Award-winning author and noted historian Dr. Robert Watson will speak about “Antisemitism: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” following Shabbat services on Friday, Oct. 6 at Temple B’nai Shalom in East Brunswick. Services begin at 7 p.m. with the program to follow at about 8 p.m. It is being presented by the synagogue’s Daniel Pearl Education Center, a non-profit, charitable organization committed to the ideals of understanding and community in keeping with those of the Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered in Pakistan for being a Jew.
Watson is the Distinguished Professor of America History and Avron Fogelman Research Professor at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. and assistant director of its Center for Citizenship and Civility. He has published more than 45 books and 200 scholarly articles and has appeared as a commentator on international radio, print, online and broadcast outlets including CNN, MSNBC, BBC, USA Today, New York Times and Time Magazine. Watson has also co-convened a half-dozen national conferences on the American presidency and regularly lectures at universities, museums and historic sites around the country.
He has won many awards for his contributions to the study of the presidency, election commentary, community service, civics programs for schools and efforts both in the community and on campus to combat antisemitism and incivility.
Comedian and author Rabbi Bob Alper will bring his “definitely sharp, but gentle and unhurtful” humor to Temple Beth Miriam in Elberon on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. The program is open to adults and children over 11 years.
Alper’s comedy bits are played daily on SiriusXM satellite Radio and he has been seen on the BBC, Showtime, CNN, Good Morning America, the Today show and the Early Show, among others. He has performed at the Montreal Comedy Festival New York’s famed Chautauqua Institution, Hollywood’s Improv and The Comedy Store. Alper has performed across North America and England at corporate events, theaters, non-profits, conventions, private parties, churches and synagogues and has performed more than 200 shows with Muslim and Arab comedy partners, primarily a colleges and universities. He is a full-time comic, who also conducts annual High Holiday services as well as an author of three books “Life Doesn’t Get any Better Than This,” Thanks, I Needed That” and “A Rabbi Confesses,” a full-color, award-winning cartoon book.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Advance tickets include one drink. They are available at the temple office, Venmo or through shul cloud at https://templebethmiriam.shulcloud.com/event/comedy-night-with-bob-alpert.html. For information contact Rabbi Cy Stanway at (732) 222-3754 or email@example.com or visit https://templebethmiriam.org.
The Michael Levin Lone Soldier Foundation will hold a fundraiser on Monday, Oct. 16 at 7:15 p.m.at the Young Israel of East Brunswick featuring Harriet Levin, who started the foundation with her husband, Mark, to honor their lone soldier son who was killed in action in 2006 during the Second Lebanon War, the only American to die in that conflict. The program will also show the documentary, “A Hero in Heaven,” about Michael’s life story and love of Israel.
The foundation’s mission is to support and raise awareness of lone soldiers in the Israel Defense Force during and after their service by providing grants to organizations in Israel serving the needs of lone soldiers. Programs and services funded include Shabbat and holiday meals, housing, one-on-one mental health counseling, resources for pre and post-army service and visits to bases. Additionally, the foundation serves as a resource and support to parents of lone soldiers all over the world.
Michael was raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and immigrated to Israel at age 19. He was a member of an elite paratrooper unit and is buried in Mount Herzl Cemetery.
For more information about the organization go to michaellevinlonesoldier.org. The program is free, but an RSVP is requested by Oct. 12 at tinyurl.com/HarrietLevin.
Long before the killing of George Floyd by in 2020 made Minneapolis an international focus for anti-Black violence and racial inequity by authorities, a young trailblazing Hubert Humphrey, elected mayor in 1945, made significant progress in combating the racism and antisemitism for which the city was nationally notorious.
Award-winning author and Colombia University journalism professor Samuel Freedman will discuss his latest book, “Into the Bright Sunshine: Young Hubert Humphrey and the Fight for Civil Rights,” on Monday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m.in a program at Rutgers University’s Douglass Student Center in New Brunswick. The program is the annual Ruth Ellen Steinman Bloustein and Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Lecture of the university’s Allen and Joan Bidner Center for the Study of Jewish Life and is being co-sponsored by the university’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
Freedman examines how Humphrey managed to turn the city from its ignominious past into national prominence for its efforts to combat racism and religious discrimination and how those efforts are relevant today amid the upsurge in antisemitism. Humphrey would serve two terms as a senator from Minnesota before becoming vice president under Lyndon Johnson where he would become the president’s wing man during the Civil Rights Movement helping to push through the Voting Rights and Civil Rights acts.
Freedman is a former columnist and staff reporter for the New York Times. He is the author of nine books, including “Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry,” which won the National Jewish Book Award for Nonfiction and made the Publishers Weekly Religion Best-Sellers list.
The program is free and parking is available, but advance registration is required at https://bildnercenter.rutgers.edu.