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History of the JCA
April 12 @ 12:15 pm - 12:45 pm
“No place, no rabbi, no prayer books, no Torah, no Ark… The stakes were high.” Join as as author and JCA founding member Irving Seidman speaks about his new book “The Jewish Community of Amherst: The Formative Years, 1969-1979.” This is the story of how a widely diverse group of Jews new to Amherst wished to connect to each other for the sake of their children’s Jewish identities and their own. How word-of-mouth connections led them to establish two different Jewish committees that coalesced to form the Jewish Community of Amherst. How a Torah carried to safety from a small town in Poland invaded by Nazis became the JCA’s first Torah. How the JCA’s bid to purchase the sanctuary and parish hall of the Second Congregational Church hung by the thread of a vote by the Zoning Board of Appeals. How rabbinic guidance helped the JCA face the challenge of becoming true to its name.
How the accomplishments of the founders and early members of the JCA established principles, structures and ways of being together that continue to influence the JCA today.
History Bites is a series of thirty minute lectures to inform and entertain, covering various aspects of the history of Amherst and the lives of those who once lived here.
Bring your lunch, and we provide coffee, tea and cider for you as you listen to the presentations. The programs begin promptly at 12:15 with seating and beverages ready just before noon. The lectures are free and everyone is welcome to attend.