THE ABSORPTION OF JEWS INTO LATE MEDIEVAL ITALY, Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller. This lecture took place on June 29th 2022. 

At the time of the Roman Empire, and in the first ten centuries of the Middle Ages, that is approximately until 1350, almost all Italian Jews lived in the southern part of the peninsula (Rome, and southern Italy and Sicily). But 200 years later, around 1550, Jewish settlements were all in central and northern Italy, besides Rome. I would like to follow this immigration of Jews by looking at their absorption into the dynamic duchies and republics of Northern Italy such as Milan, Florence and Venice. What motivated Jews to move to these areas in the late medieval period and why did the Italians accept them? How should we define their experience here? The circumstances provide a possible key to the extraordinary capacity demonstrated by these states to tolerate and protect their Jews, refusing to expel them as other European kingdoms did during this turbulent period. Our study will include a visit to these important places as well as reflecting what it was that kept Roman Jews in Rome.

Originally from London, Katherine Aron-Beller is lecturer of Jewish History in the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University and at Tel Aviv University. Her areas of expertise are medieval Jewish history, early modern Jewish-Christian relations, the early modern Inquisition and Anti-Semitism. In 2007-8 she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the George Washington University in Washington DC. At present she is a Visiting Scholar of the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism. She is the author of Jews on Trial: The Papal Inquisition in Modena 1598-1638 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), the co-editor of The Roman Inquisition: Centre versus Peripheries (Leiden: Brill, 2018) and many other articles on the Catholic Inquisition, anti-semitism and the Jews of Italy. She is now finishing a book called "Christian Images and Jewish Desecrators: The History of an Allegation," 400-1700." Dr.Aron-Beller has been a scholar in residence on many trips with Jewish Historical Seminars including trips to Spain, Portugal, England, Sicily and Italy.


EGYPT, BIBLE, ISRAELITES AND JEWS, Jacob Shoshan.  This lecture took place on July 17, 2022.

Egypt, Bible, Israelites, and Jews: Join us and our tour guide Jacob Shoshan, as we travel in time and sail along the mighty Nile River, tracing Jewish History in the Eastern Sahara Desert. Discover 3,800 years of the unique relationships between 2 civilizations that have shaped the world as we know it today.

Jacob Shoshan was born in Jerusalem and is a licensed tour guide in Israel as well as a teacher and lecturer for The Tour Guide Colleges in Israel. He is also a Senior Tour Director and Lecturer for the Geographical Society, Israel. Jacob has visited 98 countries and led tours in 65 countries on all six continents and is fluent in 15 languages. He presents in-depth discussions on Jewish history, philosophy and culture and is deeply involved in Holocaust education.

THE JEWS OF SWEDEN, Jane Kempinsky. This lecture took place on Aug 2, 2022.

Let's visit Sweden – the country of IKEA, Nobel prize, 95.000 lakes and the first ice hotel in the world. Today Sweden is a home to some 20.000 Jews. It makes Swedish Jewish Community one of the largest in Europe. Jane Kempinsky invites you to visit three cities - breathtaking Stockholm, impressive Goteborg and industrial Malmo. The virtual tour will include: Stories of the first Jews who settled in Sweden in the 18th century;Visits to the beautiful old and modern Synagogues; Discussion of the role that Sweden played in saving European Jews during the WWII; A controversial story of German gold and its consequences in the modern Swedish life; New challenges that Jewish Community faces in Sweden.

Jane Kempinski is a tour guide from St.Petersburg, Russia who has been giving tours for about 15 years already and is absolutely in love with her city and her job. She is Jewish, born and raised in Leningrad and then St.Petersburg. Her family has been living in St. Petersburg since the early 1920’s originating from the Pale of Settlement – Ukraine, Belorussia and Poland. Jane started specific Jewish Heritage tours of St.Petersburg and about 12 years ago started incorporating and interconnecting Russian and Jewish history and culture. Her idea is to show St.Petersburg from the Jewish prospective, giving one a taste of what it is to be a Jew living in Russia.