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“Es iz schwer tzu sein a Yid: It is hard to be a Jew"

April 29, 2021

2021 Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Lecture in Jewish Civilization
Presented by Kenneth Seeskin, Northwestern University

Why is it hard to be a Jew?  Why is anti-Semitism on the rise? This lecture sought to answer these questions by identifying a persistent theme in Jewish history: a willingness to challenge authority and dissent from prevailing opinions.  Beginning with Abraham, Moses, and the Hebrew Prophets, Jews have produced a long line of dissenters, whistle-blowers, and people who insist on justice above all else.  It is this feature, along with minority status, that has made Jews perennial scapegoats.

Kenneth Seeskin is Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Professor of Jewish Civilization Emeritus and Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Northwestern University. Over his more than forty years at Northwestern, he served as chair of the Philosophy Department and the Religious Studies Department. He has published numerous books and articles on Maimonides and Jewish thought through the ages. He won the Koret Jewish Book Award in 2001 and the National Jewish Book Award in 2010. His most two most recent books are Thinking about the Torah: A Philosopher Reads the Bible and Thinking about the Prophets.

Co-sponsored with Jewish United Fund

Event video


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