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Synagogue Scholars & Authors Series

We are pleased to offer this popular annual series featuring congregant-led presentations on a range of topics of expertise. All programs begin at 7:30pm in Zimmerman Hall and refreshments are  served. Can't join us in person? A livestream link will be shared for each session.

Due to COVID-19, the Synagogue Scholars & Authors Series is on hold for the time being. We look forward to resuming these informative gatherings in the near future. Please stay tuned for details and dates.

past Presentations (2019 - 2020):

Zach Bercu, MD Assistant Professor, Division of Interventional Radiology and Image-Guided Medicine, Department of Radiology, Emory University School of Medicine

Medical Innovation in Start-Up Nation: Lessons for Any Professional Community Hungering for New Ideas

Large organizational and professional structures often are resistant to change. This can apply to the corporate infrastructures, financial institutions, government, NGO's, and religious communal organizations. Healthcare is an example of a dynamic professional community with incredible challenges and strong resistance to change. Personal and professional experiences both in interventional radiology and in Israel serve as examples for fostering a culture of innovative thinking to kickstart an ecosystem and shift it from the brink to a restorative, thriving, and meaningful calling to serve.

View this session here.


Michael Greenwald, MD Associate Professor, Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine
Emory University School of Medicine

The Doctor Visit Demystified: What your doctor wishes you knew to make the most of your medical visit

Research shows that most patients recall only 50% of what their doctor told them at a visit - AND that half of what we remember is inaccurate! Why is this so hard? It turns out doctors are trained to think about medical problems very differently than their patients. This workshop will examine some of those differences to help you get them most out of your next medical encounter.
Dr Greenwald’s colleague, Lisa Bernstein, MD will share the billing at this evening’s very special program. Dr. Bernstein is an Associate Professor at the Emory University School of Medicine in the Dept. of Medicine and Geriatrics, and is a three-time winner of the Emory School of Medicine Dean’s Teaching Award.

View this session here.


Cindy Weinbaum, MD Deputy Director, Immunization Services Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Measles Vaccine: Bad for the Jews?


Measles was declared eliminated in the US in 2000.  So why, 19 years later, did it make a comeback?  And why did it impact Jews?  Come hear a CDC perspective on vaccination and modern challenges to vaccinating.

View this Session Here.




Daniel S. Wechsler, MD, PhD Professor of Pediatrics & Director of Pediatric Oncology, Thomas R. Giddens Chair, Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center, Emory University School of Medicine

The ABCDs of Pediatric Cancer: Amazing Breakthroughs & Challenging Dilemmas

Upon hearing that a child has been diagnosed with cancer, most people assume the worst, that prognosis is dismal. In fact, the majority of pediatric cancers are associated with excellent outcomes, with more than 80% likelihood of cure. Dr. Dan Wechsler will review what is known about why cancers develop in kids, discuss recent treatment advances, and address ongoing challenges facing the pediatric cancer community.


Jay Steinberg, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, delivered a special Synagogue Scholars & Authors Series presentation on about COVID-19 entitled COVID-19: What We Know and What We Don't Know.


View this session here. View the Powerpoint here


This session was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be rescheduled for a later date.

Gloria Jacobson, PhD and Leah Jacobmann, Professional Violinists and Suzuki Teachers 

Everything you always wanted to know about the violin: its history, construction, performance techniques, and why it's so freakin' hard to play it!

Gloria Jacobson has been a Suzuki violin teacher in Atlanta since 1978. She has taught Music Appreciation classes at Torah Day School and Yeshiva Atlanta. She has been a member of the Agnes Scott Orchestra, of Da Salo Solisti, and of the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra since 2002. She was a board member of the organization for 15 years. She is a member of SAGA (Suzuki Association of Georgia) and was a member of its board for several years. Gloria holds a Bachelor and Master's degrees in Music Education as well as a Ph.D. in Music History and Literature from the University of Florida.


Leah Jacobmann holds a Bachelor in Violin Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in piano from UGA. In addition, she earned a Master's Degree in Violin Performance from GSU. She is a trained Suzuki teacher and has an active private studio. Leah is the conductor and founder of SODA (String Orchestra of Decatur and Atlanta), for students in grades 3-12. She performs with numerous regional orchestras such as the Atlanta Pops, and the Macon, Columbus and Valdosta Symphonies. She has performed with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Sarah McLachlan and Josh Groban.



Hallie Ludsin, Senior Fellow, Center for International and Comparative Law, Emory School of Law

Must I be Complicit in Your Sin? A Human Rights Look at the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby and Masterpiece Cakeshop Decisions


View this session here.


Click here to view select presentations from the 2018 - 2019 series.

Wed, June 7 2023 18 Sivan 5783