The Symposium

The Symposium: History of the Jewish People

The story of the Jewish people, our story, tells the story of the world. By studying the major memories, moments, and movements of the Jewish people we can come to know ourselves and envision our future. We will experience the incredible Hall of History in our Jewish Learning Center—200 feet of murals displaying hundreds of archival, museum quality photos, maps, and documents. We will trace the story of the Jewish people from the creation of the world to creation of the modern State of Israel, and everything in between. As always, our Symposium will be taught by some of Chicagoland’s leading rabbis and teachers, along with our own BJBE clergy.

Tuesdays, March 6 & 13, 2018, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Instructor: Alexandra Dunietz, Author of
The Cosmic Perils of Qadi Usayn Maybud in Fifteenth-Century Iran

Yiddish Influence of on Jewish American Comedy
Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 10:00-11:30 a.m
Instructor: Grace Overbeke, PhD candidate in Theater and Drama at Northwestern University

American comedy has been strongly influenced by Yiddishkeit, specifically the sense of "laughter through tears" that is often associated with Sholem Aleichem. Starting with Aleichem's stories of "Tevye the Dairyman," this class follows motifs of Yiddish humor into the United States through the decades, examining the Marx Brothers, Fanny Brice, Woody Allen, Sarah Silverman and more to find the Yiddish roots of comedy in the United States.

‚ÄčThe Forgotten Pioneer: Jean Carroll and the Origin of Jewish Female Standup Comedy
Tuesday, April 10, 10:00-11:30am

Instructor: Grace Overbeke, PhD candidate in Theater and Drama at Northwestern University
Enjoy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? Well, truth is stranger than fiction. Come here the remarkable story of the first Jewish woman to take the mic and turn the tables on Milton Berle, Henny Youngman, and the other major players as standup comedy was finding its feet.

Israel: The Early State
Tuesdays, April 17 & 24, 2018, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Instructor: Rabbi Michael Weinberg, Temple Beth Israel