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Current Challenges of the Jewish World: Rising Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism

March 8, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Isaac Herzog

Isaac Herzog

POSTPONED: Annual Connie Spear Birnbaum Memorial Lecture
Due to the current Coronavirus outbreak and restrictions on travel, Isaac Herzog will not be traveling to Boston for this Sunday’s Birnbaum Lecture. Regretfully, we must postpone the lecture to a later date to be determined. We apologize for any inconvenience and we will be in touch with a new date as soon as we can. Thank you for your interest in this lecture.

The 17th Annual Connie S. Birnbaum Memorial Lecture

Current Challenges of the Jewish World: Rising Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism

In 1929, as the quest for a Jewish State was yet to be realized, the Jewish Agency for Israel – now the largest Jewish non-profit organization in the world – was created with a stated mission to “ensure that every Jewish person feels an unbreakable bond to one another and to Israel no matter where they live in the world, so that they can continue to play their critical role in our ongoing Jewish story.” It is a distinct honor and an extraordinary privilege to welcome to our community the leader uniquely qualified and unanimously elected to head the Agency and champion its mission. With so much in the balance, and with those who will shape the future in both Israel and the United States yet to be chosen, Mr. Herzog’s insights promise to make for a fascinating evening and a poignant tribute to the very same ideals which guided Connie’s life work.

Inspired by the legacy of its extraordinary namesake, the Connie Spear Birnbaum Memorial Lecture strives to be a force for unity by bringing the brightest minds and most compelling Jewish leaders to inform and inspire us. JCRC is proud to sponsor this lecture series, which offers timely topics and speakers across the ideological spectrum, reflecting the fullness of our community’s diversity. Being open to hearing all voices – not just one’s own or those most familiar to us – is “the Connie way.” This is a significant step on a journey which begins with education and exposure, engenders understanding and respect, and hopefully, paves a path toward that ever-elusive unity and love of one Jew for the other.

Sunday, March 8th, 2020 | 5:30pm
Temple Emanuel, Newton | Reception to Follow


Keynote Speaker: Isaac Herzog
Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel

succeed Natan Sharansky as the Chairman of the Executive of this historic and influential organization. Mr. Herzog was born in Israel in 1960 and is an attorney by profession. Before entering his new position at The Jewish Agency, Mr. Herzog had been a member of Knesset (Israel’s parliament) since 2003. He had been the Chairman of Israel’s Labor Party since 2013, as well as the Knesset Opposition Leader.

In 2015, Mr. Herzog was a front-runner to win the election for Israel’s Prime Minister. He led the alliance between the Labor Party and the Hatnua Party to create Israel’s largest center-left political party, and was the leading candidate to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the national elections.
In the past 15 years, Mr. Herzog has held several ministerial posts: Minister of Housing and Construction; Minister of Tourism; Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Society and the Fight Against Anti-Semitism; and Minister of Welfare and Social Services. He also served as Government Secretary and as the Israel Government Coordinator for the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza in 2008-2009.

Before entering politics, Mr. Herzog was a senior partner at the law firm of Herzog, Fox & Ne’eman. He lives in Tel Aviv with his wife, Michal. They have three sons.


March 8, 2020
5:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Temple Emanuel
385 Ward St.
Newton, MA 02459 United States
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(617) 558-8100
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