Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv responsible for the city’s education system.

Born in Israel but raised in Florida, Ambassador Zamir earned a law degree at Tel Aviv University and was an activist in the struggle for affordable housing, public transportation, education equality and civil rights for minorities and the refugee committee in Tel Aviv/Yafo. In 2019, he entered national politics as part of the Blue and White party and played a key role in the formation of one of the most diverse governments in Israeli history.

Ambassador Zamir also chaired the board of the Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts and, in 2011, established the Mitpakdim Movement to motivate young people to become active in all Israeli political parties.

He is married to Maya Wertheimer, an actress, and they have one daughter, Asia.

Yom Kippur Study Sessions

Wednesday, October 5
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Greenwald Hall

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

“Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die”: Really?

This program will be livestreamed on Experience Emanu-El, Facebook and YouTube.

What do we make of this High Holy Day prayer, a staple with a message so at odds with what we believe? Its history reads like a detective novel, and when the mystery is solved, a profound message emerges. Come for the mystery; come for the message; come to appreciate the High Holy Days as you never have before.

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Liturgy, Worship and Ritual at Hebrew Union College in New York; cofounder of Synagogue 2000, a project to transform synagogues into moral and spiritual centers for the 21st century; author/editor of 50 books; recipient of two National Jewish Book Awards; and a long-time admirer of and consultant to Temple Emanu-El.

Dr. Joel Hoffman
Beth-El Chapel

Do Only the Wicked Suffer? Reward, Punishment and the Hidden Message of the High Holidays

This Study Session will not be livestreamed, but will be recorded and available later On Demand.

On the surface, the High Holidays suggest that you get what you deserve: If you’re sick, that’s your comeuppance. If you’re well, you merit it. Bad people suffer and good people thrive. But do we really believe that? It turns out the Rabbis didn’t, and, in fact, cautioned us not to believe it either. Come explore this hidden, crucial message preserved in one of our most popular High Holiday prayers.

An expert in translating dead languages, Dr. Joel M. Hoffman focuses on bringing ancient texts to life. He has taught on the faculties of Brandeis University and HUC-JIR in New York City, and lectured about his work on all six inhabitable continents. He lives in Westchester and is delighted to be joining Temple Emanu-El for Yom Kippur.

Warren Klein
Wise Hall

Through the Archives: Our Crowd

This Study Session will not be livestreamed, but will be recorded and available later On Demand.

Stephen Birmingham’s 1967 bestseller Our Crowd: The Great Jewish Families of New York explored the tight-knit social circle of German Jewish families who built New York, many of them prominent members of Emanu-El and Beth-El. Using archival and museum collections, this talk will go deeper into the lives of Lehmans and the Loebs, the Goldmans, Guggenheims and Sachs – and take a critical look at Birmingham’s research.

Warren Klein has been curator of the Herbert and Eileen Bernard Museum of Judaica at Temple Emanu-El since 2013, his exhibitions including graphic posters, contemporary Jewish wedding gowns, Golda Meir, and Jews and Chocolate. Previously, he worked at the JTS Library, Skirball Museum in Los Angeles, Magnes Museum in Berkeley, and several private collections in New York. He holds an MA in Jewish Art from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a BA in the History of Art from the University of California, Santa Cruz.