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Talk: Jewish São Paulo

Hosted By: Orange County Community Scholar Program (CSP)

São Paulo, Portuguese for ‘Saint Paul’, is a cosmopolitan, melting pot city that is home to the largest Arab, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese diasporas, with examples including ethnic neighborhoods of Bixiga, Bom Retiro, and Liberdade. São Paulo is also home to the largest Jewish population in Brazil, with about 50,000 Jews (about half of Brazil’s Jewish population and 1.1% of the overall population of the city). Jews arrived in Brazil during the period of Dutch rule, setting up in Recife the first synagogue in the Americas, the Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue, as early as 1636. Most of those Jews were Sephardic Jews who had fled the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal to the religious freedom of the Netherlands. The ancestors of the present Jewish population came to Sao Paulo in successive waves of immigration. Before WWI, after WWI, during and after WWII, during the 1950s and finally in the 70s and 80s. These waves of immigration brought Jews from all around the world.

Join us for a conversation between Rabbi Elie Spitz and Rabbi Adrian Gottfried about the joys and challenges of living a Jewish life in the most populous city in the Southern Hemisphere.

This event is at 3 PM ET and 12 PM PT.

The event listed here is hosted by a third party. My Jewish Learning/70 Faces Media is not responsible for its content or for errors in the listing.


Rabbi Adrian Gottfried

Rabbi Adrian Gottfried has served since 1997 as Senior Rabbi at Comunidade Shalom in São Paulo, an egalitarian, pluralistic and inclusive synagogue and, with over 500 families, one of the most dynamic congregations in Brazil. From 2006 to 2010, Rabbi Adrian served as President of the Latin American Rabbinical Assembly and was the director of the Abarbanel Institute Sao Paulo. Author of several books, several siddurim and machzorim and many published articles, Rabbi Adrian received his rabbinic ordination in 1990 from the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano, an MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1993, and a BA and MA in Sociology from the University of Buenos Aires. He attended the prestigious Educators Graduate Program at the Melton Center for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and continued his educational leadership training at the Leatid program in Argentina. Rabbi Adrian's vocation is directly linked to the figure of his mentor, Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer z'l, the rabbi who faced the military dictatorship in Argentina. It was Rabbi Marshall who taught Rabbi Adrian that it was possible, in his own words: ""to have one hand in the Torah and another in the newspaper of the day."" 
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Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz

Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz approaches the familiar in unfamiliar ways. A spiritual leader and scholar specializing in topics of spirituality and Judaism, he teaches, writes and speaks to a wide range of audiences. He has served as the rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel in Tustin, California, for over three decades and served as member of the Rabbinical Assembly Committee on Law and Standards for twenty years. Rabbi Spitz is author of Healing from Despair: Choosing Wholeness in a Broken World; Does the Soul Survive? A Jewish Journey to Belief in Afterlife, Past Lives & Living with Purpose and Increasing Wholeness: Jewish Wisdom and Guided Meditations to Strengthen and Calm Body, Heart, Mind and Spirit (all Jewish Lights) and many articles dealing with spirituality and Jewish law. Rabbi Spitz spent the past 17 months teaching the Psalms with half-hour presentations for each Psalm (recently completing all 150 Psalms!).
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