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Prayer for Our Country

January 19 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

with Professor Jonathan Sarna and Rabbi Michelle Robinson

We read the Prayer for Our Country every week during Shabbat services but where did it come from and how did it develop? Listen to Dr. Jonathan Sarna’s prerecorded session as he explores the history and development of this prayer then stay for an interactive discussion with Rabbi Michelle Robinson.

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Dr. Jonathan Sarna is University Professor and the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University. He is also past president of the Association for Jewish Studies and Chief Historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. Dubbed by the Forward newspaper in 2004 as one of America’s fifty most influential American Jews, he was Chief Historian for the 350th commemoration of the American Jewish community and is recognized as a leading commentator on American Jewish history, religion and life.

In 2009, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He holds four honorary degrees. Born in Philadelphia, and raised in New York and Boston, Dr. Sarna attended Brandeis University, the Boston Hebrew College, Merkaz HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, and Yale University, where he obtained his doctorate in 1979. From 1979-1990, Dr. Sarna taught at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, where he rose to become Professor of American Jewish history and Director of the Center for the Study of the American Jewish Experience. He has also taught at Harvard, Yale, the University of Cincinnati, and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Dr. Sarna came back to Brandeis in 1990 to teach American Jewish history in its Department of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies. He chaired that department three different times, chaired Brandeis’ Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program twice, and now directs its Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. He also chairs the Academic Advisory and Editorial Board of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati.

He is married to Professor Ruth Langer, and they have two married children, Aaron and Leah.


January 19
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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