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“Secrets & Sabotage” The Intriguing World of Jewish Spies
Sunday, June 4 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 4:00 pm on Sunday, repeating until Sunday, June 25, 2023
Join us as we delve into the captivating world of Jewish espionage, examining the lives and legacies of four notable Jewish spies. The series begins with an exploration of Moe Berg’s multifaceted life as an athlete, Ivy League-educated scholar, and OSS agent during World War II, followed by a session on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, discussing the origins of the stereotype linking Jews and communism, their pursuit of the American Dream, and the aftermath of the Red Scare. In the third session, attendees will discover the story of Eli Cohen, the legendary Mossad spy who infiltrated Syrian high society, and learn about the origins, mission, and impact of the Mossad. Finally, the series will delve into the controversial career and capture of Jonathan Pollard, examining the complex relationship between American Jews and Israel and the delicate balance between loyalty to one’s country and commitment to one’s faith.
Sunday June 4, 2023
Session 1: Jew, American, Athlete, Spy — The Many Sides of Moe Berg
This session delves into the life of Moe Berg, a remarkable figure who was an American athlete, a spy, and a Jew. It examines his immigrant upbringing, his entrance into Ivy League schools and Major League Baseball, his work as an OSS agent on missions in Japan and Germany during World War II, and the question of whether his Jewish identity played a significant role in his life and career.
Sunday June 11, 2023
Session 2: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg: Jewish Spies and Anti-Communist Paranoia
This session explores the notorious case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, shedding light on the origins of the stereotype linking Jews and communism. We discuss the pursuit of the American Dream by working-class Jews, the role of Jewish spies during the Red Scare, and the aftermath of the Rosenbergs’ trial and execution. This session provides a comprehensive understanding of the political climate during the Cold War and its effects on the Jewish community.
Sunday June 18, 2023
Session 3: “Our Man in Damascus” — Eli Cohen and the Mystique of the Mossad
In this session, we delve into the fascinating story of Eli Cohen, one of Israel’s most renowned spies, and the mystique of the Mossad. We discuss the origins, mission, and impact of the Mossad, Cohen’s background and integration into the ‘edot hamizrach community, his undercover work as Kamal Amin Ta’abet in Syria, and the lasting image of the Mossad in popular culture.
Sunday June 25, 2023
Session 4: The Controversial Career and Capture of Jonathan Pollard
The final session investigates the contentious career and capture of Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew convicted of spying for Israel. This session offers a brief primer on American Jews and their relationship with Israel, followed by an in-depth look at Pollard’s arrest, trial, conviction, and appeal. We then explore the broader implications of Pollard’s actions on the concept of third-person Zionism and the delicate balance between loyalty to one’s country and commitment to one’s faith.
Professor Howard Lupovitch is Professor of History and Director of the Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University. He was educated at the University of Michigan, and Columbia University (earning a Ph.D. in History from the latter). Over his career, Prof. Lupovitch has taught at Cornell University, Colby College, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Michigan, where he was also a fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies. Prof. Lupovitch is the author, most recently, of Transleithanian Paradise: A History of the Jewish Community of Budapest, 1738-1938, and is presently completing a history of the Neolog Movement and researching a new history of the Jews of Detroit.
CSP Partners: Beth Israel (San Diego, CA), Brotherhood Synagogue (Gramercy Park, NYC), Congregation Adath Jeshurun (Elkins Park, PA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Jewish Collaborative of Orange County, Shomrei Torah Synagogue (San Fernando Valley, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth David (Westminster, CA),Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Temple Beth Shalom (Santa Fe, New Mexico), Temple Beth Sholom (Santa Ana, CA), Temple Emanuel (Newton, MA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY), Temple Judea of Laguna Woods, CA, University Synagogue (Irvine, CA), Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA) & Walnut Street Synagogue (Chelsea, MA)