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Heritage Shabbat with Scholar-In-Residence Rabbi Gary Zola

Friday, February 15, 2019 10 Adar I 5779

6:00 PM - 7:15 PM

Dr. Gary Zola, Executive Director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) will serve as the Barish Limmud Scholar-in-Residence the weekend of February 15-17, 2019 at Emanu El.

In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the AJA – the world’s largest free-standing research dedicated solely to the American Jewish experience - Dr. Zola is the Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience and Reform Jewish History at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati.

Dr. Zola became the AJA’s second director in 1998, succeeding his teacher and mentor, Professor Jacob Rader Marcus (1896-1995), the prodigious scholar who first defined the field of American Jewish history. It was Marcus who founded the AJA in 1947 and served as its director until his death in 1995.

A listing of opportunities for the congregation to learn from Dr. Zola can be found below.

Friday, February 15, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. – Heritage Shabbat. Our Heritage Shabbat series will continue on this Friday night with music from the old Union Prayer Book and feature Cantor Rollin Simmons and our professional choir. During this worship service, Dr. Zola will give a special D’var Torah on Congregation Emanu El’s role in the Reform Movement and American Jewish history.

Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 9 a.m. – Dr. Zola will present “Great Voices, Civil Rights & Jews in the American South” starting at 9 a.m. (breakfast will be available at 8:30 a.m.).

Have you ever wondered what some of the leading American rabbis handled pivotal world events from the pulpit? What did American rabbis tell their congregants about topics such as the rise of Adolph Hitler, the outbreak of World War II, the struggle for Civil Rights in the 1950s and 1960s, and so forth? Dr. Zola, will introduce us to some of Judaism's most remarkable rabbinical leaders. This will be a rare opportunity for you to actually hear a series of remarkable vocal recordings (digitized with visuals added) of several towering rabbinic voices, all of which come from the AJA's extraordinary historical collection. This will be your opportunity to listen to sermonic voices that you may know by reputation - but have never actually heard.

Dr. Zola’s visit is co-sponsored by Congregation Emanu El and the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston in partnership with the Barish Family/The Chair King. For a complete schedule and to pre-register for Yom Limmud, visit

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