Distinguished Speaker Series

Presented by the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture

Ticket Price Per Lecture: $16.50; JCC Member: $13.50

Lawrence Family JCC • 4126 Executive Drive • La Jolla, California 92037
Temple Solel • 3575 Manchester Ave. • Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007

2015-2016 Lectures

Megillat Esther 2.0: The Nuclear Deal with Iran: Pro and Con
Lecturer: Sanford Lakoff, PhD

July 30, 2015 • 7:00 P.M.
Rehearsal Room - Lawrence Family JCC, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS

Purchase Tickets

Sanford Lakoff, PhD
After a lengthy series of negotiations, an agreement has been reached with Iran, complete with unprecedented, stringent restrictions, designed to prevent its current regime from acquiring a nuclear weapon for at least 10-15 years. In exchange, sanctions imposed by the Security Council, the European Union, and the U.S. will be lifted soon, except for those applying to conventional weapons. The deal will provide economic benefits which this terrorist-sponsoring and duplicitous regime could use to support its aggressive policies and practices. In this class we will examine the terms of the deal, its implications -- especially for Israel -- and the controversy it has aroused.
Professor Lakoff is founding chair of the Department and a distinguished scholar in political philosophy and science and public policy. He is the author of Equality in Political Philosophy, Democracy: History, Theory and Practice, and Max Lerner: Pilgrim in the Promised Land (1998, University of Chicago Press) and Strategic Defense in the Nuclear Age and Ten Political Ideas that have Shaped the Modern World (September 2011); co-author of Science and the Nation: Policy and Politics, Energy and American Values, and A Shield in Space?: Technology, Politics, and the Strategic Defense Initiative. He has also edited a half dozen volumes, including Knowledge and Power: Essays on Science and Government. He has contributed over fifty essays to edited volumes, journals, and encyclopedias.

Previous 2014-2015 Lectures

Genesis of the Salk Institute: the Role of Jewish Immigrants
Lecturer: Suzanne Bourgeois Cohn, PhD

May 18, 2015 • 7:00 P.M.
Rehearsal Room - Lawrence Family JCC, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS

Suzanne Bourgeois Cohn, PhD
The story of how the Salk Institute came to be was written by one of the Institute’s faculty members. In this lecture, Professor Suzanne Bourgeois Cohn uncovers some of the most important and least familiar scientific names of the 20thcentury. There was Jonas Salk who was a household name at the time, Leo Szilard who conceived of the atom splitting that was the foundation of the atomic bomb, Melvin Cohn – an influential immunologist, Nobel Prize winner Jacques Monod, Francis Crick who did become known for identifying DNA, and others from across the field of biological research. Of all the founders of the Salk Institute, most were trained as physicists because the field of biology was relatively new, and almost all were Jewish.
Professor Bourgeois Cohn spends most of her scholarly efforts on the invention of the field of molecular biology and the contributions and personal histories of the individual minds of “the greatest generation.” Bourgeois was trained at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, where she eventually met and married one of the founders, Melvin Cohn. They came to the Institute together, at the personal request of Jonas Salk. Bourgeois went on to become the Founding Director of the Regulatory Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute, where she would make pioneering discoveries in regards to the characterists of genes and the ways in which they regulate themselves, or not.

Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey in the Heart of Russia
Lecturer: David Greene

April 13, 2015 • 7:00 P.M.
Temple Solel

David Greene
After two and a half years as NPR's Moscow bureau chief, David Greene traveled across the country-a 6,000-mile journey by rail, from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok-to speak with ordinary Russians about how their lives have changed in the post-Soviet years. Through the stories of fellow travelers, Greene explored the challenges and opportunities facing the new Russia-a nation that boasts open elections and new-found prosperity yet still continues to endure oppression, corruption, and stark inequality. Set against the wintery landscape of Siberia, Greene's lively travel narrative will offer a glimpse into the soul of twenty first-century Russia-how its people remember their history and look forward to the future. David Greene is host of NPR's Morning Edition, with Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne. He was honored with the 2011 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize from WBUR and Boston University for that coverage of the Arab Spring.

Great Stories Behind Classical Music
Lecturer: Nuvi Mehta, San Diego Symphony

March 30, 2015 • 7:00 P.M.

Nuvi Mehta

Martha Gilmer
Live Performances and an interactive conversation: Fresh from her post as vice president of artistic planning and audience development for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, new San Diego Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer sits down with Nuvi Mehta in conversation to discuss new directions in programming for the San Diego Symphony. Nuvi Mehta discusses season highlights with live performances by members of the Symphony.

