Sign In Forgot Password



Synagogue Scholars & Authors Series 2018 - 2019

The 2018 - 2019 Synagogue Scholars & Authors Series featured a talented slate of congregants and close friends presenting and leading fascinating discussions on their areas of expertise. The full list is below, with links to view particular presentations.  

2018 - 2019 Presentations:

Wednesday, October 10 

Shari Rabin, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies, Director of the Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture, College of Charleston

Jews on the Frontier: Religion and Mobility in Nineteenth-Century America


Wednesday, November 28 

Shana Tabak, JD, LLM Visiting Scholar at Emory Law School and Executive Director of the Tahirih Justice Center, Atlanta Office

Immigrants, Asylum-seekers, and Refugees: Should All Wanderers be Protected by Law?

Despite the non-stop debate surrounding the role of immigrants in the news, immigration and refugee law are complex topics largely misunderstood by the public.  This conversation seeks to engage the Shearith Israel community to consider how scholarship in history and legal studies can deepen our understanding of immigration dominating the headlines.  First, the talk will examine how the modern day obligation to protect certain classes of refugees was affected by the Jewish experience -- not only was it drafted in response to the Jewish genocide in WWII, but also intellectually influenced by Jewish thinkers such as Hannah Arendt and Raphael Lemkin.  Although modern-day refugee protections were inspired by the world’s quest to never-again witness the horrors of the Holocaust, we will explore some of the shortcomings of the 1951 Refugee Convention, especially as they relate to protection of certain groups of people fleeing harm in today’s modern world.  Second, building on this historical grounding, we will explore critical differences in legal positioning between refugees and immigrants. For example, why are so many refugees living legally in Clarkston, while other refugees are living in immigration detention centers awaiting asylum hearings before immigration judges?   Finally, we’ll build on these historical and legal perspectives to explore how they inform modern day issues in the news, including family separation, immigration detention, and asylum seekers attempting to gain protection under U.S. law.

View this presentation HERE!


Wednesday, December 19

Harvey Brightman, PhD Regents Professor Emeritus of Managerial Sciences at Georgia State University 

Why Dr. Johnny can’t teach and Student Jimmie can’t learn





I will discuss why many college teachers cannot teach effectively. I will demonstrate why it is difficult to know the key attributes of effective teachers without formal training. Then I will present several solutions ranging from comprehensive reform of doctoral training to a few simple ideas that can instantaneously improve student learning and faculty evaluations.


Next I will focus on students and examine why they have difficulty in learning and retaining material. Basically they have not been taught two important concepts in learning and studying – deep learning and active learning. Then I will present several studying methods to accomplish these twin goals.


The session will be interactive with several “mini-quizzes” built into the presentation.


Wednesday, January 9

Michael Miller, PhD Associate Professor in the Practice of Information Systems & Operations Management, Goizueta Business School, Emory University

Game Theory in the Garden of Eden



The talk will give a basic introduction to game theory (it is more than the prisoners’ dilemma!), discuss whether it is even reasonable to apply game theory to matters of theology (it is, hence this talk) and use game theory to evaluate some strategic interactions in the Garden of Eden and more broadly in the Tanakh.

Wednesday, February 6

Jennifer Hirsch, PhD Applied Cultural Anthropologist; Director, Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain, Georgia Tech

Sustainability - What's Equity Got to Do with It?


Wednesday, March 27

David Howard, PhD Professor, Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

Balancing Innovation and Cost Control in Medicine


Dr. Howard, a health economist in Emory’s Department of Health Policy and Management, will discuss current initiatives to reform the health care system by changing how providers are paid, making prices transparent, and extending Medicare to everyone.

Wednesday, April 10

Louis-Alexandre (Alex) Berg, PhD Asst Professor, Global Studies Inst., Political Science, GA State Univ.


Building Peace after Civil War




Civil war and insecurity in weak states is one of the most pressing global challenges, with direct reverberations at home.  The talk will explore what is driving this form of insecurity, and examine the effects of international intervention to end civil wars and foster sustained peace.  While focusing on the role of U.S. foreign policy, we will also explore what research on civil wars and peacebuilding tells us about how we might better manage domestic political conflicts in the U.S. 


View this presentation HERE!



Wednesday, May 15

Michael Robinowitz, MD Former Medical Director, Piedmont Fayette Hospital Wound and Hyperbaric Center


Torah & Wound Care Bandaids shmandaids: Honey, everything you know about treating wounds is wrong!



Almost everything you wanted to know about wound care, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, the do’s and dont’s of wound care, the history of honey in the Bible and its use in modern day medicine and more!


View this presentation HERE!

Mon, May 27 2024 19 Iyyar 5784