Temple to offer lecture series on Judaism

Published 10:13 pm Friday, January 15, 2016

Temple Mishkan Israel on Broad Street rarely opens its doors throughout the year, but starting Jan. 30, it will hold a weekly lecture series to inform the public about Judaism.

Starting Saturday, Jan. 30 at 9 a.m., Steve Grossman will hold a lecture series about Judaism at Temple Mishkan Israel to educate the Selma community and answer questions concerning the Jewish religion, its history and its practices.

Grossman said he has been approached by many non-Jews in the community about an opportunity to learn more about Judaism.

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“I think it will be important for their own religion, and it’s always a good thing when people know as much as possible about other religions,” Grossman said.

Grossman will host five lectures. The first lecture will focus on dispelling any myths that local non-Jews may have heard about Judaism.

“There are all sorts of stereotypes, and the first lecture will be really dealing with those more than anything in terms of customs or observance or even history,” Grossman said.

While there are misconceptions about the Jewish religion among people in Selma, where only a handful of Jews currently reside, Grossman said Selma is the most tolerant city of people of the Jewish faith that he’s ever lived in.

“There’s an attitude, a very prevalent attitude in Selma of being very very supportive of Jews and Judaism,” Grossman said. “I’ve never ran into any kind of anti-Semitism here.”

Grossman said that while there are not many Jews in Selma, there are still many people he has spoken to in the area who have Jewish ancestry. Many older people living in Selma can remember back to the time when Judaism was more prevalent in Selma.

“The Jews have had a significant role in Selma, and many of them have memories of their Jewish friends,” Grossman said.

Grossman said he looks forward to the lecture series because he wants to inform the community about Judaism.

Grossman said he is hopeful the Selma community is able to get something valuable out of his lecture series that perhaps gives them a greater understanding of their own religion.

“A better understanding of Judaism among the people here who have just been expressing interest in getting that understanding,” Grossman said. “If that happens, I will be a very happy camper.”

The fee to attend each lecture $10 or $50 to attend the lecture series. Due to capacity issues, the participation is limited to 20 people per lecture. If interested, contact Grossman at (808) 277-1942.

About Justin Fedich

Staff writer for The Selma Times-Journal.

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