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The Bloom Family Lecture Series

TBA is proud to present this year's guest speakers. We hope that you will join us in learning from a wide variety of voices, and we thank the Bloom Family Lecture Fund for supporting congregational learning in our community.


Abe Foxman with Rabbi David Z. Vaisberg:

A conversation about the state of the Jewish people

Sunday, November 5, 4 PM

Abraham H. Foxman is world-renowned as a leader in the fight against anti-Semitism, bigotry, and discrimination and regularly speaks out on issues of global anti-Semitism, the war on terrorism, church/state issues, and issues relating to the Holocaust, which he survived as a hidden child.  He is a passionate supporter of the State of Israel and a voice for peace in the Middle East.

Mr. Foxman is National Director Emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), from which he retired in 2015 after 50 years with the organization, including serving as National Director from 1987 through 2015.  Upon retirement, he served as Vice Chairman of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. He is the author of several books and co-authored Viral Hate: Containing Its Spread on the Internet

During his long career, he had personal consultations with government leaders in Europe, Israel and the Middle East, the Far East, Latin America, and Africa.  He has also had multiple audiences at the Vatican, including with Pope Francis, and conferred with U.S. Presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama.

A Holocaust survivor, Mr. Foxman has been a member of the President’s United States Holocaust Memorial Council, appointed by Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and Biden.

Jordan “Gorf” B. Gorfinkel, 
Shabbat Scholar-in-Residence:
Jewish Cartooning, from Batman to the Bible 

Friday and Saturday, February 2-3, 2024

Jordan B. Gorfinkel (aka “Gorf”) is a cartoonist, musician, producer, director, and proud father (not necessarily in that order).

For nearly a decade, Gorf managed a team of writers, artists, and creators on the Batman franchise for DC Comics, producing more than 2000 stories in multiple mediums. Gorf’s creations, such as Batman: No Man’s Land and Birds Of Prey, have resulted in critically acclaimed and commercially successful publications (Birds Of Prey, the most successful female superhero team franchise in history), film (Birds Of PreyThe Dark Knight Rises), television series (FOX, Cartoon Network, the WB and the CW), games, merchandise and more.

Among many other ventures, Gorf runs the Jewish Cartoon Workshop for schools, camps, and family programs, guiding participants in using professional tools to create Jewish humor cartoons just like the professionals do, and then collecting them into a comic book for everyone to share and enjoy (and learn from!).

In music, Gorf is a producer, performer, and director. He is responsible for many albums and music videos, including VOICES FOR ISRAEL, the acclaimed Jewish “We Are the World”-style charity benefit.

David Kertzer with Abe Foxman:

The Continuing Controversy over the Vatican and the Holocaust

Sunday, April 18, 2024, 4 PM


David I. Kertzer, Dupee University Professor of Social Science Emeritus at Brown University is currently Research Professor at Brown where from 2006 to 2011 he served as Provost.  His book, The Pope and Mussolini, was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Biography and has been published in eleven languages.  Among his many other books, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara was a finalist for the 1997 National Book Award for Nonfiction and has been published in eighteen foreign editions.  He co-founded and served for many years as co-editor of theJournal of Modern Italian Studies.  In 2005 he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His 2022 book, The Pope at War, based on research in Vatican, Italian, German, French, British, and American archives, tells the story of Pius XII’s relations with Mussolini and Hitler during the Second World War.  Editions have appeared in the U.S., Italy, Germany, and Britain, and are in press in Russia, China, and Spain.

Shabbat Speaker Margalit Edelson:

Palestine into Israel - Witnessing the Making of the Jewish State

Friday, May 24, 2024, 6:30 PM

TBA is proud to welcome Margalit Edelson to speak during Kabalat Shabbat services. She will speak about her experiences growing up in the nascent Jewish state.

Born in what was then Palestine, now the state of Israel, Margalit spent her career as an educator and ran a Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten for 50 years. She lives in Caldwell and travels to Israel as often as she can. She has two children and five grandchildren. 

I Am A Palestinian Jew is her first published book.

Tue, November 28 2023 15 Kislev 5784