Rabbi Wolkoff is conducting a nine-part series on the topic of "Anti-Semitism" throughout the year. Each session takes place on a Wednesday evening at 8pm in the Beit Midrash. The classes are also webcasted live via BlogTalkRadio in case you can't be there in person and available for viewing on our webcam.

 play/download  play/download Why the Jews?

The question is usually asked in absurdist fashion, with the implication that there is no good reason for anti-Semites to hate Jews. But this only obscures our understanding of the evil of anti-Semitism. Throughout the history of anti-Semitism, there have been numerous cogent reasons for Jew-hatred, and it serves us well to understand how anti-Semites have seen us, and continue to see us. (December 18, 2014)

 play/download  play/download Christian Anti-Semitism: The theological origins

Unlike pre-Christian anti-Semitism, the hatred for “the synagogue” in early Christianity was virtually existential. In this session, we will explore the theological issues with which Christianity today is still grappling. (Jan. 8, 2014)

Supplementary materials: View image of Ecclesia and Synagoga
View image of Crivelli Adams Skull
View pdf text "Adam and Eve"

 play/download  play/download Christian Anti-Semitism part 2 - The Empire Strikes Back

Christianity began as a religion of humility and martyrdom. Within a matter of centuries, it became the official religion of the Roman Empire. The sudden infusion of imperial power, combined with a profoundly negative attitude toward Judaism, proved toxic and destructive. In this session, we will examine the impact of Christian anti-Jewish legislation on the Jews of Israel and the Jews throughout the diaspora. (Jan. 29, 2014)

 play/download  play/download Do Jews Have Horns?

From the time of the Crusades, medieval Christians developed one bizarre fantasy after another regarding Jews. From the sophisticated theological critique that characterized the anti-Judaism of the Church father, hatred for Jews devolved into the anti-Semitism that saw Jews as fundamentally alien, and evil. We will discuss the origin of these fantasies, and the impact they had during the Crusades. (Feb. 19, 2014)

 play/download  play/download Muslim Anti-Semitism

One of the greatest distortions of historical perspective is the claim that the Muslim world was "tolerant." Although life for Jews was almost always better in the medieval Muslim world than in the Christian world, a high price had to be paid. Jews were defined as "dhimmi" ("protected people"), which in effect turned them into permament second class citizens. We will explore the role of "dhimmi" in Muslim theology, and its implications for Jews even to the present day. (March 5, 2014)

 play/download  play/download The Inquisition, what a show!!!

Mel Brooks' takeoff from History of the World notwithstanding, the Inquisition and the expulsion from Spain were together one of the great nightmares of the Jewish people, rivalling the destruction of the Temple in significance. We will examine both the Inquisiton and the expulsion, and consider their consequences both as regards anti-Semitism and as regards Jewish self-definition in the aftermath of the catastrophe. (March 19, 2014)

 play/download  play/download In the Emancipation and Enlightenment

Comparing the United States to Europe amongst other discussions. (April 2, 2014)

Subtopic to be announced (April 30, 2014)


For other various lectures and events, see the Adult Education Schedule.