Lecturer: Dr. Jacob Goldberg

March 16, 17, 18, 2015 • 7:00 P.M.
David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre - Lawrence Family JCC, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS

Monday, March 16, 2015 • 7:00 P.M.
Middle East Chaos: From Civil Wars to Disintegration of States

Islam, Islamism and Islamist terrorism; Division of the region into camps; Stability of Turkey, Iran and Israel; Failed states: Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen; Survival of oil monarchies; The historical transformation of Turkey; The Iranian danger; Are Islam and democracy incompatible

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 • 7:00 P.M.
American Dilemmas in the "New" Middle East: The Elusive Search for Coherent Strategies

Stopping the Iranian nuclear drive; Confronting radical Islamism and terrorism; Supporting US allies in the Middle East; Choosing between two evils in Syria, Iraq and Yemen; Preventing Russia's ambitions in the Middle East; American policies and Middle East oil.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 • 7:00 P.M.
After Israel's Elections: Wither Israeli-Palestinian Relations-Status-quo, Intifada, or Agreements?

Who will be Israel's next Prime Minister? The new nature of military threats; Iran's multi-challenges; The Hamas-Israel war of summer 2014; Palestinian domestic politics; Wither Israeli-Palestinian relations; American-Israeli relations and the acute need for Israeli peace initiatives.

Topics may change due to events current at the time of the lecture.

Dr. Jacob Goldberg
Professor Jacob Goldberg (Ph. D. from Harvard University in Middle East politics) is a former Senior Adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. He is the author of The Foreign Policy of Saudi Arabia, and has also published numerous articles in newspapers in Israel and the U. S., including the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The Annual Loraine Stern Lecture

Pepper, Silk and Ivory: Amazing Stories about Jews and the Far East
Lecturer: Rabbi Marvin Tokayer

February 23, 2015 • 7:00 P.M.
Rehearsal Room - Lawrence Family JCC, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS

Rabbi Marvin Tokayer
There is a missing page in Jewish history. We tend to assume that Jewish history is to be found in the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and the Americas but not in the Far East. In this talk you will hear about that missing page as Marvin Tokayer, Honorary Rabbi of Japan’s Jewish community reveals the amazing stories of Jews who both benefitted from and contributed to the Far East. You will hear about the uncrowned Jewish king of China, the indefatigable World War II refugees in Kobe, the woman who refused to give up until the Japanese constitution included rights for women and children, and the baseball player who became an American spy in Japan. Rabbi Tokayer draws on half a century of personal experiences and a wealth of knowledge as he weaves together the characters and history of the Jews of the Far East.

"The Twenty-seventh Man" - and Evening with the Old Globe Artistic Director
Lecturer: Barry Edelstein

January 28, 2015 • 7:00 P.M.

Barry Edelstein
Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein will discuss his production of Nathan Englander’s play The Twenty-seventh Man in a dialogue moderated by Old Globe Literary Manager Danielle Mages Amato. The Twenty-seventh Man is based on the true historical events surrounding Stalin’s persecution of leading Jewish artists in Russia in the 1950s, specifically the event known as “The Night of the Murdered Poets,” in which the giants of Yiddish literature were jailed and executed by Stalin’s secret police. Edelstein and Amato will discuss the development of Englander’s play, the historical events underlying the drama, and the resonance this event still evokes in our time.

“Surviving in Secret: Uncovering the Marrano Jews of Spain”
Lecturer: Professor Matthias Lehmann, UCI

January 5, 2015 • 7:00 P.M.
Temple Solel

North County Events

Mattias Lehmann
In 1391, a wave of attacks led to the mass-conversion of many Spanish Jews to Catholicism. A century later, in 1492, many more Jews in Spain underwent baptism as they faced the threat of expulsion. In 1497, the same fate befell the Jews in neighboring Portugal.What happened to these Jewish converts--Conversos or Marranos, as they are often called? In subsequent generations, many Conversos left Spain and Portugal to escape the Inquisition, returned to the religion of their Jewish ancestors, and established communities in places such as Venice, Amsterdam, London, and across the Atlantic in the New World. As we will see in this lecture, their experience anticipated in many ways the challenges faced by other Jews in later centuries. As the "first modern Jews," there is much their history can teach us today about being Jewish in the modern world. Matthias Lehmann is the Teller Family Chair in Jewish History at the University of California, Irvine. A native of Germany, he studied history and Jewish Studies in Freiburg, Berlin, Jerusalem, and Madrid. Before moving to Irvine in 2012, he was associate professor of Jewish Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. Lehmann is the author of Ladino Rabbinic Literature and Ottoman Sephardic Culture (Indiana Univ. Press 2005), co-author of the widely used textbook The Jews: A History (with John Efron and Steven Weitzman, second edition, Pearson 2014), and, most recently, of Emissaries from the Holy Land (Stanford Univ. Press 2014) which deals with philanthropy and the relations between the Land of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora in the early modern period.

Distinguished Speaker Series Ticket Prices:

Ticket Prices Per Lecture: Price: $16.50; JCC Member Price $13.50

North County 2-pack: Price $28; JCC Member Price $23 (North County lectures only)

Pick 5+: Price $14.00 Per Lecture; JCC Member Price $11.50 Per Lecture (Any 5 or more lectures)