Scholar In Residence

Broadening Our Horizons

Each year, the Rosalyne S. and Sumner T. Bernstein Memorial Scholar-In-Residence program makes it possible for us to bring a leading figure in the Jewish world to our synagogue for a weekend of study and celebration. This year, we welcomed Professor Marc Dollinger, author of Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance In the 1960s in October. Dr. Dollinger helped us engage with our focus on racial justice.

Jews, Whiteness, Power, and Privilege
In this talk, which is focused more on sociology than history, Dr. Dollinger defined “whiteness,” gave an overview of Jewishness and whiteness since the late 19th century, and helped frame some of the larger questions of power and privilege in an American Jewish context. The talk explored the vocabulary and assumptions of social justice movements today.

1619, 1654, 2020: Jews and Racism
We explored the documents in a primary source reader that Dr. Dollinger co-edited with Gary Zola to get to the heart of American Jewish support, complicity, and benefit from institutional racism. This talk was a deep dive into the ways that Jews, as whites, have succeeded in the U.S. because of institutional racism. This was also a direct and honest assessment of the current national climate.

Marc DollingerDr. Marc Dollinger holds the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University. He has served as research fellow at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Religion as well as the Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow and Lecturer in the Humanities at Bryn Mawr College, where he coordinated the program in Jewish Studies. Professor Dollinger is author of four scholarly books in American Jewish history. His next project traces his own experience fighting campus anti-Semitism at both right-wing and left-wing universities.

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