Jack Mintzer 
Congregation Agudat Achim 


In Person/Online

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When: Sept.  8, 15, 22, 29 Oct. 6, 13

 Time:  7:30 pm  – 9:00 pm

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Stephen Berk Lecture Series 2022 

Going and Coming: A history of Jewish Emigration and Immigration

Jews have always been on the move. Their migrations were always a consequence of push and pull. Something pushed the Jews out and something pulled them in. When one center of Jewish gravity closed another opened up. Emigration and Immigration are the constants of Jewish history. This is their story over the last millennium.


Congregation Agudat Achim’s Adult Education Committee announces a series of six fascinating lectures with Dr. Stephen Berk, professor of history at Union College and Scholar-in-Residence at Congregation Agudat Achim for more than 30 years. Come join us this fall for Dr. Stephen Berk’s newest lecture series;

Going and Coming: A history of Jewish Emigration and Immigration

The dates of all the lectures are: 

Thursday's: Sept: 8, 15, 22, 29, Oct: 6, 13

All lectures will be in person or online, your choice! 

In-person tickets will be available at the door.

Our policy currently requires masks to be worn by every person while inside the building.

All lectures will be from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm EST and are open to all who register. Complete series is $60 for members and $72 for non-members. Please register everyone in your household who will be watching the lectures. To register, use the Register Now button below or send a check before September 13, to Congregation Agudat Achim c/o Jack Mintzer, 2117 Union Street, Schenectady, NY 12309. Make your check payable to Congregation Agudat Achim.

You can register and pay online by using the Register Now! link below.

If you would prefer to pay by check or would like a printable version of the brochure, click here

Get your tickets now as this series of lectures is sure to sell out!

As we get closer to the lecture dates you will receive an email with the online link and password to log in. 

8 September

 1. From West to east: The formation of Eastern European Jewry.

The Crusades, the expulsion from Spain and the Khazars created a community that soon became the center of gravity of Jewish life.

15 September

 2. Coming to America: The Germans arrive.

Economic downturn, anti-Jewish sentiment and the lure of America led over a hundred thousand German Jews to immigrate into the United States; they revitalized the American Jewish community.

22 September

 3. Kuda-Where to?

Hot and cold pogroms forced Russian Jews to make the tough decision. Do we go to America or Palestine? The overwhelming majority voted with their feet for the United States.

29 September

 4. The in gathering of the Exiles: Immigration into Israel

Before WWI some fled violence and impoverishment, later some came on the wings of eagles, some rose from the ashes and the Jews of silence were silent no more. Together they created one of the great miracles of modern history, Medinat Yisroel, the State of Israel.

6 October

 5. The closing of the doors: Jewish Immigration in the interwar period.

Johnson-Reed and FDR sealed the fate of millions, but those who were able to come left an indelible imprint on American life.

13 October

 6. From Auschwitz to New York and from Moscow to the Golden Land.

After WWII, the closed door began to open and Gorbachev transformed the Soviet Union. Hundreds of thousands of Jews came into our country and some of them became members of Agudat Achim. Our country, American Jewry and our synagogue reaped the benefits of their coming.