Dr. Stephen Berk

SCHENECTADY–Congregation Agudat Achim’s Adult Education Committee has announced a series of six lectures featuring  Dr. Stephen  Berk,  professor of history at Union College and for 30 years scholar-in-residence at Agudat Achim Synagogue. Berk’s newest  series, “Personality Counts: The Men and Women Who Created And Shaped the State of Israel” is set for Sept: 23, 30, Oct: 7, 14, 21, 28.  The lectures, open to the community,  are  from 7:30 – 9 p.m. and if attended in person will be at the synagogue, 2117 Union St., Schenectady.

Berk is a professor of history at Union College and the Henry and Sally Schaffer Chair of Holocaust and Jewish Studies. He is also the recipient of the Florence B. Sherwood Chair in History and Culture and a consultant to the Wiesenthal Holocaust Center. Berk is a recipient of the Citizens Laureate Award of the University of Albany Foundation.

Berk has lectured on the Holocaust at higher education institutions such as Princeton,  Vanderbilt, The University of  Texas at  Austin, and Williams College. In addition, he has lectured in the former Soviet Union, Israel, Egypt, and Poland.

He is the author of Year of Crisis, Year of Hope: Russian Jewry and the Pogroms of 1881-1882 and various articles on Russian history, Russian-Jewish history, anti-Semitism, and  American policy in the Middle East.

Berk received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania, his master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and his doctorate from Columbia University.

Tickets for the series may be purchased online at agudatachim.com, or by calling all main office at 518-393-9211.

Lecture topics are:

1. Dreamers: It was an impossible dream but Hess, Pinsker, Herzl, and Weizmann laid the groundwork.

2. The Mandate: Ben-Gurion, Jabotinsky, Brandeis, and Weizmann slugged it out against a background of British control and Arab opposition.

3. The Father: Ben-Gurion led the new country through war, mass immigration and the trauma of German reparations.

4. 1967: Eshkol and Dayan directed the country through the war that changed Israel and the Middle East.

5. Women: Israel would not be the country it is without its women. Golda, Leah Goldberg, Naomi Shemer and others made great contributions.

6. Peace, Prosperity and a Weird Coalition: Begin, Netanyahu, and Bennett demonstrated courage, brilliance, and corruption as Israel entered a new century.